November is here, which means the fun, sunny, apple-picking-type weather is gone in the northern part of the country and nasty, miserable football weather is on the way.
The Patriots-Bills, Bengals-Titans, Bears-Saints and Eagles-Cowboys games were all played in winds of at least 17 mph. Nobody had it worse than the Raiders and Browns, though. The conditions in Cleveland on Sunday were classic AFC North weather.
There was rain mixed with sleet and winds of 35 mph. The temperature was announced at kickoff as 49 degrees, but it dropped to 36 by the end of the game with lake-effect snow. It looked like a really lousy time.
The box score is about what you would expect, given the conditions. Baker Mayfield managed just 122 passing yards on the day, while Derek Carr had 112. The Raiders ran nearly twice as many running plays as pass plays and won the game 16–6.
It was a slog, and it was especially bad for the two kickers. All things considered, Cody Parkey and Daniel Carlson performed well, each missing just one kick. Parkey even hit from 41 yards to give the Browns a 3–0 lead in the second, but look at how he had to drive the ball to cut through the wind.
The wildest example of the wind ruining the kickers’ days came on a 41-yard attempt from Carlson on the first possession of the game. If you look closely, you can see the uprights swaying back and forth in the wind. A split second earlier or later, and the kick might have gone through instead of clanging off the post.
Late in the fourth, Parkey had a chance to make it a one-possession game with an attempt from 37 yards. The wind had other ideas.
“That was by far the windiest game I have ever played in and I think most of this team has ever played in,” Carlson told reporters. “I aimed at the right upright, hit basically an A+ ball exactly how I wanted, but didn’t factor in that wind quite enough. Luckily, able to learn from it, bounce back and ... get some points on the board the rest of the game.”
Parkey was also a bit flabbergasted by the wind. He and Carlson, who played together at Auburn, chatted a bit before the game, and the older Parkey was kind enough to impart some wisdom.
“He said he has never seen any wind like that,” Carlson said. “He was giving me some pointers to the best of his ability. We were just kind of talking through what we were thinking with the wind. Just trying to figure it out as quickly as we could and do our best.”
It might be a little unusual for a player to coach up his opponent before a game, but Parkey’s advice for Carlson wasn’t the reason why the Raiders won. When you’re playing in British Open–type weather conditions that turn the game in a Stone Age ground-and-pound, sometimes it just comes down to dumb luck.
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