Oct 3, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs with the ball against the Houston Texans during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills are back to being the Buffalo Bills, and our NFL Power Rankings voters have taken notice.

Since their shocking season-opening 23-16 loss at home to the Steelers, the Bills have performed like the Super Bowl contender that oddsmakers have predicted. They won their third straight game in dominating fashion on Sunday, blowing out hapless Houston 40-0 with the defense pitching its second shutout of the season and Josh Allen doing more Josh Allen things to continue his MVP campaign.

Even with the Chargers’ impressive Monday night victory over the Raiders, our voters believe Buffalo is the AFC’s best team right now, moving the 3-1 Bills from 10th last week to third this week. The top two spots are occupied by the NFC’s current elite — the unbeaten Cardinals (4-0) and the defending champion Buccaneers (3-1).

Sean McDermott’s team has built its three-game win streak against backup quarterbacks (Miami’s Jacoby Brissett, Washington’s Taylor Heinicke and Houston’s Davis Mills). It won’t have that luxury this week. We’ll know just how good the Bills are after Sunday night, when they face Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

On to the rankings …

The Top 10

1. Arizona Cardinals (4-0, Last week: 3): It’s full steam ahead for the Kyler Murray MVP hype train.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1, Last week: 2): They’re worst in the league against the pass (327.5) but best in the league against the run (47.5).

3. Buffalo Bills (3-1, Last week: 10): They’re ranked first in total defense (216.8 yards per game), passing defense (148.8) and turnover margin (plus-7)

4. Los Angeles Rams (3-1, Last week: 1): Undefeated when leading at halftime, Sean McVay is only 5-16 as Rams head coach when trailing at the break.

5. Los Angeles Chargers (3-1, Last week: 4): Joey Bosa said the quiet part out loud about Derek Carr after slowing the Raiders QB’s early season roll.

6. Green Bay Packers (3-1, Last week: 7): The streaking Packers have winnable games at Cincinnati, at Chicago and at home against Washington before facing major tests on the road, back to back, against Arizona and Kansas City.

7t Baltimore Ravens (3-1, Last week: 6): They’re a last-second 55-yard field goal away from being 4-0.

7t Kansas City Chiefs (2-2, Last week: Not ranked): Patrick Mahomes is so good he can mask the problems of a defense ranked 31st.

9. Dallas Cowboys (3-1, Last week: NR): They’re saying nice things about Mike McCarthy now.

10. Las Vegas Raiders (3-1, Last week: 5): Jon Gruden’s slow starters, hopefully for him, got the wake-up call they needed.

DROPPED OUT: Denver Broncos (3-1, Last week: 8), Carolina Panthers (3-1, Last week: 9).

The Bottom Five

The Jaguars just missed out on being the first unanimous No. 32 team of the season, but the Texans, whose only win was against Jacksonville in Week 1 (with veteran Tyrod Taylor at QB), are pushing for the bottom spot by having rookie quarterback Davis Mills learn on the job. The Lions and Falcons are back in the bottom five after a one-week reprieve.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4, Last week: 31): What will everyone’s new favorite dramedy “As Urban Meyer’s World Turns” bring us next week?

31. Houston Texans (1-3, Last week: 30t): Sunday’s 40-0 loss in Buffalo, by point differential, was the worst defeat in franchise history.

30. Detroit Lions (0-4, Last week: NR): They lost their last four games of the 2020 season. They’ve lost their first four games of the 2021 season.

29. New York Jets (1-3, Last week: 32): Zach Wilson’s second-half breakout in Sunday’s 27-24 OT win gives Jets fans hope.

28. Atlanta Falcons (1-3, Last week: NR): The dynamic playmaker with three touchdowns in the game shouldn’t be on the sideline late in the game.

MOVING OUT: Indianapolis Colts (1-3, Last week: 30t), New York Giants (1-3, Last week: 28).

Featured Podcast

See all