By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — BREAKING NEWS: The Patriots are good when it’s cold outside.
OK, that may not qualify as an earth-shattering development. But with temperatures expected to be in the mid-teens for the Patriots’ New Year’s Eve meeting with the Jets this coming Sunday, the team shared some data that displayed just how dominant the Patriots have been in cold weather.
Identifying cold games as ones where the temperature at kickoff is 34 degrees or below, over the last 23 years the Patriots are 42-10 overall in cold games. Include in that figure is the team’s 12-2 record in cold postseason games.
The coldest game in Patriots history was a memorable one — the divisional round playoff meeting with the Tennessee Titans in the 2004 postseason. With a temperature of 4 degrees and a wind chill at minus-10, the Patriots escaped with a 17-14 victory.
The second-coldest game in franchise history was AFC Championship Game the following year in Pittsburgh. With a temperature of 11 degrees and a minus-1 wind chill, that game ended in a 41-27 Patriots blowout.
Though no snow is in the forecast for Sunday, there’s always the potential for the white stuff to fall when the Patriots host at least one — but likely two — playoff games in January. And when it comes to snow games in Foxboro, the Patriots are untouchable.
In their franchise history, the Patriots are 11-0 when playing at home in the snow. They’ve outscored opponents 257-77 in those games, or an average score of 23-7 per game.
That list includes the famed 59-0 win over the Titans in 2009, Matt Cassel’s 47-7 win over the Cardinals in 2008, the 2004 divisional playoff win over Peyton Manning’s Colts, the Tedy Bruschi touchdown/snow celebration game against the Dolphins in 2003, and of course the Snow Bowl/Tuck Rule Game against the Raiders in the 2001 postseason.
Interestingly enough, the Patriots went almost 20 years — from December 1983 until January 2002 — between home snow games.
The data may not determine future outcomes, but it’s all nevertheless interesting. Yes, the team is based in one of the coldest NFL cities, but the players who comprise the roster come from all over the country. The players’ ability to adapt to the conditions and the team’s ability to form an identity that works in the adverse conditions have been consistent staples of the Patriots franchise.