The national pundits weren't thrilled with Buffalo's Week 1 performance against the Steelers, but it didn't impact the Bills standing in the analysts' power rankings all that much. Here's a closer look at the outside observers see in the Bills after one week of regular season action.
5. Buffalo Bills (0-1)
Preseason ranking: 3
Top rookie: DE Greg Rousseau
Rousseau is really the only choice here with DE Boogie Basham inactive in Week 1 and OT Spencer Brown and S Damar Hamlin -- the only other active rookies on the game-day roster -- largely contributing to a mixed special teams performance. Rousseau, the 30th overall pick, played 52% of the defensive snaps -- behind only veteran Jerry Hughes for the most by a Bills DE -- and had two tackles in the loss. Despite not registering a sack, Rousseau made his presence felt, especially early in the game. The Bills' pass rush, one of the team's biggest issues last season, remains a work in progress. -- Alaina Getzenberg
5. Buffalo Bills (0-1)
Last Week: 5
Week 1 Result: Lost vs. Pittsburgh 23-16
The Buffalo Bills surprisingly made running back Zack Moss a healthy scratch ahead of their Week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It wouldn't be their last surprise of the day.
After controlling the first half of their season opener against the Steelers, the Bills fell asleep after halftime, managing only six points over the final 30 minutes. They were penalized eight times and converted only eight of their 18 third-down attempts.
As Davenport pointed out, things aren't going to get any easier for the Bills.
"One game is hardly cause for panic," Davenport said. "But the coma that the Bills offense slipped into in the second half is concerning, especially given their upcoming schedule. The Bills play at Miami in Week 2 and home against Washington in Week 3. Neither of those teams are exactly defensive pushovers, either. Miami was sixth in scoring defense in 2020, while Washington was fourth.
6. Buffalo Bills: 0-1
Previous rank: No. 3
The Bills had a defined game plan on Sunday: Spread out their wide receivers and let their superstar quarterback pick apart a suspect Pittsburgh secondary. The strategy made plenty of sense when Brian Daboll drew it up, but the execution was woeful in a disappointing 23-16 home loss to begin the season. Josh Allen looked much more like the QB he was in his first two seasons, while Stefon Diggs and the rest of the Buffalo playmakers struggled to gain separation and deliver the splash plays that were a signature in 2020. It's not all on the QB and wideouts, though: The Bills' offensive line was bullied by a Pittsburgh pass rush that got home repeatedly with four-man fronts. Another tough D awaits for Week 2's trip to the Dolphins.
6. Bills (0-1, No. 3): They need to shrug Week One off quickly; a dangerous Miami trip is looming.
7. Buffalo Bills (0–1)
Last week: Loss vs. Pittsburgh, 23–16
Next week: at Miami
Sense the pattern here? Losing on opening weekend doesn't mean the Bills are not one of the obvious Super Bowl favorites out of the AFC. While falling to Pittsburgh was a bit of a surprise, the Steelers have the infrastructure to muddy the best of what Josh Allen does. This was always going to be a coin-toss game for Buffalo.
9. Buffalo Bills (0-1, LW: 3)
The problem with Week 1 is it's just one week. Jacksonville beat Indianapolis in Week 1 last season and look how those seasons turned out. Do we really believe the Bills aren't very good? Or was Sunday a tough game — and a one-game sample — against a top-flight defense? I'm willing to give the Bills another chance. A Week 2 game at Miami will be telling.
9. Buffalo Bills
They can quiet the Super Bowl talk for a week after losing to the Steelers at home.
10. Bills (5): The offensive line allowed QB Josh Allen to get hit eight times, sacked three and was flagged for six holding penalties against Pittsburgh. Otherwise, it was stellar.