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Sully's Mailbag: Schedule isn't the problem, the team is

Mike Lemiesz asks: One word on the schedule – Ouch. Tough start against a few teams that made the playoffs. What's worse, they're on the road. But if we have a solid first half, home crowd can help squeak out wins at the end. Thoughts?

Sully: Actually, only one of the first five road games is against a playoff team, at the Vikings on Sept. 23. People are complaining about it being a tough schedule. So what if five of the first seven are away? You play 16 games. Where they fall is pretty irrelevant to me. Winning takes care of everything.

The flip side is that the Bills are away from home just once in a five-week stretch from late October to early December. They had a similar stretch a year ago, during which they beat Tampa Bay and Oakland at home to get to 5-3.

For the fourth year in a row, they have three home games in December or later. That's not ideal from the standpoint of ticket sales. But wouldn't you rather make a playoff push with home games at the end? And whatever happened to the notion that the Bills had some kind of competitive advantage in cold weather?

The problem, of course, is that the Bills will likely be on the brink of playoff elimination when December rolls around – or in one of those familiar scenarios where they're 5-6 or 4-7 and still technically alive. I can't wait.

@afuzz59 asks: In your opinion, is there a starting QB in the league the Bills could shock the world by offering 3 #1 picks for?

Sully: I love this question. It speaks to the dilemma facing many Bills fans. How can you give up multiple high draft picks to get a rookie quarterback, when you wouldn't do it for most of the established quarterbacks in the league?

By three No. 1 picks, I assume you mean this year's Nos. 12 and 22 and next year's first. That's a lot, especially if you believe (as I do) that the Bills will be a bottom 10 team this year. But you have to pay if you want a franchise guy.

My answer is I'd do it for a young QB who will be a star for years to come in the NFL. I'd do it for Jared Goff, Deshaun Watson or Carson Wentz, all of whom were taken by teams that gave up multiple draft choices to move up to get them.

Thomas Durlak asks: IMO, Darnold, Rosen and Mayfield will be top 3 QBs taken in draft. If so, are any of the remaining QBs worth moving up for? In this scenario, is picking positional player at 12 and 22 better in the long run?

Sully: Depends on what the Bills think of Josh Allen. If he's their guy, or one of their prime targets, they should definitely move up to get him. It would be a favorable scenario if they had to move up to sixth to get Allen, as Jay Skurski suggested in his latest mock. That way, they could avoid giving up next year's No. 1 pick for a quarterback.

They need to get a quarterback. If they wait and their guy is there at 12, that's the best result possible. They get the quarterback, keep all their other picks, and fill out their many needs on the roster. But it's wishful thinking.

TManny22 asks: Aside from QB, what’s the biggest position of need? I’m torn between WR & LB.

Sully: Well, they're desperate for a middle linebacker and a viable wideout or two. There appear to be more top linebacker prospects higher in the draft. So if things fall their way, they'll be happy to grab one of the top guys.

There are always capable receivers later in the draft. They need to get one fairly high. The Bills' leading wideout, Deonte Thompson, had 430 yards receiving. They were the only team in the NFL without a single pass play of 50 yards last season. I'd say there's a need.

@cruzer1977 asks: Will the Sabres ever do anything about the in-game experience? It has to be one of the worst in the league.

Sully: It's amazing that Terry Pegula, an owner with deep pockets, would allow this dreadful situation to persist. Mike Harrington has been hammering them on this, and with good reason. Hockey heaven? I walked through the lower stands during a practice last month and was shocked at the condition of some of the seats.

Pegula decided not to raise ticket prices, which was the least he could do. He knows fans are fed up and deserve more. They need a respectable team on the ice, and an experience worthy of an owner who claims to be a fan at heart.

Mark Poloncarz asks: What's the goal for the golf game this year?

Sully: Getting out before the month of May would be nice! Can't you do something about this weather? My goal is to eliminate the four or five atrocious shots I make in every round, which prevents me from scoring in the high 80s on a regular basis. I think the new 23-degree hybrid will be a major help.

@Brendandrifit asks: What's your all-time top 5 NBA starting lineup? Mine would be: Jordan at the 2. LeBron at the 3. Duncan at the 4. Magic at the 1. Wilt at the 5.

Sully: An excruciating assignment for an NBA lover. Think of the great players who get left off (Bird, Baylor, Olajuwon, West, Robertson). I agree with four/fifths of your lineup (Magic, Jordan, LeBron, Duncan). But my center would be Bill Russell. He's the best winner ever and outplayed Wilt when it mattered most.

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