NEWS

If history is an indicator, the Pats won’t let weather get in their way

Mark Torpey

The cold, hard fact is that a bitter chill will grip Gillette Stadium on Sunday when the Patriots face the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship game.

The National Weather Service says the Foxboro Faithful can expect that the temperature will be below 20 degrees at the game’s 3 p.m. start and fall into the single digits in the evening.

The wind chill factor will be around 0, and there’s a 30 percent chance of snow.

The really cool news? The Patriots have enjoyed huge success in cold weather. In the past 15 years, when the temperature has dipped to 34 degrees or lower, the Pats have won 22 of 25 games and 17 of the past 19.

When the temperature dips a little lower, to 30 or below, their record heats up to 15-1.

Quarterback Tom Brady, though born and raised in California, thrives in the cold. He’s gone 25-2 as a starter when it’s colder than 40 degrees.

‘‘I’m sure it’s going to be a factor throughout,’’ Brady said about the New England weather. ‘‘I’ve been in these wintertime conditions, practiced in the snow and the rain and the sleet, and it’s nice (that) the field we have (has) great footing.

‘‘I always like it a little snowy out there so everyone doesn’t have great footing. It makes it kind of easier to throw the ball. I like when everyone is on skates out there.’’

The Pats’ success in the cold doesn’t necessarily spell certain doom for the Chargers, who rarely have to play in frigid temperatures. The three losses the Pats have had in the past 15 years in temperatures below 34 were to teams that, like San Diego, do not have to contend with Jack Frost at their home fields. Twice the Pats lost to the Miami Dolphins and once to the Indianapolis Colts, who play in a domed stadium.

So even in the cold, there’s no guarantee that the Pats will put the Chargers on ice.

Mark Torpey may be reached at mtorpey@ledger.com .