The NFL team schedules were released on April 16, and even though football season doesn't start until late August, I'm ready to talk about it. I will be doing a review of each of the teams schedules and discussing who came out winners, and who got shafted. I will also be making predictions which will most likely be wrong simply because its way to early to tell seeing that Draft Day hasn't even arrived yet. So let's get the ball rolling shall we.
The Buffalo Bills are coming off a 7-9 season where their only two divisional losses came against the (regular season) undefeated New England Patriots. The Bills definatley should have finished at .500 (remember when they blew that game against the Cowboys?) They will need to improve on the offensive side of the ball as they were 30th in the league in points per game, passing yards per game, and total yards per game. So let's get to their schedule.
The Bill will host the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are coming off a 10-6 season divisional championship season. They lost in the divisional round to the Packers 42-20. This should prove to be a tough task as the Seahawks are a good defensive team. Prediction: Lose
The Bills will travel to Jacksonville to face off against the Jaguars. This will prove to be a tough first two games for the Bills this season. As many of us remember the Jaguars Were real good last year, so good, that if it weren't for the Colts in their Division they would have been Division Champs. They made an amazing run at the end of the season until they shat the bed against New England (but not really, they lost 31-20). Prediction: Lose
The Bills will come back home for a game against Oakland. Not much to say about Oakland but that they were 4-12 last season. The Raiders could be a bit better next year, but this game should look promising for the Bills. Prediction: Win
Bills head out of town for 2 games. The first is against the dismal St. Louis Rams. I don't know what happened to the Rams last year, but if they are anything like they were last year the Bills shouldn't have any trouble with them. Prediction: Win
In the second game of the road trip the Bills will face the Arizona Cardinals. This game could be a tough one, the two teams seem to be matched up pretty well. The Cardinals were 8-8 last year, and 6-2 at home. Home field advantage could play a pretty good role in this game for the Cardinals. Prediction: Lose
The Bills get to take a week off and prepare for a huge game at home in Week 7.
As mentioned in Week 6, the Bills have a lot of preparing to do. They will have to face off against the San Diego Chargers, who meshed together real well last year after having a very dissapointing start to the season. Bills will have loads of trouble if they don't prepare enough. Prediction: Lose
At the half way point in the season, the Bills will finally get to take a look at their divisional opponents. The first of which is in Miami against the Dolphins. The Dolphins were 1-15 last year, and I don't think it will be much better this year. Bills should win this one. Prediction: Win
The next in-division team they will face is the New York Jets at home. The Jets had a dissapointing 4-12 season last year. They made a lot of offseason moves and brought in some big name players. This will be a tough matchup for the Bills. Prediction: Win
The Bill head to New England to face off against the Patriots. The Patriots lost a lot of players in the offseason, but they are always make the best out of those situations. Look for this to be a tough one for the Bills. Prediction: Lose
The Bills are at home for their only primetime game of the season, a Monday night matchup with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were 10-6 last year, and 3-5 on the road. The Bills play good on primetime, case in point last year against the Cowboys. This game could be a really good matchup. Prediction: Win
The Bills head out to Kansas City in week 12 to face off against the Chiefs. The Chiefs were 4-12 last year despite having a middle of the road defense. The offensive killed them ranking near the bottom of the list. Chiefs probably won't get much better next year. This one could shape up in the Bill favor. Prediction: Win
This week the Bills will face off against the San Francisco 49ers. Last year they were 5-11. I have always been a secondary fan of the 49ers, unfortunatley though they just aren't that good. Untill they pull a Miami Dolphins and are the worse in the league, they won't be able to get that top draft pick. Prediction: Win
This game should be interesting. The Bills will play a [home] game in Toronto against the Dolphins. In the second matchup of the season neither team will change enough to impact on a different result. Bills should win this one. Prediction: Win
As the season begins to wind down, the Bills will travel to their [in] state [but really out of state] counterparts, the New York Jets. I had the Bills beating the Jets in the first game of the season. Prediction: Lose
In the second to last week of the season the Bills head out to Denver to face the Broncos at Mile High Stadium. The Broncos were 7-9 last year, but they were 5-3 at home. This could be a favorable matchup for the Broncos. At least if its snowy, it won't affect the Bills too much as they are accustomed to that. Prediction: Lose
Will the Bills end the season on a good note? Well they are facing the Patriots, and if the Pats have the division, and possibly home field throughout, or a first round bye, they might sit some guys for rest. This could give the Bills a chance. Prediction: Lose
Early Overall Prediction: 8-8
Ok, so how did the Bills make out this year with their schedule. I'll put it as O.K. They didn't get completley shafted, and I wouldn't consider them winners because its still a challenging schedule. One thing that I did notice is that I think it is possible (if they can get on a roll) for the Bills to string together 5 wins in a row between weeks 11 and 15. The Bills were fortunate enough to get two tough teams (Seattle and San Diego) at home. Besides the in-division teams, their only real tough away game is at Jacksonville, which is at the beginning of the season. If the Bills can squeeze out wins against Seattle and Cleveland, this season could be much better than I am predicting now. Unfortunatley for Buffalo fans, your playing in the AFC, which means your chances at getting the Wildcard (assuming the Pats win the division) are very slim.
That concludes the first edition of my NFL Schedule breakdowns. The next team that I will be looking at is the Miami Dolphins. Note, I am doing this by division, so the AFC East lineup is as follows. Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets. Check back in soon for the next edition and Thanks for Reading!