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What they're saying | Bills enter the top five in NFL power rankings

Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Chargers, November 29, 2020 at Bills Stadium. Photo by Sara Schmidle
Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Chargers, November 29, 2020 at Bills Stadium. Photo by Sara Schmidle

No. 4. Bills (8-3): Ready or not, they're coming to prime time for three of their next four games.

No. 4. Buffalo Bills, 8-3:

The AFC East leaders committed turnovers on three consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter Sunday, but they still held off Justin Herbert and the Chargers to maintain their one-game lead over the Dolphins in their quest for their first division title since 1995.

Next: Monday at San Francisco.

Snow begins to fall in Orchard Park on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo by Sara Schmidle.
Snow begins to fall in Orchard Park on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo by Sara Schmidle.

No. 5. Buffalo Bills (8-3)

Most important game remaining: Week 14 vs. Pittsburgh

The Bills are in good position to win their first AFC East title since 1995 but have faltered against the best teams in their conference this season. With Pittsburgh coming into town possibly still undefeated, it will be a prime opportunity for Buffalo to throw its hat in the ring of conference title contenders against arguably the best team in the NFL on "Sunday Night Football." The Steelers' defense also will provide a challenging litmus test for the Bills' upstart passing offense. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

No. 5. Buffalo Bills (8-3)

The Buffalo Bills came out of their bye week comfortably in first place in the AFC East and in the top five in these power rankings. But beneath that veneer was the unpleasant truth that they were only a .500 team over their last six games. However, the Bills strengthened their case as one of the best teams in the AFC with their victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. They put together one of their most complete halves of the last month-plus, building a 24-6 lead over the Chargers before staving off a late rally. Quarterback Josh Allen admitted to reporters afterward that the score shouldn't have been as close as it was:

"Our defense played outstanding. Obviously, on the offensive side of the football, we can do a lot more to help us out—27 points and three consecutive turnovers in the third and fourth quarter or whatever it was, we left a lot out there. We know that, we've got to be better, and I've got to be better in taking care of the football."

Sloppy second half aside, the Bills did what they had to do to stay ahead of the surprising Dolphins in the AFC East. But it won't be easy to maintain that lead. Of Buffalo's last five contests, four come against clubs that are 5-6 or better.

No. 5. Buffalo Bills (8-3)

The Bills needed to put together a strong, complete performance, and despite some shakiness from Josh Allen, they got that job done against the Chargers. The encouraging development was the defense clamping down again and making needed plays.

No. 7. Buffalo Bills (8–3)

The Bills' season has been a wild rollercoaster, but it has also been a clear step forward. They may not be in the AFC's top tier, but they are really talented and know how to keep things exciting. But they have a ceiling in the power rankings and for now it's right around here.

No. 7. Buffalo Bills (8-3)

The fourth quarter wasn't pretty, but it was still a win over a Chargers team that is much better than their record. Next week, the Bills catch a bit of a break when they play a "road game" against the 49ers, who aren't allowed to play at Santa Clara and will play in Arizona instead. Not that home field matters much in 2020, but it is an edge to have a neutral-site game instead.

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