The upcoming 2014 NFL season has the Buffalo Bills face five teams that made the playoffs last year. Here is an overview of how the Bills schedule looks and the potential road blocks for the team.
Opponents win percentage in 2013: .500
Teams with winning records in 2013: 6
Teams with losing records in 2013: 5
Teams that made the playoffs in 2013: 5
Toughest away game opponent (Non-Divisional): Denver Broncos
Toughest home game opponent (Non-Divisional): Green Bay Packers
Out of the twelve teams that went to the playoffs in 2013, the Buffalo Bills will play all but two of them from the AFC. Included in this list are the two top seeds of the American Conference with the Denver Broncos and New England as well as two wild card teams in the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers. They will also meet a Packers team that has held the top spot in the NFC North for the last three years. To provide some perspective, last season’s schedule had the Bills facing five teams that ended up in the playoffs with the New England Patriots (twice), New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, and the Cincinnati Bengals ending up with a combine record of 1-6 against them.
This year, December will be the hardest test for the Bills, even more so if they are in playoff contention. Their only home game will be against the Green Bay Packers, a game that lands in between two trips to the West coast to Denver and Oakland. Then they finish off the month against division rival New England Patriots for a third straight year.
By far the easiest month for the Bills will come right before the toughest of their schedule. Fresh off the bye week, the Bills will face two divisional opponents in the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets but also get to play a Chiefs team they almost beat art season with a third string quarterback. This portion of the schedule also includes the Cleveland Browns, a team that as of now still doesn’t have a starting gun slinger behind center. A 3-1 record this month is possible, maybe even an undefeated November that could potentially catapult the Bills into the post season.
Although November is the softest part of their schedule, the Bills do have to deal with some issues. Buffalo will have a short week between the kansas City Chiefs and the prime time Thursday game against the division rivals Miami Dolphins. Ten days after primetime the Bills will face back to back home games against the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns. If the Bills can manage to to walk away with either of the first two games the extra time allotted to them for the home games could set them up for two more wins.
Plenty of talent has been added to the Bills roster and the coaching staff seems set for the challenge. If EJ Manuel makes some strides with his play and can actually put 16 games together, then a playoff run is within their grasp.
Best possible outcome for the Bills: 10-6 with 4-2 within their division and a Wild-Card . (Includes a very bold win prediction against Houston)
Worst possible case for the Bills: 4-12 with 2-4 within their division (Includes a bold loss to the Oakland Raiders.