The Buffalo Bills won their eighth game last week, dominating the Denver Broncos in a 20-3 victory that wasn’t as close as the score would suggest. The Bills were better in every phase of the game, gaining nearly 300 more yards of offense against an overmatched Denver club.
The win was yet another example of Buffalo beating a team with far fewer victories than losses. As a result, the idea around the league about Buffalo being a “paper tiger” still persists, and it will until they defeat a team considered to be among the league’s contenders. The Bills have a chance to do just that in Week 13 when they face off against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
For this week’s power rankings, the Bills find themselves in the top ten in nearly all national outlets. Only one still has them outside of the top ten, and that’s the ranking we’ll start with. Brad Biggs at The Chicago Tribune ranks Buffalo No. 12, up three spots from his previous ranking. He notes that the team has “ continued to make a playoff push by beating up on the league’s downtrodden,” noting that they weren’t the ones who made their schedule. He writes that it’s going to become much more challenging beginning with this week’s trip to Dallas.
Pete Prisco at CBS Sports kept Buffalo ranked No. 8 this week. He also mentions Buffalo’s schedule, a fairly common theme throughout all of the rankings this week. He writes that the Bills are in “good shape” to make the playoffs this year, but since the schedule “toughens up” from here on, the Bills will have to earn it. “Their game at Dallas Thursday will be fun,” Prisco writes.
David Keyon at Bleacher Report put Buffalo at No. 10 this week, the lowest-ranked of all the eight-win teams. No specific mention is made of the Bills in the article itself, as Kenyon instead focuses on the “glorious mess” that currently is the sixth AFC Wild Card spot.
Doug Farrar at USA Today gives Buffalo a big boost this week, ranking them at No. 6 after defeating the Broncos. He writes that the biggest news from the game involves veteran running back Frank Gore, who moved into third place on the NFL’s all-time rushing yardage list with a 65-yard performance. His succinct summary of the game makes Buffalo’s domination apparent: “Rookie Devin Singletary contributed 106 yards on 21 carries, quarterback Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes, and Buffalo’s defense overwhelmed Denver quarterback Brandon Allen.” Farrar concludes by calling Buffalo “the most under-the-radar eight-win team through twelve weeks in recent memory.”
Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News has Buffalo ranked No. 10 this week, up four spots from last week. He writes that the Bills “turned in another dominant performance against an overmatched opponent” in crushing Denver. He also notes that their opponent this week, Dallas, has yet to beat a team with a winning record. While Buffalo has taken plenty of flak for their weak schedule, the narrative surrounding the Cowboys should be similar.
Mark Maske at the Washington Post has Buffalo ranked No. 9, up two spots from his ranking last week. He writes that Buffalo just keeps on winning, yet “no one seems to notice or care all that much.” A victory this week would certainly change that narrative.
Finally, ESPN has Buffalo ranked No. 10 this week, up two spots from their poll last week. The theme this week, given that it is Thanksgiving, after all, is “what teams are thankful for.” Marcel Louis-Jacques writes that the Bills are thankful for wide receiver John Brown, who has quickly become quarterback Josh Allen’s favorite target. Louis-Jacques writes that Brown is on pace for the best season of his six-year career, as he’s currently on pace to catch 85 passes for 1,245 yards. Without him, Buffalo’s passing attack would look a lot different—and a lot less dynamic.