Rain, Snow, And Cold Will Make For Interesting Playoff Football

NFL divisional round weather report

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When it comes to playoff football the conventional thinking is that you wont get very far without a capable defense and solid run game. Why? Because the playoffs are in January and often the weather is less than pleasant. This weekend the weather will keep with tradition and will present challenges at three out of the four games. So if you are planning on making wagers, or if you are just into some "elemental" football, read on.

Colts @ Cheifs (3:35 PM Saturday) - East coast cities get the bad rap when it comes to winter weather, but Kansas City tends to hold its own in January. Snow will be on the menu Saturday as a large storm system moves across the mid-section of the country. While the bulk of the heavy snowfall looks to be before the game, almost all of the forecasts are still showing snow falling come kick-off and through at least part of the game. Later portions of the game may be more affected by a light sleet/freezing rain mixture. The temperature will be hovering right around the freezing mark all afternoon with a windchill in the mid 20's.


Simulated radar forecast for 4PM in Kansas City (red circle)Weathermodels.com

Clearly these are less than ideal conditions for two teams who rely heavily on their offense. If the storm system does not progress as quickly as forecast heavy snow is not out of the question for the beginning of the game. If you are planning to bet the over/under you will want to pay attention.

Cowboys @ Rams (7:15 PM Saturday) - The potential problem with this game won't be rain during the game, but rather before the game. Saturday looks like a pretty soggy day in Southern California which will make for a wet field come game time. Impacts will be less than what we see in Kansas City, but don't be suprised if difficult footing cuts some plays short.

Chargers @ Patriots (12:05 PM Sunday) - Skies should relatively clear in Foxboro on Sunday but it will be cold, especially for the team from LA. Temperatures will be in the mid-20's all game with the windchill in the upper teens. Its not the most brutal conditions we've ever seen in Foxboro but it won't be comfortable. If this game comes down to field goals watch out.

If you have any more weather questions about this weekend's games you can find me on Twitter @stephenuzick.

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After the big offensive showing to take the opener on Thursday, the Astros entered Friday's game at Globe Life Field against the Rangers just one win or Angels loss away from securing their spot in the playoffs. Here is how the game unfolded:

Final Score (10 innings): Rangers 5, Astros 4.

Record: 29-29, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brett Martin (1-1, 1.98 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-3, 3.05 ERA).

Urquidy goes seven while allowing two

The Rangers would strike first in Friday's game, getting a two-out solo home run against Jose Urquidy in the bottom of the second to grab the early 1-0 lead. Urquidy did relatively well on the night, though he would allow another solo homer in the bottom of the fifth. Those were the only two runs he allowed, working in and out of some trouble throughout the game on his way to finishing seven innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 98 P.

Houston grabs their first lead late

Unlike their hot night at the plate the night prior, it took the Astros until the fifth inning to get on the board. It came after Carlos Correa hit a leadoff single, then came all the way around to score on an RBI-triple by George Springer, making it a 1-1 tie at the time.

After the Rangers went back in front 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on their second solo homer of the night, Alex Bregman would tie it up again with a solo home run of his own, making it 2-2. Houston would get their first lead of the night in the top of the eighth, with Altuve working a leadoff walk before scoring later in the inning on an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel.

Rangers get the walk-off to keep Houston waiting for playoff bid

After Urquidy, Blake Taylor would take over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth, retiring the Rangers in order for a scoreless inning to hold the one-run lead. Still 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Houston turned to their closer, Ryan Pressly. After two quick outs, he would allow a game-tying solo home run, making it 3-3 to postpone Houston's celebration at least another inning as the game headed to extras.

In the top of the tenth, Jose Altuve was placed on second as the free runner. He advanced to third on a groundout to start the inning, then scored on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it a 4-3 lead for Houston. Enoli Paredes would load the bases before Texas would tie the game on a sac fly in the bottom of the inning, keeping runners on second and third. Houston made the change to Brooks Raley to try and extend the game another inning, but instead, the Rangers would get the walk-off win, spoiling Houston's chance to clinch their playoff spot themselves with a win.

Up Next: The third game of this four-game set will get underway at 6:05 PM Central on Saturday. On the mound for Texas will be Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.87 ERA), and, as of now, the Astros still have Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA) listed as their starter.

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