The Bills cannot afford to fall into a slump through this four week stretch like last season. The Bills went 1-3 during this time last year with losses to the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Chargers. Their one win came up versus the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills defense gave up 145 points during these four weeks while the offense only put up 71 points on the board.
In 2018, the Bills will face the Chicago Bears, New York Jets and have a rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars from the wild card round in the playoffs in 2017.
Week 9: Chicago Bears
The Bears are one of the few teams that took the reigns in the free agency frenzy. Under new head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears gave Mitchell Trubisky valuable weapons on the outside. The defense secured a well-talented linebacker in Roquan Smith through the draft and have kept a majority of their players from last season.
The Bills have secured a top talented Tremaine Edmunds, and have improved the defense majorly from last season. While the offense still needs an upgrade, the Bills defense has the chance to shut down Trubisky and seal a win over the Bears. Expect this game to be a low scoring game, but the Bills just perform well enough to get the win.
Week 10: @ New York Jets
The first face-off between these division rivals. Both teams split the season series last season, but during this time last year, it was the Jets who started the Bills downfall in the middle of the season. The Jets went from being projected to being the worst team in the NFL, to picking up five surprising wins last season, to upgrading at almost every position in the offseason.
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Todd Bowles could be on the hot seat going into the season. His job is his to lose but his team looks much better than last season. While the Bills have upgraded on their own, the Jets have the advantage with their talent plus the home game. The Jets take this game.
Week 11: Bye Week
Week 12: Jacksonville Jaguars
Who would have though that it was these two teams facing off in the wild card round last season? This Jaguars team was heavily favorited over the Bills going into the playoffs, but the Bills only let up ten points. If you’re a defensive minded person, this was the game to watch last season. Both teams made excellent plays, but it was the Jaguars who made more impactful plays at the right time.
The Jaguars let go of Allen Robinson, who did not play last season due to injury. They also let go of Allen Hurns and Marcedes Lewis. They improved the running game by adding Andrew Norwell. The defense took in two potential starters for the future in Taven Bryan and Ronnie Harrison.
The Bills will have the chance to throw the ball more in this game than in the playoffs, but the Jaguars defense looks too good once again. Unless Sean McDermott can come up with a strategy to outdo the Jags, the Bills will come up short against the Jags for a second consecutive 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 for Bills coverage.