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Buffalo Bills earn respect in Week 14 NFL power rankings

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A win on Thanksgiving Day has analysts talking about the Bills

Buffalo Bills v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For much of the 2019 NFL season, the Buffalo Bills have been a polarizing squad with regard to power rankings. Some pundits have docked the Bills for their weak schedule, while others have given them credit for continuing to win games. The discrepancy has led to a major disparity in ranking the team, as the Bills have found themselves all over the place week after week.

After a decisive victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, however, that isn’t the case. The Bills find themselves ranked between No. 7 and No. 10 in nearly all power rankings, and they have a chance to rise even more this week against the Baltimore Ravens, who are a near-universal choice as the top team in the league at this point.

We start with ESPN, which has Buffalo at No. 10 again this week, and Marcel Louis-Jacques wrote about the player he thinks is most “under fire” for the Bills, as that was the weekly theme. He picked kicker Stephen Hauschka, and it’s hard to argue with him. Louis-Jacques brought up Hauschka’s brutal day against the Cleveland Browns where he missed two field goals, including a 34-yard kick, as well as his latest effort against Dallas where he missed a field goal and an extra point. Hauschka’s field goal percentage sits at 71%, the lowest of his career.

Pete Prisco held firm with his ranking, keeping the Bills at No. 8 for the second week in a row. He writes, “It’s time to believe in this team. Josh Allen has really elevated his game. Now comes a big one with the Ravens.” That last statement may be the understatement of the year, as Buffalo would receive a huge boost with a win.

Mark Maske at the Washington Post has Buffalo ranked No. 7 overall, up two spots from their ranking last week. He writes that Buffalo’s victory over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving “reinforced that the Bills are a legitimate team.” He doubts Buffalo’s ability to overtake the New England Patriots in the AFC East, but he does think the Bills can win a playoff game.

Brad Biggs has Buffalo barely cracking the top ten this week, as he ranks them at No. 10 overall. That’s up two spots from his ranking heading into Week 13, however. He notes that Buffalo performed “well enough” in their defeat of Dallas to “earn the nod from the NFL and have their Week 15 game with the Pittsburgh Steelers flexed into the NBC prime-time spot on Sunday night.” “Well enough” is an awfully strange way to spell “dominated a team most national pundits expected to win,” but I digress. Biggs did call Buffalo’s defense an “underrated” unit, writing that they face a big challenge this week against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

Vinnie Iyer at The Sporting News has Buffalo ranked No. 10 overall, which is exactly where he had them ranked last week. He called the Bills’ victory over Dallas the team’s “signature win,” adding that they have a chance to “take it up a few notches” against Baltimore. Iyer gave special shout outs to Josh Allen, whom he says “keeps improving with his revamped weapons,” and the defense, a unit that “is making it difficult on opponents with its toughness and aggressiveness.”

Doug Farrar at USA Today ranks Buffalo at No. 7 overall, writing that the time to take the Bills seriously is right now. He called the Bills’ 26-15 victory over Dallas a “statement win,” adding that the score wasn’t indicative of Buffalo’s dominance. In summarizing the game, he wrote that Josh Allen completed 79% of his passes, John Brown threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Devin Singletary, and the defense had nine pass breakups and three forced fumbles. He goes on to mention Buffalo’s tough remaining schedule, saying the Bills have a lot left to prove, but he calls Buffalo a team “capable of proving it” as the end of the season draws near.

Finally, Kristopher Knox at Bleacher Report has Buffalo ranked No. 7 this week, and the Bills are the subject of a glowing write-up to boot. He writes that Buffalo’s match-up with the Patriots in Week 16 could very well decide the division, which is an accomplishment in and of itself given that the last time New England didn’t win the AFC East was in 2008 with Matt Cassel at quarterback. The final paragraph is music to Bills’ fans ears, as well. Knox writes, “One could argue the Bills are the better team at this point in the season too. While both have a playoff-caliber defense, Buffalo’s offense has started to make positive strides. When quarterback Josh Allen is playing efficient football—as he did while dropping 26 points on the Cowboys—Buffalo is hard to contain.”