W11 Poll: Best dome-field advantage (oy)


Week 11 poll: Best "dome-field" advantage

Keeping with this week's featured Atlanta-Detroit matchup, our weekly poll wonders which NFL team maintains the best "dome-field" advantage. Among the candidates: Atlanta, Detroit, Minnesota, New Orleans and St. Louis. Scan their credentials below before placing your vote. Also, check out our previous winners from Weeks 1-10.


Atlanta's Georgia Dome

Pregame, Super Bowl XXXIV, Atlanta

With a capacity of over 70,000 for football, the Georgia Dome was in its heyday during the Falcons' 1998 Super Bowl run. Playing in a dome called the "House of Pain," the Falcons were a perfect 8-0 at home in the regular season, and followed that with a 20-18 playoff win over NFC West rival San Francisco before 70,662 screaming fans on Jan. 9, 1999. Despite suffering numerous key injuries last season, the Falcons were still able to break even at home while winning just one game on the road. 

Detroit's Silverdome

Silverdome fans

If nothing else, the Silverdome has been a personal house of horrors for Green Bay's Brett Favre. Typical of the difficulty that visiting quarterbacks have in its raucous environment, Favre has tossed 20 interceptions in his last 9 games at the Silverdome. Other visiting teams often have an equally difficult time. Last year alone, the 8-8 Lions knocked off playoff-bound St. Louis, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Washington on the friendly home turf. In addition, the Lions have won their last five NFC Central battles in Pontiac. The Silverdome will be replaced by Ford Field (also a dome) beginning in the 2002 season.

Minnesota's Metrodome

Hagar incites Vikings fan at the Metrodome

Quite possibly the loudest of the NFL's domed stadiums, the Metrodome might also be the most intimidating. The Vikings seem to rise to the occasion when playing before the home folks, as evidenced by their 14-2 regular-season mark there over the last two years. The Metrodome routinely seats 64,000-plus purple-clad supporters on Sunday afternoons and is also home to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Accentuating the dome-field advantage is the team's blazing speed (Randy Moss, Robert Smith, John Randle), which seems to be cranked up a notch on the Metrodome turf. 

New Orleans' Superdome

The Superdome

The Superdome is probably more synonymous with Super Bowls than with Saints games, having hosted five of the sport's premier events over the years (overall, the city has held eight of the 34 contests). But proving all Saints team are dangerous at home, the Saints stunned the playoff-bound Cowboys in the Superdome last Dec. 24, 31-24, to momentarily put Dallas' postseason hopes in doubt. This year's much-improved squad is reasserting home-field dominance and already owns double-digit victories over Carolina and San Francisco in the Big Easy.

St. Louis' Trans World Dome

Rams fans in St. Louis

Like Minnesota, St. Louis' players might have as much to do with the team's home-field advantage as its stadium does. But since opening in late 1995, the Trans World Dome has quickly become one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. The explosive Rams were 10-0 at home last year (including the playoffs) and extended their success to Atlanta's Georgia Dome, where they claimed Super Bowl XXXIV from Tennessee. The lightning speed of players like Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce and Az-Zahir Hakim is almost unfair on the Trans World Dome carpet, and 65,000 Rams fans can be loud and intimidating on key third-down plays.



Note: Photos courtesy of the Associated Press.

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