by Will Strome - Columnist, NFLWeather.com | 10-27-2012 08:00
Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins are surprisingly similar teams. Both rep inconsistent 3-4-formation defenses, both have two high octane and creative offenses and both have yet to win two consecutive games this year. But the most obvious comparison is that both have a quarterback who can make plays in and out of the pocket, throwing and/or running the ball. Both teams will desperately need their franchise QB’s, Ben Roethisberger and RG3, to make big plays in the mud with a heavy dose of rain falling on Pittsburgh all weekend.
NFLWeather.com forecasts an 80% of rain for game Sunday and that’s not even the worst of it. The high will only top off around 48 degrees and winds will be swirling around 15 mph with similar conditions on Saturday. The problem with Saturday is the University of Pittsburgh has a home football game against Temple and if the rains come down during the game then the grass field for Sunday will be a complete mess. The Steelers are already known for having tough field conditions but these might take the cake for week eight. That being said, it’ll be smash mouth football at it’s finest with tempo and ball control ruling the outcome.
Neither defense is particularly solid against the run. Pittsburgh (3-3) has allowed over four yards per carry this season and the aging unit just isn’t the same without Troy Polamalu who will miss the Washington (3-4) game. According to NFLWeather’s historical analytics, the lone rain game the Steelers played early this year, a 16-14 week five win at home over Philadelphia, the defense rose to the occasion and pummeled a team with a similar style to that of the Skins’. The Eagles were only able to muster up 78 yards on the ground and contained Michael Vick to 168 yards passing while forcing two critical turnovers. Matching that performance all but guarantees a win for Pittsburgh at home.
But the biggest difference between the Eagles offense and the Redskins is Philly’s doesn’t have a quarterback who leads the NFL in completion percentage (70.4%). Robert Griffith III has lived up to the Heisman hype, even if the sample size has only been seven games. But one thing he hasn’t gone up against yet is a tough road game in the rain. Whereas the Roethisberger and the Steelers always feel at home in crappy weather, according to the NFLWeather’s historical analytics, the Skins won their last road game a year ago in Seattle’s boisterous stadium. But wind, mud and a driving rain might be enough to cause problems for a rookie. RG3 will still have his drop back pocket passes and rollouts but rain might force the play calling to focus more on his designed QB sneaks out of the pistol formation. Getting a few lead blockers in front of him might be the best way to consistently grind out four and five yard plays if the passing game starts to slip away.
Grinding it out for the Skins should be left to Alfred Morris. With Pittsburgh experiencing major injury issues in the backfield, Morris has seized his opportunity after the starters in front of him went down. For the Steelers, Jonathan Dwyer will start for the injured Rashard Mendenhall who is out and Isaac Redman is probable and will backup Dwyer. Both Morris and Dwyer are bruising power backs but Morris has been at the job for a few weeks now. The Steelers should expect to see a heavy dose of Morris in the mud and might even see a few swing passes out of the backfield if they can catch the Steelers on a blitz. Dwyer surprisingly leads the team in rushing with 192 yards but don’t be surprised if Ben Roethlisberger ends up with more carries as both sides thrive off broken plays and scrambling. Big Ben has made a career of that and little will change in the game plan for Sunday.
This game had all the potential for turning into a shootout but the storms could force the play calling more conservative which is hard to imagine given these two teams. Both will desperately be relying on the play of their quarterbacks and if the game comes down to a field goal, there’s a good chance neither Shaun Suisham nor newcomer Kai Forbath will deliver. It will be one big, broken play that will make the difference in the Burgh
by NFLWeather.com Team | 10-26-2012 15:00
by Chris Lovi - Columnist NFLWeather.com | 10-20-2012 11:00
by Will Strome - Columnist, NFLWeather.com | 10-18-2012 15:00
The NFC West hasn’t been the powerhouse division of the conference in previous seasons but that’s all in the past. The Arizona Cardinals crept their way to 4-0 before dropping two straight while preseason favorite, the 49ers, currently share a similar record but sit in third behind a rookie quarterback and his surprising Seattle side, building up to a brawl for Thursday Night Football when the Seattle Seahawks fly south to take on San Francisco.
NFLWeather.com forecasts clear skies above Candlestick Park with an evening low in the upper-50s and a southern 5-10 mph breeze. However, the stadium sits at sea level and the field is lower so the bluegrass surface is usually a bit soggy. This has never been an issue for 49ers all-pro kicker David Akers but Akers has already missed five field goals this season and is coming off an undisclosed illness.
Damp field conditions are typical for Seattle who stunned the New England Patriots in the rain last week, 24-23. But away from home is a completely different story, especially against a 49ers team that has won the last three consecutive meetings and hasn’t lost to the Seahawks at home since 2008.
The new and improved Seattle defense is heavy in size and speed. The 49ers might have the leagues best defense (275.8ypg) but Seattle isn’t too far behind, fourth in the NFL with 294.7 yards allowed per game. What separates the Seahawks from San Francisco is their stifling run defense, surrendering only 70 yards a game. However, this week the unit will be put to the test against the league’s top rushing offense anchored by Frank Gore and averaging over 175 yards per game.
San Francisco will run the ball both between and outside the tackles to control the tempo and time of possession battle. Gore will get plenty of carries but the 49ers will try to get Alex Smith comfortable early by alleviating some of the pressure with a string of short passes. Seattle is great at pressuring the QB, making him uncomfortable and forcing costly turnovers. Last weekend in the 49ers dismal home loss to the New York Giants, 26-3, Smith threw three interceptions of the four he’s thrown all season. Limiting mistakes is all SF needs to do to get back on track and they have a perfect evening on the dock of the Bay to do so.
by The NFLW Team | 10-18-2012 13:05
Raiders Rap now has embedded forecasts from NFLWeather.com.
Oakland Raiders Rap was started by Joe DeLoach in September 1996. In an ideal world, this Web site is an alternative for Raiders fans who want information on their team in a concise format without a stream of ads that dominate the major media sports Web sites.
No ego, few ads, just the facts, baby! And a little opinion.
by The NFLW Team | 10-11-2012 14:00
Rain could be a factor in tonight's Steelers-Titans matchup.
Just four days after victory in a piercing October rainstorm, the Pittsburgh Steelers head down South for yet another downpour. Last week, the Steelers survived both the rain and the visiting Philadelphia Eagles with a field goal as time expired. But a trip to Nashville to play the Titans on a short week and a 40% chance of rain could really shake things up for an injury-plagued Pittsburgh.
You can read the article at National Football Post.
by The NFLW Team | 10-08-2012 18:30
Few compliments can be given to Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets offense, thus far, this season. Perhaps the only thing Jets fans can look forward to is the possibility of avoiding a chilly evening drizzle on Monday night when the Houston Texans come to town, despite the Jets being 3-0 in their last three rain games.
You can read the rest of the article over at The Fantasy Geek
by Chris Lovi - Columnist NFLWeather.com | 10-06-2012 17:00
A key matchup taking place in the rain soaked Northeast is the Cleveland Browns taking on the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Both teams are coming off tough losses on the road look to turn it around in week 5. NFLWeather.com is reporting a 70% chance of rain, cloudy skies, with highs near 60 degrees.
Despite being 0-4, the Cleveland Browns have competed well in the 2012 season. Running back Trent Richardson has become a valuable part of the Browns offense and a premiere running back in this league. Last week against an experienced Raven defense, Richardson accumulated 104 total yards and a touchdown in rainy Baltimore. So look for the Browns to continue feeding number 33 the ball this week in what will sure to be another wet contest.
As for the Browns receiving corps, they’re banged up. With Mohamed Massaquoi, Travis Benjamin, and Joshua Cribbs all out with injury, Quarterback Brandon Weeden is most likely to rely on Greg Little who has been inconsistent this season. This week is not going to get any easier for him with a slippery football and some modified routes. If the Giants defense reduces Cleveland to a one dimensional offense, this could be another long day for Browns fans.
The Giants are also hampered by injuries on both sides of the ball. Wide receiver Victor Cruz is expected to see most of the targets from Eli Manning with Hakeem Nicks sidelined and Ramses Barden questionable this week. Despite the Browns strong pass rush, opposing quarterbacks have been averaging 286 yards through the air.
This is a big game for both teams. Cleveland is obviously looking for its first victory while New York is practically in a must win situation, given their tough schedule ahead. If forecasts are correct, New York has the advantage based on their ability to move the ball through the air
by The NFLW Team | 10-06-2012 15:00
With rain storms spreading throughout the East Coast, there are many games to keep an eye on in week 5.
You can read more at the National Football Post.
by The NFLW Team | 10-06-2012 10:00
When cross-state rivals Pittsburgh and Philadelphia clash it’s never pretty. In fact, it’s a rivalry about as roughed-up as the playing surface inside Heinz Field will be following this physical matchup. Factor in a 30% chance of rain as forecast by NFLWeather.com and this Keystone State clash has all the ingredients for a memorable, hate-filled classic.
You can read more here.
by The NFLW Team | 10-03-2012 12:00
NFLWeather.com is pleased to welcome its new partner ScoutPro.
ScoutPro is a “game-changing” software tool that helps the Fantasy Football General Manager (GM) best prepare for the pre-season with accurate NFL draft picks in 2012 and helps the GM optimize their roster each week of the season.
You can learn more about ScoutPro here.
by The NFLW Team | 09-30-2012 10:00
Week four is set to kick off, and there are a number of matchups to keep an eye on as rain is expected to hit the East Coast throughout weekend.
You can read more at The National Football Post.
by Will Strome - Columnist, NFLWeather.com | 09-29-2012 11:00
When the Bengals head south to take on the Jaguars, NFLWeather.com reports a 40% chance of rain with the potential for late thunderstorms. Furthermore, a high just shy of 90 will make for an extremely muggy afternoon.
To few fans surprise, A.J. Green has transformed into one of the premier receivers in the league. Those unfamiliar with his collegiate work at Georgia are now blown away by his explosiveness and sheer athleticism across the field. Speed, size, agility and soft hands; the kid has it all. And if the rain doesn’t, Jacksonville will desperately need to shut him down on Sunday. A slippery and muddy grass surface inside EverBank Field just might be enough to slow down some of the weapons in Cincinnati’s new and improving offensive arsenal.
Andy Dalton has more than just one option to turn to and second-year man out of Toledo Andrew Hawkins has filled the void left by Jerome Simpson. Hawkins has 12 receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns but only two catches in each of his last two games. Jacksonville (1-2) will do everything possible to shut down Green so Dalton will look to Hawkins and tight end Jermaine Greshman to be more of a presence in the passing game. But will the Floridian rains have an impact on Cincinnati’s play calling?
Unfortunately for the visitors the rain seems to be an ally for the Jags at home. A 2-0 rain record since 2010 including a 41-14 trouncing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a year ago. Blaine Gabbert’s first outing in the rain ended with a win over their cross state rivals and a 217 passing yard performance including a pair of touchdowns and interceptions. The Bengals (2-1) on the other hand have lost their last two rain games on the road and Dalton has yet to play in stormy weather away from home. But last season when the Bengals hosted the Browns on a rainy Ohio day Dalton threw for 270 yards and a touchdown and most importantly, zero picks en route to a 23-20 win capped by a game winning fourth quarter drive.
Jacksonville needs to apply pressure and limit Dalton’s time in the pocket. The Bengals rank eighth in yards per game (391.7) and fourth in passing (291) and still manage to grind out just over 100 yards rushing. It’s a versatile offense against a Jags defense that gives up over 400 yards per game. The best way for the Jags to prevent the Bengals from torching their defense is to simply keep it off the field.
Despite having an offense that averages an AFC-worst 17.3 points per game, Jacksonville averages over 120 rushing yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry. Maurice Jones-Drew is playing like his old self again, averaging 5.3 yards a carry and fought for 314 yards and touchdown as the Jags offensive workhorse. And what better a scenario than all MJD show, grinding it out in the mud against the second-worst rushing defense in the NFL with 155 yards allowed per game. Given the rain and a recovering Laurent Robinson (probable, concussion), the Jags will limit Gabbert’s attempts to avoid turnovers so MJD will be the primary focal point of the offense. But that doesn’t mean Gabbert can’t make his own success through the air. If MJD starts doing some damage, the play action fake could burn the Bengals big time.
Not many people are expecting much out of Jacksonville this season but a watered down secondary and a rainy afternoon could be the recipe for success. Both teams have strengths in their offenses but mammoth holes in their defenses. Both teams have experienced kickers with substantial boots. The real question ultimately comes down to which sophomore quarterback will rise up and take control of this one? If Jacksonville can’t capitalize on the field conditions, Cincinnati will very quietly be sitting right next to the Baltimore Ravens atop the AFC North with a 3-1 record.
by The NFLW Team | 09-28-2012 10:00
Where do fun surreal sports lists, top 5 best hair lists, politics, culture and general sports stories collide? In the same place as revolutionary ideas to modernize Soccer, AmericanizeSoccer.com.
Take a little time to stop and read fun articles. AmericanizeSoccer.com is a unique perspective on every article, even American Football! See for yourself.
by NFLWeather.com Team | 09-24-2012 10:00
Century Link Field, home of the fans otherwise known as the 12th man, is set to host Monday Night’s showdown between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.
Could a rainstorm be Seattle's thirteen man? Read more here: http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Could-a-rainstorm-be-Seattles-thirteenth-man.html
by NFLWeather.com Team | 09-22-2012 22:00
by The NFLW Team | 09-20-2012 18:00
Mostly Clear Skies over Carolina could open up the offense. Read more on at NationalFootballPost.com.
by Chris Lovi - Columnist, NFLWeather.com | 09-19-2012 22:00
Thursday night’s matchup features two teams looking to prove themselves as playoff contenders early on in this 2012 season. The banged up New York Giants squad will travel down to Charlotte to take on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers on what looks to be a clear night at Bank of America Field. NFLweather.com forecasts show clear skies with lows in the upper 50s and light winds. With weather not likely to have an important role in Thursday’s game, look for other factors to affect the outcome of this matchup.
The Giants injury report has grown once again this past week with key players Ahmad Bradshaw, David Diehl, Domenik Hixon, and just recently Hakeem Nicks ruled out for Thursday’s matchup with various injuries. However, with injury comes opportunity. The Giants will most likely turn to Andre Brown to start at running back with David Wilson being a close backup. Expect Brown to see a heavy workload against a Carolina defense who was ranked dead last against the run last year and has already surrendered 5.2 yards per carry against opposing running backs this season.
Since it will be a clear night, Eli Manning will look to air it out as always. With Nicks out, Victor Cruz will likely see most of the targets from Manning. Although tight end Martellus Bennett is off to a fast start and could be an option for Eli in the red zone. As for other receivers filling in for injured Hicks and Hixon, 2012 third round draft pick Reuben Randle has yet to see an increased workload but these injuries have created opportunity for him and this could be the game he breaks out of his shell.
As for the Panthers offense, we have stressed the importance of containing Cam Newton and Thursday night will be no different for the New York Giants defense. Last week we saw Newton tear up the Saints defense by throwing for 250 yards and a touchdown, while also running for 73 yards and a score. The giants have been average against the run this year and should be able to keep Newton in check with their athletic defensive linemen. Panther’s running backs this season have been extremely inconsistent in terms of workload with Mike Tolbert now receiving carries with D’Angelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart inside the red zone. This is something to keep in mind when setting your fantasy roster.
The real problem for the Giants defense this year has come against the pass. The Giants secondary has surrendered 550 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air in two games. Panther’s offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski will most likely start out with short throws to keep Cam comfortable in the pocket on this cool night then try to expose an injured Giants secondary with receivers Steve Smith and Brandon Lafell. Since Smith is a legitimate deep threat, he is likely to have safety help over the top. This opens up the field for Lafell, who has been a top-ten fantasy receiver the first two weeks and will most likely continue that trend.
Given the clear skies Thursday night and Bank of America’s natural grass surface, making strong cuts shouldn’t be a problem for defenders. In a game with two high-powered offenses, it will likely come down to turnovers. And with both teams likely to air it out a lot, it will be interesting to see which defense steps up.
by The NFLW Team | 09-18-2012 22:00
Have the Patriots signed Kellen Winslow?
by Will Strome - Columnist, NFLWeather.com | 09-16-2012 08:00
Neither the Carolina Panthers nor New Orleans Saints looked particularly strong in week one, but one side will breath easier after earning their first divisional win of the season following Sunday’s soggy matchup in Charlotte.
While the Panthers are off to an 0-1 start in the NFC South following a dismal performance in Tampa Bay, a win at home against the Saints would bury the division’s preseason favorite in the cellar. A task that is much easier said than done. But if a rookie quarterback can storm into the Superdome and stun Drew Brees and the Saints, who’s to say Cam Newton can’t do it at home in the rain?
With a 40% chance of rain both leading up to and during the game as reported by NFLWeather.com, Bank of America Stadium’s grass field will be a slick one. Thunderstorms are possible after 9AM which hopefully will have little to no impact on the 1PM kickoff and light winds maxing around 5 mph will be swirling northeast.
The harder the rain, the more each side will focus on building a solid ground game early. And both teams have zero shortage of functional backs for various game situations. However, despite the depth both the Saints and Panthers struggled tremendously to build any sort of running game a week ago. Given both sides were trailing in each of their week one match ups, but they combined for a pathetic 23 total rushing plays between the two (10 for CAR, 13 for NO). Expect this to change and expect both coaches to maximize the work load for the running backs this week.
If rain forces Drew Brees to his short passing game and having to hand off to his backs, the Panthers can keep this one close. Of the backs behind Brees, Mark Ingram got the most touches with six for only 15 yards followed by Pierre Thomas with four carries for 17 yards in their 40-32 loss at home to the Washington Redskins. In muddy short yardage and goal line situations, Ingram will be an easy go to. But if that grass field starts getting torn up and worn down, head coach Ron Rivera will look to Thomas to turn it up field.
Darren Sproles didn’t get any carries in week one but he made his presence known in the flats catching passes out of the backfield. Sproles had five receptions for 35 yards and a crucial fourth quarter touchdown and two-point conversion that helped spark the Saints’ short but no cigar comeback. If Brees has any issues gripping the wet ball, short passes to Sproles will be common.
But Brees has an arsenal of receiving options. Devery Henderson is still out but redzone target and slot receiver Lance Moore more than made up for his absence with 120 yards on six receptions and a touchdown. Tight End Jimmy Graham also hauled in a score along with six grabs for 85 yards and continuing to prove he’s seemingly unstoppable for any linebacker to cover. Marques Colston is also a healthy option for Brees who completed 24 of 52 attempts for 339 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions last week. With overcast and a slick surface, Brees will be exchanging a number of those passing attempts with handing off to his running backs and focusing his passing game on slanting receivers and short routes.
Unfortunately for the Saints, their Jonathan Vilma-less defense have to once again prepare for an explosive quarterback with just as much an eye for an open receiver as he does an open seam for a 40 yard scamper. Cam Newton didn’t put up crazy numbers in the Panthers 16-10 road loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but something Carolina fans should be looking forward to is how poorly the Saints defense did against rookie sensation Robert Griffith III.
Similarly to when Newton burst onto the NFL scene a year ago, RG3 had a solid 19 of 26 performance for 320 yards and two touchdowns. He also had nine rushes for 42 yards and in perhaps the most impressive stat of all, zero turnovers. Numbers very familiar to Carolina’s franchise QB.And in order to have any chance of dealing New Orleans their second loss in as many games, Newton has to avoid the turnovers and provide substantial offense both in the air and on the ground. Last week, Carolina’s ground game was atrocious; 10 net yards rushing. Even the addition of former San Diego Charger Mike Tolbert reuniting with Rivera wasn’t enough to make even the smallest of dents in Tampa Bay’s defense. DeAngelo Williams took his six touches and turned them into -1 yards on the ground while Tolbert’s lone carry was for two yards. Newton’s rushing attempts were no different, five carries for four yards.
A lack of commitment to the ground game was obvious in week one but with thunderstorms looming the Panthers will need to get something going from at least one back. Like the Saints’ situation, Carolina will work to open up holes and seal off the second level for Williams to break out some big runs. In short yardage, Tolbert is the bruising favorite.But by the end of the day, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Newton leads both sides in rushing. Any chance he has to cut upfield and make a few juke moves in the mud, few defensive backs will be excited about taking down that big body one on one. As much as Newton will look for Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and tight end Greg Olsen; he’ll be looking to pick up a few yards on the ground just as much. And that right there is the difference maker in the weather; Cam Newton’s ability to see the field and provide offense with his arm and his legs.
If New Orleans can contain Cam, Carolina is in serious trouble. But if the Panthers can keep it close and let Newton run the show, Drew Brees and company might be sitting at an unlikely 0-2. Time of possession will be key in this rainy, muggy divisional rivalry and the team who can keep grinding it out on the ground best will take it.
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