As the Packers prepare to host the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs, the Lambeau Field forecast is once again low hanging fruit for discussing the merits of home field advantage.
Heck, I’m guilty.
Saturday’s forecast calls for temperatures in the teens at kickoff and we know the wind chill will make it feel colder. But when was the last time you watched a football game and thought team-A defeated team-B because of the weather?
What you’ll see on Saturday is this: A few players from each team walking the field pre-game with sleeveless shirts getting accustomed to the conditions. Many will test the turf to figure out what kind of cleats they need to wear.
Heated benches, heated helmet racks, propane heaters on wheels blowing orange flames…you’ll see it all. But when those players take the field, it won’t matter.
Weather was a discussion when the Atlanta Falcons visited Green Bay on a snowy day in 2003. Atlanta advanced with a 27-7 win.
The 49ers beat the Packers in the wild card round in 2013 on a day the temperature at kickoff was 5 degrees.
On that day in 2013, and throughout that regular season, the 49ers were the better team.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be playing at home…far better than the alternative. But I’m not buying weather as a reason the 49ers will struggle.
The Packers will win Saturday because they are the better team, the healthier team, and have the better quarterback.