Eight home games and eight away games (in a perfect world). That’s life in the NFL. Everyone has to step away from their home turf for half the season, but that doesn’t necessarily put everyone on an even playing field.
There are certain stadiums in the NFL that are more difficult to play in whether it’s the fans, the noise level, the weather, or a combination of all three elements. On Tuesday, ESPN put out a power ranking of the league’s toughest venues to play in. This power ranking was compiled by tallying the votes for eight division bloggers from ESPN.
The top 10 are as follows:
1. Lambeau Field (Packers)
2. Heinz Field (Steelers)
3. Qwest Field (Seahawks)
4. Arrowhead Stadium (Chiefs)
5. Soldier Field (Bears)
6. Superdome (Saints)
7. Gillette Stadium (Patriots)
8. Metrodome (Vikings)
9. Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles)
10. Oakland Coliseum (Raiders)
In at No. 12 is none other than Invesco Field. The altitude in Colorado played a major role in that ranking, but AFC West blogger, Bill Williamson, claims that the Broncos have lost that certain edge at home.
The old Mile High Stadium, a fixture in Denver from 1948 until 2001, might have placed first on such a list. The new one showed up on only four of eight ballots to rank 12th.
“The magic has left,” wrote AFC West blogger Bill Williamson, who ranked Lambeau first and Arrowhead fourth but did not rank Mile High at all. “It’s strange because the air is just as thin as it used to be, but the Broncos have lost their home-field edge. This is a team that lost at home by 45 points last year. It doesn’t belong anywhere near this list right now.” – ESPN
Two of the Broncos’ division rivals are ranked in the top 10 with the Chiefs at No. 4 and the Raiders at No. 10. One could argue that playing in the home of an AFC West stadium is one of the hardest things for other teams to do.