What They're Saying

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What they're saying | Where the Bills rank in the NFL power rankings at the midseason mark

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The Bills are 6-2 at the midseason mark for the second consecutive season. Find out what the national media thinks of the team and it's prospects for the rest of the season.

No. 6. Buffalo Bills

That was a big-time victory against the Patriots, even if it wasn't pretty. The run defense has to be better.

No. 6. Buffalo Bills (6–2)

Last week: Win vs. New England 24–21

Next week: vs. Seattle

Though this has been an uncharacteristic season for Buffalo's chief AFC East rival, a win against the Patriots was an affirmatory step needed for this auspicious Bills start. Still, Josh Allen has cooled since his hot start and the Bills have a tough schedule ahead.

Take a look through the best touchdowns from the first half of the 2020 season.

No. 7. Buffalo Bills (6-2)

Reason for optimism:Improved offense

Even though the Bills have recently cooled off following their hot start to the season, Buffalo's 2020 offense is drastically improved from the 2019 version, which finished 24th in the NFL in yards per game and 23rd in points per game. The Bills currently rank 13th in terms of yards, thanks in large part to a passing attack finally capable of effectively moving the ball when it needs to. Sunday's 190-yard rushing performance is a good sign that the run game is catching up, and this team could still close the season with a top-10 offense in the league. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

No. 8. Bills (6-2)

They're heading for the playoffs, and quite possibly an early exit from them.

No. 8. Buffalo Bills (6-2)

Previous rank: No. 8

The Bills beat the Patriots at home for the first time in nine years, as sure a sign as any that the power balance in the AFC East has finally shifted after two decades of New England dominance. Defensive tackle Justin Zimmer played the hero, forcing a Cam Newton fumble deep in Buffalo territory in the final minute to save the day. Josh Allen and the passing game struggled to get going in blustery conditions, but Devin Singletary and Zack Moss combined for 167 yards on 28 carries, with two Moss scores. That's back-to-back season-high rushing performances for the Bills, who entered Sunday 29th in the league in rushing. If Allen can't get back on track next week against the lowly Seahawks defense, we'll know something is wrong.

No. 9. Buffalo Bills (6-2)

Kudos on finally lassoing the Patriots, though it wasn't the kind of win over wounded New England that should make western New York breathe easy. The temptation is to say the Bills, with a 1.5-game lead on the weakish AFC East, are home free for their first division title in a quarter-century. I'd mostly agree, except for three things. One, the schedule. Buffalo's next five games: Seattle, at Arizona, Chargers, at San Francisco, Pittsburgh. Two, Josh Allen. Legit MVP candidate in the first four weeks (31 points per game for Buffalo, 12-to-1 TD-to-interception rate, 70-percent passer), average dude the last four (19 points per game, 4-to-4 TD-to-pick ratio, 63-percent passer). Buffalo won shootouts in September, and now the Bills struggle to put away the Jets. If Allen doesn't get right, the Bills might win their first playoff game since 1995, but they'd be hard-pressed to go further. Three, Miami's coming.

No. 9. Buffalo Bills*_(6-2)_*

Finally beating the Patriots and practically knocking them out of the AFC East race was a big deal. But it has been weeks since the Bills looked good, and they almost blew Sunday's game against a New England team that is decimated due to personnel losses, opt-outs and injuries. Maybe finally slaying the dragon will lead to them playing better in the second half. The talent is there.

Midseason playoff predictions

Wild Card Round

No. 5 Baltimore Ravens (10-6) vs. No. 4 Buffalo Bills (10-6)

The Buffalo Bills have gone from backing into the playoffs in recent years to hosting a game in these projections, partially because of a breakout season from Josh Allen, and partially due to a gaping hole in the AFC East where New England used to reside. Either way, it makes for a thrilling quarterback showcase as Allen links up with last year's MVP, Lamar Jackson. Call it a revenge game for Allen, too, as the Ravens took down the Bills in Buffalo in Week 14 last season. While the Ravens defense is stacked, Jackson and Co. hit a 5-1 mark early this year courtesy of beating four teams with losing records. This matchup ends up happening in Buffalo, much to the favor of the Bills.

Prediction: Bills 24, Ravens 20

Divisional Round

No. 4 Buffalo Bills (10-6) vs. No. 1 Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)

Now the big boys are out to play. It seemed inevitable the Pittsburgh Steelers would re-enter the Super Bowl conversation with Ben Roethlisberger healthy. Sure enough, they are 7-0. Roethlisberger should continue to play at a high level and his defense, which let up more than 21 points in a game just twice over the first six, shouldn't taper off much. While a great story and not going anywhere as a contender for a long time, Buffalo limps into this one after a physical battle with Baltimore. Poetically enough, it's the Ravens who grind down the Bills to help the Steelers. Some of the aforementioned veteran quarterback musings apply here, too. Good as Allen has been, he's not squaring up against Devlin Hodges like he did when he took down the Steelers last year. Big Ben gets to figure out these Bills in a Week 14 matchup this year and then take it to them when it matters most.

Prediction: Steelers 30, Bills 24

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