Inside The Bills

Schedule poses challenges

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2009 – 11:24 pm

Facing the NFC South and AFC South could very well prove to be a daunting challenge for the Bills in 2009, but the way the fall slate lays out it doesn’t look nearly as intimidating as it could have been.

Sure the Week 1 Monday Night matchup on the road with the Pats might look like a rough start, but with no game tape of Buffalo’s offense with the addition of Owens, game planning won’t be as easy for Belichick and Brady just might be a bit rusty.

Week 2 and Week 3 offer opportunities for the Bills to get healthy record-wise against a pair of teams that are going through coaching changes. Granted Raheem Morris was on the staff, but with a new quarterback and new leadership, it’s unlikely the Bucs will have their ducks in a row by Week 2, which should translate into a win for the Bills.

Week 3 offers a bigger challenge to Buffalo’s defense with Drew Brees and Reggie Bush coming to the Ralph, but their defense is one in transition with former Bills head coach Gregg Williams their new defensive coordinator. Again three weeks into a season a new scheme is rarely humming.

I’m not keen on the Bills playing their first three division games all on the road in Weeks 1, 4 and 6. They’ve also got a short week in Weeks 12 and 13 where they go from a home date against Miami to a “home” primetime date against the Jets in Toronto on a Thursday night (Dec. 3).

Back to back road weeks against Tennessee and Jacksonville in Weeks 10 and 11 won’t be easy either.

The last three weeks will be tough home versus New England, at Atlanta and home versus Indy to close out the regular season. If the Bills need those games to qualify for the playoffs it’ll be a tough row to hoe.

But hey we all knew going in that the Bills were going to have one of the tougher schedules. No one in the NFC South finished below .500 last season and the AFC South offers high scoring (Colts, Texans [yes the Texans]), and tough physical bruising football (Tennessee,  Jacksonville).

That’s why the Bucs, Chiefs, Texans, Browns games are ‘must’ victories. Those are four teams the Bills should beat. If they go 4-0 in those contests and can hang with some of their more competitive opponents on the docket they should be in the hunt.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Chiefs to give Bills the home game?

Posted by Chris Brown on March 26, 2009 – 1:40 pm

It’s a story that may be getting blown out of proportion, but reports out of Kansas City indicate that if construction workers, that are doing major renovations on Arrowhead stadium, go on strike at the end of March when their contract is up, the stadium will not be ready in time to host Chiefs home games and that the possibility would exist that the Chiefs would have to play all of their 2009 regular season games on the road. That according to Fox4KC in Kansas City.

The Bills are one of Kansas City’s scheduled home dates this year, so if the Chiefs are thrust into the worst case scenario they could be coming to Buffalo instead of hosting the Bills.

In this economy I can’t see a labor dispute lasting very long. Nobody wants to be out of work right now, but that would certainly put the NFL’s league offices in a quandary as to the best solution to that problem.

If the worst case scenario did present itself and the Chiefs could not play at Arrowhead, I would think they’d make an arrangement with Kansas State, Kansas University or the University of Missouri to play their home games in one of those college stadiums before going on the road for 16 games.

The Chicago Bears did that back in 2002 when they played their entire home schedule at the University of Illinois in Champaign while their stadium was undergoing renovations.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

What I like most about MNF opener

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2009 – 8:31 pm

There is a lot to like about the Monday Night Football opener and some things that aren’t very appealing (location of game). First I’ll tell you what I like best about this game on this week.

Perhaps most important is that Bill Belichick and his staff will not have any tape on Buffalo’s offense with Owens a part of it. The Bills are tweaking a good portion of their offensive approach with Owens in the lineup and with the Monday Night game being the debut of the Buffalo offense, Belichick will be forced to adjust on the fly.

I like that he won’t have any tape to go on. That’s a big plus for the Bills.

What I don’t like is that first, it’s another prime time game in Foxboro, and being the opening Monday Night game and the return of Tom Brady is going to have the Patriots’ fans in a full froth leading up to kickoff.

Secondly, the Bills may also be without Marshawn Lynch for the opener if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell elects to hand down a suspension for any length of time with respect to games.

That would be a tough blow to Buffalo’s ground game in an important early AFC East contest. Let me know what you think about this matchup.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills-Pats Monday night football Week 1?

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2009 – 5:16 pm

The speculation continues to swirl out at the league meetings in California concerning the 2009 schedule. The latest is that the Bills and Patriots will kick off the Monday night football schedule this year with a Week One Monday night tilt.

That according to the Boston Herald. Now if it proves to be the case, the Bills-Pats would be the early Monday night game as the league schedules a pair of Monday night games the first Monday of the season, with the second to start around 10:30pm.

One thing is certain, Brady’s return, Moss and Owens will certainly spell fireworks. Obviously, there’s also the potential absence of Marshawn Lynch due to an anticipated league suspension.

Posted in Inside the Bills
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