January 12, 2018
When a team hasn't appeared in a playoff game in four years, coverage of that first game is going to be thorough. Hence, we wrote about the referee assignment on Tuesday. Here, we're tackle the weather.
The following is a screenshot taken from weather.com's hourly forecast:
In case you're incapable of reading a simple graph, the above notes that it will be around 31 or 32 degrees at kickoff, with temperatures falling slightly as the game progresses. No rain is expected during the game, though there will be heavy winds.
In the Eagles' favor, dome teams have not fared well in the cold in the playoffs in recent history. The following stat via Bill Simmons of The Ringer is, eh, semi-interesting:
Before Round 1 in January ’14, I thanked Chase Stuart for the following stat: “Dome teams are 3-22 in the playoffs when they’re outdoors and it’s 35 degrees or colder.” The next day, New Orleans won in Philly in 25-degree weather. Whoops. The following year, the Cowboys lost in 24-degree Lambeau weather to make it 4-23 overall. Tuck this stat away in case the Falcons or Saints travel to Philly next weekend.
Dome teams being 4-23 on the road in weather under 35 degrees sounds daunting on paper. Then again, dome teams playing on the road, were, you know, playing on the road, where it's difficult to play regardless of the temperature. Additionally, 32 degrees isn't that cold, right? I could see if the game were being played in, say, 15-degree weather. That's cold. But 32? Meh. #Analysis.
As for the wind, in my view, that favors the team with the stronger-armed quarterback, which is clearly Matt Ryan in this matchup.
Ultimately, I don't think the weather for this game favors one team or the other. If the Eagles are going to advance to the NFC Championship Game, it won't be because of the weather. They'll get there because they did good at football.
SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: No real changes to the weather forecast above.
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