A forgettable matchup between the Colts and Bills became unforgettable thanks to a whole lot of snow. And for Bills special-teamer/receiver/emergency quarterback Joe Webb, playing in a constantly-shaken snow globe became the ultimate test in rolling the dice hoping for the best.
“There’s no way to prepare for it,” Webb told PFT by phone on Sunday after the 13-7 overtime win.
Making it harder to prepare for playing quarterback in the snow is the fact that Webb was barely prepared to play quarterback at all. He said he took a “couple snaps” during the week due to the injury to starter Tyrod Taylor. “I still had to do my special-teams and receiver work,” Webb said.
After backup Nathan Peterman exited with a concussion, it was time for Webb to play quarterback and only quarterback.
For Webb, who played in Minnesota (indoors, with one exception noted below) and Carolina, it wasn’t the first time he’d faced those conditions. He pointed out that, nearly seven years ago, the Vikings played an outdoor Monday night game at the University of Minnesota after the Metrodome collapsed. After then-starter Brett Favre exited after his head hit the frozen field, Webb (then a rookie) entered the fray.
Though that game wasn’t played in a non-stop snowstorm, it was cold and icy and nasty and otherwise the only other time Webb had ever played in anything remotely resembling what he saw on Sunday.
That Monday night game didn’t go well for Webb; the Vikings lost 40-14 to the Bears. On Sunday, Webb got the win for a team that is still trying to get to the playoffs. And he said he’s drawing upon his experiences with the 2015 Panthers to help players on a team that hasn’t been to the postseason since 1999 understand what needs to be done.
“We need to make guys believe we are a great team and can beat any team on any given Sunday,” Webb said.
The 2017 Colts won’t be confused with a great team, but Sunday was a great day in Buffalo. And the Bills remain alive for a chance to get to the playoffs and surprise a team or two. If they do, they can thank the part-time quarterback who did enough to win a game played in the kind of winter wonderland that unfolds not frequently enough in NFL games.