Let’s be real: Good teams are good teams at home and bad teams are bad teams at home. But some good teams are better at home, and some are worse, while some bad teams are worse at home, and some are better. In order to establish which teams have benefited the most (and least) from playing at home this century, we juxtaposed home records with road records to find the biggest discrepancies.
We’re spanning back to the start of the 21st century to weed out imbalances in the schedule and to cover for anomalies created by really good and/or bad teams. In this age of parity, 13 years should be enough. Obviously some teams — Buffalo, Oakland, Detroit and Cleveland, for example — have been awful basically on a consistent basis, while others — New England, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Green Bay, for instance — have generally been successful on a consistent basis, but we’re doing our best to find a sample in which most teams have had peaks and valleys.
One thing is clear: Blind squirrels are more likely to find nuts at home. The teams on the list above had an average winning percent of just .445. Only two — Baltimore and Seattle — had winning records.
The league average, by the way, is 57.2. So you’ve been in the regular range if you’re within a couple percentage points of that. Here, Philly, New Orleans and the Giants are quite shockingly low. The Eagles are the only team in football that has won more road games than home games this century. Really makes you wonder how good Philadelphia could have been had it won more than 65 home games out of 112. The combined winning percentage of these teams is .564, and seven of the 10 had winning records.
The three teams with poor home showings and losing records — Carolina, Washington and Miami — should feel shame. And it’s probably safe to include Philadelphia, and maybe even New Orleans and the Giants, among teams that have not benefited much at all from playing at home. Surprising to see those latter two teams there.
On the flip side, after weeding out really bad teams that skewed the sample, it looks as though Minnesota, Baltimore, Seattle, San Francisco and Kansas City have benefited the most from playing at home.
Every team outscored their opponents by a larger margin at home than on the road. Or in the case of teams outscored, they were always outscored by less at home than on the road.
But Baltimore, Seattle, Minnesota, Arizona, Minnesota and San Francisco all outscored their opponents by a minimum average of at least 8.0 more points at home than on the road. In fact, the Ravens and Seahawks have both been outscored by significant margins on the road, with the opposite happening at home.
Meanwhile. Philly, Washington, Carolina and the Giants were the only four teams to outscore their opponents by fewer than 2.5 more points at home than on the road. NFC East teams seem to lack home-field edges.
Now you have a feel for which crowds deserve a pat on the back and which crowds have to get their act together.