The Buffalo Bills’ 31-10 beatdown of the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1 has the team feeling good heading into the home opener against the Tennessee Titans. With Buffalo opening the season’s first week and closing its second week (well, technically not, as the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles kick off an hour after Buffalo), we have a little extra time between Buffalo games this week. That gives more time to reflect on the week that was while preparing our weekday tailgates.
It also gives us some time to discuss the power rankings. With the Bills winning in such a dominant fashion, it should come as no surprise that the team maintained its stranglehold on the top position in most power polls. Buffalo is ranked first or second in essentially every major poll—and in most of them, they’re not second.
We start with the ESPN poll, where Buffalo came in at No. 1 this week. The ESPN beat reporters each were tasked with writing about a rookie who stood out, and Alaina Getzenberg chose running back James Cook. She wrote that he stood out in a bad way, as Cook fumbled on his first and only touch of the night. Getzenberg included a quote from Von Miller praising the rookie, but she didn’t mention that the veteran edge rusher consoled Cook on the sideline after his fumble. This felt like an odd choice for a spotlight player, especially after rookie sixth-round pick Christian Benford started and excelled at corner during the game.
Nate Davis at USA Today has Buffalo at No. 1, as well. He had them second last week, but after trouncing his No. 1 team, the Rams, Buffalo now occupies the top spot. Davis wrote that “Buffalo somehow looked even better than its advance billing,” and he assumes that the Bills will remain Super Bowl favorites this year barring some unforeseen catastrophe. He took a moment to praise Bills fans, as well, for invading SoFi Stadium for the game.
Vinnie Iyer at Sporting News also has the Bills ranked No. 1 this week. He wrote that the team sits at the top of a “top-heavy” AFC, noting that Buffalo showed how “loaded” the team is through its dominant performance on Thursday night. Iyer called quarterback Josh Allen an “MVP favorite” while referring to edge rusher Von Miller, who collected two sacks in his Bills debut, as just a “newcomer.”
Mark Lane at Touchdown Wire also has Buffalo ranked No. 1, writing that the Bills “brutalized” the defending champs en route to an opening-week victory. He called the victory a “statement that the Bills are out for blood...capitalizing on the fact that they have a franchise quarterback in Josh Allen.”
Josh Schrock is the lone holdout, as he kept Buffalo at No. 2 this week. The Bills trail only their archrival Kansas City Chiefs, who also dismantled an NFC West team on the road when they trounced the Arizona Cardinals 44-21. Schrock referred to the Bills as “the prettiest girl at the NFL ball” in noting that the team is “for real.”
Dan Hanzus at NFL Network has the Bills ranked No. 1, as well. He wrote that the Bills exorcised their demons from January’s Divisional Round loss to the Chiefs, and while I don’t agree that those demons have been vanquished (nothing short of a Super Bowl berth will do that for me), I understand the sentiment. He also wrote that Buffalo’s strong play in the game supported the hypothesis many generated in the lead-up to Week 1, which is that Buffalo has the league’s most complete team.
Pete Prisco at CBS Sports also ranks Buffalo No. 1 this week. He was one of a few rankers who felt that Buffalo’s drubbing of the Rams sent a message to the rest of the league, and he made it clear that he feels Buffalo is the most deserving team of that top spot.
Austin Gayle at The Ringer also has Buffalo ranked No. 1 heading into Week 2. He has Buffalo topping his “Best of the Best” tier, which also includes the Chiefs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Los Angeles Chargers, respectively. Gayle notes that Josh Allen played a “near-perfect game” in the blowout victory, but he also gave a shoutout to the Bills’ defense, which allowed just 3.7 yards per play. Gayle made sure to note that they did this without star cornerback Tre’Davious White. He added that “The Bills are quite plainly the best team in the NFL.” No word on whether his boss, Ringer CEO Bill Simmons, agrees.
Finally, Mike Florio ranked Buffalo No. 1 this week after placing them at No. 3 heading into the regular season. He wrote that “They’ll go as far as Josh Allen can take them. And he can take them all the way.”