NFC West: weather
The latest from weather.com projects a 50 percent chance of rain with winds out of the southeast at 14 mph when the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants kick off at 3:30 p.m. local time.
NFL rules require teams to cover natural grass fields if rain is expected during the week preceding each game.
Earlier: Which team benefits more from rain Sunday?
The San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants won't have to contend with the icy, snowy weather that has hit my neighborhood, but the rains expected to hit Candlestick Park could affect playing conditions for the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.
This might be a good time to examine NFL rules governing field maintenance.
Rules require teams to cover all natural grass fields if rain is expected during the week preceding each game. All grass fields must be covered in cold-weather areas beginning in November and regardless of weather conditions.
Wet conditions shouldn't faze the 49ers too much. They've won under a range of conditions.
San Francisco has defeated a 14-3 team (New Orleans) on natural grass in perfect weather conditions. The 49ers have beaten a 5-0 team (Detroit) indoors on artificial turf. They've won road games outdoors on natural and artificial surfaces.
This photo I snapped before Arizona and San Francisco played at Candlestick Park on Nov. 20 shows crews removing the tarps used to cover the field. The tarps help keep the field from becoming a lake, but they cannot keep the surface from becoming slippery.
Weather forecasts are calling for a 70 percent chance of rain Sunday afternoon, a factor for the 4 p.m. ET kickoff featuring the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.
The forecast calls for only light winds, however, a plus for both teams' quarterbacks and kickers. The temperature in San Francisco is presently 50 degrees. The forecast calls for a high of 52.
The forecast is calling for temperatures in the low 60s with winds under 10 mph and no chance of rain. Field conditions at Candlestick Park can be slippery even without rain, particularly around the perimeter.
Elsewhere in the NFC West, the forecast calls for temperatures in the low 50s with a 30 percent chance of rain in Seattle. The St. Louis Rams could encounter tougher conditions in Cleveland, where the forecast calls for 25 mph winds and a 20 percent chance of rain. In Philadelphia, meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals are expected to encounter temperatures in the low 60s with relatively light winds and no rain.
Four outdoor games in November could certainly offer worse conditions. Weather shouldn't be a huge factor for most of the division unless the Rams find themselves needing a field goal to win amid those strong winds in Cleveland. They could always go for it.
At least there's no chance a collapsed roof will postpone a game or, far more importantly, help to extend a player's streak of consecutive games (proposed headline: Stadium roof collapses; QB's streak unhurt).
It's cloudy, a little foggy and 54 degrees in San Francisco as I head over to Candlestick Park for the San Francisco 49ers' elimination game against the Seattle Seahawks. The forecast calls for sunny skies and a temperature approaching 60 degrees for kickoff.
If you've ever watched a game in Candlestick, however, you know there' s a decent chance the weather will feel 20 or 30 degrees colder than the official readings. Not that anyone should complain while people in Minnesota dig out from under a truly brutal snowfall.
The Northwest weather was spectacular Saturday.
The second link features an image pulled Sunday morning from a webcam atop the Space Needle. The Sunday forecast calls for a 100 percent chance of precipitation when the San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks kick off at Qwest Field.
It's going to be a wet one.
Temperatures should remain mild -- the expected high is 68 -- and only light winds are expected.
Wet footballs can facilitate turnovers, however.
St. Louis Rams
Site: Team headquarters in Earth City, Mo.
Latest temperature: 98 degrees and mostly sunny with isolated showers and thunderstorms, high around 100
Heat index: 114 degrees
Site: Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Latest temperature: 79 degrees and partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms and highs in the low 80s
Heat index: 78 degrees
San Francisco 49ers
Site: Team headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.
Latest temperature: 70 degrees and sunny with light winds, high around 80 expected
Heat index: 77 degrees
Site: Team headquarters in Renton, Wash.
Latest temperature: 65 degrees and cloudy with scattered showers expected and highs possibly reaching the low 70s
Heat index: none listed
The forecast calls for clear skies through kickoff.
That should help both quarterbacks.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
NEWARK, N.J. -- It's already nearly 70 degrees with 100 percent humidity in East Rutherford, N.J., site of the Cardinals-Jets game today.
Wet conditions are always a threat to affect the passing game, another reason the Cardinals need Kurt Warner to protect the football.
I'll have updates from the Meadowlands once I arrive at the stadium a little later this morning.