Now that the important bits of the NFL offseason have passed, many prognosticators have taken the opportunity to do a quick reset on the league to see where everybody stands going into 2017.
When it comes to the Buffalo Bills, that standing isn’t very high.
As of May 3, NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison has the Bills at 27, citing the timing of former general manager Doug Whaley’s firing. He writes, “The argument for firing him at this juncture would be that the draft really finishes the year-long cycle for the personnel department. On the other hand, why not do it on Black Monday, closer to when previous coach Rex Ryan was let go?” One could argue that the first sentence answers the question posed in the second, but I digress. Only the Rams, Bears, Browns, 49ers, and Jets rank lower than Buffalo.
ESPN’s power rankings, published May 8, have the Bills at 26. Dan Graziano has plenty of nice things to say about new head coach Sean McDermott and the Bills’ draft, but seemingly explains the low ranking with “because they’re the Bills”, closing his blurb by saying “one of these years they’ll surprise, right?” ESPN has the same five teams below the Bills as Harrison does, with the addition of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Finally, Peter King of The MMQB put the Bills at 26 in the power rankings he released today. In explaining the rankings, Kind admits he put the Bills so low because “[he doesn’t] know who the Bills are.” He also notes that the moves to change the coaching staff and front office mean that the Bills are dealing in more of a long game than a win-now situation, saying “...the Bills should be viewed through a 2018-20 prism.” The teams that occupy spots 27-32 are the same as the ones ESPN has.