Coldest NFL games in history: Here’s a list of the 10 coldest football games ever played

Green Bay is not a fun place to play in the playoffs.

In addition to Lambeau Field being one of the most hostile road environments in the NFL, it’s also one of the coldest to play in, often generating sub-zero temperatures that opponents have to contend with.

Saturday’s NFC divisional round matchup between the Packers and 49ers will be no different, as the weather channel expect the temperature to drop to 0 degrees on Saturday night, just in time for kickoff at 8:15 p.m. ET.

It won’t be the coldest game in NFL history, barring a drastic change in weather, and it won’t even be the coldest in Green Bay. Sporting News dives into the coldest regular and postseason games in NFL history.

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What is the coldest game in NFL history?

There has never been a game that has come close to the record for the coldest in NFL history.

“The Ice Bowl” earned its name for a reason, as the 1967 NFL Championship game between the Cowboys and Packers in Green Bay set the undisputed standard as the coldest game on record.

According to NFL Communications, the temperature at the time of the game was 13 degrees below zero. That didn’t stop 50,861 people from attending the game, filling Lambeau Field.

Moving the ball was not easy for either team. Although the final score was 21-17, both teams finished with fewer than 200 total yards, with Green Bay, the game winner, amassing 195 yards to Dallas’ 192.

Green Bay’s next game was under much more favorable conditions. The Packers advanced to Super Bowl II to face the Raiders in Miami, where the temperature was 60 degrees.

How cold was the coldest game in the NFL?

The thermometer at Lambeau Field would have said minus-13, but it was even colder for those in the ballpark.

NFL Communications reported that the wind chill was 48 degrees, which added to the cold.

The report said that the playing surface was nearly frozen after a layer of condensation formed between the tarp and the field, and that once the tarp was removed, the field froze. Packers running back Chuck Mercein said Astroturf “was like a pillow” compared to the frozen tundra.

Where was the coldest game in the NFL played?

It should come as no surprise that the coldest game ever played was at Lambeau Field.

Green Bay has been home to not only the coldest game in NFL history, but several of the coldest.

According to Stathead, the average temperature for playoff games at Lambeau Field is 21.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest it has ever been for a playoff game was 35 degrees, when it hosted the Rams on Jan. 16, 2021. It’s one of only two games played at the stadium in the playoffs that reached a temperature above freezing point.

Four of the games played there have been in the single digits or negative.

The 10 coldest games in NFL history

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Cowboys at Packers: December 31, 1967

“The Ice Bowl” was the coldest when it was played, and remains the coldest by far to this day. Although other games in NFL history have gone into negative points, none have reached negative double figures.

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Chargers at Bengals: January 10, 1982

The Chargers had a rude awakening on their playoff trip to Cincinnati for the AFC Championship.

While at home in San Diego, the high was 70 degrees and the low was 56, according to Weather Undergroundthe Chargers had to deal with the brutally cold environment of Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.

The game was -9 degrees, with a wind chill of minus-32. In that cold, what was the league’s No. 1 offense in both points and yards froze, with San Diego scoring just one touchdown on 301 total yards with four turnovers. The Bengals felt much more comfortable in the cold, as they scored 27 points on 318 total yards with only one turnover to advance to the Super Bowl.

Seahawks vs. Vikings: January 10, 2016

Yes, 34 years later, another game registered negative temperatures.

The Seahawks traveled to Minneapolis to face the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium in an NFC Wild Card matchup. The temperature was -6 degrees with a wind chill of -25.

But while Minnesota was more used to the cold than the visiting Seahawks, it didn’t show any advantage on the field. Both offenses were quiet, with Seattle mustering just 226 yards while Minnesota was only able to gain 183. The Seahawks won 10-9 to advance to the next round, where they lost to the Panthers.

Bears on Vikings: December 3, 1972

There are two NFL regular season games that went below freezing. They were both in Minnesota. Both in the same season. Both minus -2 degrees.

The first of the two games came in a Week 12 matchup against the NFC North rival Bears. with cold wind, conditions were at minus-15 at the Metropolitan Stadium.

Much of the two teams’ offense came via field goals, with the Vikings kicking three and the Bears kicking another as Minnesota outscored Chicago 23-10 to move to 7-5 on the season.

Packers at Vikings: Dec. 10, 1972

Another freezing afternoon in Minneapolis.

Once again, the house of the Vikings hosted an icy party. The temperature was -2 with a wind chill of -19 the week after the Vikings endured another sub-zero matchup.

This week, they couldn’t resist the Packers, who were coming off a cold game, after beating the Lions 33-7 in 13-degree weather at Lambeau Field. The Packers scored 23 unanswered points in the second half to outrun Minnesota 23-7. The Vikings had 144 yards of offense to Green Bay’s 270.

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Giants at Packers: January 20, 2008

Only one more game in NFL history has been recorded below zero, by Statheadand that would be the 2008 NFC Championship.

Brett Favre’s last game in Green Bay was a cold goodbye, as he had to deal with the red-hot Giants and the minus-1 degree temperature and minus-23 wind chill.

Favre was limited to just 236 yards passing and Green Bay amassed just 28 rushing yards, while New York’s more balanced offense recorded 134 rushing yards and Eli Manning’s 251 passing yards. The two teams went into overtime tied at 20, but the Giants won on Lawrence Tynes’ field goal, his third of the afternoon, to advance to the Super Bowl, where they beat the Patriots.

Raiders vs. Packers: December 26, 1993

Talk about freezing.

The Raiders traveled from sunny Los Angeles, where underground climate had reported that it was 58 degrees at the time of kickoff against the Packers, at Lambeau Field, where it was 0 degrees with a wind chill of negative-20.

And the thermometer wasn’t the only zero on the board that day. The Raiders racked up just 182 yards with four turnovers and went scoreless against the host Packers, who had 329 yards of offense and 28 scored.

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Raiders at Bills: January 15, 1994

That wasn’t the last time the Raiders faced frigid temperatures that season, but next time, they were better prepared.

Traveling to Buffalo, where it was 0 degrees with a wind chill of minus-14, the Raiders were clearly more prepared for the elements in their AFC divisional round matchup. They scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 17-13 halftime lead and took a 23-22 lead just before the fourth quarter.

However, the Bills took a late 29-23 lead on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Jim Kelly and would hold on to the win by that touchdown. The Bills just outscored the Raiders 355-325 in the matchup.

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Steelers at Bengals: Dec. 10, 1977

The AFC Championship at Riverfront takes the cake for the coldest game ever played in Cincinnati, but the Bengals have played host to several other notably cold matchups.

The next coldest was between Cincinnati and the rival Steelers at Riverfront Stadium in 1977 in week 13 of the regular season. The temperature was 0 degrees with a wind chill of -17.

In the battle between two future NFL MVPs, Ken Anderson reclaimed the lead against Terry Bradshaw as his third-quarter touchdown pass put Cincinnati up 17-10, which would go on to score. Anderson had 303 passing yards, while Bradshaw had 246 with a pick-six.

Broncos at Chiefs: Dec. 18, 1983

Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium is also known to host some of the coldest games in the league, and on December 18, 1983, against the Broncos, it holds the Chiefs’ record for coldest.

Those of the stadium endured the 1 degree temperature with a wind chill of minus -19. And only those cheering on the local Chiefs left feeling buoyed by the win.

Kansas City took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never took their foot off the gas, trailing Denver 48-17. John Elway threw four interceptions in the game, while the Chiefs saw quarterback Bill Kenney and running back Theotis Brown score multiple touchdowns.

Coldest Games at Lambeau Field

There aren’t many places that deliver cold weather as consistently as Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the NFL.

According to Stathead, the Packers are tied with the Bears for most games (regular season and playoffs) with temperatures of 10 degrees or lower with 12 such matchups. However, only Green Bay has had games in negative temperatures.

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Obviously, the “Ice Bowl” once again takes the record for the coldest game here.

Here is a summary of games played at Lambeau Field in minus 10 degrees, according to Stathead.

Adversary Date Get out Temperature
Cowboys December 31, 1967 W 21-17 -13
giants January 20, 2008 Mon 23-20 -one
raiders December 26, 1993 28-0 win 0
Bears November 28, 1976 Mon 16-10 2.2
lions December 22, 1990 Mon 24-17 2.6
jeans December 7, 2008 Monday 24-21 3
panthers January 12, 1997 W30-13 3.3
49ers January 5, 2014 Mon 23-20 5
lions December 4, 1977 w10-9 5.6
vikings December 11, 1988 w18-6 6.1
hawks December 8, 2013 W22-21 9

The Packers are 6-5 in home games where the temperature is below 10 degrees. However, in sub-zero home games, they are much more successful, with a collective record of 74-32.

Of course, the last time Green Bay hosted a team in minus 10-degree weather, it was against the 49ers in the 2014 playoffs, and the Packers lost that game. They will hope on Sunday that the outcome is more favorable and that, for the first time in the Aaron Rodgers era, the Packers can beat the 49ers in the playoffs.