The Buffalo Bills enter Week 11 coming off of back-to-back losses to the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings. Now they get geared up for a showdown with fellow AFC combatant Cleveland. The 3-6 Browns have also stumbled of late, losing five of their last six games, including a 39-17 loss in their last outing down in Miami. I won’t count both teams needing a win as a top-five storyline, but it has to be on everyone’s mind. With that, here are five storylines to keep an eye on when things get underway from Ford Field.
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Motor City Madmen
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re a Bills fan. If you’re a Bills fan, I assume you’re aware the Bills vs. Browns game has been moved to Detroit’s Ford Field this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The snow has already started to fall around Western New York and some are predicting the Orchard Park area to get up to six feet of snow, so moving the game was the safest option for all involved. This decision wasn’t made with just Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 in mind, but with the entirety of the weekend and safely getting 60,000+ people in/out of One Bills Drive.
If you’re trying to go to the game, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, check to see if your route is open. The easiest trip might be to go through Canada. Second, see what you need to do for tickets. The Bills website has most of that taken care of for you. Lastly, be safe! No game is worth your health and the wellness of others. This isn’t the first time all of Buffalo has looked towards Detroit for a Bills’ game, back in 2014 the same decision was made before a showdown with the Jets. The Bills won that game 38-3 and gave us the famous Scott Chandler shoveling .gif.
Due to public safety concerns and out of an abundance of caution in light of the ongoing weather emergency in western New York, Sunday's game against the Browns will be moved to Ford Field in Detroit.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) November 17, 2022
Bounce Back Game
The Browns are not currently a good football team. They enter Sunday with a 3-6 record, which includes losing four of their last five games. Two of those losses include getting smashed by Miami and New England. The Cleveland defense is pretty much awful, ranking 31st in opponents’ points per game (26.4), 25th in yards per play (5.8), and 20th in red zone defense, allowing a touchdown almost 60% of the time. If a blizzard with thundersnow can’t stop the Bills, I certainly don’t expect Cleveland to be able to slow them down on the fast track inside Ford Field.
The Bills being banged up is becoming a story as old as time, or at least as old as this season. Fourteen names are currently on the injury report with various alignments. Tremaine Edmunds (groin/heel), Jake Kumerow (ankle), Greg Rousseau (ankle), Reggie Gilliam, Cam Lewis, Matt Milano, Jordan Phillips, and Tim Settle (all illness) did not practice Thursday. A few others were limited: Josh Allen (right elbow), Kaiir Elam (ankle), Jordan Poyer (elbow), and Rodger Saffold (vet rest/shoulder). Many of these guys will play, but it would be nice to see them get a full week of practice in after a pair of losses.
Take Care of the Ball
The Bills are a league-worst -1.3 in turnover margin the last three weeks. The main culprit for these issues is quarterback Josh Allen who has thrown a pair of interceptions in each contest. This issue was exacerbated last week when he not only threw those two picks but fumbled the snap at the goal line on what should have been a game-ending possession. Buffalo is better than Cleveland in most aspects of this matchup and, according to our friends at BetUS.com, is now a nine-point favorite for a reason. The Browns’ only chance in this game might rest in Allen and the Bills handing them short fields and extra possessions. Take care of the ball and come home for a brief Thanksgiving week with a win.
Can Another WR Step Up?
Stefon Diggs has been awesome so far this year for the Bills. His 72 receptions, 985 yards, and seven touchdowns have him trending toward an All-Pro selection. The problem is that Diggs also accounts for roughly half of all the wide receiver stats this season. The Bills can no longer use weather as an excuse if Gabe Davis and company can’t get going, so it would be nice to see them go off up in Detroit and find some cures to the passing game outside of the Maryland product.