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Freezing temperatures, snow, rain could impact NFL wild-card playoffs

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Freezing temperatures, snow, rain could impact NFL wild-card playoffs
Freezing temperatures are expected for the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers game Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. File Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- While two games will be played indoors during the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs, freezing temperatures, snow flurries, rain and strong winds could impact four others.

Games in bad weather are typically lower scoring. Snow and rain can make the ball slick, hard for quarterbacks to grip and difficult for others to catch. Wind impacts the passing game and field goal attempts.

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The Cincinnati Bengals, the No. 4 seed in the AFC, host the No. 5 Las Vegas Raiders in the first game this postseason. That one kicks off at 4:30 p.m. EST Saturday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati and airs on NBC.

Cincinnati's forecast for Saturday includes a low temperature of about 19 degrees and a slight chance of snow.

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"I like it," Bengals coach Zac Taylor told reporters Monday. "We've laid out plainly what the temperature will be Saturday and our guys are ready for it."

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The Raiders played 11 regular-season games in domes in 2021. The Bengals played 15 games in outdoor stadiums.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr owns an 0-5 career record in games played when the temperature was under 37 degrees. He never threw more than one touchdown in any of those games, and he also totaled five interceptions in them.

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Taylor said the Bengals practiced outside this week, despite an option to meet in the University of Cincinnati's indoor practice bubble. They practiced last Thursday in the snow.

The No. 6 New England Patriots battle the No. 3 Buffalo Bills at 8:15 p.m. EST Saturday in Orchard Park, N.Y. That game airs on CBS. Temperatures are expected to be in the single digits Saturday night at Highmark Stadium.

The low temperatures could make the game the second-coldest ever played at the stadium. The Bills played the Los Angeles Raiders in 0-degree F weather in the 1994 postseason in Orchard Park.

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Bills quarterback Josh Allen, known for his strong arm and mobility, said the cold temperatures could make his feet numb.

"I think the most important thing for me is, I don't know why, I've got bad circulation in my feet," Allen told reporters Tuesday. "My toes get really cold and they go numb a little bit.

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"So just keeping those suckers warm and as dry as possible, as well as the hands -- obviously that's a big emphasis for quarterbacks. You need your hands to throw. So keeping those extremities as warm as possible [will be important]."

The No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs host the No. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers in another game that could be played in a winter mix. That game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. EST Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., and airs on NBC.

Snow is expected Saturday in Kansas City. Temperatures are expected to be between 25 and 33 degrees.

Cold weather isn't expected to play a major factor in the three NFC wild-card matchups. The No. 2 seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the No. 7 Philadelphia Eagles at 1 p.m. Sunday in Tampa, Fla.

The forecast Sunday in Tampa calls for temperatures in the upper-60s, with an 80% chance of rain and wind gusts of 23 MPH.

The No. 3 Dallas Cowboys host the No. 6 San Francisco 49ers at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at their indoor/outdoor AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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The No. 4 Los Angeles Rams host the No. 5 Arizona Cardinals at 8:15 p.m. Monday at their indoor-outdoor SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

This week in the National Football League

The San Francisco 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo raises his hands in triumph after beating the Los Angeles Rams in overtime at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Sunday. The 49ers defeated the Rams 27-24 to capture a playoff slot in the NFC. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

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