Just about nine times out of 10, folks in western New York roll their eyes when their region, the NFL, and weather is connected.
Yes, Buffalonians know it’s not always pretty. But there’s maybe 10 games a year played at Bills Stadium. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean it’s going to be an ugly day. It has to be the perfect storm, of sorts.
Here’s where we hit the record scratch portion of our story because the stars currently might be aligning for this narrative to actually hold true.
On Saturday, the Buffalo Bills (13-3) host the Baltimore Ravens (11-5) for an AFC Divisional round matchup. The forecast lines up with the stereotype for once. Currently there’s 60 percent chance of snowfall on Saturday evening with temperatures near 30 degrees.
There’s also two parts to this story. The Bills have the advantage because they’re used to playing in the snow as compared to their opponents. The Ravens revealed this week that this portion of the story holds true, too.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson was among Ravens players that said this week he has minimal experience playing in snow. In fact, he has none.
“No experience, I never got to play in the snow,” Jackson said via video conference. “Except my first time seeing snow in Louisville, but we had a snowball fight so that’s totally different from playing in it.”
“But, yeah, that would definitely be my first time playing football in the snow Saturday… if it does. Hopefully it don’t,” Jackson added with a laugh.
Naturally as the QB, Jackson’s thoughts on the snow hold a bit more weight to them. But hey, the more the merrier, right?
Starting left guard Bradley Bozeman is in the same boat. Never played in the snow.
“I know the surface of grass so I’ve never played in snow. Big guys in slippery situations is not always a good thing so I’m gonna hope for no snow,” Bozeman added on his call.
The person tasked with getting Baltimore’s players to not worry about the snowy situation ahead is Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. Heading into Saturday, the Ravens, like the Bills, are a streaky team.
Baltimore is currently on a six-game win streak which really got them into the playoffs. Referencing their last loss, a game against the Steelers which was moved around due to COVID-19 and eventually played on a Wednesday, Harbaugh said the mentality is still going to be the same for his team regardless of circumstances.
“I think you’re playing great teams. When you get to the playoffs, the teams that you play are great teams. But we’ve had our backs against the wall since the Pittsburgh game,” Harbaugh said. “That’s just where we’ve been. I think our guys have handled everything exceptionally well. They’ve taken it one day at a time. One play at a time, one practice. Try to keep it simple that way.”
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