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Buffalo Bills catch some breaks with 2022 NFL schedule

The Bills lead the league in an important category: net rest edge

The Buffalo Bills enter the 2022 NFL season as the Super Bowl favorites in Las Vegas, and the Bills will have plenty of chances to show why thanks to a schedule that features a league-high five primetime games, with the possibility for more.

They open the season on Thursday Night Football against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, then host the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 on Monday Night Football for the home opener.

Buffalo also welcomes Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to Buffalo for a Week 8 Sunday Night Football clash, travels to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving in Week 12, and plays on Monday Night Football in Week 17 against the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.

While the Bills won’t be lacking for national exposure in the 2022 season, the NFL’s schedule makers did Buffalo a big favor when it put together its schedule for the upcoming season.

In research conducted by Warren Sharp, who runs Sharp Football Analysis, the Buffalo Bills have the largest net rest edge among all 32 NFL teams this year. Net rest takes into consideration how many days in between games a team has to prepare for its next contest compared to how many off days their opponent has that week.

Sharp also factored in whether a team was playing a week after a road game on a Sunday or Monday night, whether they were playing on the road on a short week, and whether they had a stretch of four games separated by 17 games.

This year, the Bills have a net rest advantage of 12 days, the largest of all 32 teams (the Green Bay Packers are worst with a -12 net rest). For context, last year’s Super Bowl representatives were the Rams (+9) and the Cincinnati Bengals (+11).

According to Sharp, Buffalo’s net rest advantage comes because, in addition to their standard bye in Week 7, the Bills:

“Play three games on Thursday which translate into two separate mini-byes. They have a mini-bye leading into a home game vs the Titans in Week 2. They then play on Thanksgiving Week 12 vs the Lions (both teams have just 3 days rest entering this game) but then play the Patriots the following Thursday in Week 13, who also played on Thanksgiving. So neither team is at rest disadvantage for that Week 13 game. However, the Bills Week 14 game vs the Jets is preceded by that mini-bye. So there are two +3 rest edges. Buffalo also plays the Chiefs in Week 6 on standard rest, but the Chiefs are off a MNF game in Week 5, thus the Bills have a one-day rest edge. Buffalo does play two Monday night games and have a one-day rest disadvantage in their next game.”

During the 2021 NFL season, Sharp said teams with a rest edge of three or more days won 59% of their games (33-23-1). Going back to the 2015 season, teams in that scenario won 53.8% of the time.

In a sport where injuries are commonplace and staying healthy is key to long-term success, the Bills appear to have caught a break with their 2022 schedule.