Yesterday I wrote this piece explaining why all of their arguments were bunk and the simple fact was, shorter rest does not mean more losses, and the Bills have had average to much longer than average rest in the last few seasons with absolutely NOTHING to show for it.
I didn’t plan to write another piece on the Bills today, but then I read the original piece by Tim on the Bills schedule complaints, and I realized a few things needed to be pointed about regarding the actual EASE of the Bills schedule in 2013:
1. The Bills management is kind of backwards from normal teams. Many teams WANT home games at the end of the season to help their team win crucial games at the end of the season. Considering that the last two seasons, the Bills are 9-7 at home but just 3-13 on the road, you would think that the Bills management would try to steal a few on the road early, and use the cold, December home field to win pivotal games to enter the playoffs. Not the case with the Bills management.
They WANT to play on the road at the end of the season. Despite making it significantly HARDER on their team, they don’t sell tickets well to the home games late in the season (most likely because the team has a losing record, not because its a home game, but hey, why let facts get in the way of a good excuse).
So the Bills prefer to have home games early in the season, road games late in the season.
Guess what? Those evil scheduling nerds at the NFL ACTUALLY LISTENED and gave the Bills 4 games IN RALPH WILSON STADIUM the first 6 weeks of the season.
How many other teams get that kind of privileged treatment? Well, looking at the very handy schedule grid, you can see that the Bills are 1 of ONLY 4 teams to have 4 home games the first 6 weeks of the season. There are multiple teams to have only 2 home games the first 6 weeks of the season (Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Miami, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington), yet the Bills asked for the opposite and are 1 of only 4 teams to GET WHAT THEY WANTED.
2. Everyone knows its better to play more difficult teams at home (where you should have a slight advantage) and easier teams on the road. Here are the Bills 2013 road opponents, and their records from 2012:
- NYJ (6-10)
- Cle (5-11)
- Mia (7-9)
- NO (7-9)
- Pit (8-8)
- TB (7-9)
- Jac (2-14)
- NE (12-4)
It should be painfully obvious the point I’m going to make:
The Bills are the ONLY team in the league to not play a single road game vs. a team with a winning record from 2012 until Week 17!
And YES, that game @ the Patriots is week 17, when there is a good chance New England won’t have anything to play for (whether Belichick rests players is another thing, but if you’re playing in New England, might as well play there when he might sit a player or two).
The Packers play their first 3 road games of the season vs teams who went 11-4-1, 10-6 and 10-6 in 2012. In the Bills own division, the NY Jets play their first 4 road games of the season vs teams who went 12-4, 6-10, 13-3 and 10-6.
Yet the Bills face just 1 team on the road all season long who was above .500 in 2012, and its not until week 17!!??
If you look at that road schedule, it’s a CRIME that the Bills get to play so many losing teams from 2012 on the road. They don’t have to travel to Baltimore, where the Ravens enjoy one of the best home field advantages. They don’t have to travel to the Georgia Dome, where Matty Ice is very hard to beat. These teams must travel to Buffalo.
3. The Bills have to play IN FLORIDA three times this season: @ Miami, @ Tampa Bay and @ Jacksonville. Yet they don’t have to play in the HEAT once. Their first trip to Florida isn’t until October 20th, almost Halloween. Then, they play back to back weeks (@ TB, @ Jac) in December. Which teams from the frigid Northeast WOULDN’T volunteer to spend half the month of December in Florida?
Perhaps the Bills didn’t do any research (yet again) to see that the Buccaneers are 1-12 in their last 13 home games from December onward, dating back to 2007. Or that the Jaguars lost both of their December games last year and have one of the worst home field advantages in the entire NFL, which can only be made worse when the team has a losing record and try to attract customers to come out and pay to watch them play the Bills, 10 days before Christmas.
Playing in Florida 3 times yet NOT ONCE playing there in the heat/humidity of September is a MAJOR advantage for the Bills.
These 3 scheduling notes are important to realize because the Bills actually are complaining on their official website about their schedule! I’d say the Bills shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. They were treated VERY kindly in many situations by the NFL scheduling department.
And playing on short rest (one of their prime complaints) isn’t an excuse:
Did you know that the last 2 NFL seasons, teams playing on less rest than their opponents are actually 91-86 (51%) in those games with less rest.
In 2012, Buffalo had 3 games where their opponent had more rest than they did. The Bills whet 1-2. But when the Seahawks and the Falcons were in the same circumstance, they went 4-2 (6 total games, TWICE that of the Bills) & Atlanta went 4-1 in their 5 games. Only KC (0-6) and StL (0-5) have been worse than the Bills the last 2 years when playing with less rest than their opponent. So why is it the schedule makers fault when the Bills lose (just ignore the fact that many teams still prosper when playing on less rest and the league average is winning 51% of the time on less rest than your opponent)?
BuffaloBills.com, please just stop with the excuses!