Top 9 things to know about Buffalo's 2019 opponents after free agency

Cleveland's Odell Beckham Jr. (top left), NY Jets' Le'Veon Bell (top middle), NY Giants' Saquon Barkley (top right), Denver's Joe Flacco (bottom left), Philadelphia's Carson Wentz (middle bottom), Pittsburgh's JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Cleveland's Odell Beckham Jr. (top left), NY Jets' Le'Veon Bell (top middle), NY Giants' Saquon Barkley (top right), Denver's Joe Flacco (bottom left), Philadelphia's Carson Wentz (middle bottom), Pittsburgh's JuJu Smith-Schuster.

In just a few weeks we’ll know when the Bills will be playing each of their 2019 regular season opponents with the NFL schedule expected to be released in the coming weeks. In preparation of the schedule release, here are some facts worth knowing for each of Buffalo’s opponents this fall.

1. OBJ IN ORANGE

The Bills were going to face Odell Beckham Jr. in 2019 regardless of whether he was traded, with the Giants on Buffalo’s schedule. But now OBJ will be wearing orange and brown instead of Giants blue following the blockbuster trade that sent him to Cleveland.

2. RING MY BELL

Le’veon Bell will be a matchup that happens twice a year for the Bills for the foreseeable future after he signed a four-year deal with the Jets. Bell last faced Buffalo in 2016 when he rushed for 236 yards and three touchdowns. But will he be the same guy after the year layoff?

3. TWO NEW COACHES

There’s a new head coach in the AFC East and AFC North. Miami hired New England defensive coordinator Brian Flores, and Cincinnati hired L.A. Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor. Buffalo will square off against Flores and the Dolphins twice and host Taylor and Cincinnati this fall.

4. MUSICAL QUARTERBACKS

Buffalo will be facing a couple of teams that pulled a quarterback shuffle in the offseason. Broncos GM John Elway jettisoned Case Keenum to Washington and acquired Joe Flacco to be his starting quarterback from Baltimore. Keenum is the odds-on favorite to start for Washington with Alex Smith still sidelined by a severe leg injury suffered last season. The Bills host both teams.

5. BATTLE OF THE BIG MEN

When Philadelphia comes to town, it will feature a matchup between two of the larger quarterbacks in the league. Carson Wentz and Josh Allen both stand 6-5, and Allen ekes out Wentz on weight by a mere pound, 238 to 237. Let’s hope he can eke out a win too.

6. ANOTHER ONE POINTER?

The Bills will face the up and coming Titans on the road in 2019 and Tennessee has been frustrated by Buffalo in each of the last two meetings. In 2015 on the road, the Bills beat the Titans 14-13 and last season they beat Tennessee on a last-second field goal to win 13-12. Will it be another nail biter in Nashville?

7. GRONK-LESS IN NEW ENGLAND

Although his agent didn’t rule out the possibility of a late season return, Rob Gronkowski is for all intents and purposes retired. And that wasn’t the only subtraction on New England’s roster. Trent Brown, Trey Flowers, Malcom Brown, Cordarrelle Patterson and LaAdrian Waddle all exited stage left. Have the roster losses finally reached critical mass?

8. D-LAW OR NO D-LAW?

When the Bills travel to Dallas it’s unclear at this point whether they’ll have to deal with Cowboys top pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence. That’s because contract negotiations are at an impasse according to Cowboys COO Stephen Jones, and Lawrence doesn’t want to play under the franchise tag for a second straight season.

9. NEW LOOK FOR NFL STALWARTS

The Giants and Steelers will look a lot different in terms of star power this season. Buffalo plays both teams on the road, but New York and Pittsburgh have just one bona fide star on offense now. The Giants have Saquon Barkley and the Steelers have JuJu Smith-Schuster.

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