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NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Buffalo Bills Poised to Fight for a Playoff Spot

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COMMENTARY | You've got to respect a young Buffalo Bills team for not giving up after the team was dealt a rough hand when it comes to injuries.

Last weekend the team rallied in the fourth quarter to steal a 23-21 win against the Miami Dolphins to pull within one win of .500 and the Dolphins. Despite being young, ravaged by injuries and relatively inexperienced, the defense stepped up in the fourth quarter by keeping the Jets off the scoreboard.

While the Bills are still long shots to make the playoffs, the team has showed a ton of testicular fortitude by fighting back in games.

Here is a look at where the Bills fare in some of this week's NFL power rankings.

Yahoo -- Frank Schwab -- No. 22 (Last week: No. 27)

"Quarterback Thad Lewis has now played two good games in a row. EJ Manuel will get his job back when he returns (right?), but Lewis could make things really interesting."

Sorry, but I'm not buying the argument that there could be a quarterback controversy in Buffalo. The starting job is Manuel's for the foreseeable future.

CBSSports.com -- Pat Kirwan -- No. 23 (Last week: No. 25)

"My hat's off to Doug Marone for playing Thad Lewis when he lost EJ Manuel. That being said, the Bills need Manuel back to go anywhere."

Lewis has filled in admirably for Manuel by posting a quarterback rating of 85.3 and completing 62.5 percent of his passes and it has led to writers like Schwab questioning if Manuel will start when he's healthy. Still, I agree with Kirwan that the team needs Manuel to return in order for the Bills to have a legit chance of making a push for the playoffs.

Fox Sports -- Brian Billick -- No. 16 (Last week: No. 22)

"Thaddeus Lewis earned his first win as a starter in the NFL, but the game ball should go to the defense who forced three turnovers, one of which was returned for a touchdown."

Billick gives Buffalo their highest ranking, but I'm not sold that the team is currently better than the Ravens or Texans. While Baltimore and Houston have injuries of their own, they still have more veterans that are healthy and both teams made the playoffs last season (with Houston having one of the best records in the AFC and Baltimore winning the Super Bowl).

NFL.com -- Elliot Harrison -- No. 21 (Last week: No. 26)

"OK, who would have thought coming into the year that Buffalo could have beaten the Dolphins in Miami with Thad Lewis at quarterback and C.J. Spiller gaining 7 -- SEVEN! -- yards? The Bills make things painfully exciting every week, and though the networks never give them national exposure, they're becoming a can't-miss matchup."

Seriously, what's up with Spiller? He's averaging 4.0 yards per carry and only 51.7 yards per game. He's getting a healthy amount of touches, but injuries issues continue to slow him down.

ESPN.com -- No. 21 (Last week: No. 25)

"Mario Williams has now reached double-digit sack totals in each of his two seasons in Buffalo, something he did only twice in six seasons with the Texans."

Yes, Williams has been a beast, but rookie Kiki Alonso has been a pleasant surprise as well. The rookie was drafted 46th overall and leads the team in tackles (70), interceptions (4) and forced fumbles (1).

Ryan McNeill has followed the Buffalo Bills since the team broke his heart after losing four consecutive Super Bowls. Yeah, he's kind of a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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