Just like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said this past week, “I want to watch the Buffalo Bills.” I believe that we all want football to be set in place for the 2020 season, especially Bills Mafia. Coming off a promising 2019 season and an exciting offseason, the Buffalo Bills smell blood in the AFC East for the first time in 20 years. They are the favorites to take the division for the first time since 1995.
The Bills have one of the toughest schedules heading into 2020 so they will be heavily watched while they try to live up to the expectations that have been put on them.
The season is not expected to start until at-least September…for now. Here at FPC Bills, Managing Editor Brandon Ray will be making his way-too-early season prediction for the Bills.
Week 1: Bills vs Jets
Opening week will feature the Bills hosting the New York Jets in Orchard Park. It’s another Sam Darnold vs Josh Allen matchup. The title is up for grabs as to who is the better quarterback in the division. While this debate will be happening, there is no question that the Bills have a better setup for Allen than the Jets do for Darnold. A dominant defense who will get after Darnold consistently and a Bills offense that upgraded majorly in the offseason, it’s hard to not pick the Bills as the winners. Allen gets the job done and shows what Bills Mafia should expect for 2020.
Week 2: Bills at Dolphins
This one is going to be a hot one. In a blistering Miami forecast, the Bills find themselves battling it out with a consecutive division opponent against the Dolphins. Will we see Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Dolphins’ starter? Will it be Tua Tagovailoa? It doesn’t matter because the Bills defense will keep them ahead in the game. The Dolphins defense will rough up Allen on the beginning and play hard nose football, but the Bills offense just does enough to scrape by.
Week 3: Bills vs Rams
The first out of conference game for the Bills is at home against the Rams. A team that has taken a turn for the worst from their 2017 and 2018 seasons. Wide receiver Robert Woods comes back to Buffalo for the first time since his departure from the Bills. I expect this game to be heavily defense. The Bills offense will still be finding different ways to click, but the fact that Allen will have to face Aaron Donald will cause some problems. If the game is put on the shoulders of Jared Goff, the Bills have the best chance to seal the deal. I believe that this will happen if it is defense vs defense.
Week 4: Bills at Raiders
The Bills are on the schedule for the Las Vegas Raiders’ first year in the league and the team led by Jon Gruden has a lot to prove. While there are unanswered questions at quarterback play, do not forget that the Raiders have arguably the best center in the league who can pave a path for Josh Jacobs. Every year, the Bills lose a game that they should have won in the fourth quarter but come up short. This could very well be that kind of game.
Week 5: Bills at Titans
For the fourth consecutive year, the Bills have a date with the Titans. Buffalo has won the last three meetings and all of them have been low-scoring, defensive games. With a newly Titans look led by Ryan Tannehill, who helped lead the Titans to the AFC Championship game last season, the Titans are looking to head back and make it to the big stage. The safest bet for this game to look at who has the strongest defense and the Bills have the slight edge, which is what will help them win this game.
Week 6: Bills vs Chiefs (TNF)
The biggest game of the early schedule for the Bills takes place in Western New York as they host the defending Super Bowl champions, Kansas City. It is going to be a Chiefs’ lethal offense going up against a lockdown secondary in the Buffalo backfield on defense. Being at home gives the Bills an advantage but the Chiefs offense is just too powerful to keep out of the endzone. Unless the defense is able to cause turnovers in all four quarters, the Chiefs get the victory here.
Week 7: Bills at Jets
The second, and what should be the last meeting between these two teams this season. I predicted the Bills to take the home opener against the Jets. With this game being at MetLife, the home field advantage goes to the Jets but that did not matter last season. The Bills should not fall down 16-0 like they did last year and be forced to play comeback. This game will be closer than anticipated but the Bills take the season series.
Week 8: Bills vs Patriots
The Patriots roll into town led by Tom Br….oh wait, I mean Jarrett Stidham. For the first time in what seems like forever, the Bills will face a Bill Belichick team that does not have Tom Brady on the roster. The Bills are in the conversation to take the division from the Patriots based on each other’s offseasons’. The Patriots will not be as bad as everyone thinks, but they will not be the same team that they have been for two decades. These two teams had very tightly games last season with the Patriots coming out victorious but not this time. For the first time since 2011, the Bills beat the Patriots in Orchard Park.
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Week 9: Bills vs Seahawks
The Bills are back at home against another tough opponent. Allen vs Russell Wilson will be a great outing despite each team having a strong defense. This game will be coming down between Sean McDermott and Pete Carroll. Who can out coach the other? Who makes the least amount of mistakes. It also comes down with which quarterback can overcome adversity in the clutch moments. Allen is working towards that development, Wilson has been there for years. This game goes in favor of Seattle.
Week 10: Bills at Cardinals
Allen and the Bills head out west to battle the 2019 offensive rookie of the year Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. Tre’Davious White will go up against DeAndre Hopkins in a small rivalry where words were said to each other. Former Bills’ defensive tackle Jordan Phillips will also face off against his old team where he will try to get after Allen. The Cardinals have an intriguing offense and they are underrated upfront on defense. As long as the Bills defense keeps Murray in check, Buffalo will be able to hold the Cardinals and pick up the win.
Week 11: Bye Week
Week 12: Bills vs Chargers
Another former Bills’ player returns to Buffalo after their departure. Tyrod Taylor, assuming that Justin Herbert is not the starter, will be playing against his old team that he helped lead to the playoffs in 2017. The Chargers built up their offensive line and are preparing for the future with a solid defense. The last two meetings between these teams have not been a pretty sight for the Bills. Maybe third time is the charm? The fact that the Chargers come to a cold and potentially snowy Buffalo stadium will give the Bills a slight advantage. Buffalo takes the close win here.
Week 13: Bills at 49ers (MNF)
Arguably the toughest game of the year for the Bills will take place in San Francisco. The 49ers were one quarter away from being crowned Super Bowl champions and had a strong offseason by replacing DeForest Buckner with Javon Kinlaw. They kept their defense intact and their offense bulked up on the offensive line with the addition of Trent Williams. The only way the Bills have a chance against the 49ers is to create turnovers and I do not see that happening. This Bills defense has to hold their ground but I am not sure if the offense can get points on the board consistently.
Week 14: Bills vs Steelers (SNF)
A rematch of last year’s Week 15 Sunday night football game. Only this time, the Steelers come to New Era Field. Assuming that Big Ben is ready to go, the Bills will be facing a different Steelers squad with a defense that will have been together for a full year. Weather will not play a factor seeing as how both teams can play in any kind of cold. Although, with Big Ben getting older and showing signs of slowing down, the Steelers may have to rely on the run game. The Bills have a more consistent offense and a top defense just like the Steelers. In a game that will come down to the final drive, the Bills take another year of primetime football from Pittsburgh.
Week 15: Bills at Broncos
The Broncos are a sleeper team heading into 2020 with a second year quarterback in Drew Lock surrounded by a loaded number of weapons. Last season, the Bills absolutely crushed the Broncos in all four quarters. This time should be different. With this game taking place in Denver, one of the toughest places to play in, Allen is in for a rough time. At this point, the Bills offense will need to step up in crunch time and as long as the mistakes are kept out, the Bills will pull out a win in Denver.
Week 16: Bills at Patriots
The Bills travel to Foxboro for a second meeting with the Patriots. I predicted the Bills to win the first game between these two in Buffalo. By this time, the Patriots should have something in place for moving forward at the quarterback position. The last time the Bills swept the Patriots was in 1999. If the Bills are going for the division at this point, or even a top seed, expect the Bills to go all in. This year could become the first time that the Bills sweep Belichick. With this win, the Bills reach eleven wins for the first time since 1999.
Week 17: Bills vs Dolphins
By now, the Bills will have clinched a playoff spot and maybe the division. If there is no chance of them moving up in the seeding for the playoffs, there is no point to playing the starters this week. While no one likes to lose a division game, if this is a meaningless game for the Bills there is no reason to risk any kind of health. In week 17 last year, the Bills played a meaningless game against the Jets where they only lose by seven points to the Jets’ starters. This game could feature the debut of rookie quarterback Jake Fromm and unless the Bills’ backups make it a game, the Dolphins should get the easy win.
Tidbits For FPC Bills Record Prediction
- The Bills sweep the Jets and the Patriots
- They go 2-2 in their primetime games
- Only lose two home games
- Finish with a better record than in 2019
-Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the Buffalo Bills. Make sure to follow Brandon on Twitter at @brandon_ray79.