Many of the betting edges and angles we analyze in our NFL picks are focused squarely on the players and even the coaches but what we don’t talk too much about is the preparation that goes into game strategies and the teams’ familiarity with their neutral zone surroundings. We don’t talk about it because we don’t have access to the club meetings, the game film and the practices themselves. However, what we should consider is how the teams will adapt to their climate leading up to game day.
The snowy, wintry conditions will no doubt affect the Broncos more than their defensively superior opponents on Sunday. But in order to run crisp routes and make sure that the receivers are on the same page as their legendary passer, the conditions have to allow those routes to be run and the simpatico between passer and catcher to be fostered on foreign soil. Because Old Man Winter has his icy grip on the entire Northeast the conditions at MetLife Stadium are from ideal this week and that may require the teams to practice indoors.
Broncos head coach John Fox commented thusly, "We'll look at the fields and test the fields, and we brought our grounds crew people. I understand the indoor facility is very much like ours, except their field house is completed, which is a big difference. So we may or may not go in there. I'd prefer grass. It saves out players' legs. But if need be, we'll go indoors or on their synthetic surface."
While the Seahawks are contending with the same elements, their offensive attack is predicated much more on the turbo-charged legs of Marshawn Lynch cutting a swath of real estate through the much less heralded defensive unit of the Denver Broncos rather than the precise running routes of the Seattle receiving corps. Denver will be forced to deal with the possibility of Wes Welker being unable to make the sharp cuts and “getting small” so as to catch the short strikes and avoid getting nailed in the process. Or how about Demaryius Thomas attempting to find open space in the fast lane only to learn that the traffic is too congested to do anything but meander down the breakdown lane.
Maybe Coach Fox said it best when he offered this thought, "I think, in order to be a championship football team, we've got to be weatherproof.”