Dec 30, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; The MetLife blimps flies over Qualcomm Stadium during a game between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

What Effect Does Cold Weather Really Have?

MetLife today released cold weather insights suggesting that sub-40 degree temperatures hardly affect overall team scoring, turnover rate and passer rating in professional football games since 1991. The data, provided by STATS LLC, does however show that kickers definitely have had more trouble in cold weather conditions.

Feel free to tweet using #Road2MetLifeStadium and also post the graphic to your social networks. Complete league level data is included below:

Overall Team Scoring
An analysis of regular and post-season data from the last 22 pro football seasons reveals that overall team scoring (both teams combined) in sub-40 degree weather is only 1.5 points fewer (41), than overall team scoring in 70-plus degree weather (42.5).

Turnovers Committed & Individual Performance
Beyond scoring, fans are sometimes concerned cold weather environments produce sloppy games resulting in many more turnovers and decreased passer rating. The stats however, tell a different story.

Teams tend to protect the ball fairly equally across all temperature conditions. In fact, the turnover rate in sub-40 degree conditions is only five percent higher per game (1.90) than in 70-plus degree weather (1.81). Similarly, average passer rating is only slightly lower in colder weather than in higher temperatures. In sub-40 degree weather the average passer rating is 76.5, opposed to an average of 81.6 in 70-plus degree weather.

But…Kicking Performance is an Issue
Although there isn’t much disparity in overall cold versus warm weather performance, the data found that kickers are definitely affected when operating in cold weather. In temperatures above 70 degrees, kickers are successful on two thirds of their attempts (66.8 percent), as opposed to just a 58.1 percent success rate in sub-40 degree conditions.

The enclosed analysis completed by STATS LLC examined league-level regular and post-season professional football data dating back to 1991, the first year this specific cold weather data was collected, through 2012-13 post-season football play. Beyond league-level data, team-specific statistics were also compiled and ranked in the following categories and compared stats in cold weather vs. warm weather:
•           Team turnovers per game
•           Team record
•           Team scoring
•           Team rushing yards per game


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