The Buffalo Bills first three quarters of the season could be viewed as favorable, as seven out of twelve games will be home games (including one Toronto date). That leaves a very difficult stretch of games in December to finish out the season. While the nice Fall weather might be perfect for selling tickets early in the season, December may prove to be very difficult for a young Bills team.
For three straight weeks, the Bills will face teams from Florida.
Week 14 takes the Bills to Tampa Bay, to take on a very strong Buccaneers team. While the Bills catch a break traveling to a warmer climate, Josh Freeman and Doug Martin will make for a very difficult challenge. The Bucs also added long time NY Jet Darrelle Revis to their secondary, which should further strengthen them into a playoff contender. One of the biggest factors going into December is which teams will avoid the big injuries for the first three quarters of the season. This should be a fun game to watch no matter what.
Week 15 takes the Bills back to Florida, this time facing the Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be interesting to see if Bill’s first year coach Doug Marrone options to keep the Bills in Florida the entire week, to avoid travel and to allow the team to practice in the Florida sunshine. In the eyes of many national writers, this game may be the worst game on the NFL schedule this season. But it could also be a very important game to the Bills, especially if they remain alive for an AFC playoff spot. It’s a game on paper they should win, and could set them up for an exciting finish to the season.
Week 16 brings the Bills back home against another Florida foe, against their long-time rival Miami Dolphins.
Miami week. December 22nd. Outside in the elements.
Could we see a replay of the Lake Effect game of 2002? Could we see the Bills playing their last home game of the season fighting for a playoff spot or even a division title? No matter what, it is always fun to bring Miami to Buffalo so late in the season. Hopefully, this game means more on the field then it does off. Squish the Fish has lost some meaning, but the rivalry is still very important to most fans of the red, white, and blue.
To finish off the 2013 regular season, the Bills head to New England. Gillette Stadium has been a house of horrors for Buffalo over the past decade. The Patriots and Tom Brady have dominated the Bills. The question becomes, will the new culture at One Bills Drive be enough to change the futility the Bills have had against coach Belichick? Will the Bills be able knock the mighty Patriots from atop the AFC East and manage to play again in January? Will Buffalo be talking football in January, or looking towards April and the NFL Draft? These are all questions fans cannot wait to answer affirmatively. It just might take another year or two to get there.
Next week, I will offer predictions from our staff on where the Bills may end up this season. If you would like to be included in the article, please email me with your prediction for 2013 (wins and losses), and a game you think the Bills will definitely win. Leave a comment or two as to why you believe in that record, and you may be featured in next week’s article. Send your prediction and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.