Many games in Week 14 are likely to be influenced by weather, namely snow. Green Bay, Buffalo and Cleveland are all set to be hit by a snowstorm currently moving along the Great Lakes. The storm is projected to push through New York and New England on its way out into the Atlantic over the next 36 hours.
This figures to directly impact the Ravens Monday night contest against the New England Patriots. The hourly forecast for Foxboro is can be found here.
According to the forecast, there is a high chance of rain/snow from 10 p.m. on Sunday through 11 a.m. on Monday. There is a continuing chance of rain/snow throughout Monday and even into Tuesday, but chances of precipitation after 11 a.m. on Monday do not exceed 45%.
No matter how much it does or doesn’t rain/snow throughout Monday, the playing field will be wet from the overnight storm. The Ravens will hope that the rain/snow continues throughout the day, and through the game. Even if it doesn’t precipitate during the game, the wet field will favor defense.
This is a situation that massively favors the Ravens. Not only is the Patriots passing game hampered by not having TE Rob Gronkowski as a security blanket, but Bill Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff may rely on the run due to the wet field. The Ravens, however, have the top ranked rush defense in the NFL, and in a situation that already favors defense, a Patriots game plan that is forced to rely on the run will prove to be unsuccessful.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Ravens rush offense may finally get a chance to shine. The Patriots have allowed 94.2 rushing yards per game this season. Despite coming off its most proficient passing game of the year, the Ravens offense should give its thunder and lightning duo of Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West a chance to make plays. Dixon could very well have a breakout game due to his shiftiness, as the Patriots have struggled against shifty backs, such as C.J. Prosise.
No matter what the weather turns out to be during the game, the weather in the build up to it will create a messy playing surface. Charging into a hostile environment in a Monday night rivalry game, the weather could give the Ravens an edge.