OH THE HUMANITY! How could that happen? Well, I could use this platform to talk all about the turnovers, the conservative defensive plays, or any number of other things… but I won’t. I think we can all agree that CJ and Freddy weren’t necessarily at 100%, but we can count our blessings that neither were injured on Sunday. While the O-Line injuries to Cordy Glenn and Kraig Urbik are tough to take, remember that Chris Hairston and Chad Rinehart were also a part of the O-Line that protected Fitz so well last year. The Wolf Pack is deep. As for next week, who says we can’t beat the Niners? This is the NFL, baby. Any given Sunday.
On the brighter side, I got to spend an AWESOME weekend with the #BillsMafia FAMbase during the tweet-up events. I have to say I have never met a group of cooler people. You guys have really made this season an experience to remember, and you are all now a part of my love of the Buffalo Bills. #Buffalove
As for Power Rankings, we’re seeing less shuffling around the bottom and the top of the league. I think it’s safe to say that the top 4 teams are unlikely to miss the playoffs, while the bottom 9 or so are just as unlikely to MAKE them. The other 19 teams in the middle, however, could go either way. With the Patriots and Giants (2-2) sharing the same record with the Redskins and the Rams, this is why I love the NFL.
Fastest Riser: Minnesota Vikings (+9)
Steepest Falls: Seattle Seahawks (-9), Detroit Lions (-6)
- Houston Texans (same): The Texans don’t fall for traps. They obliterate them. How did they score their 38 points this week? 1 Field Goal, and 5 TDs. The Touchdowns? 2 passing, 1 rushing, 2 defensive. 2 words: COMPLETE. TEAM.
- Atlanta Falcons (same): Matt Ryan was sacked 7 times and still put up great numbers, which speaks to his toughness. When the game was on the line, the defense made the one and only play that could save the game.
- San Francisco 49ers (same): DAYUM. How do you rebound from a disappointing loss? With a dominating shutout. What did we learn? Alex Smith doesn’t need to be amazing for the Niners to contend.
- Baltimore Ravens (same): Thursday Night Football was a feel-good, divisional win. Flacco was efficient, the defense scored, and the real referees came back. Pretty good night for Baltimore fans.
- Arizona Cardinals (+1): While an overtime win over the Dolphins isn’t exactly something to write home about, maintaining a winning streak is. While I still think this team isn’t as good as its record, the Cards deserve to be in the top 5 this week.
- Green Bay Packers (+2): The Pack won against the rarely seen “good” Saints team. It took a few games, but Cedric Benson is now a legitimate weapon in Green Bay. 4.7 yards per carry against the Saints, he can make the game that much easier for Rodgers.
- New England Patriots (+2): BOOOOO!!! It’s hard to ignore that second half performance… because I watched it in person. When given space, Brady can pick apart any defense. And here’s a question that even Patriots fans in the stadium were asking: Who the HELL is Brandon Bolden?
- Denver Broncos (+2): Not only did Peyton play like Peyton of old, but McGahee ran the ball well and the defense shut down Oakland. Team wins like that show that this team is ready to take the AFC West.
- Cincinnati Bengals (+2): Have they beat any “good” teams? No. They don’t play another one until Week 7 against the Steelers. If they win until then, they’re in good shape. Their season hinges on how they do from there.
- New York Giants (-5): I have to admit, that was a surprise. I still rank the Giants above the Eagles on the merits of their overall play this season. They’ll use the Browns as a punching bag next week to help them feel better.
- Philadelphia Eagles (+5): Every one of their wins has been by 2 points or less. It shows that this team is getting lucky, and the Eagles aren’t as good as everyone thinks they are. Regardless, 3-1 is pretty good.
- Minnesota Vikings (+9): Speaking of 3-1, the surprise Vikings have arrived! Ponder is playing well, Adrian Peterson is making plays, but the biggest reason for their success has been their special teams play. 2 TDs from them on Sunday meant a big divisional win.
- Chicago Bears (+2): I knew Jay Cutler would return eventually. That defense is still a big part of the Bears, and when Marshall can get himself into single coverage he’ll be hard to stop.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (-1): The Bye Week left the Steelers watching other teams excel and rise above them. This week the Steelers get to prove their worth against the Eagles. A win puts them back in the contender conversation.
- San Diego Chargers (+2): Yes, they’re 3-1, but they’ve beaten the Titans, the Raiders, and the Chiefs. I don’t see these guys hanging with the big dogs yet. Beating the Saints next week won’t eliminate my doubts. Losing would prove those doubts justified.
- Seattle Seahawks (-9): I’ll admit that I probably ranked Seattle way too high last week. Marshawn Lynch is having a hell of a year, but Russell Wilson is, it turns out, still a rookie. Pete Carroll needs to find some consistency in this team, or they’re just playing spoiler again this year.
- Buffalo Bills (-3): Going from elation to severe disappointment in a couple hours is pretty tough. How the Bills react to this will show what kind of team they are. Upsetting the Niners would make my week. It could happen. Protecting the ball and adding some blitz raises our chances.
- Detroit Lions (-6): A sub-par running game is hurting this team. You know what’s hurting it more? UGLY kickoff and punt return coverage. The Bye gives them time to practice special teams.
- Washington Redskins (+1): Good thing their kicker remembered what side of the uprights he’s supposed to kick the ball on. Just in time, too! The brightest spot here is Alfred Morris. Could Mike Shanahan finally have found a running back he can stick with?
- New York Jets (-2): Being on the wrong side of a shutout can’t be good for morale in a team that was already coming apart after losing their best player. As predicted, the Tebow chants are starting. It will take a few more losses for Rex to start considering that change, though.
- Dallas Cowboys (-2): What’d I tell ya? The Romo-coaster continues! If the trend continues, they will win this week! What? Oh, they’re on a Bye? Sucks for them.
- St. Louis Rams (+4): When’s the last time drafting a rookie kicker paid off so quickly? Greg Zuerlein may be a household name in a few years. My biggest concern with this team is Steven Jackson’s age. I hate to say it, but he’s slowing down. If Sam Bradford’s going to succeed, he needs a good running game to support him.
- Carolina Panthers (same): Cam Newton proved he learned his lesson from last week. His late fumble handed the game to the Falcons, and this time he took the blame and vowed to improve. None of that sleep-talking crap. Too bad a character-win doesn’t help your team’s record.
- Tennessee Titans (same): Now we see why Jake Locker was the starter in Tennessee. Chris Johnson finally gets going, and Hasselbeck can’t take advantage. Without Locker, this team is in the basement.
- Kansas City Chiefs (same): That’s about what we’ve come to expect from the Chiefs. Good play from Charles, but 6 turnovers usually equals a loss.
- New Orleans Saints (-4): They played the best game they’ve played all year… and still lost. It looks like a step in the right direction, but they need to reproduce that effort against the Chargers.
- Indianapolis Colts (+2): The Colts benefited from terrible play from their peers at the bottom of the league this week, so they go up a couple ranks. They might want to prepare for more disappointment, though, against the Packers.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1): I don’t know if this team can really do anything over the Bye that will make them any better. With the worst pass defense in the league and a 30th ranked offense, what can you say?
- Jacksonville Jaguars (-1): MJD averaged under 3 yards a carry against the Bengals. As a result, Gabbert couldn’t do much. Same old story in Jacksonville.
- Miami Dolphins (+1): Credit for taking the Cardinals to overtime, but it turns out you need more than a freakish performance from Brian Hartline to win a game.
- Oakland Raiders (-1): The Bye lets them get Heyward-Bey back, but that’s not the problem. When you have a guy like Darren McFadden, you should be at least top ten in rushing yards. Oakland is dead last in the NFL. Thud.
- Cleveland Browns (same): Too early to start asking who the Browns will likely be picking with the first draft pick? Yes? Ok, you’re probably right.
It’s a LONG season, folks. As #BillsMafia, we never say never. This early part of the season has been pretty rough. That said, we know better than anyone how quickly a season can turn around (see last year’s Bills). Maybe this year we get a turnaround for the better. LET’S GO BUFFALO! SACK SMITH! FLOOR GORE! Uhhh… FLOSS MOSS! Wait, scratch that last one. Um…. DOMINATE DAVIS! There. That’s better.