Saturday’s game between the Panthers and Lions was the coldest ever at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. At kickoff, it was just 20° with a wind chill factor of 9°. However, the frigid temperatures played a role in more than just the weather.
Before the game even started, Detroit edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson was warming up on the field’s artificial turf, going through some pass-rush reps, when his feet slipped out from under him leading to a fall on the rough terrain. After the Panthers’ win, Lions quarterback Jared Goff called out the field conditions that were worsened by the December cold.
“I thought the field conditions were below NFL level standard, specifically pregame,” Goff said, per detroitlions.com. “I don’t know what the deal is here, but they need to figure out a way for the turf to not feel like cement.”
Although the field conditions improved as the game went on, Goff clearly was frustrated with the playing surface. Despite the suboptimal conditions, he threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. But it wasn’t enough, as Carolina won, 37–23.