Bills vs. Bears weather updates: Heavy wind, single-digit temperatures in forecast for Week 16
The Bills are traveling to Chicago to take on the Bears in a matchup that normally would favor Buffalo greatly.
However, the weather might level the playing field a bit for the teams that are miles apart in the NFL standings.
It is expected to be extremely windy and cold in Chicago on Saturday. The city will have been hit by a winter storm making its way across the country.
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While there isn’t expected to be much precipitation on game day, the blustery and frigid conditions could make life difficult for each team. Passing won’t be as easy as usual, and that could lead the team with the better running game to earn an advantage in the game.
On paper, that would be the Bears. But Josh Allen can help to level the playing field with his scrambling skills and his ability to use his arm strength to cut through the win.
What exactly are the conditions that the Bills and Bears are facing in Saturday’s game? Here’s how the Chicago forecast could impact each team as Sporting News tracks the weather leading up to NFL Week 16.
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Bills vs. Bears weather updates
Friday, Dec. 23
Forecast: High of 13 degrees Fahrenheit, 20-30 mph winds, 7 percent chance of snow
The forecast has changed ever so slightly for the Bills vs. Bears game on Saturday. It will now peak at about three degrees warmer than expected on Thursday while the chances of snow continue to dwindle.
That said, the “Heavy Freezing Spray Warning” in Chicago has been extended, per the National Weather Service’s orders. That will extend through 10 p.m. CST on Saturday, and that could create some 8-to-10-foot waves in some of Chicago’s lakes.
Soldier Field is located just 1 mile from Lake Michigan. As such, this freezing spray warning could be impactful for fans and players getting to the stadium.
Still, it shouldn’t have too much of an impact on the on-field play of each team; the wind will do enough to pester the Bears and Bills alive while wreaking havoc on the coast of Lake Michigan.
Thursday, Dec. 22
Forecast: High of 10 degrees Fahrenheit, 20-30 mph winds, 11 percent chance of snow
The National Weather Service has put out four warnings for Chicago as it prepares to get hit by a major winter storm. They are as follows:
- Winter Storm Warning
- Storm Warning
- Gale Warning
- Heavy Freezing Spray Warning
The Winter Storm Warning is in effect the longest. It was put into place at 12 p.m. CST on Thursday and will run through 6 a.m. CST on Saturday, the day that the Bears and Bills are set to play.
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This is what Chicagoans and other members of east central and northeast Illinois are to look out for during that time, per the National Weather Service.
Snow and blowing snow producing intermittent white out conditions expected. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches, with most of the snow occurring this afternoon and evening. Rapidly deteriorating conditions with a period of snowfall rates over 1 inch per hour expected mid to late afternoon. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph expected. Wind chill values of 25 to 35 below zero expected.
Certainly, that doesn’t sound pleasant. The good news is that this storm should be over by the time the Bills and Bears square off Saturday. However, if anything changes in the forecast and the storm doesn’t move through as quickly as expected, there could be a bit of snow falling during the game.
Right now, this doesn’t look like a snow game. Still, the wind and freezing-level temperatures will stick around, so it won’t be pleasant for the players. And if the wind does consistently blow at about 21 mph as Weather.com currently states, it will be hard for either team to pass the ball consistently.
That means we could see Allen and Justin Fields be forced to scramble a bit more than usual come Saturday afternoon.