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

Jordy NelsonSep 16 10:56p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has targeted WR Jordy Nelson 30 times in two games so far this year. Rodgers has never targeted one of his wideouts more [ More ]

John AbrahamSep 16 10:13p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion) did not pass his concussion tests Tuesday, Sept. 16, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Abraham will try to pass the tests again Wednesday.

Carson PalmerSep 16 09:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) will receive medical opinions on how to accelerate the healing process of the injured nerve in his shoulder, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Josh GordonSep 16 09:23p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon had his season-long suspension officially cut to 10 games Tuesday, Sept. 16. He could also avoid serving the mandatory two-game suspension for his DWI [ More ]

Justin JonesSep 16 07:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs signed free-agent TE Justin Jones (Patriots) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Sept. 16.

L. WashingtonSep 16 07:03p

The New York Giants re-signed WR Travis Harvey to their practice squad and signed free-agent WR L'Damian Washington (49ers) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Chris SmithSep 16 06:53p

The Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed LB Chris Smith to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Isaiah FreySep 16 06:33p

Chicago Bears CB Isaiah Frey and WR Rashad Ross were signed from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Matthew MulliganSep 16 06:23p

The Chicago Bears released TE Matthew Mulligan Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Shaun DraughnSep 16 06:23p

The Chicago Bears placed RB Shaun Draughn and WR Chris X. Williams on no-recall waivers Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Arthur JonesSep 16 06:13p

Indianapolis Colts DT Arthur Jones (ankle) is likely to be out two to four weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 3 Monday, Sept. 15.

Walter ThurmondSep 16 06:03p

New York Giants WR Julian Talley and LB Dan Fox were promoted to the team's active roster from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16, filling the spots left by [ More ]

Preston ParkerSep 16 06:03p

New York Giants WR Preston Parker could see more snaps with WR Jerrell Jernigan recently placed on Reserve/Injured. Parker caught one pass for 29 yards against the Arizona Cardinals [ More ]

Nevin LawsonSep 16 05:53p

The Detroit Lions placed CB Nevin Lawson (toes) on Reserve/Injured and signed free-agents CB Danny Gorrer (Buccaneers) and LB Julian Stanford (Lions) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Mike PounceySep 16 05:32p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) thinks he's healthy enough to return to action in Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs. 'I feel like I can play,' Pouncey [ More ]

Victor ButlerSep 16 05:32p

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent LB Victor Butler (Saints) and released LB Marcus Benard and P Drew Butler Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Zach BrownSep 16 05:23p

Tennessee Titans LB Zach Brown (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 16.

James AndersonSep 16 05:23p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent LB James Anderson (Patriots) to their active roster Tuesday, Sept. 16. The Titans believe Anderson can play an inside linebacker position, where they are thin.

Walter ThurmondSep 16 05:13p

New York Giants CB Walter Thurmond (pectoral) has been placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Doug MartinSep 16 05:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) was limited at practice for the second straight day Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Jerrel JerniganSep 16 05:03p

New York Giants WR Jerrel Jernigan (foot) has been placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Logan MankinsSep 16 05:03p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (shoulder) and DT Gerald McCoy (hand) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 16. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (back), DE William Gholston (shoulder), DE Michael Johnson [ More ]

Allen BradfordSep 16 04:43p

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent LB Allen Bradford (Seahawks) and cut WR Ifeanyi Momah.

Ricky SappSep 16 04:43p

The Houston Texans signed free-agent Ricky Sapp (Texans) to their active roster and S Josh Aubrey (Seahawks) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16. They also released LB Jason [ More ]

Darius FlemingSep 16 04:23p

The New England Patriots signed free-agents LB Darius Fleming (Patriots), OT Caylin Hauptmann (Browns) and DL Kona Schwenke (Chiefs) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Alex SmithSep 16 04:03p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Alex E. Smith (biceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Julio JonesSep 16 03:53p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (ankle) fully participated in practice Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Jake MatthewsSep 16 03:53p

Atlanta Falcons OT Jake Matthews (ankle) and LB Prince Shembo (knee) both fully participated in practice Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Asa JacksonSep 16 03:43p

Baltimore Ravens CB Asa Jackson (concussion) and CB Lardarius Webb (back) both fully participated in practice Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Gerald McCoySep 16 03:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (shoulder), DT Gerald McCoy (hand) and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) all did not participate in practice Tuesday, Sept. 16.

David ArkinSep 16 03:13p

The Indianapolis Colts signed OG David Arkin (Seahawks) to the team's practice squad and released OG Josh Walker.

Dion LewisSep 16 03:13p

The Indianapolis Colts signed DT Kelcy Quarles off the New England Patriots practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. In a corresponding move, the team waived RB Dion Lewis.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group