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Buffalo Bills plummet in Week 2 NFL power rankings

The drop is well deserved after a brutal opening-week loss

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NFL: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills inexplicably and inexcusably dropped their opening game on Monday night, losing 22-16 to a New York Jets squad playing without quarterback Aaron Rodgers for all but four offensive snaps. Entering the second half with a 13-3 lead, all the Bills had to do was play complementary football and they’d have left MetLife Stadium with a hard-fought, albeit ugly, win against one of the NFL’s best defenses.

Instead, quarterback Josh Allen played the second half like an 11-year-old going full rage-mode in Madden, making poor decision after poor decision and leading to three of his four turnovers. Those four turnovers led to 13 of the Jets’ points, and while he was able to engineer a drive that led to a game-tying field goal, it ultimately wasn’t enough to eke out a victory.

As a result, the power rankers dropped Buffalo in their lists this week, and deservedly so. We begin at Touchdown Wire, where Jarrett Bailey ranks Buffalo No. 9 this week, five spots down from their ranking entering the season. He asks, “How can you lose that game?” That’s the question on every Bills fan’s mind this morning, though the obvious answer is “By turning it over four times and allowing a punt return touchdown.” He notes that the Bills have the Las Vegas Raiders in town for their home opener this week, a game where Buffalo absolutely needs to “take care of business.”

Matt Johnson at Sportsnaut has Buffalo ranked No. 10 this week, down three spots from their rank last week. He notes that Josh Allen’s erratic play towards the end of last season was chalked up to his UCL injury, so it’s not exactly encouraging to see that same erratic play once again to start this year when he’s fully healthy. Allen “now has an 82.9 QB rating with a 19-13 TD-INT line and a 59.6 completion rate over his last 11 regular-season games,” which only becomes cause for more concern if it’s a trend that continues.

Dalton Miller at Pro Football Network broke his rankings into two halves this week, ranking the 1-0 teams separately from the 0-1 teams. He has Buffalo ranked as the No. 3 team that started 0-1, trailing only — you guessed it — the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs. Miller writes that last night’s loss was “concerning” for Buffalo given that “Buffalo simply needed to play under control and score a few more points” after Aaron Rodgers was injured. It sounds so simple when put that way, but that’s not what happened on the field.

Eric Edholm at NFL Network ranked the Bills No. 8 overall, down five places from their Week 1 ranking. He wrote that Buffalo’s lone touchdown drive, a 10-play, 75-yard march capped with a brilliant scrambling touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs, felt like the Bills announcing that they were back. Instead, it was essentially the last time the offense looked competent, at least until the game-tying drive to force overtime. He wrote that Allen was too careless with the football, which is a unifying theme across all of the rankings today.

David Helman at FOX Sports ranked the Bills No. 7 this week. He wrote that Josh Allen is “so, so talented — and so, so chaotic.” After last night’s performance, it’s hard to disagree that Allen is certainly that at times. Helman gives Buffalo’s offensive line a pass for its struggles against a “nasty” Jets defensive front, but he notes that the Bills can’t sustain an Allen that continues to be this far off.

Vinnie Iyer at Sporting News has the Bills ranked at No. 8, down from their No. 5 spot to start the season. He notes that Buffalo fought through New York’s “tough” defense for much of the game, but Allen’s carelessness mixed with a lack of creativity from offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey ultimately doomed them in the end. He also writes that the loss is a tough pill to swallow in the early going of divisional play.

The ranking committee at ESPN has Buffalo at No. 9, down from No. 5 to start the season. Each team’s beat writer was asked to write about a player who had the best debut for their new team, and Alaina Getzenberg picked defensive end Leonard Floyd as Buffalo’s best first-time player. It’s hard to argue given the impact he had on the game, as Floyd notched 1.5 sacks, three tackles, two quarterback hits, and a tackle for loss on just 28 defensive snaps.

Pete Prisco at CBS Sports has Buffalo ranked No. 12, which is a full nine spots below where they were entering Week 1. Prisco notes that, while it isn’t time to panic with some top-tier teams that dropped their first game, Buffalo’s loss in particular was “inexcusable” after the Jets lost Aaron Rodgers. Prisco also joined the chorus of pundits rightly calling out Josh Allen for forcing plays that just aren’t there.

Nate Davis at USA Today has Buffalo ranked No. 8, down from the No. 5 spot last week. Davis writes that the Bills knocked out Aaron Rodgers, but then watched Josh Allen undermine the offense in nearly every conceivable way. He speculates that this loss may come back to haunt the Bills down the line.

Finally, over at Pro Football Talk, resident Jenga enthusiast Mike Florio has the Bills at No. 10 this week. He thinks the tower is going to collapse earlier than anyone, even he, anticipated.