OPINION: Bills have very favorable 2021 schedule

Buffalo should be able to remain atop the AFC East

There are a lot of things to like about the Buffalo Bills' 2021 schedule, which was released last night as part of the league-wide reveal.

In no particular order, here are a few things to point out:


I like the fact the Bills have three out of four games at home to open the season. That can help the Bills get off to a quick start.

Starting 4-0 last season sparked the Bills to a great year, and a similar start puts immediate pressure on the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New York Jets. The one road game is against Miami, and even if the Bills should lose that, they can still be 3-1 by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team and Houston Texans at home.


The Bills are also at home for three of the final four games. If the Bills are in a race for the division or even fighting for the No. 1 seed in the conference, it should be an advantage to be at home down the stretch.

The three opponents are also very winnable games against the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and the Jets.


I knew the Bills would get multiple prime-time games, but there are still 11 Sunday 1 p.m. ET matchups, and the old school fan in me loves those slots. There might be a 12th game on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, depending on what happens with the Carolina game in Week 15.

As far as prime-time games, I thought the Bills would get the maximum number of five games. I figured the game in Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers would be at night. Instead, it is in the 4:25 p.m. ET national television window.


Some fans might be disappointed there is only one home night game, but the better opponents, in terms of television ratings and appeal to the networks, were road games like the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Buccaneers.


I'm not a fan of the Bills playing on Thanksgiving Day, even though that turned out to be a very memorable game for the Bills two years ago against the Dallas Cowboys. The biggest problem will be trying to stay awake long enough to reach the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff.


The Bills caught a nice break when it comes to the two key home games in the division.

When they play Miami on Oct. 31, they will be coming off the bye week. When New England is here for the "Monday Night Football" game on Dec. 6, the Bills will have gotten some extra rest since their previous game is the Nov. 25 affair in New Orleans.


The Bills will play three teams coming off their own "Thursday Night Football" appearance and possibly benefiting from extra rest. Luckily for the Bills, those three teams are Washington, Houston and the Jets. Nothing worth freaking out over.


The toughest stretch of the schedule is Weeks 11 through 14. The Bills are home for the Indianapolis Colts (who I think will win the AFC South), have the short week and Wednesday plane flight to play the Saints on Thanksgiving night, then come home to face the Patriots before a trip to Tampa Bay and a game with their personal tormentor, Tom Brady.


All in all, it adds up to a 14-3 record, in my humble opinion.

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