Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/27/12
Best Home field advantage today in the NFL


This honor no longer belongs to the Steelers or Seahawks. Yeah that’s right, the New Orleans Saints have the best home team and home crowd in the league. Welcome to the toughest place to play, you better pray if you make it to the Super Bowl next year the Saints don’t. Here are some stats to keep in mind when traveling to the Superdome.


Points per Game

The Saints scored a whopping 374 points at home. That is 41.5 PPG in nine home games. When you average that many points at home the crowd goes crazy!

The Saints' defense only allowed 171 points at home. That is 19 PPG so even with the offense stepping up; the defense does just as much. The crowd makes it nearly impossible to change plays at the line of scrimmage. The crowd forces many false starts which only helps the defensive stats.

Win/loss record at home

The Saints went undefeated at home last year. They haven’t lost a home playoff game since the Payton and Brees era began.

Facts
Before winning the title of Super Bowl XLVI Champions, the Giants traveled to New Orleans for a regular season game. The Giants ended up on the wrong side of a 49-24 blowout. So don’t think those stats are from bad teams playing in the Dome. The Giants were the champs and got blown out traveling to the Dome. This year the Saints come to NY and I hope the Giants can return the favor.

The Saints also dropped 76 points on one of the league’s hottest teams, the Lions. The Saints played the Lions twice scoring 31 and 45 points.  The Saints' defense only gave up 17 and 28 points to the 5,000-yard passer in Matt Stafford.

The Saints scored 45 Points on the division rival, playoff team Atlanta Falcons.

The Saints dropped 40 points on one of the league’s best defensive units in the Texans.

The Saints blew out three playoff teams four times at home. So that would disprove any rumor of not playing tough games at home. The facts are simple; the Saints really are just that good at home.

Weakness

The Saints' weakness in the Brees and Payton era has been traveling. The Saints have been knocked out of the playoffs the last two years solely because of travel games. They don't travel well or play outdoors in the cold. So if you are an NFC team you have to make the Saints travel to you.

The Saints lost key players and members of the staff this year. If you play the Saints early, it’s an advantage because of new coaches in new roles. Brees hasn’t shown up to sign his tender yet which means less time he has to practice with his new receivers the better for the opposition. Brees also will have to get a slightly new feel for his offensive line with Carl Nicks departing to a division rival.

Spygate 2.0?

Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis is accused of recording other teams' coach’s conversations. How? The accusations go that Loomis used wire tapping equipment in the opposition’s hotel rooms. This would provide an enormous advantage if proven to be true. Normally I would I dismiss rumors as such but when the FBI opens an investigation, it’s not because they are Falcons fans who just don’t like you…

My take on this is if proven to be true, Loomis should be banned from the NFL. I don’t see a place for this in today’s game and I do think Belichick should have been in more trouble for his participation in Spy Gate, like a one year suspension + loss of picks. I think Belichick was a warning to the league, now that someone else is going to push to see how far they can go. You have to make a statement and ban all cheaters forever. Fans spend enough money on tickets and want to see a fair game.

Closing

I still feel like the Saints are one of the best teams in the league despite losing key pieces of the puzzle. I don’t think they will be as good as last year’s 13-3 record, but I still see the Saints as the NFC South Champs with an 11-5 or 12-4 record. I think it will take some time from doing things differently but the Saints still have great players suiting up on Sunday.
 
Feel free to comment and tell me why you agree or disagree.

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