There's cold, and then there's Buffalo-in-January cold.
The current forecast for Orchard Park, N.Y. on Saturday night calls for a temperature of zero (!) degrees around kickoff for the New England Patriots' AFC Wild Card Round matchup with the Bills at Highmark Stadium.
While the region should avoid the gale-force winds that essentially negated the Patriots' passing game when these teams met in Week 13, it's looking like the coldest game by far that both teams will play this season
So, is that forecast good news for the Patriots, whose biggest strengths are their running game and defense? One way to answer that question is to look at how Bills quarterback Josh Allen has fared in cold-weather contests.
Buffalo relies heavily on its passing attack (fifth in the NFL with 655 pass attempts this season), so if the cold weather is an issue for Allen, then it could level the playing field a bit. And that very well could be the case.
Allen has played in five career games with a game-time temperature of 32 degrees or below, per NBC Sports Edge. See below for how he's fared in those contests. (For the record, that Week 13 game in Buffalo barely missed the cut at 36 degrees for kickoff.)
The talented QB boasted a 63.3% completion rate this season while averaging 259.2 passing yards per game. But in cold-weather games, those numbers drop to a 50.3% completion rate and just 166.6 yards per game with six touchdown passes to seven interceptions in five games.
The caveat, of course, is that Allen can beat you with his legs too. He rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns in Buffalo's snowy Week 17 win over the Atlanta Falcons, and the Bills went 3-2 in the five games above thanks in part to Allen's running ability.
But Allen is most dangerous when he's dialed in as a passer as well: The Bills were 5-1 this season when Allen threw at least three touchdown passes. Allen has yet to deliver a monster game in cold weather, and if that's the case again Saturday night, perhaps the Patriots can focus a little more on containing him as a rusher to give themselves a fighting chance.
Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday in Buffalo -- and keep an eye on that thermometer.