It was almost a year ago when the worst weather of the entire 2007 NFL season happened in Cleveland as the Bills and Browns squared off in a pivotal AFC conference battle with major playoff implications for both teams. A blizzard, sub-freezing temperatures and 40-50 mile per hour winds however, had a bigger impact on the game than the players in what wound up being an 8-0 win for the Browns.
Will weather play a factor again? Jabari Greer hopes not.
"That game last year was… it was some of the toughest elements I've every played in," said Greer. "Snow and a blizzard and we had to stay there the night so that was a tough atmosphere. I don't want to jinx ourselves, but hopefully the weather man has some good news for us this year."
Fortunately for Greer and some of Buffalo's other faster players the news is better. It will be cold with temperatures dipping into the mid to upper twenties Monday night, but the winds will max out at 15-20 miles per hour. And while there is snow in the forecast, if there's more than inch it would be as surprise.
That's a plus for Buffalo's defense, which is one that is built on speed and athleticism. Those assets were taken from the Bills last season as Cleveland plow horse Jamal Lewis rumbled through four inches of snow and the less than sure-footed Buffalo defense for 163 yards.
Looking back at that game is useless for Buffalo, not so much because they can't change the loss, but because trying to pick up any helpful hints for tonight's contest is impossible.
"You can't get anything off of the game," said Kyle Williams. "The way the weather was you can hardly see the film. Every tendency in the world was broken in that game because you couldn't run anything."
"I have never even watched that tape," said Trent Edwards, who struggled what was his first bad weather game. "I would never even be able to tell you what… just because of the filming, the footage of the film, you can't even see what's going on. You can't tell where anything is."
But there will likely be a fairer fight tonight with weather expected to play a far less dominant role and the Bills haven't forgotten how their playoff hopes were wiped out by the Browns and a blinding snow.
"We're aware of what happened last year," said Keith Ellison. "We were fighting for a playoff spot and they ended up beating us. And this year we're in the thick of the playoff race and trying to push toward the playoffs and especially now because we're in a little bit of a slump. But it's going to be a huge game and we're going to have to go out there and really challenge them."
"We need to get these guys from last year," said Edwards. "We owe them and they took our chance of going to a playoff game last year and we still have that taste in our mouth. Give a lot of credit to the way they played last year. We didn't play our best game and hopefully that will be a little bit different this year."
"I know I definitely thought about that this week," said Duke Preston of last year's loss. "We were out there with a chance to keep our playoff hopes alive and that pretty much ended for us. Right now we kind of owe them one and Monday night would be a perfect time to get that done."