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Bills Today: Lorenzo Alexander and Frank Gore rank among top NFL players over 35

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1. Lorenzo Alexander and Frank Gore rank among top NFL players over 35

Age is just a number, right? Well it is for these two Buffalo Bills. Lorenzo Alexander and Frank Gore have each put incredible careers but just because they’re nearing the tail-end doesn’t mean they can’t contribute.

Pro Football Focus named Alexander and Gore among the top 10 NFL players over 35 years old entering the 2019 season.

Gore’s consistency across his now 14-year career is absurd. He has played more than 300 offensive snaps in every season since 2006 and earned a career-high 79.3 rushing grade at 35 years old with the Miami Dolphins a year ago. It’s unlikely he leads Buffalo to a Super Bowl in 2019, but doubting Gore at any stage of his career has proven to be a fool’s errand.

Gore turned 36 on May 14 but still has plenty left in his tank. In 14 games last season, Gore rushed 156 times for 722 yards for an average of 4.6 yards per attempt. Gore led the Miami Dolphins in yards and yards per game despite the much younger Kenyan Drake backing him up.

Gore’s rushing total was the lowest since his rookie season. But he will provide stability and a solid veteran presence to the Bills backfield.

Alexander is a different story. He’ll turn 36 at the end of the month and is set on 2019 being his last season unlike Gore.

Alexander, an NFL journeyman with positional versatility, earned a career-high 85.7 overall grade playing a mix of edge defender and off-ball linebacker with the Bills a year ago. He’s now recorded 30 or more pressures in three consecutive seasons, and his grades against the run and in coverage in 2018 were both above 79.0. The soon-to-be 36-year-old is a bit of a Swiss army knife now more than 12 years removed from going undrafted in 2005.

Alexander has spent the past three seasons in Buffalo and has never missed a beat. He has not missed a game for the Bills and has totaled 203 tackles and 22 sacks.

2. Bills have one of deepest backfields in NFL

Between LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon, Devin Singletary, Marcus Murphy, Senorise Perry and Christian Wade the Bills certainly have a lot of options on who to hand the ball off to.

Bleacher Report named the group the fifth deepest in the NFL.

Between McCoy and Gore the Bills have the oldest pair of running backs in the league. Age isn’t always viewed as a positive for a running back but the Bills have them on the roster for more than just production when the season comes.

“I was trying to set a record for the oldest backfield in NFL history,” general manager Brandon Beane joked. “[Gore is] not going to be a big vocal leader, but he's a guy that, off the field, players can model themselves after.”

Last season, Gore and McCoy combined for 1,236 yards.

The Bills also added Singletary in the NFL draft who has been referred to as another version of McCoy. In college, Singletary forced 96 missed tackles last season. Buffalo also gained another young back with experience in Yeldon who has started 30 games for the Jaguars the past four seasons.

The only teams ranked above Buffalo are Baltimore, Cleveland, New England, and Philadelphia.

3. NFL makes changes to broadcast schedule

The NFL made alterations relating to its television broadcasts for the upcoming 2019 season.

Sunday playoff games during the Divisional Round will have later starts, every market will have three games every Sunday and there will be fewer commercial breaks during the Super Bowl.

Divisional Round games on Sunday will be moved back to 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. EST. Previously, the games started at 1:05 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. These times match the start times for conference championship games.

The NFL has also eliminated the single-header rule after a one-year test. Although it does not impact the Bills fans in Buffalo as much it will be impactful in markets with multiple teams like the Bay Area, Southern California, and Washington D.C.

The Super Bowl will now have four commercial breaks per quarter instead of five.

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