Home field advantage in the NFL

(SportsData) — How important is the home-field advantage in the NFL? We looked at the records of all 32 teams over the past 10 years to see which franchises have benefitted the most from home cooking – and conversely, which teams deserve the reputation of road warriors.

Check out the infographic below to see how your favorite team stacks up …

Not surprisingly, the best team in each category is the team that has experienced the most success in the last decade, the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick’s crew made the playoffs eight times in that span, helped by a league-best 67 regular-season home victories (an .838 winning percentage). But they’ve also posted the most road victories in the last decade with 56 (.700), one of only eight teams with a plus-.500 winning percentage on the road.

When you think about a home-field advantage, it’s tempting to assume that teams that play their home games in domed stadiums have a leg up on their guests. Crowd noise often is a major factor in running an offense efficiently – especially near the goal line – and teams that are accustomed to the din and have the fans on their side should logically win more of those games.

Among those teams, the Indianapolis Colts certainly fit the bill with 59 home wins (.738), followed by the Atlanta Falcons with 50 (.625) and Minnesota Vikings with 45 (.562). However, the Colts, Falcons and New Orleans Saints (45 home wins) all were solid road teams in the last decade as well.

Thus, to see which teams actually benefited most from their dome-field advantage, you have to compare their home and road records. The Vikings won 45 home games but only 29 on the road (.363) for a discrepancy of .199 – in other words, they’ve won nearly 20 percent more of their home games vs. road games in the last decade. The Detroit Lions also illustrate that point, with 32 home wins (.400) compared to just 15 road victories (.188), a difference of .212.

Overall, home teams won at a .572 clip over the last decade, with AFC home teams faring slightly better (.587) than NFC home teams (.557). As for road wins, the AFC also leads the race with a .440 winning percentage, compared to the NFC’s .415 mark.

And only one team – the reigning Super Bowl champion New York Giants – won more games on the road (46) than at home (42) in the last 10 years.

 

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