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Predeicting the Bills 2022 season: schedule release edition

The reigning AFC East Champs ' schedule includes five prime-time games and an opener against the Super Bowl champs

CC: Los Angeles Magazine

BUFFALO, N.Y, (May-13-2022) - The NFL released its schedule for the 2022 regular season Thursday night and the Buffalo Bills find themselves in the spotlight after coming off the highest rated playoff game in league history.

The team will play seven home games and eight road games this season in an effort to make a championship run after making some big moves in both free agency and the draft.

Every game this season appears winnable for the Bills, with quarterback Josh Allen making strides and the defense finishing first in the league last season. However, the departure of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and the wait time for the return of conrerback Tre'Davious White could affect the Bills in the early run.

Regardless of the changes this offseason, the Bills have an interesting schedule ahead of them, ranking 12 in strength of schedule. Here's a quick look how each game will go assuming no sufficient injuries.

Week one: Bills vs. Rams, SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, California

The Bills open the NFL season on Thursday night against the reigning Super Bowl champions. With a fun twist, the Bills now have one of the Rams assets in their championship run in linebacker Von Miller.

The Rams have a new single-caller in Matthew Stafford, who is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp also had a career season, leading all receivers in yards, receptions and touchdowns. Finally, the Bills have to deal with three-time defensive player of the year Aaron Donald.

Buffalo's new offensive and defensive additions can help them keep up with the Rams. However, given they are the Super Bowl champions, fans shouldn't expect it as a guaranteed win.

Prediction: Rams win, 0-1

Week two: Bills vs. Titans, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

The team's home opener will be against Tennessee on Monday Night Football. The last two meetings between these two teams resulted in the Titans winning with outstanding performances from running back Derick Henry.

It's unknown if the Bills defense will go against Ryan Tannehill or his possible replacement Malik Willis, but the games' outcome depends on how much they can limit Henry's carries.

Prediction: Bills win, 1-1

Week three: Bills vs. Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida

The Bills play their first division game against the Dolphins on the road. The Dolphins also made a huge move this offseason, trading for Kansas City Chiefs star receiver Tyreek Hill. The team also resigned cornerback Xavien Howard to a five-year, $50-million contract.

The Bills are likely to drop one or two games against a division rival and Miami could get a win over their big rival in their stadium. However, the outcome will depend on the performance of Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and how he clicks with his supporting cast. So far he hasn't been able to do that yet.

Prediction: Bills win, 2-1

Week four: Bills vs. Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

The team continues their road trip against former MVP Lamar Jackson. The last time these two teams played, Bills cornerback Taron Johnson recorded a 101-yard pick six in the team's 17-3 divisional win in 2020.

The Ravens had a down year with Jackson missing time due to injury. The Ravens worked at improving their o-line by drafting center Tyler Linderbaum in the first round. However, the team traded receiver Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals.

The lack of offensive weapons other than tight end Mark Andrews and Jackson's health possibly limiting his rushing attempts could give the Bills defense the edge.

Prediction: Bills win, 3-1

Week five: Bills vs Steelers, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

The Bills return home to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. Similar to Tennessee, the Steelers will have another change of quarterback. It's possible former Bills backup Mitchel Trubinsky will start at the beginning of the season with first round quarterback prospect Kenny Picket riding the bench.

While it waits to be seen who will Buffalo face under center, Pittsburgh's defense proved to be the real problem with them pulling off the upset in the Bills' home opener last season.

This game will be determined by how Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and co. can fair against the Steelers defense led by T.J Watt, Cam Heyward and Devin Bush, but Buffalo can hold off the Steelers offensive whoever is behind center.

Prediction: Bills win, 4-1

Week six: Bills vs. Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

The Bills will face their biggest threat to an AFC championship win in the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes and Allen look to be the next great QB rivalry since Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

Losing Hill could be a problem for Mahomes. However, he still has valuable assets in tight end Travis Kelce and new receiver JuJu-Smith Schuester.

The addition of Miller can help the Bills pass-rush slow down Mahomes and the Cheifs defense and upset the current kings of the AFC two seasons in a row.

Prediction: Bills win, 5-1

Week seven: Bye

Week eight: Bills vs. Packers, Highmark Stadium, New York

Allen will face reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. Rodgers signed a mega deal with the Packers worth $200 million.

However, he lost his best weapon on offense after Davantae Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. However, Rodgers can still lead his team to victory in any situation.

On paper, this game looks to be an easy one for the Bills defense, but it should never count out Rodgers.

Prediction: Packers win, 5-2

Week nine: Bills vs Jets, MetLife Stadium, New Jersey

This offseason the Jets had arguably the best draft of the year with cornerback Amahad Gardner, receiver Garret Wilson and defensive end Jermaine Johnson. Head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas built a better team around second-year quarterback Zach Wilson.

However, like the Dolphins, it depends on how their quarterback develops throughout the season. Any young team is said to go through problems and the Bills experience is the key factor in this game.

Prediction: Bills win, 6-2

Week ten: Bills vs. Vikings, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Diggs will face his old team for the first time since being traded in 2020. In that time, Minnesota found a new number-one weapon for Kirk Cousins in Justin Jefferson.

Buffalo's defense is capable of holding Cousins, Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook.

Prediction: Bills win 7-2

Week 11: Bills vs. Browns, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

The Bills and Browns have two things in common: they both play along Lake Erie and have had minimal success in the 21st century until now. Although the Bills look set for the decade, the Browns had a new change of quarterback in Desaun Watson.

The Bills seemed to always have one upset win every season and Cleveland might be that upset because it's hard to ignore the defense led by Myles Garret and Denzel Ward.

Prediction: Browns win 7-3

Week 12: Bills vs. Lions, Ford Stadium, Detroit, Michigan

For the second year in a row, the Bills will play away on Thanksgiving. This time it will be in Detroit against the Lions. The team looks to be on the right track with sufficient coaching from Dan Campbell and the addition of local product Adain Hutchinson. However, they still have a long way to go.

Prediction: Bills win, 8-3

Week 13: Bills vs. Patriots, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

The Bills play their fourth prime-time game on Thursday night against the Patriots on the road. Some fans and experts believe the Patriots took a step back with the draft and Mac Jones is still developing.

Prediction: Bills win 9-3

Week 14: Bills vs. Jets, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

The Bills return for a two-game homestand starting with their second matchup against the Jets. This game will depend on the circumstances and how Wilson performs.

Prediction: Bills win 10-3

Week 15: Bills vs. Dolphins, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

While the first game could be a win or lose for the Bills, this game in front of the home crowd looks to be in the Bills favor.

Prediction: Bills win 11-3

Week 16: Bills vs. Bears, Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

For the first time since 2017, the Bills will play on Christmas Eve. They will make the trip to Soldier Field to play the Bears. The Bears traded defensive superstar Kahlil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers and lost Allen Robinson to the Rams. This should be an easy one for the Bills

Prediction: Bills win, 12-3

Week 17: Bills vs. Bengals, Paul Brown Stadium, Cinncinati, Ohio

This game has the potential to be another amazing shootout. This time between Allen and Joe Burrow on Monday Night Football. This game will depend on how much pressure the Bills pass rush and d-line puts on Burrow as his receiving core consists of Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins.

This game will be a matter of who can outscore the others. However, it is possible people might favor the Bengals given their win over the Chiefs in the AFC championship.

Prediction: Bengals win, 12-4

Week 18: Bills vs. Patriots, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

In the final week of the NFL regular season, the Bills will host the Patriots. By that time, the team will have either a playoff berth or their third straight division title. The team will likely play their backups. In a meaningless game, the Patriots will likely get the win.

Prediction: Patriots, 12-5

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