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Football Forecast: Will Winter Blitz the Playoffs?

green bay packers kicking a field goal
Cold weather could be a factor for one of this weekend's big NFL playoff games. (Image credit: <a href="">Mark Herreid</a> | <a href=""> Shutterstock</a>)

Winter is finally here for most of the United States, and the cold weather could be a factor this weekend for America's most popular sport.

The NFL playoffs — American football for our friends overseas — move into the second round this weekend, just after winter's first wallop arrived in the Midwest and Northeast.

New England will see the weekend's harshest weather, and a few other teams will have to battle the cold as well as their opponents.

In Foxboro, Mass., the New England Patriots host the Denver Broncos at 8 p.m. EST tomorrow (Jan. 14). Don't expect wimpy weather here. The temperature is forecast to be around 23 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 5 degrees Celsius) at kickoff. With the wind chill factored in, the temperature will feel like 11 F (minus 12 C). Winds will be blowing at 14 mph (23 kph). Don't expect lots of snow, though — there is no chance of precipitation.

The Saturday afternoon game, featuring the New Orleans Saints at the San Francisco 49ers, will be on the other end of the weather spectrum. Saturday's high temperature in San Francisco is forecast to be 66 F (19 C) and it should be mostly sunny with little wind.

On Sunday (Jan. 15) at 1 p.m. EST, the Baltimore Ravens host the Houston Texans. The weather will be mostly sunny with a high of a relatively chilly 38 F (3 C). Wind will be blowing at 9 mph (14 kph), and the chance of precipitation is 10 percent.

Green Bay, Wis., where the defending Super Bowl champion Packers host the New York Giants, is still digging out from their first big snow storm of the season. To get the stadium ready for the4:30 p.m. EST kickoff on Sunday, the team is hiring locals to shovel snow from the stands, reports NBC Sports. Once the snow is gone, the weather on game day will still be cold. The day's high will be 30 F (minus 1 C), with wind blowing at 14 mph (23 kph). The likelihood of seeing more snow is small though: There is a 10 percent chance of precipitation.

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Live Science Staff
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