The Buffalo Bills defeated Washington on Sunday, picking up a 24-9 victory over yet another bad opponent. Buffalo’s six wins have come against teams that are a combined 9-42 on the season, so it’s understandable that many national outlets have them ranked lower than their record would suggest in the latest power rankings.
The highest Buffalo is ranked this week seems to be at No. 9, where Pete Prisco of CBS Sports continues to be higher on the Bills than most. He says that the team is “clearly in the playoff race, yet you get the impression that few people believe in them.” With the Bills only two losses coming against the only two teams with a winning record on their schedule, that impression is definitely reality, as most outside of Buffalo and their fans don’t think the Bills are for real. Prisco thinks that should change, but until the Bills beat a “quality” opponent, it probably will not.
Scott Bair at NBC Sports ranks Buffalo at No. 12, up two spots from their ranking last week. He quotes Bill Parcells, saying that “you are what your record says you are.” He only uses the quote in jest, however, as he follows it up with, “Except in this instance.” Safety Micah Hyde said this week that he’s “done apologizing for wins,” and this is an instance where the cumulative record of Buffalo’s opponents is impacting their ranking.
Vinnie Iyer at The Sporting News gave Buffalo a one-spot boost, as he ranked them at No. 13 this week. Iyer wrote that the Bills “did what they had to do this week” in beating Washington, and he gave the team props for making Devin Singletary the “centerpiece” of their offense. He noted that quarterback Josh Allen has played better than he did in his rookie season, albeit marginally, as he called Allen’s play “slightly raised” from his rookie season. Iyer writes that if the “surprising underdog” Bills can defeat the Cleveland Browns this week, they will likely make the playoffs in a weak AFC.
Kristopher Knox at Bleacher Report has Buffalo ranked No. 12 this week. In his write-up, he gives no explanation as to why, as it focuses on the Browns, the New England Patriots (who lost for the first time this season at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens) and the Cincinnati Bengals (who have yet to win a game under new head coach Zach Taylor, and whose tenure as Bengals coach may be shorter than the administration of the U.S. President of the same name). Knox lists each team’s Super Bowl odds as of this week, and Buffalo checks in at 35-1 through nine weeks.
Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune has Buffalo ranked No. 14, right behind the Philadelphia Eagles and right ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers. He writes that the Bills easily handled Washington this week, and then notes that Buffalo’s schedule has been “incredibly easy” this season. He refers to Buffalo’s upcoming schedule as “the smooth,” which includes road trips against the Cleveland Browns and the Miami Dolphins, as well as a home date with the Denver Broncos. Those teams have combined for six wins this season.
Finally, ESPN has Buffalo ranked in the same spot they were last week, holding strong at No. 13. Marcel Louis-Jacques writes that Buffalo’s “scary trend” (it’s a Halloween theme, of course) is the run defense, which has surrendered 422 interior rushing yards in the past three games. Louis-Jacques notes that it won’t be any easier for Buffalo in terms of opposing running backs, as the list of star rushers the Bills are slated to face in the next few weeks includes Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Ezekiel Elliott, Phillip Lindsay, Mark Ingram II, and James Conner, as well as duel-threat quarterback (and MVP candidate) Lamar Jackson. Buffalo needs to figure out its struggles in that department in a hurry.