While the bulk of the 2023 NFL schedule releases later tonight at 8 p.m. EDT, individual matchups have begun to trickle out by the media. We know now that the Buffalo Bills will face the New York Jets under the MetLife lights of Monday Night Football in Week 1 per ESPN Bills reporter Alaina Getzenberg.
This news comes less than a day after learning the Bills will “host” the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.
The Bills will open the season on Monday Night Football at the New York Jets.— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) May 11, 2023
Quarterbacks Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers will square off at 8:15 p.m. EDT, with the game airing on ESPN. This will be the first time the Bills open their season playing on Monday Night Football since 2009.
Buffalo Bills football has become a popular primetime ticket. The team has found a great deal of regular-season success since the arrival of head coach Sean McDermott, who coached the team to a playoff birth as a rookie head coach — snapping a 17-season drought for the franchise with no playoff appearances. When general manager Brandon Beane joined the team, McDermott and he helped usher in a new era of confidence at One Bills Drive and among the fan base. The ascendance of quarterback Josh Allen and arrival of Stefon Diggs helped cement what has become one of the hottest teams in the league, which also boasts one of the best overall defensive units in the NFL.
But 2023 is a new season, and anything can happen. What matter most is what happens next. That begins in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. The unrelenting talk all offseason about if and when quarterback Aaron Rodgers would leave the Green Bay Packers to rescue the Jets came to a head shortly before the 2023 NFL Draft. Rodgers is now a Jersey boy, and enjoying all the fruits of his head-clearing darkness retreat that led him to playing across the river from The Big Apple. But make no mistake, for as cringe-worthy as much of the drama was surrounding the future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, he can still play with the best of them — regardless of his age. And we’re going to learn out of the gate just how he fits in with the Jets.
The Bills last opened their season on Monday Night Football back in 2009, in a road game in Foxborough, MA that most of Bills Mafia will recall thanks to one unfortunate fumble very late in the fourth quarter. Buffalo was a plucky underdog who gained a modicum of league-wide respect that fateful evening in facing a returning Tom Brady and the juggernaut Patriots.
The hype surrounding the Jets is at a fever pitch. Super Bowl talk, before their new-look team has even logged a single practice together. It remains to be seen just how well those practices will go in determining the lead-up line. The Bills will enter MetLife stadium looking to remind the Jets which team has won the AFC East the past three seasons, and ready to avenge a troublesome injury that threw a monkeywrench in Josh Allen’s 2022 NFL season. Though the field may be green, this isn’t golf and points matter differently. One of Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers must find a way to exploit the other team’s defense to secure an important divisional victory in Week 1.
If you want a mini-example of what ESPN/ABC airing a Super Bowl will be like, the promotion leading up to this game will give you a slice. https://t.co/RaKrIlTlR9— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 11, 2023
ESPN execs lobbied hard for this game.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 11, 2023
Last year they had Russell Wilson in Week One against Seattle. That game drew 19.85 million viewers, which is a big number for MNF.
This game obviously has similar big viewership potential. https://t.co/SOlAl2W81K