The 2013 NFL Playoffs have reached the Divisional Round, with the four first round bye teams entering the tournament this weekend. Which one of those four teams, who all host a game, have the greatest home field advantage? Here's a look at the four games, listed in the order they will be played:
The Broncos will have a home field advantage due mostly to the altitude. The cold weather in Denver should not bother the Ravens that much, though it will definitely be colder in Denver than it is in Baltimore this week. The game day weather in Denver on Saturday is expected to be 22° with a few snow showers. The Denver fans will be rowdy, especially with the Broncos being the number one overall seed in the AFC, and the Super Bowl favorites right now. Peyton Manning has brought an excitement to Denver not seen since their Super Bowl runs with John Elway. Could be a harsh environment for the Ravens, but Denver will not see the best home field advantage of the week.
In the second contest between the two teams this season, Green Bay will be looking for revenge after losing to the 49ers in Week 1 in Green Bay. Now in San Francisco, the weather should have no bearing on the Packers, coming out of the frozen tundra to a San Francisco climate where the temperature will be around 50° come kickoff. Candlestick Park will be boisterous, but clearly will not give the 49ers the home field advantage Denver or other teams will get this weekend.
The biggest advantage the Falcons will have this weekend will be the time zones, and since Seattle just flew across country to beat the Washington Redskins this past weekend, it may not be that great an advantage. The Seahawks are facing the dreaded west coast team with a 1:00pm ET kickoff, but after that, nothing about playing in Atlanta should be a problem. The Falcons play in a dome, so the weather is not a factor. And, no matter how loud it is in the Georgia Dome Sunday, it will not equal anything the Seahawks see every week at home. The Falcons may have the worst home field advantage this weekend.
The Patriots will have the best home field advantage for the four home teams this weekend. The weather at kickoff should be in the low 40°s, while in Houston the coldest low during the next week will be 49° tonight. By the time the Texans leave for Foxboro, the Texas weather will be in the 70°s again. Add in the fact that the Texans play in a closed roof stadium any time the weather is bad, and this could be ugly for the Texans. Back in Week 14, Houston lost 42-14 in New England to start the 1-3 slide to end the season that ultimately cost the Texans home field advantage throughout the playoffs - something Patriots fans will try to remind Houston.