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The Best Home-Field Advantages in the NFL

SEATTLE - AUGUST 22:  A fan of the Seattle Seahawks holds up a sign during the game against the Denver Broncos on August 22, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Thomas ConroyCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2009

NFL players have often described playing on the road as being thrown inside a garbage can and having someone repeatedly hammer the outside.

The acoustics of an enclosed stadium can disrupt an opposing team’s play-calling from the line of scrimmage. Conversely, when the home team’s offense takes the field, you get the silent treatment from the frenzy of 60,000-plus loyal fans.

Head coaches measure home-field advantage in wins and losses, and how loud an environment they can create. The Oakland Raiders are a perfect example, as opponents still fret over warming-up near Section 104-107 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Veterans remind rookies to keep their helmets on whether they’re on the field or not.

Let’s take a look at the toughest stadiums to play on the road in the NFL.

 

1. Qwest Field (Seattle Seahawks)

The Seahawks wanted the architects to design a stadium that would place the crowd noise right on top of the field. Their infamous “12th Man” has become a difference maker in home victories, as opposing offensives have difficulty hearing the snap count, leading to false start penalties.

Add an aching eardrum to constant precipitation in Seattle’s weekend forecast for the football season.

 

2. Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs)

The Chiefs are in a rebuilding mode, but winning a game at Arrowhead will still be a daunting task this season.

Renowned as the league’s loudest outdoor stadium, Arrowhead offers various climate changes over the course of a long season. The lingering summer heat will zap the energy out of opposing teams in the first half of the season and the sudden drop in temperature will freeze them out in the second half.

 

3. Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers)

Lambeau isn’t just a stadium, it is an NFL landmark. And if you listen really well you can hear the echoes of Vince Lombardi screaming or see a vision of a Bart Starr TD pass.

The Packers' rich history of winning games in sub-zero temperatures has added to the mystique of Lambeau Field. Just think of Green Bay fans as a group that drinks large quantities of beer and screams until their voices are gone.

 

4. Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Don’t let the picturesque scenery fool you; Heinz Field is a tough place for visiting teams to win a game. Come November, the playing surface is a mixture of synthetic and natural turf that has the same traction as a slip-n-slide. To be successful, your running game will have to be as strong and rugged as the workers in the Steel City.

 

5. Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles)

Philly fans are famous for their hospitality, as they have booed Santa Claus and pelted opposing teams with snowballs or batteries for years. The residents of the City of Brotherly Love even boo their own players; just ask Mike Schmidt or Donovan McNabb.

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