The forecast for Saturday's divisional playoff game at Pittsburgh is 32 degrees with a 30 percent chance of snow.
Those conditions will make the Ravens feel right at home at Heinz Field. Over the past two winters, the Ravens have heated up when the temperatures have dropped, winning their past five games when the temperature at kickoff is below 35 degrees.
And the Ravens don't just win in the frigid cold. They slam teams into the frozen turf. Their average margin in those five wins has been 16.4 points, including a 30-7 rout of Kansas City on Sunday when the wind chill was 16 degrees.
"It just fits our personality," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We're a rough, tough football team who likes to play in rough, tough conditions."
The Ravens' hot streak in the cold is more than happenstance. This team has the key elements to succeed in these environments: a cannon-armed quarterback who won't be affected by swirling winds, a running back who has always thrived in freezing temperatures and a traditionally strong run defense that enjoys the fact that weather forces teams to take a run-first approach.
Beyond that, the Ravens bring a mentality as tough as their play.
Terrell Suggs learned that when, as a rookie from Arizona State, he tried to wear sleeves for a cold-weather game.
"The linebackers got on me right then and there, 'Oh, no, we don't wear those up here, so you've got to take those off,' and I played pretty much freezing," Suggs said. "I've learned that if you make plays, and you run a lot, you're not going to be too cold. So, just get around that football by any means necessary in cold weather games."
The one player who does wear sleeves is Joe Flacco, but he's a quarterback built for conditions that can be hazardous for the passing game.
His strong arm still allowed the Ravens to throw the ball in windy Cleveland (18 miles per hour) last month and Kansas City (15 mph) Sunday. Flacco's two touchdown passes in Cleveland – especially the 15-yarder to T.J. Houshmandzadeh – ripped through the wind. He then made it look effortless passing for 265 yards and two touchdowns at Kansas City.
"I think he's a great fit for this division," offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. "We're looking for a guy with big hands, a lot of things that factor in this kind of weather, and a certain amount of arm strength. I think, matters in this part of the country."
Unlike some quarterbacks, Flacco doesn't like to wear gloves when the weather becomes cold and sloppy because he doesn't like how they feel.
"I think you just got to go out there and treat it like a normal game," Flacco said. "And sometimes there are conditions where it makes it really tough, and sometimes when it's just cold out, it's really just another game. And as long as you throw the ball like you know how to, it usually cuts through pretty much the same."
The Ravens also rely on Rice, their "cold-blooded" running back who grew up in New York and played at Rutgers. His experience playing in this weather has helped him in the NFL. In those five games when the temperature has dipped below 35 degrees, Rice has averaged 109.6 yards rushing.
But Rice said the Ravens' success is as much a result of enduring the season as the elements.
"I'm not saying we save our best football for the end of the year," Rice said, "but I think we prepare our bodies and our minds throughout a long season."
When it gets late in the season and the cold winds pick up, many teams begin to depend on the running game. The Ravens defense looks forward to this challenge.
The Ravens finished No. 5 in the NFL in run defense and haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 14 playoff games. Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles looked as if he weregoing to break that streak Sunday when he gained 87 yards in the first half. But the Ravens beat up Charles enough – like 349-pound Terrence Cody landing on top of him – that he only rushed twice in the second half.
"I think teams up north, we have learned to adjust to whatever it is," linebacker Ray Lewis said. "We understand what it is to play in the cold. You have to be able to play hard-nosed defense, and you have to be able to run the ball very effectively."
So, it would probably be fitting that an old-school rivalry like Ravens- Steelers would be played in old-school setting.
"It would be fitting," Harbaugh said. "We would welcome a lot of snow. I?m pretty sure they?d get the field cleared off, but we don?t really care. I?m pretty sure they won?t be canceling the game in Pittsburgh if the governor has anything to say about it. We play at 4:30 and we?ll be there."
twitter.com/jamisonhensley DateTeamTemperatureResult12-20-09vs. Chicago32W, 31-71-10-10at New England20W, 33-1412-19-10vs. New Orleans34W, 30-2412-26-10at Cleveland26W, 20-101-9-11at Kansas City26W, 30-7
The Ravens have won their past five games when the temperature at kickoff has been below 35 degrees: