2020 Buffalo Bills Regular Season Schedule Analysis
The Bills schedule was released on Thursday night by the National Football League. The 2020 Bills preseason and regular season schedules were both unveiled.
In years past, the NFL Regular Season Schedule release has provided hope for the fans of all 32 NFL teams. Above all else, the schedule has always been a beacon of hope and new beginnings.
Now more than ever, the release of an NFL schedule brings the promise of better days ahead. The dream that sports can return to a better world than the one we know of today.
We don’t know what the coming months will be like, and perhaps this schedule is written in pencil with a *to be determined* asterisk next to it. No matter, for now, sports are coming back, and the NFL schedule further illustrates that.
For the Buffalo Bills and their fans, the release of a regular-season schedule has more significance than in years’ past. For the first time, in a very long time, there is optimism and light at the end of the tunnel. The pathway looks like the road to a potential championship. The networks and oddsmakers believe that Buffalo is ready for primetime as well. As proven by the Bills scheduling, Buffalo’s slated for four primetime games. The most for the team since 1996. A year after they won their last playoff game.
Here is a week by week analysis of the Bills 2020 regular-season schedule.
Week 1- Sunday, September 13th, New York Jets at Buffalo Bills 1 pm ET, New Era Field (CBS)
The Bills will open the 2020 campaign against their divisional rivals, the Jets, in week 1 for the third time in the last four seasons. Last season, Buffalo opened the year at the Jets and rallied from a 16-point deficit to win 17-16. A turning point game for both teams in 2019. The two franchise quarterbacks Josh Allen and Sam Darnold are friends off the field, but a budding rivalry has developed on it. The two shared the same draft status coming out of college and now share the same division.
Week 2- Sunday, September 20th, Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins, 1 pm ET, Hard Rock Stadium (CBS)
Buffalo swept the season series with Miami in 2019. The Bills scored over thirty points just twice last season, and both times, they did so against the Dolphins. Miami exceeded expectations last season, and they have improved their roster this offseason. As a result, the Dolphins should present a more significant challenge to Buffalo this year. Could the Tua Tagovailoa era in Miami start as early as week two?
Week 3- Sunday September 27th, Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills, 1 pm ET, New Era Field (FOX)
The early portion of the Bills schedule is a favorable one. Anytime you can get a west coast team to travel east for an early game, it favors the home team. The Rams are a quality opponent, but Buffalo is going to be favored in this spot.
Week 4- Sunday, October 4th, Buffalo Bills at Las Vegas Raiders, 4:25 pm ET, Allegiant Stadium (CBS)
The first long road trip and test for Buffalo comes in week four, as the Bills head to Sin City to face the Raiders. It’s been 4 years since these two franchises have played each other.
Week 5- Sunday, October 11th, Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans, 1 pm ET, Nissan Stadium (CBS)
The go-to move here is to bring up a particular game, whenever the Bills and Titans are mentioned in the same sentence. Let’s not and pretend that I did. However, with both teams coming off of playoff seasons, there’s a chance that these two could meet again in the playoffs. Maybe then an illegal forward pass can be rehashed again.
Week 6- Thursday, October 15th, Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills, 8:20 pm ET, New Era Field (Fox/NFL Network)
After two straight road games, The Bills get the defending champs at home on a short week for both teams. If the Bills have designs on getting home-field advantage and being AFC Champions, beating the Chiefs at home in primetime would do the trick.
Week 7- Sunday, October 25th, Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, 1 pm ET, MetLife Stadium (CBS)
A rematch from week one. The Bills play the Jets on ten days rest—a mini-bye of sorts after a two-week road trip and the KC game.
Week 8- Sunday, November 1st, New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 1 pm EST, New Era Field (CBS)
By this point in the season, it should be clear where both teams stand heading down the final stretch of the year. There is so much uncertainty with the Patriots, but if the Bills are to win the AFC East, New England is still the team for them to beat. Until proven otherwise.
Week 9- Sunday, November 8th, Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills, 1 pm EST, New Era Field (FOX)
Another NFC West team travels to Buffalo. This time, it’s Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Seattle is one of the league’s better teams, and this should be another measuring stick type game for the Bills.
Week 10- Sunday, November 15th, Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 pm ET, State Farm Stadium (CBS)
After a four week stretch that sees Buffalo play three of their games at home. The Bills travel to Arizona to face Kliff Kingsbury, Kyler Murray, and the Cardinals. A dangerous spot right before the bye. In many ways, the Cardinals resemble what the Bills were with Josh Allen early on.
Week 11- Bye Week
Week 12- Sunday, November 29th, Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills, 1 pm ET, New Era Field (CBS)
Buffalo gets two weeks to prepare for LA at home and once again, a west-coast team is traveling east to play an early game. By this time in the season, the Chargers could be strolling out rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. If not, it’s two former Bills heading the charge for LA in Tyrod Taylor and Anthony Lynn.
Week 13- Monday, December 7th, Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers, 8:15 pm EST, Levi’s Stadium (ESPN)
The start of two straight primetime contests for Buffalo. The Bills travel out west to face the defending NFC Champs. Could this be a Superbowl preview? Two years ago, that notion would’ve seemed far fetched. Somewhere out there, the Bills wagons are circling, and Chris Berman is smiling.
Week 14- Sunday, December 13th, Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8pm EST, Heinz Field (NBC)
Last December 15th on Sunday Night Football, The Bills defeated the Steelers 17-10 to take a decisive lead in the playoff standings. As a result, the victory got Buffalo to ten wins and secured them a playoff spot. The Bills are hoping that they get the same outcome this year.
Week 15- Saturday/Sunday, December 19th or 20th, Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos, Empower Field Mile High(TBD)
An opponent and place have been set for week 15 but not the time or date. A similar situation occurred with the Bills-Pats game last season. The league is trying to accommodate their tv partners and provide the strongest matchups for the games that are being broadcast to the majority of the country. It’s anticipated that this game in Denver will have a later start time once the day is determined. Either way, this is a difficult road trip sandwiched in between three prime time games.
Week 16- Monday, December 28th, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots, 8:15 pm EST, Gillette Stadium (ESPN)
The fourth Bills primetime game on their schedule has a lot of symbolism behind it. A year ago, in week 16, the Bills faced off with the Pats in New England. Buffalo had designs on a division title, but they fell 24-17. Could this game be a coronation for Buffalo as the new leaders in the AFC East, or will Bill Belichick defy the doubters once again and steal the Bills glory.
Week 17- Sunday, January 3rd, 2021, Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills, 1 pm EST, New Era Field (CBS)
The Bills open and close their regular season at home, in both cases against AFC East foes. Buffalo hopes that the team is in a position to be playing playoff games at home in January. Something that hasn’t happened since the Bills last playoff victory in 1995 against Miami.
The Buffalo Bills are the prohibitive favorite to win the AFC East, and with that comes heightened expectations. The NFL is expanding the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams. In years past, it may have been something for Buffalo to strive for, but truth be told, Bills Mafia would be very disappointed if Buffalo ended up as a wildcard team. If the Bills are to win their first playoff game in decades. They must win the AFC East. Anything less would be a disappointment.
On paper, all the AFC East teams have demanding schedules, based on last years’ team win percentages. However, the Dolphins and Jets are rebuilding, and the Pats are a question mark due to Tom Brady’s departure. Consequently, for Buffalo to make the leap from contenders to champions. They will have to go no worse than 4-2 in their division. A ten-win season in 2020 might win the AFC East and would probably be more impressive than the ten wins; Buffalo accumulated last season.
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