The NFL will play games in rain, sleet or snow, but this weekend’s primetime slate on Sunday and Monday night could mean playing through what meteorologists call a “bomb cyclone.”
What exactly is a bomb cyclone?
Well, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Basically, it’s a storm system that will bring heavy rains and flash flooding, with rainfall up to two inches an hour, which could also result in mudslides as it heads toward northern California and the Pacific Northwest.
Which means things could get messy for both the San Francisco 49ers game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night as well as Monday night’s game between the Seattle Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints.
Saints head coach Sean Payton acknowledged that the forecast “absolutely” impacts the play-calling and noted that the wind may have a greater effect than the rain, adding that the mile per hour wind was his “stat of the week.”
“We’ve had the wet ball stuff going,” he told reporters on Saturday. “We’ve played there before in inclement weather, it certainly sounds like more. I think the wind is a big factor here. The rain can be. We talk about it everyday. You understand how your game shifts oftentimes, it’s not unusual for the weather. We’re seeing the same forecast (as you guys) every day.”
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan also had his team practicing with wet balls.
“Jimmy [Garoppolo] wanted to try it out and work some different gloves and stuff to see,” Shanahan said, per ProFootballTalk. “Nate [Sudfeld] gave him some ideas on some things that he’s used and they tried that out. So, it seemed like they enjoyed it, but that stuff, really just for the quarterbacks, they can change a couple things, but that’s all up to them and that stuff’s all different.
“Everyone else, you deal with it and you see what type of game it is. You see who’s staying in the ground the best, who your best mudders are and you figure that out as the game goes and you lean on them.”