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What they're saying: NFL power rankings for the Bills this week


RANK 9: BILLS. Miami entered Week 7 saddled with one of the NFL's worst run defenses. Buffalo managed 67 yards on 22 carries (while allowing 256 yards), as a hobbled LeSean McCoy offered little help. Suddenly, all the good feelings built up during the Bills' recent four-game win streak are set to vanish in a heartbeat unless they can knock off the Patriots again.

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RANK 10: BILLS. Buffalo's white-hot streak came to an end in South Beach. McCoy is the engine of their offense. He'll be battling that tricky hamstring issue against the Patriots.


Only a handful of AFC teams can give the Patriots a fair fight.

A healthy Bills team is one of them. Therein lies the problem: Buffalo isn't healthy at the moment.

The Bills sorely miss Marcell Dareus on the interior of that defense, and for the first time since their 0-2 start, it showed. Buffalo needs someone to eat up blocks on the interior to free up guys such as Jerry Hughes and Zach Brown. Without that, a good offensive line such as Miami's can get rolling.

LeSean McCoy's loss hit Buffalo just as hard. It was clear its offensive MVP couldn't shoulder his normal workload. He couldn't even act as Tyrod Taylor's security blanket in the flat. Why did No. 25 even suit up?


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RANK 13: BILLS. Bad, bad loss at Miami but it was a classic look-ahead game, with a home game against the Patriots on deck this week. Now Sunday's game is practically a must-win. If the Bills lose, the Patriots will lead the AFC East by three games with eight to go.

RANK 13: BILLS. Why the significant drop following a close road loss? One reason: With all the missing personnel this team has endured, the single player it can't afford to be without is LeSean McCoy. This is a run-first team that's already down its top two wideouts. So it will be difficult for Tyrod Taylor to pick up the slack through the air if Shady is out for any extended period of time. Shocking that this front seven -- or any front seven -- let Jay Ajayi rack up two bills (his second straight week hitting that mark). Yikes.

RANK 13: BILLS. So after beating up on the Brady-less Patriots four weeks ago, will turnabout be fair play Sunday given Shady McCoy will not be 100%?

RANK 14: BILLS. Were we quick to anoint the Bills after seemingly discounting them too soon, as well? Possibly. The Dolphins sold out to stop Buffalo's ground game and challenged Tyrod Taylor to beat them with a limited wide receiver group, and it worked. The Bills need to find ways to be successful through the air without Sammy Watkins because a hindered LeSean McCoy can't carry the load every week.

RANK 15: BILLS. Isn't it just like the Bills to lose in Miami right when things were going so well? Now they must try to regroup Sunday by hosting the Patriots and they very well could be without RB LeSean McCoy because of his hamstring injury.

RANK 15: BILLS.  The Bills last swept the Patriots in the same year the Bills last went to the playoffs. Ending one streak on Sunday would go a long way toward ending the other one.


2016 record: 4-3
The Bills couldn't get their ground game going against the Dolphins and they lost, a common theme for them this season. The Bills are averaging 73 rushing yards in losses and 212 rushing yards in wins. They ripped off 134 the first time they played the Patriots in Week 4. Can they do it again this week?

RANK 20: BILLS. That loss at Miami hurts even more when you see the next three games. It starts with a tough one against the Patriots. This time it's with Tom Brady.

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