Did Green Bay Win The Football Game Last Night Handicapping 101: High Winds

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Handicapping 101: High Winds

Tulane Stadium set the stage for Superbowl 4 on January 11, 1970, as the 12-2 Minnesota Vikings ended their season with a loss to the Chiefs in the “Kapp”. But the strong winds and the spectacle of the storm will play their hand in the outcome. Perhaps an omen of things to come, the pregame balloon race ended in disaster as high winds forced the Vikings’ balloon on a collision course with the stadium. During the game, the Vikings also crashed and burned, as Kansas City’s Ian Stenerud battled the winds and nailed three FGs, while Chiefs QB Len Dawson, with his pin-point passes (and his gambling) was known, tamed. elements in completing 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards and a TD. Vikings QB Joe Kapp, unaccustomed to the winds and unable to coordinate with the weather, threw three INTs and kept his team out of the game.

It seems like a simple statement, but really, the best weapon a team can have in windy conditions is a QB who can throw into the wind. Sometimes the answer is so simple, we tend to think about it. Like playing in cold weather, playing in the wind effectively takes a certain amount of practice. It shouldn’t surprise us that teams that play in strong winds often do better on windy days. This is such a simple and self-evident truth that I can’t believe I just included it in this post as if to tell you something you didn’t already know, but the truth is, sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees.

The first thing we need to determine is which stadiums, which teams and which quarters are used to playing in the wind and what success they have had. To illustrate this, we’ve broken down the NFL’s “windiest” games — when the wind blew at least 13 miles per hour — for 40 of those games. (Note that we are using the 1998 season as our guinea pig).

The windiest stadium in the NFL is Pro Player Stadium, where the Miami Dolphins play. In fact, out of just eight regular season games at Pro Player Stadium in 1998, seven of them recorded wind speeds of more than 13 mph during the game. In those seven games, Miami was 7-0 with a 6-1 ATS mark. In fact, their only ATS loss in a wind game was a six-point win over Buffalo as a -7 favorite. In fact, over the course of the season, Dan Marino completed 128 of 221 passes in the wind, for 1,482 yards, 13 TDs and only 7 INTs. To put that into perspective, Dan Marino had a higher completion percentage in the wind than Chris Chandler all season, and Chandler was playing in the dome that year.

In fact, Dan Marino has better numbers in the wind than he does playing in no wind, with a higher completion percentage with fewer INTs and more TDs. For all the accolades heaped upon Dan Marino, perhaps his greatest strength has been overlooked. Dan Marino is the best QB in the game against the wind, and nowhere is that a greater asset than at Pro Player Stadium. The chart below shows the windiest stadiums in the NFL by how many games in the regular season with winds of 13 mph or higher, along with the home team, the home team’s straight wins, and the ATS record in that wind. games (Research compiled by Brian Gabriel using the 1998 NFL season)

Home team location no.

Games SU

ATS record


Pro Player Stadium Miami Dolphins 7 7-0 6-1

Soldier Field Chicago Bears 5 2-3 4-1

Arrowhead Kansas City Chiefs 4 3-1 3-1

Ralph Wilson Stadium Buffalo Bills 4 3-1 3-1

Jack Kent Cox Washington Redskins 3 2-1 2-1

Foxborough NE Patriots 3 2-1 2-1

3 Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh Steelers 2 2-0 2-0

3 Comm Park SF 49ers 2 2-0 1-1

Veterans Stadium Philadelphia Eagles 2 1-1 2-0

Giants Stadium NY Giants 2 1-1 1-1

Synergy Field Cincinnati Bengals 2 0-2 0-2

Mile High Stadium Denver Broncos 1 1 0 1 0

Texas Stadium Dallas Cowboys 1 1-0 1-0

Sun Devil Stadium Arizona Cardinals 1 1-0 1-0

Alameda Coliseum Oakland Raiders 1 0-1 0-1

Total 40 29-11 28-12

As you can see, there is a fantastic numerical advantage for home teams who have the advantage of playing in windy locations. Regardless of the host’s status as neutral or favorite, they simply win and often cover the road. The more a club plays in these conditions, the better the club performs in these conditions. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and perhaps the best wind team in all of football isn’t on the above list at all, as Vinny Testeverde and the New York Jets, who were perfect at 3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS. wind games in 1998, and all three games on the road came well for the wind teams, as the Buffalo Jets beat New England & Kansas City on the road in the wind. Another notable road is the Buffalo Bills, who in addition to a stellar 3-1 record at home in the wind, also went a perfect 2-0 ATS on the road in the wind. Tampa Bay was another team that dominated wind games, going 2-1 on the road, both SU and ATS in 1998.

In the case of the Jets, it’s important to note that they share a home field with the Giants, which is the venue at the top of the list. So even though they didn’t face any windy home games in 1998, it stands to reason that they faced their fair share of wind throughout the year and the Jets’ training facility at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

So if it is logical to assume that teams that are used to playing in wind perform better in wind, then it must also be true that teams that are not used to playing in wind do poorly in that environment. Our research shows that this is absolutely true. You see, teams that make their home in a domed stadium have gone just 1-8 when playing in winds of 13 mph or more. In fact, in those nine games, dome teams headed to an open-air stadium and playing in winds of 13 mph or more had an ATS mark of 0-8-1. These were the games;

Week 4 – Minnesota 31 @ Chicago 28 – Wind 14 mph

Week 10 – Indianapolis 14 @ Miami 27 – Wind 14 mph

Week 12 – Indianapolis 11 @ Buffalo 34 – Wind 17 mph

Week 5 – Detroit 27 @ Chicago 30 – Wind 17 mph

Week 13 – New Orleans 10 @ Miami 30 – Wind 13 mph

week 4 – Seattle 10 @ Pittsburgh 13 – wind 14 mph

week 5 – Seattle 6 @ Kansas City 17 – wind 14 mph

Week 12 – Seattle 22 @ Dallas 30 – Wind 15 mph

Week 7 – St. Louis 0 @ Miami 14 – Wind 15 mph

So you can see that not having the luxury of experience playing in a windy field really puts a team at a disadvantage because it gives an advantage to teams that are used to playing in a windy stadium.

Just as important, or perhaps more important than the venue, is the QB at the helm of any team blessed with the wind, and a quick breakdown of the teams upwind and the men who led them can give us more insight into this Len Dawson. pin-point type accuracy needed for a QB to succeed in a windy environment. Below is a chart of the 10 quarterbacks with the most touchdowns in 1998 and how they fared;

Team QB GP SU ATS att comp yds TD’S INT %

Miami Marino 8 7-1 6-1 221 128 1482 13 7 58%

NY Jets Testeverde 3 3-0 3-0 89 56 738 6 1 63%

Chicago Cramer 3 2-1 3-0 106 69 880 4 3 65%

Buffalo Flutie 5 4-1 4-1 161 84 1175 8 7 52%

CS Gannon 4 4-0 3-1 84 54 674 4 1 64%

G. Bay Fair 2 2-0 1-1 55 37 420 3 2 67%

Phil Peet 2 1-1 2-0 64 36 381 2 2 56%

T. Bay Dilfer 3 2-1 2-1 72 37 364 6 4 51%

N. Eng Bledsoe 5 2-3 1-3 174 88 1275 7 4 51%

Green washing 5 3-2 3-2 147 71 792 6 3 49%

Now, there are many more quarters than the ones listed above. Guys like Steve Young, who on November 30, 1998, on Monday Football, led his team to a 31-7 demolition of the New York Giants in 55 degree temperatures, full-on rain, and 20 mph winds. So, don’t take the absence or presence of any QB as any kind of conclusion about a QB’s ability or incompetence. The chart above lists the QBs with the most experience playing in the wind for comparison purposes only. Some things that come to mind when looking at the list of winds mentioned above are:

Eric Kramer is a terrific wind up QB who really suited the Chicago Bears. As bad as the Bears were, Kramer was 3-0 ATS and 2-1 SU, completing 65% of his passes in the wind, as it often is at Soldier Field. When Kramer was out, the Bears QB tandem of Stenstrom & Moreno was 0-2 in the same situation.

Vin Testeverde is the next best thing to Superman in the Wind. He was underwhelmed each time, but he led the Jets to a 3-0 shutout en route to a tough contest with a win over Buffalo, New England @ Kansas City. In those three games, the Jets have outscored their opponents 61-41, and Testeverde has been near perfect, throwing for six TDs with just one INT and a 63% completion rate.

Rich Gannon has led the Chiefs to a 4-0 record in the wind, 3-1 ATS, completing 64% of his passes, throwing four TDs and just one INT. That year, Gannon’s tandem partner Elvis Grbak was supposed to have the passing game between the two, but Grbak was 0-2 in the wind, completed less than 48% of his passes and threw four INT’S. In the Grbac 2 wind start, the Chiefs were eliminated 60-27.

Brett Farver was the most proficient passer in the wind, completing 67% of his passes and posting a 2-0 record. Is there anything he is not the best at?

Rodney Peet showed a certain command of the elements, guiding Philadelphia to a record of 1-1 in the wind, 2-0 ATS.

Trent Green was dropped by the Redskins, but handled himself very well. In five starts with the wind bothering him as well, Green posted a 3-2 record in both SU and ATS. That’s a talent that might be buried under the dome in St. Louis, where wind isn’t a factor.

As such, our wind research is likely to raise as many questions as it answers. One question, of course, is if the wind favors the home team, will that hold up in gusts of 20 mph or higher? Well, our research shows that it is. There were seven games played in winds of 20 mph or higher. The home teams dominated, winning and covering five of those seven games, but it should come as no surprise to those who have read this far that on the two occasions when the away team won in the wind, it was a new game. York Jets have suffered both times. The Jets beat Buffalo 17-10 in a highly contested game in which the Bills were on the field for a tying TD with minutes left in the game when the Jets got a foul call because replays show the Jets INT went off the field. but the Jets were awarded the football and the game was practically over.

Now, there’s no telling if Buffalo would actually tie it up or win the game, but the Jets were under 3 points anyway, so take nothing away from New York. Aside from the Jets’ two wins, the other five games together saw road teams struggle and never score more than 16 points. In fact, in five games together, the visiting teams scored a total of 52 points, an average of 10.5 points. It’s no surprise that DER THE TOTAL once again thrived in these extreme Mother Nature conditions, as five of the seven games within the total range of play.

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