NFL Wild Card Weekend: Seahawks and Vikings to square off in brutal cold
By By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
January 12, 2016, 12:05:24 PM EST
Seventeen weeks of regular season play have concluded in the NFL, leaving only 10 remaining contenders for the right to grasp the Lombardi Trophy at the conclusion of the Super Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Feb. 7.
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans in Houston on Saturday afternoon while the Pittsburgh Steelers sneaked out a win against the Cincinnati Bengals in the soaking rain on Saturday night to advance in the playoffs.
For the final opening round games of the NFL playoffs, disruptive weather will avoid both games on Sunday. However, extreme cold is forecast for the game between the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Jan. 10, at 1:05 p.m. EST
For the first time since 1976, an NFL playoff game will be played outdoors in Minneapolis as the Seahawks (10-6) travel to Minnesota for the second time in a month to play the Vikings (11-5).
This is the second consecutive year the Vikings are playing at TCF Bank Stadium, the home to the University of Minnesota’s football team, while their new stadium is under construction. On Sunday, fans and players may long for the comforts of the Vikings old indoor stadium, the Metrodome, where they played from 1982-2013.
Temperature around kickoff will be near 5 below zero F, ranking it near the top of the coldest NFL games to be played. Other weather factors will help bring AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures as low as 20 below zero.
Sunshine is in the offing for the game, but will be ineffective. While the game will not be the coldest NFL game ever played by any team, it may be the coldest ever for the Seattle Seahawks, according to the Seattle Times. Fans will need to wear many layers and pack hand and foot warmers.
“Frostbite will occur quickly to any exposed skin and both fans and players will have to prepare accordingly,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist John Feerick said.
On Dec. 6, the Seahawks traveled to Minneapolis and trounced the Vikings by a score of 38-7. The high temperature that day was 40 while the low was 32.
According to ESPN, the Vikings chose to have their sideline on the north side of the stadium, after analysis showed temperatures would be higher in the sun on that side of the facility, as opposed to the south side which would be in the late-afternoon shadows.
CBS Minnesota reports that the forecast cold weather is keeping ticket prices for the game lower than normal.
According to ESPN Staff Writer Ben Goessling, Ticketmaster is encouraging fans to print out their tickets before coming to the game in case cell phones malfunction due to the cold. Ticketmaster stated that phones should still work given the predicted temperature range, but put out the statement as a precaution.
Per Pro Football Reference, Seattle is looking to become the third team in league history to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls. The Seahawks have an all-time playoff record of 14-13. Minnesota is still looking to lay claim to its first Super Bowl title and has a playoff record of 19-27.
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins Sunday, Jan. 10, at 4:40 p.m. EST
The final game of the weekend will take place at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Unlike the three other Wild Card round matchups, the Redskins (9-7) and Packers (10-6) did not face each other during the regular season.
The Packers are making their 31st trip to the playoffs, tied for most all-time post-season appearances along with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. The Packers, winners of four Super Bowls, are 31-20 all-time in the playoffs.
The Redskins have an all-time playoff record of 23-18 and have claimed three Super Bowl titles, according to Pro Football Reference. This is their first playoff game since the 2012 season while Green Bay has made the playoffs seven straight seasons.
While a brief morning shower is possible, a majority of tailgating activities should be rain-free.
Dry air will press in from the northwest during the afternoon, with partial sunshine likely. Temperatures will be in the 50s at kickoff before falling into the 40s during the second half. A gusty wind from the west could impact the kicking game. Gusts may reach 35 mph.
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