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Defeating conventional wisdom
January 6, 2014 - Mike Donahey
The National Football League’s “warm weather” teams are not supposed to beat “cold weather” teams during the playoffs when temperatures are cold, or bitterly cold, for that matter.
At least that was the conventional wisdom I've read and heard for years.
Credit the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers for exorcising that demon Sunday.
The Chargers beat the bumbling Bengals, 27-10, in a chilling rain at Cincinnati, while the 49ers beat Green Bay 23-20 at a bitterly cold Lambeau Field.
Phil Dawson of the 49ers made a 33-yard field goal as time expired, putting an exclamation point on the victory. San Francisco had not won in two previous playoff games at Green Bay.
The temperatures were downright nasty in Green Bay. It was 5 degrees at kickoff, and the winds made it feel like minus-10.
Writers and fans were speculating in days leading up to the game it would be colder than the famed “Ice Bowl” game of 1967, when Dallas visited Green Bay. It was minus-13 at kickoff that day and Green Bay went home the winner, perhaps setting the tone for the warm versus cold rivalry.
The Chargers made me eat crow with their win, because I had picked them to lose — thinking the Bengals were the better team with home field advantage to boot.
Making me eat a second serving of crow were the Saints, who beat Philadelphia 26-24 on the Eagles turf with a field goal as time expired.
I thought the Eagles would prevail at home.
However, I did pick San Francisco over Green Bay and Indianapolis over Kansas City to save face.
This weekend, I’m picking Seattle over New Orleans, San Francisco over Carolina, Indianapolis over New England and Denver over San Diego.
I’m sticking with my prediction of San Francisco-Denver Super Bowl match-up.