The weather impacts NFL outcomes in many ways. Doesn’t matter if it’s rain, heat, or snow, there’s always excitement around each NFL game. In fact, some of the most entertaining games have taken place in the worst possible conditions. Just look back to the legendary 1967 ‘Ice Bowl’ NFL Championship game between the Cowboys and Packers. The temperature on the field was a brutal -48°F thanks to the wind chill and a malfunctioning turf-heating system.

With this in mind, let’s dig deeper into how different NFL teams are impacted by the weather, and if certain franchises are affected more significantly than others.

To do this, The Action Network analyzed average weather conditions at each NFL stadium over the course of the last regular season to see which teams were impacted most by weather conditions. Those teams with fixed or retractable stadium roofs were not included in the analysis. We added in the teams with the most extreme weather’s home vs. away record. So, is the weather really a home field advantage?


  • How Are NFL Teams Affected By Different Conditions?

    Let’s compare each NFL team, to determine those which are most affected by the weather, as well as how different conditions can impact the way the game is played.

  • Wind

    How the Weather Impacts NFL Outcomes

    The Action Network

    According to meteorologist Kevin Roth, high wind is the most impactful weather event that we see in the NFL. When sustained winds get to 20+ MPH, there are significant impacts to both the passing and kicking game. As passing becomes less effective, teams generally choose to run the ball instead. This creates a clock-winding, low-scoring game. Windy conditions are ideal for sports bettors to wager on the game’s Under score.

    Comparing the NFL venues that experience the most wind throughout the season, it’s perhaps no surprise that the ‘Windy City’ ranks at the top. Chicago’s Soldier Field recorded average monthly winds of 12.9 MPH last season, with highs of 22+ MPH.

    The open stadium has stood for almost 100 years, though, so the Chicago Bears are more than used to the tricky conditions!

    Whilst wind speeds at Soldier Field take the top spot, the other NFL stadiums to round out the top five are:

    • Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers) – 12.4 MPH
    • FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland Browns) – 12.1 MPH
    • Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins) – 11.7  MPH
    • Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs) – 11.2 MPH

    Last year the Bears were 3-5 at home and 3-6 away. No real advantage there.

  • Rain

    How the Weather Impacts NFL Outcomes

    The Action Network

    Kevin states that light rain or drizzle only minimally impacts NFL games, but heavy rain can have bigger consequences. As the ball gets soaked and slippery, we typically see an increase in turnovers, both from fumbles and interceptions. The passing game is impacted, with passes sailing off-target and wide receivers dropping balls they would normally catch. As a result, teams tend to run the ball more in heavy rain.

    The Seattle Seahawks were most affected by rain last season, with average monthly rainfall measuring 5.26 inches. With an open roof, Lumen Field is completely unprotected to any deluge. This was kind of a surprise to us, we get a lot of rain here in Tampa so I would think the Bucs would be more affected.

    Other stadiums significantly impacted by heavy rain last season include:

    • Nissan Stadium (Tennessee Titans) – 3.54 inches
    • MetLife Stadium (New York Jets/Giants) – 3.18 inches
    • Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots) – 3.16 inches
    • Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles) – 3.08 inches

    Last year the Seahawks were 3-5 at home and 4-5 on the road. As was mentioned, the running game becomes a bigger factor when there’s rain. Last year Rashaad Penny led the Seahawks with 749 yards rushing over 10 games. That ‘home field advantage’ was not their friend last year.

  • Snow

    How the Weather Impacts NFL Outcomes

    The Action Network

    A snowy field can lead to a lot of slipping and sliding and tends to slow play. However, this slower pace can actually be an advantage for quarterbacks and the passing game, as it slows the pass rush and the reaction times of defensive backs.

    It’s no surprise that the NFL venue most susceptible to snow is the Buffalo Bills’ open-roof Highmark Stadium. Highmark recorded an average monthly snowfall of 23.72 inches. In January alone, average recorded snowfall around the stadium was 60.79 inches – the highest of any location.

    Other likely expected stadiums round out the top five for snowiest conditions:

    • FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland Browns) – 7.03 inches
    • Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots) – 5.30 inches
    • Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers) – 5.11 inches
    • Empower Field at Mile High (Denver Broncos) – 3.56 inches

    No real advantage here, either. Last year the Bills were 6-3 at home, 5-3 on the road.

  • Heat

    How the Weather Impacts NFL Outcomes

    The Action Network

    Hot weather is a common issue across the NFL, especially when playing in more humid environments like Tampa or Miami. Kevin Roth explains that the hot weather can really take its toll on players towards the end of games, especially as defense as fatigue sets in.

    Analyzing the data, the Miami Dolphins deal with the highest average temperatures. The seasonal average sits at 74.4°F. In September average temperatures peaked at 82°F, the highest of any unprotected stadium.

    There are plenty of other stadiums that deal with extreme heat at the beginning part of the season.

    • Raymond Jame Stadium (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – 69.2°F
    • TIAA Bank Field (Jacksonville Jaguars) – 64.9°F
    • Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco 49ers) – 57.6°F
    • Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers) – 54°F

    This is where the home field weather starts to show up in the standings. The ‘Fins were 6-3 at home, 3-5 on the road. Similar story for the ‘Bucs. 7-1 at home, 6-3 on the road. The Jaguars only won 3 games last year. All 3 were at home

  • Cold

    How the Weather Impacts NFL Outcomes

    The Action Network

    Cold weather games are often in the spotlight towards the end of the season, especially throughout the playoffs. But, despite the attention these games get, the numbers in cold weather games are not dramatically different from games played in nicer weather.

    As far as the coldest NFL venues go, none recorded lower average temperatures last season than Lambeau Field (38°F). In fact, during the month of January last season, temperatures averaged just 19°F, the lowest of any unprotected venue.

    There are plenty of other cold venues throughout the league with average temperatures below freezing. Here’s the rest of the top five:

    • Highmark Stadium (Buffalo Bills) – 42°F with an average low of 17.8°F in January
    • Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots) – 42.8°F with an average low of 22.1°F in January
    • Empower Field at Mile High (Denver Broncos) – 44.6°F with an average low of 15.2°F in January
    • Soldier Field (Chicago Bears) – 44.8°F with an average low of 14.3° in January

    Home field advantage at Lambeau? You bet. The Packers were 8-0 at home last year. 5-4 on the road. The ‘frozen tundra’ absolutely plays into their favor.

  • Methodology

    To determine which NFL franchises are most affected by the weather, they recorded average temperatures, snowfall, rainfall, and wind speeds for each NFL stadium over the course of the regular season.

    Data was collected for the period September 2021 – January 2022 (the duration of the NFL regular season). Then  the data was ranked accordingly, this revealed the teams most impacted by the heat, cold, rain, snow, and wind.

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