It’s a good thing there was no football being played Sunday at Highmark Stadium. Conditions in Buffalo looked absolutely miserable.
New York governor Kathy Hochul announced Saturday that the Buffalo Bills’ wild-card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was being delayed to 4:30 p.m. ET Monday due to a massive snowstorm working through the area. Erie County issued a full travel ban, too, and it’s easy to see why. By 1 p.m. ET Sunday, which was when the game was initially set to start, it was almost impossible to see anything inside the stadium — which was already packed with snow.
Update: This would’ve been kickoff. pic.twitter.com/vdX6bXSKzA
— Trainwreck Sports (@TrainwreckSprts) January 14, 2024
That was only slightly better than the scene at the stadium Saturday night.
Current scene at Highmark Stadium.
Stay safe tonight, Bills Mafia. ❄️ pic.twitter.com/FSJvNht1ri
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 13, 2024
The Buffalo area was sent into a winter storm warning this weekend, with forecasts predicting heavy lake effect and blowing snow that could reach as high as 10 to 20 inches in some areas. Wind was blowing more than 20 mph Sunday afternoon, too, which made the storm much, much worse.
View of Buffalo winter storm looking out window of my hotel lobby. Lake effect snow + heavy wind gusts create whiteout effect.
Visibility on roads very little to none — makes it clear why NY governor & NFL decided to postpone Bills-Steelers game keeping people off roads & safe. pic.twitter.com/0GTBLFircZ
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) January 14, 2024
While it felt like about 4 degrees in the area Sunday afternoon, which is way warmer than it was in Kansas City for the Chiefs’ win over the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night, the conditions were significantly worse.
That, Hochul said again Sunday, is why the game was pushed to Monday.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be pleasant [on Monday], but it’s not going to be life-threatening, either,” Hochul said Sunday afternoon, via CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson, adding that the game will not be delayed again.
The Bills will still need to shovel a lot of snow out of the stadium — they were paying volunteers for help earlier in the week — but the game Monday afternoon is a go.
If the Bills win Monday, they’ll host the Chiefs next week. That would send the Houston Texans, who rolled past the Cleveland Browns in their wild-card game, to Baltimore to take on the top-seeded Ravens. If the Steelers beat the Bills, they would instead go to Baltimore next week, and the Texans would head to Kansas City.