What really causes home field advantage?

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Was in the Miami thread, and saw it mentioned that Miami probably doesnt care if they go to Buffallo or Pittsburgh because, without fans, theres no real home field advantage. Seems legit. Teams like Seattle (12th man), Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Baltimote...well known for home field advantage due to their crazy fans. Figured I'd look into it.

Seattle home: 7-1
Seattle away: 4-3

Pittsburgh home: 7-1
Pittsburgh away: 5-2

Green Bay home: 7-1
Green Bay away: 5-2

Buffalo home: 6-1
Buffalo away: 5-2

Indianapolis home: 6-2
Indianapolis away: 5-3

Anything to this? It's only a game or two here and there, but the Seattle thing is wonky. Is that more about the travel? Is this just a nothing burger?
 

Archer1979

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The fans are the number one factor of course, but I've got to think that the wear and tear of travel does have some impact. Also, athletes are extraordinary creatures of habit. They have a normal routine at home. On the road, its basically trying to get some level of normalcy while dealing with the variables of a different venue.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Most studies and analyses have shown that crowd noise isn't really much of a factor in home field advantage.

The home advantage is the phenomenon in sports whereby the home team wins more often than the visiting team. The current data show that home crowd support is not a necessary precondition for the home advantage. In soccer games where no audience was present, the home team still had a home advantage. Furthermore, in some same‐stadium derbies (games played between 2 teams that share a stadium; e.g., AC Milan vs. Internazionale in soccer), the home team always has more crowd support, but in these games no home advantage existed. Together, these findings suggest that crowd support is not a necessary condition for a home advantage to occur. The phenomenon might thus be much broader than assumed so far.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00865.x

So the first part of the Lombardi hypothesis appears to be correct: It is slightly harder to run on the road than at home. But is crowd noise the most likely cause? As a first approximation for a loud crowd, I broke out the rate at which both home and road teams were penalized for false starts1. We might expect more false start penalties to be called on the away team in a hostile, loud environment than the home team. Yet this not what we find. From 2009 through Week 15 of 2018, false start penalties were called on 1.4 percent of all home team plays and 1.34 percent of road team plays.

This is a strange result if crowd noise is the driver of road teams’ lower rushing efficiency. To validate the finding, I drilled down into situations where teams were either backed up inside their own 10 yard line or in their opponent’s red zone. We’d expect the home crowd to be especially boisterous in those high-leverage situations, leading to more false starts for the road teams. But again that isn’t the case. Road teams were penalized for a false start on 1.44 percent of such plays, while home teams were penalized at a nearly identical — but still higher — rate of 1.47 percent. There’s other research that suggests crowd noise is not a factor in NFL team performance as well. Economist Tobias Moskowitz and Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim were also unable to find evidence that crowd noise affects player performance. In the NFL specifically, they found that kickers and punters appear to be unaffected by crowd noise — undermining another common perception.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-nfls-home-field-advantage-is-real-but-why/
 

Harry Hooper

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Crowd noise would seem to make it more difficult for the visiting team's QB to do a pre-snap read of the defense and then call out pass protection adjustments or change the play to an audible. Unlike the false start penaties, however, going through with running a play that is a poor counter to the defensive configuration is not something that is going to be tracked by stats.
 
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riboflav

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What is it's not so much that a road team plays worse but that the home team plays better because of the crowd, at least in the NFL?
 

BaseballJones

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This data is a little old, but I bet it's stayed pretty much the same (2020 excepted):

37464

Why would the HFA be bigger in the playoffs? Because as a rule of thumb, the home team is the better team (which is why they get HFA). So in 2020 I'd expect marginal HFA for reasons that others have given (travel, habits, routine, familiarity with the wind in certain stadiums, weather, etc.), but more so because the home team tends to be the better team.
 

lexrageorge

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One factor in Seattle's home/road split is the schedule. The Seahawks road losses were to the Rams, Bills, and Cardinals (OT), all of whom have winning records. The Cards and Rams were the only two winning teams the 'Hawks had to face at home (both W's).

The combined record of Seattle's road teams (Falcons, Dolphins, Bills, Washington, Eagles, Rams, Cards) is 53-51-6, while the home teams record (Pats, Cowboys, Vikings, Giants, Jets, Cards, Rams, and 49'ers) is 48-72. The road team's combined record will go down, as Seattle will travel to play the 49'ers this weekend, but there's still a substantial difference between the two.
 

mauf

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Most studies and analyses have shown that crowd noise isn't really much of a factor in home field advantage.
I certainly would have believed this a few months ago, but with home teams going a combined 120-114* this year (.513 win pct), I have to believe crowd noise is a bigger part of HFA at the professional level than I previously thought.

*- I did the math in my head using the current standings from ESPN, so I will certainly accept correction if I’m wrong.
 

pdaj

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Crowd noise would seem to make it more difficult for the visiting team's QB to do a pre-snap read of the defense and then call out pass protection adjustments or change the play to an audible. Unlike the false start penaties, however, going through with running a play that is a poor counter to the defensive configuration is not something that is going to be tracked by stats.
This advantage was, perhaps, never better demonstrated than with the Brady-lead Patriots. TB, by about 2007 and forward, seemed to have such mastery of the team’s offense, that a key 3rd down conversion was just about automatic when he played in Foxborough. He’d sometimes make adjustments to protection down to the last couple of seconds. You could hear a pin drop. As a fan of an opposing team, it was maddening to watch. And this continued into the playoffs. Aside from the game in Pittsburgh in ‘01, how many road games did Brady have to win on route to any of his Super Bowl appearances?

To my larger point, however; the better your QB/OC duo, the more a team is likely going to dominate at home. Also, the more deceptive/multiple/talented a team’s defense is, the harder it will be for visiting teams’ offenses to run optimally, due to reduced opportunities for communication/adjustments. That, of course, is also assuming a raucous fan base.
 

SoxJox

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Not really related to the intent of the thread, but by happenstance I was surfing through YouTube the other day and came across a video of NFL referee's funniest moments.

Starting @ ~6:38 there is a clip of a game between the Jets and Lions at Ford Field. Head Referee announces the crowd is too loud and if the noise is not reduced they will charge the lions with a timeout.

View: https://youtu.be/r_JgsmzC2IM
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Leaving in a bit to the studio :)
Wrong sport, but for perspective: was it Varitek who said that he enjoyed road trips when he had a newborn, because he was away from the crying and the multiple feedings during the night? IOW, he was actually getting a good night's sleep most nights.
 

BaseballJones

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This advantage was, perhaps, never better demonstrated than with the Brady-lead Patriots. TB, by about 2007 and forward, seemed to have such mastery of the team’s offense, that a key 3rd down conversion was just about automatic when he played in Foxborough. He’d sometimes make adjustments to protection down to the last couple of seconds. You could hear a pin drop. As a fan of an opposing team, it was maddening to watch. And this continued into the playoffs. Aside from the game in Pittsburgh in ‘01, how many road games did Brady have to win on route to any of his Super Bowl appearances?

To my larger point, however; the better your QB/OC duo, the more a team is likely going to dominate at home. Also, the more deceptive/multiple/talented a team’s defense is, the harder it will be for visiting teams’ offenses to run optimally, due to reduced opportunities for communication/adjustments. That, of course, is also assuming a raucous fan base.
Brady's postseason record:

Home: 20-4 (.833)
Road: 4-4 (.500)
Neutral: 6-3 (.667)
Overall: 30-11 (.732)

Of Brady's 8 road playoff games:
- 2-0 in Pittsburgh
- 1-0 in San Diego
- 1-0 in Kansas City
- 0-3 in Denver
- 0-1 in Indianapolis
- 3-3 in AFCCG
- 1-1 in divisional round

Given that road teams win just 38% of their playoff games, for Brady to win 50% of his is, as always, pretty remarkable.
 

djbayko

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I’ve always believed home field advantage is a confluence of many factors, and it’s not easy to tease out the relative importance of each in studies because it’s difficult to isolate those factors.

Off the top of my head and missing a bunch, I’m sure:
* Crowd - noise limiting opponent communication, subconsciously affecting referee calls, positive psychological impact on home team, etc.
* No travel (probably not as significant these days given all of the comforts these millionaires are provided with) - comfort of home / with family and friends, comfort of home clubhouse and routine, familiarity of home field, no travel time or jet lag / better rest, etc.

COVID-19 does present an interesting opportunity. I’m not sure if people will be able to determine much this year in the NFL due to relatively small sample size but maybe. There might be greater success analyzing the impact in other sports, such as basketball and baseball.
 

Preacher

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If you look strictly at the record of the home team, wouldn’t Gillette Stadium have the greatest home field advantage? The Patriots are 102-20 at Gillette and 118-23, including playoffs. I can’t find any team performing better at any currently operating stadium than that. It’s been the toughest place for a road team to win since it opened in 2002.
 

Mystic Merlin

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If you look strictly at the record of the home team, wouldn’t Gillette Stadium have the greatest home field advantage? The Patriots are 102-20 at Gillette and 118-23, including playoffs. I can’t find any team performing better at any currently operating stadium than that. It’s been the toughest place for a road team to win since it opened in 2002.
They have had the biggest home field advantage largely because they have been the best team. For instance, I don’t think traveling to Arrowhead or Lambeau is any easier than Gillette, putting team quality aside for a moment.
 

mauf

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If you look strictly at the record of the home team, wouldn’t Gillette Stadium have the greatest home field advantage? The Patriots are 102-20 at Gillette and 118-23, including playoffs. I can’t find any team performing better at any currently operating stadium than that. It’s been the toughest place for a road team to win since it opened in 2002.
I suspect the Pats were also the best road team in the NFL during that span.
 

Preacher

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They have had the biggest home field advantage largely because they have been the best team. For instance, I don’t think traveling to Arrowhead or Lambeau is any easier than Gillette, putting team quality aside for a moment.
So I guess the question would be, how much better would their home record be if they played home games at Arrowhead or Seattle during that stretch?
 

tims4wins

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Wasn’t there a study that showed the biggest impact of HFA was on officials, as a result of the home crowd? If that is true - big if, obviously - then lack of crowd this year could explain some drop in home team win %.

Also, historically in the playoffs there are 11 total games. Of those 11 games, 4 each year feature teams playing with a bye. That factor may also explain the higher home winning % in the playoffs vs the regular season (along with home teams just generally being the better team). With only one bye per conference now, I could see that dropping going forward.

I certainly would have believed this a few months ago, but with home teams going a combined 120-114* this year (.513 win pct), I have to believe crowd noise is a bigger part of HFA at the professional level than I previously thought.

*- I did the math in my head using the current standings from ESPN, so I will certainly accept correction if I’m wrong.
 
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Jinhocho

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I think it is the whole vibe at home field. For home team players, its their home and where they go to work. No travel, sleep in their own bed, come onto a familiar field and know the crowd has their backs. I think that is huge in itself. I would also imagine this means far less distractions for everyone in a week of a home game (coaching especially) versus having to pack shit up and hit the road.

I have been to over 200 Pats games in my life, as I had season tickets for many years. I still remember playoff game seeing Kordell Stewart come out onto the field and the place was just bananas. Freezing cold and lots of people in the crowd w no shirts, the Pats players all acting like it was an early fall game with many not dressed for winter, and it being so loud. I remember catching his look on the big screen when he came onto the field and it was like WTH. A second similar moment was in 2003 maybe when Peyton Manning came out to a similar environment with the crowd plus light snow falling. The crowd was just taunting him Peyton Peyton Peyton. For a guy who is that big of a star walking out onto that field with that crowd and knowing he is outside and not in the dome and that the Pats were going to punish them for every yard its gotta be a different feeling than in Indy...
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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If you look strictly at the record of the home team, wouldn’t Gillette Stadium have the greatest home field advantage? The Patriots are 102-20 at Gillette and 118-23, including playoffs. I can’t find any team performing better at any currently operating stadium than that. It’s been the toughest place for a road team to win since it opened in 2002.
They have had the biggest home field advantage largely because they have been the best team. For instance, I don’t think traveling to Arrowhead or Lambeau is any easier than Gillette, putting team quality aside for a moment.
I suspect the Pats were also the best road team in the NFL during that span.
I think youd have to see what a teams home record is vs their away record. The delta between the two would be a better barometer of home/away advantage.

You could probably tease out home/away opponent win% as well and include it somehow, but I'm not sure if it just becomes noise at that point.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Apparently, there is a new NBA study on player performance pre- and post-bubble. I've just skimmed the linked article and have not read the actual study, but it apparently concludes that a players "performance on the road depends to a large degree on the alignment of your internal body clock with the new time zone and the quality of your sleep "

I know NFL teams like Pats and Ravens have been looking into sleep science as a means to increase player performance.
 

bowiac

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I think youd have to see what a teams home record is vs their away record. The delta between the two would be a better barometer of home/away advantage.

You could probably tease out home/away opponent win% as well and include it somehow, but I'm not sure if it just becomes noise at that point.
The traditional way to do this to do a regression between the home teams and the road teams to project margin of victory. The intercept in that regression is home field advantage. This captures the strength of the teams in calculating home field advantage, so you don't end up with a 'Gillette has the best home field advantage in the NFL' result. In the NFL, that's led to a home field advantage value of between 3.5 and 2.5 points (and trending down).

This year, that value has been functionally zero.
 

PseuFighter

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I'm pretty sure pro athletes can tune out the noise. I remember Roger Clemens quoted as saying he used to hear silence when pitching, even when he came back to Fenway when on the Yankees. Belichick once called it just an endless wall of sound you tune out. I tend to believe them.

I've also read that officiating can be more biased subconsciously to make calls toward home teams, though it's been years since I saw that and who knows if it's still true, especially in the era of replay review.
 
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8slim

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Others have touched on noise, and I think it’s more than just the loud volume of fans that disrupts a visiting team. I suspect a lot has to do with the emotion the noise elicits in both teams.

Taking it out of sports for a moment... I’ve played in a bunch of garage bands over the years. It’s one thing to have a song down fairly well when you’re rehearsing. But it’s totally different when you’re playing it in front of a hundred people who are dancing and singing along right in front of you. You just lock in on that vibe, and playing becomes far more effortless, almost instinctual.

I have to think that dynamic is unbelievably magnified when you’re playing football in front of 70-80,000 screaming fans. I imagine that if you’re a visiting receiver who drops a pass, or a visiting LB who whiffed on a tackle, you’re going to get more down on yourself when the crowd erupts, than if you were in front of no one on a practice field. And that mental hangover is more likely to affect the next snap.

I know this site is built on cold hearted statistical analysis, but there is real science behind emotion and how that manifests itself as positive or negative momentum.
 

slamminsammya

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This data is a little old, but I bet it's stayed pretty much the same (2020 excepted):

View attachment 37464

Why would the HFA be bigger in the playoffs? Because as a rule of thumb, the home team is the better team (which is why they get HFA). So in 2020 I'd expect marginal HFA for reasons that others have given (travel, habits, routine, familiarity with the wind in certain stadiums, weather, etc.), but more so because the home team tends to be the better team.
Because home field is determined by seeding in the playoffs, in the regular season it is random.
 

Super Nomario

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I'm pretty sure pro athletes can tune out the noise. I remember Roger Clemens quoted as saying he used to hear silence when pitching, even when he came back to Fenway when on the Yankees. Belichick once called it just an endless wall of sound you tune out. I tend to believe them.
Baseball players don't need to verbally communicate on the field nearly to the same degree football players do.
 

rsmith7

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How about the fields themselves, particularly crown height? I've been searching around and can't find anything specifying that NFL fields must have the same crown height. In fact, I found an article saying that The Star "It’s the highest crown in any professional football stadium."
Depending on the player's experience and level, throwing and receiving from a higher crown take some time to adjust to. Higher crowns require slightly lower (or higher) throws depending on where the throw is made or received. Different sized crowns can also change the background perspective, but much less so.
Perhaps a visiting Brady would adapt quickly, but less experienced visiting QBs need time.
Having coached QBs at a much lower level, I found it was important to have the QB do his pre-game in the different sections of the field at an unfamiliar field with a high crown.
 

54thMA

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They have had the biggest home field advantage largely because they have been the best team. For instance, I don’t think traveling to Arrowhead or Lambeau is any easier than Gillette, putting team quality aside for a moment.
Agreed; HFA for them had more to do with them being the best team more often than not.
 

54thMA

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Crowd noise would seem to make it more difficult for the visiting team's QB to do a pre-snap read of the defense and then call out pass protection adjustments or change the play to an audible. Unlike the false start penaties, however, going through with running a play that is a poor counter to the defensive configuration is not something that is going to be tracked by stats.
No greater example than the AFCCG in Denver after the Patriots lost HFA due to losing the last week of the season in Miami; that crowd was insane, Brady got pummeled in that game and the crowd was a big factor in that game.

No doubt in my mind that had that game been played in Foxboro, the Patriots would now have 7 Super Bowl trophies.

Same with the AFFCG played in Indianapolis; insert "pumping in fake crown noise and cranking up the heat" as a factor.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Wasn’t there a study that showed the biggest impact of HFA was on officials, as a result of the home crowd? If that is true - big if, obviously - then lack of crowd this year could explain some drop in home team win %.
There was an article several years ago in, if I recall correctly, Sports Illustrated summarizing academic studies that showed that home field advantage was almost entirely due to officials favoring the home team, presumably because they subconsciously want the fans to cheer them. This finding was consistent across sports and in different countries - ie European soccer refs are just as likely to call more penalties against visiting teams as baseball umpires are more likely to call more strikes on visiting batters.

I forget exactly how they disproved other factors, but they dismissed everything else that is typically mentioned - travel, crowd noise impacting players, familiarity (or lack thereof) with the facility, etc...
 

rymflaherty

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Well that wasn’t really what I typed - If I’m Miami I clearly want to play the weaker opponent - most would say Pittsburgh.

My post was that I could understand why neither Pittsburgh or Buffalo would prioritize the #2 seed with no bye. As is already being discussed here, there isn’t going to be a packed stadium of hostile fans. No rabid fans also may lead to the refs not providing any home-team bias.
The other points (which I guess would correlate to what I see as advantages) are that it’s not going to be a long trip and the climate/weather is likely to be similar.
 

Deathofthebambino

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In addition to officiating, travel and crowd noise, IMO, the big one that I bring up around here so, so often is

weather, weather, WEATHER....

Tom Brady is the greatest bad weather QB in NFL history. It works because he plays in a lot of bad weather. When teams have to come into Foxboro in December and January, and see TB12 with his scuba outfit on under his uniform, the game is already over.

Let's look at two guys who play in completely different environments, with very large sample sizes:

Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees

Rodgers spends his home games in Green Bay, and is also a fantastic bad weather QB. His record at home is 78-19-1. His record on the road is 50-48. His record indoors is 17-13 and his record outdoors is 106-50-1.

Brees spends his home games in a dome. His home record is 93-52 and his road record is 78-63. Indoors, he's 89-52 and outdoors, he's 75-56 (and an additional 7-7 with a retractable roof).


Teams like New England and Green Bay are going to create a different roster than a team like Atlanta or New Orleans, because of where they play. At least if their GM's are paying attention. So, they will have an advantage due to the fact that they are accustomed to practicing in bad weather, or in a dome, etc., creating a greater advantage. I've always wanted to do a study on where players grew up, and then played college ball and then where they played in the NFL to see if the correlation also holds true for individual players in bad weather (obviously Brady is a SoCal guy, so it doesn't hold for him although that Scuba outfit sure comes in handy).
 

tims4wins

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There was an article several years ago in, if I recall correctly, Sports Illustrated summarizing academic studies that showed that home field advantage was almost entirely due to officials favoring the home team, presumably because they subconsciously want the fans to cheer them. This finding was consistent across sports and in different countries - ie European soccer refs are just as likely to call more penalties against visiting teams as baseball umpires are more likely to call more strikes on visiting batters.

I forget exactly how they disproved other factors, but they dismissed everything else that is typically mentioned - travel, crowd noise impacting players, familiarity (or lack thereof) with the facility, etc...
Thanks, I knew I wasn’t making that up.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Well that wasn’t really what I typed - If I’m Miami I clearly want to play the weaker opponent - most would say Pittsburgh.

My post was that I could understand why neither Pittsburgh or Buffalo would prioritize the #2 seed with no bye. As is already being discussed here, there isn’t going to be a packed stadium of hostile fans. No rabid fans also may lead to the refs not providing any home-team bias.
The other points (which I guess would correlate to what I see as advantages) are that it’s not going to be a long trip and the climate/weather is likely to be similar.
Shutup. Nobody cares. Your teams better than mine now. I hate you and I'll take all your posts out of context on purpose.
 

pdaj

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Shutup. Nobody cares. Your teams better than mine now. I hate you and I'll take all your posts out of context on purpose.
Haha, SoSH really needs a like button.


I’ve always believed home field advantage is a confluence of many factors, and it’s not easy to tease out the relative importance of each in studies because it’s difficult to isolate those factors.

Off the top of my head and missing a bunch, I’m sure:
* Crowd - noise limiting opponent communication, subconsciously affecting referee calls, positive psychological impact on home team, etc.
* No travel (probably not as significant these days given all of the comforts these millionaires are provided with) - comfort of home / with family and friends, comfort of home clubhouse and routine, familiarity of home field, no travel time or jet lag / better rest, etc.

COVID-19 does present an interesting opportunity. I’m not sure if people will be able to determine much this year in the NFL due to relatively small sample size but maybe. There might be greater success analyzing the impact in other sports, such as basketball and baseball.
Agreed. Particularly in baseball, I wondered if players with a history of social/performance anxiety, likely elicited by large crowds, would enjoy career years. I think there's more players that can relate to Greinke than one might assume.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30109835/houston-astros-zack-greinke-says-miss-fans-being-stands
No greater example than the AFCCG in Denver after the Patriots lost HFA due to losing the last week of the season in Miami; that crowd was insane, Brady got pummeled in that game and the crowd was a big factor in that game.

No doubt in my mind that had that game been played in Foxboro, the Patriots would now have 7 Super Bowl trophies.

Same with the AFFCG played in Indianapolis; insert "pumping in fake crown noise and cranking up the heat" as a factor.
100%. Playing in Denver changed everything.

Aside from '01, did Brady ever win a road game on route to the Super Bowl?
 

Mystic Merlin

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Haha, SoSH really needs a like button.




Agreed. Particularly in baseball, I wondered if players with a history of social/performance anxiety, likely elicited by large crowds, would enjoy career years. I think there's more players that can relate to Greinke than one might assume.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30109835/houston-astros-zack-greinke-says-miss-fans-being-stands


100%. Playing in Denver changed everything.

Aside from '01, did Brady ever win a road game on route to the Super Bowl?
‘04 AFCCG in PIT.

‘18 AFCCG in KC.

Surprised you didn’t remember the KC game given its recency, and how great it was.
 

54thMA

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100%. Playing in Denver changed everything.

Aside from '01, did Brady ever win a road game on route to the Super Bowl?
2004 AFCCG in Pittsburgh, the Patriots were 14-2 that year, Steelers were 15-1, Roethlisberger's rookie season
2018 AFCCG in Kansas City, the OT classic game

Edit; or what Mystic Merlin said
 

pdaj

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‘04 AFCCG in PIT.

‘18 AFCCG in KC.

Surprised you didn’t remember the KC game given its recency, and how great it was.
2004 AFCCG in Pittsburgh, the Patriots were 14-2 that year, Steelers were 15-1, Roethlisberger's rookie season
2018 AFCCG in Kansas City, the OT classic game

Edit; or what Mystic Merlin said
Goodness, I can’t believe I forgot about that. Thank you. And still shocked the zebras somehow determined that there was refutable evidence to overturn the call of an Edelman turnover on that punt return. So much for home-field advantage with the officials!
 

Humphrey

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Aug 3, 2010
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How about the fields themselves, particularly crown height? I've been searching around and can't find anything specifying that NFL fields must have the same crown height. In fact, I found an article saying that The Star "It’s the highest crown in any professional football stadium."
Depending on the player's experience and level, throwing and receiving from a higher crown take some time to adjust to. Higher crowns require slightly lower (or higher) throws depending on where the throw is made or received. Different sized crowns can also change the background perspective, but much less so.
Perhaps a visiting Brady would adapt quickly, but less experienced visiting QBs need time.
Having coached QBs at a much lower level, I found it was important to have the QB do his pre-game in the different sections of the field at an unfamiliar field with a high crown.
Which field is The Star?
In general, fields are not crowned nearly as much as they used to be. There's considerable improvements in how fields deal with drainage problems.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
12,799
Goodness, I can’t believe I forgot about that. Thank you. And still shocked the zebras somehow determined that there was refutable evidence to overturn the call of an Edelman turnover on that punt return. So much for home-field advantage with the officials!
What? It was clear that the ball never touched Edelman. It was close... but clear.
 

Cotillion

lurker
Jun 11, 2019
1,269
In addition to officiating, travel and crowd noise, IMO, the big one that I bring up around here so, so often is

weather, weather, WEATHER....

Tom Brady is the greatest bad weather QB in NFL history. It works because he plays in a lot of bad weather. When teams have to come into Foxboro in December and January, and see TB12 with his scuba outfit on under his uniform, the game is already over.

Let's look at two guys who play in completely different environments, with very large sample sizes:

Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees

Rodgers spends his home games in Green Bay, and is also a fantastic bad weather QB. His record at home is 78-19-1. His record on the road is 50-48. His record indoors is 17-13 and his record outdoors is 106-50-1.

Brees spends his home games in a dome. His home record is 93-52 and his road record is 78-63. Indoors, he's 89-52 and outdoors, he's 75-56 (and an additional 7-7 with a retractable roof).


Teams like New England and Green Bay are going to create a different roster than a team like Atlanta or New Orleans, because of where they play. At least if their GM's are paying attention. So, they will have an advantage due to the fact that they are accustomed to practicing in bad weather, or in a dome, etc., creating a greater advantage. I've always wanted to do a study on where players grew up, and then played college ball and then where they played in the NFL to see if the correlation also holds true for individual players in bad weather (obviously Brady is a SoCal guy, so it doesn't hold for him although that Scuba outfit sure comes in handy).
NorCal guy, but not that it makes a huge difference as weather is still pretty good around here (I now live in Edelman's old hometown).
 

sodenj5

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
4,829
CT
I think climate and travel are the two biggest things.

Miami’s advantage comes early in the season when teams like New England and Buffalo have to play in 100° with 1000% humidity. Conversely, Buffalo would have an advantage later in the season in the cold.

Also if Pitt and Buffalo are both outdoor, cold weather teams, then really the only benefit they gain from a home game without fans is travel.

Mike Vrabel said before the Green Bay last week game that heat is a greater advantage than cold. Cold is more mental than anything and you can layer up to mitigate it. Heat takes an actual physical toll on you and there’s no escaping it.

https://www.si.com/nfl/titans/news/tennessee-titans-green-bay-packers-nfl-lambeau-field-c
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
27,431
Hingham, MA
I think climate and travel are the two biggest things.

Miami’s advantage comes early in the season when teams like New England and Buffalo have to play in 100° with 1000% humidity. Conversely, Buffalo would have an advantage later in the season in the cold.

Also if Pitt and Buffalo are both outdoor, cold weather teams, then really the only benefit they gain from a home game without fans is travel.

Mike Vrabel said before the Green Bay last week game that heat is a greater advantage than cold. Cold is more mental than anything and you can layer up to mitigate it. Heat takes an actual physical toll on you and there’s no escaping it.

https://www.si.com/nfl/titans/news/tennessee-titans-green-bay-packers-nfl-lambeau-field-c
Re climate I think the Pats have alluded to it actually being tougher to play in Miami in December after getting used to the cold weather up here for a few months. The Brady Pats sucked in Miami no matter what month though.