Wednesday’s 2019 schedule release showed every team in the NFL gets to play on primetime television this season, except the Buffalo Bills.
Primetime football means kickoff must be after 7 p.m. Although the Bills will play the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. There is also a chance the week 16 game in New England is flexed into a late night slot as the time is to be determined, though it’s likely to be a 1 p.m. game.
Ten teams will get five primetime games this season and 23 teams have at least two. Even the lowly New York Jets will get three primetime games next season.
Why don’t the Bills get to play on primetime? It’s because Buffalo is a small market team and hasn’t had much recent success.
All ten of the teams with five night games next season finished with a winning record and most of them are in large markets (Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston).
Even though Buffalo fans may not get to see their favorite team play in a primetime slot next season, it may not be a bad thing. Historically the Bills have been poor in primetime games, finishing with a 3-7 record since 2010. The team’s last win was in 2015 in a Thursday night game versus the Jets.
In future seasons though, it would be nice for the Bills to play primetime games with a national spotlight. If the team is ever to have success in the playoffs, they need to get accustomed to playing with millions of people watching live.
Perhaps Josh Allen and company will rally together and make the Bills a force to be reckoned with this season, prompting at least one primetime game in 2020.