Archive for Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sunday’s playoff forecast: cold

January 19, 2008

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— It wasn't until his wake-up call at 7:30 a.m. that Frank Clarke knew just how cold it was going to be for the NFL Championship Game at Lambeau Field.

"Good morning," the hotel operator said cheerfully. "The temperature is 13 degrees below zero."

The Cowboys' receiver was hoping either he hadn't heard correctly or she was playing a cruel Green Bay joke on him: "You're kidding, right?" he said, hopefully.

The Ice Bowl, as it was later dubbed, remains the coldest game in NFL history based on temperature. It was minus-13 at kickoff, with a wind chill of 48 below.

The weather forecast for Sunday's NFC Championship Game between the Packers and the New York Giants at Lambeau Field isn't much better. The National Weather Service predicts a high of 5, with a low of minus-7. With winds of 9-13 mph, wind chills are expected to be 10 to 15 below.

In Foxborough, Mass., where the Patriots host the San Diego Chargers, a high of 24 is expected with a low of 9. But winds of 13-21 mph will make it feel far colder.

The following are the coldest games in NFL history, according to the NFL and Forbes.com.

A recorded wind chill wasn't available for some games.

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Game: Dec. 31, 1967, Lambeau Field, NFL Championship Game, Cowboys at Packers

Temperature: -13 degrees

Wind chill: -48 degrees

The Ice Bowl remains the coldest game in NFL history, as well as one of the most memorable.

Bart Starr's one-yard quarterback sneak with 13 seconds remaining gave the Packers a 21-17 victory and their third consecutive NFL championship.

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Game: Jan. 10, 1982, Riverfront Stadium, AFC Championship Game, Chargers at Bengals

Temperature: -9 degrees

Wind chill: -59 degrees

With winds gusting at 35 mph, it was the coldest game ever for wind chill. Ken Anderson threw two touchdown passes as the Bengals won 27-7. Bengals defensive end Eddie Edwards suffered frostbite on his left ear, the only weather-related injury.

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Game: Jan. 7, 1996, Arrowhead Stadium, AFC divisional playoff, Colts at Chiefs

Temperature: -6 degrees

Kansas City had received three inches of snow the previous day, adding to the misery. The Chiefs had four turnovers and Lin Elliott missed three field goals in a 10-7 loss.

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Game: Jan. 4, 1981, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, AFC divisional playoff, Raiders at Browns

Temperature: -5 degrees

Neither the cold nor the snow could prevent the Raiders from winning. Strong safety Mike Davis intercepted Brian Sipe's pass intended for Ozzie Newsome in the end zone with 41 seconds remaining to preserve Oakland's 14-12 victory.

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Game: Dec. 3, 1972, Metropolitan Stadium, regular season, Bears at Vikings

Temperature: -2 degrees

Wind chill: -26 degrees

The Vikings held the Bears to 91 yards and scored a defensive touchdown in a 23-10 victory.

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Game: Dec. 10, 1972, Metropolitan Stadium, regular season, Packers at Vikings

Temperature: 0 degrees

Wind chill: -18 degrees

A week after beating the Bears in colder conditions, the Vikings turned the ball over on four straight possessions and lost 23-7. In 1982, the Vikings got out of the cold, moving into the Metrodome.

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Game: Dec. 26, 1993, Lambeau Field, regular season, LA Raiders at Packers

Temperature: 0 degrees

The warm-weather Raiders were shut out by the Packers 28-0 as Brett Favre passed for 190 yards and a touchdown. It was Favre's sixth consecutive victory at home when the temperature was 34 degrees or below. He now is 43-5 at home in such weather.

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Game: Jan. 15, 1994, Ralph Wilson Stadium, AFC divisional playoff, L.A. Raiders at Bills

Temperature: 0 degrees

Wind chill: -32 degrees

Buffalo trailed 17-6 before taking charge for a 29-23 win.

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Game: Dec. 22, 1990, Lambeau Field, regular season, Lions at Packers

Temperature: 2 degrees

The teams were tied 7-7 at the half. Barry Sanders' late touchdown gave the Lions a 24-17 victory.

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Game: Dec. 18, 1983, Soldier Field, regular season, Packers at Bears

Temperature: 3 degrees

Wind chill: -15 degrees

The Bears won it 23-21 on a late field goal.

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Game: Jan. 10, 2004, Gillette Stadium, AFC divisional playoff, Titans at Patriots

Temperature: 4 degrees

Wind chill: -10 degrees

Tom Brady completed 21 of 41 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots won 17-14 on an Adam Vinatieri field goal in the fourth quarter.

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Game: Jan. 10, 1988, Soldier Field, NFC divisional playoff, Redskins at Bears

Temperature: 4 degrees

Wind chill: -12 degrees

The Redskins fell behind 14-0, but by halftime, the score was tied. Darrell Green returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to provide the final margin, 21-14.

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