As the NFL season reaches its unofficial halfway point, no team has stuck out as the undisputed best team in the league. Only the Eagles have lost just one game while the entire AFC has lost at least two.
Were the season over today, the Kansas City Chiefs would hold the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC and the Miami Dolphins would win the AFC East. The Bills would be a Wild Card team with the No. 5 seed and would play the Baltimore Ravens in the first round.
There are nine games remaining in the Bills schedule, which includes a bye week after their game against the Eagles in late November. Here's where some of the NFL's analysts have the Bills in their latest power rankings going into Week 9. Plus, additional reactions to the Bills' trade for Rasul Douglas.
In an aggregate power ranking between the ESPN NFL beat reporters, the Bills came it at No. 9. ESPN's Alaina Getzenberg cited quarterback Josh Allen's up and down season in which he has thrown for 22 touchdowns and held a 71.7 completion percentage while also throwing eight interceptions and losing a pair of fumbles.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio has the Bills at No. 10 in his weekly power rankings, a step up from the No. 12 spot they held last week. Florio wrote that the Bills will "have their hands full in Cincinnati." After a surprisingly slow start to the season, the Bengals are riding high on a three-game win streak with impressive performances against the Seahawks and 49ers. Joe Burrow, completed all but four of his 32 passing attempts for 283 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers defense. They will host the Bills this weekend on Sunday Night Football.
The Bills stay in NFL.com's top 10 of the Power Rankings in a closer-than-expected win over Tampa Bay last week. Here is a snippet of what writer Eric Edholm had to say about where Buffalo stands.
"Josh Allen's big outing against the Bucs -- though it was accompanied by a few scary moments -- helped steady Buffalo's ship a bit, but there is plenty to clean up before this gauntlet. You'd like to see the Bills close the door better in fourth quarters. With the defense as shorthanded as it is, can they do it against even better teams?" — Eric Edholm
After their win against the Bucs on Thursday Night Football, the Bills moved up six spots in Pete Prisco's rankings to claim the No. 7 spot, just one behind the Kansas City Chiefs. Prisco liked the improvement he saw on offense Thursday night but said that their matchup against the Bengals Sunday night will prove a tough challenge for what he called an "inconsistent group." Prisco placed the Bengals immediately behind the Bills in his rankings.
In his Halloween-themed power rankings, The Athletic's Josh Kendall cited the injuries the Bulls suffered during the first five weeks of the season as "something scary" that the team has faced this year. Kendall noted that, since Matt Milano's leg injury and Daquan Jones' pectoral injury, the Bills defensive expected points added per play dropped significantly.
Jarrett Bailey of Yahoo Sports has the Bills as his No. 6-ranked team and the fifth-highest ranked team in the AFC behind the Chiefs, Jaguars, Dolphins and Ravens. Bailey cited the Bills late game struggles against the Buccaneers but called their upcoming game against Cincinnato a "potential AFC Championship Game preview."
The Ringer praises the efforts of defensive players DT Ed Oliver, DE A.J. Epenesa, and LB Terrel Bernard in Buffalo's TNF win over Tampa Bay and wrote that they "provide hope for a unit that needs to grow up quickly to reach playoff-caliber levels by January."
What else they're saying about the Bills
A deeper dive into analysis on the state of the Bills heading into Week 9.
"The Bills offense was out of sync in the three games before Week 8. They hadn't played up to their usual standard. Offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey made a smart decision to use tempo and go no-huddle against the Buccaneers on Thursday. The result was remarkable efficiency. On no-huddle plays, the Bills had an offensive success rate (gain half of the distance to first on first and second downs or convert on third or fourth downs) of 65 percent. To put that in perspective, last season, the Chiefs were top in the league with a success rate of 52.9 percent." — Ted Nguyen
"Fournette gives them the physical, between-the-tackles runner to help them in short-yardage situations when he's active on the 53-man roster. They still believe in Cook and his potential moving forward, and his performances in the last two games have shown he can do a little bit of everything for the offense... Fournette can blend not only the short-yardage piece but also a pass-catching element to his game to make him an all-around option when activated." — Joe Buscaglia, Bills beat writer
Buffalo's defense has been decimated with injuries in the first part of the season, but The Ringer's Ben Solak believes the Bills are still a contender in the AFC:
"The Bills are tough to rank among the true tippy-top of the NFL given the unfortunate defensive injuries they've endured. On the other hand, it's tough to knock the Bills down too many pegs when the offense looks like it did on Thursday. When Josh Allen and this passing game hum, the Bills can still beat anyone." — Solak
Reactions to Bills agreeing to terms to trade for Packers CB Rasul Douglas
The Bills agreed to terms to trade for Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas before Tuesday's deadline. These are some noteworthy reactions on social media: