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2020 Buffalo Bills have most prime-time games since 1996

It’s been a generation since they had this much hype.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

It’s been nearly 25 years since a Buffalo Bills team had this much national hype. For the first time since 1996, the Bills have four prime-time games in 2020.

The Bills will play one game on Thursday Night Football, two on Monday Night Football, and one on the crown-jewel of the NFL’s weekly schedule with their Sunday Night Football spot. It’s the first time since the Sunday night games moved from ESPN to NBC in 2006 that the Bills have been scheduled into the season’s slate of SNF games.

In 2019, the Bills weren’t scheduled to play any prime-time games, but were eventually flexed into Sunday Night Football, where they clinched a playoff spot against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15.

In 1996, there were fewer national games, making the Bills’ four games even higher in profile. The Thursday night NFL games weren’t added until 2006. Buffalo went 1-3 in those games on their way to a 10-6 record in Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s final season. Current Bills quarterback Josh Allen was born in May of 1996, for reference.

Here’s the full slate of the night games:

In Weeks 5 through 17, the NFL has the opportunity to flex any game from Sunday afternoon to Sunday night, so there are more possibilities for prime-time contests, as well. Buffalo could also have a nationally televised game during Week 15. Their game against the Denver Broncos is one of the options to be flexed to Saturday.

Buffalo Bills’ 2020 NFL Schedule

Week Date Time (Eastern) Opponent Notes
Week Date Time (Eastern) Opponent Notes
Pre-1 Aug 14 7:30 p.m. @ Baltimore Ravens Baltimore had the best record in the NFL in 2019
Pre-2 Aug 21 7:00 p.m. ATLANTA FALCONS It's Buffalo's second trip to the new Mercedes-Benz stadium following a 23-17 win in 2017 regular season
Pre-3 Aug 29 4:00 p.m. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS Former Bills QB Frank Reich is the Colts' head coach
Pre-4 Sep 3 7:00 p.m. @ Detroit Lions The Bills vs Lions concludes preseason again
1 Sep 13 1:00 p.m. NEW YORK JETS Second striaght year it's Darnold vs Allen to open the season
2 Sep 20 1:00 p.m. @ Miami Dolphins Which QB will Buffalo be against?
3 Sep 27 1:00 p.m. LOS ANGELES RAMS Rams are in Philly the week before. Will they stay on the East Coast?
4 Oct 4 4:25 p.m. @ Las Vegas Raiders Buffalo's first-ever trip to Vegas
5 Oct 11 1:00 p.m. @ Tennessee Titans The Bills beat the Titans on their way to the playoffs in 2019
7 Oct 25 1:00 p.m. @ New York Jets Is this too early for an in-season Adam Gase firing?
8 Nov 1 1:00 p.m. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS Tom Brady owned the Bills; will his successor?
9 Nov 8 1:00 p.m. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS Only back-to-back home games on Buffalo's schedule
10 Nov 15 4:05 p.m. @ Arizona Cardinals How will WRs Stefon Diggs and DeAndre Hopkins perform for their new teams?
11 BYE
12 Nov 29 1:00 p.m. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS The Bills host former QB Tyrod Taylor and former coach Anthony Lynn
13 Dec 7 8:30 p.m. @ San Francisco 49ers MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
14 Dec 13 8:30 p.m. PITTSBURGH STEELERS The Bills clinched a playoff berth against the Steelers on Sunday Night football last December, too
15 Dec 19/20 TBD @ Denver Broncos NFL will decide which date it's on at a later time
16 Dec 28 8:30 p.m. @ New England Patriots THREE PRIME-TIME GAMES IN ONE MONTH??
17 Jan 3 1:00 p.m. MIAMI DOLPHINS Remember Week 17 in 2017? We do.
Playoffs TBD