NFL Playoffs Forecast: Chargers-Patriots snow now unlikely, but frigid temperatures at Gillette

UPDATE: The snow that was supposed to roll in and hit Foxborough and Gillette Stadium appears to be largely a pump fake, and it should just simply be freezing when the Pats and Chargers meet up, with a gametime temperature of about 29 degrees. 

That's actually going to be WARM relative to the rest of the morning. Prepare for a gratuitous amount of "Tom Brady screaming as his breath steams out while running onto the field" shots.

via Google

You're probably wondering how the Patriots perform when the weather is this chilly. We actually have a pretty good amount of data on it, as the Patriots have played in 12 home playoff games where the temperature is under 30 degrees since 2001. 

In those games, the Pats are a whopping 10-2, although such a record isn't necessarily against the norm for the Patriots at home, in the playoffs, under normal circumstances. Their only losses are to the Jets / Mark Sanchez / Rex Ryan in the 2011 playoffs and the year prior when Ray Rice ripped off an 83-yard run to get the party started early in a runaway Ravens victory. 

The Ravens loss was in the wild-card round, while the loss to the Jets was the Pats last home loss in the divisional round.  

Against the spread, they're not quite as dominant. New England's gone just 5-6-1 in home games where the temperature was less than 30 degrees. Obviously they didn't cover against the Jets or Ravens, but their other failed covers games are interesting as well. Two are against Baltimore, who just plays the Pats tough in these games. 

The other one? The 2008 playoffs, when the San Diego Chargers came to town and nearly upended the undefeated Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. And that was with Philip Rivers playing on a torn ACL and essentially without LaDainian Tomlinson. These teams are completely different, of course. But there's a history of Rivers playing in frozen temperatures in Gillette, which should make Chargers fans feel better about the upcoming game. 


Things are finally breaking right for the Chargers and just when that's happening, here comes the dagger of Los Angeles potentially having to play in a nightmare, east coast weather game against the Patriots on Sunday. 

The first playoff matchup between Philip Rivers and Tom Brady since the 2007 season -- which will be on CBS (and streaming on CBS All Access) at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, by the by -- will not only feature the oldest combined age of two quarterbacks in NFL playoff history (78 years between them!) but it also might feature some seriously funky weather. 

We are six plus days out right now, but it's worth noting that as of right now there's a decent chance we see some serious snow for the Rivers-Brady matchup.

via Google

That's a 50 percent chance of precipitation with a high below 32 degrees (a.k.a. freezing). For you non-meteorologists out there -- I took Weather and Climate twice in college so you didn't have to -- that means it would be snowing and potentially snowing like crazy. The timeframe of the current weather event lines up perfectly with the 1 p.m. ET kick too. 

The Weather Channel is also calling for 50 percent chance of precip as well as very cold temperatures, so snow is looking like a possibility.

Locally, WBZ's Jacob Wycoff says the forecast is a little more optimistic for the Chargers chances of getting some sunny California weather. Or at least sunny weather anyway.

It's not hard to imagine Gillette Stadium caked with snow in January. It's one of the sights you imagine when you think about the Patriots and the playoffs. 

The Chargers, with their California roots, probably prefer not to see it. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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