In a perfect world, football games would be played on a favorable playing surface and weather at all times. Although fans like to talk about the elements which could impact the game, when it comes to the playoffs, the last thing anyone wants is the weather to somehow impact the outcome of the game.
With the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks preparing for sub-zero temperatures for their NFC Wild Card game, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals are dealing with some weather of their own.
The temperature at game time should be a comfortable 46-degrees, but the rain which is predicted could make that 46 a little less tolerable. In fact, weather reports are stating there is a 70-percent chance of rain showers at Paul Brown Stadium until 10:00 p.m. when that 70-percent turns into 100-percent.
How could this impact the game? For starters, the Steelers are a very pass-happy team, especially without DeAngelo Williams in the lineup. A wet football could lead to botched snaps, errant throws and dropped passes. The NFL will do their best to keep a fresh, and dry, football in circulation at all times, but at some point it becomes moot if the weather turns bad enough.
This weather could play into the hands of the Bengals, if it become severe enough. Cincinnati has a much better ground game with Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, and are more equipped for the "grind it out" style of football game. The kicking game could become a factor for both teams, although the forecast isn't calling for a lot of wind at any time. One other positive for both teams is the Paul Brown Stadium turf is the artificial field turf, and not a natural grass surface which could become muddy with the precipitation.
Nonetheless, both teams will be forced to play in the elements, and I doubt either the Steelers or Bengals will use it as an excuse, but I'm sure everyone can agree they hope it doesn't somehow impact the outcome of the game.