When you hear a forecast that includes the phrase "feet of snow," it's hard to believe an NFL game will be played without some disruption.
The Buffalo Bills host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon. At least that game is on the schedule as of Wednesday morning. Something might have to change, because there's a forecast for a mega-blizzard over the weekend in Western New York. Meteorologists are warning there could be a historic snowfall.
The National Weather Service issued a lake-effect snow warning for Wednesday and it will last into the weekend, according to AccuWeather. It includes Orchard Park, N.Y, where the Bills play. Several feet of snow could hit the area, according to forecasts.
According to AccuWeather, "travel could be difficult to nearly impossible" in the area.
"Buffalo and its southern suburbs may receive as much as 3 to 6 feet of snow by Sunday," AccuWeather meteorologist Matt Benz said.
Needless to say, that could be a problem for the Bills game.
Massive storm predicted for Buffalo
The storm in Buffalo comes on a bad weekend for the NFL, in terms of scheduling. The Bills play at the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. The NFL can't simply move the game to Monday or even Tuesday, as it has done in similar situations before. The Bills have a short week even if they play on Sunday.
It seems hard to believe that the game will happen as scheduled if there is three or six feet of snow in Buffalo. It would be dangerous for fans to attempt travel to the stadium. The Browns might not be able to get to Buffalo if the snow is as bad as forecasted.
While snowy games can make for great television, several feet of snow isn't good for anyone.
In 2014, a Bills' home game against the New York Jets was moved to Detroit due to snow. The Detroit Lions are on the road this week, as they play at the New York Giants. The Bills could stay in Detroit for the Thanksgiving game. Moving Browns vs. Bills to Detroit seems like a possibility for the NFL.
Bills on a losing streak
The possible disruption comes at a bad time for the Bills. They've lost two games in a row. They don't want to lose a home game. They also don't want to play a game in a few feet of snow, given that they like to pass the ball. The run-heavy Browns probably would welcome the bad weather.
The weather has had an effect in the betting market. At BetMGM, the over/under for the game was 47.5 on Monday. It quickly dropped to 43 with news of the snowstorm. The Bills were 9.5-point favorites on Monday but in anticipation of a low-scoring game, that spread dropped to Bills -8.
The game might not be played in the snow at all. It seems unlikely, if the forecast proves to be accurate, that the game will go on as scheduled at 1 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. And if it is played in that much snow, it will be an adventure for both teams.