There's no doubt their preparations were inconvenienced this week in a big way having to sit idle for half the week and then travel to Detroit to play a home game at a neutral site with limited practice time. But the Bills knew back home the residents of Western New York were dealing with a whole lot more. They knew what a win would do for the Bills fans digging out from one of the worst lake effect snowstorms on record. So at the conclusion of their most resounding win of the season the players dedicated it to Buffalo.
"First of all I just want to say shout out to the Buffalo community," said Boobie Dixon, who had a touchdown run and a blocked punt that led to another touchdown, which put the game away in the second half. "That was definitely for them. It's been a struggle all week. I know they're back home struggling and we're going to go back home and fight with them. That was definitely for them, but we just rallied together. We know we needed this game. It was a must win and we got the 'W'."
Bills head coach Doug Marrone gave a game ball ceremonially to the emergency responders in Erie County who answered a countless number of calls over the past week in treacherous conditions.
"Our guys were ready to go whether we rallied around all the adversity or not I think those are questions for them. Obviously we talked about it," said Marrone. "We wanted to give the people back in the region a chance to smile a little bit by the way we played. I told you that's how I felt. It's more important for them than anything else. I'm just proud of this football team."
Early in the week the players weren't even sure they'd have a game, but when the Western New York residents who lived around them took it upon themselves to help the players get to the One Bills Drive so they could catch a bus to the airport and fly to Detroit late in the week it inspired the players to return the favor.
Photos of One Bills Drive and Ralph Wilson Stadium following a record snow storm in Buffalo.
"Sitting in the house wondering if we were even going to practice for a game, sitting stuck in the house it didn't seem likely, but the people of Buffalo made it happen for us," said Robert Woods, who had his first career 100-yard receiving game. "They cleared the roads for some of the players to get out and we ended up playing the game. This win was really for them, the city of Buffalo. They wanted us to get this win and it was just great timing for this win, it was just great timing for the city of Buffalo."
Though the players knew the fans back home were pulling for them they weren't sure what kind of support they'd get at Ford Field in Detroit, but Bills fans made up the majority of the crowd and made their presence felt.
"It was motivation to see them," said Dixon. "We were happy to see our people. Being stuck in Detroit, it felt great to run out there and see our people. We just wanted to go out and fight to show them we've still got some fight left in us. We've still got a chance. We just need everybody to believe and next week we need them to pack the stadium and keep on believing and let's get another one."