The Buffalo Bills have a tough 2016 schedule. In 2016, the AFC East faces off with the AFC North and the NFC West. Both divisions have some terrific teams that will challenge Buffalo and if the Bills hope to end their playoff drought, they’re going to have to beat some good teams along the way.
Keeping that in mind, Buffalo Football Report put together their list of Buffalo’s most difficult games in 2016. Here’s a look at the list.
1. Week 9 at Seattle Seahawks (Monday Night Football)
Some fans will scoff that the Patriots didn’t get the top spot on our list, but this matchup is a bit of a nightmare. The game comes one week after Buffalo’s second meeting with New England, a tough matchup in itself. After playing that game, the Bills will travel across the country to play the Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
Seattle is one of the best teams in the NFC and their stadium is among the loudest in the NFL. The fans will be fired up and the Seahawks play very well at home. In the last three seasons, Seattle has a 19-5 record at CenturyLink Field.
Have we mentioned that the Bills haven’t won a Monday Night Football contest since 1999, a 23-18 victory over the Dolphins?
Put it all together and you have Buffalo’s toughest game in 2016.
2. Week 8 vs. New England Patriots
This is a home game for the Bills, but it may also be Tom Brady’s first matchup against the Bills in 2016. Anytime you have the Bills facing off against Brady, you’re in for a long day. In his career, Brady is 25-3 versus the Bills. Until the team shows that they can beat Brady, New England will always be among Buffalo’s most difficult games.
3. Week 14 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s not near the same level of dominance that Brady has had over the Bills, but Ben Roethlisberger is a perfect 3-0 in his career against Buffalo. The Steelers have a pretty talented roster heading into the season and in our opinion, this is Buffalo’s most difficult matchup after their bye week.
The week before this game, Buffalo will be across the country in Oakland.
4. Week 3 vs. Arizona Cardinals
The good news about this matchup is that it’s at home and it’s early enough in the season that anything could happen.
In the playoffs, the Cardinals fell apart against the Carolina Panthers, but they finished the regular season 13-3. The overall roster has talent on both sides of the ball and Bruce Arians is among the best coaches in the NFL. This may be the most winnable matchup on this list depending on what happens with our No. 5 matchup.
5. Week 4 at New England Patriots
It’s very possible that Tom Brady is suspended for this matchup. He’s currently penciled in to miss the first four weeks of the season and Buffalo’s odds of winning will be significantly higher if Brady is out of the lineup.
That said, Buffalo hasn’t had much success at Gillette Stadium. Buffalo is 1-13 all-time at Gillette and their only victory came in a meaningless 2014 Week 17 matchup for New England in which the Patriots pulled Tom Brady at halftime.
Here’s the only Bills quarterback to ever win at Gillette Stadium:
This GIF didn’t come from Buffalo’s Week 17 victory over the Patriots, but it’s still magnificent.
Even if Jimmy Garoppolo is at QB, Bill Belichick will have the Patriots ready to play and this game will be far from an easy game for Buffalo. If Tom Brady is somehow in the lineup, reverse this game with the Week 8 matchup against New England.