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Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Buffalo Bills schedule analysis

By James Walker

Breakdown: The Buffalo Bills look to climb out of the basement in the AFC East with a favorable schedule. The Bills finished last in the division with a 6-10 record after being swept by the Miami Dolphins (6-10) last season.

The result was a last-place schedule that is ranked 29th in the NFL. Buffalo has a chance to make a jump but it must improve on the road, where the team is 3-13 the past two seasons. The Bills also are 2-10 against AFC East teams in that span.

Buffalo will look to ride a new-look defense to the top of the AFC East. The Bills defensive line, led by free-agent acquisition Mario Williams, should be one of the NFL's best.

Complaint department: Buffalo definitely got the short end of the league's early-season schedule. The Bills play six of their first nine games on the road. Ouch! As we mentioned earlier, Buffalo has been awful in recent seasons away from Ralph Wilson Stadium. This team will have to grow up fast or fall behind. The good news is Buffalo finishes the season with five of its last seven games at home. Therefore, if the Bills are in playoff contention down the stretch in November and December, their chances look good to get over the hump.

Williams Bowl: Williams will have to wait a while to seek revenge against his former team: the Houston Texans. The Bills travel to Houston in Week 9 to play the Texans. Williams was a former No. 1 overall pick in Houston, but didn’t return in free agency after Buffalo offered him $100 million. The Texans hope to prove they will be just fine without Williams, while the stud defensive end tries to take a new team to the next level.

Bills Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9, at N.Y. Jets, 1:00 PM
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16, Kansas City, 1:00 PM
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, at Cleveland, 1:00 PM
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30, New England, 1:00 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, at San Francisco, 4:15 PM
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, at Arizona, 4:05 PM
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 21, Tennessee, 1:00 PM
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, at Houston, 1:00 PM
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11, at New England, 1:00 PM
Week 11: Thursday, Nov. 15, Miami, 8:20 PM
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, Jacksonville, 1:00 PM
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, St. Louis, 1:00 PM
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, Seattle, 4:05 PM
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, at Miami, 1:00 PM
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, N.Y. Jets, 1:00 PM