Home > MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL > August 26 – Homesick, NFL Re-Preview (Part 5 of 8)

August 26 – Homesick, NFL Re-Preview (Part 5 of 8)

Here’s a question: How do you think the 4 major sports rank in terms of which one had the best home field advantage? Off the top of my head, I would go with 1) Basketball 2) Hockey 3) Baseball 4) Football. I think basketball is first because of the crowd and familiarity with the home court. I think football is last because of the “Any Given Sunday” factor.

Well, statistically, based on complete standings for each of the sports over the last several years, I’m wrong. Take a guess as to what you think the rank is and why in the comments section. I’ll reveal the mathematical result in the next post.

 Presenting the AFC South:

Houston Texans:

The Texans had a disappointing year last year, in that they didn’t win many of the games they were supposed to. They went 1-5 in the division. They lost to all 3 division opponents at home. Granted, they play in a very tough division – some may argue the toughest one in the NFL – but it just seems every year the Texans are the team people are expecting to surprise, yet they never do. They have the weapons, Schaub and Johnson are great. The D-Line was solid, but the secondary was awful – and now they lost Robinson and didn’t replace him. They did finish strong, however, with wins at St. Louis and at Miami.  I went 6-8-1 with them, and 7-8 on over/unders. 2010 Outlook :  Houston has a very tough schedule this year – besides playing their own division 6 times, they have 4 games with the NFC East, and dates with the Ravens and Jets. I can see them posting 9-10 wins, and fighting with Tennessee for the second Wild Card in the AFC.

Indianapolis Colts:

Indianapolis continued their regular season domination in 2009. The fact they have won 12 games or more seven straight seasons is just amazing. Manning had another incredible year. The defense definitely improved. To be fair, though, the Colts did play down to the competition at times. Seven of their wins were by 4 or less, including the gift from New England. Even so, the Colts were rock solid dependable, and the model showed it, going 10-5, and 8-7 on over/unders.  2010 Outlook :  It’s hard to imagine this team getting better, but they did – not so much through acquisitions, but players returning from injury. Anthony Gonzalez will give Peyton another good target. The defense is very different when Bob Sanders is playing, and he’ll be back. I’ll go 12-4, with tough games @NE, @TEN, @HOU, and @PHI.

 Jacksonville Jaguars:

The Jaguars had a heartbreaking season in 2009, losing their last 4 to get booted out of the post-season. The Jags were hurt by their lack of passing game, and teams realized that if you can stop MJD, you can beat Jacksonville. Garrard had some good showings, but he fell apart in the closing moments of the season. My model won with the Jags the first 4 weeks, but then went about even with them once they got hammered by Seattle 41-0. Overall I went 9-6, and 5-10 on over/unders. 2010 Outlook :  They didn’t do anything significant to improve the offense, so MJD will still be on an island. Under Del Rio the defense will always be good, but I have a feeling they will be on the field an awful lot. I’ll put them at 6-10, 4th in a very tough division.

Tennessee Titans:

Tennessee had a tale of  2 seasons in 2009. Lost their first 6. Won their next 5. Two more losses to Indy and the Chargers finished them. The model caught on to the Titans lack of defense in the beginning, but didn’t catch on to the offensive turnaround very well. Passing teams beat up on the Titans, a sign that the secondary needs an overhaul – NE scored 59, SD scored 42, HOU scored 34, and even the Jags managed 37. I went 6-9 with the line and in over/unders. 2010 Outlook :  We will see if Vince Young can continue the turnaround in 2010. They will be successful if he hands it off to Chris Johnson – a lot. There’s a reason he is #1 in every fantasy draft – and if they throw him the ball more that will help. They didn’t improve the secondary – it will be a problem against the likes of Manning and Schaub. I have them at 9 wins, and fighting for a playoff berth.

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Categories: MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL
  1. Menashe
    August 26, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    My guesses:
    Baseball: Fields are not standardized to the extent of the others and the strategy can be quite different based on the stadium. Players have the most practice, both offensively and defensively, on their home field.

    Football: Climate probably plays a part. For open stadiums, winds and weather must affect results. The “any given Sunday” affect is probably less significant over a long period of time.

    Basketball: Right behind football for the reasons you give above (familiarity and crowds)

    Hockey: I can’t think of any strong reason that it would outstrip the others in terms of home field advantage.

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