NFL Weather

Detailed Game-Time Weather Breakdown for Every NFL Gamei
Featuring RotoGrinders Chief Meteorologist, Kevin Roth

NFL Forecast

Forecast made on Saturday, 1/13, at 10:30AM

Without saying too much about a project that is still in development here, I’m going to do something a little different today. Instead of just explaining the weather in qualitative terms (it’s cold, it’s windy, etc), I’m going to use quantitative measurements to show the impact weather will have. Essentially I will be using the key weather variable for a specific game (ex – above 15mph sustained winds) and showing the results over the past 10 years inside and outside of that split. The full project isn’t quite ready for public consumption, but this will be a little taste of it, and it should be pretty awesome. PS, this is going to be even more fun for baseball, stay tuned…

ATL @ PHI – The cold front has cleared east, and the precip is long gone, so no rain/snow/sleet worries. Still, we are looking at a cold and blustery day, it will be the windiest game on the slate this weekend. Winds should be in the 15-20mph range, which I have always maintained is enough to impact kicking and some deeper throws. Let’s take a look over the past 10 years at games in Philly when the average wind speed was above 15mph, compared to games when it was below (note these statistics are for game totals, not one specific team):

Rushing attempts: Under 15mph winds = 54.7 / Over 15mph winds = 56.3
Completions per game: Under 15mph winds = 43 / Over 15mph winds = 43.6
Passing Yards: Under 15mph winds = 512yd / Over 15mph winds = 470yd
Completion percentage: Under 15mph winds = 60% / Over 15mph winds = 61%

An important note in this one that values in the split (games over 15mph winds) come from a limited sample size, only 6 games in the past 10 years meet the criteria. So what does it mean? With such a small sample size, I think you could argue it means absolutely nothing. My personal feeling with windy games showing more runs, a higher completion percentage, and a lower passing yards total, teams are more likely to stay safe with runs and shorter routes (hence the more completions, but lesser yards stat).

For those who just want to get back to my usual analysis, I would say it’s a bump down to kicking and a slight bump down to passing, especially deep threats, with a slight bump up to RB’s and TE’s.

TEN @ NE – Once again precipitation won’t be an issue, but the cold will be. Temperatures for this game will be in the 20s all game, with winds around 5-10mph. I’m usually not too concerned with cold weather games, so I would say to play this straight up, but let’s take a look at splits in Foxboro over the past 10 years with temps above and below freezing. Note that the sample size here is 13 games below freezing (with nearly 80 games above), a better sample size than our last breakdown in PHI.

Rushing attempts per game: Above freezing = 54 / Below freezing = 56.7
Passing attempts per game: Above freezing = 73 / Below freezing = 74
Completion percentage: Above freezing = 62.6% / Below freezing = 61.3%
Passing yards: Above freezing = 532yd / Below freezing = 524yd

The impact there looks pretty minimal, but a few more carries and a slightly less efficient passing game if anything. I would still recommend you play this straight up.

JAX @ PIT – Just cold. Temperatures during gametime will stay in the teens. Normally I would say just a slight bump down to kickers, and a negligible impact to passing… but let’s look at the splits. Again, our splits will be based on games above and below freezing (I would do below 20 degrees, but the sample size is too small). The following statistics are based on the last 10 years of home games in PIT with 32 degrees as the key value, in this case we have a 13 game sample size for games below freezing.

Rushing attempts per game: Above freezing = 51 / Below freezing = 53
Passing attempts per game: Above freezing = 70 / Below freezing = 65
Completion percentage: Above freezing = 61.3% / Below freezing = 58.7%
Passing yards: Above freezing = 492yd / Below freezing = 475yd

A bit more of an impact here than the numbers we saw in NE (and I honestly don’t know why, maybe because Brady is weather-immune, maybe it’s just noise). The drop in passing attempts and completion percentage stood out to me as more of an impact than I expected. On top of that, even though these splits were for freezing, our gametime temps will be well below freezing (15 degrees?), so that may make the cold even more of a factor than these splits show. I’ll put this as a slight bump down to kickers and to the passing game.

I hope this new way of breaking down the games was helpful. I’m no statistician, but by next season the power of this tool will be in your hands, so I look forward to exploring this incredible data-set with you. Also, I mentioned this in the opening paragraph, but I’m really excited to see how this translates to MLB, I really think this could be a game-changer. Let me know what you think in the comments, or tweet me @KevinRothWx.

Happy Grinding,
Kevin

  • Play ball!
  • Delay possible.
  • Delay likely, PPD possible.
  • Just say no.

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Jacksonville JAC Jaguars New England NEP Patriots
3:05 PM ET at Gillette Stadium 46.5 o/u
43° Temp 3% Precip
WSW Dir 8 mph
1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 7 PM
Precipitation 2% 2% 3% 5% 6% 6% 7%
Temperature 43° 43° 43° 41° 39° 37° 36°
Humidity 60% 59% 61% 65% 68% 71% 70%
Dewpoint 30° 30° 30° 30° 29° 28° 27°
Wind W 9 mph WSW 9 mph WSW 8 mph SW 7 mph SSW 6 mph SW 6 mph WSW 6 mph
Minnesota MIN Vikings Philadelphia PHI Eagles
6:40 PM ET at Lincoln Financial Field 38.5 o/u
44° Temp 7% Precip
S Dir 6 mph
5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM 10 PM 11 PM
Precipitation 4% 6% 7% 7% 7% 8% 8%
Temperature 47° 45° 44° 43° 42° 41° 40°
Humidity 68% 71% 71% 72% 75% 78% 80%
Dewpoint 37° 36° 35° 35° 35° 35° 35°
Wind SW 6 mph SW 6 mph S 6 mph SSW 6 mph S 5 mph SSE 5 mph S 5 mph

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