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ORCHARD PARK — It was cold and snowing hours before the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins kicked off Saturday afternoon at Highmark Stadium but Shawn Stewart and his two sons were spending their afternoon by their recreational vehicle in a nearby lot.
Stewart’s nose and cheeks were beet red but the computer executive was enjoying the elements just as he’s done the past 18 years.
“This is what we do during football season,” Stewart said. “Rain, sleet, snow, even thundersnow when we get that, I’m like the old time mail carriers. We don’t miss.”
Snow, Cold, Wind For Dolphins-Bills
The Bills and the Dolphins are playing in a few hours amid persistent snowfall that will come in “relatively narrow bands,” according to the national weather service.
The game will be played as 4 to 8 inches of lake effect snow falls on Highmark Stadium and surroundings areas of Erie and Genesee counties.
The 30- to 32-degree temperatures are not expected to affect the game. And the field will be plowed pregame and halftime and manicured by the grounds crew between quarters.
But the wind is the thing. It’s expected to blow at around 15 MPH and that will come and go. It will test the two quarterbacks — Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa — and the respective teams’ passing games.
Want to know something weird?
The Dolphins might initially be able to deal with that because they expect to try and run the football against the Bills even though Buffalo enters the game with the No. 5 run defense in the NFL. The Dolphins also expect to make extensive use of the backs on checkdowns.
Dolphins To Attack Bills Run Defense
It’s when the teams try to throw from the far hash to the opposite sideline that stuff might get tricky.
Stewart, by the way, is confident his Bills will use their homefield advantage to beat the Dolphins and split the season series.
“But we’ll be ready for anything,” he said, pointing to a nearby snow bank.
Upon further inspection, there was a bottle of bourbon and another of vodka lodged in the snow.
There’s no need for ice cubes during this pregame.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero