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What they're saying: Bills power rankings at NFL midseason point


RANK 12: BILLS. Sexy Rexy's team has dropped two in a row without a healthy LeSean McCoy at his disposal. A nightmarish trip to the Pacific Northwest awaits. Can Buffalo somehow steal a win in Seattle?

RANK 13: BILLS. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Or Uggs. Tom Brady was so on point Sunday he could've borrowed Gisele's pair and still stepped up in the pocket to hit Rob Gronkowski (Buffalo-area native) or Chris Hogan (in a Pats uniform! Yuck!) or Danny Amendola (who seems to play like Randy Moss in Buffalo). Inexplicable that a top-flight defense, with a raucous home crowd behind it, could let Brady go 9 for 13 on third down. Or pile up four touchdown passes. Or move his career record to 26-3 against the Bills. At first blush, I'd qualify Monday's road game in Seattle a must-win, because going from 4-2 to 4-5 wouldn't bode well for a franchise with an endless playoff drought. Then again, the schedule does let up in the second half of the season. Still, you don't want to enter the Week 10 bye while falling into a tailspin.


Current record: 4-4

Last week: 12 (-2)

The LeSean McCoy-less Bills don't pose much of a threat.

Just ask Bill Belichick. He didn't have to scheme much for running backs Mike Gillislee and Reggie Bush. Instead, he let those two run and focused on limiting Tyrod Taylor.

Buffalo's quarterback wasn't allowed to escape the pocket often. New England turned him into a pocket passer and turned the game into a throwing match against Tom Brady. You already know who wins that battle.

The good news? Shaq Lawson and Marcell Dareus are both back for the Bills. That'll spook some teams, but only when McCoy gives them a lead to work with first.

Looking forward: Rest up, Buffalo. You'll need your strength for a cross-country trip to Seattle.


The Score – NFL Power Rankings](


It's impossible to know which Bills team is going to show up on Sundays. The good performances are in line with that of a playoff squad, while the bad ones raise questions as to whether Rex Ryan is on the hot seat. - Wilkins

RANK 15: BILLS. When asked following Sunday's loss to New England if his 4–4 team still could win the AFC East, Rex Ryan said, "I think it's unrealistic ..." and "I don't see that happening." Which is like yelling at a kid that there's no Santa Claus. O.K., sure, it's true, but you don't say that out loud.​

RANK 15: BILLS. Mike Gillislee looked pretty good in an extended role, with 85 yards on 12 carries. If LeSean McCoy has to miss more time, the Bills don't have to worry about the running game.


Even with LeSean McCoy (hamstring) absent, the Bills still put up 167 rushing yards and three touchdowns against New England in Week 8. Unfortunately the passing game struggled mightily with Tyrod Taylor completing just 50 percent of his passes for 183 yards and no touchdowns.

Fantasy Tidbit: Walter Powell led the Bills with 59 receiving yards against New England. He's the fifth different Bill to lead the team in receiving this year.

RANK 16: BILLS. Just when it looks like Rex might be off hot seat, he fails to protect LeSean McCoy and incites beatdown from Pats. Next up, a trip to Seattle.

RANK 16: BILLS.The Bills weren't competitive against the Patriots and they're back to being a .500 team. They now have road games at Seattle and Cincinnati sandwiched around their bye week. Things don't look particularly promising. But the Bills responded the last time that was the case, following their 0-2 start by beating the Cardinals and Patriots en route to a four-game winning streak. A similarly unexpected bounce-back is needed again.

RANK 17: BILLS. Injuries at wide receiver are making things difficult for QB Tyrod Taylor, and three of the next four games are on the road.


2016 record: 4-4
Week 8 ranking: 16 | Week 1 ranking: 16

The Bills are 1-3 in division games this season, with the only win coming against the Jacoby Brissett-led Patriots in Week 4. As the AFC East gets more muddled, those losses could come back to bite the Bills. They look to right the ship Monday at Seattle.

RANK 21: BILLS. All the playoff talk has quieted with two consecutive losses. Now comes a brutal trip to Seattle for a Monday night game.

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