A week after an estimated seven feet of snow engulfed the city of Buffalo, the Bills will host the Cleveland Browns at home. Snow filled the city last week, forcing the National Football League postpone last Sunday’s scheduled contest between the Bills and the New York Jets to Monday in Detroit, Mich. Buffalo routed the Jets 38-3. Reports surfaced on Monday that the league was confident this coming week’s game against the Browns would indeed be played in Buffalo.
Team president Russ Brandon said he expected the Stadium to be “100 percent operational” for Sunday’s game. The Bills made the decision official via its Twitter account on Tuesday. According to the team, 22,000 tons of snow had to be removed from Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium, which is located in Orchard Park, N.Y., roughly 14 miles from downtown Buffalo. The team once offered fans $10 and free game tickets to assist in the shoveling of the snow before last week’s game was rescheduled. A company named Jani-King headed the charge of removing the massive amounts of snow.
Owner Kevin Burns says fans helped with the cause, as they were asked to bring their own shovels to assist. The snow was moved to a back parking lot. Warmer conditions also helped the effort of ridding the stadium of snow. Despite the good news of the snow be removed, damages are expected. Brandon said there was no telling how much damage was caused by the snow. Assessments would be made during the week, but he stressed it would not affect Sunday’s upcoming game, as the Bills will host the Browns in Buffalo.
Due to the snowstorm and conditions that followed the Bills were unable to practice during last week in preparation to their game against the Jets. The team did not conduct its first practice until Saturday after arriving in Detroit. During the week players were trapped in their homes along with many other Western New York residents. Defensive end Mario Williams help shovel out neighbors, including assisting with removing snow from the driveway of Bills legend Jim Kelly. Cornerback Ron Brooks sat in his truck for five hours waiting for a tow truck after his own truck got stuck in a drainage ditch as the snow fell.
There were plenty of stories to go around, including team staffers getting two hours of sleep to ensure the team was prepared and ready for the venue change. Still with the limitations and hurdles facing them, the Bills played a complete sound and dominating game over the Jets. The displaced Bills roughed up the Jets, holding their passing game to 126 yards. They sacked the Jets two quarterbacks — Michael Vick and Geno Smith — a combined seven times.
Quarterback Kyle Orton threw for 230 yards on 24 of 32 for two touchdowns. Wide receiver Robert Woods had nine of those 24 completions for 118 yards and a touchdown. The team seemingly took out all of its frustrations from the week out on the Jets.
They did so in front of over 56,000 fans that filed in to Detroit’s Ford Field, most of which were Western New York residents who were stuck and hampered by the same snowstorm as the Bills’ players. It may still take a while for the team and its fans to get back to a normal routine. But at least they will be able to enjoy next week’s game back home, as the Bills will host the Browns in Buffalo.
Commentary by King Motley
Twitter – Buffalo Bills
Photo by mark.watmough – Flickr License