The Buffalo Bills will play host to a national audience for a home night game in addition to playing four home games for the 2012 season.
With the Bills 2012 schedule released this evening, fans get a look at who and where the Bills will play this season. Buffalo will see the NFC West and AFC South, along with games against Cleveland and Kansas City this year, in addition to their usual slate of AFC East games.
The highlight of the season comes on November 15 when the Miami Dolphins come to town for a Thursday night contest in what will hopefully be cold, blustery weather. There is nothing better than putting a beating on the Dolphins while snow is flying. We will see if mother nature cooperates.
As for the rest of the schedule, it isn’t too friendly. The Bills will play four of their eight home games in December – one of which being the Toronto game against Seattle. The first half of the season includes trips to the Jets, 49ers, Texans and Patriots (week 10). Meanwhile, the second half is heavy with home games against the Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars and Rams.
As opposed to previous years, the Bills will get a taste of division opponents early on, which should give a true evaluation of what kind of team they have right off the bat. Buffalo’s record last season and in 2007 may have been augmented by a light schedule to begin the season and a heavy one to end each year. This is a slightly more balanced schedule with the opportunity for meaningful home games in December.
One issue many fans will have is the fact that half of the home schedule is to come when snow is flying. Not to mention, this is a team who has not seen an important December home game in nearly a decade. Obviously the improvements made to the team are supposed to make this a truly competitive team. Those changes will likely make those December home contests important compared to the glorified preseason games that have been played late in the season in recent years.
The true test for the Bills may lie in weeks one through ten. Three of the nine games will be played at home and four of the teams are playoff contenders or reached the playoffs last season. The full schedule is listed below:
Week 1 – @ New York Jets – September 9, 1:00
Week 2 – KANSAS CITY – September 16, 1:00
Week 3 – @ Cleveland – September 23, 1:00
Week 4 – NEW ENGLAND – September 30, 1:00
Week 5 – @ San Francisco – October 7, 4:15
Week 6 – @ Arizona – October 14, 4:05
Week 7 – TENNESSEE – October 21, 1:00
Week 8 – BYE
Week 9 – @ Houston – November 4, 1:00
Week 10 – @ New England – November 11, 1:00
Week 11 – MIAMI – November 15, November 15, 8:20 (Thursday)
Week 12 – @ Indianapolis – November 25, 1:00
Week 13 – JACKSONVILLE – December 2, 1:00
Week 14 – ST. LOUIS – December 9, 1:00
Week 15 – SEATTLE – December 16, 1:00 (Toronto)
Week 16 – @ Miami – December 23, 1:00
Week 17 – NEW YORK JETS, December 30, 1:00