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

Justin TuckOct 29 09:23p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin) and CB Carlos Rogers (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. [ More ]

Bobby WagnerOct 29 09:23p

Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) and LB Bobby Wagner (toe) were each unable to practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and each is already ruled out for Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders.

Max UngerOct 29 09:23p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jordan Hill (ankle), SS Jeron Johnson (concussion), CB Byron Maxwell (calf) and LB Malcolm Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG James Carpenter [ More ]

J. CunninghamOct 29 08:53p

The St. Louis Rams signed OT Steven Baker, WR Emory Blake, OT Travis Bond and TE Justice Cunningham to the practice squad Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Marcus LattimoreOct 29 08:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) returned to practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. He remains on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Brian QuickOct 29 08:43p

The St. Louis Rams placed WR Brian Quick (shoulder) on the reserve/injured list Wednesday, Oct. 29.

A.J. EddsOct 29 08:33p

Atlanta Falcons FS Sean Baker, Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves, Denver Broncos DE Greg Latta, New England Patriots OG Chris Barker, New York Jets LB A.J. Edds, Oakland Raiders [ More ]

Damian WilliamsOct 29 08:33p

The St. Louis Rams promoted OG Brandon Washington from the practice squad to the active roster Wednesday, Oct. 29, and they signed free-agent WR Damian Williams.

Patrick WillisOct 29 08:03p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), SS Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were listed as limited participants in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Chris Culliver [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 29 08:03p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Anthony CollinsOct 29 07:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were listed as limited participants.

Lamarcus JoynerOct 29 07:53p

St. Louis Rams S Cody Davis (concussion), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), DE William Hayes (foot), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), S Rodney McLeod (knee), OT Rodger [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 29 07:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring), DE Phil Taylor (knee) and OT Joe Thomas (non-injury related) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. DT Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) was [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 29 07:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, Oct. 29. Green said he feels good, and he'll try to do more Thursday, Oct. [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 29 07:33p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee), LB Brooks Reed (groin) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. [ More ]

Stepfan TaylorOct 29 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and he has been ruled out for Week 9.

Patrick PetersonOct 29 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals FS Tony Jefferson (head) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. LB Kenny Demens (knee), TE Troy Niklas (ankle) and CB Patrick Peterson (concussion) were listed as limited [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 29 07:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), DE Carlos Dunlap (illness), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring), [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 29 07:03p

Denver Broncos LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), S Quinton Carter (hamstring) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Omar Bolden (concussion) and LB Steven Johnson [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 29 06:53p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Chris McCain (foot), LB Koa Misi (ankle), [ More ]

Brian RobinsonOct 29 06:43p

Minnesota Vikings DE Brian Robinson (glute) and CB Jabari Price (hamstring) both did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Josh Robinson (ankle), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle, knee), [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 29 06:23p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and has been ruled out for the team's Week 9 game. CB Jamell Fleming [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 29 05:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is expected to start in the team's Week 9 game against the Minnesota Vikings, according to league sources.

Tracy PorterOct 29 05:53p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 29 05:33p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot, toe) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Jonathan GoodwinOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints LB David Hawthorne (hand) and FB Austin Johnson (knee) both did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and have been ruled out for the team's Week 9 [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and has been ruled out for Week 9.

Jimmy GrahamOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and is questionable for the team's Week 9 game.

Brandon BrownerOct 29 05:03p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. FS Nate Ebner (finger), DE Dominique Easley (knee, shoulder), OT Cameron Fleming (finger) and [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 29 05:03p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) didn't practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG Oday Aboushi (shoulder), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LG Trevor Reilly (knee) [ More ]

Terrell SuggsOct 29 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata (shin), CB Jimmy Smith (foot), LB Terrell Suggs (neck), CB Lardarius Webb (non-injury) and OG Marshal Yanda (knee) all did [ More ]

Justin ForsettOct 29 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. Forsett is dealing with an ankle injury.

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