- Associated Press - Sunday, November 7, 2010

Winless in the United States, the Buffalo Bills don’t intend to go O in Canada.

If ever there was an opportunity for the Bills to start winning over their comparatively indifferent fans in Toronto, there’s no better opportunity than on Sunday, when they face the Chicago Bears in Buffalo’s new home away from home.

“We’re trying to make that another home situation and it doesn’t feel like that yet,” coach Chan Gailey said. “We’re not doing our part right now, but it can be a very exciting proposition.”

The Bills will be without their new acquisition, linebacker Shawne Merriman, who was claimed off waivers this week. But they still have a chance to go “Lights Out” on their own, as a win would certainly help liven up the downtown Rogers Centre.

It’s a cavernous domed facility that lacks the raucous atmosphere and intimacy of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park. And it’s a place where fans haven’t been getting their money’s worth in paying an average $185 per ticket and watching the Bills lose their first two regular-season games since the five-year Toronto series opened in 2008.

And no point in reminding Gailey that his first victory since taking over the Bills in January came at Toronto in a 34-21 win over Indianapolis in a preseason game in August.

“Those don’t count,” he said.

This one does, and it comes after the Bills (0-7) have proven incapable of winning at Orchard Park, on the road, in regulation or their past two in overtime in getting off to their worst start in 26 years.

“Hey, we’ll take a win where ever it’s at,” Bills rookie running back Spiller said. “The U.S., Canada, where ever: A win is a win.”

It’s not lost on the suddenly slumping Bears (4-3) that a change of scenery could benefit them as well. After getting off to a 4-1 start, they return from their bye week still smarting after losing two straight at home.

“I was up in Canada this summer. Does it help me?” Bears coach Lovie Smith said, seeking an edge. “I think just getting away from it during the bye week, as much as anything else, should cure a lot of our ills.”

There’s plenty of pain to go around between two non-conference teams who meet for only the 11th time, and have far different reasons to seek a midseason kickstart on foreign soil.

The Bills‘ objective is a simple one. It starts with winning their first game in a season that, barring a miracle, will end with Buffalo missing the playoffs for an 11th straight year.

The Bears head to Canada’s largest city and financial capital with a chance to climb back into the North Division race in which they sit a half game behind first-place Green Bay (5-3).

“Mentally, we were exhausted a little bit,” Smith said, assessing his team before the break. “Guys are recharged and ready to go. Football really starts in November.”

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