Since the announcement that Super Bowl XLVIII would be playing in the Meadowlands, many have worried about what the weather would be like for a February kickoff in New Jersey. With the game now less than two weeks away, we have a pretty good idea. According to early forecasts, Super Bowl Sunday will have a high around 37 degrees, a low of 19, and a chance for snow. Looking at the high-flying Denver Broncos and physical Seattle Seahawks, it’s not a stretch to recognize that Seattle will benefit from a cold-weather Super Bowl in 2014.
Pete Carroll has built this team using an old-school philosophy with conservative play-calling and a grinding running game to set the pace. Marshawn Lynch is as physical a runner as there is in football right now and his bruising style can wear down a defense in the second half even in the best conditions. Playing in the cold and the snow where those stinging hits linger just a big longer, Lynch could be even more dangerous as he pounds the rock between the tackles for the Seahawks’ defense.
On defense, Seattle prides itself on being physical at the point of attack against the run and challenging receivers in the passing game. Playing in the cold will help them by allowing them to collapse the defense down as the vertical passing game will be severely hindered by adverse conditions and attack the line of scrimmage more aggressively. Having the weather collapse the field down for them plays right into their hands as Seattle will try and win a slug-fest between the tackles. Without having to worry about the deep ball as much, the Hawks can throw more bodies at the line to make sure they win that fight.
Seattle is a throw-back kind of team that doesn’t mind methodically moving the ball down the field and wearing a defense down through four quarters. They aren’t equipped to keep up in a shootout, necessarily, and especially not with the most prolific offense in NFL history. It will be a phenomenal matchup in this Super Bowl where any advantage could be the difference between winning and losing. Luckily for Seattle, they’ll get a little help from Mother Nature and a cold New Jersey winter.