Nasty weather hits several NFL games
The NFL often promotes football as a bad weather sport. It got
its share early Sunday in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and
You got to go out there and play no matter what kind of
conditions outside – sleet, snow, you got to go,” Chiefs running
back Jamaal Charles said.
Blowing snow made traction and visibility difficult for Lions at
Eagles, Vikings at Ravens, Chiefs at Redskins, and Dolphins at
Steelers. Detroit running back Reggie Bush injured himself on the
slippery field at the Linc in warmups and did not play in the
Lions’ 34-20 loss.
The snow so obscured the yard markers it was nearly impossible
for fans to tell exactly where the ball was at all four stadiums.
Televising networks superimposed the yard lines and numbers for
viewers at home.
Small tractors with plows, and workers with shovels tried to
clear the snow during Baltimore’s 29-26 victory, to no avail.
Workers used handheld snow blowers in Philadelphia, with little
Conditions were at their worst in Philly, where predictions had
been for a bit of snow later in the day, not a full-scale
Referee Ed Hochuli told the teams during the pregame coin toss
he would improvise if the coin landed on an angle. There was no
need for that.
But there was need to bundle up. The Lions and Eagles huddled
around portable sideline heaters. Even the cheerleaders wore winter
”It’s not the same as a sunny day, that’s for sure. But you’ve
got to make adjustments,” Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford
The Lions fumbled four times, losing one, in the first quarter
alone. But after scoring in the second period, they went for a
2-point conversion – and made it – because trying a placement kick
was too treacherous.
But Detroit called a timeout after going ahead 20-14 to have
former Eagles kicker David Akers attempt an extra point. The Lions
had been penalized 5 yards for a false start before trying a
2-point conversion, so they opted for the kick. It was blocked.
The fans that stuck this one out appeared to be having fun – and
no, they weren’t throwing snowballs. But with temperatures in the
20s, there were some huge gaps in the second level and upper
In Baltimore, Vikings holder Jeff Locke wiped down the spot he
planned to place the ball, clearing a path for kicker Blair Walsh
on a field-goal try. The preparation paid off with a 39-yarder that
got Minnesota within 7-3.
Swirling snow turned the field into a veritable ice rink. The
players had difficulty running, passing and catching the football.
The first play from scrimmage was a dropped pass by Jacoby
With fans covered with snow, the conditions seemed more
appropriate for outdoors in Minnesota than Maryland. Vikings star
running back Adrian Peterson, the 2012 NFL MVP, hurt his ankle on
the slick turf in the second quarter.
A short drive away in the Washington suburb of Landover, the
Redskins had a snow game for the first time since FedEx Field
opened in 1997.
Players were slipping and sliding: Chiefs cornerback Brandon
Flowers took a big-time slide trying to keep up when Pierre Garcon
made a cut on a passing route. But Robert Griffin III missed making
When Kansas City had the ball deep in Redskins territory, Andy
Reid asked for a measurement even though the Chiefs were a full
yard short of a first down. Reid couldn’t judge the distance
because the yard lines weren’t visible.
The Chiefs went for it anyway and converted on their way to a
”First time playing a game in the snow,” said Kansas City’s
Dexter McCluster, who returned a punt 74 yards for a TD. ” I love
Several Dolphins came out in shorts and T-shirts during
individual warmups. but the team left the field early, with the
Steelers staying on the field until the usual time to head back to
the locker room.
For the coin flip in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger was wearing
gray sweatpants over his gold football pants.
Snow intensified after the opening kickoff, and during a
stoppage in play due to an injury, a small army of workers came on
the field with snow blowers to clear the hashmarks, every 5-yard
stripe as well as the yardage numbers. But some of them got covered
quickly as the snow picked up during Miami’s 34-28 victory.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org