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Saints coming off bye usually mean awful news for next opponent

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills scored a triple upset last Sunday.

Not only did the Bills beat a home favorite, but they also defeated a team that had an extra week to prepare.

The Miami Dolphins were coming off their bye. But the Bills still left Sun Life Stadium with a 23-21 victory.

Trends strongly suggest the Bills won't pull off two in a row.

The New Orleans Saints also are coming off their bye and will welcome the Bills into the Superdome, one of the most difficult venues. Suffice to say, there won't be rows and rows of empty seats in New Orleans like there were in Miami Gardens.

"We felt when we were at home we had everything going for us," Bills coach Doug Marrone said of his experience as a Saints offensive coordinator from 2006 through 2008. "It was an exciting thing, and I'm sure they feel the same way.

"They have great fans down there. They'll be into it. They'll be ready to go. It doesn't matter who comes in."

New Orleans has been vicious after recent byes, winning their next game four straight seasons. New Orleans has scored at least 34 points in each game and has averaged 41.5 points.

The Saints might also be a tad edgy. They began their season 5-0 and then lost to the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium right before the week off.

"It'll be important for us to continue to do the things that we've done well," Saints coach Sean Payton said on a conference call with Bills reporters, "and then also the improvements that we have to make as a team to get better."


Doug Marrone
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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 |