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Buffalo Bills contact NFL about fairness in scheduling

The Buffalo Bills want a level playing field when it comes to their schedule. The team's website points out that six of the team's opponents have had extra time to prepare for Bills games because they faced Buffalo after a bye week or a "Thursday Night Football" game.

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That's the highest total in the league, with the Atlanta Falcons up next with four such games. The Bills have taken their complaints to the NFL.

"We certainly have talked to the league about this because it's been disappointing where teams are coming off a bye or a long week," Bills president and CEO Russ Brandon told WGR-AM. "This (Sunday) is the second time we're playing the Jets coming off a Thursday night game and now we're playing them coming off a bye.

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

It's hard to take this complaint too seriously. Teams that repeatedly play on "Monday Night Football" are also at a disadvantage the following week, but teams love that spotlight. This is a scheduling quirk that should be avoided, and it's unfortunate for this season's Bills. But it probably happens every now and then, and we don't remember another team raising the issue publicly. 

There's also the question of whether any data supports the notion that extra time helps a team much. Previous numbers have suggested that teams coming off a bye get a modest advantage at best. We contacted our research department on the matter. Since 2006, teams coming off a bye week or extra rest from a Thursday night game win 54% of the time. It helps, but only so much.

UPDATE:Bills coach Doug Marronecommented on the matter Wednesday, telling members of the media that he believes the Bills are at a disadvantage due to their schedule.

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