An advancing blizzard in the northeastern United States on Sunday led officials in the region to declare weather emergencies, forced the postponement of a scheduled National Football League game in Philadelphia and grounded some homeward-bound Christmas travelers.

Governors on Sunday declared a state of emergency in Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts in advance of the approaching storm. The mayors of Philadelphia and Boston also called snow emergencies.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced that the advancing storm will put the commonwealth in a state of emergency starting at 3 p.m. Patrick's early afternoon announcement followed declarations of snow emergencies in Boston and Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter called the emergency in anticipation of a system that is expected to dump up to 14 inches of snow in the region.

"Shoppers, travelers and city residents take advantage of an early start because it (the storm) is coming in a short time," Nutter said during a Sunday morning press conference outside City Hall. "When it comes it will hit very hard."

Meanwhile, the NFL announced that a game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles -- originally scheduled for Sunday night -- had been postponed until 8:20 p.m. Tuesday.