The forecast in Denver is chilling.
At Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. ET kickoff, it’s predicted to be 18 degrees but feel like nine degrees.
But the Ravens weren’t backing down this week. In fact, they seemed to embrace it.
“I hope it’s even worse than what they say,” guard
“I like the cold. All the other guys are southern guys who don’t like the cold. If they’re cold out there and whining, that’s right where I want them.”
Yanda’s an Iowa farm boy who’s used to working with pigs in the brisk early morning hours. He’s not the only Raven accustomed to playing in the cold.
“It should be fun,” Flacco said. “We’ve had pretty mild weather around here. But I think we’ll all adapt pretty well to it and just be ready to go. I don’t think it will affect us too much.”
“I’ve heard it’s going to snow,” Rice added. “I am used to playing in the cold. That’s one thing I am; I’m a New Yorker.”
There are some logistical changes that the Ravens will have to make for the cold.
They’ll have to wear the right cleats. Players will be bundled up in jackets and staying close to the heaters on the sidelines. Head Coach John Harbaugh said coaches will also have to call the game accordingly based on the field conditions.
“We’d like to think that we’re a team built for all weather, for all conditions,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something that we pride ourselves on, and we would like to think that we can go out there and perform well in those kinds of conditions.”
It could actually be an advantage for the visiting Ravens.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who spent his entire career before this season in a dome, doesn’t have the greatest track record outside in cold weather.
Manning is 3-6 in his career when playing outdoors in the postseason. When the temperature has been 30 degrees or less, his quarterback rating has plunged to 66.
“Guys don’t like to get hit in the cold,” said defensive tackle Art Jones, who said you deal with it by rubbing your face in snow and just getting after it.
“Ball carries tend to lose their grip a little bit. Weird things tend to happen in cold weather.”
Ravens running back
So the Ravens and Broncos will be feeling every bump and bruise Saturday evening.