Steelers, Bills face off in wild card game as winter storm threatens strong wind gusts, heavy snowfall

January 13, 2024
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A winter storm in western New York is threatening strong wind gusts and the possibility of heavy snowfall for Sunday’s Wild Card game between the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers, prompting the Bills to call for extra hands in preparation. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) for Buffalo issued a winter storm warning beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday and is expected to last until Monday morning. 

Bills fans cheer as snow falls

Fans cheer as snow falls during the first half in the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

According to the latest update on Friday night, total snow accumulations are estimated to reach anywhere between one and three feet in some areas with possible “blizzard conditions” impacting the region between Saturday night and Sunday. 

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Wind gusts could reach a max of 65 mph on Saturday night. Travel conditions are expected to be “very difficult to impossible at times” with poor visibility due to “widespread blowing snow.”  

The Bills will be hosting the Steelers at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park in the midst of this. While no stranger to playing in these types of conditions, Bills head coach Sean McDermott said the team is still preparing the best they can. 

FROM OUTKICK: BILLS-STEELERS GAME PROJECTED TO BE PLAYED IN ‘GAME OF THRONES’-TYPE SETTING

“It takes a little more time, right, just to spend a little bit of time – not a little bit of time, quite a bit of time to make sure we’re prepared for it just like any game plan and we’re ready to adjust,” he said Friday. 

“It’s not within our control, unfortunately, but the good man upstairs’ control, and we’ll adjust where needed.” 

Bills fans attend a game in the snow

Fans look on as snow falls during the first half in the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

CHIEFS-DOLPHINS BRACE FOR SUB-ZERO TEMPS IN WHAT COULD BE AMONG THE COLDEST NFL PLAYOFF GAMES IN HISTORY

Stadium officials are also preparing. 

On Friday, the Bills called on the public for help in making sure Highmark is ready to go for kickoff at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

“Shovelers can shovel snow throughout the night on Saturday into Sunday morning if needed. The rate of pay is $20 per hour. Complimentary food and breaks will be provided throughout the shifts in a comfortable warm area,” a message on the team’s website read. 

Bills grounds crews clear snow

Ground crews clear snow from the field before a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

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Over in Kansas City, the Chiefs are hosting the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night in a game that is expected to be one of the coldest in NFL playoff history. Forecasters predict there will be sub-zero temperatures, with a low of minus-5 during the game. 

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