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2012 nfl playoffs

Will the Weather Be a Factor for Sunday’s Giants-Falcons Game?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 18:   Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants calls a play during a game against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) Eli Manning, last month.

The Giants are a cold-weather team that plays in an outdoor stadium, while the Falcons play their games in a dome in Atlanta. And so generally speaking, come January, that scenario is thought to provide an extra home-field advantage to a team like the Giants, who in theory should be more comfortable with the elements than their opponents. This coming weekend, though, the weather might not be much of a factor.

First of all, the forecast isn’t supposed to be all that bad: The current one for Sunday calls for a high of 44 degrees and a 0 percent chance of precipitation. Which means it’ll be chilly, but not cold enough to, say, do this to Tom Coughlin’s face. (As always, just a friendly reminder to take weather forecasts for three days from now for what they're worth.)

Meanwhile, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan hails from the Northeast, and thus didn't seem all that concerned about potentially having to play in bad weather. Said Ryan, via Big Blue View: "No, having grown up in Philadelphia and having played college in Boston, I have played plenty of terrible weather games so I am not too worried about it." (That said: SB Nation Atlanta broke down Ryan's numbers last month, and they're generally better at home than on the road, while his indoor road stats are better than his overall road stats.)

Even if the forecast changes — if, say, East Rutherford is hit with some precipitation — Filip Bondy reminds us that while the Giants are used to playing in cold weather, the Falcons, with Michael Turner, run the ball more effectively, and could actually be better built for a game in inclement weather. But again, party cloudy with a high of 44 hardly qualifies as extreme weather. And considering how important the Eli Manning-to-Victor Cruz connection has become on a team that already relies heavily on the passing game, dry conditions might not be the worst thing for the Giants on Sunday.

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Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images