CLEVELAND -- Even Santa Claus was shivering.
The temperature was 30 degrees at kickoff, and with wind gusts hitting 40 mph, Browns Stadium was transformed into a super-sized snow globe. As the Browns huddled for warmth near space heaters by their bench, jolly ol' St. Nick braved the elements a few feet away.
Unable to get any traction, players slipped and slid all over the field and officials had difficulty spotting the ball in the blustery conditions. Punts and passes were adventures as anything not grounded was quickly blown off-target.
During the first quarter, stadium groundskeepers did their best to keep the yard lines, sidelines and hashmarks visible, but as soon as they completed one attempt, they had to start another to keep up with the white stuff.
Windows in the press box fogged up, making it almost impossible to see the field.
The Browns scored on their second possession, a 35-yard field goal by Phil Dawson that was set up by a lucky bounce. Cleveland wide receiver Braylon Edwards had a pass bounce off his chest to teammate Joe Jurevicius for a 25-yard gain.
After being tackled, Jurevicius, who grew up in Cleveland playing in backyard games in similarly nasty weather, jumped up with snow clumped on his facemask and pointed toward Edwards in thanks.
When Dawson's kick cleared the crossbar, half-frozen Cleveland fans, who came bundled in hunting and ski gear, erupted knowing that scoring would be at a premium.
The Browns took a 5-0 lead early in the second quarter when a snap sailed over Bills punter Brian Moorman's head. He chased it through the snow to the end zone before kicking the ball into the stands rather than risk having the Browns recover.
Following the free kick, officials struggled to locate the 50-yard-line, which was covered in at least 2 inches of snow.
The weather was getting worse as the game progressed, with 6 inches of snow forecast by midnight.