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Jets vs. Bills in Detroit
Nicolino DiBenedetto, STATS Writer
11/24/2014
(AP) -- Before attempting to dig their playoff hopes out of a deep hole, the Buffalo Bills will first need to dig themselves out of snow-covered Buffalo.

The New York Jets have been digging for answers all season.

After more than five feet of snow blanketed Buffalo and buried Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bills will travel to Detroit to play their "home" game against the Jets on Monday night.

The NFL announced the location and change of date on Thursday after a severe lake-effect storm paralyzed much of the Buffalo region. The team intends to travel to Detroit on Friday and practice at the Lions' facility.

"We greatly appreciate the hospitality of the Detroit Lions in hosting the Bills and this game," NFL spokesman Michael Signora said.

The storm forced the Bills to cancel practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of impassable roads and driving bans in many communities neighboring Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Bills coach Doug Marrone and his staff have been holed up in the team offices since Tuesday. They've been going over the game plan and consulting with the team by phone and computer because a majority of the players have been snowed in. And those who can get out are unable to travel.

The next step is devising a way to get all the players and staff to the airport, which has remained open because it is north of where much of the storm hit.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Marrone, who previously coached Syracuse and is from the Bronx downstate. "It's very difficult to put into words exactly what's going on.

"Us being able to go out and practice is obviously not an option for us. This is very challenging. It's a tough, tough situation."

The Bills (5-5) had last weekend off following a 22-9 loss at Miami on Nov. 13. The second straight defeat has reduced Buffalo's chances of ending a 14-year playoff drought.

Kyle Orton has his own tough situation as he tries to shake off a toe injury and his worst performance since supplanting EJ Manuel as the starter. He completed 22 of 39 passes for 193 yards while failing to get the Bills into the end zone against the Dolphins.

Continued struggles could lead to Marrone turning back to Manuel, who was largely ineffective through the first four weeks of the season.

Having Fred Jackson back should help. The running back has been hampered by a groin injury that forced him to miss the loss to Miami and limited him to three carries and 10 yards in a defeat to Kansas City on Nov. 9.

"We need all hands on deck," Jackson said. "I need 100 percent for me to be out there and help my teammates. I think they want me out there. I want to be out there. I want to try to make some plays and get this thing turned around.

"We lost to two (teams) that we'll be fighting for position with, but there's always a chance. And anytime you have a chance, you're going to show up and fight. That's what I expect out of the guys in this locker room. And that's what I'm definitely going to do."

Buffalo has won three of the past four meetings with New York, and Orton tossed four TDs - including a 61-yarder to Sammy Watkins - in a 43-23 road victory in Week 8.

That meeting also marked a change at quarterback for the Jets, who inserted Michael Vick after Geno Smith was intercepted three times on eight passes in the first quarter. Vick went 18 for 36 for 153 yards, but ran for 69 on eight attempts as the Jets rolled up 175 with an average of 5.3 per carry.

"We were in the game and we put ourselves in a position to win the game, but it was all about turnovers," said Vick, who also committed three turnovers in that defeat. "I think you can go through it and hope that it's not going to be the same."

The Jets gained 150 of their 275 yards on the ground while upsetting Pittsburgh 20-13 in Week 10 before entering their bye.

Vick had two touchdown passes against the Steelers, hitting T.J. Graham for a 67-yard strike as the Jets built a 17-0 lead in the first quarter.

Coach Rex Ryan, though, isn't dwelling on his decision to stick with Smith before eventually turning to Vick.

"You can easily say, 'Oh, well, we should've done this,' now," Ryan said. "At the same time, I was comfortable in my decision, not just with Michael, but with the other ones as well. So, I'm not going to spend time looking back."


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