Jan 12, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) signals prior to the snap against the San Diego Chargers during the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl 48 at MetLife Stadium: Who Has the Advantage?

With the AFC and NFC title games only three days away, and the Super Bowl at MetLife stadium looming a couple of weeks after, I wanted to share some stats with you regarding the four remaining teams.

By now, we have all heard chapter and verse about the first cold weather Super Bowl that will be taking place at MetLife stadium. Well let’s talk about the cold weather, and instead of talking about the dangers, and the contingency plans, let’s talk about the cold weather and FOOTBALL. Specifically, how cold weather has affected some of the remaining performers.

Thanks to our good friends at the “Road to MetLife Stadium” campaign, we can do just that. They have compiled some cold weather stats, together with “Stats Inc.”, to give us some interesting facts regarding some of the remaining players in the playoffs. (Stats compiled with info since 1991)Who might have an advantage coming to NJ in February? Some of the answers might surprise you. First let’s talk about quarterbacks:

  • Tom Brady has more starts (48), more wins (42), and a higher winning percentage (.875; minimum 10 starts) in sub-40 degree games – including postseason – than any other active NFL quarterback.
  • Brady is 11-1 in his career on the road in sub-40 degree games. His only such loss came in Week 5 of the 2009 season at Denver (20-17, OT; 30 degrees).

It’s not easy to admit how good he is, but obviously his past gives him an excellent advantage when the cold weather comes along.  Conversely, Peyton Manning has not been so fortunate.

  • Manning is 0-4 in sub-40 degree playoff games, throwing just four touchdowns versus nine interceptions for a 57.3 quarterback rating; this is 39.3 points lower than Manning’s overall post-season rating (96.6).
  • Manning is 1-4 in his career against New England in sub-40 games, losing most recently in Week 12 this season at New England (22 degrees).

Peyton is at home this week, which should work to his advantage, but if his past history is any indication, a February night at MetLife will not come easy for him.

Now for the surprising fact:

  • Colin Kaepernick is 3-0 in sub-40 degree games (all of which he played on the road) versus New England (41-34 win, Week 15 of 2012), Washington (27-6 win, Week 12 this season), and Green Bay (23-20 win, Wild Card round this season).

Who knew the young man who plays for San Francisco is so good in the cold?  Interesting…..Moving on, let’s take a look at how some of the kickers have performed:

  • Stephen Gostkowski is 16 of his last 16 FG attempts in sub-40 degree games, going back to December 2011. All 16 FG attempts came at home.
  • Matt Prater is 17 of his last 18 FG attempts in sub-40 degree games.
  • Prater’s one career game-winning FG in a sub-40 degree game came in a 2009 overtime win versus New England.

Finaly, a quick fact regarding Steven Hauschka:

  • Hauschka has never attempted a playoff field goal in temperatures below 40 degrees and has attempted just six FGs (made five) overall in temperatures below 40 degrees.

To put it simply, these kickers have all performed well in the cold weather.  Finally, here are a couple of general facts regarding quarterbacks and kickers in the cold weather.  Since 1991, the average passer rating is 76.5 in sub-40 degree weather.  In higher than 70 degree weather, the average rating is 81.6.

Since 1991, kickers have made two-thirds of their kicks, on average, when the game time temperature has above 70 degrees.    In sub-40 degree weather, the success rate drops to 58.1 percent.

Thanks again to the “Road to MetLife Stadium” campaign, and Stats, Inc. for the information.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Playoffs Matt Prater New York Jets Peyton Manning Tom Brady

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