Some forecasts are calling for a high temperature as low as zero on Sunday in Minneapolis, where the Seahawks will play outdoors.
RENTON — If the current weather forecasts hold true, the Seahawks’ wild-card playoff game Sunday at Minnesota is almost certain to set a record as the coldest in team history, and rank among the coldest in NFL history.
Forecasts from the likes of accuweather.com and others are calling for a high temperature as low as zero Sunday.
From 1982 to 2013 that wouldn’t have been an issue as the Vikings played indoors in the Metrodome.
But the Vikings played the 2014 season and are playing the 2015 season in the outdoor stadium on the University of Minnesota campus while the new U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis is constructed.
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So that has the Vikings and Seahawks playing in weather that is almost certain to be the coldest in Seahawks history — and something of a contrast from Seattle’s 38-7 victory in the same stadium Dec. 6 when the temperature was listed as 37 degrees.
According to ProFootballReference.com, the lowest cold temperature for a Seahawks game was 13.4 degrees for a 1992 contest at Denver. The Seahawks lost 10-6, though it’s hard to blame the weather because they went 2-14 that season, the worst record in team history.
The Seahawks also played a 16-degree game at Denver in 2006, a 23-20 win.
And going by the PFR stats, the Seahawks have played 20 games in temperatures below freezing (32 degrees).
The Seahawks went 6-14 in those games. But some of the wins were memorable, such as a 42-0 victory at Philadelphia in 2006 in 31-degree weather.
Only two of those games have been played in the Pete Carroll era — a 24-20 defeat at Kansas City last year in which PFR listed the temperature as 21 and a 38-24 loss at Chicago in the divisional round in 2011 (24 degrees).
At least one Seahawk, though, had no issue with the weather in Kansas City — that’s the game in which Marshawn Lynch remained on the sidelines during halftime, instead of heading into the locker room, to have his sore back treated.
Only one of those 20 coldest games came in Seattle — a 31-degree day and a blizzard for a 13-3 win over the Jets on Dec. 21, 2008, in what was Mike Holmgren’s last game as Seahawks coach.
Zero degrees, though, will take matters to a different level.
A Yahoo.com list from 2013 reported that only nine games in NFL history had been played in below-zero temperatures.
The coldest game in NFL history is regarded as being the 1967 NFL championship game at Green Bay, in which the Packers beat the Cowboys 21-17 in what came to be known as The Ice Bowl.
The 1982 AFC Championship Game between the San Diego Chargers and the host Cincinnati Bengals was almost as bad, played in minus-9 degree temperatures. The Bengals won 27-7 in what some have referred to as The Freezer Bowl.
The good news for the Seahawks is that there is only a 7 percent chance of precipitation, and it’s not expected to be overly windy, with predicted high gusts of 12 miles per hour.
It’s also not as if cold weather is an automatic win for the team perceived to be more used to it. The 49ers won a wild-card playoff game 23-20 at Green Bay in 2014, a game that was 5 degrees at kickoff.
And if Pete Carroll’s usual approach to uncontrollable factors is any indication, don’t expect the Seahawks coach to make much of a big deal about it this week.
Offense sets record
The Seahawks defense became the first team in the Super Bowl era to lead the NFL in fewest points allowed four consecutive years, but the offense also set a franchise record this year for most yards.
The Seahawks finished with 6,058 yards, just a little above last season’s record of 6,012.
Carroll on Monday used that stat to launch into a defense of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who has at times been the subject of fan and media criticism.
“There’s been a lot of conversation about what’s going on with the offense, and the coaches and all that stuff,’’ Carroll said. “I think it’s just a million miles off. I think Darrell and (offensive-line coach and run-game coordinator) Tom (Cable) have done an incredible job again. Not just now, again. They’ve continued to maximize the talent that we have.’’