A look at the coldest playoff games in NFL history as Patriots, Bills set to battle in frigid conditions
The NFL postseason gets underway on Saturday and, naturally, January games can bring some frigid environments. The wild-card game between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots could be one of the colder contests that the league has seen in quite some time.
CBS Boston is forecasting temperatures to be around 8 degrees for opening kickoff at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo. The wind chill is going to make it feel like it’s -5 degrees and there are going to be 10 mph winds throughout the night.
With some brutally cold temperatures in the forecast, let’s take a look at the five coldest playoff games in NFL history.
Raiders vs. Browns (Jan. 4, 1981): -4 degrees
In the AFC divisional round of the 1980 NFL playoffs, the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders faced off at Cleveland Stadium with a temperature of -4 degrees and a wind chill that made it feel like it was -36. Despite hailing from the sunny West Coast, the Raiders were able to come away with a 14-12 win behind a pair of rushing touchdowns from running back Mark von Eeghen. The Raiders ended up advancing all the way to Super Bowl XV, where they handily defeated the Philadelphia Eagles.
Giants vs. Packers (Jan. 20, 2008): -4 degrees
It’s not surprising that Lambeau Field is often called the “Frozen Tundra.” Some of the coldest NFL games on record have happened within the friendly confines (or not so friendly if you’re the opposition) of Lambeau Field. In the 2007 NFC Championship Game, the temperature was -4 degrees and the wind chill made the elements feel like -24. Despite the frigid temperatures, the Giants were able to go on the road and pull out a 23-20 win to advance to the Super Bowl. Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes did miss two field goals in the fourth quarter, but was able to connect on a 47-yarder in overtime to lift his team to victory.
Seahawks vs. Vikings (Jan. 10, 2016): -6 degrees
During the NFC wild-card round of the 2015 postseason, the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings did battle in one of the lower scoring playoff games that the NFL has seen. At the time of kickoff, it was -6 degrees with the wind chill making it feel like -25 at TCF Bank Stadium, which is where the Vikings called home while U.S. Bank Stadium was being built. The Vikings ended up missing a potential game-winning 26-yard field goal with 20 seconds left and the Seahawks were able to earn a 10-9 win.
Chargers vs. Bengals (Jan. 10, 1982): -9 degrees
The 1981 AFC Championship Game featured the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the San Diego Chargers at Riverfront Stadium in what became known as the “Freezer Bowl.” The temperature was a blistering -9 degrees and the wind chill made it feel like a mind-numbing -59 degrees. With the wind chill, this is arguably the coldest game that the league has ever seen. The Bengals ended up taking advantage of the cold temperatures and advanced to the Super Bowl with a 27-7 win. Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts turned the ball over four times, which certainly helped the Bengals’ cause.
Cowboys vs. Packers (Dec. 31, 1967): -13 degrees
Of course Lambeau Field is making another appearance on this list. During the 1967 NFL Championship Game, which was nicknamed the “Ice Bowl,” the temperature was -13 degrees with a wind chill that made the atmosphere feel like -48. By the end of the contest, the temperature reached -18 degrees. Packers quarterback Bart Starr converted a one-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak to give the Packers a 21-17 win in the coldest game in NFL history.