Raiders Owner Al Davis said it best when he coined the phrase “just win baby” and turned it into the motto of the Raiders for years. Players and coaches will go to great lengths to get an advantage on the opposition from week to week. Each stadium in the NFL is unique in its own right, but there are some places where it is more difficult to come away with a win than others.
Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver Broncos)
Playing a mile above sea level will test any athlete’s endurance. The Broncos have an advantage against any team coming into Denver the moment the team steps off the plane. The stadium is higher than any other stadium in the NFL, and the altitude affects many visiting players. An increase in players using oxygen masks between possessions is more common in Denver than any other stadium as well. Add a raucous crowd of 76,000 Broncos fans into the mix, and you have all of the ingredients you need for a bad day as an opposing player.
Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles)
It’s no surprise that playing in Philadelphia is not fun for any visiting team in any sport, but going into The Linc is on another level. Eagles fans are some of the most passionate fans in all of professional sports, and they have an interesting way of displaying that passion. Don’t be surprised if a few snowballs make it to the field in December followed by a wave of expletives. Eagles fans have a reputation for getting a little out of control, which is why “Eagles Court” and fully functional jail cells, were introduced to Veterans Stadium in 2003. Luckily for everyone in Philly, there’s no jail at the Linc.
Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers)
Lambeau Field played host to the 1967 NFL Championship between the Cowboys and the Packers. The conditions were so bad that the game was dubbed “The Ice Bowl” and the legend of Lambeau Field has only grown from there. The Packers are the only publicly owned team in the NFL, so a majority of fans in attendance on any given Sunday are also partial owners of the team. That ownership creates a fans that are unlike fans of any other team in the NFL. The ground freezes, the wind chills most players to the bone, and somehow Aaron Rodgers remains unphased.
Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs)
It’s not often the ground shakes in a stadium, but that’s exactly what happens when Chiefs fans are at their loudest. Arrowhead holds the Guinness World Record for the loudest stadium in the world at 142.2 decibels. To put that into perspective, a jet engine reaches 140 decibels. Opposing quarterbacks have to use a silent count, and most of the time they can’t hear the offensive coordinator calling plays. It makes for a long day against an exceptional Chiefs defense.
CenturyLink Field (Seattle Seahawks)
The Seahawks faithful pride themselves on being recognized as “The 12th Man” of the team. While Arrowhead Stadium may hold the record for the loudest stadium at a single point during the game, most players will tell you that CenturyLink is deafening from start to finish. The stadium was designed to project crowd noise to the field. In the last three seasons, the Seahawks are 20-5 at home, and the 12th Man had a lot to do with that record.
A couple of the teams mentioned above will be playing in the NFL playoffs this season. Winning a playoff game is tough in its own right, but doing so in one of these stadiums brings a whole new dynamic to the game.