The Buffalo Bills won’t have an easy ride next season, with their strength of schedule ranked as the 4th most difficult.
The Buffalo Bills thought 2016 would mark the end of their dreadful playoff drought, which has now hit a whopping 17 years and stands as the longest drought in the NFL. The team would only finish 7-8 before firing their head coach and ending the season 7-9.
Once again, there wasn’t a playoff berth.
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Now, with an entirely new coaching staff, the team will be looking to fix their roster with hopes of getting it right this time around. Not only are the Bills working with 24 unrestricted free agents, but also uncertainty at quarterback and a very low amount of cap space.
To make matters worse, the Buffalo Bills aren’t going to have an easy go next season and it won’t matter what their roster looks like. In fact, they will be gearing up for the 4th toughest schedule in the NFL.
In 2017, only three teams will have a tougher schedule than the Buffalo Bills — the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers. First, let’s take a look at what the Bills’ schedule will look like next season:
Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts
Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals
When you combine the record of the Bills’ 2017 opponents, you get 143-112-1 — a winning percentage of .561. That percentage is the fourth most difficult behind the Los Angeles Chargers (.568), Oakland Raiders (.572) and Kansas City Chiefs (.576).
In addition, the Buffalo Bills will play 7 games against a team that made the playoffs in 2016 — two against the Patriots, two against the Dolphins, the Raiders, Falcons and Chiefs. The Indianapolis Colts have the easiest schedule, going against teams with a combined .424 winning percentage.
The good news is, the offseason just began and there is a lot of time for anything to happen. As the Bills know all too well, one injury or suspension can change an entire season for any team. Looking at our schedule, Buffalo is going to need all the help they can get this offseason if they plan on ending their playoff drought.
Not that I don’t have faith in them, but when you’re a 7-9 team that has the 4th toughest schedule, you’re already starting with your back against the wall.
Let’s hope Doug Whaley and his new coaching staff are ready to get to work this offseason.