There’s a nostalgic history for the Buffalo Bills playing football in inclement weather. Storied rhetoric says the team’s ability to play in the snow, biting cold, and sub-zero winds offer the franchise a huge benefit against warm weather teams coming to play at Highmark Stadium — but modern times tell a different story.
The Bills have staked their claim on quarterback Josh Allen, who signed a six-year $258 million contract this summer, and while no one is doubting his MVP-level talent, the team’s franchise star does not play well in inclement weather.
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Snowstorms, freezing rain, and high winds also don’t seem to especially hinder opposing teams from the South. During the Bills Week 17 game against the Atlanta Falcons, the two teams played in 26-degree weather, which felt more like 16 degrees thanks to the 20 mph winds, per Pro Football Focus.
However, the blustering snow that fell on January 2 in Orchard Park was not the reason why the Falcons lost. And the three interceptions Allen threw during the matchup once again put a spotlight on how Buffalo suffers — not thrives — in bad weather.
While watching the Bills make mistake after mistake in bad weather, Twitter blew up with fans and analysts begging for the team’s new stadium to be made with a dome.
However, others think it’s ridiculous to blame the weather on the Bills’ mistakes, and don’t believe a dome will fix anything. One fan encouraged everyone to “embrace the elements,” tweeting, “For all u over reacting dome stadium advocates, I’ve never heard a Packer fan begging for one. Lambeau is an advantage. Marv said it best ‘When it’s too tough for them, it’s just right for us!’ #EmbraceTheElements #Bills.”
One person tweeted, “Why are bills fans such p****** when it comes to the dome thing. Grow a f****** pair. You sick freaks all stand in sub zero temps and jump through tables that are on fire but bitch and moan every time it’s cold because josh Allen can’t grip the ball anymore. F*** off.”
The Bills’ Unreliable Backfield Makes Playing in Bad Weather Even More Worrisome
It’s understandable that numerous Bills fans don’t love watching home games in sub-zero temperatures, but that’s not the main reason they want a domed stadium. For years, the Bills’ biggest Achilles heel has been their weak backfield, and in order to be confident playing in bad weather, having a team with reliable running backs is crucial.
While veteran running back Devin Singletary had one of the best performances of his career against the Falcons on Sunday, running for 110 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns — it’s the first time the third-year pro out of Florida Atlanta has tallied multiple scores in one game.
Head coach Sean McDermott has rotated between Zack Moss and Matt Breida as RB2, but neither has had a significant role, especially during this final stretch of the season.
Therefore, Allen has taken it upon himself to run the ball. In fact, he’s the team’s second-leading rusher behind Singletary. While the 6-foot-5 quarterback is a legit dual-threat, constantly putting the Bills’ franchise star in harm’s way is playing with fire.
When Exactly Will the Deal for the New Stadium Be Signed?
Amid the debate on how the stadium should be designed, there’s an ongoing battle between New York State, Erie County, and the Bills owners on where it will be located, the budget, and more.
While one of New York’s top lobbyists, Jack O’Donnell of O’Donnell and Associates, inferred on Buffalo’s WBEN radio on Tuesday that news of a stadium deal may be announced during Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of Address on Wednesday — during his COVID briefing Tuesday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he does not expect to hear an update on the Bills stadium from the governor on January 5.
Poloncraz noted that a deal is not imminent. “As I said, I’m never just going to roll over,” he said. “There’s no blank check on behalf of the county. These are exceptionally complicated discussions. We’re talking about construction of a new football stadium, a long-term lease, and everything that goes along with it.”
As for the positive news, back on December 20, 2021, Governor Hochul spoke a bit about the Bills’ new stadium’s location. She confirmed that if Orchard Park is Buffalo’s “first choice — their only choice… we’ll make that happen.”
However, the clock is ticking. The team’s lease at Highmark Stadium expires prior to the start of the 2023 season, per MyTwinTiers.com.