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My 2021-22 Bills Schedule Prediction


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My favorite time of the year in the NFL has come in the offseason. Every year I predict the Bills schedule in terms of games, times, weeks, primetime etc.. I look at past seasons including the last time we played that NFC division as the NFL does base some TV decisions on what they did before to be fair to teams and TV partners. Next week on the 12th at 8:00 pm the NFL will be releasing the schedule and with fans back in full this year I know this is going to be the most anticipated season in really long time.

 

In regards to the schedule itself things should swing back to normal with how it is created. WGR's Sal C had a great interview with Mike North who is the VP of Schedule making in the NFL. Last season the NFL tweaked things where every team opened home or away with division opponents the first two weeks due to COVID incase things needed to be changed. The overall schedule itself was created with the ability to move entire weeks etc.. so it was not a normal year minus the division games finishing the season. Some highlights from the interview on how the schedule is created of interest to Bills fans are the following:

 

-Opening Night already draws a huge audience so going with a blueblood matchup like BUF-TB isn't necessarily the best move because you can save it for a week later in the season for a bigger audience then opening night as it already is higher in viewership

-Networks are all fighting for the big games like KC-BUF, KC-GB, NE-KC, so they absolutely are put in prime spots, but where those spots are can vary so the NFL is fair to its TV partners

-Sometimes matchups like NE-TB which already have a story are put earlier in the season as opposed to later when NE possibly could be out of it. That rings the same with NE-BUF where he said an early matchup could be on primetime where their is still intrigue

-On the flip side division games ending the season is the way to go and the NFL isn't moving away from that. He brought up the idea of NE coming to BUF or vise versa for a division show down to end the season on primetime

-The Bills have turned into a tent show that people want to see. People may like the 1:00 pm games out of convenience but now that the Bills are a draw get ready for a similar amount of attention this year with night games and prime spots

-There will be 17 games and the Bills will host Washington as the matchup is a Conference Cross Over based off where you finished in your division

 

OK with all of that said lets get to my schedule I made. For those wondering last year I got one week perfect (SF), two opponents correct (SF/MIA week2), quite few games a week off (Seattle week 8 I had week 7 for insistence), and in general was much closer then some years. Here is my prediction for 2021-22:

 

               Opponent            Time

Week 1    IND                      1:00 pm

Week 2   at NE                   Sunday Night Football

Week 3   ATL                      1:00 pm

Week 4   PIT                       Monday Night Football

Week 5   at JAX                  1:00 pm

Week 6   NYJ                     Thursday Night Football

Week 7         BYE

Week 8      at TB                   Monday Night Football

Week 9     MIA                     1:00 pm

Week 10    at NYJ                1:00 pm

Week 11    CAR                    1:00 pm

Week 12    at NOLA            4:25 pm

Week 13    at KC                  Sunday Night Football

Week 14    WSH                  1:00 pm

Week 15    HOU                   1:00 pm

Week 16    at TEN               Saturday Flex in Game 1 of 3

Week 17    at MIA                1:00 pm

Week 18    NE                      Potential to be SNF flex in game for division

 

I do think the Bills are in the conversation for opening night, but like Mike said I believe its a game the NFL saves for higher viewership later on. Additionally I think one of the Bears (drafting Fields) or Dallas (going to TB) will be the the opener as they both are strong markets. I think the NFL finally gives the Bills Chiefs the SNF viewing platform people have wanted. Buffalo has routinely done well in the Saturday flex window spot late in season and I see that happening again. The NE home game week 18 I can really see being viewed by TV partners as a battle of the division crown potentially and make it so it can be the closing SNF. I do not think that happens as I think the Bills are a game or two better then NE, but TV partners will view it otherwise. Technically the Bills are opening at home for a second straight year, but when you become a better team the NFL gives more wiggle room. The Bills have preferred 1:00 pm games as a franchise and this still maintains six of the nine games being at 1:00 pm with the NE finale the only when that could flex.

 

I have typed enough let me know what you think:

Edited by corta765
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4 minutes ago, Greg S said:

I think the league has a rule where a team can be on primetime 5 times max. 


I haven’t been able to find that in writing but I know they try to keep it around that. But with a 17th game that’s probably going to change a little.

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5 minutes ago, corta765 said:


I haven’t been able to find that in writing but I know they try to keep it around that. But with a 17th game that’s probably going to change a little.

 

The following quote is from an article talking about primetime games from last season.

 

Besides Tampa Bay, the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, and San Francisco 49ers are all maxed out with five primetime games. 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Greg S said:

 

The following quote is from an article talking about primetime games from last season.

 

Besides Tampa Bay, the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, and San Francisco 49ers are all maxed out with five primetime games. 

 

 

 

 

I'd probably switch the first NE to a 4:25 matchup then.

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2 minutes ago, Brennan Huff said:

I used to always want night games. Now that I’m old I prefer 1 pm games. 8:30 is my bedtime 

 

I feel you with that. December was really fun last year, but the entire month was non normal games. If I could have like 1 primetime game a month where it is spaced out I'm cool with that. It became quite intensive with late games last year haha.

5 minutes ago, Buffalo Timmy said:

I am hoping that the Jax game is weekend before Thanksgiving, that we get KC early and Jets early in year. I don't have any predictions just desires.

 

So the last time we played JAX was in 2018 and it was the Weekend of Thanksgiving. Generally the NFL likes to move games around if they were early/late and flip it. I also think with the newness of Trevor the Jags could be sneaky TNF game early on for someone like Buffalo or another big AFC team where you can use the newness of T-Law and the hype of the other team before things get bad losing wise for Jax.

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1 minute ago, BornAgainBillsFan said:

 

Doesn't the 1:00pm game cut into the Early Bird specials? LOL


Most Cracker Barrel’s open at 7 am. I can go get breakfast and squeeze in an episode of Matlock before kickoffs. They just don’t make quality programming like Matlock anymore 

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38 minutes ago, Greg S said:

I think the league has a rule where a team can be on primetime 5 times max. 

 

I don't believe the Thursday night games are considered prime time though.  Infact I believe they try to have every play one Thursday night game.

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1 minute ago, Ed_Formerly_of_Roch said:

 

I don't believe the Thursday night games are considered prime time though.  Infact I believe they try to have every play one Thursday night game.

 

It is a grey area kind of the way the Saturday December games are. The bigger thing I have seen is the NFL does try to keep a teams games to have at least half at 1:00 pm. Players and coaches prefer routine and 1:00 pm is the favorite by them, but the NFL does a lot for it TV Partners which I expect will only keep growing over the years.

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22 minutes ago, Brennan Huff said:


Most Cracker Barrel’s open at 7 am. I can go get breakfast and squeeze in an episode of Matlock before kickoffs. They just don’t make quality programming like Matlock anymore 

 

You're busy at 6pm for SURE.

 

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1 hour ago, corta765 said:

 

It is a grey area kind of the way the Saturday December games are. The bigger thing I have seen is the NFL does try to keep a teams games to have at least half at 1:00 pm. Players and coaches prefer routine and 1:00 pm is the favorite by them, but the NFL does a lot for it TV Partners which I expect will only keep growing over the years.

 

Also west coast teams tend to also end up with more 4:25 games just because that's a normal 1:00 start for them.  Kind of funny last year I expected the Bills to have more 4:25 starts with all the west coast games, but the San Fran ended up being a Monday night, and Arizona game ended up a week where Fox had doubleheader game.  Bills/Raiders game was the secondary game, but ended up getting bumped to main game due to Covid cancellation of other game.  This year no scheduled late starts due to time zone.

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I couldn't decide if I should try and predict the Bills schedule(knowing that the actual schedule will be released a week from today), or should I stare at the wall for a couple of hours?

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15 minutes ago, Ed_Formerly_of_Roch said:

 

Also west coast teams tend to also end up with more 4:25 games just because that's a normal 1:00 start for them.  Kind of funny last year I expected the Bills to have more 4:25 starts with all the west coast games, but the San Fran ended up being a Monday night, and Arizona game ended up a week where Fox had doubleheader game.  Bills/Raiders game was the secondary game, but ended up getting bumped to main game due to Covid cancellation of other game.  This year no scheduled late starts due to time zone.

 

I know we will get our share of primetime games probably 4 or 5, and I like the fact the Bills having been getting national attention, but 1:00 starts are still my favorite time for the Bills to play. 

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9 minutes ago, BTB said:

I couldn't decide if I should try and predict the Bills schedule(knowing that the actual schedule will be released a week from today), or should I stare at the wall for a couple of hours?

Predict it! I love reading schedule predictions, they get me excited for the season!

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