Seven Takeaways: 2022 Bills plan great for TV, not fans in the stands

The Buffalo Bills’ 2022 schedule was released almost a week ago, and I’ve been sitting on a few opinions, mostly because they’re not very positive. It’s finally time for me to share these thoughts with you and see what you have to say.

1. Mourning the loss of Sunday at 1:00 p.m

I’m a big fan of Sunday afternoon games. The regularity of it all is beautiful. I’ve never been one to complain about national respect and all that. I understand why they’re in so many national windows — I like watching Josh Allen, too — but it just means I can’t plan my schedule every Sunday afternoon. Even shifting from 1:00 PM Eastern to the late afternoon time slot works for me.

2. Maximum exposure

That was the term I used in the post posting the schedule, and it’s so accurate. The Thanksgiving game is one of the most-watched of the year, and the games against the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots are sure to draw a lot of attention. The biggest prize is the opening contest against the Super Bowl champions. Buffalo received the maximum number of primetime games and has more coverage on national television than anyone else. It’s great for TV viewers.

3. Car rides are disappointing

I can’t help but be negative about the road sign. I was particularly looking forward to the game in Chicago. Placing it on Christmas Eve is literally the worst placement. There is only one game in Chicago every eight years, and this could be the last at Soldier Field. Literally none of the street games are exciting. Monday night in January in Cincinnati, Miami in September, Los Angeles in September on a weekday… Just not a really great option for street gaming.

4. Home tailgate options are good, not great

There are some really great tailgating options out there, but too few of them. The Oct. 9 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was going to be great. The late October Packers game is a night game, which means an all-day tailgate. Hopefully the weather will be nice for the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns games in mid-November, but another home game in September/October would have been nice. Instead, we’re getting a Monday night game, which means some people will skip the tailgate altogether and just walk over after work.

5. Three Thursdays

How many teams play three games on Thursday night? The Cowboys did it a year ago and played opening night before Thanksgiving and the week after. They are “America’s Team”. The Bills only have a week off for all those weird Thursday games, then they have a longer break two games ago. It’s not exactly positive or negative, just remarkable.

6. Additional rest and preparation time

The Bills have extra rest and prep time ahead of several games. The Week 2 showdown against the Tennessee Titans comes 11 days after the season opener. They say goodbye before playing the Packers in October. If they have a short week, it’s against the Detroit Lions, who aren’t expected to be a tough game. Then, in early December, they get a few extra days to rest. Even after Christmas Eve on Saturday, they play nine days later on Monday night. It won’t help head coach Sean McDermott establish a routine, but it will help players recover.

7. The cost of a superstar QB and high expectations

We’ve all seen the writing on the wall in the playoffs for the past two years, and when Josh Allen made the move to national TV commercials and skits on the NFL Honors Show, it was only a matter of time. He’s the most exciting player in the NFL and an MVP candidate. He’s the guy we asked the football gods for. This schedule and the ups and downs are because of this guy and it’s a price we’re happy to pay. Go bills!

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