What’s a ‘home-field advantage’? Doesn’t exist in NFL today

Steve Brownlee

I couldn’t find the statistic anywhere on the Internet, so I did my own little investigation.

And I’m glad I did when it came to home-field advantage in the NFL this year.

Finding a set of the NFL’s “expanded” standings that include home and away records, I added up each team’s home record, then added them all up.

What did I come up with? How about this — 31 wins, 31 losses and one tie. It should’ve been 64 games, not 63, with no byes involved yet, but Pittsburgh at Tennessee had to be postponed, knocked the total down to one.

With an odd number, the only way to make it come out even was with one tie (or maybe three, or even five!). Remember in Week 3, when Cincinnati and Philadelphia played to a 23-23 overtime draw.

So there really is no home field advantage this season, and least not yet.

As I thought about that OT tie, it occurred to me whether there has even been another overtime game this season. Digging up a list of scores — again online — I found just one other OT game when Kansas City snuck by the Los Angeles Chargers 23-20 in Week 2.

Just two OT games, and half of them — one — ended in a tie. Hmmm. I’m going to have to ponder that one until next week.

Onto the picks, remembering that the Packers and Lions are on their bye weeks:


Today, 8:20 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Chicago — They used to say you won’t get to a 4-0 record unless you’re really a 4-0 team. In this coronavirus year, let’s change it a little to 5-0 is reserved for 5-0 teams, since a half dozen teams in six divisions go into this week at 4-0, including these Bears. But Chicago won’t be one of the 5-0 squads. Buccaneers, 27-20.


Sunday, 1 p.m.

Carolina at Atlanta — How quickly fortunes change — about three weeks ago, Carolina was left for dead while the Falcons weren’t known for blowing fourth-quarter leads. Panthers, 31-29.


Cincinnati at Baltimore — The Bengals achieved their season goal with their win last weekend, not going 0-16 with the overall No. 1 draft pick. They in all likelihood will win again, but they’re too busy right now celebrating. Ravens, 35-21.


Jacksonville at Houston — A coaching change often invigorates a team, but the Texans will have to show something on defense before I believe it. Jaguars, 34-23.


Las Vegas at Kansas City — This could be a shootout, except KC seems to have figured out how to play a little quality defense. Chiefs, 33-24.


Denver at New England — The shellshocked non-Cam Newton quarterbacks for New England get a chance to get used to their surroundings without so much pushback on defense or the pressure of a shootout. Patriots, 31-20.


Arizona at New York Jets — It doesn’t take a 6-3 final score to be defined as a defensive struggle in the NFL nowadays, though this game will feature the home team’s completely inept offense. Cardinals, 20-10.


Philadelphia at Pittsburgh — The Eagles put their complete heart and soul into getting a win Sunday night. Now the letdown. Steelers, 30-20.


Buffalo at Tennessee — Yes, the Titans in effect got their bye last weekend, but I imagine players were on pins and needles all week with all the coronavirus positive tests. And they’re probably down eight or nine players due to that. Bills, 27-17.


Los Angeles Rams at Washington — Sure, the Redsk … oops, Washington Football Team looks improved, but on the other side, this LA team looks more like the 2018 Super Bowl team than the 2019 also-rans. Rams 37-24.


Sunday, 4 p.m.

Miami at San Francisco — Looks like San Fran is getting healthier, starting with QB Jimmy Garoppolo. 49ers, 29-22.


Indianapolis at Cleveland — Cleveland will run this win streak for about two more weeks, then their annual implosion will send them reeling. Browns, 30-24.


New York Giants at Dallas — Speaking of inept New York offenses (see the Jets earlier), this is just the tonic Dallas needs for its just-as-anemic defense. Cowboys, 39-33.

Sunday, 8:20 p.m.


Minnesota at Seattle — Maybe the Vikings knew they had to win for the first time last week, ’cause it ain’t happenin’ this week. Seahawks, 34-20.


Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans — The Saints’ offense only looked good Sunday because of the Lions’ defense it faced. This will be more of a real opponent. Chargers, 33-27.


Last week — 9-6, 60 percent. Season — 40-22-1, 65 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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