Hey Baltimore, stand up and give yourselves a round of applause. It’s not just Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco that deserve credit for the Ravens phenomenal success, but we — the hometown fans — do, too.
According to an ESPN poll of more than two dozen NFL players, general managers, scouts and football pundits, M & T Bank Stadium ranks as the toughest place to play in the NFL.
Does home field advantage really matter, you ask?
Darn straight it does.
From ESPN.com yesterday:
“The Ravens have the league's biggest differential between home and road winning percentage over the past decade: .771/.415/.356 difference. That home success is second only to the Patriots in that span. Baltimore also has the greatest point differential, home (plus-756) versus away (minus-77), in that time — a remarkable swing of 833.”
The Ravens themselves recognize the advantage, even if M & T has not been generally considered one of the league’s least hospitable destinations, like say, Green...