Cold, and some warm, numbers about the NFL

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PatriotsCold01Once again, the New England Patriots are in the news – sort of – for an air-related topic.

No, Tom Brady and the Patriots have not been deflating footballs, not that I’m generally aware of anyway. This time, the air we’re reference involves wind, specifically at Pats’ football games. has released its study of NFL weather since 1960 and through the 2013 season. The study finds the average wind speed for NFL games in that time period to be 10.27 mph. For the Patriots, wind has soared to an average of 13.05 for games, says.

Other teams blowing past the league average are the Giants (12.93), Jets (12.9), Cowboys (11.79), Lions (11.58), Bills (11.57), Chiefs (11.48), Vikings (11.18), Browns (11.08) and Bears (11.06).

You may have noticed two of those teams – the Lions and Vikings – have played many of their home games in domes over the past several years. Interesting.

The study also ranks the top 10 windiest NFL stadiums since 1960. Shea Stadium, the former home of the New York Jets, took the top spot with an average in-game wind speed at 13.9 mph. The Jets moved out of Shea after the 1983 season.

Guess which stadium comes in at No. 2. Yankee Stadium, of course. It’s been a long time since the Giants played there –1973, to be exact – but that doesn’t stop the House that Ruth Built from ranking high on this list.

The windiest active stadiums according to the study’s findings are… well, there are only two: Soldier Field (No. 6) with 11.98 and Arrowhead Stadium (No. 10) with 11.54 mph.

The others include Giants Stadium – that makes sense – Milwaukee County Stadium – Hmmm – Texas Stadium, the Cotton Bowl and Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

Also worthy of note from the study, I guess, is a ranking of teams’ winning percentages when temperatures dip below freezing. The Packers ranked the highest with 20.29 percent, the Broncos came in a distant second with 15.8 percent and the Steelers rounded out the top three at 14.54. The Browns were ninth with 10.91 and the Patriots came in 10th with 10.56 percent, the study claims. Remember, the study goes back 55 years. The Browns, before my time and maybe yours, were once a pretty good football team.

An interesting number to come out of the study is the average temperature of NFL games since 1960: 56.8 degrees. says the average game day temperature has increased by 6.99 degrees since 1960.

The Packers, the study says, have the second lowest home game average temperature since ’60. The Vikings rank first at 42.14 degrees despite playing home games indoors from 1982 to 2013. I’m guessing the study did not factor into its averages those indoor home games for the Vikes in which the thermostat was set at a comfy 70 degrees.

Oh, by the way, the Detroit Lions ranked third.

The study also gives rankings to those teams with the highest average temperatures per game. It’s no surprise to find Miami, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Jacksonville and San Diego making up the top five.

Going back out into the cold, the study also ranks the top 10 coldest games since 1960. The NFC title game between the Cowboys and Packers at Lambeau Field – the legendary Ice Bowl game of 1967 – tops the list at -13 degree Fahrenheit. The Packers have five games in the top 10. collected its data, it says, from numerous sources, including It’s fun to scroll through even though there are a few cringe-worthy references, such as the listing of the “San Francisco Raiders” in one category and mentions of the St. Louis Cardinals – no reference to the move to Arizona – and the “Green Bar Packers” in the Most Turnovers Below Freezing category. Some of the venues included in the windiest stadium rankings seem a little awkward, too.


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