So yeah. How’s it going? Not great? I hear ya.
As expected, our Bills haven’t fared well in this week’s rankings. The first of two very tough pairs of games in our schedule is over. After the bye, we get Houston and New England back to back. If we can come out of all that with 4 wins under our belt, we could be in shape to finish strong and make a wild card. Keep Billieving, folks.
Fastest Riser: Miami Dolphins (+8)
Steepest Falls: Arizona Cardinals (-10), Buffalo Bills (-9)
- Houston Texans (same): It was unlike the Texans to let the Jets stay in the game like they did, but the end result was still as expected. Next week is Green Bay on Sunday night, along with the chance to make a big statement.
- Atlanta Falcons (same): Matt Ryan seemed to be having an off day, but the rest of this team had no problem covering for him. They face the biggest trap game EVER against Oakland next week.
- San Francisco 49ers (same): Grumble, grumble… I guess they’re pretty good and all… I guess.
- Baltimore Ravens (same): I question how the game against the Chiefs managed to be so close. The offense remains the lone point of inconsistency on the Ravens, but the other phases are on target.
- New England Patriots (+2): Beating Denver definitely did a lot to quiet any talk of New England losing a step. Now that Belichick is done trying to punish Welker for the drop in the Super Bowl, they are using their best receiver to the fullest. Not great news for us Bills fans.
- New York Giants (+4): That loss to Philly might hang over this team for a while, but that’s probably a good thing for them. It seemed to fuel their rage-induced mangling of the Browns this week.
- Chicago Bears (+6): Welp, it’s hard to argue with the last performance. WHEN the offense gets going, this team can compete with the best… or embarrass the worst, as was the case against the Jags this week. It seems like you can rely on a touchdown from the Bears Defense every week. Now they can spend the bye practicing QB protection.
- Minnesota Vikings (+4): Beating the Niners could have been written off as a fluke, but two consecutive drubbings of mediocre teams proves that the Vikings are real. The defense is the real strength of this team, but Christian Ponder deserves a hell of a lot of credit. So does Leslie Frazier.
- Denver Broncos (-1): I can’t fault this team all that much for losing a tough one to the Pats. They need to get things together, though, if they want to make a run at their division. They can rely on the other teams in the AFC West sucking for only so long.
- Green Bay Packers (-4): In the shocker of the week, the Packers fall to the freaking Colts. What? I’d call it a trap game, but it’s not like the Packers were riding all that high this year anyway. Beating the Texans next week would do a lot for those panicking Green Bay fans. Interesting stat: Aaron Rodgers is the most sacked QB this year.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (+3): A strong showing for the Steelers, though it shouldn’t be that close when your opponent is practically handing you the ball on most plays. In sadder news, we may be seeing Troy Polamalu’s dominant career slipping away. He just can’t seem to stay healthy.
- Cincinnati Bengals (-3): I’ll go ahead and forgive the Bengals for underestimating the Dolphins. Andy Dalton’s gotta get his throws under control, though. What should have been a game-winning drive ended with a pick.
- Philadelphia Eagles (-2): Legitimate talk about replacing Michael Vick with Nick Foles has begun. Wow.
- Seattle Seahawks (+2): Some also say Russell Wilson should be replaced by Matt Flynn. That, however, is dumb. Wilson’s stats aren’t phenomenal, but this week he made plays when he needed to, including a game-winning touchdown. We’ll all be rooting for him next week against New England.
- Arizona Cardinals (-10): And there you have it. The proof is in the pudding, ladies and gentlemen. While there are some good players on defense, the Cardinals have little offense to speak of. Even our Bills should be able to stop them next week. Right?
- St. Louis Rams (+6): Scrappy performance by the surprising Rams, but losing Danny Amendola at the height of his career is a heartbreaker. That guy is a beast, and I will definitely be drafting him early in fantasy next year.
- San Diego Chargers (-2): I’m not sure why, but I can’t stand the Chargers. Philip Rivers especially. That’s what made Sunday night so lovely for me. Unlike most previous years, you can’t even make an argument for this team’s superior talent. Most of those players have left.
- Detroit Lions (same): Coming fresh off the bye, the Lions will ride to Philly for what should be a winnable game that can re-earn some of the respect they lost against the Vikings.
- Washington Redskins (same): Welp, they lost to the Falcons. Big surprise there. Losing RG3, however, was not part of the gameplan. Kirk Cousins didn’t look terrible, but he’s a definite step back.
- New Orleans Saints (+6): They’re back! We hardly saw a shadow of the terrible team that had been showing up for the last four weeks. Congrats to Drew Brees on the new record. Depth on offense is a growing concern, however. Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham now injured on the bench. The bye week comes at a great time.
- Dallas Cowboys (same): I don’t think it matters which Dallas team shows up this week as they return from the bye. The Ravens will likely trounce them.
- Miami Dolphins (+8): A bold performance by the lowly Dolphins. Somehow, they are now playing like the second best team in the AFC East… which sucks. Of all things, it was the Dolphins defense that won the day.
- Kansas City Chiefs (+2): Yep, I bumped them up the list in a loss to the Ravens. There was proof on Sunday that the Chiefs’ defense isn’t dead. It was just hibernating, apparently. While the offense couldn’t do enough against the Ravens to make it matter, there is reason for optimism in KC.
- Indianapolis Colts (+3): This was a team possessed, playing for their coach. Phenomenal effort in that win. If they play the rest of the year with determination like that there may still be hope in Indy. Reggie Wayne has clearly still got what it takes.
- New York Jets (-5): It’s amazing how Sanchez continues to do just enough to keep Rex from putting in Tebow. We know it’ll happen at some point. Just a matter of time. Did you see T.O. making his case for joining the Jets on Twitter? They’re his best chance at a job right now.
- Buffalo Bills (-9): Ugh. I’ll admit I’ve been keeping the Bills higher than most objective rankings would. This week, though, they earned this slide. I maintain a lot of hope for the Bills, though. The last 2 weeks were embarrassing, but those losses were at the hands of the best the league has to offer. We know we aren’t the best team out there. Being somewhere in the middle, though, could win us a playoff spot.
- Carolina Panthers (-4): Their only touchdown Sunday came from an interception by Captain Munnerlyn. That’s right. There is a Captain Munnerlyn on the Panthers. Don’t you just get a visual of this british naval officer with an epic moustache and a monocle? I do. Oh, and the Panthers are sucking going into their bye. That too.
- Tennessee Titans (-4): Hasselbeck wasn’t terrible, but Chris Johnson continues to disappoint. I’d call them the worst defense in the league, but then I remember Oakland.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1): They come back from a week off to a winnable game against the Chiefs. If Coach Schiano wants to convince anyone that he can actually coach, he better win this one.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (-1): Nothing like going into the bye week with your tail between your legs. Do the Jags have a viable backup to Blaine Gabbert? They may want to consider throwing him into the first team practices during the week off.
- Oakland Raiders (same): Welcome back, Raiders! We have a lovely matchup waiting for you! I’m sure you’ll have no problems against… Oh, man, the Falcons? Wow. Sorry Oakland. You’re screwed.
- Cleveland Browns (same): Are they called the Browns to match the paper bags the fans are wearing?
Was I too hard on our boys? Maybe. I still think, however, that this is our low point for the season. We can claw our way back from this. As big as our problems appear, a few key adjustments in play-calling and preparation could be the difference between wins and losses.
See you Sunday, Bills Mafia! This Cardinals team is nowhere near worthy of that 4-1 record. This is a very winnable game, and we’ve done well against weaker offenses. Arizona’s is 31st in the league. CARVE THE CARDS! GO BILLS!