BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Bills’ 2023 regular season schedule was released Thursday, and it includes a handful of primetime games, a notably late bye week and matchups against some of the NFL’s top teams.

On Monday, the Bills posted their finalized preseason schedule, featuring three games and just one of them at Highmark Stadium. Every preseason game can be viewed on TV exclusively on WIVB. They are:

Saturday, Aug. 12: vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. — Scheduled to be Kids Day, featuring a number of “family-fun festivities.”
Saturday, Aug. 19: at Pittsburgh Steelers, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 26: at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.

Here are some key takeaways from the Bills’ schedule four months from opening kickoff:

Primetime games

Buffalo will get their fair share of national TV time this season, as they will play six primetime games, the maximum allowable by the NFL and a franchise record. This includes three consecutive and four in five weeks.

The first primetime game is a marquee matchup, as they’ll play on Monday Night Football in Week 1, squaring off against Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets on the road.

After that, their first home primetime game comes Oct. 15 on Sunday Night Football, as Brian Daboll returns to Buffalo with the Giants. Oct. 26 sees them again at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football, followed by a playoff rematch against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football the following week. Rounding out the trio of national TV games is a Monday Night Football matchup at home against the Denver Broncos on Nov. 13.

The Bills are scheduled to have a number of 4:25 p.m. starts later in the season, as well as an early morning 9:30 a.m. start for Buffalo’s London tilt against Jacksonville. Another start time-related quirk includes the Bills not playing a 1 p.m. Sunday game from Oct. 23 through Dec. 30.

There will be no Bills game on Thanksgiving this year after a string of appearances in recent years. After playing on Christmas Eve last season, the Bills visit the Chargers in Los Angeles for a 8 p.m. game on Dec. 23, which will be the first NFL game exclusively streamed on Peacock.

However, fans looking to get an early start to their New Year’s Eve festivities can do so at Highmark Stadium, as Buffalo hosts New England for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Dec. 31.

Key matchups across the board

When it comes to this Bills schedule, you can take your pick as to what games will have the most playoff-seeding importance and national attention.

Whether it’s the new-look Jets in Week 1, the playoff rematch against the Bengals in Week 9, the always-anticipated game against the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Week 14 or a matchup with the NFC champion Eagles in Week 12, there are sure to be plenty of eyes on Bills contests.

Within the AFC East, a Week 18 tilt against the Dolphins could potentially have division title implications on the final day of the season.

Speaking of Miami, a noteworthy change for the annual divisional matchups appears to have been made tied to weather. The Dolphins will make the trek to Buffalo in Week 4, when flying snowballs likely won’t be a factor, while the Bills will head to Miami in January when the blistering Florida heat is not as prominent.

Latest bye week since 1999

The Bills hadn’t had a Week 13 bye week this millennium, but that changes in 2023.

Beyond being notably late, this year’s bye splits two of the team’s most noteworthy, and arguably difficult, games of the season in the Week 12 matchup with Philadelphia and Week 14 tilt against Kansas City.

Teams receive the option to take their bye week following a matchup overseas, which in this case would have been Week 6 following the game in London against the Jaguars. But the Bills opted to hold off for later in the season.

What kind of rest advantages do the Bills have?

While it may seem minimal in the grand scheme, an extra few days of rest over an opponent can prove extremely beneficial, and Buffalo will have them here and there.

The Bills will get an extra three rest days prior to their Sunday Night Football showdown with Cincinnati in Week 9 and also play the Chiefs in Week 14 off their bye week — a noteworthy advantage against arguably the two best teams in the AFC.

One extra day of rest also falls Buffalo’s way in Week 17 against the Patriots.

Conversely, Buffalo will have a short week for their home opener against the Raiders after their Monday Night Football showdown with the Jets. The Broncos will be coming off their bye week when they play the Bills in Week 10 and the Jaguars will have already played a game in London a week prior to their Oct. 8 matchup against Buffalo.

The Jets have a day advantage in Week 11 due to the Bills playing on Monday night the week prior, while the Chargers will have a few extra days of rest for the Dec. 23 matchup due to them playing Thursday night in Week 15.

Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.