The 2009 NFL Schedule is set to be released over the national networks tonight at 7 pm ET. The last few years, the anticipation of the schedule being released has been higher than normal for me and my friends, as we quickly peruse the schedule to find the one game in Buffalo that we will attend, and plan our trip in the days shortly after its release. We already know who we are playing in 2009:
Home - Houston, Indy, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, NE, NYJ, Miami
Away - Jacksonville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Carolina, Kansas City, NE, NYJ, Miami
The schedule looks daunting on paper. With NFC road opponents Carolina and Atlanta, and AFC non-divisional road opponents, Jacksonville, Tennessee and Kansas City, the road schedule seems especially intimidating for the 2009 Bills. In 2008 the Bills won at JAX, STL, KC and Denver, all teams that failed to reach the playoffs. The test will be much stiffer in 2009 with road opponents Tenn, Atlanta, Carolina and the Dolphins all playoff participants in 2008-2009.
The Bills 2009 home schedule features Houston, Indy, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Cleveland besides our AFC East counterparts. The Toronto game is speculated to feature New Orleans, Tampa Bay or Indy. That means that all of the Bills AFC East rivals will play in Orchard Park, a relief for all season ticket holders.
With the schedule coming out tonight. Let's get some banter going. How many primetime games do you expect? We already know the opener will be on MNF in New England. Will the Bills finally play on the NFLNetowrk on a Thursday night game? Who will the Bills face in Toronto and why? When will the bye be? Will the NFL diversify our AFC East schedule so it is equally divided throughout the 16 week season?
Personally, I hope the NFL gives the Bills another primetime game in Buffalo, I would love to see the Bills on NBC for Sunday Night Football. The Bills will face 6 AFC East games vs 3-4 fronts as well as 2 more when they play Cleveland and Kansas City. The rest will be against 4-3 fronts. Im most interested into when we play our AFC East rivals, as well as when our bye week is. With Lynch out for 3 games, possibly reduced to 2 or 1, let's hope week 2 features a home game vs a weaker opponent as my biggest fear for 2009, is a slow start, which raises the heat on Dick Jauron and Trent Edwards, and ultimately could halt the 2009 season before we ever get up and running.
Chime in folks! Today is the beginning of the 2009 Buffalo Bills, where hope gives us all reason to BILL-LIEVE!