NFL Weather Report: Wild Card Weekend
Fantasy football continues into the playoffs with the Wild Card games starting this weekend. The storylines will become more and more dramatic as we have fewer players to discuss, but it's all to fill in the time before we get to kickoff. And, of course, we do have the weather to consider. With lineups and playoff rosters to set, let's dive into the games and check out the news and notes ahead of the weekend games.
Two of this weekend’s game will be in domes, and another has a clear forecast as of this writing. Since there’s only one game of note with sub-optimal conditions, we’ve expanded on the forecast details and provided the conditions at each hour throughout the game.
|Titans at Patriots|
|Time||Feels Like||Precip Chance||Precip Amount||Wind Speed|
|8:00 pm||39 F||62 %||0.02 in||5 mph NNE|
|9:00 pm||39 F||68 %||0.02 in||5 mph N|
|10:00 pm||39 F||77 %||0.03 in||5 mph N|
|11:00 pm||38 F||75 %||0.03 in||6 mph N|
Game Affected by Precipitation
Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, and A.J. Brown are all playing in Foxboro for a chance to bring down a dynasty. Along with former-Patriot, now head coach Mike Vrable, the connections and sense of irony that these unlikely players have a shot at unseating the reigning champs has many rooting for Tennessee. Even the weather.
Winter Storm Henry, with light snow and rain, began forming earlier in the week, adding to the narratives fueling both fan bases ahead of the game. Derrick Henry’s rushing and the Patriots’ slight deficiency at defending the run ninth-best in Adjusted Defensive Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play) became a concern. Tom Brady’s stats from a 2009 game against the Titans were referenced as reason to believe the Patriots already had the upper hand. All for naught.
Expectations of snow have changed to light rain with a lesser chance of flurries. Meanwhile, the game total has actually increased by a half-point since it opened at 43.5, reducing most of the concern. But, let’s look objectively at the game conditions. Rain is expected to fall early in the afternoon and continue throughout the day at about 0.02 inches per hour. Gillette Stadium uses FieldTurf (specifically installed to help with the cold and drainage issues that occurred prior to 2006), which should help with footing. However, 0.02 to 0.03 inches per hour are on the low end of concern for fantasy purposes. Slips or dropped exchanges are possible, as seen in the Bengals/Browns game from Week 17 that featured rain on and off throughout the game. Wind speeds are also expected at a minimum, but there is a caveat. The stadium’s open section allows for wind speeds below the 15 mph threshold to affect the game. We’ve seen wind speeds as low as 12 mph wreak havoc on the kicking game, but the forecast is well below. So, luckily, our primary concern should be on the personnel and related injuries ahead of the Wild Card game.