NFL Home Field Advantage: Toughest Stadiums To Visit
Worst NFL Franchises To Play On The Road
Seattle Seahawks – CenturyLink Field
Home field advantage: 5.1 points
Even casual football fans have an inkling that Seattle is a special place to play football.
This franchise draws rabid fans from as far north as Vancouver. There’s a good chance that Seattle’s football team is more popular in southwest Canada than the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League. There isn’t another crowd which generates enough ruckus to trigger seismic measurements from earthquake experts - especially during the playoffs.
The Seahawks have been a superb franchise over the past decade, maintaining a big home field advantage during this time. According to the numbers, no team show a bigger home boost, giving a 5.1 point advantage to Seattle each game. Coach Pete Carroll agrees with the numbers, stating that “the 12s have an unparalleled impact on game days.”
In honor of Seattle fans, the number 12 was retired all the way back in 1984.
Green Bay Packers – Lambeau Field
Home field advantage: 4.7 points
The church of Lambeau Field serves as the epicenter of the religion of football in the state of Wisconsin. Adherents of the Packers have turned the Green Bay franchise into one of the most storied sports teams in North America, as historic as the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers and Montreal Canadians. Season tickets tend to become family heirlooms, passed along multiple generations of cheeseheads. The waiting list for season ducats is about the same as the population of Green Bay, precipitating a 30-year lineup for the honor.
Each Super Bowl win is celebrated like a family holiday.
In addition to an absolutely ravenous fanbase, Green Bay’s subject to the cold winds whipping along Lake Michigan, making it extremely unpleasant for opposing teams to visit – especially from southern U.S. climates. When the region experiences a foot of snow, fans show up early to dig Lambeau field out, forcing the other team to play in unfavorable weather. Even when the team struggles, Green Bay enjoys a healthy advantage of 4.7 points at home over the past ten years.
Baltimore Ravens – M&T Bank Stadium
Home field advantage: 4.6 points
Baltimore football fans definitely felt the pain when the Colts fled to Indianapolis. When the NFL returned to the city, fans chose the menacing Raven as the name, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s time in Baltimore. The message seemed clear: nevermore would the fanbase take their beloved football franchise for granted. Over the past decade, they’ve carved the third best home advantage at 4.6 points per game, just behind the legendary Packers.
Part of Baltimore’s success revolves around a franchise which has traditionally focused on defense first, including six of the best defenses of the past thirty years. The blistering cold is the other reason why it sucks to play in Baltimore. In winter, brutally cold ocean air blasts through Chesapeake Bay, dropping the mercury to frigid levels. The Ravens have collected the second most playoff wins since 1997 partly because of their home dominance, rewarding Ravens faithful.
San Francisco 49ers – Candlestick Park & Levi’s Stadium
Home field advantage: 3.8 points
True – the San Francisco 49ers have self-destructed as a franchise over the past few years, and moved into a brand new mega-facility at Levi Stadium. These facts haven’t affected the team’s ranking as one of the most difficult places to play on the road. Despite a slew of horrible seasons, and the demise of the popular Candlestick Park, the 49ers maintain one of the best home advantages in the NFL. This makes against-the-spread wagers tricky around the North Bay region.
Usually, when a team moves into expensive new digs away from metropolitan areas, rambunctious and loyal fans who fill the cheap seats no longer have access to the game. Despite moving all the way out to Santa Clara, the 49ers still maintain a top-five home advantage over the past few seasons, which have been painful to devout San Franciscan football fans.
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