2011 Brings End To Bills, Patriots Scheduling Oddity

ORCHARD PARK NY - DECEMBER 26: C.J. Spiller #21 of the Buffalo Bills makes a catch against Kyle Arrington #27 of the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 26 2010 in Orchard Park New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Assuming NFL football begins in time for the current Week 3 schedule to actually take place as planned, the 2011 season will bring an end to a long-standing scheduling oddity between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots.

The Bills are scheduled to host the Patriots in Week 3 of the 2011 regular season, and they won't travel to New England for the back end of the double-header until Week 17. This will be the first time that the Bills have hosted the first leg of this yearly series since 2004 (a 31-17 Pats win).

Every year from 2005 to 2010 - a string of six years - Buffalo's first game against New England took place at Gillette Stadium. It's ultimately proven to be meaningless, as all of those games fall within the Bills' 15-game losing streak to the Patriots. Still, it seems kind of strange that the Pats would get the first matchup every year for a string of six years.

The last time the Bills beat New England at home, for the record, was also the last time they beat them anywhere: the 2003 season opener, when the Bills blanked the Pats 31-0.

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