Buffalo Bills to face tougher post-Thanksgiving schedule

(Photo by Michael Adamucci/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Adamucci/Getty Images) /

Once Thanksgiving has come and gone, the Buffalo Bills schedule will become much more difficult, and they need to find wins to make the playoffs.

Some footnotes related to Buffalo Bills history:

  • It was the year the Motorola StarTAC flip mobile phone went on sale taking in 60 million USD in sales.
  • “Don’t Speak”, by the alt-pop band No Doubt was number one on the Top 40 charts.
  • Red Bull energy drink became available in the United States.
  • Braveheart took home the Academy Award for Best Picture.
  • The Cowboys beat someone other than the Bills in the big show, defeating Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl

These were some arbitrary events from 1996. Ironically that happens to be the last year that the Bills were 8-3.

Another year worth mentioning…

  • Ace of Base did a lot of loitering at the top of the charts,
  • Nelson Mandela is elected the first president of South Africa.
  • Spice Girls release their debut single, “Wannabe”.
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect.
  • Ice skater Nancy Kerrigan is attacked by Tonya Harding’s bodyguard.
  • The Time Magazine Man of the Year was the Polish-born Pope and now canonized, John Paul II.
  • Forrest Gump was a highly watched motion picture. It was also trending as far as utilized movie quotes. “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Pump the brakes! Enough of 1994 already. That would be the last year the Bills played a Thanksgiving day game. They lost to the Detroit Lions in the old Pontiac Silverdome.

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills /

Buffalo Bills

The Dallas Cowboys have a curtailed week, having played the late game Sunday in Boston, then flew back to Dallas. The Bills played early Sunday, but travel to Texas on Wednesday.

Buffalo’s two-game lead over its four closest wildcard contenders might seem safe. However, the Bills remaining competition appears otherwise. The teams left on the Buffalo schedule have a winning percentage of .636.

Dallas, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New England, and the Jets really change that “easy schedule” appearance they have been told they were enjoying on the way to the 8-3 record.

9-7 most likely will not cut it this season, and if it does it would be getting into all of the tiebreaker scenarios that one would like to avoid after such a great start.

Where do they get two wins? I believe the Bills will make the playoffs. I do struggle to pick the two teams they beat with confidence.

Dallas is loaded with talent, at home on Thanksgiving where they are always in the spotlight. They are favored to win and the coach is on the hot seat.

Pittsburgh has a struggling offense, but their defense has been a takeaway machine. Baltimore is an all-around great team. Lamar Jackson may be the one seen in highlight clips, but no one will claim that he is carrying that team on his back like Russell Wilson is doing in Seattle.

New England is not a team fans ever pencil in for a win.  It is not impossible to beat them. The Bills have done it a couple of times this century. They played them extremely close earlier this season. That all said, beating them would be a huge accomplishment worthy of celebrating. I would not count on that game being where one of the needed wins comes from.

The Jets have won two in a row. They had missed their starting QB for several weeks due to mono. I would take the Bills in this game, but you can not expect the Jets to roll over. They could win some games between now and then. If not, playing spoiler would certainly keep them from running for the bus.

Buffalo would be in really good shape if they could sneak out a victory in Dallas. The current players are young. They are not haunted by the two Super Bowl losses to Dallas. They were not part of the team that picked off Tony Romo five times on a Monday night and still managed to lose to the Cowboys.

Not all fans can forget the past or at least separate it. This is new ownership. The front office did not build the great 90s teams and certainly was not responsible for the horrible playoff drought most of this century.

The culture is different. The playoff drought is over. The coaching staff is prepared and makes adjustments throughout the games totally changing advantages coming out of halftime. These players do not quit. These players have talent. They have depth.

This team can come from behind. This team can dominate on defense. The Bills can win in various ways. I say the following with multiple meanings. I reference the almost-a-dynasty teams as well as the playoff drought teams when I say: This is not your father’s Buffalo Bills Football team.