DETROIT — The Buffalo Bills’ impromptu trip to Detroit went about as well as they could have hoped.
The Bills routed the New York Jets 38-3 on the night of Nov. 24, and the news from back in Buffalo was generally encouraging. The team now fully expects to host Cleveland next weekend at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
“The best thing that I said, and I told this to the players, and I’ve been dying to say it: I just want to go home,” coach Doug Marrone said. “It’s been a long, long week.”
All the snow in the Buffalo area forced the Bills to head to Michigan for their “home” game against New York. They practiced at the Detroit Lions’ facility and weren’t sure what to expect when they showed up at Ford Field for the game, but there were plenty of Buffalo fans in the crowd of 56,044 — and the Bills looked inspired from the start.
The highlight might have come in the second quarter, when Scott Chandler caught a touchdown pass and then mimicked a shoveling motion in the end zone. If the city of Buffalo’s resolve has been tested the last week, the Bills wanted to do their part to set an example.
“We want to be a representation of the city of Buffalo,” Chandler said. “Hopefully we can continue to just persevere and be tough and win these games, because we know that the people back there in Buffalo, they’re tough and they’re going to be rising from this last week.”
There was some concern that next weekend’s game against the Browns might have to be moved, too, but Bills President Russ Brandon said before the game that he expects Ralph Wilson Stadium to be ready.
Buffalo (6-5) has not made the playoffs since the 1999 season, but the Bills are only a game out of a wild card in the AFC.
Buffalo’s Robert Woods had nine catches for a career-high 118 yards, including a stellar, one-handed catch along the sideline in the second quarter.
“After I made the one-handed catch, (quarterback Kyle Orton) came up to me and said, ‘I’m coming to you every time pretty much, and find the holes in the defense,’” Woods said.
It was another forgettable performance for the Jets (2-9) in a season that shows no signs of turning around.
(NOAH TRISTER, AP Sports Writer)