On Wednesday, the NFL released it’s schedule so naturally we have to analyze the 17-week path our Bills will take, hopefully ending with a playoff berth.
The early games
Buffalo starts their 2019 season with two consecutive trips to East Rutherford, making trips to play the Jets and the Giants. Buffalo will be the first team to experience Le’Veon Bell playing for Gang Green. It is also a revenge game for newly signed pro-bowl kick returner Andre Roberts, as well as guard Spencer Long. Lastly, this will be Josh Allen’s attempt to redeem himself against the Jets and Sam Darnold after dropping their last match-up in 2018. The following week features the Bills getting their first experience with Saquon Barkley and possibly a new Giants’ quarterback.
The “Home Stretch”
The next portion of the schedule is the highlight of 2019 for the Bills, as they host five of the next six games with a bye week thrown in. In week 3, the Bills play the Bengals for the first time since Cincinnati helped send Buffalo to the playoffs in 2017. The Bills then host the Patriots in their second game of divisional play. The last time the Bills played the Patriots in week 4, they beat the Brady-less Patriots while Brady was serving a suspension.
The Bills will then travel down to Tennessee to play the Titans in a revenge game for newly signed guard Quinton Spain, who was a four year starter for the Titans. This is the second year in a row that the Bills are playing the Titans in week 5, as the Bills defeated the Titans in 2018 on a last second field goal by Stephen Hauschka. Following their week five game, the Bills will go home and rejuvenate on a week six bye week.
In week seven, the Bills host the Dolphins in their first meeting of 2019 in Sean McDermott’s inaugural match-up with rookie head coach Brian Flores. The Bills will then host two NFC opponents in a row when they host the Eagles followed by a game against the Redskins. These two NFC games will conclude their three-game home stand.
Buffalo will then travel to Cleveland where Josh Allen will take the field against Baker Mayfield for the first time. Containing the Browns’ newly developed wide receiver corps may be the biggest challenge for the Bills’ secondary in 2019. The Bills will then travel to Miami to conclude their 2019 regular season series with the Dolphins.
After concluding their two-game road trip, the Bills host the Broncos and rookie head coach Vic Fangio. The Broncos have a new quarterback in Joe Flacco, who was part of a Ravens team that tore Buffalo apart in 2018. Buffalo won their last match-up against the Broncos in 2017. The Bills will then play on one of the biggest stages of the year, playing their only prime time game of the season, against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving in Dallas. This is the first Thanksgiving game the Bills have been a part of since 1994, so there will be a lot of attention surrounding this game.
Entering the last four-game stretch of the season, hopefully contending for a playoff spot, the Bills will host the Ravens, hoping to redeem themselves after last years blowout. This will also be the first time Josh Allen will take on Lamar Jackson. The following week, the Bills will travel to the Ravens’ division rival in the Steelers. This will be the first time in a while that the Bills will play the Steelers without Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell.
Division “Race to the Finish”
For the third year in a row, the Bills will close their season with two games against division rivals. The Patriots will host the Bills in week sixteen and Buffalo will end their season hosting the Jets.
Unlike their 2018 schedule, the Bills 2019 schedule is much more flattering, providing a wider disbursement of away games, reducing player travel time. Last season, five of Buffalo’s first eight games were on the road, allowing them to get behind very quickly. The first half of Buffalo’s schedule is very beneficial, as this time the Bills host five of their first eight games, with a bye week in between. The Bills last eight games obviously have more road games, but they are separated with various home games to make it more bearable. See you guys in September, Bills Mafia!