Buffalo Bills: Scheduling of opponents will be key to team’s success
By Jason Mattis
The Buffalo Bills have a tough slate of opponents in 2020 but the NFL can help with how the games are scheduled.
With the NFL set to announce the 2020 schedule by May 9th the Buffalo Bills will be hoping the league provides them some favorable matchups by the way they schedule the opponents. If the Bills get certain opponents at critical times it would greatly aide their chances of winning or at least make life easier for them. Life in the NFL is never easy, but hopefully the Bills can get these matchups at desired times.
Even though the Bills may not know when they are playing teams, they at least know who they are playing, which is listed below:
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HOME Opponents: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets
AWAY Opponents: Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets
The fact the Bills will have to take four trips to the Pacific or Mountain time zones is going to be a challenge but the team will be hoping two of those trips can be on back to back weekends. Teams in such scenario have sometimes spent the week in-between remaining on the west coast easing the travel on the players.
The benefit from that is increased recovery time for the players. NFL teams will make arrangements to stay at facilities that can replicate the type of care they can receive at home. The icing on the cake would be if the league adds the Broncos into this mix meaning there is a potential the Bills only have to travel west twice during the season as opposed to the potential maximum of four.
Many industry experts, including sportsbooks, believe the Bills will win the division. If that is the case then that also puts them in the running for home field advantage and a bye in the first round. Competition for that place will likely come from, among others, the Super Bowl defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. A best case scenario would be playing the Chiefs after a bye. Doing such would allow more time to prepare and player recovery before such a pivotal matchup of preseason conference favorites.
Five times in 2020 the Bills have the opportunity to face a rookie quarterback or a quarterback starting for the first time in his career. Ideally for the Bills those games would be early in the season against opponents like the Dolphins with Tua Tagovailoa, Chargers with Justin Herbert, and Patriots with Jarrett Stidham.
These teams won’t announce their starting quarterbacks by the time of the schedule release so the Bills will need luck on their side. With the Bills bringing back a top tier NFL defense it could certainly make for a long day for these young quarterbacks.
We’ll find out soon if the NFL does the Bills any favors.