Are you ready for a freezing cold Divisional Round playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars? More importantly, are the Jaguars ready for what ultimately looks like could be a very cold afternoon at Heinz Field?
According to a few early weather forecasts, Sunday’s game between the Steelers and Jaguars will feature clouds, a few snow flurries or showers and a high temperature of 19 degrees. Winds are also expected to be out of the west at 10 to 15 mph. In summation, Sunday’s game will likely feature very winter-like conditions and that’s something that Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette isn’t probably looking forward to.
“I’m not for playing in the snow, playing in the cold, that’s the only thing,” Fournette said ahead of the Jaguars November Week 11 road game against the Cleveland Browns, according to Mike Kaye of WTLV.
Fournette, who played his college football at LSU, said this past November that the coldest game he ever played in during his pre-NFL career was at Arkansas in 2014 as a freshman. The temperature during that game was reportedly 33 degrees and Fournette rushed for just nine yards on only five carries in that contest. The Jaguars rookie running back went on to say why he doesn’t like playing in the cold ahead of the Jaguars game against the Browns.
“It’s the little things, you take a little hit and it hurts,” Fournette reportedly said a few months ago. “You’re falling, so I hate the cold, period. I sleep in the heat, that’s just how I grew up and [I’m] just mentally trying to get my mind ready.”
As it turned out, the temperature at kickoff for the game between the Jaguars and Browns was only 38 degrees and Fournette wound up rushing for 111 yards on 28 carries in what ultimately was a 19-7 win for his team.
In case you’re curious, Fournette and the Jaguars have since played in a temperature lower than the one they did in Cleveland and that was their regular season road finale against the Tennessee Titans that included a kickoff temperature of 23 degrees. Fournette, however, only rushed for 69 yards on 19 total carries in that Week 17 loss to the Titans.
Unless the forecast for Sunday’s Divisional Round playoff game in Pittsburgh changes drastically, Fournette will finally get a chance to show how well he can run the football in temperatures lower than 23 degrees. I bet he’s not counting down the hours until kickoff.
Fournette rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns on 28 total carries in the Jaguars Week 5 road win over the Steelers at Heinz Field. Kickoff temperature for that October game was 73 degrees.