Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Ravens-Steelers III: Home-field advantage?
By James Walker
Playing at home in the playoffs is usually a good thing. But recent history suggests it may not play a huge role in Saturday's divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) and Baltimore Ravens (13-4).
In their past six regular-season meetings, the home team is only 3-3. This season alone, both the Steelers and Ravens have won on the road.
That brings into question whether or not home-field advantage will play a factor when Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Steelers have uncharacteristically struggled at Heinz Field this year, posting a 5-3 record. A 7-1 road mark was the reason Pittsburgh captured the AFC North title and a first-round bye.
Meanwhile, Baltimore thrives on the road in the postseason. The Ravens improved to 7-3 in road playoff games after last weekend's 30-7 wild-card win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Their .700 winning percentage is the best mark in the NFL over the past 50 years.
Baltimore clearly has a knack for beating playoff teams on the road. Can the Ravens silence Heinz Field for the second time this season?