2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills limp into 'home' stretch of schedule

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-13 18:46

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - The Buffalo Bills are finally home after spending much of the first 10 weeks of the season playing on the road. And center Eric Wood wonders if anyone will bother showing up unless they start playing better.

``I've said it before, I don't blame them,'' Wood said, noting that money's tight and winter's coming.

``It's tough on people to put their hard-earned money out there, and we realize that. And to sit in the cold is not fun. So we really need to take care of business these next few games, hopefully get back to .500 here and make these last games interesting where we do make it our advantage.''

If they intend to make any type of a run and re-energize their fan base, it has to begin Thursday night, when Buffalo (3-6) hosts AFC East rival Miami (4-5).

It's a game that kicks off a closing stretch in which Buffalo will play five of its final seven at home - including the team's annual ``home'' game at Toronto, where the Bills will face Seattle on Dec. 16.

How much support the Bills get remains a concern.

The game against Miami is a sellout. But there are questions whether they can sell out their three remaining games at Ralph Wilson Stadium

The team announced this week it still has more than 15,000 tickets unsold for its game against Jacksonville on Dec. 2. And there are still more than 10,000 tickets available for its games against St. Louis on Dec. 9 and season finale against the New York Jets.

The Bills' record will play a factor, as will recent history.

Whether they're winning or losing, the Bills have had difficulty selling out home games in December since Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly was leading the team to four consecutive AFC titles in the early 1990s.

Buffalo sold out only about 55 percent of its games in the 1990s. And the figures haven't been much better since. That was indicative last year, when the Bills final three homes games - all in December - were blacked out on local television because they failed to sell out.

The bitter cold and harsh conditions have been blamed for the poor turnouts.

It's a concern that's led the Bills and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer to question why the NFL would continue scheduling so many games in Buffalo this late in the season.

``It's not been optimal. It's a proven fact that in December in Buffalo, it's difficult to attain sellout status at our facility,'' Bills CEO Russ Brandon said. ``December games are a challenge. But competitively, there's no place we'd rather play meaningful games than at home in front of our fans.''

Schumer also has expressed concerns.

``Sometimes NFL schedules help football teams, and sometimes they hurt them,'' Schumer spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said in an email to The Associated Press. ``Hopefully, the home games in December will help the Bills win more games in the second half of the season. But in any case, Senator Schumer would like to minimize the number of blackouts. And he will work with the Bills to do that.''

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said it's difficult creating a schedule to satisfy every request made by every team.

``We are aware of the Bills' preferences for limiting late-season home games,'' McCarthy said. ``We know we are not able to make every team happy every year. But we strive to design schedules that are equitable for all 32 teams.''

The Bills schedule this season has been what even coach Chan Gailey has described as being ``unusual.''

Buffalo's played just once at home since September. They've played four of five on the road, a stretch that included consecutive games at San Francisco and Arizona, during which the Bills elected to spend the week in Phoenix rather than travel home.

Coming off a 37-31 loss to New England on Sunday, the Bills ended a string of four straight road games in which they played teams either coming off bye weeks (Patriots and Houston) or had a 10-day break after playing on a Thursday (San Francisco and Arizona).

According to STATS LLC, only the Philadelphia Eagles, with six, and Seattle Seahawks, five, play more games against opponents coming off extended breaks this season.

Safety George Wilson called it ``odd'' but refused to make any excuses.

``It's easy to sit back and criticize the scheduling after how the first nine games have gone for us,'' Wilson said. ``But if the record was turned the other way around, we'd be feeling pretty good about the position we're in.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group