By Tim Graham
Some quick thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' 2013 schedule, which was released this evening ...
The schedule-maker did the Bills' box office some favors by front-loading home games. The Bills have struggled to sell their late-season games and play only one game in November and one game in December at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
If the Bills plan on being playoff contenders, then they'll need to be ready from the jump under rookie head coach Doug Marrone. They can take advantage of September and October. Four of their first six games are in Orchard Park.
The Bills deserve to play in primetime only for the mandated Thursday night game. That comes in Week 5 at the Cleveland Browns. The Bills will have a few extra days to prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals at home in Week 6.
With a Week 12 bye and a Week 13 "home" game against the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto, the Bills will play in Ralph Wilson Stadium only twice over the final eight NFL weeks. After they host the New York Jets in Week 11, the Bills won't play in Orchard Park again for five weeks.
The Bills will play back-to-back December games in Florida: at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14 and at the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15.
The Bills will play three teams coming off bye weeks: at the Miami Dolphins in Week Seven, at the New Orleans Saints in Week Eight and home against the Jets in Week 11.
Three other teams have extra time to prepare for the Bills by playing on the previous Thursday night: at the Jets in Week Three, the Falcons in Week 13 at Toronto and at the Jaguars in Week 15.