The Buffalo Bills schedule is officially here, which means it’s time for a schedule breakdown. We already knew who the Bills would play in 2021, but now, thanks to leaks around the web, we know the dates and times of each matchup. The Bills had a fantastic season last year, but will they be able to take the next step in 2021?
Buffalo Bills Schedule Breakdown
1. Kansas City Chiefs (Week 5)
The defending AFC champions are looking to come back with a vengeance this year after losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020-21 Super Bowl. The Bills put up a valiant effort against the Chiefs last regular season but were overmatched in the playoffs. The battle will be between Buffalo’s defense, made of returning veterans and young draft picks, and Kansas City’s revamped offensive line and their ability to protect Patrick Mahomes.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Week 14)
The defending Super Bowl Champions have managed to bring back their winning team while adding some pieces. Tom Brady has always played the Bills extremely tough, as seen from his time with the New England Patriots. This will be a battle of defenses, to see who can get to the others quarterback first.
3. Tennessee Titans (Week 6)
One of the Bills’ biggest weaknesses has been defending the run game, which the Titans have exploited with Derrick Henry. This will be a test to see if they’ve learned from their previous encounters, as well as having the ability to withstand physical attackers.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 1)
The Steelers’ draft selection of running back Najee Harris will automatically improve their running game. The return of Ben Roethlisberger and head coach Mike Tomlin brings back championship-caliber experience and knowledge that can be troublesome for any team. The Bills won their only meeting last season, but a healthy Roethlisberger will provide more of a challenge in Week 1.
5. New Orleans Saints (Week 12)
Things will be a lot different in New Orleans with the retirement of Drew Brees. However, they still have a strong offense with Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and a combination of Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. The Bills will need to match point for point against the Saints and try to use their blue-collar defense to stifle any possible rally.
6. Indianapolis Colts (Week 11)
The Colts had almost upset the Bills in the 2020 AFC Wild Card playoffs with their ability to find holes in the defense. A big part of that was the experience and ability of veteran quarterback Philip Rivers. Acquiring Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles gives them some stability at that position, but it remains to be seen if Wentz can regain his early form without being a turnover machine.
7. New England Patriots (Week 16)
Foxboro has always been a tough place for visiting teams to play, with the Patriots managing a 5-3 record last season. The Bills haven’t had a pleasant history at Gillette Stadium, so they will need to mentally prepare themselves for this away game. Still, life is easier without Tom Brady in Foxboro, which is why this game isn’t higher on the Bills schedule breakdown.
8. Miami Dolphins (Week 2)
The Dolphins season will all depend on the progress of Tua Tagovailoa and whether he takes the next step. Playing at home at Hard Rock Stadium should provide extra motivation for Tua to perform as well as the drafting of former college teammate Jaylen Waddle. Those two together will give the Bills defense headaches.
9. Miami Dolphins (Week 8)
Brian Flores has done a remarkable job of bringing the Dolphins back to respectability by building a top-six defense in the league. However, Tagovailoa is still a wild card at quarterback. With no Ryan Fitzpatrick to back him up this season, the Bills’ defense will be going hard after Tua.
10. New England Patriots (Week 13)
Cam Newton will have had a full year under Bill Belichick’s system and is now surrounded by offensive help he didn’t have prior. Mac Jones will be the biggest wild card for the team if he manages to take over the starting role. The Bills will get to see if all the acquisitions have gelled together, or if they still require time.
11. Washington Football Team (Week 3)
Fitzpatrick is getting a chance as a starter and has the ability to make plays when needed. Chase Young is their prize defensive end still on the rise. They are a competitive team who topped the NFC East and gave the Buccaneers a minor scare in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs. The Bills defense can get through the offensive line and sack Fitzpatrick, but the Bills offensive line will have to give Josh Allen room to work against Washington’s underrated defensive line.
12. Carolina Panthers (Week 15)
With the team taking a chance on Sam Darnold rejuvenating his career, the Panthers will be boom or bust. However, if running back Christian McCaffrey can stay healthy this season then the Panthers will present a competitive challenge against the Bills’. Darnold has been very hit or miss against Buffalo in the past.
13. Atlanta Falcons (Week 17)
The Falcons’ competitiveness will depend on if management trades star wide receiver, Julio Jones and how dominant tight end prospect Kyle Pitts will be. You know what you will get in Matt Ryan, a veteran quarterback who can the big throws but needs offensive support around him. The Bills’ are sometimes susceptible to the long throw/pass, so Ryan will be keeping the defense on its toes.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (Week 9)
The Jaguars have made a major overhaul of their roster with the drafting of franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne, the hiring of new head coach Urban Meyer, and a gamble on Tim Tebow. The Jaguars are in a similar situation to the New York Jets, but if Lawrence comes in and plays as Justin Herbert did, the Bills will need to stifle the long pass and double team receivers.
15. New York Jets (Week 10)
The Jets are definitely on the upswing with the hiring of Robert Saleh as head coach and the drafting of a potential superstar quarterback in Zach Wilson. However, the Jets have a lot of work to do to recover from their five years of losing and they will need to continue to add through the draft to do so. The Bills’ will need to adapt to a different style of Jets team.
16. New York Jets (Week 18)
Expect the Jets to bring out a more competitive and aggressive effort this upcoming season, with Saleh trying to create an identity for the team. The team still has a lot of holes to fill offensively and defensively that will take time. This is the type of team the Bills need to beat handily to be properly viewed as a Superbowl contender.
Houston Texans (Week 4)
We wrap up the Bills schedule breakdown with the frontrunner for the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Texans are in a state of flux currently, and it is unknown whether they will have their star quarterback available to them. Losing J.J. Watt on defense has taken away Houston’s identity, and it is unknown which path they will have to take. While Deshaun Watson can win them some games on his own if he plays, they are lacking in too many areas to stay out of the league’s basement this season. The Bills can dominate in all areas in this game.
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