Weather Will be an Issue for Eagles-Falcons
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The joke around much of the Northeast is that if you don't like the weather now, just wait a few minutes.
Samuel Clemens [perhaps you know him better as Mark Twain] was the first to put that observation to paper about the area he eventually made his home, New England. And it's at least a bit of an exaggeration but it will be as close to being true as it ever has when Friday turns to Saturday in the Philadelphia area.
The importance of that, of course, is that the Eagles and Atlanta Falcons will kick off a divisional-round playoff game at 4:35 ET.
For much of the two weeks leading up to the game the long-range forecasts had unseasonably warm weather expected for the contest but as we inch closer, it's becoming clearer and clearer that much of the game will be played in the same kind of frigid wind chills that plagued Nick Foles and the Eagles offense during the final two games of the regular season.
To those not paying attention that seems impossible because the Philadelphia area woke up to balmy temperatures and rain on Friday morning. By Noon Friday, it will be nearly 65 degrees around Lincoln Financial Field.
Fast forward 24 hours, however, and things will be taking a 180.
Here's the timeline, according to AccuWeather:
It will remain unseasonably warm through the early morning hours of Saturday before a cold front rolls in. By Noon, temps will plunge into the 30s and by 2:30 -- two hours before kickoff -- the tailgaters in South Philadelphia will be enjoying their favorite adult beverage with wind chills in the 20s.
In the guts of the game -- around 6:30 or so -- those wind chills are expected to drop into the teens just like they were against the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys. To make matters worse the wind will be gusting up to 25 MPH.
The bad news there is Foles has proven he doesn't have the arm strength to cut through that kind of weather consistently. The good news is that it also affects the other side as evidenced by the struggles of Derek Carr and Dak Prescott during the deep freeze that engulfed the Delaware Valley.
As a dome team, the Falcons certainly don't project to play well in the cold as well, virtually assuring Saturday's game will be a nip-and-tuck affair deep into the fourth quarter.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen