It's the most scrutinized weather forecast for a football game in history.
In a winter where the East Coast has seemingly been pummeled by storm after storm, the weather for Super Bowl XLVIII is one of the dominant storylines as the game approaches.
However, if the latest round of forecasts are any indication, it appears the NFL may have dodged the proverbial bullet.
Or snowball, as the case may be.
In fact, as Will Brinson of CBS Sports reports, the weather really isn't expected to be bad at all.
Well, for New Jersey in February, anyway.
Even better than the forecast high of 38 degrees is the minimal chance of precipitation and winds in the 5-10 MPH range.
Given that the New York City area is bracing for a blast of bitter cold over the next few days, this is about as good a forecast as the NFL could have dared hope.
Yes, the game will all but certainly be the coldest Super Bowl ever played, but that's essentially been a foregone conclusion since MetLife Stadium was announced as the venue.
However, if this forecast holds, it appears that the league will dodge the sort of snowpocalypse that had the NFL creating contingency plans for playing the game anywhere from Friday, January 31 to Monday, February 3.
It's also a forecast that benefits the "home" team.
The Denver Broncos and quarterback Peyton Manning should be overjoyed by this forecast. Mind you, it's not that the weather gives the Broncos and their high-octane offense an "edge." At least, no more so than they already had given the ridiculous number of talented receivers Manning has at his disposal.
No, what should have the Broncos grinning from ear to ear is the fact that this forecast minimizes the chances of the weather aiding the Seattle Seahawks.
Had the weather turned nasty, with high winds and precipitation, that would seem to favor the smash-mouth Seahawks. Hard to get the vertical passing game going if it's snowing sideways and the wind keeps killing throws.
Just the white stuff, on the other hand, would have been more of an equal offensive edge for both clubs.
There's a reason why the snow-filled fourth quarters of the Detroit-Philadelphia and Minnesota-Baltimore games earlier this year featured big plays galore and tons of scoring.
When a play starts, the backs and receivers know where they are going. Defenders? Not so much, which increases the chances of a lapse when the footing gets slick.
Now though, it appears that footing will be sure, the field will be dry and the wind won't be much of a factor. All good news for the Broncos and their receivers, who won't have to contend with adverse weather in addition to "The Legion of Boom."
Yes it will be cold, and so the "Peyton Manning struggles in the cold" talk may start up again. Never mind that his sample size in cold weather is small and skewed by the fact that until recently every cold-weather game Manning had played was on the road.
Since joining the Broncos, it's been a different story:
Or that Manning certainly didn't seem to mind the cold while carving the Tennessee Titans up like an Easter ham back in Week 14. After that game, Manning made it clear what he thought of the whole narrative:
Now before the Broncos start happy-dancing down Broadway (please, just don't), it's worth pointing out that in the time between now and Sunday approximately everything can change where the weather is concerned.
In fact, as Stephen Stirling of The Newark Star-Ledger reports, the Weather Channel's Jon Erdman cautions that there's still a real possibility things could get wet:
To be clear, we are not anticipating a major storm with heavy precipitation to affect the Northeast on Super Bowl weekend. However, we are expecting a frontal system to slide into the Northeast Saturday, potentially stalling out into Super Bowl Sunday. With colder air retreating, all precipitation types, from snow, to sleet, freezing rain, even rain, are on the table with this system.
With that said though, the forecast for now is clear skies and clear sailing.
And don't think for a minute that isn't news to the ears of both NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the AFC champion Broncos.
Of course, the problem is what they say about weather:
If you don't like it, just wait a little while—it'll change.
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