Despite an epic snowstorm that battered Western New York, the Buffalo Bills made it to Detroit and, after a slow start, rallied for a 31-23 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Coach Sean McDermott said the victory was for everyone still digging out back home.
“Everyone back in Buffalo who helped us get here, how much we appreciate them and [are] thankful for them,” McDermott said via Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN. “And everyone back in Buffalo who’s currently digging out again, we’re thinking of you guys and that was for you.”
With up to 6 feet of snow hammering parts of Western New York, there were questions at one point whether the Bills would make it to the game. The community pitched in with staffers and neighbors helping dig players and coaches out, get them to the facility, and ultimately on a plane to Detroit.
“Our plow guy couldn’t make it, so our neighbor called in a front loader in order to take the snow out and then our normal plow guy did come once,” McDermott said of trying to get himself dug out of the snow. “It was pretty cool just talking about, not sure what’s going to happen, not sure if we’re gonna be able to get out, and get five, six text messages to my wife and myself of neighbors and friends saying, ‘Hey, whatever you need, we’ll be there to help you.’ That’s pretty special.”
The victory snapped a two-game skid and kept the Bills tied atop the AFC East with the Miami Dolphins.
In what’s becoming a dome away from home, Buffalo won its second game relocated to Ford Field due to a snowstorm (other: Week 12, 2014; 38-3 win over New York Jets).
The Bills will return to Detroit to face the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily this trip shouldn’t include community-organized snow plow escorts.
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