Bills president: Stadium should be ready Sunday

Associated Press

November 25, 2014

        

Workers clear snow from the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Snowed out today at the stadium, the Bills are in Detroit to play their "home" NFL football game against the New York Jets on Monday night, Nov. 24, 2014.

DETROIT The Buffalo Bills are eager to return home, and the team's president says their stadium should be ready.

The Bills had to move their game against the New York Jets to Detroit because of heavy snow that hit the Buffalo area, but shortly before that matchup Monday night, team president Russ Brandon said the situation back home was improving.

There was some question as to whether the Bills would be able to host the Cleveland Browns at Ralph Wilson Stadium next weekend, but the team was set to leave Detroit and head back to the Buffalo area immediately after Monday's game.

"All indications are we are 100 percent ready to roll back at Ralph Wilson Stadium, have a good week of practice and get ready for the Browns after this game," Brandon said. "None of the reports that I have would lead us to think otherwise."

The Bills arrived Friday in the Detroit area to prepare as best they could for their AFC East matchup with the Jets.

By Monday, western New York had a new concern: flooding. Pumps and sandbags were in place as rain and temperatures over 60 rapidly melted the snow.

By late morning, minor to moderate flooding was reported in several creeks, but nearby homes were largely spared, and the sewers in Buffalo and elsewhere were handling the runoff.

Forecasters said the potential for flooding remained through Wednesday morning, and high winds became an issue Monday.


Bills rout Jets 38-3 in rescheduled game

Buffalo Bills running back Anthony Dixon (26) reacts after scoring on a 30-yard run during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Detroit, Monday, Nov.24, 2014.

DETROIT Scott Chandler capped an emotionally draining week with a celebration for the folks back home in Buffalo.

After catching a touchdown pass shortly before halftime, he began mimicking a shoveling motion, a nod to Bills fans who have spent the last few days digging out of several feet of snow.

"It was a little bit of a tribute to the people of Buffalo," Chandler said. "You want to do something special for our fans. They did a great job showing up for us tonight, and for the people back there, we're behind you."

After a week of frightening weather and an abbreviated practice schedule, Buffalo played one of its best games of the season in a 38-3 victory over the New York Jets on Monday night. Kyle Orton threw two touchdown passes, and the Bills also had a key play on specials teams in the runaway win.

Heavy snow in the Buffalo area moved the game to Detroit, but there were plenty of Bills fans in attendance at Ford Field. Buffalo (6-5) couldn't even practice before arriving in Michigan on Friday, but it was the Jets (2-9) who looked out of sorts all night.

"We probably had the easy part of it, and back home they had the tough part," Orton said. "Excited to get here and get a big win for us, and hopefully this will propel us forward."

Orton threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods in the first quarter, and the second-year receiver's one-handed catch set up another touchdown in the second. Chandler caught a 19-yard scoring pass from Orton to make it 14-3 late in the half.

Chandler needed a snowmobile to get out of his neighborhood before the team traveled to the Detroit area, and the Bills faced logistical issues for several days. Tickets to the game were given out for free, and although Ford Field wasn't quite full, the crowd of 56,044 created a decent atmosphere in prime time.

Buffalo Bills strong safety Duke Williams is tripped by New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick, bottom left, after returning an interception pass thrown by Vick for 16-yards during the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Monday, Nov.24, 2014.

"Our fans are phenomenal," Buffalo coach Doug Marrone said. "When I first came out there, you don't know what to expect. ... Obviously, you get concerned whether is it going to be a home field or things like that, or be ready for a silent count. Then all of a sudden when I came out and looked to the right, and I saw all of those blue jerseys, I was like, 'Holy cow, baby. Here we go. We've got the crowd.'"

It was Buffalo's second victory of the year in Detroit the Bills beat the Lions in early October. The field was repainted for this game, with Buffalo's team logo at midfield and "BILLS" in both end zones.

And that familiar Bills version of The Isley Brothers' "Shout" was played periodically over the loudspeakers.

Woods made a nice twisting catch in the end zone for the game's first touchdown, and his one-handed grab was even more impressive. It wasn't on the same level as Odell Beckham Jr.'s touchdown the previous night for the New York Giants, but Woods was able to secure a 27-yard pass along the sideline with his right hand, helping set up Chandler's TD.

Woods caught nine passes for a career-high 118 yards.

"It was a busy week, sitting in the house wondering if we were even going to play a game, if we were even going to practice for a game," Woods said. "Getting stuck in the house it doesn't seem likely, but the people of Buffalo made it happen. They cleared the roads for us, for some of the players to get out. This win was really for them, the city of Buffalo."

Buffalo Bills running back Anthony Dixon (26) is upended by New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) during the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Monday, Nov.24, 2014.

Buffalo broke the game open in the third with 17 points. Boobie Dixon blocked a punt and Manny Lawson recovered it in the end zone, and Fred Jackson added a 5-yard touchdown run.

Michael Vick went 7 of 19 for 76 yards for the Jets before being replaced by Geno Smith in the third quarter. The Jets missed a great chance at the end of the first half, when the Bills inexplicably let Eric Decker slip behind the defense with only a few seconds left, and Vick's pass sailed inches beyond the receiver's grasp.

New York's night was summed up in the second half when Buffalo linebacker Nigel Bradham dragged Jets running back Chris Ivory to the ground by his hair.

"That was a horrible performance," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "We didn't block, we didn't tackle, we didn't do anything."

Buffalo, which has not made the playoffs since the 1999 season, is a game out of a wild card in the AFC.

Orton went 24 of 32 for 230 yards. Dixon's 30-yard run in the fourth made it 38-3.

The Bills came in with an NFL-high 39 sacks, and they added seven more Monday, including two each by Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes.

NOTES: A couple fans ran on the field in the third quarter but were apprehended by security. ... Buffalo lost TE Chris Gragg to a knee injury. Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson left with a toe injury, and TE Jace Amaro left with a head injury. ... It was Buffalo's most lopsided victory over the Jets since a 37-0 win Dec. 23, 1989.