BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — The Bills’ 2023 regular season schedule was released Thursday, and it includes a handful of primetime games, a notably late bye week and matchups against some of the NFL’s top teams.
Here are some key takeaways four months from opening kickoff:
Buffalo will get their fair share of national TV time this season, as they will play six primetime games, the maximum allowable by the NFL.
The first primetime game is a marquee matchup, as they’ll play on Monday Night Football in Week 1, squaring off against Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets on the road.
After that, their first home primetime game comes Oct. 26 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football, followed by a playoff rematch against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football the following week. Rounding out the trio of national TV games is a Monday Night Football matchup at home against the Denver Broncos on Nov. 13.
The Bills are scheduled to have a number of 4:25 pm starts later in the season, as well as an early morning 9:30 am start for Buffalo’s London tilt against Jacksonville.
There will be no Bills game on Thanksgiving this year after a string of appearances in recent years. After playing on Christmas Eve last season, the Bills visit the Chargers in Los Angeles for a 8 pm game on Dec. 23, which will be the first NFL game exclusively streamed on Peacock.
However, fans looking to get an early start to their New Year’s Eve festivities can do so at Highmark Stadium, as Buffalo hosts New England for a 1 pm kickoff on Dec. 31.
Key matchups across the board
When it comes to this Bills schedule, you can take your pick as to what games will have the most playoff-seeding importance and national attention.
Whether it’s the new-look Jets in Week 1, the playoff rematch against the Bengals in Week 9, the always-anticipated game against the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Week 14 or a matchup with the NFC champion Eagles in Week 12, there are Be sure to be plenty of eyes on Bills contests.
Within the AFC East, a Week 18 tilt against the Dolphins could potentially have division title implications on the final day of the season.
Speaking of Miami, a noteworthy change for the annual divisional matchups appears to have been made tied to weather. The Dolphins will make the trek to Buffalo in Week 4, when flying snowballs likely won’t be a factor, while the Bills will head to Miami in January when the blistering Florida heat is not as prominent.
Latest bye week since 1999
The Bills hadn’t had a Week 13 bye week this millennium, but that changes in 2023.
Beyond being notably late, this year’s bye splits two of the team’s most noteworthy, and arguably difficult, games of the season in the Week 12 matchup with Philadelphia and Week 14 tilt against Kansas City.
Teams receive the option to take their bye week following a matchup overseas, which in this case would have been Week 6 following the game in London against the Jaguars. But the Bills opted to hold off for later in the season.