Here's a look at stories from around the country involving the Buffalo Bills.
1. The Bills are contenders in the AFC
That was the main takeaway for Sports Illustrated’s Michael Beller from Sunday’s game. “It’s far too early to call the Bills the class of the division, especially since they won’t meet the Patriots until December,” Beller wrote, “but it’s safe to say that the AFC East will be more interesting than it has been in a long time.”
Peter King mentioned the Bills several times in his MMQB column, listing their 3-1 start as one of the early season oddities that “nobody saw coming,” referring to “rising teams like Buffalo coming out of nowhere” when discussing the AFC playoff picture, and awarding them the Bill Parcells Memorial Clock-Eating Scoring Drive of the Season for their 19-play, 11:20 possession on Sunday. King also selected Stephen Hauschka as his special teams player of the week.
In a video segment on the MMQB, analyst Tiki Barber was less enthusiastic.
“The Buffalo Bills are playing good football,” Barber said. “If you play strong defense, you have a dynamic runner or catcher out of the backfield, like the Bills do in LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Taylor’s not playing poorly, you can win games that are tight. And so, you give them credit, I’m just not sure it’s going to be sustainable as the season goes on.”
2. The Buffalo Bills are actually good
From Atlanta-based SB Nation NFL writer Jeanna Thomas: “The win over the Falcons wasn’t an anomaly. It’s par for the course for this year’s Bills.”
The Bills are legit a good team. But the Falcons are terribly depleted by injuries and that was a terrible play call at the end.
— Jeanna (@jeannathomas) October 1, 2017
Thomas concluded her piece by wondering how good the Bills could be if they still had kept Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Chris Hogan.
The Bills off-season strategy of making New England beatable by giving them their players, is paying off...
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 1, 2017
Danny Kelly wrote for The Ringer that “we can look at this 3-1 Bills squad, with no clear MVP, no fantasy-stat monster, and no transcendent playmaker (so far) to lean on, and ask, ‘How are they so damn good?”
The Bills are playing the best football in the AFC East right now. They are a good team.
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) October 1, 2017
Buffalo’s dominant defense has been one of the season’s biggest surprises, according to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell. “After four games, the only thing the Bills have been tanking is opposing offenses,” Barnwell wrote. “The schedule gets tougher later in the season, but the Bills defense is back.”
Buffalo's defense is 2nd in DVOA. Hasn't allowed more than 17 pts so far this season. I'm ready to call them legit. https://t.co/huIAME6V2y
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) October 1, 2017
If the Bills hold on and pull this off, you can expect to hear national NFL people putting Sean McDermott on the Coach of the Year lists at the quarter mark.
— Jerry Sullivan (@ByJerrySullivan) October 1, 2017
3. Colin Cowherd can’t watch the Bills.
Sunday’s game may have changed his mind, but the FOX Sports commentator listed the Bills among his six “most unwatchable” teams in the NFL, along with the Bears, Colts, Jets, 49ers and Buffalo’s next opponent, the Bengals.
Cowherd continued his rant without mentioning the Bills again.