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CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 6, 2009: Defensive back Antoine Cason #20 of the San Diego Chargers looks towards the sideline prior to a game on December 6, 2009 against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. San Diego won 30-23. (Photo by: Tom Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
San Diego is under a red flag warning this weekend. Cleveland, Ohio, not so much.
The weather forecast for Sunday afternoon, Cleveland time, when the Chargers are scheduled to take on the Browns says there will be a high of 50 degrees, with a 50% chance of rain.
That will be the coldest the Bolts have played in all year.
The last time the Chargers played in Cleveland was December 2009 when they beat the Browns 30-23. Former San Diego running back Ladanian Tomlinson passed Cleveland legend and Hall of Famer Jim Brown on the NFL's all-time rushing list.
When it’s cold, the game changes.
The hits feel harder, the ball comes faster, and the fingers and toes lose feeling a little quicker. For Cleveland, 50 degrees in October is downright warm. For San Diegans, 50 degrees would mean that Sports Authority would be completely sold out of their slim snow jacket stock.
The Chargers have certainly taken the temperature difference into account for the weekend.
Wide receiver Malcolm Floyd expects it to play into the Chargers’ advantage.
“I think you get a little bit more O2,” Floyd said. “A little bit more oxygen in the cold weather so we can run all day.”
Running back Ronnie Brown said their preparation has cancelled out any effect the colder temperature may have.
“I think mentally guys get ready for that,” Brown said. “It’s going to be cool but at the same time we’re paid to do a job and you know we’ve got to go in there and the most important thing is getting a ‘W’. So I think the weather factor is kind of out the window once we get between those lines.”
Special teams’ captain Darrell Stuckey says it boils down to a difference in technique when there is a temperature change.
“When games are cold you just can’t waste steps,” Stuckey said. “The ground’s going to be harder, so then you won’t get as much as traction as you would usually if it’s a little softer so it’s just not wasting steps.”
Antonio Gates doesn’t think the weather will be a factor, but he also doesn’t consider Cleveland a place he’d like to stay.
“No concern about the weather,” Gates said. “But I can’t wait to get back on the plane back to San Diego.”