NFL schedule released: Bills face tough road games early in season


Staff member

Josh Allen and his team were knocked out of the playoffs by Kansas City in January. The Chiefs come back to Orchard Park for a game on Nov. 17.
Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News

The Buffalo Bills will have to deal with hostile environments early in the season in 2024.

The Bills open their season at home on Sept. 8 against the Arizona Cardinals.

But four of their first six games and five of the first eight are on the road. That includes an unusual stretch of three straight games on the road in Weeks 4, 5 and 6. The Bills went 7-1 at home last year and 4-5 on the road, counting the game in London as a road game (it officially counted as a neutral-site game).

Adding to the challenge: The Bills have to go on the road on a short week of rest in both Week 2, going to Miami, and in Week 4, going to Baltimore.

The Bills have five prime-time games, no surprise given the star power of quarterback Josh Allen. The maximum under NFL schedule rules to start a season is six. (A team could be flexed into more prime-time slots later in the season).

The three-game road stretch is a tough one.

On Sept. 29, the Bills visit the Ravens, who went 13-4 and claimed the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season. That’s a short rest week because it comes after playing Jacksonville at home on a Monday night. Then the Bills visit the Houston Texans in the reunion with star receiver Stefon Diggs. Houston is defending AFC South champion and added Diggs in a blockbuster trade with the Bills in April. Then the Bills make a Monday night visit to the New York Jets, who have loaded up on talent in an effort to push for the Super Bowl behind 40-year-old quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The Bills have not faced a three-game road stretch in nine years and have faced it only three times since 2000, all during “The Drought.” The Bills were 1-2 in 2015, 0-3 in 2011 and 1-2 in 2001.

The prime-time games: Week 2 at Miami on a Thursday night, Week 3 at home against Jacksonville on Monday night, Week 4 at Baltimore on a Sunday night, the Week 6 game at the Jets, and a Dec. 1 game at home against defending NFC champion San Francisco.

• The Bills get Super Bowl champion Kansas City at home in Week 11, on Nov. 17.

The Bills traveled to Kansas City in the regular season each of the past three years and won all three of those games. It’s Kansas City’s first regular-season trip to Orchard Park since a 2020 game, played with no fans in the stands. Of course, the Chiefs came to Buffalo last January and knocked the Bills out of the playoffs.

• The Bills play at home four times in a six-game stretch from Oct. 20 through Dec. 1.
• Good news for fans: The Bills avoided playing on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.
• The rest report. The Bills have fewer days to recover from their previous game than their opponent twice. The first is the Week 3 Baltimore game, because the Bills play the previous Monday night. The next is the Week 15 game at Detroit. The Lions play the previous Thursday, so get a notable rest edge.

The Bills get a significant rest advantage once. They have a bye the week before San Francisco comes to town in December. Buffalo has a tiny rest edge in Week 3 when Jacksonville comes to town. Buffalo will be playing on 10 days' rest, the Jaguars seven. No teams have a bye the weekend before facing the Bills.

• It's the first visit to Orchard Park for 49ers since 2016.
• It’s only the second visit to Orchard Park by the Cardinals in the last 20 seasons (the other came in 2016).
• The Bills’ bye week comes after 11 games. That’s generally considered good. Coaches don’t like bye weeks real early in the season, because the team doesn’t need the rest as much.


Date OpponentTime
Aug. 10 Chicago 1 p.m.
Aug. 17 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 Carolina 1 p.m.
Date Opponent Time
Sept. 8 Arizona 1 p.m.
Sept. 12 at Miami (Thu) 8:15 p.m.
Sept. 23 Jacksonville (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Baltimore 8:20 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Houston 1 p.m.
Oct. 14 at N.Y. Jets (Mon) 8:15 p.m.
Oct. 20 Tennessee 1 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Seattle 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 3 Miami 1 p.m.
Nov. 10 at Indianapolis 1 p.m.
Nov. 17 Kansas City 4:25 p.m.
Nov. 24 BYE
Dec. 1 San Francisco 8:20 p.m.
Dec. 8 at L.A. Rams 4:25 p.m.
Dec. 15 at Detroit 4:25 p.m.
Dec. 22 New England 1 p.m.
Dec. 29 N.Y. Jets 1 p.m.
TBD at New England TBD