NFL: 5 Most Overrated Home-Field Advantages
The goal of every football team is to first make the postseason and then, if good enough, to gain home-field advantage in at least one playoff game.
All teams want to play at their home park for a sense of comfort – knowing that the crowd is on your side and that the surrounding environment will be of a disadvantage to the opposition.
For a handful stadiums in the NFL, this is certainly the case. But there are also places in which the fear factor is overblown.
Here are five current home fields that are not as advantageous as most feel.
5. Sun Life Stadium
First of all, Miami's multi-purpose facility–which has changed names seven times in 24 years–isn't much of a home-field advantage to start.
Still, to some, there is some benefit for the home team due to the heat. A hot and humid afternoon in southern Florida may affect their opponents while being a natural climate to the Dolphins.
But heat is relative when you're playing an exhausting, sweat-inducing sport such as football. And wouldn't a player rather travel to a game at a sunny locale – versus an ice box up north – when the calendar hits November and December?
Add in the fact that Miami has some of the most uninterested fans in sports, and you pretty much have Sun Life Stadium acting as neutral site.
4. The Metrodome
The climate-controlled Metrodome simply doesn't have the personality–or the freezing temperatures–that the Vikings' old stadium featured regularly late in the season. It's safe to say Minnesota had a full touchdown edge versus opponents in December and January simply by the brutal winter weather in the region.
Up until 1981, Metropolitan Stadium was the site of four NFC championships and a handful of divisional titles for Minnesota.
Since then, the Metrodome has hosted Vikings games. The result: zero trips to the Super Bowl
Whether it's a coincidence or not is up for debate, but the fact of the matter is that when compared to Metropolitan Stadium, the Metrodome is much less of a benefit towards the Vikings.
3. Lincoln Financial Field
As is the case with the Vikings, the old is better than the new.
Yes, I'm giving praise to "The Vet." Rickety and raunchy Veterans Stadium was most definitely a better home-field advantage for the Eagles than their current home park.
Having been inside Lincoln Financial Field, it is a pristine facility. That comfy nature, though, doesn't do much to intimidate opponents.
The fans haven't changed – for better or worse. They are still as boisterous as ever and spew venom just like they did at the old venue. But the sound just isn't the same as it was in "The Vet." Plus, players don't have to worry about the concrete-like turf tearing up their knees or giving them concussions.
"The Linc" is clean and well kept, but lacks intimidation.
2. "The Black Hole"
Since the start of the 2003 season, the Raiders have the worst home winning percentage in the NFL (34 percent).
Of course, some of this has to do with the fact that the Raiders have been pathetic — regardless of playing site–since they made Super Bowl XXXVII
Still, even for a bad team, you'd think that a solid home-field advantage would give you a few more wins here and there.
Overstock.com Coliseum's section near one end zone is referred to as "The Black Hole," which is a section of fans dressed in elaborate costumes befitting their team's image. It would be silly for a big and burly NFL player to be even the slightest bit intimidated by a person in goth garb. Amusing? Certainly.
This is simply a stadium that becomes a home-field advantage when the team plays really well — whenever that happens again.
1. Arrowhead Stadium
Notably known as the loudest stadium in the NFL, Arrowhead Stadium is also the most overrated home-field advantage in the game today.
Arrowhead has been the home of the Chiefs since 1972 and underwent a $375 million renovation that was completed in mid-2010. It's too bad that some of that money couldn't go into buying a important victory.
Kansas City is just 2-4 in home playoff games at Arrowhead. Two of those losses occurred in the divisional round, when the Chiefs were the No. 1 seed in the AFC. In 1995, they finished 13-3 only to fall to the 9-7 Indianapolis Colts. Two years later, it was division rival Denver that thwarted K.C.'s chances to reach the Super Bowl.
Despite having a vocal home crowd and — at one point — 155 consecutive sellouts, Arrowhead Stadium doesn't pose as much of a threat to opponents as one might think.