Tuesday, January 08, 2013

How Might The Playing Field At Candlestick Hurt The Packers?

Via Pro Football Talk comes this link to Bay Area Sports Guy on the lousy playing field at Candlestick Park. After watching FedEx Field turn into a muddy swamp last weekend, which may have been the cause of two ACL injuries (QB Robert Griffin III, Seahawks DE Chris Clemons), I want to see a decent playing surface for next weekend's game. From Bay Area Sports Guy:
Pardon the pun, but this isn’t exactly groundbreaking news. The last time I was on the field — before the Dolphins game — I was surprised at how the grass was coming up in clumps during warmups...
The weather forecast this week calls for colder than average temperatures starting on Wednesday, but nothing much in the way of precipitation. That’s good for the both teams, because the last thing they need is for Candlestick’s crummy field to turn into a swamp.
While a bad playing surface is a problem for both teams, and on both sides of the ball, QB Aaron Rodgers has generally preferred playing inside under ideal conditions. His overall record in dome games hasn't been great, but his recent record had been until their recent loss in Minneapolis. His stats have been outstanding too and his receivers prefer it. Though Rodgers is "excited to go back to Cali to play" he probably would have preferred the playing conditions inside the Georgia Dome next weekend.

However his preference might have little relationship to the actual results. On December 16th, he passed for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns (QB rating 116.8) against the Bears on Soldier Field's notoriously bad playing surface. That game, despite the absence of LB Brian Urlacher and CB Tim Jennings to injury, might have been a good preview of what to expect next weekend against the 49ers. While the Niners' defense has been great this season, second best according to Football Outsiders, the Bears' defense was their No. 1 defense last season by a wide margin.

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