NFL Weather Report: Week 3
We’re through the injury chaos of Week 2 and headed into Week 3. Fantasy managers have dropped their favorite players as they go to IR, combed the waiver wire for relief, proposed trades, and now wait for the weekend.
Players and their status will be the focus, but there were a few games that caught my eye as I looked into the forecast data for the weekend. Let’s dive into the matchups and see if there’s any reason for concern as games approach.
Below are the games with weather concerns headed into Week 3:
|Game||Temperature (Feels Like)||Chance of Precipitation||Wind|
|Chiefs at Ravens||74||19.0%||5 MPH SSE|
|Buccaneers at Broncos||50||22.8%||17 MPH NNE|
|Rams at Bills||82||0.0%||14 MPH SW|
|Bengals at Eagles||82||18.3%||7 MPH SSE|
Games Impacted by Wind
The northeast wind has a semi-direct path over Empower Field at Mile High as it sits at a 0-degree azimuth. There aren’t any public records available on stadium height, so we’ll turn to the quarterbacks.
Tom Brady carries no risk from a weather perspective. Going back over the last three seasons, Brady’s average adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) in games with wind speeds over 15 MPH has been 7.5. His full-season average over that same time period is 7.7. There’s been some concern with his deep-ball accuracy, but film analysts have noted that his ability to place the ball in the right spot is still there. With Chris Godwin back practicing, Brady will have his full arsenal of options, reducing any concern over weather.
Jeff Driskel and the Broncos are a slightly different story. The replacement quarterback may have finished as the QB16 against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2, but he had a turnover and completed just over half his passes. Yes, that was against a tough Pittsburgh defense, but he has another difficult task this week versus a Bucs D that ranks as the eighth-best pass defense, per our schedule-adjusted metrics.
The weather likely won’t have an effect in this game, but it’s hard to trust anyone in the Denver passing game with the change at quarterback.
A game like Rams-Bills doesn’t typically warrant any analysis from a weather perspective. The projected wind speed (14 MPH) doesn’t cross our threshold of concern, but there’s some nuance here. The forecast for Buffalo shows 18 MPH winds at the start of the game. But the Bills’ stadium is in Orchard Park, which is roughly 12 miles south and farther inland. It's a short distance, but it’s enough to calm the weather and keep the elements at bay.
However, should the winds pick up, there may be some cause for concern. New Era Field stands at just 110’ tall. Unlike other stadiums we’ve referenced in the past, the Bills’ stadium can’t serve as a shield to fast winds. In addition, the southwest cuts directly across the northwest-facing field. In Week 1 Buffalo adjusted to 15-MPH winds with short passing (6.2 average depth of target) and an up-tempo pace (most offensive plays).
Through two weeks, Jared Goff has a similar average depth of target. With both passers capable of piloting efficient offenses on intermediate throws, neither offense carries any concern. Kickers will be the most affected should the wind speed hit the high end of what's expected. Both quarterbacks are safe at their current ranks.
Games Impacted by Rain
As always, for reference, let’s look at the various categories for rainfall.
|Condition||Precipitation (inches per hour)|
|Light Rain||.01 - .1|
|Moderate||.1 - .3|
|Heavy Rain||>= .3|
Neither game is projected to see rainfall greater than 0.01 inches per hour, negating any concern for either game.
For context, the Dolphins-Bills game in Week 2 was delayed due to thunderstorms in the area. Despite the rainfall, weather observations didn’t record any precipitation greater than 0.01” inches per hour. In addition, the field was the only component of the game affected by the weather. The only notable result was a slip on the turf by Stefon Diggs after a deep pass in the fourth quarter. Otherwise, both offenses were productive.
Three of the four teams expected to have to deal with rain this week are in the top 12 for most offensive plays run in the first two weeks of the season, with Baltimore being the lone exception. Unless the forecast worsens, we can approach all of these offenses without any concern for the weather.