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10 Toughest Places to Play in the NFL
posted May 06, 05:33PM
posted in NFL, Analysis
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The National Football League has plenty of tough environments for opposing teams to play.  My list doesn't only reflect teams home records from last season, but also looks at the fans at atmosphere in general.  Will your home team make the cut? 

 

1-CenturyLink Field- Seattle Seahawks

Seattle is hands down, the toughest place to play for opponents.  The “12th man” is louder here than any other stadium, whether the team is competitive or not.  Last season, the Seahawks posted an 8-0 record at home.  If they can clinch home field advantage in the playoffs, their odds to make the Super Bowl will drastically increase. 

 

2- Lambeau Field- Green Bay Packers

Once it starts to get cold, Green Bay is a nightmare for other teams.  The combination of noise and Mother Nature gives the Packers an advantage.  Aaron Rodgers and the Packers posted a 7-1 record at home last season.  The frozen tundra is one of the most intimidating places to play for opponents in the NFL.

 

3- Heinz Field- Pittsburgh Steelers

Although Pittsburgh didn’t make the playoffs last season, their home field is still in the top tier.  When every fan in Heinz field is waving their terrible towel, the atmosphere is electric.  The winds get rough in Pittsburgh, and the worse the weather conditions, the rowdier the fans get. 

 

4-Arrowhead Stadium- Kansas City Chiefs

Alright, the Chiefs only had 1 win at home last season, but their fans are relentless. If their record was better, they would probably be higher on this list.  The seats are always filled with red, and the fans are always ready to go.  With new coaching, Arrowhead might be able to show a little more to the world then they did last season.

 

5- Sports Authority Field at Mile High- Denver Broncos

The Broncos have an advantage that no one else does.  Other teams aren’t used to the high altitude in Denver, so players aren’t conditioned for such air.  You often find opponents by the oxygen machines to catch their air.  Not only is the altitude an advantage to Denver, but so is the weather conditions.  With snow falling and fan noise, opposing quarterbacks will often find themselves making mistakes.  Peyton Manning and the Broncos record at home last season was 7-1.

 

6-Soldier Field- Chicago Bears

Soldier Field is very similar to Lambeau in terms of weather conditions and fans.  Once mid-October rolls around, it gets windy and cold in Chi-town, and the fans get hostile and roaring.  Brian Urlacher used to be the face of Chicago’s toughness, but it looks like someone else will need to pump up the crowd now.  Last season, they finished with a 5-3 record at home. 

 

7-Oakland Coliseum- Oakland Raiders

The Raiders could easily be in the top 5, but they haven’t been a relevant team since their Super Bowl run with Rich Gannon. If this was a list of “Where not to bring your kids” The Oakland Coliseum might be number one.  The fans are ruthless and hostile.  The Black Hole is intimidating to anyone entering, even if their roster might not be.  They did record 3 of their 4 wins at home last season. 

 

8-The Mercedes-Benz Super Dome-New Orleans Saints

The Super Dome is one of the loudest venues in the country.  Ever since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has had some sort of edge on and off the field.  The Saints weren’t too competitive last season, but sure will be this year.  If New Orleans can stay loud on defense, opposing quarterbacks will have a hard time talking to receivers and switching routes. 

 

9-Georgia Dome- Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are also changing their home field, but the Georgia dome would get extremely loud due to their enclosed dome.  Atlanta finished with a 7-1 record at home last season.   If Matt Ryan is rolling, the fans will be thunderous behind their defense.

 

10- Candlestick Park- San Francisco 49ers

There’s something that teams don’t like about going out west.  The 49ers posted a 6-1-1 record last season in the Bay Area.  When their defense gets into the game, the stadium is rocking.  Even though Candlestick is a falling apart (and they’re getting a new stadium), wherever they play in the Bay will be tough for opponents.

 

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Colin Kaepernick
There's a beautiful thing about the NFL that most of you have already seen : On any given Sunday, there's always someone on the field or on the sidelines who finds a way to show his true donkeyfy-ing nature. Last week, it was Chargers HC McCoy and his poor game plan against the Broncos.

This week was even bigger. 4 teams were still standing. The Broncos whooped the Patriots in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicates in the AFC championship. But the main event was something you didn't want to miss. Seahawks and Niners, one of the best (if not the best) rivalries in today's NFL. Hard hits, trash talking and a game that went down to the wire but, sadly for Niners fans, San Fran' ultimately lost. And our Donkey, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick was the biggest factor.

Jimmy Johnson said it best, Colin Kaepernick kept the Niners in the game with his feet and killed them with his arm. Two late INTs and a Fumble in the fourth quarter. A game to forget for the former Nevada product who played the 1st 3 quarters like he was the second coming of Steve Young. A game that should lead to a lot of questions in the Niners front office and, of course, a game that prevented them from making back to back Superbowl appearances. But let us ask the question that needs to be asked : How could Kaepernick choke that badly? Getting strip sacked by a defense you were running all over in the first half (Ok that can happen to any QB) The absolutely awful throw right to Kam Chancellor (That mistake can't happen!) And the game ending interception, on another bad throw vs the opponents best player? How? I mean ... No one should expect our Donkey to be Joe Montana but some things should have been avoided. SF was leading 17-13 at the start of the 4th quarter and until that final turnover, they were still very much poised to get a huge road win. Why force a throw on a 1st and 10 with still 30 seconds left? So many questions to ask, but only one conclusion : Colin Kaepernick choked. Badly.

And the Niners will watch the Superbowl on TV. But rejoice Colin, this gives you more time to model for magazines and add to your sneaker collection... but we'll just see you as our Donkey of the Day!