Winter has arrived in the NFL. Several of Week 14's early games kicked off in heavy snow, with the most extreme of the conditions occurring in Philadelphia for an important Eagles-Lions contest.
The inclement weather had an impact on that game even before it began, with Detroit running back Reggie Bush slipping and reportedly reaggravating a calf injury during the team's warmups. Moments later, referee Ed Hochuli had to explain a contingency plan for the coin toss, in case the coin landed sideways in a snow pile.
SI's Don Banks tweeted out a photo of the action from the press box, approximately midway through the first quarter:
My view from press box. pic.twitter.com/wZWDADnMnk
— Don Banks (@DonBanks) December 8, 2013
Workers at that game did their best to keep the field -- or at least the yard lines -- clear, but they were fighting a losing battle.
No doubt hindered by the amazing and sloppy conditions, Detroit QB Matthew Stafford fumbled three snaps in his team's first two drives, though the Lions recovered all of those miscues. They were not as lucky at the end of drive No. 2, when RB Joique Bell put one on the ground and Philadelphia recovered. (GIF via SBNation)
The snow hurt visibility for referees and players alike. (GIF via SBNation)
Weather was a noticeable factor in several other games, including the Dolphins-Steelers matchup a few hours away in Pittsburgh, where the snow also began during pregame activities and continued into the first half:
Are you ready? Snow on the field. Players will be out in a minute. #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/mMobgGVOGV
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 8, 2013
Baltimore had issues too, for its game with the Vikings:
With the winter weather also hitting the D.C. area hard on Sunday, many Washington fans stayed away from their team's game with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Lot of snow, not a lot of fans for first plays of #Redskins #Chiefs #RedskinsTalk @BarstoolNate pic.twitter.com/bxZXCD3gaP
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayCSN) December 8, 2013
Somewhat surprisingly, Green Bay managed to dodge (at least early) the worst of the snow, though the heated Lambeau Field turf certainly helped there. It was extremely cold for the Falcons-Packers game, however, with temperatures dipping into the single digits and the wind chill plummeting below zero.
#FrozenTundra in full effect :) Field is heated but still thin coating of snow. #Packers pic.twitter.com/i45IyPMvqR — Marisa Silvas (@MarisaWJFW) December 8, 2013