We've known for the last four months who and where. Later tonight, we learn when the Bills play their 2015 opponents. The schedule release is a red-letter day in the offseason calendar, mostly because we start to get answers to the questions about how the season shapes up. Here are seven things to look for when the Bills schedule comes out tonight:
1. HOW MANY PRIMETIME APPEARANCES?
The Bills have made infrequent appearances in the primetime spotlight in recent years, but the hiring of a high profile coach like Rex Ryan and Buffalo's splashy personnel additions should change that.
The Bills have only appeared on prime time TV three times in the last three seasons, all of them on Thursday nights. In fact, in the last ten seasons, Buffalo has only played in prime time eight times. That includes one Sunday night game (vs. New England in 2007) and three games on Monday nights (the last one in 2009, the season opener at New England).
2. WHAT'S BEFORE AND AFTER THE LONDON GAME?
We know the Bills will play their first-ever regular season game in London on Sunday, October 25th against the Jaguars. But what about the week before and after the trip across the pond.
There have been five NFL games played at London's Wembley Stadium in the last two years. And all ten teams who played in London had their bye week the following week, to recover from the long trip. So you can pencil in the Bills 2015 bye for week eight, Sunday November 1st.
The week before the London game is a different story. Four of the ten teams who have played in London played a road game before the transatlantic trip. The other six had a home game. Of the four who were on the road the week before London, two of them were West Coast teams headed east (San Francisco at Tennessee last year, Oakland at New England in 2013). It will be interesting to see where the league puts the Bills the week before Wembley.
3. SUPER BOWL REMATCHES-WHEN AND WHERE?
More than 20-years after their Super Bowl run, the Bills still have scores to settle with the three teams that beat them in the big game. They'll get a chance this year.
The Bills will host the NY Giants and Dallas at Ralph Wilson Stadium in 2015, the teams that beat them in Super Bowls XXV, XXVII, and XXVIII. They travel to Washington to play the team that ruined their championship dreams in Super Bowl XXVI. Once the schedule comes out, you can start putting together your payback plan for the teams that spoiled Buffalo's Super Bowl dreams.
4. "NFC NORTH CHAMPS" TAKE ON THE NFC EAST
By going unbeaten against the Bears, Lions, Vikings and Packers, the Bills were the unofficial champs of the NFL North in 2014. This season, they take a crack at the Giants, Cowboys, Eagles and Washington as they try to extend their NFC dominance for another year.
5. YOU AGAIN?
For the eighth consecutive year, the Bills play the Chiefs in the regular season. When the schedule comes out, we'll find out when the Bills travel to KC. They've played the Chiefs in Orchard Park the last three years, after four consecutive visits to Arrowhead Stadium. The Bills have won four of the last seven times they've played Kansas City.
6. REX'S RETURN TO THE MEADOWLANDS?
After six eventful years in New York, Rex Ryan's return to New Jersey will be a major league-wide story, not just a Bills-Jets story. There already has been banter back and forth between Ryan and some of his former players. Needless to say, Ryan's first visit to MetLife Stadium will create some subplots and intrigue that will dominate the news cycle the week before the game.
7. REUNIONS EVERYWHERE!
Rex isn't the only one who will be looking at reunion stories this year. When the schedule comes out, we'll find out when LeSean McCoy heads back to Lincoln Financial Field to face his old Eagles teammates. And Tight End Charles Clay will return to Miami to play in the stadium where he spent his first four years in the league.