MINNEAPOLIS – In a game with many ups and downs, one thing remained constant during the Vikings-Seahawks Wild Card matchup: the cold weather.
Just prior to the noon (CT) kickoff, the temperature was minus-6 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind chill was calculated at minus-25. Sunday’s game was the coldest in Vikings history and the third-coldest (in wind chill; tied for third in air temp) game in NFL history. Even the Gjallarhorn couldn’t withstand the elements, shattering before the game and being replaced with an older model.
The weather led to more running by both teams, and squads that have put up high point totals in recent weeks relied mainly on defense during the game. In the end, Minnesota came up short and ended its playoff journey by falling 10-9 to Seattle.
Following the game, several players commented on the cold temperatures. Vikings running back
“Overall I feel like offensively, defensively and special teams, we played at a high level and we gave ourselves an opportunity to be playing next week,” Peterson said.
“It was a little frigid,” Floyd said. “It was cool – one of the cooler games I’ve been a part of. Couldn’t feel my fingers, dying to get them back to life, you know. That’s the one thing we need as linemen, and once they came back, we started getting to [the Seahawks].”
There was some question if weather played a factor in Vikings kicker
“It’s all the same. The field it is what it is,” Walsh said. “I’ve done such a good job of mastering it all year on field goals, and I picked a hell of a time to have one where I missed for the first time.”
The Vikings are no stranger to cold weather, and they performed extremely well in consecutive below-zero games against the New York Giants and at Green Bay. The Seahawks, on the other hand, were less accustomed to the temps.
Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin said he underestimated the difficulty of the playing conditions heading into the game.
“Mentally, I thought I would be able to push through it, but it was a lot tougher than I thought it would be,” said Baldwin, a native of Florida. “Fortunately, we have a great training staff and a great equipment staff that prepared us all week and had the right technology on the sidelines […]. It wasn’t too bad, but we had to focus in.”
Although Seahawks running back Fred Jackson experienced plenty of cold games during his nine seasons in Buffalo, he said the game was the coldest he’s ever played in and required adjustments to adapt on the field. He said it was “probably three or four times colder than it looked.
“The hardest part was communicating,” said Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. “It was so cold, your mouth kept freezing when trying to communicate to those guys.”
Both team’s head coaches stressed throughout the week that their teams would be ready to play in the elements, and it ultimately seemed that both sides adjusted as necessary to perform well despite frigid temperatures.
Below is a breakdown of cold-weather games throughout both Vikings and NFL history:
- Coldest Viking Home Games (by Wind Chill).
1) -25 vs. Seattle, 1/10/2016 (Temp -6 - W 12 mph)
2) -19 vs. Chicago, 12/3/1972 (Temp -2 - N 11 mph)
3) -15 vs. Green Bay, 12/10/1972 (Temp 0 - SW 9 mph)
4) -12 vs. Chicago, 12/5/1970 (Temp 9 - N 25 mph)
5) -11 vs. Los Angeles, 11/29/1964 (Temp 5 - NW 12 mph)
6) -7 vs. Carolina, 11/30/2014 (Temp 12 - NW 17 mph)
7) -5 vs. San Francisco, 12/27/1970 (Temp 9 - N 10 mph)
8) -4 vs. Green Bay, 11/22/1970 (Temp 16 - NW 30 mph)
9) -3 vs. Los Angeles, 12/26/1976 (Temp 12 - NW 13 mph)
10) -1 vs. Cleveland, 1/4/1970 (Temp 8 - NW 12 mph)
- Coldest Viking Home Games (by Temperature) in team history (#Playoff Game).
1) -6 vs. Seattle, 1/10/2016 (Sunny - W 12 mph)#
2) -2 vs. Chicago, 12/3/1972 (Partly Cloudy - N 11 mph)
3) 0 vs. Green Bay, 12/10/1972 (Sunny - SW 9 mph)
4) 5 vs. Los Angeles, 11/29/1964 (Sunny - NW 12 mph)
5t) 9 vs. Chicago, 12/5/1970 (Cloudy - N 25 mph)
5t) 9 vs. San Francisco, 12/27/1970 (Sunny - N 10 mph)#
7) 11 vs. Cleveland, 1/4/1970 (Sunny - NW 8 mph)#
8t) 12 vs. Carolina, 11/30/2014 (Sunny - NW 17 mph)
8t) 12 vs. Los Angeles, 12/26/1976 (Sunny - NW 13 mph)#
10) 13 vs. N.Y. Giants, 12/27/2015 (Partly Cloudy - NW 8mph)
- Coldest Games in NFL history.
1) -13 Dallas @ Green Bay, 12/31/1967 (NW 15 mph)
2) -9 San Diego @ Cincinnati, 1/10/1982 (NW 20 mph)
3t) -6 Indianapolis @ Kansas City, 1/7/1996 (NW 8 mph)
3t) -6 Seattle @ Minnesota, 1/10/2016 (W 12 mph)
5) -5 Oakland @ Cleveland, 1/4/1981 (NW 18 mph)
6) -4 N.Y. Giants @ Green Bay, 1/20/2008 (W 12 mph)
7) -2 Chicago @ Minnesota, 12/3/1972 (N 11 mph)
8t) 0 L.A. Raiders @ Green Bay, 12/26/1993 (NW 9 mph)
8t) 0 L.A. Raiders @ Buffalo, 1/15/1994 (NW 16 mph)
8t) 0 Green Bay @ Minnesota, 12/10/1972 (SW 9 mph)
- Coldest Games (by Wind Chill) in NFL history. The wind chill values the NFL used are from the outdated formula (pre-2001). This list is with the new formula.
1) -36 Dallas @ Green Bay, 12/31/1967 (Temp -13 - NW 15 mph); -48 old formula
2) -34 San Diego @ Cincinnati, 1/10/1982 (Temp -8 - W 23 mph); -59 old formula
3) -25 vs. Seattle, 1/10/2016 (Temp -6 - W 12 mph)
4) -24 N.Y. Giants @ Green Bay, 1/20/2008 (Temp -2 - W 14 mph)
5t) -20 Oakland @ Cleveland, 1/4/1981 (Temp 1 - NW 18 mph); -35 old formula
5t) -20 L.A. Raiders @ Buffalo, 01/15/1993 (Temp 0 - NW 16 mph); -32 old formula
7) -19 Chicago @ Minnesota, 12/3/1972 (Temp -2 - N 11 mph); -26 old formula
8) -17 Detroit @ Green Bay, 12/22/1990 (Temp 2 - W 17 mph); -30 old formula
9t) -15 Green Bay @ Minnesota, 12/10/1972 (Temp 0 - SW 9 mph); -18 old formula
9t) -15 L.A. Raiders @ Green Bay, 12/26/1993 (Temp 1 - NW 10 mph); -20 old formula