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Bills have aired scheduling complaints to NFL


The Buffalo Bills have been banging the "our schedule is unfair" drum since June.

On Wednesday, the beat got louder.

Appearing on his weekly radio segment with WGR 550, team President Russ Brandon was asked by host Howard Simon if the NFL takes into account which teams are coming off bye weeks or extra rest when putting together the league schedule.

The Bills face the Jets on Sunday, who are coming off their bye week. It's the second time New York has had more time to prepare for Buffalo. In Week Two, the Jets played Thursday night, then faced the Bills on the Sunday of Week Three.

"Well I hope so, because we certainly have talked to the league about this because it's a little bit disappointing that we've had six games where teams are coming off a bye or a long week," Brandon said. "This is the second time. We played the Jets coming off a Thursday night game and now we're playing them coming off of a bye.

"I think we lead the league in the amount of games coming off of the short time or the bye week. It is a very, very tough job what they have in scheduling with all the different things that go into the formula, the stadium commitments and TV schedules, but it's certainly something that needs to be addressed."

The Bills have six such games this season, as was pointed out by the team's official website back in June.

Bills coach Doug Marrone was asked today whether he felt that was a disadvantage for his team.

"I do. I do," he said. "I think the biggest thing in this league, the one thing that helps you the most, is rest. That's why I think it is."

So far this year, teams playing the following week after a Thursday night game are 9-7 (56.1 winning percentage). Teams playing the week after their bye are 13-9 (59.1 winning percentage).

Last season, teams coming off their bye week went 15-15-2.

Since the 2001 season, teams are 214-181-3 coming off the bye week. That's a winning percentage of 54.2 (excluding the three ties). Is there an advantage for teams with extra rest? Probably.

But is it worth airing in public?

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

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.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.