Thursday, April 18, 2013

Seventeen takeaways from Bills' 2013 schedule


1. The Bills will start and end the season against the division-winning New England Patriots, opening up at the Ralph. Trial by fire for new coach Doug Marrone, it seems.

2. Buffalo's bye week doesn't come until Week 12, in between two home games.

3. Speaking of home games, the Bills start the season at Ralph Wilson for four out of the first six games. Talk about a chance to build momentum. (photo: Matt Britt, Flickr)

4. Buffalo plays its lone primetime game Thursday night  in Cleveland Week 5 against the Browns. No Sunday night or Monday night game, though.

5. There are only two other games on the Bills' schedule besides the Week 5 game that do not have a 1 p.m. starting time: Week 3 at the Jets and Week 13 "at home" against Atlanta.

6. The team's annual trip north of the border will be against the Falcons at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

7. Because of the bye and a trip to Canada, Buffalo will have four straight weeks away from the Ralph.

8. Buffalo gets its shot against the Super Bowl champs, Week 4 at home.

9. The Bills get a little break from Buffalo in December with two games in Florida (Week 14 at Tampa, Week 15 at Jacksonville).

10. The Bills will play back-to-back teams coming off bye weeks: Miami in Week 7 and New Orleans in Week 8. Buffalo faces a third team coming off a bye Week 11 when they host the Jets.

11. Buffalo's schedule is the seventh-best in terms of strength of schedule, with its opponents holding a  record of 121-135. That's the easiest out of all the teams in the division.

12. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine gets his shot to show up Rex Ryan and his former employer in New York Week 3 and again Week 11 in Buffalo.

13. Three of four games in October will be played on the road, with the only home game Week 6 against Cincinnati.

14. Fifteen of the team's 16 games are in the Eastern time zone. No crazy long stays on the West Coast like in 2012; actually, no West Coast games at all.

15. This will be the fourth year in a row that the Toronto game will be against an NFC team (Falcons). Another dome team gets off easy, however, and avoids a December game in Buffalo.

16. Buffalo will face the Bengals for the third time in the last four years. Even more, the Bills will see the Jags for the ninth time in 11 years.

17. The Bills won six games last year; the team will get to see five of those teams again this year (Chiefs, Browns, Dolphins, Jaguars, Jets).

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