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Early 2021-22 Schedule Thoughts & Primetime matchups


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Well we are on to a new year and I have a few early tidbits for people to know and a general bracket guess at what next year could look like. Before I get into the Bills matchups here are a few things people need to understand when it comes the schedule and how games are put on primetime, 4pm, and many Bills fans favorite 1 pm games.

  • TV networks have the ability to protect certain games which impacts what games end up as a primetime vs which are 4pm. The 4pm slots are big for FOX and CBS to the point CBS made a point of keeping the Dallas - PIT game this past season at 4 pm despite how much the game was wanted for SNF or MNF etc..
  • With the TV deals being reupped there is a lot of talk that MNF games will see a better schedule of competition rather then SNF seemingly always getting the marquee game. The NFL stopped with the stupid divisional format on Thursday Night Football (TNF) which made for better more watchable games compared to the prior years. BUF-KC was a TNF game until the COVID mess with the Titans forced the game to Monday. 
  • What that means is that while BUF-KC may seem like a shoe in for a night game, it is very possible CBS protects it as a marquee 4:00 pm game. The same could be said for FOX with the Bucs - Bills. I doubt both happen but that is a real factor in schedule making.
  • With the TV deals probably adjusting some of the matchups don't be surprised if you see more games flexible compared to previous years. The NFL really cares about its ratings and they will do a lot at the expense of fans and teams to accommodate that.
  • Expect to see a few more games earlier in December. The NFL has had success having games on Saturdays in December and I would not be surprised if it starts as early as the beginning of December now.
  • The NFL may be adding a 17th game now that the CBA has been approved. If the 17th game is added this year it will have the AFC-NFC take on a team in the cross conference that placed the same as them. For the Bills because we played the NFC East in 2019 we would get Washington as our 17th game as they finished 1st and so did we. This will create a few more high profile games in the schedule and in the future allow for some more fun matchups that we normally had to wait every 4 years for.
  • The actual NFL schedule goes through 6-7000 versions before the NFL settles on one they like. The NFL does try to balance the schedule in terms of home and away matchups. For insistence the Bills opened on the road in 2018 and 2019 while opening at home last year. Before that Buffalo had flipped home/away since 2012. It isn't perfect but the league does make an effort.
  • The last 2 seasons you could say that the Bills benefited from a nice schedule with the NYC back to back opener in 2019 before being at home for five of the next six games and in 2020 getting five home games in the first 9 plus a later bye week.
  • Speaking of the bye week Buffalo has not ever had the dreaded week 4 bye week. In 2004 the Bills had a week 3 bye week (yikes), but since then the earliest Buffalo has had a bye is week 6. Last year the Bills had a bye week in week 10 so odds are it will be earlier. On a weird/good luck note both times the Bills had byes in week 6 on McD they made the playoffs (2017 & 2019).
  • The schedule is typically not released until the end of April right before the draft. With COVID I could see it being delayed later so the NFL has time to make some decisions, but that is generally when it comes out.
  • The Bills took on both West Coast divisions last season, but this year they do not travel past the Mississippi River with the furthest game being in KC.
  • The Bills have been a very good draw nationally the last two years and currently are a favorite across the league for many casual fans.

 

OK with all of that said I have some early guesses and these thoughts... we are in a whole new world with the Bills winning the division and making the AFC title game. The Bills played in five prime time games last year (TEN, KC, SF, PIT, SF & NE), six if count the Saturday Denver game. Additionally Buffalo also played two games at 4:00 pm (LV & ARZ). Half of the Bills schedule were not 1:00 pm games (granted with so many West Coast games primetime made sense) and I would not be surprised if the Bills are on 3-4 primetime games with a late Saturday showdown that they are one of the games able to be plugged in plus a 4:00 pm start. When you win and consistently win you get a lot more attention and non 1:00 pm games. The Bills do prefer to have more 1:00 pm games for out of town fans but being good means adjusting. Last year was kind of a perfect storm with the schedule and travel, this year is more subdued and matchups like New Orleans and Houston probably won't be as good looking with Brees likely retiring and Watson going somewhere else. If you like 1:00 pm football I would expect more then half the season will be back to that this year. Looking at this past year season the Titans had three primetime games heading into this last season and the Texans had the opening season game, Thanksgiving, and a 4:25 Ravens game. I used those two as examples for comparison considering the Titans played in the AFC Title and the Texans have a stud in Watson. The Bills have at this point more marquee players then either of those teams and do allure better so I would think they get a little more glimmer. Additionally Buffalos three division opponents give the Bills the NYC, Boston, & Miami markets for viewership compared to the AFC South which has Houston, Nashville, Jacksonville, & Indy. Not exactly murders row of big markets by comparison in the AFC South. I do think the Bills have a decent shot at playing the opener, but they do generally gravitate to conference teams facing off. Dallas will be high to open against TB and if Carolina gets Watson I could see them taking the game.

 

I am not going to do a full schedule prediction but here is where I categorize odds of prime time game:

 

Primetime Games (meaning TNF, SNF, or MNF):

  • Tampa Bay (SNF)
  • Indianapolis (MNF)
  • Miami (TNF)

 

4:00-4:25

  • Kansas City 
  • New York Jets * If they draft a QB or get Watson

 

Saturday Flex game:

  • Tennessee

 

The rest of the games I would expect to be 1:00 pm. I wouldn't be totally shocked if the Bills play the Patriots on primetime considering they have for the last 3 years, but unless the Patriots make a marquee move it does seem their shine has finally wore off and they will finally get a reduction in sun.

Edited by corta765
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These past years schedule was loaded with great games for the west coasters, but next year has 3 decent destinations.

 

I’ll be look into New Orleans, Nashville and either Tampa or Miami, depending the months that they play. Maybe KC if my buddy gives me some tickets.  KC as a destination is just meh to me and it rains/sleets every time I go there.....bleh 

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There won't be earlier December games because of the deal with college football.  Tv partners espn, fox and cbs don't want that as they pay huge money for college games and I think there is something in the anti trust agreement that prevents it

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36 minutes ago, Cson76 said:

There won't be earlier December games because of the deal with college football.  Tv partners espn, fox and cbs don't want that as they pay huge money for college games and I think there is something in the anti trust agreement that prevents it


I don’t think the NFL cares as much anymore. This last year with the lack of CFB showed how much more they can gain. Even if it’s just one game the potential is there

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5 hours ago, corta765 said:

Well we are on to a new year and I have a few early tidbits for people to know and a general bracket guess at what next year could look like. Before I get into the Bills matchups here are a few things people need to understand when it comes the schedule and how games are put on primetime, 4pm, and many Bills fans favorite 1 pm games.

  • TV networks have the ability to protect certain games which impacts what games end up as a primetime vs which are 4pm. The 4pm slots are big for FOX and CBS to the point CBS made a point of keeping the Dallas - PIT game this past season at 4 pm despite how much the game was wanted for SNF or MNF etc..
  • With the TV deals being reupped there is a lot of talk that MNF games will see a better schedule of competition rather then SNF seemingly always getting the marquee game. The NFL stopped with the stupid divisional format on Thursday Night Football (TNF) which made for better more watchable games compared to the prior years. BUF-KC was a TNF game until the COVID mess with the Titans forced the game to Monday. 
  • What that means is that while BUF-KC may seem like a shoe in for a night game, it is very possible CBS protects it as a marquee 4:00 pm game. The same could be said for FOX with the Bucs - Bills. I doubt both happen but that is a real factor in schedule making.
  • With the TV deals probably adjusting some of the matchups don't be surprised if you see more games flexible compared to previous years. The NFL really cares about its ratings and they will do a lot at the expense of fans and teams to accommodate that.
  • Expect to see a few more games earlier in December. The NFL has had success having games on Saturdays in December and I would not be surprised if it starts as early as the beginning of December now.
  • The NFL may be adding a 17th game now that the CBA has been approved. If the 17th game is added this year it will have the AFC-NFC take on a team in the cross conference that placed the same as them. For the Bills because we played the NFC East in 2019 we would get Washington as our 17th game as they finished 1st and so did we. This will create a few more high profile games in the schedule and in the future allow for some more fun matchups that we normally had to wait every 4 years for.
  • The actual NFL schedule goes through 6-7000 versions before the NFL settles on one they like. The NFL does try to balance the schedule in terms of home and away matchups. For insistence the Bills opened on the road in 2018 and 2019 while opening at home last year. Before that Buffalo had flipped home/away since 2012. It isn't perfect but the league does make an effort.
  • The last 2 seasons you could say that the Bills benefited from a nice schedule with the NYC back to back opener in 2019 before being at home for five of the next six games and in 2020 getting five home games in the first 9 plus a later bye week.
  • Speaking of the bye week Buffalo has not ever had the dreaded week 4 bye week. In 2004 the Bills had a week 3 bye week (yikes), but since then the earliest Buffalo has had a bye is week 6. Last year the Bills had a bye week in week 10 so odds are it will be earlier. On a weird/good luck note both times the Bills had byes in week 6 on McD they made the playoffs (2017 & 2019).
  • The schedule is typically not released until the end of April right before the draft. With COVID I could see it being delayed later so the NFL has time to make some decisions, but that is generally when it comes out.
  • The Bills took on both West Coast divisions last season, but this year they do not travel past the Mississippi River with the furthest game being in KC.
  • The Bills have been a very good draw nationally the last two years and currently are a favorite across the league for many casual fans.

 

OK with all of that said I have some early guesses and these thoughts... we are in a whole new world with the Bills winning the division and making the AFC title game. The Bills played in five prime time games last year (TEN, KC, SF, PIT, SF & NE), six if count the Saturday Denver game. Additionally Buffalo also played two games at 4:00 pm (LV & ARZ). Half of the Bills schedule were not 1:00 pm games (granted with so many West Coast games primetime made sense) and I would not be surprised if the Bills are on 3-4 primetime games with a late Saturday showdown that they are one of the games able to be plugged in plus a 4:00 pm start. When you win and consistently win you get a lot more attention and non 1:00 pm games. The Bills do prefer to have more 1:00 pm games for out of town fans but being good means adjusting. Last year was kind of a perfect storm with the schedule and travel, this year is more subdued and matchups like New Orleans and Houston probably won't be as good looking with Brees likely retiring and Watson going somewhere else. If you like 1:00 pm football I would expect more then half the season will be back to that this year. Looking at this past year season the Titans had three primetime games heading into this last season and the Texans had the opening season game, Thanksgiving, and a 4:25 Ravens game. I used those two as examples for comparison considering the Titans played in the AFC Title and the Texans have a stud in Watson. The Bills have at this point more marquee players then either of those teams and do allure better so I would think they get a little more glimmer. Additionally Buffalos three division opponents give the Bills the NYC, Boston, & Miami markets for viewership compared to the AFC South which has Houston, Nashville, Jacksonville, & Indy. Not exactly murders row of big markets by comparison in the AFC South. I do think the Bills have a decent shot at playing the opener, but they do generally gravitate to conference teams facing off. Dallas will be high to open against TB and if Carolina gets Watson I could see them taking the game.

 

I am not going to do a full schedule prediction but here is where I categorize odds of prime time game:

 

Primetime Games (meaning TNF, SNF, or MNF):

  • Tampa Bay (SNF)
  • Indianapolis (MNF)
  • Miami (TNF)

 

4:00-4:25

  • Kansas City 
  • New York Jets * If they draft a QB or get Watson

 

Saturday Flex game:

  • Tennessee

 

The rest of the games I would expect to be 1:00 pm. I wouldn't be totally shocked if the Bills play the Patriots on primetime considering they have for the last 3 years, but unless the Patriots make a marquee move it does seem their shine has finally wore off and they will finally get a reduction in sun.

 

31 minutes ago, corta765 said:


I don’t think the NFL cares as much anymore. This last year with the lack of CFB showed how much more they can gain. Even if it’s just one game the potential is there

 

A couple comments.  The Bills Tampa game is in Tampa so likely also a CBS game, not Fox In recent year there are some out of conference not held on CBS when road team and Fox when road team, but not many, and usually they involve the early 1:00 games .  The late games usually follow the rules so likely will be on CBS. Only likely Fox games would be Atlanta, and Carolina

 

As has been pointed out, won't be any early Saturday games because of college.   It's not whether the NFL cares, it's whether that are allowed and don't believe the networks would go along with that.  And if the NFL did, by 2022 they'd be college games all day Sunday on ESPN, ABC and NBC, something the NFL doesn't want to get into a war over.

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KC is west of themississippi

 

 

There is a pattern to the prime time games....things on are

 

1 playoff  rematches, especially if it’s of the championship game or the super bowl

 

2. positional match ups among first places teams, 6 in each conference, 8 inter league .  Expect 4 of them in prime time, 4 in 425

3 division rivals. Likely see 3 per division in prime time.

4. With division match ups use afc east vs nfc south an examp,e. You have buf/ Mia at Tb/no.  Expect one at 425 and other in prime time. Up and coming teams will get some games early or late. Early they are still playing fir something, Kate can get flexed.  Some to see involve teams like Chargers who can make a jump into the playoffs talk.

 

5.the delay in schedule had to do with some late player movement.  If you have all the moves done by mid March the schedule will be done.  They already have an idea of what the 70+ or so featured games will be outside of a couple due to players moving like Brady.

 

 

 

 

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Bills prime time or 425 games

 

at bucs

dolphins game on mnf at home 

at chiefs

thursday night game could be at jets game depending on what they do.  
Indy game late season song that could get flexed out.
 

the nets/giants and chargers/Rams will get more Monday or Thursday games due to shared stadium.

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8 hours ago, TBBills said:

Who would pass up a future Super Bowl matchup Bills vs Bucs?

 

 

 

Not pass up but TV networks can protect certain games for their 4pm spot. Everyone will want Bills Bucs or Bills Chiefs. CBS has the ability to protect at least one and say we are keeping it for 4pm Sunday.

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12 minutes ago, JMF2006 said:

1 pm Sundays at home are fine with me :)

 

Sundays at 1:00 is my favorite time for a Bills game to start. The problem is if the Bills have 16 of them then they suck again. Having a bunch of primetime games is a great thing since that means the Bills are good. 

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Just now, Greg S said:

 

Sundays at 1:00 is my favorite time for a Bills game to start. The problem is if the Bills have 16 of them then they suck again. Having a bunch of primetime games is a great thing since that means the Bills are good. 

 

They can all be road games ;) 

 

1 pm at the Ralph is my idea of good time on Sundays from Sept until January ;) 

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17 minutes ago, JMF2006 said:

 

They can all be road games ;) 

 

1 pm at the Ralph is my idea of good time on Sundays from Sept until January ;) 

 

I agree with you 100%. 1:00 games are great. Get to the stadium and tailgate all morning. Watch the game and then you get home at decent hour. My guess is the Bills will get four primetime games when the schedule comes out in April. Some of them will be at home. Getting to the stadium on a work or school day can be a hassle. Getting home late and having to wake up early the next day for work/school is not fun. Have to get used to it with the Bills being a very good team.

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1 hour ago, Greg S said:

 

I agree with you 100%. 1:00 games are great. Get to the stadium and tailgate all morning. Watch the game and then you get home at decent hour. My guess is the Bills will get four primetime games when the schedule comes out in April. Some of them will be at home. Getting to the stadium on a work or school day can be a hassle. Getting home late and having to wake up early the next day for work/school is not fun. Have to get used to it with the Bills being a very good team.

 

The good news is the Bills do make a priority to have home games be at 1:00 pm if possible. They know with many fans driving 1-2 hrs from all over it is the best possible time and they do understand people want to tailgate. Last season the Bills would've had 6 1:00 pm games with KC TNF and PIT SNF. I think people were really exciting with the two night games they got and the rest 1:00 pm games. Given this years schedule is lighter opponents I would expect potentially just one night game with the other two or three primetime games being on the road. Only IND-PIT sticks out as a real draw on night at this point although MIA has some clout and a TNF game isn't impossible either.

 

I live in Rochester so 1:00pm games are a must but I don't mind a game or two that is late.

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23 hours ago, corta765 said:

Well we are on to a new year and I have a few early tidbits for people to know and a general bracket guess at what next year could look like. Before I get into the Bills matchups here are a few things people need to understand when it comes the schedule and how games are put on primetime, 4pm, and many Bills fans favorite 1 pm games.

  • TV networks have the ability to protect certain games which impacts what games end up as a primetime vs which are 4pm. The 4pm slots are big for FOX and CBS to the point CBS made a point of keeping the Dallas - PIT game this past season at 4 pm despite how much the game was wanted for SNF or MNF etc..
  • With the TV deals being reupped there is a lot of talk that MNF games will see a better schedule of competition rather then SNF seemingly always getting the marquee game. The NFL stopped with the stupid divisional format on Thursday Night Football (TNF) which made for better more watchable games compared to the prior years. BUF-KC was a TNF game until the COVID mess with the Titans forced the game to Monday. 
  • What that means is that while BUF-KC may seem like a shoe in for a night game, it is very possible CBS protects it as a marquee 4:00 pm game. The same could be said for FOX with the Bucs - Bills. I doubt both happen but that is a real factor in schedule making.
  • With the TV deals probably adjusting some of the matchups don't be surprised if you see more games flexible compared to previous years. The NFL really cares about its ratings and they will do a lot at the expense of fans and teams to accommodate that.
  • Expect to see a few more games earlier in December. The NFL has had success having games on Saturdays in December and I would not be surprised if it starts as early as the beginning of December now.
  • The NFL may be adding a 17th game now that the CBA has been approved. If the 17th game is added this year it will have the AFC-NFC take on a team in the cross conference that placed the same as them. For the Bills because we played the NFC East in 2019 we would get Washington as our 17th game as they finished 1st and so did we. This will create a few more high profile games in the schedule and in the future allow for some more fun matchups that we normally had to wait every 4 years for.
  • The actual NFL schedule goes through 6-7000 versions before the NFL settles on one they like. The NFL does try to balance the schedule in terms of home and away matchups. For insistence the Bills opened on the road in 2018 and 2019 while opening at home last year. Before that Buffalo had flipped home/away since 2012. It isn't perfect but the league does make an effort.
  • The last 2 seasons you could say that the Bills benefited from a nice schedule with the NYC back to back opener in 2019 before being at home for five of the next six games and in 2020 getting five home games in the first 9 plus a later bye week.
  • Speaking of the bye week Buffalo has not ever had the dreaded week 4 bye week. In 2004 the Bills had a week 3 bye week (yikes), but since then the earliest Buffalo has had a bye is week 6. Last year the Bills had a bye week in week 10 so odds are it will be earlier. On a weird/good luck note both times the Bills had byes in week 6 on McD they made the playoffs (2017 & 2019).
  • The schedule is typically not released until the end of April right before the draft. With COVID I could see it being delayed later so the NFL has time to make some decisions, but that is generally when it comes out.
  • The Bills took on both West Coast divisions last season, but this year they do not travel past the Mississippi River with the furthest game being in KC.
  • The Bills have been a very good draw nationally the last two years and currently are a favorite across the league for many casual fans.

 

OK with all of that said I have some early guesses and these thoughts... we are in a whole new world with the Bills winning the division and making the AFC title game. The Bills played in five prime time games last year (TEN, KC, SF, PIT, SF & NE), six if count the Saturday Denver game. Additionally Buffalo also played two games at 4:00 pm (LV & ARZ). Half of the Bills schedule were not 1:00 pm games (granted with so many West Coast games primetime made sense) and I would not be surprised if the Bills are on 3-4 primetime games with a late Saturday showdown that they are one of the games able to be plugged in plus a 4:00 pm start. When you win and consistently win you get a lot more attention and non 1:00 pm games. The Bills do prefer to have more 1:00 pm games for out of town fans but being good means adjusting. Last year was kind of a perfect storm with the schedule and travel, this year is more subdued and matchups like New Orleans and Houston probably won't be as good looking with Brees likely retiring and Watson going somewhere else. If you like 1:00 pm football I would expect more then half the season will be back to that this year. Looking at this past year season the Titans had three primetime games heading into this last season and the Texans had the opening season game, Thanksgiving, and a 4:25 Ravens game. I used those two as examples for comparison considering the Titans played in the AFC Title and the Texans have a stud in Watson. The Bills have at this point more marquee players then either of those teams and do allure better so I would think they get a little more glimmer. Additionally Buffalos three division opponents give the Bills the NYC, Boston, & Miami markets for viewership compared to the AFC South which has Houston, Nashville, Jacksonville, & Indy. Not exactly murders row of big markets by comparison in the AFC South. I do think the Bills have a decent shot at playing the opener, but they do generally gravitate to conference teams facing off. Dallas will be high to open against TB and if Carolina gets Watson I could see them taking the game.

 

I am not going to do a full schedule prediction but here is where I categorize odds of prime time game:

 

Primetime Games (meaning TNF, SNF, or MNF):

  • Tampa Bay (SNF)
  • Indianapolis (MNF)
  • Miami (TNF)

 

4:00-4:25

  • Kansas City 
  • New York Jets * If they draft a QB or get Watson

 

Saturday Flex game:

  • Tennessee

 

The rest of the games I would expect to be 1:00 pm. I wouldn't be totally shocked if the Bills play the Patriots on primetime considering they have for the last 3 years, but unless the Patriots make a marquee move it does seem their shine has finally wore off and they will finally get a reduction in sun.

 

Dude, I gave you a thumbs up for the effort alone.

 

Heck, you came close to being the first guy in the history of the internet to run out of ink!

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