The Buffalo Bills have been ranked as one of the NFL’s best teams all season. So, it’s no surprise that the team remains right at the top of most Week 9 NFL power rankings after defeating the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. While the 27-17 victory wasn’t the most impressive win of the year for the Bills, it was a workmanlike display of the team’s ability.
If not for two awful interceptions thrown by quarterback Josh Allen in the fourth quarter, the final score of the game probably would have been more indicative of Buffalo’s level of dominance in the game. Green Bay never came closer than seven points, and their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, did not surpass 100 passing yards until well into the fourth quarter. In a season full of strong outings, this was just another notch in Buffalo’s belt.
As for the power rankings this week, we start off with Frank Schwab at Yahoo! Sports. Schwab ranks Buffalo No. 1 this week, writing that “the Bills keep marching on.” He does note that Buffalo’s play became “sloppy” in fourth quarter against Green Bay once the game seemed out of reach for the visitors, but he looks at it from the positive side. Buffalo wasn’t particularly sharp this week, yet they still won by ten points.
Dan Hanzus of NFL.com also ranked Buffalo No. 1 this week, highlighting the phenomenal performance of wideout Stefon Diggs. Allen’s top target caught six passes for 108 yards and a score on the night, accounting for over half of Allen’s total production as a passer. Hanzus notes that Allen struggled when he wasn’t throwing Diggs’s way, writing that the quarterback was just 7-of-17 when throwing to anyone but Diggs. That could be a result of strong play from cornerback Jaire Alexander, but if teams plan to allow Diggs to beat them all year long, that’s a strategy Buffalo will happily embrace.
The pollsters at ESPN have Buffalo ranked No. 1 again this week, and beat reporter Alaina Getzenberg was tasked with writing about a reason for optimism for the Bills. She urges us to keep things simple, and she does just that by noting that the Bills are ”playing like the best team in the league” as their reason to be optimistic. Getzenberg writes that the Bills have been dominant against good teams, going a perfect 5-0 against 2021 playoff teams they’ve faced so far, and despite dealing with injuries in the secondary.
Pete Prisco at CBS Sports is our first ranker to put Buffalo at No. 2, as they trail only the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles in the poll. He writes that the defense needs to start receiving the same accolades as the offense, and while I agree, it’s a slightly ironic game to mention that given that it comes after Buffalo allowed more yardage than they have in any game this season. The defense has been stellar, however, even without safety Micah Hyde and cornerback Tre’Davious White—a pair of All-Pro players missing time due to a neck injury and ACL rehab, respectively.
Austin Gayle at The Ringer has Buffalo ranked No. 1 this week, and he writes that the Bills remain an odds-on favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year. He notes that, even with Allen’s misfires in the second half, Buffalo still won handily on Sunday night. Not only is Buffalo near even-money to win the AFC, but he also writes that FanDuel has Allen at near even-money to win the NFL MVP, too.
Mike Florio has Buffalo ranked No. 2 this week, as he once again has the team behind the Eagles in the rankings. He writes that Buffalo is “just a little too lackadaisical at times against lesser foes.” I can’t say I agree, especially given that a criticism of this team a mere month ago was they they either blow lesser teams out or lose tight games to good opponents. They definitely played a poor fourth quarter last week, but I think that was more a product of “seeing red,” for lack of a better phrase, in trying to make Alexander eat his words.
Vinnie Iyer at Sporting News has Buffalo ranked No. 2, also behind the Eagles. Iyer writes that the Bills “keep on rolling with their aggressive, attacking passing offense with Josh Allen and their strong swarming zone defense.” Buffalo definitely attacked Green Bay deep through the air, but they also rushed for a season-high 153 yards. Buffalo has been over 100 yards rushing as a team in every game this year.
Dalton Miller at Pro Football Network has Buffalo in his “elite” tier, as he continues to eschew a traditional power ranking in favor of a tiered approach. The other elite teams are the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Miller writes that Buffalo has been “completely dominant,” and he even compares them to the 2007 New England Patriots team that famously went 18-1. He notes that the Bills have played the league’s sixth-toughest schedule so far, per Football Outsiders, and they play just the 24th-most difficult schedule to close out the season.
Finally, Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated ranks Buffalo No. 1 this week. He asks whether the Bills “could essentially go wire to wire this year as the best team in football, right up until the Super Bowl.” Orr then writes that losing to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 could have been the best thing for Buffalo, but he also hopes that loss will help them to see what improvements they could make with the NFL trade deadline looming.