The Buffalo Bills dropped a huge game to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, as the visiting team blew out the home team by a score of 41-15. For the Bills, it meant dropping out of first place for the first time since starting 0-1 this year. For the Colts, it meant avenging last year’s loss in the playoffs.
Thanks to the embarrassing performance on Sunday, Buffalo dropped well off their lofty perch in this week’s power rankings. The drop is certainly deserved, though it seems like some rankers are now swinging in the opposite direction a tad too hard as it relates to how they view the Bills.
Dan Hanzus at NFL Network actually has Buffalo higher than most, ranking the Bills No. 7 this week. He writes that the “alarm bell” that sounded this week is deserved, continuing to say that the Bills were dominated in all phases of the game by the Colts. He wrote that it wasn’t just the defense that looked bad, as he noted that the team’s vaunted offense has looked “average” of late when the New York Jets aren’t involved.
The power rankers at Sports Illustrated have Buffalo at No. 8 this week, and they think that the main concern is a defense that is overrated. The writers feel that “hand-wringing about the defense” is fine, given that the Bills “got fat off some truly bad offenses early in the year (Houston, Pittsburgh, Jets, Miami, Miami).” Two of those opponents are teams that Buffalo played this month, so I’m not sure that I agree. Worrying about teams that are physical, on the other hand, might actually be where it’s at, to paraphrase the article.
Pete Prisco at CBS Sports dropped Buffalo all the way to No. 11, down from their No. 3 ranking last week. He wrote that the team is “starting to look like a big disappointment,” which feels both entirely appropriate and like an overreaction all at once. Prisco thinks that it will be difficult for Buffalo to right the ship in the Super Dome this week against the New Orleans Saints.
Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk also has Buffalo ranked No. 11 this week, and his one-sentence review of the squad is a scathing rebuke of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Florio writes, “Brian Daboll needs to quit auditioning for his next job and start focusing on his current one.”
Vinnie Iyer at The Sporting News ranked the Bills at No. 11, as well, writing that the Bills “got in their own way against the Colts.” He continued to write about the poor defensive effort as well as a tepid performance from quarterback Josh Allen, who has thrown five interceptions in the team’s last three games. Iyer writes that their poor play of late has led the Bills from “‘new AFC favorites” to “near AFC also-rans.’”
Nate Davis at USA Today has a bleak outlook for Buffalo, as he ranks them at No. 12 this week. He writes that pressure was already mounting on an underperforming team, but now the Bills will have to right their ship in consecutive primetime games—Thursday at the New Orleans Saints and next Monday night against the New England Patriots—and that’s before they take to the road to face the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
We’ll end on a positive note, even though the power rankers at ESPN have Buffalo at No. 12 this week. Alaina Getzenberg was tasked with writing about the team’s best Thanksgiving game memory, and she picked the Bills’ beat-down of the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. Buffalo hadn’t played on Thanksgiving since 1994, when they lost to the Detroit Lions in the old Pontiac Silverdome 35-21. Getzenberg gave a shoutout to O.J. Simpson and his 273-yard performance in 1976, but she ultimately went with the coming-out party that was that win over Dallas just two years ago.