The Buffalo Bills open the 2016 regular-season at Baltimore on Sept. 11 and play their first home prime-time home game since 2012 four days later against the New York Jets.
Those are among the highlights of the Bills’ schedule, which was part of the NFL’s overall schedule release Thursday night.
The Bills have a second prime-time game on Monday night, Nov. 7, at Seattle, the second of their three trips to the West Coast. Their bye comes the following week.
Buffalo’s only back-to-back road games come in weeks four and five against the New England Patriots (Oct. 2) and Los Angeles Rams (Oct. 9). The potential significance of the date of the New England game is that the Patriots could be without quarterback Tom Brady if the NFL ends up reinstating his four-game suspension for the “Deflategate” controversy.
The Bills play three consecutive games at Ralph Wilson Stadium (against Pittsburgh on Dec. 11, Cleveland Dec. 18, and Miami on Saturday, Dec. 24) before closing the season on Jan. 1 against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.
The last time the Bills played a prime-time game at The Ralph was a Thursday night contest against the Dolphins in 2012.
Once again, the league’s schedule-makers were decidedly focused on coach Rex Ryan in figuring out the order of the Bills’ games. The team plays its first two games against the Ravens, with whom he spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach (1999-2008), and the Jets, for whom he was head coach for six seasons before arriving in Buffalo last year.