Forecast Moves Bills Game Out of Town

NFL shifts Buffalo-Cleveland matchup to Detroit in anticipation of deep snow
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 17, 2022 5:10 PM CST
Sunday Forecast of Deep Snow Moves Bills Game
Buffalo Bills players make snow angels after defeating the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 10, 2017, in Orchard Park, New York.   (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

The NFL is relocating the Bills home game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit on Sunday because of a lake-effect snowstorm forecast to hit the Buffalo region. The decision was made before the storm even began, the AP reports. The forecast is for between one and three feet of snow across the region through the weekend. The switch in sites means the Bills will play back-to-back games in Detroit; they're scheduled to play the Lions on Thanksgiving. The league said it made the decision out of safety concerns, and in consultation with the Bills and local and state officials.

The National Weather Service has issued a lake-effect storm warning lasting through Saturday morning for southern Erie County, which includes the Bills home in Orchard Park. The storm is projected to bring wind gusts off Lake Erie as high as 35mph, which would make travel conditions hazardous and lead to potential power outages. Ticketing details were not immediately available for fans wanting to travel to Detroit, and for fans who were scheduled to attend the game in Orchard Park. The Browns prepared for the possibility of a venue switch by putting together two offensive game plans: one outdoor, one indoor.

"We will be ready for both," said offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. "That's one thing that COVID years have done for us, we are very flexible and used to adapting and adjusting to any circumstances that come up." The Bills had a home game moved because of a snowstorm in November 2014, when they defeated the New York Jets 38-3 in a game played at Detroit's Ford Field. While players are concerned about safety, the prospect of playing in a "snow bowl" has appeal. "I would love it," said Cleveland's Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio, adding: "You dream of a snow bowl, a game where you get tackled and make a snow angel, things like that. It might not be as glamorous as your dream." (More Buffalo Bills stories.)

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