Buffalo Bills schedule 2022: 5 prime-time games, including league opener in L.A.

Buffalo Bills schedule 2022: 5 prime-time games, including league opener in L.A.

The regular-season path for one of the most anticipated Bills seasons in franchise history has been set. The Bills are seen as legitimate Super Bowl contenders by everyone around the league, and the NFL schedule-makers agreed.

They’re already confirmed for five prime-time games, starting with the league’s opening night on Thursday, Sept. 8, in Los Angeles against the defending champion Rams. The Bills also will play two other games on “Monday Night Football” against the Titans and Bengals, a Sunday night game against the Packers, a Thursday night game against the Patriots and a Thanksgiving afternoon showcase against the Detroit Lions.

Here is the Bills’ schedule in full, some takeaways and a very early prediction of how it will unfold.

Bills 2022 schedule

WEEK DATE OPPONENT TIME

1

Sept. 8

at Rams

8:20 p.m. ET

2

Sept. 19

7:15 p.m. ET

3

Sept. 25

at Dolphins

1 p.m. ET

4

Oct. 2

at Ravens

1 p.m. ET

5

Oct. 9

1 p.m. ET

6

Oct. 16

at Chiefs

4:25 p.m. ET

7

BYE

8

Oct. 30

8:20 p.m. ET

9

Nov. 6

at Jets

1 p.m. ET

10

Nov. 13

1 p.m. ET

11

Nov. 20

1 p.m. ET

12

Nov. 24

at Lions

12:30 p.m. ET

13

Dec. 1

at Patriots

8:15 p.m. ET

14

Dec. 11

1 p.m. ET

15

Dec. 17/18

TBD

16

Dec. 24

at Bears

1 p.m. ET

17

Jan. 2

at Bengals

8:30 p.m. ET

18

Jan. 7/8

TBD

Week 1 keys to victory

Playing in the league’s season opener, for the whole world to see, as the Rams celebrate their Super Bowl season will be another challenge for the Bills. Recently under coach Sean McDermott, they have done quite well in those big-pressure regular-season games when most everyone expects them to lose. They’ll need to brush aside the emotions and contend with a Rams team that has the talent to repeat. Defending the Rams’ zone-running scheme will be paramount for the Bills as it helps set up L.A.’s excellent play-action passing attack. The Bills have struggled in run defense and will get a difficult early test.

Must-watch game: at Chiefs, Week 6

Could it be any other game? The last time these teams played, the “13 seconds” game in the AFC divisional round, it was one of the best playoff battles in league history. Bills-Chiefs was an all-time classic that featured lead changes, huge plays, last-second heroics and a dramatic ending. Anytime a game can be identified by only a couple of words, bringing up a flood of emotions from the fans, it will be remembered for a long time. Since then, some things have changed with the teams taking different offseason approaches.

The Bills have taken another step forward by increasing the talent of their starting lineup, though the Chiefs may have taken a minor step back by trading away star receiver Tyreek Hill. Either way, Josh Allen and the Bills know Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs are one of the biggest teams standing in their way to the Super Bowl. This will be the Bills’ fourth annual trip to Kansas City, so they’re accustomed to playing at Arrowhead Stadium.

Toughest stretch: Weeks 3-6

The Bills will face four potential AFC playoff teams in a row, three of them on the road. It starts with a September trip to Miami against an improved Dolphins team, likely in hot weather, followed by a road game against the Ravens, one home game against an excellent Steelers defense and then back on the road against the archrival Chiefs. There may not be a more formative stretch on the Bills’ schedule for playoff positioning and tiebreakers than those four weeks.

Game that has gotten tougher: at Ravens, Week 4

The Ravens missed out on the postseason last season, but it’s hard to fault them given their adversity. Injuries defined their season as they lost almost their entire backfield early in the year and then star quarterback Lamar Jackson down the stretch. Expect the Ravens to be back in a big way this season. They have the look of an AFC contender, and given their rare run-first style, the Ravens will test the Bills on both sides of the ball as they did in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Game(s) the Bills can’t afford to lose: vs. Jets, weeks 9 and 14

The easy answer would have been the Bears or Lions based on their rosters, but a loss to them would have no bearing on initial tiebreaking scenarios for the postseason. Instead, this goes to the team the Bills should beat in the AFC above all their other opponents. The Jets have done many things right this offseason and drafted well, but they’re likely a year away from becoming an impact team in the AFC East. When you consider the Bills’ Super Bowl goals, having two divisional and conference victories in hand could mean everything to the Bills, potentially getting a first-round bye or home-field advantage in the postseason.

Best offense the Bills will face: Bengals (Week 17)

Though the Chiefs might gave up one of their top receiving targets, the Bengals have only fortified their passing offense as Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins will work as one of the most exciting trios in the league. They invested heavily in their offensive line this offseason and still have Joe Mixon, one of the better running backs in the league. The late-season prime-time showdown should be a lot of fun between two dynamic offenses.

Best defense the Bills will face: Packers (Week 8)

Everyone looks at the Packers as Aaron Rodgers’ team, but their defense might be the most significant reason for their success in 2022. They have excellent players at every level in defensive lineman Kenny Clark, edge rushers Preston Smith and Rashan Gary and cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes, to name a few. And they added two extremely talented Georgia players in the first round in defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt and linebacker Quay Walker. If the Packers are healthy in Week 8, it should be a fun battle between a talented defense and a top-notch Bills offense.

Predicted record: 13-4

Although there are some daunting games on the schedule, the Bills quite possibly have the most talented roster in the NFL, and most of those players have been together for years. Their schedule is set up for them to make a late run as they should beat most of those teams. The 2022 season has the potential to yield one of the best regular seasons in franchise history.

Predicted AFC East finish: First

1. Bills. 2. Dolphins. 3. Patriots. 4. Jets. Although the Dolphins made a big offseason move that will put them in playoff contention and pass the Patriots in 2022, they are still a cut below the Bills. Unless the wheels fall off, the Bills will take the AFC crown for the third season in a row and secure at least one home game in the postseason. Over the last two years, the Bills are a dominant 11-1 in the division.

(Photo of Josh Allen: Joshua Bessex / Getty Images)


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