The path to the Super Bowl will be a chilly one for Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers.
Kaepernick, a Pitman High graduate, will travel to Green Bay, Wisc. this Sunday to take on the Packers in what may be one of the coldest football games ever played.
The cold weather won't be a factor though, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said.
“I think we’ll play,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll play when we play, where we play, who we play. What the weather’s like won’t control how we play. We’ll go out and play hard. Keep our bodies warm by playing hard.”
Forecasts vary, but the temperature at kick-off is expected to be as low as negative 5 degrees. Even the most optimistic forecast suggest a high of 2 degrees. And with the wind chill, the temperature will feel like -19 degrees.
And the weather is only expected to worsen after kickoff, potentially dropping as low as -22 degrees, before factoring in wind chill.
Only six NFL games have ever been played in sub-zero temperatures. The coldest, played in 1967 at Lambeau Field, reached -13 degrees, with the wind making it feel like -48 degrees.
Kaepernick has had some success in cold-weather games while playing college football for the University of Nevada, Reno.
“He’ll be fine,” Harbaugh said. “He’s played up in Reno. They had some cold weather games there, cold and windy.”
Kaepernick threw for more than 400 yards in a windy game against Louisiana Tech. And Nevada upset Boise State in a below-freezing game in 2010.
Sunday's playoff game will be a rematch from week 1 of the NFL season, when the 49ers defeated Green Bay 34-28. In that game Kaepernick led a passing exhibition, throwing for 412 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Packers finished the season 8-7-1, worse than the 49ers 12-4 record, but earned a home game to open the playoffs as the NFC North Champions. The 49ers finished second in the NFC West, and qualified for the playoffs as a wild-card team.
Kaepernick and the 49ers offense have surged in recent weeks, with Kap throwing 10 touchdown passes and only one interception in the past six weeks. The 49ers haven't turned the ball over since week 14, while averaging 30 points per game.
The Packers are, potentially, stronger than their record looks – star quarterback Aaron Rogers missed two months of the regular season with a broken collarbone, but will play Sunday. The 49ers are 2.5 point favorites despite playing on the road.
The San Francisco 49ers will kick off against the Green Bay Packers at 1:40 p.m. Sunday. The game will be televised on FOX.