In four of the last five years, the schedule has pitted the Bills against a divisional opponent on Kickoff Weekend and in the final game of the season.
The Buffalo Bills 2014 schedule matches the franchise against the AFC West and NFC North, along with a home contest against an AFC North member (Cleveland Browns) and an away game in the NFC South (Houston Texans) outside of the yearly interdivision AFC East face-offs.
Buffalo last played all four teams from the AFC West in the same season in 2011. The Bills finished the season series with a 3-1 record as the team defeated Denver (40-14), Kansas City (41-7) and Oakland (38-35) three years ago. The team last had a regular season series against the NFC North in 2010, when the Bills won one of its four meetings in the division, a 14-12 win against Detroit.
Below are 13 quick hits regarding Buffalo’s 2014 opponents.
1. Browns HC Pettine returns to Buffalo
All-Time Regular Season Series 7-11 / 3-5 At Home
Buffalo’s 2013 defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will make his first visit to Ralph Wilson Stadium as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2014. The two teams have squared off in each of the past two seasons (1-1). Buffalo defeated Cleveland 13-6 in the last meeting at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 12, 2010.
2. Perfect against Green Bay at home
All-Time Regular Season Series 7-4 / 5-0 At Home
Super Bowl XVL MVP Aaron Rogers will make his first start in Ralph Wilson Stadium when the Green Bay Packers travel to Buffalo for the first time since 2006. Packers RB James Starks (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) will also make a hometown return in his visit to Buffalo.
Buffalo has a perfect home record of 6-0 against the Packers and the team’s streak is one of three currently standing (Baltimore 2-0 and Tampa Bay 1-0).
3. Buffalo and Kansas City meet for seventh straight year
All-Time Regular Season Series 23-18-1 / 12-6-1 At Home
Outside of Buffalo’s annual AFC East opponents, there has been one constant foe on the team’s schedule since the 2008 season – the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City will travel to Buffalo for the third straight year in the series. The Bills have defeated the Chiefs in four of the previous six meetings in as many years.
4. Minnesota makes first trip to Orchard Park since 2006
All-Time Regular Season Series 4-8 / 3-4 At Home
Adrian Peterson – the NFL’s 2012 Most Valuable Player – will make his Ralph Wilson Stadium debut when the Vikings head to Buffalo in 2014. Buffalo’s defense yielded just one 100 yard rusher in home games during the 2013 season.
The Bills defeated the Vikings 17-12 in their last meeting in Orchard Park during the 2006 season.
5. Buffalo native and Chargers GM Telesco returns home
All-Time Regular Season Series 10-21-2 / 5-9-1 At Home
Tom Telesco – a native of Buffalo and graduate of St. Francis High School – will return to the Western New York area for the first time as the General Manager of his own team when the San Diego Chargers travel East in 2014.
The last time the Chargers traveled to Buffalo was 2008, with the Bills earning a 23-14 win in a game that was interrupted due to a temporary power outage. Buffalo holds a 3-1 record in their previous four home contests against San Diego.
6. New Bills return to NFL beginnings
All-Time Regular Season Series 4-7 / 0-5 on Road
Graham was selected in the fifth-round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Bears and played his first five years in Chicago, appearing in 77 games and making 195 tackles .The Buffalo, N.Y. native and Turner-Carroll High School product earned Pro Bowl honors following his 2011 campaign in Chicago.
Williams, a first-round (14th overall) draft choice of Chicago in 2008 out of Vanderbilt, played in 50 games (38 starts) with the Bears through in four years with the franchise.
Buffalo will look to earn their first road win against Chicago in the all-time regular season series in 2014. The team has fallen to the Bears in each of their previous five road trips to the Windy City.
7. Jackson faces former RB coach Eric Studesville
All-Time Regular Season Series 19-15-1 / 7-4-1 on Road
From 2006-2009, RB
The Bills have defeated the Broncos in each of the previous two contests.
8. Schwartz makes first visit to Detroit on opposing sideline
All-Time Regular Season Series 4-4-1 / 1-3 on Road
Bills first year defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will make his first visit to Ford Field on the opposing sideline after he served as the Lions’ head coach for the previous five years.
Buffalo and Detroit will meet for the 10th time in the regular season in 2014. The Bills have played in eight previous Thanksgiving Day games (4-4) in team history with their last appearance on Turkey Day coming in 1994.
9. Hughes and Williams: Houston ties
All-Time Regular Season Series 3-3 / 2-1 on Road
Also returning to familiar territory will be Bills LB
Head coach Doug Marrone will meet a friend on the field in Houston in first-year Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.
Buffalo and Houston have met in six previous games and have won two of their three meetings in Reliant Stadium.
10. Longest Road Trip of 2014: Oakland
Bills head coach Doug Marrone will lead his team against Raiders head coach Dennis Allen, the two previously coached together while with the New Orleans Saints from 2006-08.
Buffalo earned victories in each of the previous two meetings against Oakland, both in Orchard Park (2008 and 2011).
11. Squish the fish winning streak
All-Time Regular Season Series 39-56-1 / 23-25 at Home / 16-31-1 on Road
With a win over Miami in Western New York, the Bills will have defeated Miami for the third straight time at home which would mark the franchises fourth such streak over the Dolphins (1987-1991, 1997-1999 and 2004-2007).
The Bills swept the Dolphins in the 2013 series for the first time 2007. If Buffalo defeats Miami on the road in 2014, it will mark the team’s second straight road win over the South Florida franchise and for the first time in back-to-back years since 2006-07.
12. Grounding the Jets at home
All-Time Regular Season Series 55-51 / 30-23 at Home / 25-28 on Road
Buffalo has found success against the New York Jets in each of their previous two home meetings (28-9 in 2012 and 37-14 in 2013). The Bills will aim for a three-game home winning streak against New York for the first time since 2003-05 and for the seventh time.
The annual road trip to the Jets has not been favorable to Buffalo as the Bills will look to earn their first away game against New York since 2009.
13. Facing the Pats
Buffalo’s last home win against New England came in 2011 when the team rallied back from a 21-0 deficit to defeat the Patriots 34-31.
The Bills will look for the first win against the Patriots on the road since the 2000 season (11/5, 16-13).