Peyton Manning and Cold Weather
November 24, 2013 1 Comment
A lot has been made of Peyton Manning’s record in cold weather games. ESPN Stats & Information has said his record is 3-7 when the temperature is 32 degrees or less at the beginning of the game. I don’t believe quarterbacks should be credited to wins and losses (it’s a poor carryover from baseball where wins and losses are unfairly attributed to pitchers also), but the point that Manning may be a worse quarterback in cold weather needs to be tested.
ESPN’s splits page for Peyton Manning don’t designate games where the temperature is below 32 degrees, but it does show games where the temperatures are below forty degrees. According to that data, Manning’s passing stats in cold games from 1998-2012 are in the table below.
Manning’s completion percentage drops off a bit in cold games. That difference is statistically significant, meaning Manning’s completion rate is lower than his career averages in cold games. The same can be said for his touchdowns thrown per pass attempt rate. His interception rate is also significantly higher in cold weather than his career averages.
Basically, Manning is worse than his normal self in cold weather, but his performance overall in those games hasn’t been terrible (better than Buffalo quarterbacks in recent memory). It also doesn’t necessarily mean his team will lose in cold games.
Because his home stadium was a dome until 2012, all of his cold weather games (with the exception of two last season, one regular season game and one playoff game) have been away games. Since 1998, visiting teams have won 42.5% of the time. Manning hasn’t played as well in cold games as he normally does, but there’s more to why his teams win or lose those cold games.
The game tonight should be a fun one. Manning probably won’t be as amazing as he was in warmer games. The Broncos are also the away team. Despite those potential issues, Denver has the better overall team, and those teams usually win.