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As the playoff races around the NFL continue to intensify, so too is the harsh realities of winter experienced around the country. While snow isn't specifically in the forecast on Christmas weekend, the temperatures and wind are going to play a major role during the league's 11-game slate on Christmas Eve. 

This Christmas is setting up to be the coldest in decades, thanks to a polar vortex, which is described as a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth's poles. That air is breaking southward, which is creating the cold front most of the country is experiencing. Highs are expected to remain below freezing temperatures Friday in the central U.S. with a winter storm coming to the across the Midwest to the Northeast Thursday and Friday. 

The weather isn't supposed to get any warmer by Saturday, when the majority of NFL games will take place. Here's a look at the early forecast for the games impacted by the cold weather.

All forecasts provided by AccuWeather.

New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns (Sat., 1 p.m. ET)

  • 11 degrees, RealFeel of -21
  • 36 mph wind, gusts up to 63 mph
  • Cloudy, a snow shower; very cold, blowing and drifting snow

Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears (Sat., 1 p.m. ET)

  • 12 degrees, RealFeel of -13
  • 20 mph wind, gusts up to 37 mph
  • Cloudy with blowing and drifting snow
  • Winter Storm Watch in effect from Thursday evening through late Friday night

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (Sat., 1 p.m. ET)

  • 20 degrees, RealFeel of 6
  • 14 mph wind, gusts up to 33 mph 
  • Partly sunny and breezy

Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots (Sat., 1 p.m. ET)

  • 27 degrees, RealFeel of 10
  • 17 mph wind, gusts up to 37 mph
  • Partly sunny and breezy with a snow shower
  • 40% chance of precipitation

Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs (Sat., 1 p.m. ET)

  • 12 degrees, RealFeel of -4
  • 14 mph wind, gusts up to 30 mph
  • Sunny and breezy

Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens (Sat., 1 p.m. ET)

  • 25 degrees, RealFeel of 12
  • 14 mph wind, gusts up to 30 mph
  • Mostly sunny and breezy

Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers (Sat., 1 p.m. ET)

  • 33 degrees, RealFeel of 27
  • 9 mph wind, gusts up to 28 mph
  • Sunny and cold

Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers, (Sat., 8:15 p.m. ET)

  • 8 degrees, RealFeel of -14
  • 16 mph wind, gusts up to 32 mph
  • Cloudy and very cold with a snow shower