The Buffalo Bills’ 2022 schedule came out nearly a week ago, and I’ve been sitting on some opinions, mainly because they aren’t very positive. It’s finally time for me to share those thoughts with you and see what you have to say.
1. Lamenting the loss of 1:00 PM Sunday
I’m a big fan of Sunday afternoon games. The regularity of it all is nice. I was never one complaining about national respect and all that. I get why they are on so many national windows—I like watching Josh Allen, too—but it just means I can’t plan my schedule around every Sunday afternoon. Even a shift from 1:00 PM Eastern to the late afternoon time slot works for me.
2. Maximum exposure
That was the term I used in the schedule release post, and it’s so accurate. The Thanksgiving game is one of the most-watched of the year and games against the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, and New England Patriots are sure to attract major eyeballs, too. The biggest prize is the Opening Night contest against the Super Bowl champs. Buffalo received the maximum number of primetime games and is on national TV more than anyone. It’s great for TV-watchers.
3. Road trips are disappointing
I can’t help but be negative about the road slate. I was really excited for the Chicago game, in particular. Putting it on Christmas Eve is literally the worst possible placement. Only once every eight years is there a game in Chicago, and this could be the last one at Soldier Field. Literally none of the road games are exciting. Monday night in January in Cincinnati, Miami in September, Los Angeles in September on a weeknight... Just no truly great road game option.
4. Home tailgate options are good, not great
There are some really great tailgating options, but too few of them. The October 9 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers should be great. The Packers game in late October is a night game, which means an all-day tailgate. Hopefully the weather is nice for the mid-November Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns games, but one more home game in September/October would have been nice. Instead we get a Monday night game, which means some folks will skip the tailgate altogether and just head over after work.
5. Three Thursdays
How many teams play three Thursday night games? The Cowboys did a year ago, playing on opening night before Thanksgiving and the week after. They are “America’s Team.” The Bills will only have one week of short rest despite all of those weird Thursday games, then they will have extended time before two games, too. It’s not a positive or a negative, exactly, just noteworthy.
6. Extra rest and prep time
The Bills have extra rest and prep time before several games. The Week 2 showdown against the Tennessee Titans is 11 days after the season opener. They have a bye before playing the Packers in October. When they do have a short week, it’s against the Detroit Lions who aren’t expected to be a tough out. Then they get an extra couple days in early December to rest up. Even coming off Christmas Eve Saturday, they play nine days later on Monday night. It won’t help head coach Sean McDermott build a routine, but it will help the players rest up.
7. The cost of a superstar QB and high expectations
We all saw the writing on the wall in the playoffs the last two years, and when Josh Allen moved into national TV commercials and skits on the NFL Honors show, it was just a matter of time. He’s the most exciting player in the NFL and an MVP candidate. He’s the guy we asked the football gods to send us. This schedule and the highs and lows are because of that dude and it’s a price we’ll gladly pay. Go Bills!