Another step closer to the NFL season! The NFL schedule has been released and the Buffalo Bills will look to get back to the playoffs. This schedule looks tough and the Bills have many unanswered questions as far as their team. After the draft, there will be a better understanding of what the Bills could potentially be in for.
Week 1: @ Baltimore Ravens
The Bills will head to Baltimore to take on the Ravens to start off the season. The last time these two met in Week 1 of 2016, the Ravens edged the Bills 13-7. The Bills secured the last spot of the playoffs last season due to the Ravens losing to the Cincinnati Bengals. This matchup is due to be a physical matchup.
Week 2: Los Angeles Chargers
The Bills have their first home game against Philip Rivers and the Chargers. After a nightmare game last season where Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions, Sean McDermott can adjust the mistakes that were made from last season’s game. The Chargers are coming in after missing the playoffs, but they still have unbelievable talent on both sides of the ball. This game will be a tough one for the Bills.
Week 3: @ Minnesota Vikings
They say it’s easier to get the tougher things out of the way first. This matchup is definitely the toughest challenge for the Bills. The Vikings finally got their quarterback in Kirk Cousins, picked up Sheldon Richardson and kept every major key player to all three phases of the ball. This game does not look good for the Bills at all, especially with it being in Minnesota.
Week 4: @ Green Bay Packers
Back to back weeks of facing tough NFC opponents. The Bills travel to Green Bay to take on the returning Aaron Rodgers and company. While the game is in Green Bay, the Bills will face a weaker defense. The secondary of the Packers shows no sign of promise so the Bills should take advantage of the passing game.
Week 5: Tennessee Titans
The battle of the two wild card teams from the playoffs. The Titans made big moves in free agency such as the acquisitions of Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis. This game is a good test for the Bills in the beginning of the season.
Week 6: @ Houston Texans
Much like against the Titans, the Bills have themselves a good matchup against the Texans who will have Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt back in the lineup. While Watson was on pace to possibly become offensive rookie of the year, he suffered a torn ACL. It’s up in the air on how he will perform. The Bills can handle the Texans, it just comes down to discipline.
Week 7: @ Indianapolis Colts
This game should not be a snow match again. The biggest difference in this game, Andrew Luck should be back. The Bills have beaten the Colts the last two meetings in which they were in Buffalo. This game should be manageable for the Bills, but time will tell.
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Week 8: New England Patriots
This is the first time in a decade where the Bills will host a Monday night game. To make it an even more important game? It’s against Tom Brady and the Patriots. This game could have a lot of tension and a lot of enthusiasm.
Week 9: Chicago Bears
The Bears are a completely new team led by Matt Nagy. Second year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky showed signed of promise, but the Bills secondary is their strongest link. The last time these two teams met, the Bills won in Chicago.
Week 10: @ New York Jets
The Bills and the Jets split the season series last season. The Bills took the first game easily, while the Jets were the team that started the Bills four week drought in which the run defense was exposed. Any division game is important, especially midseason.
Week 11: Bye Week
Week 12: Jacksonville Jaguars
A rematch of the AFC wild card game. Doug Marrone returns to Buffalo for the first time since he took off in 2014. Expect Marrone to not get a happy welcome back against the Bills.
Week 13: @ Miami Dolphins
The first matchup of the year between these two rivals. The Bills swept the Dolphins last season and it helped them secure a playoff spot. Jay Cutler was throwing the ball for the Dolphins, but this year it could Ryan Tannehill or even a rookie quarterback. The good news for the Bills in this game? They go to Miami first, making the Dolphins having to travel during the winter up in Buffalo.
Week 14: New York Jets
The final stretch of the season is crucial. A big advantage for the Bills is the home field advantage. This stretch is important and it all starts with a division rival.
Week 15: Detroit Lions
Finishing off against NFC opponents, the Bills take on the Lions in Buffalo. The Lions are up north where the weather is cold, but they play in a dome. They will see what it’s like to play in snowy Buffalo in which the Bills can use that to their advantage.
Week 16: @ New England Patriots
Just like last season, the Bills will travel to Gillette stadium to face the Patriots right near Christmas time. The biggest factor about that game was the Kelvin Benjamin catch that was ruled incomplete. With the new catch rule, that catch was completed. This will be tough game for the Bills, especially in enemy territory.
Week 17: Miami Dolphins
The home finale for the Bills, and who better than the Dolphins when the weather will be at its worst. The past couple of seasons, the Dolphins have came to Buffalo in December. That trend continues this upcoming season.
Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL and the Buffalo Bills. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_ray79 and @FPC_Bills.