Buffalo Bills schedule takeaways:
- The Bills’ schedule starts with a big AFC matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers and culminates with Buffalo taking in what promises to be an improved New York Jets team in Week 18.
- All said, the defending AFC champions have seven games against playoff teams from a season ago. This should help Sean McDermott and Co. continue their ascension to championship contention.
- Sportsnaut predictions the Bills will finish with a 14-3 record.
Quarterback Josh Allen will be a legitimate NFL MVP candidate after he turned in an amazing third season. Buffalo has also built a championship-level roster after its best performance since the Marv Levy, Jim Kelly era.
Below, we preview all 17 games on the Buffalo Bills schedule for the 2021 NFL season while giving you game-by-game-predictions.
Buffalo Bills schedule predictions, roster outlook
Let’s take a look at the team’s complete 2021 schedule and make predictions for each game.
Bills roster outlook
- QB — Josh Allen
- RB — Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, Matt Breida
- TE — Dawson Knox, Tommy Sweeney, Jacob Hollister
- WR — Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Emmanuel Sanders
- Defense — Bills rank 18th in defense this week
There’s really only one question regarding the Bills’ skill positions. Can Knox or Sweeney step up at tight end? Perhaps, Buffalo again kicks the tires on acquiring Pro Bowler Zach Ertz from the Philadelphia Eagles. The veteran is said to be on the block. Meanwhile, Buffalo has freed up cap room to bring on his salary. It warrants attention moving forward.
Either way, the Bills’ offense should be a blast in 2021. Allen is a top-five quarterback in the NFL. Diggs put up an historical first season in Western new York. Gabriel Davis is coming into his own. Cole Beasley is about as prolific as they get from the slot.
Surprisingly, defense is the only major question mark for the Bills. They ranked in the middle of the pack in points allowed last season after finishing the 2019 campaign No. 2 in the NFL. Can Sean McDermott find a consistent pass rush?
Buffalo Bills 2021 preseason schedule
|Friday, Aug. 13||vs. Detroit Lions||7:00 PM||WIVB|
|Saturday, Aug. 21||@ Chicago Bears||1:00 PM||WIVB|
|Saturday, Aug. 28||vs. Green Bay Packers||1:00 PM||WIVB|
This season the NFL is lowering the amount of preseason games to three per team, and instead expanding the regular season to 17 games, rather than the traditional 16 games.
Week 1 — vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
|Sunday, Sept. 12||1:00 PM||CBS|
- Spread: Bills -6.5
- Moneyline: Steelers +220; Bills -278
- Over/under: 50
Here’s a game that should see Buffalo’s questionable pass rush be able to do work against an immobile quarterback Pittsburgh refused to address its issues along the offensive line throughout the offseason, leading to the belief that this is now a second or third-tier team in the AFC. And even with what we expect to be a decent defense, it won’t be enough to take out Buffalo on the road.
- Week 1 prediction prediction: Bills 24, Steelers 17
Week 2 — @ Miami Dolphins
|Sunday, Sept. 19||1:00 PM||FOX|
If teams like the Dolphins and Patriots are going to have a chance to compete with Buffalo in the AFC East, they will at least have to split. That means coming away with wins at home. Look for this to come to fruition in Week 2. During a surprising 10-win 2020 season, these Fins won five of their final six home games. That’s part of the process of head coach Brian Flores building a contender. Vastly improved heading into 2021, expect this to be taken to a whole new level.
- Week 2 prediction: Dolphins 27, Bills 24
Week 3 — vs. Washington Football Team
|Sunday, Sept. 26||1:00 PM||FOX|
Josh Allen and the Bills could very well be a good barometer of where the WFT is at this season. In fact, Buffalo’s trajectory is something that a defensive-minded Ron Rivera envisions with his squad. Unfortunately, Washington is a year away from being able to go into a hostile environment in Buffalo and coming out on top.
- Week 3 prediction: Bills 20, Washington 14
Week 4 — vs. Houston Texans
|Sunday, Oct. 4||1:00 PM||CBS|
We may see the legitimate self-actualization of Josh Allen as a football player in this one. The Buffalo Bills QB is going to have darn near a perfect 158.3 passer rating as he carves up Houston at home. These Texans are the worst team in the NFL and could be looking at an 0-17 season. That’s not hyperbole.
- Week 4 prediction: Bills 45, Texans 10
Week 5 — @ Kansas City Chiefs (SNF)
|Sunday, Oct. 10||8:20 PM||NBC|
A rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game, we’re pretty darn sure Buffalo is going to want to make a statement in Arrowhead come Week 5. Unfortunately, I am just not seeing how its defense is going to be able to stop Patrick Mahomes and Co. The Chiefs improved their offensive line big time during the offseason after that unit failed them during the Super Bowl. That will be the biggest difference in this high-scoring affair and potential championship game preview.
- Week 5 prediction: Chiefs 35, Bills 31
Week 6 — @ Tennessee Titans (MNF)
|Monday, Oct. 18||8:15 PM||ESPN|
If you’re looking for a high-scoring affair, this season’s matchup between the Bills and Titans should deliver. Both teams don’t have an elite pass rush, which is dangerous against offenses like the ones they will each face. Playing in front of a big crowd might give Tennessee a boost, but the better team and top talent usually comes out on top.
- Week 6 prediction: Bills 28, Titans 24
WEEK 7 BYE
Week 8 — vs. Miami Dolphins
|Sunday, Oct. 31||1:00 PM||CBS|
These division rival’s two games a season ago could not have been any different. Buffalo came out on top during a Week 2 game in South Beach by the score of 31-28. Then in Week 17, the Bills absolutely dominated their counterparts by the score of 56-26 in Western New York. Regardless of how much Miami has improved from a speed standpoint on offense, it still doesn’t have the talent to take out the Bills in Buffalo.
Week 8 prediction: Bills 31, Dolphins 27
Week 9 — @ Jacksonville Jaguars
|Sunday, Nov. 7||1:00 PM||CBS|
Two players named Josh Allen in this contest, but the Bills have the better, more valuable one at quarterback. Allen should dismantle the Jaguars, and a seasoned defensive coach in Sean McDermott will scheme up too many exotic looks for Jacksonville’s offense to keep pace in a shootout.
- Week 9 prediction: Bills 31, Jaguars 24
Week 10 — @ New York Jets
|Sunday, Nov. 14||1:00 PM||CBS|
Competitive ball. That’s going to be the name of the game for Robert Saleh in his first season as the Jets head coach. Narrow losses. That should also be the name of the game given New York’s issues on defense and the fact that it will be relying on a rookie quarterback. With the ascension we’ve seen from Josh Allen and the presence of Stefon Diggs, this should be enough for Buffalo to come out on top in a narrow affair.
- Week 10 prediction: Bills 28, Jets 23
Week 11 — vs. Indianapolis Colts
|Sunday, Nov. 21||1:00 PM||CBS|
We might not see the Colts get into a ton of shootouts in 2021, but this might be one of those matchups. Buffalo couldn’t generate pressure last season and did very little to improve the secondary, a way to offset the issue. The Bills do have one of the NFL’s best offenses and in a matchup between these two quarterbacks, give us Josh Allen.
- Week 11 prediction: Bills 27, Colts 24
Week 12 — @ New Orleans Saints (TNF)
|Thursday, Nov. 25||8:20 PM||NBC|
Expect a different iteration of the Saints without Drew Brees in the mix. Also expect some major growing pains under center regardless of whether Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill is starting. That will be magnified heading into Western New York for this Week 12 matchup. New Orleans might be able to contain Josh Allen and Co. to an extent, but it won’t score enough to come out on top.
- Week 12 prediction: Bills 28, Saints 24
Week 13 — vs. New England Patriots (MNF)
|Monday, Dec. 6||8:15 PM||ESPN|
In winning their first division title since 1995, the Bills swept New England during the 2020 season. It culminated in a 38-9 blowout win on the road in Week 16. The Pats improved big time on offense during free agency and added a potential franchise guy under center in Mac Jones in the draft. Will that be enough to narrow the gap? At least initially, I am not seeing it on the road. Josh Allen and Co. should prove to be too much for these Patriots in this Week 13 affair.
- Week 13 prediction: Bills 24, Patriots 13
Week 14 — @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Sunday, Dec. 12||4:25 PM||CBS|
Another potential pitfall in the Bucs’ pursuit of the best record in football. Josh Allen is a handful even for Tampa Bay’s loaded defense. However, if it comes down to the final minutes, who better to deliver the goods than the GOAT QB himself? Tom Brady will lead Tampa to a statement win here.
- Week 14 prediction: Buccaneers 27, Bills 23
Week 15 — vs. Carolina Panthers
The Sean McDermott game. Carolina’s former defensive coordinator going up against a team that has high expectations heading into the 2021 season. As has been the case since Cam Newton was in his heyday, it’s about the quarterback position in Carolina. Sam Darnold heads to the Panthers after a disastrous three-season stint with the New York Jets that saw him boast a 2-3 record while throwing all of four touchdowns in five games against the Bills. You can do the math here.
- Week 15 prediction: Bills 24, Panthers 20
Week 16 — @ New England Patriots
|Sunday, Dec. 26||1:00 PM||CBS|
Whether it’s rookie Mac Jones or struggling veteran Cam Newton under center, the expectation is that New England’s offense will still have a hard time scoring points to keep pace with the better teams on their schedule. Sure the Bills have their own issues on defense. But that will be masked in this Week X matchup.
- Week 16 prediction: Bills 27, Patriots 23
Week 17 — vs. Atlanta Falcons
|Sunday, Jan. 2||1:00 PM||FOX|
If Julio Jones is not traded, Atlanta’s offense is going to be good in 2021. At the very least, it should help the Falcons stay in games against better competition. Unfortunately for new head coach Arthur Smith, their defense remains talentless after giving up nearly 25 points per game a season ago. We fully expect a shootout with Josh Allen and Co. doing enough against this embattled defense to come away with a home win. That’s especially true now that Julio Jones is in Nashville.
- Week 17 prediction: Bills 34, Falcons 27
Week 18 — vs. New York Jets
|Sunday, Jan. 9||1:00 PM||CBS|
Robert Saleh is a better coach than Adam Gase. The Jets have a shiny new quarterback in Zach Wilson taking over for the struggling Sam Darnold and should be exciting on offense. Even then, New York is at least a year away from actually competing with other AFC East squads. Primarily, I am not sold on its makeshift defense being able to stop Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and Co.
- Week 18 prediction: Bills 35, Jets 23