Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians has shrugged all week at the forecast for cold in Green Bay on Sunday. Arians is more concerned about the possibility that the cold will be combined with wind.
“Definitely the wind,” Arians told reporters on Thursday. “The wind is a much, much bigger factor. I don’t consider it cold unless it’s single digits. It’s not going to affect the game at 28 degrees, but the wind really affects the game.”
According to the excellent Dark Sky app, the wind is expected to be 11 miles per hour at kickoff, and it should drop a couple of miles per hour during the game. No gusting is expected.
So the wind shouldn’t be a major issue. Still, it will be chilly. The forecast calls for 27 degrees at kickoff and slowly dropping.
Several players on the Tampa Bay team have had experience in the cold. Those that haven’t will need to be able to deal with it mentally, especially if/when the soft wind begins to whisper, “This isn’t your day.” If it feels like things are going sideways, a slow and stubborn desire to “get this thing over with and go home” can creep into a player’s brain.
The challenge becomes not just ignoring it but finding a way in those moments to make it their day. Given the presence of a quarterback who has made games that weren’t his day into his day when, for example, down 28-3 in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, the Buccaneers should be able to fight off that feeling if they fall behind.
Regardless, the wind won’t be a factor in the game, for either team. Which is good. This is a game that should be decided by skills and abilities and nothing else.