NFL Week 4 Power Rankings: Bills are climbing as date with top-ranked Patriots looms

Back in August, I picked the Buffalo Bills to be in the playoffs as a wild-card team. That's on the heels of saying earlier this year that the Bills would win the AFC East in 2020. Yes, ahead of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Consider me a believer.

The 3-0 start this season for the Bills has others jumping on their bandwagon, but this week will go a long way in deciding if any of those folks stay. The Bills play host to the Patriots this week in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills mafia will be going nuts, and this will be a true proving ground. 

My belief that the Bills would be a playoff team this season was for three reasons. The first is coach Sean McDermott. His teams always play hard and they are well coached. Even when undermanned the first two years, the Bills were a handful, even getting to the playoffs in 2017.

The second reason I thought Buffalo could be good this year was the defense, a unit made up of a lot of good, rising players mixed in with a handful of solid vets. So far, they've been good. 

Perhaps the biggest reason I thought the Bills could take the playoff step was second-year quarterback Josh Allen. I loved his game coming out of Wyoming, even if the draft-cult didn't. 

In his first season, he was raw and played like it. But he had little talent around him and his receivers couldn't catch a thing. This year, the talent is improved and he's a much-improved quarterback with two fourth-quarter drives to win games. 

Week 3 is in the books and to break it all down, Pick Six Podcast host Will Brinson is joined by Ryan Wilson, John Breech and Sean Wagner-McGough. The guys also size up coaches on the hot seat, rank the remaining unbeatens and more; subscribe here for your daily dose of NFL goodness.

The Bills are up to the sixth spot in my Power Rankings this week and with a victory Sunday they could be even higher. Who saw this coming? 

The Bills are back and the scary thing for the rest of the league is they will be even better as the young players continue to grow. 

Biggest Movers
9 Giants
11 Titans
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Patriots The beat goes on. They usually use the early part of the season to get better, but not this year. What's December going to be like? --12-4-0
2 Packers They have to tighten up the run defense, but they are still much improved on that side of the ball. The offense isn't close to what it will be. --13-3-0
3 Chiefs Can anybody stop their offense? I doubt it. Patrick Mahomes wasn't as sharp as usual last week, but still rolled up big numbers. The defense does need to be better. --12-4-0
4 Rams They are cruising along with a 3-0 record as they have the look of a potential Super Bowl team again. The defense is even better than a year ago. --9-7-0
5 Cowboys Their schedule has been favorable to start, which makes this week's game with the Saints a bit of a proving ground. The offense has been outstanding. --8-8-0
6 Bills Sean McDermott for coach of the year? A win this week against the Patriots and he will be the Coach of the Year at the quarter mark. 410-6-0
7 49ers Do you believe in this team? So far, so good, even if they haven't exactly faced a big-time schedule. But you are what your record says you are, right? 413-3-0
8 Ravens The offense wasn't as crisp against the Chiefs, but that's a tough place to play. The defense isn't the same as in year's past, but they can take a two-game lead in the division by beating Cleveland this week. 214-2-0
9 Saints You have to give coach Sean Payton a ton of a credit for winning at Seattle with a backup quarterback. That's not easy to do, but here comes the Cowboys. --13-3-0
10 Colts Frank Reich has done a good job so far with this team, getting them to 2-1. Jacoby Brissett has been impressive as they are tied for the lead the AFC South. 57-9-0
11 Lions At 2-0-1, they are one of the early-season surprises. Matt Patricia has this team playing good football, but now they have to try and slow down the Chiefs this week. 53-12-1
12 Vikings They can run it and play good defense. That's the Mike Zimmer way. But they have to get more from their passing game. --10-6-0
13 Bears That defense is so impressive, but it's the offense that will decide this team's fate. They came alive against the Redskins, but the Vikings defense will be a big test this week. 48-8-0
14 Seahawks That was a bad home showing against the Saints. There is now way they should lose to a backup quarterback at home if they are a good team. 711-5-0
15 Texans That was a big-time road victory against the Chargers. They still allow Deshaun Watson to take too many shots, which has to stop. 510-6-0
16 Chargers At 1-2, they are one of the early disappointments so far. The injuries have to be taking a toll on this team. 85-11-0
17 Falcons At 1-2, they just haven't looked right this season - especially on the road. If they don't turn it around, changes could be coming. 47-9-0
18 Eagles Injuries have crippled the offense, but two straight losses have this team reeling. They need to pick it up - no matter who is on the field - starting with a tough game at Green Bay this week. 49-7-0
19 Browns So much for all that preseason hype? They just aren't good enough right now. Is the game at Baltimore this week a must-win? --6-10-0
20 Panthers Kyle Allen played well in relief of Cam Newton. So maybe they should take their time getting Newton back healthy again. 35-11-0
21 Raiders That early-season hype has subsided with two straight losses. They just aren't good enough on defense right now and Derek Carr needs to be better. --7-9-0
22 Giants The Daniel Jones era got off to a big-time start. He was outstanding against the Bucs. The Giants might have a big-time steal. 94-12-0
23 Buccaneers They let one get away against the Giants to fall to 1-2. The defense clearly wasn't as good as it showed the first two weeks, which might be a problem going forward. 17-9-0
24 Jaguars The defense came alive against the Titans with nine sacks. Gardner Minshew-mania is rolling right now. 46-10-0
25 Steelers At 0-3 without Ben Roethlisberger, this season is basically over. Mason Rudolph did do some nice things against the 49ers. 18-8-0
26 Bengals They showed some fight coming back from 14-0 down at Buffalo. But they have major issues up front on offense, which limits what they can do on that side of the ball. 12-14-0
27 Cardinals They thought there might be growing pains for Kyler Murray, but that defense is the real problem. It can't stop anybody. 15-10-1
28 Broncos They are limited on offense, which shows up every week. The defense isn't good enough to carry that group either. 17-9-0
29 Titans Marcus Mariota and the offense are struggling way too much right now. Is a quarterback change coming? 119-7-0
30 Redskins Is it Dwayne Haskins time? This team looked awful losing to the Bears and at 0-3 the season is done. 13-13-0
31 Jets The offense is a mess right now, but that happens with backup quarterbacks. The bye comes at a good time this week with Sam Darnold likely back after it. Does it matter? 17-9-0
32 Dolphins Josh Rosen showed some promise, and the team fought at Dallas, but let's be real: They aren't winning this season. --5-11-0
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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