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Bills rated 19th in new AP poll: How they voted

By Tim Graham

The Associated Press, long the purveyors of the most prestigious college football and college basketball polls, has decided to turn pro.

The AP has unveiled its first NFL Pro32 NFL power rankings. Once the season begins, a panel of 12 writers and broadcasters will update their ballots each week and share their reasons.

The Buffalo Bills rated 19th in the preseason poll. They were 10th among AFC teams and third in the division behind the No. 2 New England Patriots and No. 17 New York Jets. The Miami Dolphins, in case you were wondering, came in at No. 27.

A point system will determine the rankings each week with an inverted scale. The team that's rated first will receive 32 points, and the team rated last will receive 1 point.

To get you acquainted with the voters, here they are in alphabetical order with their Bills rating and comment. Click on each voter's link to see his complete ballot.

Chris Berman, ESPN
No. 14 -- Most excitement in Western New York in offseason in years.
Clifton Brown, Sporting News

No. 17 -- Really like team's offseason moves, but Ryan Fitzpatrick needs to be more consistent.
Cris Collinsworth, NBC Sports
No. 21 -- Could be dominant defensive line with Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and Marcell Dareus.
Rich Gannon, CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio
No. 14 -- Bills make playoffs if they avoid the injury bug.
Bob Glauber, Newsday
No. 24 -- Buffalo opened the vault for Mario Williams, but New England still owns AFC East.
Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News
No. 21 -- Bills now have pass rush in free-agent signees Mario Williams and Mark Anderson.
Clark Judge,
No. 19 -- Big offseason moves, but still must beat New England.
Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune
No. 23 -- Addition of Mario Williams keeps hope alive in Western New York.
Pat Kirwan, SiriusXM NFL Radio/
No. 17 -- Great offseason puts Bills in situation to rush passer without blitzing. As long as Fred Jackson is healthy they will be playoff contenders.
John Lynch, Fox Sports
No. 20 -- Hope springs eternal after strong offseason led by signing of Mario Williams. Key to Bills' success is play of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Is he guy who cashed in after strong first half of 2011 or guy who struggled mightily in second half?
Alex Marvez,
No. 12 -- NFL's longest active playoff drought (12 seasons and counting) is set to end thanks to defensive upgrades led by free-agent signing of pass-rushing beast Mario Williams and hiring of Dave Wannstedt as coordinator.
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
No. 25 -- Mario Williams can make a lot of players around him more effective, and he will need to in Buffalo.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |