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Prevailing winds at PSL Stadium

Wind will continue to shape the way games are played at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

During last month’s practice at PSL Stadium, Giants quarterback Eli Manning

is still figuring out the wind patterns, which he says are different here and will become an increasingly important factor in the colder games.   With a suspect running game, a quarterback who has not performed well in windy conditions (  Recall, Eli’s 2007 abysmal performance against the Redskins. 18 completions out of 52 attempts and 34 INCOMPLETIONS), a shaky defense, and a special teams unit devoid of retired punter Jeff Feagles and injured returner Domenik Hixon,  can this Giants team win cold weather games at their new digs? 
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck believes cold and windy conditions at PSL Stadium will play into the Giants favor.
Although Tuck likes his team’s chances in the cold weather, unfortunately, the 2010 Giants are not built to win cold weather games. Last year, the Giants had an ineffective running game along with a leaky defense. Because of these factors, the Giants became primarily a passing team.  And passing teams struggle in cold weather games.  In their two home playoff games against Bill Walsh’s potent 49ers passing attack, the Giants destroyed them both times.  Needless to say, Bill Parcells’ Giants teams of the 80’s and early 90’s had the recipe for success at the Meadowlands-a solid running game, a weatherproof quarterback, an outstanding special teams unit, and an excellent defense.  Former Giant placekicker and CBS announcer Pat Summerall  has seen many games played at the Meadowlands.  “I’ve seen games in the cold, windy weather in old Giants Stadium where it was almost impossible to kick a field goal and impossible to throw the ball.”   Because of the windy conditions at the Meadowlands, Parcells became an astute weather observer.  Parcells takes the weather variables at Giants Stadium seriously. He consults a weather guru who lives near the stadium and has satellite equipment. Parcells says he knows that when it is cloudy, it is not as windy at the stadium as when it is dry and sunny. It is supposed to be relatively clear on Sunday. That means wind.   
Speaking of the  wind, the 1986 NFC Championship game between the Giants and Redskins was played in 45 mph turbulent winds. In this video, Parcells acknowledged McConkey’s ability to catch every punt helped propel the Giants over the Redskins in the 1986 NFC Championship game.

From 1991, New York Times’ Dave Anderson wrote this interesting article about the winds at Giants Stadium.  There is salient quotes from Phil Simms and Sean Landeta. 

If you don’t get a good grip on the ball,”Phil Simms said, “you can’t throw it at all.”

“With the wind or against the wind, you just throw everything hard,”Simms said.

“When it’s colder, you think it’s blowing harder, and in a way it is,”Landeta said. “It’s harder to kick into a 5-mile-an-hour wind at 30 degrees than it is to kick into a 10-mile-an-hour wind at 75 degrees. The colder it is, the harder the ball is. Your foot doesn’t sink into the ball.”

 In order for the Giants to win cold weather games at PSL Stadium, they must execute flawlessly on offense, defense, and special teams. 

Do you think they can win cold weather games at home?