The Buffalo Bills bounced back in a big way this past Sunday, trouncing the Miami Dolphins 35-0 in their second game of the 2021 NFL season. After dropping the opener to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo needed a big win, and the Dolphins were all too willing to oblige them.
The victory didn’t convince many of our power rankers that the Bills belong back in the rarified air of the top-four of the league, however, as most of our rankings have the Bills somewhere around the bottom of the top ten.
We’ll start with the top ranking, as ESPN kept Buffalo ranked No. 5 this week. Alaina Getzenberg named running back Devin Singletary as the Bills’ biggest fantasy football surprise, noting the third-year man’s fantastic yards-per-carry average through two games (6.42 yards per carry, good for fourth among running backs). With Singletary’s 46-yard rushing touchdown last week, he is now one score away from tying his career high for rushing touchdowns—two, set his rookie year—and Getzenberg thinks that Singletary should continue to benefit from a “starter’s” share in Buffalo’s offense.
Vinnie Iyer at The Sporting News has Buffalo ranked No. 7 this week, one spot ahead of their ranking last week. While Iyer also has some compliments for Devin Singletary, he notes that the big story with the Bills this year has been the resurgence of the team’s defense, which struggled last year, especially in the early going. Iyer writes that this has taken pressure off of quarterback Josh Allen as he looks to settle in to a groove this year.
Dan Hanzus at NFL Network also has the Bills ranked No. 5, which is one spot higher than the team was ranked last week. He notes that the Bills “took out a week of frustration” on Miami in a game that showed the true pecking order of the AFC East: it’s Buffalo and then it’s everybody else. Hanzus wrote that landing three hits on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on the game’s first two drives set the tone for what was an entirely one-sided game from start to finish.
Dalton Miller at Pro Football Network ranked the Bills No. 9, one spot behind the No. 8 Kansas City Chiefs. His intro states that he ranked teams solely on their record, small sample size be damned. Miller added that the Bills “must have been angry to start Week Two,” as they came out ready to end the game on the first few possessions of the game. The Bills allowed just 3.1 net yards per play, an incredibly low number. Miller writes that Buffalo may be one of the NFL’s elite, but with a .500 record early, he just isn’t ranking them there yet.
Nate Davis at USA Today has the Bills ranked No. 9 this week, up one spot from their placement last week. Davis writes that quarterback Josh Allen has been “decidedly ordinary” through the season’s first two games, but he feels that the run game and the defense should be encouraging signs for Bills fans.
Justin Leger at Yahoo! has the Bills ranked No. 8, up one spot from their previous ranking. He called the victory over Miami a much-needed bounce-back following their season-opening loss to the Steelers. Leger added that we’ll “find out if the Bills are officially back on track, or if they simply benefitted from an early Tua Tagovailoa injury and a sloppy overall performance from Miami.”
Finally, Josh Schrock at NBC Sports has the Bills ranked all the way down at No. 12. He writes that Josh Allen is “completing just 55.9 percent of his passes and averaging just 5.4 yards per pass attempt.” While he acknowledges that the Bills have played two good defenses, he writes that the start is still “troubling...for a team that is expected to be a legitimate AFC title threat.” Schrock’s conclusion feels like box-score scouting gone too far, but that’s just, like, my opinion man.