Snow impacts multiple NFL games

Updated: December 9, 2013, 8:53 AM ET
By Ashley Fox | ESPN.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Heavy snow fell until early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's Philadelphia-Detroit game, covering the playing surface at Lincoln Financial Field and greatly affecting the strategy in a game won by the Eagles, 34-20.

Eight inches of snow began falling about 90 minutes before kickoff and continued steadily throughout most of the game. The grounds crew used blowers and shovels to clear the yard lines, goal lines and sidelines during stoppages of play.

Under NFL rules, the grounds crew could have plowed the field at halftime but opted not to because there was too much snow on the field, not enough time to clear it and nowhere to put it, the Eagles said.

Snow was a factor in four other NFL games Sunday, including the Miami Dolphins' 34-28 victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

"Today we had a lot of snow, so it was pretty thick," Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace said. "Just being able to stop, that's the toughest thing. But both sides have to go through it."

Wallace also commented on the possibility of snow being a factor in the Super Bowl, which will be played in February at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

"If you get two teams that's not used to playing in the snow, (the Super Bowl) could be crazy for a little while," Wallace said. "So it will be different. But I think teams that play in it all the time might have a little bit of an advantage."

Wallace had little sympathy for fans who could potentially be in attendance at a Super Bowl played in a snowstorm.

"If you feel like you can't take (the snow), don't go," he said. "You know before you buy the ticket to the Super Bowl that it's cold out there. It's a little different. It's going to be a challenge for everybody, fans included."

[+] EnlargeEagles-Lions
AP Photo/Matt RourkeHeavy snow made traction and visibility difficult for Nick Foles against the Lions.

Neither Philadelphia nor Detroit attempted a field goal in the game. The Lions tried an extra point in the third quarter only after drawing a penalty on the two-point conversion attempt. David Akers' attempt was blocked, however.

Detroit fumbled the ball seven times -- five on center-to-quarterback exchanges -- and lost three. The Eagles had minus-2 yards in the first quarter and trailed 8-0 at halftime.

But Philadelphia scored 34 points in the second half, and Eagles running back LeSean McCoy set the franchise single-game rushing record with 217 yards on 29 carries.

"At times during a game, the crap is going to hit the fan," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. "You show up here this morning, and our weather report was it wasn't going to snow until halftime."

At 9 a.m. ET, weather reports the Eagles were getting called for a light snow to begin around 2 p.m.

Kelly said that attempting a field goal or point-after attempt would have been "a recipe for disaster."

"It was very, very difficult to get the footing," he said.

Lincoln Financial Field has a heated playing surface, although it is used when the field is frozen, not to melt snow. The field was not frozen, and to use the heating coils would have created an even sloppier playing surface.

The surface did get sloppy Sunday at FedEx Field, where the Kansas City Chiefs routed the Washington Redskins in a game that featured a first-half snowstorm and a mixture of ice and rain in the second half.

"The first half I thought was great," said Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who threw two touchdown passes in Kansas City's 45-10 victory. "There at the end of the game, it was getting pretty sloppy.

"Once the temperature rose, there was rain and ice coming down. But for the first half and third quarter, I thought it was pretty decent."

Snow also fell during the Ravens' last-minute victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Baltimore and the Green Bay Packers' win over the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field.

ESPN.com Dolphins reporter James Walker and ESPN.com Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher contributed to this report.

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