ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns will play in Detroit on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. due to a record-breaking snowstorm that blew through Western New York.
The 6-3 Bills are looking to snap a two-game losing streak after falling to the New York Jets & Minnesota Vikings in back-to-back nail-biting game finishes.
The Bills, who were at the top of the AFC a few weeks ago, recently fell in the third-place seat in the AFC East. They have been facing quite a few bumps in the road this past week including harsh weather, injury, and illness.
On Wednesday afternoon, Bills coach Sean McDermott said that quarterback Josh Allen would be limited at practice and reassured that Allen did not re-injure his elbow during the Vikings game. He describes this precaution as a part of Allen’s healing process.
In addition, the Bills did not have enough players to conduct a full practice on Wednesday due to other non-COVID related illnesses.
On Friday, McDermott was forced to cancel in-person practice due to the excessive snow and met with players and coaches virtually.
Despite all of the factors that have been piling on the Bills, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said that they know what mistakes were made, have focused on them and plan on getting back into the win column this weekend.
“You’ve got to be able to learn from every experience whether you win or lose and then be able to apply it where it’s necessary,” McDermott said.
On the contrary, this major snowstorm had little to no effect on the 3-6 Cleveland Browns, coming off a one-game losing streak, who were always planning on playing this one on the road.
The Browns were able to conduct a normal week of practice, which also included the return of quarterback Deshaun Watson on Wednesday. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt talked highly about Watson after watching him in the extra session after practice.
“He looks good. When that time comes, we’ll be ready for that,” Van Pelt said.
Van Pelt also mentioned that it hasn't been hard balancing the process of bringing Watson back and still preparing Brissett for the Bills.
“You’re trying to make sure that you have the right plays selected for Deshaun with at the same time not shorting Jacoby and his preparation,” Van Pelt said.
Despite his return to practice, Watson will not play this week.
The Browns are ranked fifth in the league in regards to the run game compared to the Bills, who are ranked ninth. However, the Browns have recently struggled against the run and currently hold the 23rd-ranked run defense in the league.
The name of the game on Sunday for the Browns will undoubtedly be running back Nick Chubb. Despite Chubb having his second-lowest rushing total of the year in last week’s game against the Dolphins, he remains the leader in multiple categories.
Chubb leads the league in rushing touchdowns, runs of more than 10 yards, rushing yards over expected on runs outside the tackles, and is third in rushing yards. This is one category that the Browns will definitely rely on in order to take advantage of the Bills.
After this matchup, the Bills will return to Ford Field on Thursday to face the real host of Sunday’s game, the Detroit Lions. The official Twitter account of the Lions tweeted after finding out about the new game location.
“Important numbers are by the phone, lock up when you leave and please don't break the tables,” the Lions joked.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Ford Field in Detroit.