Playing in Detroit will be much less of a disruption for the Browns than for the Bills
After the NFL moved Sunday’s Browns-Bills game from snow-covered Buffalo to a covered playing surface in Detroit, some Browns fans cried foul. A kooky conspiracy theory emerged that the NFL wanted to help the Bills end their two-game losing streak, by shifting the contest from conditions that could have helped the Browns.
Here’s a list of the various reasons why that makes no sense.
There’s another reason for ditching the tinfoil hat. Given the issues the Bills have experienced by not leaving Buffalo before the storm arrived (e.g., no practice on Friday, travel uncertainty on Saturday, overall disruption of their life’s routine due to the snow), the Browns have a real edge.
For them, it’s no longer a road game in a hostile environment. It’s a neutral-site contest that could have as many Browns fans as Bills fans present, given the overall inability to drive in Buffalo.
And travel is no big deal for the Browns. They’re taking a relatively short road trip.
“We will get on the bus tomorrow and head to Detroit,” coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters on Friday.
How much of a distraction will it be for the Browns?
“I really don’t think it is a distraction at all,” Stefanski said. “The guys will go step onto a bus and end up in Detroit.”
So, yes, the situation gives the Browns an advantage. As noted yesterday, it’s not supposed to snow when the game would have been played in Buffalo, and the field would have been cleared. Any edge for the Cleveland running game due to playing in snow (if there even was one) wouldn’t have mattered.
What will matter is having minimal disruption when the Bills have dealt with maximum distraction. Whether that’s enough to bridge the talent gap remains to be seen. But it’s definitely an edge for the Browns.