by Chris Lovi - Columnist, NFLWeather.com | 12-02-2012 10:00
A big matchup to keep an eye on Sunday will be the Patriots versus Dolphins in Miami as the Pats look to get one step closer to clinching another AFC East title. New England currently holds a three game lead over Miami with just five weeks remaining. NFLWeather.com forecasts a chance of showers, partly sunny skies with a high near 80 degrees: humid, muggy weather that conditioning coaches like.
Overall, the Patriots are 14-33 against the Dolphins in Miami, but have won eight of the last ten games. This will be the first time these two teams battle each other this season and the Dolphins, perennial Patriots Day spoilers, are excited to have their first crack at the Patriots at home.
Rain or shine, the Patriots find ways to beat you on the ground and through the air. Bill Belichik has enough playmakers and one smart quarterback who can lead them through any weather conditions, even in humid Miami. This year’s usual suspects to keep an eye on will be running back Steven Ridley and wide out Wes Welker, a former Dolphin. (Once the Patriots realized that they could not stop the Dolphin’s young slot back, they signed him instead. The rest is Patriots history). Both Players have small and quick frames that present great opportunities against a Dolphins defense that ranks 26th against the pass this season. Expect Brady to get the ball to these guys using screens and quick outs to see if they can make defenders miss tackles, especially if its wet.
The other side of the ball has been a different story for the Patriots. If the Dolphins want to win this game, they are going to have to put up a lot of points through the air. New England’s defense ranks 28th against the pass this year so look for the Dolphins receivers to see a lot of action this week. Young Daniel Thomas will be tested while Reggie Bush is famous for yards after the catch. This may be his day. The upstart receiving combination of Brian Hartline and Devone Bess will have opportunities to show their stuff, if Tannehill can hit them. Miami will need at least thirty points to win this game and the best way to do that is to put faith in their rookie quarterback to air it out.
According to NFLWeather.com’s Historical Analytics, the last time the Patriots played the Dolphins in the rain was November of 2009. The Dolphins won that won 22-21. Tom Brady on has a dozen losses to AFC East team in as many years but half of those losses are to the Dolphins. In a division dominated by the Patriots, this AFC East rivalry game is a chance for Miami to prove they are a true contender.
by Will Strome - Columnist, NFLWeather.com | 12-02-2012 09:00
Few players in the NFL are as crucial to a team’s success as Ben Roethlisberger is to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Having watched his team turn the ball over eight times against the Cleveland Browns, it was apparent the Steelers simple aren’t a playoff team without him. And with Big Ben unlikely against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, maybe the rains can save the Steelers AFC North title hopes.
NFLWeather.com forecasts a 20% chance of showers after noon with a high temperature in the low 50s. The conditions will be extremely frigid, especially if the wind starts blowing off the harbor.
These two rivals went head to head two weeks ago in a dismal offensive performance from both sides. Then-quarterback Byron Leftwich ran a 30+ yard quarterback scamper into the end zone and Jacoby Jones scored on special teams. Those two fluky touchdowns aside, the final score was 6-3 in favor of the visiting Ravens. But the atmosphere, and game plan, turns polar opposites from a beautiful night in Pittsburgh to the driving rain in Baltimore. Not to mention the starting lineup.
Charlie Batch is expected to be the starting quarterback but that’s not the only talking point. Rashard Mendenhall is now third on the depth chart following his two fumble game, behind Isaac Redman and newly promoted Jonathan Dwyer. All three backs and rookie Chris Rainey turned the ball over in Pittsburgh’s 20-14 loss to Cleveland. A wet football in shaky hands will ultimately result in an identical fashion from last week’s game with the Ravens chomping at the very bit to run up the score.
With Batch having thrown three picks last week, even with an unreliable backfield, it’s all up to the backs and the o-line to sustain drives against Baltimore. With a heavy rain, the last thing the Steelers want to do is have Batch win the game for them. Maurkice Pouncey will move from center to left guard to make way for Doug Legursky in an enormously depleted offensive line. Rookie Kelvin Beachum will start at right tackle, the likely location for a number of heavy Baltimore blitzes.
The last time these teams met in the rain inside M&T Bank Stadium was in a light rain, only a year ago according to NFLWeather’s historical analytics. It was a total rout in favor of the Ravens, 35-7, who forced seven turnovers out of Pittsburgh. Joe Flacco completed 17 of 29 for 224 yards and three touchdowns while Ray Rice cruised for over 5.5 yards per carry with one touchdown and 107 yards. The Pittsburgh (6-5) defense is still top-notch so they’ll need a steady mix of both aerial and ground attack. They won’t need to be quite as proficient as a year ago, but if they do they’ll lock up the division.
Even though the Ravens have struggled to find offensive touchdowns as of late, more importantly; they’re finding ways to win. Only one score in 10 quarters is hard to image for a 9-2 football team. After an incredible comeback win in overtime that included a 4th and 29 conversion, Baltimore is proving that, regardless of how it gets done, playoff teams just win games. In a rainy, hate-filled rivalry matchup the edge has to go to the team who’s been there before. The Steelers are 3-0 in rain games this season but they seem almost destined for a first on Sunday.
by The NFLW Team | 12-01-2012 08:00
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by The NFLW Team | 11-04-2012 07:00
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by The NFLW Team | 11-03-2012 15:00
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by The NFLW Team | 11-03-2012 11:00
Welcome to the NFLWeather.com Half-Time Report. At Mid-Season, Hurricane Sandy impacted a third of last week's NFL games and a few more of the week 9 games. But the BIG NEWS is availability of the NFLWeather App for Android on Google Play aka the Android Market. Custom designed for your mobile phone with our mobile application development partners Unwired Nation and USA Today Sports, the NFLWeather Android App provides all of the forecasts, game times and scores on one fast-loading, easy to read screen. The NFLWeather mobile App for Android is now the easiest way to get game updates on your mobile device.
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by The NFLW Team | 11-03-2012 04:00
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by Chris Lovi - Columnist NFLWeather.com | 10-28-2012 13:05
The Carolina Panthers travel to Illinois to take on the Chicago Bears. NFLWeather.com forecasts a 20 percent chance of showers, partly sunny skies with a high near 48. Despite the fair weather, a small chance of showers could affect how this game could be played at historic Soldier Field, known for having one of the worst all-natural grass surfaces in the league.
Carolina’s defense is hampered with injuries. With half of the Panthers defensive line questionable, it is going to be hard for Carolina to get a legitimate pass rush going. Even though Jay Cutler (ribs) is coming off an injury himself, there are enough weapons on the Bears offense to pick up most of the slack. If rain becomes an issue, running back Michael Forte will see a heavy dose of carries along with backup Michael Bush who keeps a tight grip on the ball. Soldier Field’s slick surface could mean a lot of short plays for the Bears offense. However if skies clear up, Jay Cutler could have all the time in the world to hang in the pocket until Brandon Marshall creates separation.
Carolina’s offensive game plan should be simple rain or shine, establish the run. Panther’s offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski needs to take pressure off of his quarterback Cam Newton. Even though the Bears rank first in the league against the run, Carolina has enough talent in their backfield to challenge them. Rainy weather would be beneficial for the Panthers offense if they can get the bootleg option going and keep Chicago’s powerful defense off-balance. Expect both D’Angelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to get at least 20 touches combined while Newton will keep the ball for a few first downs and extra yardage.
This is an important game for both teams. Keeping the ball is key. Chicago’s defense is creating enough turnovers to become a fantasy football dream team. The Bears must maintain momentum if they want to stay atop of the NFC North. The Panthers need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Rain will most likely limit offensive capabilities for both sides. In the end, it is going to come down to turnovers, in which case the Bears defense has the advantage on and off the field. It will be a great day for a hot brat in Chicago.
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