For a few days now we’ve been hearing that the game-time temperature for the Green Bay Packers’ home wild card playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday would be well below zero. As of late Thursday night the news had only gotten more extreme in that regard.
As it stands now, the projected high for Sunday afternoon in Green Bay is minus-5 degrees. Kickoff at Lambeau Field will be at 3:40 p.m. CT, and temperatures are expected to hover at minus-7 degrees by 5 p.m. Meanwhile, the wind chill is expected to plunge down to minus-30 by that point.
Those are Ice Bowl-esque temperatures and will make the game extremely difficult to play in for each team. There is really no advantage to be gained for either squad in that kind of weather. It will essentially be a test to see who can survive those horrid conditions.
The Packers will enter the game with an 8-7-1 record after barely scraping into the postseason by winning the NFC North last Sunday. They might be better positioned to deal with the cold than the 49ers, who enter with a 12-4 record and have been practicing in 60-degree weather all week. But, as I said, there won’t be much advantage for either side.
No matter how cold it actually gets, expect both teams to rely heavily on their running games, since catching passes in that kind of weather is incredibly difficult.
The coldest NFL game on record was the aforementioned “Ice Bowl” that pitted the Packers against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The contest took place on New Year’s Eve at Lambeau and the temperature dipped to minus-13, while the wind chill dropped to minus-48.
While it’s unlikely Sunday’s playoff contest will reach those lows, it looks like it will be certainly be one of the coldest games in NFL history.