Three outdoor games this weekend: Two cold, one very, very cold


Weather at the NFL’s three outdoor playoff games this weekend will range from cold to so bitterly cold that frostbite will be a concern for the players who dare to wear short sleeves. Here we’ll round up the forecasts for Saturday and Sunday’s NFL action. (The wild card playoffs kick off in a dome in Indianapolis before moving outdoor for this weekend’s remaining three games.)

Philadelphia: The Eagles host the Saints with an 8:10 p.m. Eastern kickoff on Saturday, and it will be cold: The forecast calls for an overnight low of 21 degrees, with a 20 percent chance of precipitation, and wind at 5-10 mph. Those conditions should favor the Eagles, who went 4-4 at home this season, winning their final four at Lincoln Financial Field, and already proved that they can play well in bad weather when they beat the Lions at home last month, in one of the snowiest games in NFL history. The Saints have been a bad road team all season (they went 8-0 at home but just 3-5 on the road), and Drew Brees and Co. will have a tough task on their hands dealing with the elements.

Cincinnati: The Bengals host the Chargers with a 1:05 p.m. Eastern kickoff on Sunday, and although it won’t rival the Freezer Bowl when these two teams met in the playoffs 32 years ago, it will be cold: The forecast for Sunday in Cincinnati calls for a daytime high of 34 degrees and an 80 percent chance of snow. (The game will end before it turns bitterly cold and dips below zero on Sunday night in Cincinnati.) With a Southern California team coming to town, the bad weather is good news for the Bengals, who were 8-0 at home in the regular season. The Chargers, who were 4-4 on the road, may be in for an unpleasant Sunday.

Green Bay: There’s cold, and then there’s really, really cold: The Packers host the 49ers with a 3:40 p.m. Central kickoff on Sunday, and it’s going to be brutally cold. The National Weather Service has issued an advisory that warns of “An Arctic outbreak” with “near record temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills.” Temperatures at Lambeau Field could rival those of the famous 1967 Ice Bowl, when game time temperatures of 15 degrees below zero made for the coldest game in NFL history. The forecast calls for a high of 5 degrees below zero and an overnight low of 20 degrees below. The Packers, who went 4-3-1 at home this season, are more accustomed to cold temperatures than the 49ers, who went 6-2 on the road this season. But neither team is accustomed to cold like this.

When it’s so cold that even Packers fans would rather stay home than attend the game at Lambeau Field, you know you’re in for a cold weekend of football. Preferably spent at home on the couch, under an electric blanket.

87 responses to “Three outdoor games this weekend: Two cold, one very, very cold

  1. Cold weather during winter? What’s next, are you going to tell me that there is a chance it could rain in Seattle?

  2. -5 in Green Bay is just the temperature. There is a 14 MPH wind forecasted. Throw that in and you’re talking -20. No one can give GB crap if they don’t sell out. That’s insane.

  3. Child’s play compared to how cold it will be for Minnesota the next 2 years at TCF Bank stadium. High of -14 in Minneapolis tonight. HIGH.

  4. Preferably spent at home on the couch, under an electric blanket…and not being able to watch the game because it’s blacked out.

  5. And here the Niners players say they have played in cold weather before,they really have no idea of the cold as anything above zero is a heat wave for hardy Northerners.

  6. And this is why San Diegans are winners, even when their Chargers are losers!

    If the Chargers lose to the Bengals on Sunday morning, I’ll spend the rest of the day at the beach.


    Don’t hate.

  7. What if some player were to be hospitalized for pneumonia and or die? Would NFL do anything? I mean if a fan in the stands is hospitalized or dead who cares, NFL wouldn’t. Sorry brutal weather makes me think of brutal things.

  8. My forecast for all four playoff games: 7o degrees, 0% chance of precipitation, winds at 0 miles an hour. 100% chance of buffalo chicken dip and Johnny Walker. Visibility of of 60″ flat screen unlimited.

    And they wonder why they are having a hard time selling these games out.

  9. First of all, the weather in Green Bay calls for high temps of 0 with below zero wind chills. The coldest weather is expected for Monday, not Sunday, so while the Ice Bowl talk drums up interest and such, let’s be truthful about what is going one.

    Secondly, before commenting on why tickets are available for the Packers game, understand the reality there too. First, Lambeau added an additional 6,000 seats, give or take, before the 2013 season. Obviously, that’s another 6,000 tickets that need to be sold to the game….something places like Jacksonville probably can’t do in 8 weeks of games.

    Second, the team policy regarding tickets for season ticket holders changed. In previous seasons, season ticket holders had to pay upfront for playoff tickets and if they didn’t host a playoff game, the ticket holder had the option of receiving a refund or a credit towards their ticket account the following season. Now, the refund option is no longer offered so obviously several ticket holders probably don’t want to, or can’t afford to, have the Packers hold onto their money for next season. Keep in mind that there are likely numerous season ticket holders that probably can’t afford them in the first place.

    Also, the playoff invoices went out to ticket holders while Aaron Rodgers was injured and while the team was in the midst of a long losing streak where the playoffs were considered a longshot.

    Before anyone in the media or elsewhere believes this is an apathetic fan base, perhaps disclosing the simple facts would be appropriate.

  10. Those stadiums are going to be loud. You’ve HAVE to yell to keep warm in those conditions. Should be fun to watch from my warm coach while sipping my reasonably priced beer.

  11. In my opinion, the weather won’t seem to affect the 49ers style of play as much as GBs, who may have to rely on Rodgers and the pass game moreso than the 49ers w/Kaep. And for what it’s worth, Kaep has destroyed GB in the air and/or on the ground the last 2 times they played each other. Granted the Niners D has given up 2 big passing games against Atl and AZ but the run D has held up quite well making their opponents one dimensional. I think they can handle Lacy.

  12. Reminds me of the NFC Championship game in GB a few years ago (Favre’s last GB game) when Peter King wrote that a can of sparkling water that he opened INSIDE his hotel room froze solid the night before the game…

    My brother was at that game and said it was just brutally cold, this one is shaping up to be the same.

  13. I was at the coldest game in New England history, in 2003, the playoff game against the Titans.

    There was someone in my section with a thermometer that consistently read -12 throughout the game. My beers froze by the time I got them halfway down.

    Wore about 8 layers of clothes and had hand warmers plastered all over my body or I wouldn’t have made it past halftime.

    What a great experience though. The game was excellent and the crowd was in a total frenzy because of the cold and playoffs. When the kickers did their thing it sounded like they were kicking a piece of wood the balls were so frozen.

    This is real football weather this weekend. Its supposed to be this way in the playoffs. Time to toughen up and get it done !

  14. Maybe we can get a close up of Jim Harbaugh’s tears freezing as he whines and crys to the officials. Better yet, maybe his eyelids will freeze shut from his crying and hopefully his mouth….

  15. Good thing that rocket scientist of a commissioner banned seat cushions and blankets.

  16. Saints are a bad road team right/ Compared to the Pats who were a mind blowing 4-4 on the road. So I guess that makes them only a semi-bad road team. Wow talk about blowing this road thing all out of proportion.

  17. Running around playing football in the anticipated weather is one thing….Sitting in it is insanity….$50.00 says two guys will have shirts off

  18. I started reading the first game and as soon as I read 20 above I quite reading that paragraph. Then it got to GreenBay, thats a little more my definition of cold. When lately if you get close to zero where I’m at in MN at the moment that is considered being lucky. Can’t wait for TCF Bank Stadium next year!!!

  19. Got my tickets to the Packer game yesterday. Should be insane. Already planning my warmth strategy. The key is layers. at least 4-5 layers on every body part. There’s a reason fans at Lambeau wear blaze orange – typically the hunting clothing is the warmest you’ll find.

  20. “Those conditions should favor the Eagles, who went 6-2 at home this season and already proved that they can play well in bad weather when they beat the Lions at home last month, in one of the snowiest games in NFL history.”

    Ironically, the Eagles offense was shut out during the actual snow. They couldn’t muster up anything in the snow and McCoy was especially useless. It wasn’t until the snow stopped during halftime, when the Eagles showed up and looked like the team we’re used to.

  21. This is so stupid. Grown ass men feel the need to be tough by playing a game in weather they have no business being outside during.

    Build a retractable roof dome for arctic weather. Or does someone need to have a frost-bitten finger snap off mid-game before the NFL does anything about it?

  22. Everyone is going to be so bundled up that it will only take 40,000 fans to fill Lambeau field.

  23. Speaking as a 49er fan from western Canada, I wish I was there. I can’t afford it, that’s how it goes.

    I guess I’ll go golfing in the morning before the game instead.

    That’s right, the courses are full in Vancouver.

    Got to love the west coast.

  24. Most people think it’s cold when it’s below freezing temp. In WI we don’t consider it cold until it’s below 0 with wind chills 20 to 30 below.

  25. Retractable roof seems like the smart thing to do for both the players and the fans. Who wants to pay a fortune to freeze their butt off? Wouldn’t want to take my kid or my gramp to a game in that kind of weather. Get real NFL.

  26. I’ll bet there are some Frisco fans going to the game that don’t know what real cold is. I’d love to be there the first time they step outside.

  27. Frankly, I can’t imagine weather like that. I thought it was cold this morning when I went outside and there was ALMOST enough ice on the windshield to have to scrape it off. The high in Austin today is around 55 but tonight it’s gonna plummet all the way down to about 43. “brr”.

  28. Funny how Peyton bought into Al Gore’s global warming BS. Should’ve retired before getting that most offensive regular season record. Lucky for him those games are played in nice weather.

  29. Usually, backup QB or punter is the best job in sports. Not in weather like this….how you don’t turn into a block of ice just standing there is a mystery.

  30. Tailgating should be a sight to behold. Frozen kielbasa links, cheese that feels like hockey pucks, and Pabst slushies.

  31. Here’s some perspective on a 105 degree temperature feel change set up for the San Francisco visitors this Sunday …………..

    If you went UP 105 degrees from room temperature, you could slow-cook a ham. How long would a human tolerate a 175 degree oven?

  32. At what point does the genius Roger “We’re All About Player Safety” Goodell decide not to have 8 PM kickoffs on the coldest days of the year?

  33. 21 degrees in Philly and 34 degrees in Cincinnati. Those temperatures are cold only if you are a w uss. Up here in GB and Minnesota, however, it would be a warming trend for us if it was 21 or 34 above zero. It has been below zero for the last week or so and we aren’t crying our eyes out. I can’t wait to see the GB game. We’ll see who the wimps are.

  34. I saw a story that Colin Kaepernick is going to be OK with the Green Bay weather because he grew up in Wisconsin.

    Let’s see, he’s 26 so born around 1988.

    The last time it got this cold in Wisconsin was 1996 when Colin was 8 years old.

    I’m just winging it here, but I’ll guess that his body doesn’t remember how cold it felt outside when he was 8 years old. Especially since his parents probably had him inside the house doing his third grade homework, not outside for a few hours running wind sprints.

    Packers win 17-13.

  35. It’s my belief the temp in Green Bay will effect BOTH teams. -20 or whatever is flat cold…When was the last time either of these current teams played in this cold of weather?….GB lost to the Giants in GB…Rodgers was a backup. SF beat Chicago in this type weather and NO current 49er was their. My point is simple neither team has an advantage. Period

  36. It is going to be minus 22 degrees here in Minneapolis on Sunday. Bring it on!!!! Of course, when SF loses, the SF fans will be afraid that their tears will freeze on their faces. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! LOL.

  37. I live in Chicago, went to college in Minneapolis, and grew up north of Green Bay. I wouldn’t even consider going to that Packers game. That type of cold is just absurd. I froze my butt off at a 15 degree game back in November. This I can’t imagine.

  38. I’m supervising a construction project in Iowa presently.
    The temps are so low it’s dangerous. And I’ve got guys who deal with it daily.
    Not just on a Sunday.

  39. Not a fan of any team in the playoffs but I am a fan of football. Considering the weather forecast, this is going to be “old school” type playoff football. It will be great.

    There’s still something to be said about home field advantage, indoor and outdoor games, and dome teams. With that being said, I do believe that while the Saints do have a chance at winning at Philly, that chance may have slightly diminished just because of the temps and conditions. I believe the same would apply to the 49ers and Chargers.

    These games will be great to watch, too bad I don’t have cable and will more than likely have to go to my local watering hole to enjoy them!!!

    Gotta love football!!!

  40. the only problem I have with this game being played in these conditions is that an 11-5 team is on the road playing a team that is half a game above .500 – that needs to be fixed.

  41. The only thing I would be worried about if I was tailgating in GB would be having my brats staying hot. “Are you ready for some football???”

  42. what alot of people over look is Aaron Rogers is a California kid. He has never played great in the cold weather . In fact GB almost did not draft him because of this. So people may think Rogers has the advantage I would say Kapernick stands a great chance

  43. Domes for cold weather teams? Laughable.

    The NFL is being sissified enough. If the game gets any softer, they might as well shut it down.

    If teams don’t want to go to places like GB, Chicago or any other northern climate arena in the winter, they can forfeit the game and stay home.

  44. Here’s hoping there are similar temperatures and snow/ice for the New Jersey Super Bowl just to stick it to Goodell and his corporate greed.

    As for the 49ers game in Green Bay, it’s rather ironic that Goodell would cater to the TV demand for a prime time game for the coldest area, yet they still have the absurd and archaic TV blackout rule if not enough fans buy their horribly overpriced tickets.

  45. I have read various threads about cold in Minn…The fans and team have played and watched games indoors for quite a long time. And honestly when did Minn last play a playoff game in the cold? So can the matcho talk…..

  46. Football outdoors is how the game is meant to be played. I loathe dome and retractable roof stadiums.

  47. For the love of God, postpone the Packer game or switch it to warmer clime. Sometimes, weather conditions do call for taking action. Is the commissioner at home??

  48. GB fans always run their mouths off to MN fans about us being indoors. Now yet these same fans are the ones not wanting to go to the game because of the weather. You can’t have it both ways. Yes, we were pansies to be playing in the dome. Yet we didn’t cry when we were outside back in the day. There’s much better advanced clothing now then back then yet we took it at the Old Met.

  49. 49ers, Chargers and Saints don’t want to play outdoors in the cold? Win the divisions then.

  50. the packers stadium holds over 80000 people. both the Vikings and bears stadiums hold barely 60000 people. the packers would have sold out in minutes at their stadiums, and would have sold out days ago without the new expansion this year that added 8000 seats. look at all variables people. also, the packers have a lot of fans, but their metro area isn’t big. a week’s notice for a game is tough without a big metro area. most packer fans plan games out well in advance. that along with the extreme cold and the season ticket holder issue make this a lot different than “apathetic fans”.

  51. The people who will suffer through this the most are the fans and the guys who don’t play much. The players who play won’t be real cold. I know I was colder bundled up as a fan in ski gear watching a game at 15 degrees than I was playing in one with just a thermal shirt on at around -5.

  52. I think the Green Bay game needs to be moved to a different date. That’s absolute frostbite weather. I don’t care how “manly” you think you are: if you go to this game, and any exposed skin hurts, that’s a GOOD thing…because that means there’s still blood flowing in there.

  53. Lets get a couple things straight. As for ticket sales, it’s only the tip of the ( sorry gotta say it ) iceberg. The NFL experience has peaked ( for all the teams ) and is declining. The NFL has sucked out as much money from the fan as possible. It’s very evident at all NFL events. They have killed the Golden Goose….
    … Now about wind chill, It is a myth, it does not exist. If you are in a cold weather area consult the dudes that work or play outside, after they stop laughing at you they will explain it all. If you are one of those who always exaggerates high and low temps ( you know who you are, and so do we ) the explanation will fall on deaf ears. So there it is, deal with it……

  54. Brandon Jacobs running over Woodson to start Ice Bowl II in 2007 was awesome. Easy Eli and Plax took advantage the rest of the way and Favre was the colder QB at Lambeau.

    Watching NYG beat the Packers again in their own backyard in 2011 was really fun too. Seeing Clay Mathews hands on his helmet in disgust after Eli hit Hakeem at the half with a hail mary was beautiful.

    Should be a good game this Sunday despite the fact that I dislike both teams.

  55. NFL is all about player safety and while a line drive pass to the fingertips is pretty harsh in these conditions, the players will keep their cores warm through movement, and will have technology to keep their extremities warm when on the sideline. (and make arm catches when they can’t move their fingers)

    Fan safety, however, is another issue. Sitting still for three hours? Only to find your car battery has died afterwards? Now, if only Goodell’s plans to ice the beer and release rabid polar bears in the stands was approved by the owners, his plans for world domination would be all set. It’s rough on fans, but nobody’s forcing you to go…. you go because you love it.

  56. This must be a fairly young group of commentors because they obviously don’t remember the 1990 49ers-Bears NFC conference championship game in Chicago. Nobody east of the Sierra gave the Niners a chance. All week leading up to the game, we heard about nothing but “Bear Weather” and how the feh, hippy-dippy surfer-boy 49ers and their pussified “finesse” West Coast Offense would be paralyzed by the -28 (with windchill) temps and the mighty, climate-hardened Bears. Final score: 49ers 28, Bears 3.

  57. Scheduling a January game for 8 at night and even at 4 in the afternoon in a northern climate is a sign of one of two things: Faith in faithful and gullible fans or stupidity.

    Perhaps both.

    You who are going to these games – have a ball, hope your team wins, but – do you honestly believe that the owners give a flying s..t about you other than your money?

    Play the Super Bowl at 1 in the afternoon – skip the 6 or more hours of B.S. – Start it (the B.S.) at 10 in the morning, amuse yourselves for a few hours and then PLAY THE DAMN GAME.

  58. I was at the NFC Championship game in 2008. It was cold in the stands but manageable. Lambeau has bleachers, not chairs, and by the time fans line the aluminum benches with blankets and you find yourself sitting next to a couple of offensive tackles with a few more in front and behind you, you’ve got yourself a natural wind break. Down on the field is another story. The 49ers will come out of the tunnel and get slapped in the face. GoPackGo!

  59. It’s funny to hear northerners blast dome teams for not playing outside but at least domes give both teams a fair advantage while these conditions give them a HUGE advantage. Packers will win Sunday even though they aren’t the better team. Even though I have a good feeling the Saints will pull out their first road playoff win.

  60. I still remember the Freezer Bowl in Jan. ’82 in Cincy. 4-below actual temperature in the city and 59-below wind chill whipping off the Ohio River. Tomorrow’s game won’t be nearly that cold. The Chargers had been in Miami in 84-degree temperatures the week before. That was brutal, a 143-degree swing in climate.

    Riverfront Stadium policy that day was to take anyone they saw removing their shirts directly to the infirmary, which some knuckleheads promptly did just to get on TV.

    The Bengals’ offensive linemen played mind games with the Chargers by playing sleeveless…something that would not have worked if they were playing, say, Buffalo or Pittsburgh.

    Bengals coach Forrest Gregg (who knew something about cold-weather football from playing for the Packers) prepped ’em well for that game. Hope Marvin Lewis does the same for them this year. Who-Dey!!!

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