Hello there, friends! How are you on this fine day? Well, I’m just fantastic, thanks for….
Aw, hell. Who am I kidding. A loss is a loss, and I am just as bummed as the rest of Bills Mafia. That said, I think there were some good things we saw on Sunday and this looked like an improved Bills team. That’s not saying much, I realize, but I’ll take what I can get right now. The Texans are arguably the best the AFC has to offer, and we held our own against them. Other teams have done much worse. I’m hoping this all translates into wins down the line.
As for the rest of the NFL, I have to admit it is getting much harder to do these rankings week after week. I don’t know if anyone’s actually reading them, but it is an exercise of willpower to perform a weekly comparison between your own team and all the others, especially when your team isn’t having a great year. Don’t worry, though. I won’t quit. I’ll ride these ridiculous rankings until the season ends.
Fastest Riser: Indianapolis Colts (+8)
Steepest Falls: New York Giants (-4), Philadelphia Eagles (-4)
- Atlanta Falcons (same): People continue to talk about how the Falcons have only beaten one “good” team, but going 8-0 doesn’t just happen. This is a very good team that has all but locked up their division.
- Houston Texans (same): Many will argue that Houston wasn’t playing very well on Sunday, but I say the Bills were the ones keeping themselves in that game. The Texans are no joke, and they have easily the top defense in the AFC.
- Chicago Bears (+3): This team, however, has the top defense in the league without question. I’m not sure if I’ve EVER seen a defense this good. They are poised to break all sorts of defensive records, which is saying a lot in a time of record-breaking offenses. Sunday night’s Bears-Texans game is looking like the matchup of the season.
- San Francisco 49ers (same): The Niners come off the bye to face the Rams at home. That defense will likely steamroll Sam Bradford.
- Green Bay Packers (same): The Packers are floating into the bye feeling great after recovering from the disappointing start to their season. I bet all the other teams are unhappy at the Packers’ chance to get Jordy Nelson healthy again.
- Denver Broncos (+1): Amidst all the talk about Peyton, a lot of people are overlooking a Denver defense that’s doing pretty well for itself. They’re in the top third of the league in almost every defensive category. While not a spectacular group, this defense is a large part of the Broncos’ success.
- New York Giants (-4): Wow. Eli looked very NOT-Eli in the 4th quarter on Sunday. Even with a couple freebie calls from the officials that clearly changed the course of the game, the Giants still couldn’t put the Steelers away. We’ll call it a fluke… for now.
- New England Patriots (same): I’m sure the Patriots are feeling great coming off a bye to face our Bills at Foxboro. Wouldn’t it be nice to do to their fans what they did to us? REVENGE.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (+1): Another team who started out rough, the Steelers are fully restored to contender status. They get a softball of a game on MNF against the Chiefs. How is that a primetime matchup?
- Baltimore Ravens (-1): Beating the Browns almost counts as a bye week, and there are simply other teams looking better at this point. The Ravens seem like they’re on a downward slope, despite the strong record.
- Seattle Seahawks (+1): Did you know Russell Wilson has yet to throw a pick at home? The way the Seahawks play in Seattle, they have a fighting chance to see the postseason. They just need to work on those road games. Fortunately they’re at home against the Jets this week.
- Indianapolis Colts (+8): “Chuckstrong” is a real thing. This team has rallied around Chuck Pagano, and they are now in control of their own destiny. Who expected that at the start of the season? Not I.
- Detroit Lions (+1): True, the Jags didn’t put up much of a fight, but the Lions have put up two convincing victories in a row. The offense is finally starting to click, and this divisional matchup against the Vikings will mean everything for their future.
- Minnesota Vikings (-3): See above regarding their matchup against the Lions. While Adrian Peterson is kicking all sorts of butt, Christian Ponder is starting to show a sophomore slump. Their season started great, but they need to stop their recent slide quickly or they’ll be spectators in January.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (same): Doug Martin for Rookie of the Year? I can dig it. If he keeps playing like he has, he deserves the recognition. While I don’t think this team could challenge any of the elite teams, their schedule gives them a real shot at a wild card. No one wants to face that offense right now.
- Miami Dolphins (-3): Close but no cigar against the Colts. They still have the weapons (and schedule) to fight for their season, but I don’t think it will be enough. They get the Titans this week, giving them an opportunity to keep hope alive.
- Cincinnati Bengals (-1): Remember when the Bengals had a defense? Those days are gone, and the offense is showing uncharacteristic inconsistency. If they had a franchise running back, they could really open things up.
- New Orleans Saints (same): That win on MNF simply proved that the Saints deserve this admittedly generous spot on the rankings. My prediction: They upset the Falcons this week and make a big jump on this list.
- Washington Redskins (-2): Mike Shanahan’s comments have to be a bit disconcerting to the Redskins faithful. Production from their two big rookies (Alfred Morris and RG3) has waned recently, and the defense has been horrendous. They’d rather not have this many problems going into the bye.
- San Diego Chargers (+5): I’ll give the Chargers a healthy amount of credit, not for beating a terrible team but for looking like they usually look around this time of the season. If the Chargers are going to pull one of their late-season comebacks, this is the time to start. They better be ready for the Bucs.
- St. Louis Rams (same): The Rams come off the bye to face their demons against the Niners. They probably have no chance… but stranger things have happened in the NFL.
- Arizona Cardinals (same): Their bye comes on the tail of a 5-game losing streak after they won their first four. I have a hard time believing they will fix their problems in a week.
- Philadelphia Eagles (-4): After watching a full game of the Eagles’ offense, I can now appreciate how much Michael Vick’s job sucks. I don’t care who you put in there, they won’t do much better when they’re getting hit on every play. That O-Line (including D. Bell, a former Bill) is terrible. They can’t keep one of the most nimble QBs from getting sacked, and they can’t open lanes for LeSean McCoy. That’s bad.
- Dallas Cowboys (-1): Some people still think the Cowboys have a season left, and that’s really hard for me to accept at this point. Sure, they get the Eagles this week, and a win would look great, but they’re sure to balance that out with a loss down the line.
- Buffalo Bills (-1): I’m gonna say that we saw an improved Bills team on Sunday. Not improved enough to beat the Texans, unfortunately, but improved nonetheless. I think we have a legitimate chance against the Patriots, though we’re clear underdogs. Even a loss doesn’t eliminate us, but it does put us in a “must-win” situation for the rest of the year.
- New York Jets (same): The Jets fly out of their bye to visit Seattle, which will not be a leisurely trip. That Seahawks defense is sure to embarrass whichever QB the Jets happen to use.
- Tennessee Titans (same): The Titans got absolutely creamed by the Bears. Here’s hoping they have recovered enough to challenge the Dolphins and their stout run defense. Chris Johnson’s return may have only been temporary.
- Cleveland Browns (same): Weeden threw two interceptions to the Ravens and the Browns kicked 5 field goals. That is usually not a formula for victory. They’ll spend the bye licking their wounds and maybe scouting some college talent.
- Oakland Raiders (same): Their top two running backs now have high ankle sprains as they take on a well-rested Ravens defense this week. Their bye week has already passed. No miracle is forthcoming for the lowly Raiders.
- Carolina Panthers (+1): It’s nice to get a break from Cam Newton’s tears for a change, but this team is still quite bad. Their job doesn’t get any easier against the Broncos.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (-1): They were bad with MJD. Without him they don’t seem to stand a chance. They probably aren’t looking forward to showcasing their ineptitude on Thursday night.
- Kansas City Chiefs (same): Philip Rivers, in the middle of one of the worst seasons of his career, managed a 90% completion rate against the Chiefs last Thursday night. I wonder how they expect to slow down Big Ben (in one of his best seasons) on Monday night.
And there you have it. Bring on those diva Patriots! Let’s embarrass them in their own house! If the Cardinals can do it, so can we! LET’S GO BUFFALO!