Poll: Worst weather games

Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, 1967 NFL Championship game, The Ice Bowl

(Photo courtesy of Vernon Biever/Green Bay Packers)

What was the worst bad-weather game in recent NFL history?

The Ice Bowl There’s a reason they call the field at Lambeau the frozen tundra. Because frozen it was for the Dec. 31, 1967 NFL playoff game between Dallas and Green Bay, a contest where the temperature at game time was minus-15, the wind-chill minus-47.2 and everyone so cold that when the referee blew the whistle to start things, it froze to his lips. The game ended with Green Bay scoring the game-winning TD with seconds left, but it’s the weather that was the story here, not the Packers.

The Freezer Bowl The week before the San Diego Chargers survived a double-overtime defeat of Miami in 88-degree heat. But nobody survived the minus-38-degree wind-chill and 35-mile-an-hour wind gusts of Cincinnati in the 1981 AFC championship game. Air Coryell never got off the ground, held to a second-quarter Kellen Winslow score, and the Bolts were left stone-cold dead in a 27-7 loss.

The Fog Bowl Normally, you think of snow, sleet or rain when it comes to bad weather. But on Dec. 31, 1988, the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles met in the NFC playoffs and played in the fog of Soldier Field … or so it was reported. It was so difficult to see that reporters were allowed to watch from the sidelines, and referee Jim Tunney announced each play with a mike. Apparently, it wasn’t difficult for Randall Cunningham to find receivers. He threw for 407 yards.

The Snow Bowl This playoff game between Oakland and New England will be remembered for three things: 1) The Tuck Rule; 2) Adam Vinatieri’s game-tying field goal and 3) the snow. It was played in a heavy snowstorm, with nearly 10 inches of snow falling. But that’s what made Vinatieri’s kick so compelling. Not only was it driven into a stiff wind; it was done without the aid of Mark Henderson, the snow plow driver who rescued the Patriots two decades before in a 3-0 defeat of Miami.

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  1. December 26, 2014

    Freezer Bowl cost Coryell his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Proven winner of division titles and turning around losing franchises and father of modern passing game, but lack of a Super Bowl appearance is held against him by too many Hall with too many voters.
    Note reasons (including record of Pro Bowlers before after played for Coryell) in this story:

    • December 26, 2014

      Here’s the problem with Coryell’s candidacy beyond the obvious lack of championships. How many “Fathers of teh Modern Passing Game” can there be? Sid Gillman? Bill Walsh? etc. Coryell was an innovator and a viable HOF candidate but in the end your resume is what it says it is and his seems to say the Hall of Very Good. That’s a great accomplishment, frankly. But whether it’s Hall of Fame worthy is a debate that has gone on for some time and will continue to it seems.

      • Anonymous
        December 26, 2014

        There are two fathers — Sid Gillman (in the Hall) and Coryell.

        Walsh brilliantly expanded what was established by Gillman and Coryell.

        Coryell designed the digit passing tree to easily teach his JC transfers. Coryell first to split tight ends wide. Then he brought to NFL with success and others copied.

        Only Namath and Fouts have thrown for 4,000 yards before the NFL opened up the passing game with touch football rules and wide receivers began to wear sticky gloves.

      • December 26, 2014

        George Allen is in the Hall for one Super Bowl LOSS when it was a 26-team league. Is there really that much difference between Allen and Coryell, with two AFC finals losses (one marred by the freezer bowl) in a 28-team league?

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