Predicting Buffalo’s First 4 Games in 2019

Premature predictions are a staple of sports writing and analyzation.

ESPN releases a “Way Too Early Top 25” each year for college basketball and football, as well as “Way Too Early” mock drafts for the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB.

To get in on the fun, this prediction of the Bills’ first four games of the 2019 season will be both a prediction of the actual schedule and a prediction of the outcome. (Official schedules with dates will be released by the NFL in April.)

Week 1: Win vs. New York Jets

The Bills opened up both the 2016 and 2018 seasons in Baltimore against the Ravens. In between, they hosted the New York Jets to open up 2017. This means 2019 could bring another home opener against the division-rival Jets at New Era Field. This should be an interesting game, as Sam Darnold and Josh Allen continue to show off their development. The two former first-round picks are both surrounded by young teammates looking to bring the two organizations out of the basement of the league.

Week 1 should bring a quarterback duel between the young phenoms. In 2018, the two teams split their matchups, with each team winning on the road. The Bills outscored the Jets 64-37 last year, and pending an improved offensive line for Buffalo with the addition of another receiving weapon on offense, it looks like the Bills defense will keep the Jets at bay while the new look offense puts plenty of points on the board.

Record So Far: 1-0
Week 2: Win @ Tennessee Titans

Not since the 2015 season have the Bills started the season off with two home games, and only once in that span have they had more than one divisional game in the first four games (never back-to-back for the first two games). The Bills could see themselves traveling to Tennessee in Week 2 for a rematch of last year’s Week 5 matchup in Buffalo when the Bills prevailed 13-12 in a largely anticlimactic affair. The Titans would finish the season at 9-7 and just out of the playoff picture, and with Marcus Mariota now entering the final year of his rookie contract, Tennessee will certainly show up to play. However, an improved offensive Bills roster with a similarly dominant defense will shut down Mariota, hoisting the Bills to their second victory of the season.

Record So Far: 2-0

Week 3: Loss @ Dallas Cowboys

The Bills eventually record their first loss of the season as they drop their Week 3 matchup against the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott is a very talented running back going against a Bills’ defensive line that is missing Kyle Williams for the first time since 2005. The game seems to tilt in the favor of Dallas, as their most recent addition of Amari Cooper puts the offensive game in their favor. The Bills will most likely get overwhelmed against the high power of “America’s Team,” but it should be an interesting game to watch nonetheless.

Record So Far: 2-1

Week 4: Win vs. New England Patriots

The Bills will need to play at the top of their game to defeat the defending Super Bowl Champions. The Patriots will still be very good, but the tide is finally turning in the AFC East. The Patriots began last season 2-2, which has been the case for four of their last seven seasons. Buffalo could take advantage of this “slow start” and leapfrog them in the standings.

The Bills have not played the Pats in the first seven games of the season since 2016 when Buffalo prevailed 16-0 with Jacoby Brissett at the helm of the New England offense. That will not be the case for this matchup, but with anticipated improvement on the Bills offensive line and receiving corps, Josh Allen will be able to use his arm and his legs to create opportunities for the Bills, giving them the edge over an aging New England roster.

Record Through Week 4: 3-1

If you missed the predictions for Weeks 5 through 8, check them out here.
If you missed the predictions for Weeks 10 through 13, check them out here.
If you missed the predictions for Weeks 14 through 17, check them out here.

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