Can Mother Nature be Ravens’ 13th (wo)Man vs. Saints?
The “Twelfth Man,” of course, being the “wall of purple” at M&T Bank Stadium.
As I sit here and watch the snow fall outside my window, I can’t help but wonder how the weather might help tip the scales in the Ravens’ favor just a bit this Sunday against New Orleans.
Here’s the current weather forecast for Sunday in B’More:
A high of 36…brr. The “sunny” thing is still a bit up in the air though, as several models are predicting more white stuff on Sunday. Via “Foot’s Forecast,” which specializes in the Central Maryland area:
The second (weekend) storm is one to keep a close eye on. It looks to come right on the exact day 365 days ago when on December 19, 2010 Baltimore received its’ first Kahuna of the winter. The time frame for this storm, if impacted the area, would be Saturday evening through Sunday evening. Right now the team continues to analyze all the models, which shows both extremes. One extreme shows the potential for a repeat of last December’s storm. Others show an out-to-sea situation which would leave us with no snow. We are fairly confident all precipitation with this storm will be snow, so the main thing to watch is how close to the coast this storm comes.
The Saints are a warm-weather dome team. They play in a conference where (oddly enough, since it’s the “South”) two of the four teams play their home games under roofs. As a result, they don’t get many opportunities to play out in the elements.
Going back to 2008, the Saints have played only a handful of games in cold weather. Two years ago, they lost in Chicago in overtime, 27-24, on a day where the kickoff temperature was a frosty 28 degrees.
Last year, they played in Washington on a 36 degree day, and needed overtime and a bevy of miscues from the lowly Redskins to come away with the win. In Week 17, they lost in Charlotte to the Panthers on a 30 degree day, but the Saints didn’t really “play” that day, having already clinched their Playoff slot.
They have some recent experience too though. Just two weeks ago in Cincinnati, game time kickoff was 32 degrees. The Saints were victorious in a tightly contested match-up, but again needed some late heroics – and luck – against a clearly inferior opponent.
When it comes down to it, the Saints definitely aren’t the Buccaneers, who CAN’T win in the cold. New Orleans has shown that they can find ways to win regardless of the weather. However, they’re not the dominant team that they are inside the comforts of the Superdome, that’s for damn sure.
We’ll take all the help we can get, so come on, Mother Nature – step up and be the Ravens’ “13th Man” Sunday.