When the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks host the AFC and NFC Championship Games this Sunday, each will look to continue on The Road To MetLife Stadium to play in Super Bowl XLVIII. When taking a quick look at the statistics, the numbers do favor the Broncos and Seahawks to defeat the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers on Conference Championship Sunday. Of course, like they always say, the games are not played on paper.
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If you are looking for which team may have a greater edge, make sure to check out Stats.com. If the temperatures dip below 40 degrees on Sunday, Stats.com will tell you why we may very well be watching the Patriots face the 49ers in MetLife Stadium in Super Bowl XLVIII. Of course, the Broncos and Seahawks may have something to say in that matter, regardless of how low the temperatures dip.
If you look at the individual stats from the Broncos and Patriots, Stats.com says that the Pats may have an edge, at least as it relates to Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning.
According to Stats.com, Brady has more starts (48), more wins (42), and a higher winning percentage (.875; minimum 10 starts) in sub-40 degree games – including postseason – than any other active NFL quarterback. Also, Brady is 11-1 in his career on the road in sub-40 degree games. His only such loss came in Week 5 of the 2009 season at Denver (20-17, OT; 30 degrees). That game was against the Broncos, but it is worth noting that Manning was still a member of the Indianapolis Colts at that point.
On the flip side, when you take a look at what Manning has done when the thermometer goes below 40 degrees, the news is not good for the Broncos.
Again, according to Stats.com, Manning is 0-4 in sub-40 degree playoff games, throwing just four touchdowns versus nine interceptions for a 57.3 quarterback rating; this is 39.3 points lower than Manning’s overall post-season rating (96.6). Manning is 1-4 in his career against New England in sub-40 games, losing most recently in Week 12 this season at New England (22 degrees). In that game, Denver had a 24-0 lead, only to watch it slip away with a late gaffe, giving Brady and New England yet another win in this intriguing rivalry.
But, if you look at the team stats from this past season, Denver appears to have a slight edge over New England. The Broncos averaged over 457 yards this season, compared to 384 from the Patriots, including a 340-255 advantage through the air. On the ground, New England out-rushed Denver by an average of 129-117, and the strength of the Patriots this season has been their ground game.
Defensively, the Broncos allowed roughly 17 fewer yards per game. It is also worth noting that Denver was better than New England against the run than the pass, while the Patriots allowed fewer yards through the air than the Broncos.
Overall, the numbers will matter little when these two teams face off on Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. It is worth taking a look at all of the stats to know what teams will be preparing for the most while they look to advance to MetLife Stadium and Super Bowl XLVIII, but both teams will make the proper adjustments necessary to give them a chance to come out of Mile High with a win on Sunday.
The same will be true of the Seahawks and 49ers later that same day. Individually, Stats.com says that the ‘Nners will have an edge with Colin Kaepernick if the temperatures drop below 40 degrees. According to Stats.com, Kaepernick is 3-0 in sub-40 degree games (all of which he played on the road) versus New England (41-34 win, Week 15 of 2012), Washington (27-6 win, Week 12 this season), and Green Bay (23-20 win, Wild Card round this season). We all remember just how cold it was during Wild Card weekend when the 49ers went into Lambeau Field and knocked off the Packers.
Of course, when you look at the past two meetings between these teams at Century Link Field, as well as the following team statistics, Seattle appears to have quite the advantage.
Offensively, the Seahawks averaged 16 yards more per game than the 49ers, with nearly all of that difference taking place in the passing game. On defense, Seattle allowed over 33 fewer yards per game overall than San Francisco, and were much better against the pass. That could spell trouble for Kaepernick and the 49ers. That is, unless it becomes quite chilly in Seattle as the games progresses.
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