The idea of looking at Tom Brady's performance in cold weather made a lot more sense when , but Mother Nature has a funny way of being unpredictable. As a result, we can no longer just simply look at the Patriots quarterback, with his long history of playoff experience, and focus in on his performance in absolutely frigid games.
But there should still be plenty of questions about the statistical prowess of Brady in cold games and in certain very specific circumstances, since he's headed to a dangerous place (Arrowhead Stadium) with some cold weather (sub 30 degrees) and in an unfamiliar position (on the road for a conference championship).
Utilizing the perpetually indispensable Pro-Football-Reference database, we can hone in on Brady's performance in certain situations and try to figure out how he might respond to the challenge against the Chiefs on Sunday evening. We'll do the same for Patrick Mahomes, of course, but it's a much simpler prospect -- Brady will be starting his eighth road playoff game on Sunday, Mahomes has started eight road games in his career.
Tom Brady in the Cold
Oddly enough, the Patriots have "only" started 36 games, including the playoffs, in weather that was 30 degrees or lower since 2001: 22 of those are regular season games, 14 of them are playoff matchups. Given the stereotype of Patriots football and Boston weather, that feels low. It's a reminder just how cold it will be in Arrowhead on Sunday, regardless of whether it snows. The lovably underdog Patriots are 28-6 in those games. Roll your eyes.
Here's how Brady has played:
Well then. The overall performance is pretty easy to unpack: Tom Brady is #good. Dig a little bit deeper and the picture is of quintessential Brady: very good stats, but not mind-blowing numbers, with immaculate efficiency when it comes to scoring and limiting turnovers. Eighteen interceptions in 33 games where the temperature is less than 30 degrees? That's incredible.
Tom Brady on the Road in the Cold
If you're hoping he's worse on the road, well, you're in luck. He's worse! But Tom Brady isn't bad at much of anything.
Obviously the win-loss record is a lot closer to .500, so that's something exciting for Chiefs fans. Interesting note here as well for the fans of the under: only once in those 11 road games under 30 degrees has the total for the Patriots game exceeded 50 points, and that was the 41-27 win over the Steelers during the 2005 AFC Championship Game. Brady's stats weren't even crazy -- Rodney Harrison had an 87-yard INT return for a score and Deion Branch actually rushed for a touchdown in that game.
If you still haven't marked your calendar for the Super Bowl, the game will be kicking off from Atlanta on Feb. 3 and will be televised by CBS and you can stream it right here. If you're thinking about buying a new TV for the big game, CNET has you covered. They shared their best picks for every budget.
Generally speaking, though, Brady is worse on the road in cold weather. He completes fewer passes, throws for less yards on average (in a small sample size), has a worse TD:INT ratio and loses more games.
It's interesting to note that only three of these games have occurred since the 2010 season and only one of them is a playoff game.
Also of note is Brady's record in Arrowhead Stadium. He hasn't been good, going 1-2, with three touchdowns and six interceptions. Only one of those games was during the Andy Reid era, and it was the infamous 41-14 loss by the Patriots back in 2014 that caused everyone to bury the Pats dynasty in September (an annual ritual 10 years running now) and created the "On to Cincinnati" meme from Bill Belichick.
Listen to Pete Prisco, R.J. White and Will Brinson break down their Championship Sunday picks on the Pick Six Podcast: