The National Weather Service is predicting heavy, wind driven rain for Foxboro on Monday Night.
The adverse weather conditions very likely will impact the the playing conditions at Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots will host the Houston Texans.
The good news is that the temperatures will be relatively mild with lows dipping only to around 40 degrees overnight, though the predicted strong winds and periods of heavy rain will make for raw and slippery conditions on the field turf.
The weather only adds to the intrigue of the contest, already being billed as the game of the year.
The wind will make it more difficult for each team’s passing games, and may put a premium on scoring. Certainly it will affect the kicking game, making even the coin flip before the game full of drama and fascination…do you take the ball or the wind?
Both teams rely heavily on their passing attacks, but both also feature excellent running games – and if the wind and rain become too heavy, this marquee Monday Night Football matchup of top offenses will become a defensive struggle between two units that are stout against the run but are struggling in the secondary at times.
One thing is for sure, the weather won’t dampen the intensity of this most important game. The Texans lead the AFC with an 11-1 record and are currently the projected top seed, while New England is 9-3 and the second seed, but their three losses have come by a total of 4 combined points.
Should the Texans win, they will clinch the top seed in the conference and a first round bye, meaning that they will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. If New England pulls out a win, they will own a tie breaker advantage over the Texans, and could take over the top seed should Houston fall once more in their final three games and the Patriots win out.
The weather favors neither team over the other in what should be an epic battle of two of the best teams in the NFL.