Connect with us

Steelers News

Whiteout Conditions Could Wreak Havoc on Steelers-Bills Game



Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and RB Najee Harris
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) and coach Mike Tomlin walk off the field following an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

The conditions in Orchard Park at Highmark Stadium will not be pretty. While it will not be as cold as in Kansas City, the Steelers and Bills will face heavy winds and potential lake-effect snow for the game. That could create whiteout conditions during the game, making it hard to see.

According to Accuweather, there could be gusts as high as 50 miles per hour on Sunday, with one to three feet of snow accumulating over the weekend. Just how much will fall during the game is unclear, but the band of the lake effect snow can fall anywhere near Orchard Park or just around it.

The Steelers came off a bad winter-weather game, defeating the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 in a freezing monsoon in Baltimore last week.

Though it will be colder and windier in Buffalo, with less rain, the Steelers are doing many of the same things to prepare for this contest. They practiced outside in the conditions on Wednesday, including some sleet pelting the Steelers players as they got ready for their first practice.

Due to the winter storm, New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for Western New York. The Bills are even calling on fans to come help shovel the stadium out so fans can get into the stadium.

But rain and the cold are far different than a straight-up whiteout. With the gusts and snow falling, the Steelers and Bills may barely be able to see each other. The worst of the winter storm will come through on Saturday evening, but Sunday and even early into Monday could be issues, especially when the game is scheduled to be played at 1 p.m.

The wind can be especially bad at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, because much of the stadium is set below ground level and doesn’t provide for a wind break. A December 2021 game in Buffalo saw the Patriots beat the Bills, 14-10 while attempting only three passes. That game saw wind gusts up to 50 mph.

In that game, Josh Allen and the Bills attempted 30 passes. But they accumulated less than 150 yards of passing.

This week, the Steelers had an additional asset, and they took advantage of it. With the Steelers earning the No. 7 seed in the AFC playoffs over the week, they were eliminated from hosting a playoff game for the rest of the season.