It's the most common and banal subject for small talk, but the weather could play a big factor in the first three games of this weekend's wild card slate, so let's discuss its potential impact.
Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals
Line: Bengals -5.5, o/u 48.5
Weather forecast: 31°F with 10 mph winds and 0% chance of precipitation
Per Paul Dehner Jr., Raiders QB Derek Carr is 0-5 in games where the temperature was 37 degrees or less at kickoff. Like George Costanza in a swimming pool, Carr's EPA experiences significant shrinkage when it's cold. His career Expected Points Added per play is -0.12 when it's 40 degrees or colder and -0.07 when it's between 41 and 50 degrees. Carr owns a positive EPA at every other temperature. Bengals QB Joe Burrow, on the other hand, is at his very best when it's chilly. Baby Aaron's EPA is +0.33 in temperatures between 41 and 50 degrees and +0.54 when it's 40 degrees or below. This game is setting up nicely for a Cincinnati team that beat the Raiders 32-13 in Vegas a couple months ago.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Line: Bills -4.5, o/u 43.5
Weather forecast: 8°F with 7 mph winds and 4% chance of snow
Bills QB Josh Allen is 3-2 in games with freezing temperatures, and his stats are even less impressive. He's completed 50.3% of his passes, averaged 166.6 passing yards per game, and thrown six touchdowns to seven interceptions over those five contests. The culprit, according to Allen, is poor foot circulation. Former Pro Bowl linebacker Bart Scott couldn't wait to dish out some advice this week on how to overcome that problem. His solution? "Take some Viagra." Things haven't been as hard in cold weather for Patriots QB Mac Jones. Even though he was born and raised in The Sunshine State and played college ball in Alabama, Jones posts his highest NFL EPA when fans are bundled up. The rookie boasts a +0.59 EPA in temperatures between 41 and 50 degrees and +0.15 when it's 40 degrees or below. It may be worth taking the points with Bill Belichick against a stiff Allen.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Line: Bucs -8.5, o/u 45.5
Weather forecast: 66°F with 23 mph winds and 11% chance of precipitation
With an 84% chance of rain earlier in the day and 23 mph winds, this one could turn out to be a slopfest benefitting the underdog Eagles. Philadelphia leads the league in rushing, averaging 159.7 yards per game on the ground, and will welcome the return of RB Miles Sanders, whose 5.5 yards per carry ranks fourth among running backs. The Bucs ended the year as the third-best rushing defense, but ranked 11th over the last three games of the season, giving up 109 rushing yards per outing. Linebacker Lavonte David is a game-time decision with a foot injury and would be a big blow to the Tampa defense if he's not able to suit up. Betting against Tom Brady can often be a deflating experience but he's down two of his best receivers and will likely be facing strong winds on Sunday. I wouldn't be surprised if the Eagles were able to keep this one close.
Stats provided by teamrankings.com, nflfastr.com and NBC Sports.