The Buffalo Bills bashed the hapless New York Jets on Sunday, winning 45-17 in a game that was only so close because the Bills’ backups played the back half of the fourth quarter. Thanks to that return to form, many of the pundits who compile NFL power rankings bumped the Bills in this week’s lists.
Over at ESPN, the Bills come in ranked No. 6, up two spots from their ranking last week. Alaina Getzenberg was tasked with circling the most important games left on the Bills’ schedule, and she chose the two matchups with the second-place New England Patriots. At 6-3, Buffalo sits just half a game ahead of the 6-4 Pats, who have played good ball in all phases of the game this year. Getzenberg notes that Buffalo has tough matchups upcoming with the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but she (correctly, in my opinion) picked the divisional battles as the ones that are most important.
Dan Hanzus at NFL Network has Buffalo at No. 5, up three spots from their ranking last week. He wrote that the Jets’ lackluster defense was just what the doctor ordered for Josh Allen and a Buffalo offense that had sputtered the previous two weeks. Hanzus writes the obvious caveat, that few solid conclusions can come from a game against the Jets, but watching Allen reconnect with Stefon Diggs was a much-needed step in the right direction for Buffalo.
Frank Schwab at Yahoo! also has Buffalo at No. 5, and he also had them at No. 8 last week. Schwab called last week’s blowout victory a “get-right game” for Buffalo, and he also praised Stefon Diggs for his 162-yard effort against an overmatched Jets secondary. Schwab also took a moment to praise Buffalo’s elite defensive unit, which forced five turnovers in New Jersey on Sunday.
Dalton Miller at Pro Football Network has the Bills ranked No. 7 this week. He was particularly angry at last week’s loss given the faith he’s placed in the team, and he continued on that theme this week by noting that the Bills “embarrassed themselves, Bills Mafia, and everyone else that believed in them prior to last week.” After devoting paragraph one to venting about the loss from two weeks ago, Miller moved on to praise the Bills for thumping the Jets this week, though he wrote that “the only quality team they’ve played is the [Kansas City] Chiefs.”
The editors at USA Today’s Listwire have Buffalo ranked No. 3 this week, while Nate Davis at USA Today itself has the Bills at No. 6. Both write-ups focus on how the Bills bounced back in a big way against the Jets. Those at Listwire praised Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen, while Davis wrote about this big win serving as a buffer against the “hard-charging New England Patriots.”
Vinnie Iyer at Sporting News has Buffalo ranked No. 5 this week, up from their No. 8 ranking last week. He notes that they quickly were able to put their “clunker” against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the rearview mirror, adjusting their offense to fit what they needed to defeat an inferior opponent.
Pete Prisco at CBS Sports has the Bills at No. 3, which is up three spots from their ranking last week. He notes that an opponent like the Jets will help a good team to regain its footing, but he also mentions how well New England is playing currently. Prisco writes that Buffalo “can’t let up” thanks to how hot Bill Belichick’s squad is right now.
Finally, Draft Kings has Buffalo ranked No. 3 this week, as well. They use their “point differential against the spread” method to determine their rankings. Buffalo is plus-66 against the point spread, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys (plus-68.5) and the New England Patriots (plus-79.5). Buffalo’s actual point differential is plus-145, which is the best in the league right now.