After a 33-27 loss in overtime at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Buffalo Bills find themselves at their lowest point of the season in terms of NFL power rankings. For the majority of the season, Buffalo has remained in the top five, falling down to the bottom part of the top ten at a few points over the last two months. Now, however, there are multiple outlets that have Buffalo ranked outside of that mark.
We start with ESPN, which is the place where Buffalo is ranked the highest. The Worldwide Leader’s panel of rankers has Buffalo at No. 9 this week. Alaina Getzenberg was tasked with writing about the Bills Football Power Index (FPI) rankings, which is ESPN’s way of measuring just how good each of a team’s three main units has performed throughout a season. Buffalo ranks No. 7 in offense, No. 2 in defense, and No. 1 in special teams. They are the only team to rank so highly in all three phases of the game, and Getzenberg writes that it’s indicative of what has been a frustrating season for a talented team. She comes in with the anti-Bill Parcells message, writing that the numbers suggest that Buffalo is better than its 7-6 record indicates.
Dan Hanzus at NFL Network rounds out the top ten by placing the Bills in that No. 10 spot. He writes that their current losing streak is one that is threatening their season, though he also feels that quarterback Josh Allen shows us that the team still has plenty of hope. He notes that Allen became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in a game, which is close, but Allen actually became the fourth, joining Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, and Lamar Jackson as players to accomplish the feat.
Pete Prisco at CBS Sports also has Buffalo ranked No. 10 this week, writing that the team needs to “get it going” in order to avoid being the year’s “biggest flop.” While that certainly won’t be Buffalo’s primary motivation, winning at least three out of their next four is going to be a necessity if they are going to make the playoffs. Running the table and winning all four would be a much better outcome for the Bills.
Dalton Miller at Pro Football Network ranked Buffalo No. 10 this week, as well. He has long discussed the Bills as the league’s most frustrating team, and he even termed his second-tier teams “Fun to Watch But Sometimes Frustrating.” He wrote that Buffalo looked like “the fraudulent team we’ve seen during all of 2021” for the first three quarters of Sunday’s game, but a fourth-quarter surge brought them closer. Miller writes that this game actually made him feel worse about Buffalo’s chances, given that it took a “Herculean effort” from Josh Allen for it even to be possible.
Doug Farrar at USA Today has Buffalo at No. 11 this week, noting that quarterback Josh Allen has to carry too heavy a burden in this year’s version of the Buffalo offense. He included some obnoxious tweets by Bucs linebacker Devin White.
Vinnie Iyer at The Sporting News has Buffalo ranked No. 12 this week. He wrote that the Bills looked “dazed and confused” for so long it’s not true. Okay, so I made that last part up, but the song is too good to pass up the reference. Iyer felt that Buffalo was suffering from a “New England Patriots hangover” until Josh Allen was able to lead the team back to the brink of victory. He ends by writing: “Unfortunately, he was still outdueled by [Tom] Brady and also hurt himself.”
Conor Orr at Sports Illustrated has the Bills ranked No. 13 this week. He writes that the Bills had an enormous task this week in traveling to face Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs just six days after dropping a hard-fought divisional contest against the New England Patriots. Orr also writes that Buffalo needs to find a way to protect Josh Allen by devising a game plan where “escaping the pocket is not mandatory.”
We end with Mike Florio and his short entry to describe the Bills, whom he has ranked at No. 13 this week. He sums up the team thusly: “Only Josh Allen can save the season.”