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January 20, 2018

Eagles-Vikings NFC Championship Game weather update

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012018EaglesFans Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

It was cold last weekend. This weekend, it's warmer. #Analysis.

For the second consecutive week in the playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles will be hosting a dome team at Lincoln Financial Field. Last week, of course, the Eagles narrowly beat the Atlanta Falcons in a game that was clearly affected by cold and windy conditions, as both Nick Foles and Matt Ryan struggled taking shots down the field.

At kickoff last Saturday, the temperature was 32 degrees, with 16 MPH winds, and a wind chill of under 20 degrees. Temperatures dipped into the 20's by the end of the game. On Sunday in the Eagles' NFC Championship Game matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, the weather will be significantly better. Here's a look at weather.com's hourly forecast for Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field:
None

Mid-40's, light wind. That's great football weather, which may not be ideal for the Eagles.

Prior to their matchup with the Falcons, I was of the belief that poor weather conditions wouldn't help either the Falcons or the Eagles, on the premise that the cold may very well affect Nick Foles more than Matt Ryan, since Foles' arm strength has not looked anywhere near where it should be. 

In hindsight, that was the wrong take. The weather negated both teams' ability to open up their passing game, which helped aid the Eagles in winning ugly. The Falcons had a decided advantage at the quarterback position, and the challenging weather conditions helped serve as something of an equalizer.

While the difference between Vikings quarterback Case Keenum and Nick Foles isn't as great as Ryan vs. Foles, the Vikings objectively still have an advantage at quarterback.

Keenum finished the season seventh in quarterback rating (second in QBR). However, there was a clear difference in his play inside a dome, and outdoors, as we noted in our five matchups to watch when the Vikings have the ball.

 Case KeenumComp-Att (Comp %) Yards (YPA) TD-INT Rating 
 Indoors199-282 (70.6%) 2229 (7.9) 12-2 105.1 
 Outdoors126-199 (63.3%) 1318 (6.6) 10-5 88.7 


Keenum played for three years in Houston (dome), then one in St. Louis (dome), then one in Los Angeles (it's kinda nice there), and finally, one in Minnesota (dome). I'm also fairly confident that Keenum has never played in an opposing stadium that will be as raucous as Lincoln Financial Field will be on Sunday.

Poor weather conditions would have been ideal for the Eagles going up against a quarterback with such little experience playing in them. Instead, as we noted last week, the Eagles will have to advance past the NFC Championship Game because they did good at football.


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