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2012 Bills schedule strewn with new coaches

Posted Jan 20, 2012

The Bills won’t know when they’re playing their 2012 opponents until mid-April at the earliest, but they do know what teams are on their slate this coming fall. Perhaps the most interesting characteristic is how many new head coaches Buffalo will be facing in 2012. Six of Buffalo’s 16 regular season games will be against incoming head coaches (Jax., K.C., Stl., Ind., Mia.-twice). Below we take an initial look at Buffalo’s opponents for next season.

2012 Home opponents
Jacksonville
2011 record:
5-11
2011 finish: 3rd place AFC South – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 10/10/2010 – won at Buffalo 36-26
Stat worth noting – Maurice Jones-Drew led the league in rushing, but the Jaguars offense was ranked dead last in the league.
2012 storyline – New head coach Mike Mularkey makes his first visit to Buffalo as a head coach of another NFL club as he tries to effectively tutor second-year QB Blaine Gabbert.

Kansas City
2011 record:
7-9
2011 finish: Last place AFC West – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 9/11/2011 – lost to Buffalo 41-7
Stat worth noting – The Chiefs were dead last in red zone offense in 2011.
2012 storyline – Will it be Matt Cassel or Kyle Orton starting at quarterback for new head coach Romeo Crennel?

St. Louis
2011 record:
2-14
2011 finish: Last place NFC West – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 9/28/2008 – lost to Buffalo 31-14
Stat worth noting – The Rams were the lowest scoring team in football in 2011.
2012 storyline – Can new head coach Jeff Fisher re-establish Sam Bradford as a franchise quarterback?

Seattle
2011 record:
7-9
2011 finish: 3rd place NFC West – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 9/7/2008 – lost at Buffalo 34-10
Stat worth noting – Seattle’s defense allowed less than 20 points per game in 2011 (19.6), good for seventh best in the NFL.  
2012 storyline – Battle of the feature backs, Fred Jackson vs. Marshawn Lynch.

Tennessee
2011 record:
9-7
2011 finish: 2nd place AFC South – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 12/4/2011 – won at Buffalo 23-17
Stat worth noting – Matt Hasselback (82.4) was a higher rated passer in 2011 than Ryan Fitzpatrick (79.1).
2012 storyline – Will Buffalo’s two-headed monster (Jackson, Spiller) deliver more big plays than Tennessee’s Chris Johnson?

Home and away opponents (AFC East)
Miami
2011 record:
6-10
2011 finish: 3rd place AFC East – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 12/18/2011 – won at Buffalo 30-23
Stat worth noting – Miami had the league’s third-best run defense in 2011 (95.6 yards allowed).
2012 storyline – What will be the Dolphins answer at quarterback?

New England
2011 record:
13-3
2011 finish: 1st place AFC East – advanced to AFC Championship game (current)
Last game vs. Bills – 1/1/2012 – won vs. Buffalo 49-21
Stat worth noting – In their last 10 meetings with the Bills, New England has averaged 32.1 points per game.
2012 storyline – Can Buffalo go from season split to season sweep?

New York Jets
2011 record:
8-8
2011 finish: 2nd place AFC East – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 11/27/2011 – won vs. Buffalo 28-24
Stat worth noting – The Jets have logged eight interceptions in their last six games vs. Buffalo.
2012 storyline – Can Buffalo end the five-game losing streak vs. New York?

Away opponents
Arizona
2011 record:
8-8
2011 finish: 2nd place NFC West – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 10/5/2008 – won vs. Buffalo 41-17
Stat worth noting – The Cardinals were the best in the league in third down defense last season (31.4%)
2012 storyline – Ryan Fitzpatrick makes his first pro start in home state.

Cleveland
2011 record:
4-12
2011 finish: Last place AFC North – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 12/10/2010 – lost at Buffalo 13-6
Stat worth noting – The Browns were 28th in rushing and 30th in run defense.
2012 storyline – Will Cleveland have a new toy at quarterback?

Houston
2011 record:
10-6
2011 finish: AFC South Champs – lost in Divisional playoff at Baltimore
Last game vs. Bills – 11/1/2009 – won at Buffalo 31-10
Stat worth noting – Houston’s defense ranked 2nd in the league in 2011 and stood 3rd against the pass, fourth against the run and fourth in points allowed.
2012 storyline – Buffalo’s O-line vs. Houston’s pass rush

Indianapolis
2011 record:
2-14
2011 finish: Last place AFC South – no playoffs
Last game vs. Bills – 1/3/2010 – lost at Buffalo 30-7
Stat worth noting – The Colts had the second-fewest takeaways in the AFC last season (17).
2012 storyline – Will it be Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck at the controls for the Colts’ offense?

San Francisco
2011 record:
13-3
2011 finish: NFC West Champs – advanced to NFC Championship game (current)
Last game vs. Bills – 11/30/2008 – won at Buffalo 10-3
Stat worth noting – The 49ers were the number one run defense in football in 2011.
2012 storyline –
Can the Bills offense put up points against one of the best defenses in the NFC?