After a convincing victory over Washington in Week 3, the Bills made some gains in most of the NFL power rankings. But with some undefeated teams still out there and the Chargers big win on the road at Kansas City, it was difficult for Buffalo to earn unanimous support for a top 3 ranking.
1. Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Previous ranking: 5
Josh Allen called out his own play after the first two games of the season, but he took a big step in the right direction during the win over Washington in Week 3. He had five total touchdowns and found success in the middle of the field, completing 20 of 25 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown on throws between the painted field numbers, per ESPN Stats & Information research. Allen's overall play should improve from the small sample size of the first three weeks, but it remains to be seen if he will match last season's consistent high-level success for an entire campaign.
3: Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Last week: Win vs. Washington, 43–21
Next week: vs. Houston
I considered placing the Bills lower in these rankings. I waffled a bunch on the fourth slot, and the fifth one, and even took a look at Buffalo at six. Here's the thing, though: while the Bills start to the 2021 season hasn't been without uneven stretches, they're so loaded with talent, they can boast of such a complete and deep roster, that I believe they will end any lingering doubt—and quite soon. Yes, the offense was shaky in Week 1 against the Steelers. But look at what has happened for Josh Allen and company since: 35 points in Week 2 against the Dolphins (in a shutout); and another explosion this past Sunday against the football team that's still waiting on a nickname in DC. Allen was typically spectacular against the WFT: 358 yards, four touchdowns, no sacks. I cannot recall another player in NFL history who moves quite like him; he's part lumberjack, part cheetah, and that's what makes him and Buffalo so difficult to defend. Add to that wideout Emmanuel Sanders (two touchdowns on Sunday) and an improved defense, and I like the Bills' chances of playing deep into January. I also believe they will assert their full dominance soon.
The Super Bowl-caliber version of the Bills has shown up the last two weeks, and AFC opponents should be on notice. The opportunistic defense is playing a little nasty and taking the ball away. Josh Allen has rediscovered his all-star ways after a two-week slump.
4. Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Previous rank: No. 5
The Bills have it cooking on both sides of the ball now. Josh Allen picked apart a supposedly good Washington defense with surgical precision, cutting perfect spirals through gusting winds like Joe Namath at Shea Stadium in a casually dominant 43-21 win over the Football Team. Allen's chemistry with his receivers was palpable on Sunday: Stefon Diggs made his usual assortment of impact plays and Cole Beasley showed off his uncanny knack for finding the defense's soft underbelly, while Emmanuel Sanders has profiled as a significant upgrade over John Brown. Buffalo might have the AFC East locked up by Thanksgiving.
4. Buffalo Bills (2-1, LW: 11)
The Bills might be a team that flies under the radar for a while, because they lost in Week 1. Since then, their offense has scored 78 points. The defense has a shutout and gave up just 290 yards and 13 first downs in Week 3. They haven't even really got Stefon Diggs going yet either. And they get the Texans at home next. The Bills are ahead of some 3-0 teams because I'm confident they'll be an elite team the rest of the season.
5. Buffalo Bills 2-1
That Week 1 loss to the Steelers will look strange at the end of this season. The defense isn't getting enough credit for how well it is playing, which bodes well for the long term.
5. Buffalo Bills 2-1 (7)
The Bills needed a monster get-well game from Josh Allen after they already had their traditional running game and defense performing at a new high level. Now they're right there with the Browns as the Chiefs have provided a bit of an AFC opening for stealing the top seed.
6. Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 7
Week 3 Result: Won vs. Washington 43-21
Heading into Week 3, the Buffalo Bills had yet to find their offensive groove in 2021.
They found it in Week 3 — and then some.
After an up-and-down first two games of the season, Bills quarterback Josh Allen eviscerated a supposedly stout Washington defense to the tune of 358 passing yards and four touchdowns with another score on the ground. Running back Zack Moss, who wasn't even active in Week 1, had 91 yards from scrimmage with a score. In his third game with the team, veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught five passes for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Bills defense did its part as well. It held Washington under 300 yards of total offense, amassed three takeaways and allowed just two of 11 third-down conversions.
Buffalo looked the part of the Super Bowl contender it was labeled by many before the season. The Bills have now outscored their opponents 78-21 the past two weeks ahead of a Week 4 tuneup against the Houston Texans, followed by a Week 5 showdown in Arrowhead against the Chiefs.
7. Bills (9)
With 78 points scored the past two weeks, Buffalo is clearly heating up. A struggling offensive line passed Sunday's test against Washington and may not face another stiff one until December.