In 2020, the Bills accomplished something they hadn’t done since the 1990s. They were able to put together more than 10 consecutive winning seasons and emerged with their first playoff victory since ’95. Josh Allen was a big part of the team’s 13-3 stellar campaign and helped guide the team to the AFC Championship Game, where they ultimately fell to two-time reigning AFC champions, Chiefs.
The future is certainly bright for the Bills. Allen played at an MVP level for most of last year. They have strong leadership with Sean McDermott as the head coach. The team’s front office is also among the best, and has done a lot to strengthen the team and add depth during the 2021 NFL offseason. That should improve your chances of being a Super Bowl contender once again.
That said, their path to the AFC Championship Game won’t be as easy in 2021 as it was in 20. The Bills now have something of a goal on their back, and they also have to face a first-place schedule. Buffalo is still talented and they should be the favorites to win the AFC East, but depending on how the Bills’ schedule plays out, they could have some trouble against competition from the top echelon of their 17-game roster.
Here’s a full breakdown of the Bills’ schedule for 2021, including dates, start times, and analysis for all 17 games.
Buffalo Bills 2021 Schedule
The Bills schedule will be released as part of the NFL schedule on Wednesday, May 12 at 8 pm ET. These are the teams that are scheduled to play during the 2021 NFL season.
|Atlanta Falcons||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Carolina Panthers||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Houston Texans||Miami dolphins|
|Indianapolis Colts||New England Patriots|
|Miami dolphins||New Orleans Saints|
|New England Patriots||New York Jets|
|New York Jets||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Tennessee Titans|
|Washington football team||–|
The Bills were able to benefit from a strong start to the season in 2020, earning four straight wins en route to a 13-3 season. They faced the Jets, Dolphins and Raiders in three of their first four games, and while the Dolphins and Raiders ended up having solid seasons, the Bills were lucky to get each team before they got into their rhythm.
Down the stretch, the Bills also benefited from facing the teams after, or when, the wheels began to roll for them. In Weeks 13-16, the Bills faced the 49ers led by Nick Mullens, the Steelers in a short week after their 11-game winning streak was snapped, and both the Broncos and Patriots as their quarterback problems drove them out of the postseason run. That was part of what led them to a 5-0 finish on the year.
Of course, that’s not to say the Bills had a cupcake schedule. They played tough teams and scored some exciting victories thanks to improved solid defense by Allen and McDermott. That’s what allowed them to get into the playoffs and drop 56 on the Dolphins in what was a must-play Week 17 game for their divisional rival.
The Bills’ schedule at 21 doesn’t look too bad for them overall. They have some tough road games against three playoff teams from last season, but they can also play five warm-weather / dome teams in Buffalo. That could bode well for them depending on the weather on those Buffalo game days.
Schedule force invoices
When looking at the records for at least a year, the Bills’ schedule doesn’t seem too difficult. They face teams that had a combined record of 130-142. That makes him a 0.478 force on the schedule scoreboard, which is ranked 23rd in the NFL.
Of course, some of the teams on the agenda for them are destined to improve. Within the division, the Patriots and Jets should improve after selecting first-round quarterbacks and adding talent in free agency and the draft, and with an extra year under their belt, Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins could threaten the Los Angeles. Bills and get some wins.
More difficult tests: The Bills have an overwhelming road schedule this year, and that could limit their overall upside potential. They have four road contests that could be especially challenging. In particular, their games against last year’s Super Bowl contestants the Bucs and Chiefs could prove difficult, as the Chiefs were able to beat them by double figures in the playoffs, while the Bucs could make them one-dimensional if their career defense is once again among the best in the league.
Traveling to the Superdome to face the Saints won’t be easy either. New Orleans may be rebuilding, but the Saints have one of the best hometown crowds in the league. Playing the Patriots on the road isn’t easy either, and after dropping both games to the Bills last year, Bill Belichick will seek revenge on that one.
Great getaways: The Bills have a big advantage in the local weather in Buffalo. So, given that the team faces five teams that are used to warmer weather and play domes (the Colts, Dolphins, Falcons, Panthers and Texans), that could work in their favor.
Of the contests on his schedule, that game against the Texans looks very palatable to the Bills. They will be able to face a team led by Deshaun Watson and not much else, or Tyrod Taylor or Davis Mills will be leading the team. Either way, that list is not good, they are a dome team and they come to Buffalo. There is no certain victory in the NFL, but it seems the closest thing to one you can find.
Bottom line: Buffalo’s schedule is a bit mixed this year. For one thing, her schedule at home is not very difficult. Could the Colts and Steelers be tough tests? Sure, but the rest of the show isn’t that bad. Washington, another first-place team last year on the Bills’ schedule, had a losing record.
On the other hand, this year’s road games will be very difficult for Buffalo. It’s easy to imagine them having trouble with the Bucs, Chiefs, Patriots, and Saints because of how difficult those teams are to play and their home stadium environment. In addition to those four, they have two more division games against the Dolphins and Jets, and those could prove more difficult than expected.
Still, the Bills should be the favorites to win the AFC East again. They have the best roster in the division and they did well to add depth in the trenches during the 2021 NFL Draft. With a tougher schedule, it may be a bit more difficult for them to get wins compared to last year, but they are prohibitive favorites in the AFC East.
Record prediction: 12-5
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.