OPINION: Tough Bills schedule sets up well for team, fans

The NFL released its schedule for the 2023 season Thursday night

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - We always knew the Buffalo Bills would have a tough 2023 schedule based on the natural rotation of games and finishing in first place, once again, in the AFC East last year.

Now we know exactly when all of those games will be played, and I actually love it for them and their fans!

Considering the tough slate, it could have looked a lot different.

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What a great way to start the season: At MetLife Stadium, in front of a national prime-time audience, against Aaron Rodgers in his debut with the New York Jets.

With all of the talk surrounding the Jets this offseason, it's actually a great chance for the Bills to remind everyone who the three-time defending champions are of the division.

Emotion will be running deep for Jets fans and the nation, since the game will be played on Sept. 11, exactly 22 years after the New York City terrorist attacks.

It will be a tough environment, but a great challenge for the Bills.

For Bills fans looking to make the trip, the New York City area is a great place to be that time of year to enjoy the weather and the sites.

After that, there is only one true road game over the next five weeks, including the home opener against the Las Vegas Raiders. It will be against a Washington Commanders team in Week 3 that has a lot of question marks.

Buffalo will then have a big matchup against their division rival Miami Dolphins before their trip to London against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then instead of going on the bye, the Bills return to Orchard Park and welcome back Brian Daboll and his New York Giants in a Sunday night showdown.

Certainly not an easy stretch, but plenty of opportunity for the Bills to gain some momentum.

A game in New England against the Patriots will round out the first seven weeks, then the Bills will have hardly any 1 p.m. games for the rest of the season. While that doesn't sound ideal from a routine standpoint, it's because they'll have three night games in-a-row, including two at home against teams they should be better than, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos.

Following a home rematch with the Jets, the Bills will then travel to Philadelphia and face the NFC champion Eagles on Thanksgiving weekend. Both games are slotted in the late Sunday afternoon timeframe, and will be interesting and tough matchups.

The Bills get a great break with their bye week coming in Week 13, very late in the season during the first weekend of December.

To add to it, that will give them two full weeks to get ready to play the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City in, what could amount to, a humongous late-season AFC matchup.

The Dallas Cowboys visiting Buffalo in December probably isn't something they are looking forward to, but going out to Los Angeles to play the Chargers leading up to Christmas weekend is definitely something many Bills fans will be looking at.

That matchup with the Chargers on Saturday night could have big conference implications, but it will also get fans and the team back in Buffalo for Christmas Eve, and a chance to spend that night and Christmas Day, with their families, while other teams are playing.

New Year's Eve will be a bit different, with the Bills hosting the Patriots during the afternoon. However, it will be a great way to cap the year if they can beat Bill Belichick and co. It will also get everyone home in time to be able to go out and enjoy a New Year's celebration.

Finally, the Dolphins on the road to end the season has a lot of 2017 vibes when the Bills were there in the final week and won to end the playoff drought.

Hopefully this time around, that kind of drama just to get in won't be needed, but it's another warm weather city for fans to travel while it's colder in Western New York. And, of course, there could be a lot on the line for both teams in that one.

Follow me on Twitter: @SalSports

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