Since the Buffalo Bills hired Sean McDermott as their coach in January, "earning the right to win" and "respecting the process" have been among the key messages to his players. To McDermott, the Bills cannot become a contender overnight.
The Bills' official Twitter account apparently wants national recognition to come a bit quicker. In what appears to be a lighthearted tweet, the Bills took aim Thursday night at the NFL for not scheduling a home prime-time game on Buffalo's 2017 schedule:
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) April 21, 2017
Although flexible scheduling could eventually change things, Buffalo has only one prime-time, nationally-televised game in 2017: a Week 9 trip to MetLife Stadium to play the New York Jets on a Thursday night. Otherwise, the Bills play 14 games at 1 p.m. ET and one game, at the Chargers, at 4:05 p.m. ET.
The lack of national television exposure is hardly surprising. The Bills had a 7-9 record last season, have not made the playoffs since 1999 and play in one of the league's smallest markets. And unlike the past two seasons, when Buffalo played on Monday Night Football each year, they no longer have the draw of coach Rex Ryan and his personality.
Sure, Bills fans would enjoy the opportunity to watch their team play under the lights at New Era Field at least once this season. But Buffalo hosted the Jets on Thursday night last September, so it is only fair that Buffalo makes the trip to New Jersey this season.
If the Bills want the exposure of playing on national television at home, they have a chance: they host the Patriots on Dec. 3. If Buffalo exceeds expectations over its first 11 games and remains in division title contention, their tilt with New England would become a strong candidate for flexible scheduling to "Sunday Night Football." That would be the Bills' first appearance on NBC's telecast since they were trounced, 56-10, by New England in 2007.