It’s going to be cold for the AFC Championship game. Really cold.
An arctic blast is projected to settle over Kansas City for the Chiefs-Patriots matchup Sunday night.
Temperatures at kickoff could range from 10 degrees to well below zero, potentially making it the coldest game in Arrowhead Stadium history. But you can ignore all references to the teams playing on “the frozen tundra.” The field at Arrowhead Stadium is actually heated to keep the grass above freezing.
While far from ideal, the conditions may actually favor the Patriots. With a career record of 24-4 when the game-time temperature is less than 30 degrees, Tom Brady has not seemed bothered by cold.
Brady has played in six games when the temperature was 20 degrees or less at kickoff, including four playoff games. He has gone 5-1 in those contests. Here’s a look at each one.
Jan. 10, 2004 (4 degrees)
Patriots 17, Titans 14
The Patriots defeated Tennessee in the divisional round of the playoffs on the way to winning their second championship in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Playing in frigid conditions (windchill of minus-10) on a Saturday night, the Patriots took a 14-7 halftime lead.
Brady completed 21 of 41 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown, good for a quarterback rating of 73.3.
Jan. 23, 2005 (11 degrees)
Patriots 41, Steelers 27
While New England was getting blasted with a blizzard, the Patriots were battling frigid temperatures in Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game.
A Brady-to-Deion Branch 60-yard touchdown pass gave the Patriots an early 10-0 lead. Brady found David Givens for another scoring pass in the second quarter, and when the Steelers looked to be getting back in the game late in the second quarter, Rodney Harrison’s 87-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the No. 2 seed in the conference a 24-3 halftime lead that would not be relinquished.
Brady completed 14 of 21 passes for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns, finishing with a 130.5 rating as the Patriots handed rookie Ben Roethlisberger the first loss of his career on the way to Super Bowl XXXIX.
Jan. 10, 2010 (20 degrees)
Ravens 33, Patriots 14
The one blemish on this part of Brady’s résumé came in the wild-card round at home against Baltimore.
Ray Rice broke an 83-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage, and the Ravens never looked back, handing the Patriots their first home playoff loss since 1978.
Baltimore capitalized on three turnovers by Brady, cashing in 17 of their 24 points in the first quarter. Brady finished the day with 154 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions for a rating of 49.1.
Jan. 10, 2015 (20 degrees)
Patriots 35, Ravens 31
The teams met in the postseason for the third time in four years, and the Patriots overcame two 14-point deficits, 14-0 and 28-14, to come away with a dramatic win in the divisional round on their way to winning Super Bowl XLIX.
They tied the game at 28 on a trick play when Julian Edelman connected with Danny Amendola for a 51-yard touchdown pass. The winning score came on Brady’s 23-yard touchdown toss to Brandon LaFell in the fourth quarter. Brady went 33 of 50 for 367 yards and three touchdowns to finish with a 99.3 rating.
Dec. 18, 2016 (18 degrees)
Patriots 16, Broncos 3
Playing in Denver for the first time since dropping the AFC Championship the previous year, the Patriots defense stepped up, forcing three Denver turnovers and holding the Broncos to just 3 points. Brady completed 16 of 32 passes for 188 yards, without an interception or a touchdown pass, to finish with a 68.2 rating.
Dec. 31, 2017 (13 degrees)
Patriots 26, Jets 6
The regular-season finale was the third-coldest Patriots game since 1993. Winds around 15 miles an hour. A windchill of minus-2. Brady completed 18 of 37 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Dion Lewis had 26 carries for 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Patriots finished the season 13-3.