NFC Championship – Weather Evens Playing Field

So, I admit it—I am preoccupied with the weather for the Saints- Bears game on Sunday. For one thing, I live in New England where the weather tends to be difficult to predict and very fickle (winter finally got her a few days ago). Second, I’ve seen the weather affect a lot of football games (remember not that long ago—the Snow Bowl?). And, finally, the Pats and Colts are playing in a dome, so the New Orleans- Chicago game is the only one on the docket where the weather will be a factor.

It will be cold, snowing and the wind will gusting up to 25 miles per hour, which means a wind chill of about 16 (the temperature will be between 24- 31.

I focused on the kicking game in my first blog. Consider a few other elements that may be affected.

Passing Attack—again, snow affects footing. It will be very difficult for the cover guys to stay with their assignments. The Saints has a more diverse air attack, and I think will benefit from the ill weather when it comes to passing. Additionally, Brees is superior to Grossman, which should help. But Grossman does well with play action and moderate range passes, which could be easier to execute than longer routes in bad weather. They will also be less affected by the wind. Advantage—Chicago.

Running Attack—Snow ain’t grass and depending on when the snow falls (it is supposed to be snowing at game time) and how much (2- 4 inches) and at what rate (moderate), the running game is bound to be affected. Footing, of course, will be tought to maintain. Although the Saints have a dynamite ground game, they will be running on a foreign substance. Still, New Orleans on the ground outmatches Chicago on the ground. The ability to hold onto the ball will also be affected. Advantage—This is a draw.

Frontlines—both sides of the ball will have footing problems, but if LBs can get traction their could be quite a few sacks. Advantage—Chicago.

Secondary—Ooops, missed that cut! Ooops, fell down! The Bears’ secondary is hurting. Advantage—New Orleans.

Kicking: This was addressed in an earlier blog. Advantage—Chicago.

Take away the weather and this is New Orleans game to lose. They have too many offensive weapons not to beat the Bears and the Chicago “D,� although still good, is tired and nursing injuries.

The weather makes the playfield more even and seems to give the advantage to the Bears. However, Grossman can be prone to making mistakes, while Brees is the ultimate, cool field general. Chicago is favored by two points. I agree. This is really too close to call, especially with the weather forecast.

Hmmmm, I wonder if the Patriots can get it to snow under the Colts’ dome? If anyone can make that happen, Belichick can.

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Posted by on Jan 20 2007. Filed under NFL. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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