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What They're Saying

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Why the Bills could be one of the most-watched teams in 2023 & more schedule takeaways from NFL analysts

BBS-10803 - 2023 Schedule Release Individual Games_WK15_vsDAL_VB

The 2023 NFL schedule is out and reactions are in on how the Bills schedule is set up for the year.

Some highlights to note: the Bills have six primetime games (tied for most in the NFL), with three of those games coming at home. They have a stretch of four-straight 4:25 games and their bye is set for Week 13.

You can see the Bills full schedule here, and reaction from Bills insider Chris Brown can be found here.

Here's what NFL analysts around the league are saying about Buffalo's schedule. 

The Athletic writer Richard Deitsch believes the Bills have the potential to be one of the most-watched teams in the NFL this season due to the amount 4:25 p.m. games they are scheduled to play. The Bills have four games in a row (Week 11-15) at 4:25 on either CBS or Fox. 

"The 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday slot has long been the most-watched window on television and the games often get stronger as the season goes along," Deitsch wrote.

Deitsch highlighted seven non-Thanksgiving games he thinks could be among the most-watched regular season games in 2023 and the Bills are in three of those matchups (at Eagles, at Chiefs & vs Cowboys). All of those matchups are 4:25 p.m. starts.

The Dec. 17 game featuring Cowboys at Bills was a priority for Mike Mulvihill, the executive vice president and head of strategy and analytics for Fox Sports. 

"We think a little bit differently about Dallas-Philly than we think about Dallas-Buffalo, where we only have one opportunity to get that matchup, so we ranked Dallas-Buffalo a little more highly. Those are two super, super, high-priority games for us," Mulvihill said.

In addition to the afternoon games, Buffalo is tied for the league high in primetime games with six. The Bills at Chargers 8 p.m. matchup in Week 16 (Dec. 23) will air exclusively on Peacock but will air locally as well in the Buffalo and L.A. TV markets. 

"This schedule was always going to be tough, but that is going to be some stretch from the middle of November to the end of the season. The bye will come at an opportune time, right between matchups against last year's Super Bowl participants and give the Bills a needed break before facing the Chiefs. Being on the road for four of the last six games is also a twist for a team that has had success taking advantage of the familiarity with wintery conditions in Orchard Park (8-1 in December and January in home regular season games since 2020)." — Alaina Getzenberg

"This total feels too low, even as the division improves and they have a first-place schedule. Buffalo could conceivably win all nine home games, depending on when it hosts warm-weather teams such as Dallas, Miami, Jacksonville, Las Vegas and Tampa Bay." — Doug Kezirian

Sharp Football Analysis | Bills have one of the hardest schedules

According to Warren Sharp's model for determining Strength of Schedule, Buffalo has the second-toughest path in 2023. Still, they have the fifth-highest projected win total of 10.8 wins.

Judy Battista from notes that the Bills will travel quite a bit in the last half of the regular season. Buffalo plays 10 games against playoff teams from last season, with road matchups against both Super Bowl teams (Eagles in Week 12, Chiefs in Week 14) in consecutive games. However, a Week 13 bye does separate the two heavyweight tilts. 

Additional road trips to play the Bengals (Week 9) and Chargers (Week 16) are also on the calendar. 

"The Bills, with serious Super Bowl aspirations, will play many of the games that will determine AFC playoff seeding with no home-field advantage," Battista wrote. 

The Bills matchup Battista is most looking forward to is Buffalo-Cincinnati in Week 9 on Sunday Night Football.

"This midseason game will give the winner an early edge in playoff seeding and could answer a pointed question: Did the Bills get enough weapons to add to Stefon Diggs for them to stay with the AFC's most explosive offenses?," Battista wrote.

ESPN's panel of NFL analysts weighed in on which late-season matchups could have the biggest playoff implications and two of the five analysts had the Bills in one of the games.

Jeremy Fowler: "Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers, Week 16. Matching up two elite quarterbacks this late in the season is bound to shake up the AFC playoff picture. The Chargers have built enough talent to contend for the AFC West crown, while the Bills are going for a fourth consecutive AFC East title. With the quarterback pantheon in the conference, securing a divisional crown seems like a wise move. Anything is possible with the wild-card berths."

Eric Moody: "Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins, Week 18. In the past three seasons, the Dolphins have either clinched or lost a playoff berth in Week 17 or Week 18. The Dolphins are expected to do big things in 2023 with so many prime-time games, and as the season winds down and playoff positioning is determined, things should get interesting in the AFC East."

Cody Benjamin from CBS Sports ranked his Top 10 must-see games and the Bills had two games in the top five. Coming in at No. 3 is the season-opener at the Jets followed by SNF at the Bengals in Week 9 ranked No. 2.

"Josh Allen versus Patrick Mahomes. Does anything else really need to be said? The two AFC powerhouses played in one of most iconic playoff games two postseasons ago, with the Chiefs outlasting the Bills. Buffalo got some revenge last regular season with a victory at Arrowhead, and they'll try to do the same in Week 14." — Eric Mullin

Scroll to see top photos as the Buffalo Bills defense workouts out in the Weight Room at One Bills Drive.

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