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Buffalo Bills draft eighth in 2013

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills will draft eighth in the 2013 NFL draft.

The complete order through 20 picks won't be finalized until after the Sunday night game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. Playoff teams are slotted Nos. 21 through 32 based on when they're knocked out of the tournament.

But here are the top dozen:

  • 1. Kansas City Chiefs
  • 2. Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 3. Oakland Raiders
  • 4. Philadelphia Eagles
  • 5. Detroit Lions
  • 6. Cleveland Browns
  • 7. Arizona Cardinals
  • 8. Buffalo Bills
  • 9. New York Jets
  • 10. Tennessee Titans
  • 11. San Diego Chargers
  • 12. Miami Dolphins

You'll notice something about the teams listed.

All six of the teams the Bills defeated this season are among the NFL's 12 worst.

The Bills have drafted eighth four times, most recently safety Donte Whitner in 2006. They also took linebacker Shane Conlan in 1987, running back Mike Dennis in the 1966 AFL draft and tackle Jim Davidson in the 1965 AFL draft.

The eighth overall picks since Whitner have been defensive end Jamaal Anderson, defensive end Derrick Harvey, tackle Eugene Monroe, linebacker Rolando McClain, quarterback Jake Locker and quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Buffalo Bills 2013 schedule in focus

By Tim Graham

With the AFC standings finalized, we know the Buffalo Bills' opponents and locations for 2013. Dates and times will be revealed when the NFL announces its schedule, usually in April.

The AFC East's cross-divisional matchups are against the AFC North and NFC South next year. Because the Bills finished in last place, they also will play the last-place teams from the AFC South and AFC West.

Bills home opponents

  • * Atlanta Falcons
  • * Baltimore Ravens
  • * Carolina Panthers
  • * Cincinnati Bengals
  • * Kansas City Chiefs
  • * Miami Dolphins
  • * New England Patriots
  • * New York Jets

Bills road opponents

  • * Cleveland Browns
  • * Jacksonville Jaguars
  • * Miami Dolphins
  • * New England Patriots
  • * New Orleans Saints
  • * New York Jets
  • * Pittsburgh Steelers
  • * Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buffalo will face five teams that made the playoffs this year: New England (twice), Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati.

The Bills had what appeared to be an easy menu of opposing quarterbacks in 2012, but certainly not next season.

If rosters hold up, then in nine of their 16 games the Bills will face a quarterback who has taken his team to the playoffs. The Bills will face a Super Bowl-winning quarterback at least four times.

Game ball: Bills 28, Jets 9

Video replay: [BN]TheHuddle postgame; Tim Graham's thoughts on Nix's & Gailey's futures

Introductory thoughts from The News' Lauren Mariacher & Tim Graham:

Continue reading "Video replay: [BN]TheHuddle postgame; Tim Graham's thoughts on Nix's & Gailey's futures" ยป

Video: On-field analysis from Gaughan & Sully

Video: Fitzpatrick & Gailey postgame news conference highlights

Eric Wood concerned with staff changes, not so much draft order

By Tim Graham

Eric Wood realizes the Buffalo Bills hurt their draft position today. He doesn't care.

"As a player, you want to go win whenever you're out on the field," Wood said. "We don't play for draft position."

Many Bills fans rooted for the New York Jets to win this afternoon in Ralph Wilson Stadium, but their team refused to comply. C.J. Spiller had another touchdown, Brad Smith scored on a Wildcat play and Bryan Scott returned an interception all the way in a 28-9 victory.

The Bills were in the sixth draft slot heading into today's schedule. They could've improved to fourth in the order with a loss and victories by the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions. The Eagles and Lions lost anyway.

The Bills will draft seventh, eighth or ninth, depending on what the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers do in their late afternoon games.

"Whoever may be rooting for whatever pick in the draft," Wood said, "a little bit more momentum going into the offseason, a little bit better feeling probably helps us a little more than a couple extra spots in the draft.

"I could be totally wrong. Maybe we miss out on the next Andrew Luck or Adrian Peterson because of it, but as a player you go out to win games and can't worry about draft stats."

Wood, however, admitted he is concerned about the future of the organization and who will guide the team in 2013. Bills coach Chan Gailey likely will be dismissed. Others in the front office could be replaced.

"You can't avoid the question anymore," Wood said. "I can't say I'm looking forward to [the game] next week only. The reality's here.

"I hope we can stick with the guys we have and build upon what was a bad season from a record standpoint, but I felt we got better, turning on the film. But I just have to roll with it however it falls. I'm just here to do my job."

Wood was asked how difficult it is to justify progress when the Bills went 4-12, 6-10 and 6-10 in Gailey's three seasons despite improved rosters.

"It's really hard to sit here and tell you guys we got better and that we need to keep the same guys because we can make a playoff push with this team," Wood said. "It's tough to say that from a record standpoint. We won two more games than 2010, but if you turn on the film it should look a lot different."

Points after: Bills 28, Jets 9

By Tim Graham

Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' 28-9 season-ending victory over the New York Jets in Ralph Wilson Stadium ...

What it means: On an afternoon when most fans wanted them to lose and improve their draft position, the Bills won to match last season's 6-10 record. We don't know exactly where the Bills will draft, but will post the order on the Press Coverage blog later today.

Star of the game: A week after recording the longest run of his career, C.J. Spiller had his longest reception, a 66-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the second quarter. Spiller ran a career-high 24 times for only 59 yards, but he towed the Bills.

Star of the game II: Bills receiver Stevie Johnson had six catches for 111 yards, surpassing 1,000 for the third straight season.

Play of the day: In the first quarter, linebacker Bryan Scott intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass and returned it 20 yards for the Bills' first defensive touchdown of the season.

Stat of the day: Spiller hit the 1,200-yard rushing mark in the first half. He's the first Bill to have that many since Willis McGahee in 2005. Spiller got there on 187 carries. MGahee had 325 that year.

Preliminary injury report: No Bills injuries were announced during the game.

Coming up: Pink slips, an almost certain coaching search and a high draft choice.

Jets at Bills inactives if you care

By Tim Graham

Here are the inactives for this afternoon's game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills in Ralph Wilson Stadium:

New York Jets

  • Quarterback Greg McElroy
  • Wide receiver Chaz Schilens
  • Tight end Dustin Keller
  • Guard Caleb Schlauderaff
  • Linebacker Bryan Thomas
  • Cornerback Ellis Lankster

Buffalo Bills

  • Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson
  • Wide receiver Kevin Elliott
  • Guard Keith Williams
  • Tackle Chris Scott
  • Defensive end Mark Anderson
  • Defensive tackle Jay Ross
  • Safety Da'Norris Searcy

Greetings from Orchard Park: It's a cold day and a cold business

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills' season will come to an end this afternoon against the New York Jets in Ralph Wilson Stadium, but the drama likely will intensify in the coming days.

This could be the last we see of General Manager Buddy Nix, coach Chan Gailey and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in Bills gear because of poor performances. We also might get our last looks at players such as safety Jairus Byrd and left guard Andy Levitre, who will be free agents after the season.

The Jets, meanwhile, are a perpetual soap opera. Head coach Rex Ryan also could be on his way out. Mark Sanchez will start at quarterback today for injured erstwhile third-stringer Greg McElroy.

The Tim Tebow storyline will lurk on the sidelines. Will it pounce?

Here is a digest of items about today's game ...

Point spread: Bills --3.5. The over/under total is 39 points. For Las Vegas oddsmaker Joel Staniszewski's thoughts from a betting perspective, check out this week's "On the line from Vegas" blog.

Weather report: The Weather Channel forecast for kickoff is 25 degrees, with 62 percent humidity, a 10 percent chance of snow and 14 mph winds.

Matchup to watch: The first time they played, Bills defensive end Mario Williams complained Jets right tackle Austin Howard hit him in the face too much. Williams made one tackle, and that was all. It was a bad first impression for Williams, who had wrist surgery during the bye week and has picked up his play since. Let's see what Williams does in the rematch.

Milestone watch: If the Bills allow 29 points today, then they will break their club record for points allowed in a season. The 1984 Bills gave up 454 points. ... Bills receiver Stevie Johnson needs 65 yards to reach 1,000 for a third straight season. .... T.J. Graham can set a Bills rookie record with a catch in his 15th consecutive game. ... Running back C.J. Spiller is 15 rushing yards from becoming the first Bill with 1,200 since Willis McGahee in 2005.

The Buffalo News has you covered throughout the day. Buffalo News columnists Jerry Sullivan and Bucky Gleason and reporters Mark Gaughan, Jay Skurski and I will be in the Ralph Wilson Stadium press box.

Skurski will moderate our live chat from noon until 5 p.m. "[BN] the Huddle," our postgame webcast, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Lauren Mariacher and me, our recap will include reports from Orchard Park and analysis from One News Plaza staffers.

Remember that defensive overhaul the Bills were supposed to have? The Bills rank 22nd in total defense, 31st in points allowed, 32nd in run defense and 13th in passing defense. They also rank 15th in sacks, tied for 21st in interceptions and tied for 24th in takeaways.

Today's game is being televised by CBS, but blacked out locally. Marv Albert will handle play-by-play, with former NFL MVP Rich Gannon on color commentary.

Bills all-time games versus the Jets: The Jets lead the series, 53-50. The Bills are 28-23 at home against them. Cookie Gilchrist ran for a series-high 243 yards in 1963. Jerry Butler had 255 receiving yards and Joe Ferguson threw for 367 in the same 1979 game.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |