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Following the release of the Buffalo Bills’ 2021 regular season schedule this past week here is a way-too-early win-loss predictions via manager editor Nick Wojton and contributor David De Cristofaro:
Bills vs. Steelers
Bills quarterback Josh Allen (Gannett photo)
De Cristofaro: Win Ben Rothlisberger looks to make one more deep playoff run before calling it a career- He'll start his pursuit of that goal with a fresh Steelers team that will still be outmatched by a deep Bills roster of talent. Wojton: Win Rothlisberger has fallen off and the Steelers, to this point, still have big-time offensive line troubles in front of him.
Bills at Dolphins
Bills outside linebacker Matt Milano (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
De Cristofaro: Win Miami is poised to roll out an improved squad from last year. While it may not be the 56-26 trouncing seen in last year's final game of the regular season, the Bills are still far enough ahead of the Dolphins' progression to notch a victory. Wojton: Win Still not ready to think the Dolphins have caught up to the Bills just yet. Early in the year, especially.
Bills vs. Football Team
Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Football Team. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
De Cristofaro: Win The Football Team will be finding its way in its second year under Ron Rivera, as well as at the quarterback position. While on this journey, they may pick up a loss courtesy of the Bills. Wojton: Win At best, the Bills will be facing Ryan Fitzpatrick under center and the Football Team made the playoffs at 7-9 last season.
Bills vs. Texans
Josh Allen #17 of the Bills talks with Deshaun Watson #4 of the Texans. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
De Cristofaro: Win The quarterback of the future versus the quarterback of the past. That is if newly-signed Tyrod Taylor is starting under center in Houston. The Texans are in a rebuild and have some payback coming for ousting the Bills from the playoffs the season before last. Wojton: Win Tyrod Taylor or Deshaun Watson? We don't know, so how the Texans possibly win is also something we're not going to predict.
Bills at Chiefs (SNF)
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
De Cristofaro: Loss The team-to-beat in the AFC is still Kansas City. While this regular season contest will be competitive, and it's possible a playoff matchup in the postseason could swing in Buffalo's favor, the Chiefs still possess the edge... For now. Wojton: Win The Chiefs have re-made their offensive line while the Bills made over their defensive line. Could be a close one, but going bold with the Bills based on those changes.
Bills at Titans (MNF)
Titans running back Derrick Henry. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)
De Cristofaro: Win Another payback game opportunity. Tennessee handed the Bills their worst and most lopsided loss of the season last year. Buffalo will look to serve them a defeat more like the one they dished in 2019 when they sacked Marcus Mariotta out of a starting job. Wojton: Loss A trip up for the Bills after topping the Chiefs in this scenario. The Titans got the best of the Bills just a year ago in a big way.
Bills vs. Dolphins
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
De Cristofaro: Win Miami's players will have a bit more experience with their system and each other and could be a testy opponent, but still no match for Buffalo. Wojton: Win Bills at home will double up against the Dolphins.
Bills at Jaguars
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence credit: Logan Bowles/NFL Handout photo via USA TODAY Network
De Cristofaro: Win The Bills will visit the new-look Jaguars and head coach Urban Meyer in week eight and have their chance to properly welcome the college coach and rookie Trevor Lawrence to the NFL. Wojton: Win Lawrence will have some growing pains... and the Bills will make the most of those.
Bills at Jets
Zach Wilson stands onstage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodel. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
De Cristofaro: Win The latest version of the New York Jets sports a new head coach and quarterback combo (again.) The team added some pieces in the draft but has a long way to go to compete with the Bills. Wojton: Win If Lawrence is having growing pains... so is Zach Wilson. Although, the Jets will probably be better.
Bills vs. Colts
Bills free safety Jordan Poyer. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
De Cristofaro: Win The Colts are built for a good season, with a familiar face in head coach Frank Reich and a well-constructed roster. Under center, Carson Wentz will once more look to regain his pre-injury form. They'll come to play, but Buffalo can prevail. Wojton: Loss The Colts gave the Bills a run for their money in the postseason in 2020. They'll get a bit of payback here.
Bills at Saints (Thanksgiving)
Saints quarterback Jameis Winston. Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
De Cristofaro: Win Josh Allen loves Thanksgiving football in the NFL and the turkey legs that await the winners. The Saints will have a new look with Jameis Winston likely taking over quarterback duties. He's more of a crab leg kind of guy but either way, the Bills defense could come ready to eat. Wojton: Win The NFL is still big on the Saints by giving them a prime-time game post-Drew Brees. Not sure they'll be that good anymore.
Bills vs. Patriots (MNF)
Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
De Cristofaro: Win The rebuilding Patriots will be without recently retired Wes Welker and feature some first and second-year players as well as those returning from the pandemic opt-out, along with Cam Newton again at quarterback. Meanwhile, the Bills have re-loaded and are looking to cement themselves atop the AFC East for years to come. Wojton: Loss The Patriots have a brand-new looking roster will their total rebuild this offseason... plus they're getting a lot of pieces back from COVID-19 opt-outs last year. People forget that.
Bills at Buccaneers
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
De Cristofaro: Loss The Bills can win this game, and should they pressure and sack Tom Brady all day, they will have a chance. For posterity, let's say he is able to play effectively, the Bucs are still a stacked roster and a challenge to beat. Wojton: Loss Sorry, Brady is great and the whole gang is back. Should be a fun game, though.
Bills vs. Panthers
7 Panthers running back Christian McCaffery. Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
De Cristofaro: Win The Panthers bring a familiar foe in Sam Darnold, and an offense that may or may not practice two-minute and red zone drills. Carolina will get a good look at what they lost in the winning club Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have built. Wojton: Win The Bills have consistently gotten the best of Darnold in his career. New colors won't change that.
Bills at Patriots
Bills quarterback Josh Allen. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
De Cristofaro: Win Victories over New England never get old. Bill Belichick is known for telling his coaching staff and players that division wins are worth twice as much, a lesson Buffalo applied last year on its way to an undefeated record against AFC teams. The team could be sellers around this time and ship out veterans like former Bill and televised game enthusiast Stephon Gilmore, making a win all the more likely. Wojton: Win The Bills won't sweep the AFC East again this year, that's hard to do once, let alone twice in a year. Having said that, we got some payback for the Bills in this one after a predicted loss in the first meeting.
Bills vs. Falcons
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
De Cristofaro: Win With Florida TE Kyle Pitts joining an offense with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the Falcons could present a challenging matchup. Just not one the Bills can't overcome. Wojton: Win The Falcons are going to be better and underwhelmed last season. But the Bills should handle them at home in December.
Bills vs. Jets
Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
De Cristofaro: Win Much like last season's opportunity to stretch their limbs ahead of the playoffs, the Bills will have that chance yet again with their second matchup against the Jets. Should a healthy lead be obtained, we could see Mitch Trubisky enter the game to hand the ball off to the Bills running game. Wojton: Win The Bills might have nothing to play for in this game... and they'd still probably beat the Jets.
De Cristofaro: 15-2