Matthews: Surprising Bills Are Getting Some Love


The Buffalo Bills are 2-1 in the NFL standings coming off a 26-16 home upset over the Denver Broncos and they’re getting some respect across the country.

The Bills soared from 26th last week to 15th this week in ESPN’s Power Rankings.

Buffalo’s NFL-best scoring defense has a lot to do with the team’s early success but ESPN tied this week’s rankings to league-wide quarterback performance. It noted that Tyrod Taylor is 10th in Total Quarterback Ranking and that it shouldn’t be a surprise. He finished 9th in 2016 and 8th in 2015.

Interestingly, the Denver Broncos are fifth in this week’s ESPN Power Rankings, despite losing to Buffalo. The top 10: Atlanta, Kansas City, New England, Green Bay, Denver, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Detroit, Dallas and Tennessee.

The trusty FiveThirtyEight Elo computer has upgraded the probabilities for the 2017 Bills. Here are the fresh AFC East projections:

Wins – Patriots 11.0...Bills 8.1.,.Dolphins 6.9...Jets 6.2

Losses – Patriots 5.0...Bills 7.9...Dolphins 9.1...Jets 9.8

Point differential – Patriots +94.7...Bills -1.5...Dolphins -49.5...Jets -65.3

Probability to make the playoffs – Patriots 82 percent...Bills 36 percent...Dolphins 21 percent...Jets 11 percent

Probability to win the AFC East – Patriots 70 percent...Bills 17 percent...Dolphins 8 percent...Jets 4 percent

Probability to win Super Bowl LII – Patriots 14 percent...Bills 2 percent...Dolphins and Jets each less than 1 percent.


The Packers are 31-17-2 at home against the Las Vegas point spread since 2011 and 14-3 straight up in the last 17 games against the Bears.

The QB matchup is Mike Glennon vs. Aaron Rodgers. Need more?

Green Bay (-7 ½) 28, Chicago 14.


New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge is only the 29th player (and the first rookie) in Major League Baseball history to hit at least 50 home runs in a season.

He is only the fifth Yankee to hit at least 50 HRs in a season: Babe Ruth (4 times)...Mickey Mantle (2 times)...Roger Maris...Alex Rodriguez.

Lou Gehrig hit 49 HRs in 1934 and 1936, and 47 HRs in 1927. Joe DiMaggio hit a career-high 46 HRs in 1937.

Judge will be the ninth Yankee to be American League Rookie of the Year, joining Gil McDougald (1951), Bob Grim (1954), Tony Kubek (1957), Tom Tresh (1962), Stan Bahnsen (1968), Thurman Munson (19700, Dave Righetti (1981) and Derek Jeter (1996).


The Rochester Red Wings ranked 16th among the 30 Triple-A teams (International League + Pacific Coast League) this season.

Rochester drew 445,581 paid for 68 openings. The average crowd was 6,553.

The Red Wings had 434,897 paid attendance (6,396 average) in 2016.


Only two of the 32 NFL teams are 3-0 in the Las Vegas Pointspread Standings this season: Kansas City and Buffalo.

Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins) is the August 2017 monthly winner of the Hickok Belt. He set a Major League Baseball 18 home runs in the month of August. He hit .349 and 24 of his 38 hits were extra-base hits.

The 2016 International League Postseason All-Star Team is looking pretty good right now: 1B Josh Bell...2B Donovan Solano...SS Trea Turner...3B Casey McGehee...OF—Aaaron Judge...OF Ben Gamel...OF Chris Marrero...C Gary Sanchez...Starting pitcher Jake Thompson...Relief pitcher Edward Mujica...DEH Jeses Montero...Utility player Hernan Iribarren.

A few betting tips for Batavia Downs live harness racing (entering Wednesday night): Wins by post position (378 races) – 1 (108)...2 (60)...3 (43)...4 (62)...5 (51)...6 (37)...7 (12)...8 (5)....Post-time favorites have won 46.03 percent of the 378 races.


Wednesday, September 27

Simona Hale (26)...Anthony Morrow (32)...Jay Bouwmeester (34)...Jon Rauch (39)...Jason Phillips (43)...Alonzo Spellman (46)...Rob Moore (49)....Steve Kerr (52)...Miroslav Frycer (58)...Mike Schmidt (68)...Kathy Whitworth (78)...Wally Boyer (80). Gwyneth Paltrow (45) and Meat Loaf (70) are invited to the birthday party.

Thursday, September 28

Manuel Margot (23)...Tyler Lockett (25)...Eddie Rosario (28)...Ryan Zimmerman (33)...Anderson Varejao (35)...Emeka Okafor (35)...Jose Calderon (36)...Se Ri Pak (40)...Janet Evans (46)...Jake Reed (50)...Irving Fryar (55)...Grant Fuhr (55)...Steve Kasper (56)...Don Edwards (62)...Steve Largent (63)...Doug Gibson (64)...Mel Gray (69)...Lou Piniella (74)...Charley Taylor (76). Brigitte Bardot (83) is invited to the birthday party.

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