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Marrone breaks schedule into quarters

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Just two weeks into the regular season, it's tough for any NFL team to look too far into the future.

Playing their second consecutive home game, there may be a greater sense of urgency for the Buffalo Bills. After Sunday, they'll play just five more games at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and only once after Nov. 17.

It's an important consideration for Bills head coach Doug Marrone, who is trying to steer his team clear of an 0-2 home start.

But for Marrone, weighing Buffalo's home record against its road record is just one way to look at the schedule. Another way, he says, is to break it down into quarters.

"We'll look at it broken up into four quarters," he said. "Concentrate on winning each quarter, then concentrate on winning the next game."

That begs the question: How will the Bills fare in their "first quarter" of the season?

Here's a look:

Sept. 8 -- vs. New England (loss, 23-21)

Sept. 15 -- vs. Carolina

Sept. 22 -- at New York Jets

Sept. 29 -- vs. Baltimore

It's a chunk of the season that is book-ended by the two teams who finished at the top of the conference the past two seasons, plus a trip to a divisional opponent. The Bills will be hard pressed to come out of this stretch with more than one or two wins.

But it's their "second quarter" that may be the Bills' toughest:

Oct. 3 -- at Cleveland

Oct. 13 -- vs. Cincinnati

Oct. 20 -- at Miami

Oct. 27 -- at New Orleans

Three road trips here, including a trip to Cleveland on a short week (it's a Thursday night game). Not an easy task.