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Could weather impact Rams-Ravens matchup Sunday in Baltimore?

Matthew Stafford will take on the elements in addition to the Ravens defense

Cleveland Browns v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After an impressive three-game winning streak, the Los Angeles Rams have a playoff berth in their sights. The San Francisco 49ers seem set to run off with the NFC West title this year, but that still leaves room for LA as a wildcard hopeful. The key difference is that the 49ers will host at least their first postseason game and the Rams would travel to the stadium of a division winner.

Now that we are squarely into the winter season, weather could have significant impacts on games the rest of the way. The Rams will likely face these head winds should they make the playoffs as a wildcard team, and it seems they will get their first battle with the elements this weekend when they travel to face the Baltimore Ravens.

This Week 14 matchup features Matthew Stafford and Lamar Jackson—two quarterbacks playing at a high level of late—though we may not see them in full force because the Baltimore metro area is expecting intermittent heavy rain fall and potential winds with speeds up to 10-20 miles per hour:

Bring your ponchos if you are headed to the roofless M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, as rain will be ongoing throughout the game in Baltimore for the 1:00 p.m. kickoff.

A broad area of moderate to heavy rain will likely develop starting Friday from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes and eastward toward the East Coast, making for a washout on Sunday in Baltimore.

Gusty winds are also expected to develop during the game, with frequent speeds of 10-20 mph and higher gusts.

If either team wants to continue their winning ways, they’ll have to overcome a potential downpour and gusty winds.

Much has been made regarding the Rams and road weather conditions since they relocated to Los Angeles. We’ve seen games where the cold, wind, and rain hampered the effectiveness of the offense—such as Jared Goff and the unit’s poor production in 2018 on the road against Vic Fangio and the Chicago Bears.

But wind isn’t a new problem for Los Angeles. They often have to adjust their practice schedule because of windy conditions at their practice facility in Thousand Oaks, CA. Matthew Stafford still have the high level arm talent, but even that might not be enough to cut through double digit wind speeds.

The Ravens may have an inherent advantage in this game because of their consistent ground attack and because Lamar Jackson can hurt you with his legs just as well as he can with his arm. A running quarterback is complementary and lowers the degree of difficulty for the traditional running game because defenses have to account for the quarterback as a threat. On the flip side, the Ravens don’t have to attribute a defender to Stafford in most cases and can deploy more conventional means to slowing down LA’s running game.

Passing production may come at a premium in this matchup. LA will have to rely on running back Kyren Williams, who has been dynamic since his Week 12 return from an ankle injury. The Ravens have an advantage because they are built for the winter conditions, though it remains to be seen whether that advantage will translate to the scoreboard.