By Mark Gaughan
The Buffalo Bills open and close the 2013 NFL season against their nemesis, the New England Patriots.
The Bills' season begins at home on Sept. 8 against the Pats. It ends on Dec. 29 in New England. The Patriots have defeated the Bills 18 of the last 19 meetings.
The Bills' regular-season game in Toronto is on Dec. 1 against the Atlanta Falcons.
The schedule is more friendly to the Bills from a ticket-selling perspective. Four of the first six games are at home, and there is only one December game in Orchard Park. Last year the Bills had three home December games at Ralph WIlson Stadium. The team typically has a tougher time selling out late-season home games.
For the fourth straight year, the Bills are not scheduled to appear on either NBC's Sunday Night Football or ESPN's Monday Night Football. The Bills play a nationally televised game on the road on a Thursday night, at Cleveland, on the NFL Network.
Other schedule facts:
• The Bills play the team defending its Super Bowl title for the first time since 2005. The Baltimore Ravens, who won the league championship in February, visit Buffalo on Sept. 29.
• The Bills do not play west of the Mississippi River for the first time since 2007.
• Tampa is on the schedule for the 10th time, and for the ninth time, the game is in Tampa.
• Carolina comes to Buffalo for the first time since 2005.
• Jacksonville might as well be in the Bills' division. The Bills and Jags meet for the ninth time in the last 11 years.
• Cincinnati faces the Bills for the third time in the last four years.
• While the Bills only won six games last season, four of the teams they beat are on this year's schedule.
• Based on last year’s records, the Bills have the seventh easiest schedule in the NFL. Of course, last year's records are only a vague indicator of the coming season's results. The Bills had the third-easiest schedule in the NFL entering last season and finished 6-10.
2013 BUFFALO BILLS SCHEDULE
Aug. 11 at Indianapolis, 1:30 p.m.
Aug. 16 Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 at Washington, 4 p.m.
Aug. 29 Detroit, 7 p.m.
Sep. 8 New England, 1 p.m.
Sep. 15 Carolina, 1 p.m.
Sep. 22 at N.Y. Jets, 4:25 p.m.
Sep. 29 Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Cleveland (Thursday night), 8:25 p.m.
Oct. 13 Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Oct. 20 at Miami, 1 p.m.
Oct. 27 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Nov. 3 Kansas City, 1 p.m.
Nov. 10 at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Nov. 17 N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.
Nov. 24 Bye Week
Dec. 1 Atlanta (Toronto), 4:05 p.m.
Dec. 8 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Dec. 15 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Dec. 22 Miami, 1 p.m.
Dec. 29 at New England, 1 p.m.