Power Rankings: Some go up, some go down for Bills following bye

David De Cristofaro
·6 min read

Six games remain in the regular season for the Buffalo Bills, who are on track to win the AFC East and earn a playoff spot. But this is a story about the national power rankings heading.

The biggest factor in that? Week 11, naturally.

But here’s the twist, the Bills didn’t play a game last weekend as their yearly bye week rolled around. Despite Buffalo sitting last weekend out, other teams played and that still causes the Bills’ position to fluctuate in the polls.

Each week, such polls can be taken with a grain of salt. After a week the Bills don’t even play? A massive one. Still, let’s have some fun.

Here are this week’s power ranking poll roundup for the Bills as they head into Week 12:

USA TODAY

9. Bills (12)

Pretty good bye week given their AFC East lead on Miami grew to a full game. But defense that didn’t give up more than 31 points in 2019 is still a concern given Buffalo has been burned for 32+ four times already in 2020.

Touchdown Wire

7. Buffalo Bills (7-3. Week 11 Bye. Last week: 6)

During last week’s thrilling game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Buffalo Bills, I saw a tweet that got me thinking. There is some truth to that declaration. After all, if you think back to last year’s Wild Card game between the Bills and the Houston Texans, there was a whole mess of crazy in that game from Josh Allen. Laterals on plays like the above, downfield scramble drill vertical routes to double-covered fullbacks, and much more.

So the question facing the Bills in the second half is this: Will Josh Allen avoid the big mistake?

Allen has been a bit of a roller coaster at times, at least in previous seasons, but as D’Andrea points out in the above tweet, Allen has largely avoided those head-scratching moments we are used to seeing from him this season. He has taken care of the football, not made crazy mistakes, and right now the Bills have the upper hand in the AFC East with a game in hand over both the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots.

Provided Allen continues to avoid the big mistake, that might keep them atop the division.

Sports Illustrated

5. Buffalo Bills (7-3)

Josh Allen’s rise to stardom has masked a struggling defense, but the fact that they lost their No. 2 and 3 corners 24 hours before the trip to Arizona and still came within a Hail Mary of winning counts as encouraging. And with the Dolphins losing in Denver and struggling to figure out their quarterback situation, the likely worst-case scenario for the Bills is an AFC East championship game against Miami during Week 17 in Orchard Park.

NFL.com

7. Buffalo Bills (7-3)

Previous rank: No. 7

The weather is about ready to turn in Western New York, which means it’s time for the Bills to finally figure out their running game. It’s been a near-constant issue this season, and it puts too much pressure on Josh Allen and the passing game on a week-by-week basis. Sean McDermott told reporters at the beginning of the Week 11 bye that he wants to find ways to improve the ground attack, and you have to expect that might mean more opportunities for third-round rookie Zack Moss. Devin Singletary’s high-end abilities as a pass protector will keep him in the mix, but Moss deserves a shot to show what he can do in early-down situations. A subplot to watch Sunday against the Chargers.

Sporting News

6. Buffalo Bills 7-3 (6)

The Bills enjoyed a bye week by seeing both the Dolphins and Patriots lose behind them as favorites in their games. Buffalo, with the AFC East in hand and little chance to climb up in seeding, needs to just work on fine-tuning with Josh Allen and the defense. Finding a running game for December and January would help, too.

Yahoo! Sports

8. Buffalo Bills (7-3, LW: 10)

The Dolphins loss was a big one for the Bills, who are back to having some breathing room in the division. The Bills want to make sure a Week 17 game against the Dolphins doesn’t have any impact on the division race.

CBS Sports

8. Buffalo Bills (-3)

They come off the bye with a little breathing room in the division with Miami losing. They have to be better on defense down the stretch.

Bleacher Report

5. Buffalo Bills (7-3)

High: 5

Low: 9

Last Week: 8

Week 11 Result: Bye Week

The bye week came at an inopportune time for the Buffalo Bills, in that it gave them an extra week to stew while watching replays of the “Hail Murray” play that brought about their third loss of the season.

Despite that heartbreaker, the Bills are 7-3 for the second year in a row and come out of the bye in first place in the AFC East.

The schedule sets up relatively well down the stretch for the Bills. Only two of the team’s last six games are against teams that sport a winning record—a prime-time tilt with the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14 and the season finale against the surprising Miami Dolphins. Both of those games are in the friendly confines of Bills Stadium.

Part of the reason the NFL schedules so many intradivisional games on the last weekend of the regular season is to add some drama to Week 17.

With the Bills and Dolphins locked in a battle for a division that has belonged to the New England Patriots for the past decade-plus, that one could be for all the marbles.

Pro Football Talk

4. Bills (No. 8; 7-3)

A showdown with the Steelers is looming, and a division title is waiting.

ESPN

5. Buffalo Bills (7-3)

Week 11 ranking: 7

What they’re thankful for: A franchise quarterback

Although he improved drastically in his second year, the jury was still out on Josh Allen being the Bills’ franchise quarterback. The thought was, by the middle of the 2020 season it would be clear whether he was worthy of the title. Ten games in, he has the Bills at 7-3, in position to win their first AFC East title since 1995, and ranks seventh in the NFL in passing yards. He is a legitimate MVP candidate at his best and a good starter at his worst. After nearly two decades of below-average play at the position, Buffalo fans can sit comfortably knowing Allen will captain this offense for years to come.

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NFL Week 12 odds, betting lines: Bills open as near-TD favorite vs. Chargers

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Buffalo
+125+3O 54.5
Kansas City
-143-3U 54.5