Vikings fans

Wear layers, Vikings and Seahawks fans. If the current forecast holds, the NFC wild-card playoff game will rank among the coldest football games ever played.

At the moment, forecasts predict a kickoff temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit, with the possibility of temperatures warming slightly as the game goes on. Zero degrees would move the Minnesota-Seattle matchup into a tie for the seventh-coldest NFL game ever played.

That's not counting wind chill, either, which is expected to clock in around negative-15 to negative-20 degrees Fahrenheit. At a certain point, the numbers mean nothing: Cold is cold.


The coldest game on record is the famous Ice Bowl, which was a frigid minus-13. Its windchill was even worse, reaching minus-48. Barring a significant change in the forecast, the Minnesota game won't touch the Ice Bowl's record. A more realistic goal would be the Minnesota record of minus-2, set in a Vikings game on December 3, 1972.

That would rank as the sixth-coldest in NFL history. Regardless, the cold will be extreme enough to add an extra layer of drama to an already tense matchup. Extreme conditions may be a much-needed advantage for the Vikings, who suffered a home-field beat down by the Seahawks, 38-7, last month.

Most Severe Weather In NFL Playoffs

Ice Bowl, 1967
 

Ice Bowl, 1967

At minus-13 degrees in Green Bay, the 1967 NFL championship game is the coldest game in league history, playoffs or otherwise. Aside from the cold, the game itself provides compelling drama as Packers quarterback Bart Starr scores the winning touchdown on a sneak from the 1-yard line with 13 seconds left. The 21-17 win against the Cowboys puts the Packers in Super Bowl II.

Freezer Bowl, 1982
 

Freezer Bowl, 1982

The AFC championship game in Cincinnati on Jan. 10, 1982, holds the league record for coldest wind chill at minus-59 degrees. The Bengals win 27-7 to advance to Super Bowl XVI. Cincinnati coach Forrest Gregg was an offensive tackle for the Packers in the Ice Bowl and he says the Freezer Bowl was colder. Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts says he still feels the effects of the frostbite from that game.

Favre's Frozen Farewell, 2008
 

Favre's Frozen Farewell, 2008

The NFC championship game on Jan. 20, 2008, turns out to be Brett Favre's final game as a Green Bay Packer, and the game-time temperature is minus-4 with a wind chill of minus-24. On the opening possession of overtime, Corey Webster intercepts Favre, and this time Tynes connects from 47 yards to give the Giants a 23-20 win.

Tuck Rule Blizzard, 2002
 

Tuck Rule Blizzard, 2002

Raiders fans also refer to this AFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 19, 2002, as the Snow Job. Oakland leads 13-10 with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter. Charles Woodson sacks Tom Brady. Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert recovers. But the officials cite the Tuck Rule. The Patriots maintain possession. Through the driving snow, Adam Vinatieri kicks a 45-yard field goal to force overtime and wins it with a 23-yarder.

The Sneakers Game, 1934
 

The Sneakers Game, 1934

The Giants trail the Bears 10-3 at halftime at the Polo Grounds, which is covered in ice after a night of freezing rain. Then the Giants equipment manager borrows some sneakers from the Manhattan College basketball team, and New York runs away with the championship in a 30-13 win.

Red Right 88, 1981
 

Red Right 88, 1981

The wind chill in Cleveland is minus-36 on Jan. 4, 1981, when the Browns host the Raiders, and the field is covered in ice. The Browns trail 14-12 and take a shot at the end zone with the play called "Red Right 88." Brian Sipe's pass gets held up by the wind. Raiders safety Mike Davis steps in front of Ozzie Newsome in the end zone for the game-clinching interception.

Philly Blizzard, 1948
 

Philly Blizzard, 1948

The 1948 NFL championship is the first to be televised, and viewers see plenty of snow and just one touchdown. The Eagles beat the Cardinals 7-0 only after players from both teams help with snow removal from the field of Shibe Park in Philadelphia.

Slippery In Pittsburgh, 1976
 

Slippery In Pittsburgh, 1976

The AFC championship game on Jan. 4, 1976, features an ice-covered field at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh and a wind chill of minus-12. After the Steelers win 16-10, Raiders coach John Madden says the ice may be worse than the cold because it prevents Oakland's receivers from making crisp cuts.

Chiefs-Colts, 1996
 

Chiefs-Colts, 1996

It is minus-6 in Kansas City on Jan. 7, 1996, and the Colts upset the Chiefs, who go 13-3 in the regular season. The Colts quarterback that day? Jim Harbaugh, who now leads his alma mater Michigan.

Fog Bowl, 1988
 

Fog Bowl, 1988

The NFC divisional playoff game between the Bears and Eagles at Soldier Field gets swallowed up by the fog starting in the second quarter. Visibility becomes a joke as players have trouble seeing the first down marker. The NFL lets sportswriters out of the press box and stand on the sidelines for a better view in the second half. The Bears win 20-12.

The Rainy Super Bowl, 2007
 

The Rainy Super Bowl, 2007

The downpour in Miami on Feb. 4, 2007, contributes to a total of eight turnovers in the Colts' 29-17 win against the Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Peyton Manning is MVP as he goes 25 of 38 for 247 yards and a touchdown. The game is also historic as it marks the first time that the Super Bowl has a black head coach, with Tony Dungy (Colts) and Lovie Smith (Bears).

Bills-Raiders, 1994
 

Bills-Raiders, 1994

By halftime of this AFC divisional playoff game in Buffalo on Jan. 15, 1994, it is minus-1 with a wind chill of minus-26. The Bills rally from a 17-6 deficit to beat the Raiders 29-23. Buffalo advances to the AFC championship in which it beats Joe Montana and the Chiefs to earn a fourth consecutive trip to the Super Bowl.

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