NFL Weather Report: Week 9
Week 8 was absolute chaos. Five games were expected to have wind speeds at or above 20 MPH. Light rain was forecasted to fall in three games. Plus, game totals were dropping across the slate prior to kickoff. The conditions were putting fantasy managers and DFS players in a tough spot.
I shared some of the concern but noted a few cases where the offensive tendencies for each team would be the larger factor. I decided to start this week's weather report with a review of what we can take away from Week 8.
Here are some numbers from the games that were impacted by weather last week.
|Player||Wind Speed (MPH)||aDOT||Neutral Pass
Passing volume was generally down in the games impacted by weather with four teams shifting their passing rate to the run by 10 percentage points or more. As expected, short passing was heavily featured with seven quarterbacks passing under their season-long average depth of target. In addition, passes of 15 air yards or more were completely eliminated from the Minnesota Vikings’ playbook, and four other quarterbacks attempted deep passes far less often than they had in the previous seven weeks.
We did and should continue to see passing games impacted in situations with extreme conditions. We’ll need to examine the offenses first before making changes to our rosters.
Below are the games with weather concerns headed into Week 9:
|Game||Temperature (Feels Like)||Chance of Precipitation||Wind|
|Texans at Jaguars||82||42%||17 mph ENE|
|Panthers at Chiefs||74||2%||16 mph S|
Games Impacted by Wind
We’re in a much better spot than last week. Both games fall below the 20-MPH threshold, but they are worth monitoring heading into Sunday. We’ll at least acknowledge the forecast, but I’ve found a couple of reasons to minimize our concern.
First, both stadiums should be tall enough to block most of the air flow in the area. Jacksonville’s stadium stands at an estimated 180 feet tall, which is taller than the Cleveland Browns’ stadium (171 feet) that has been frequently referenced for its ability to provide shelter in most conditions. The Chiefs are in an even better spot with Arrowhead Stadium standing at 260 feet tall. Both structures should grant teams some cover.
Second, cross-breezes are less likely given the stadium azimuth and wind direction for both games. The Jaguars’ stadium is positioned at a 15.5-degree azimuth (pointed northeast), which aligns with the weather pattern expected on Sunday in Jacksonville. Kansas City is in a similar position with the southward winds crossing Arrowhead’s 137.2-degree azimuth position. The seating along the sides of the field extend to the stadium’s full height, which should reduce any chance of a cross breeze and negate any wind impacts on Sunday.
Games Impacted by Rain
Carolina Panthers (21.25-point implied total) at Kansas City Chiefs (31.75)
Small storms are expected in the Kansas City area on Sunday, which would typically cause concern when combined with the wind. But upon closer look, there’s less to be worried about looking at the forecast.
|Time||Precip Rate (inches per hour)|
|1:00 p.m. EST||0.02|
|2:00 p.m. EST||0.01|
|3:00 p.m. EST||0.01|
|4:00 p.m. EST||0.01|
The decreasing rainfall rate is a positive sign, but the amount per hour is even better. Games with 0.02” carry only minor concerns as the on-field accumulation isn’t enough to impact the game. For context, Charlotte saw 0.5-0.6 inches per hour during the early parts of the second half in Week 8. However, it was game script that largely controlled the play calling.
Despite the second-half downpour, the Carolina Panthers ramped up their passing attack when chasing the game, while the Atlanta Falcons tried to run out the clock when in front. The worst we’ve seen in similar conditions are slides across the turf or passes slipping through fingers. In short, they’re events we can’t predict. But overall these games should be minimally impacted unless the forecast worsens.