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ESPN Declares M & T Bank Stadium as NFL’s Toughest Stadium

ESPN Confirms What We Already Knew.

All fans think their team is toughest at home.

But not all fans have ESPN’s latest study backing up their bragging.

M&T Bank Stadium is the toughest NFL venue, ESPN declared after polling more than two dozen NFL players, owners, general managers, scouts, analysts and writers.

A simple way of looking at home-field advantage is to look at the home record (the Ravens rank second behind New England over the last decade), but looking at the stat alone usually skews toward the best teams that also win on the road. So ESPN’s Greg Garber looked at the difference between teams’ home winning percentage versus that on the road.

“The numbers are, quite frankly, astonishing: In 14 seasons at the building now known as M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens are a giddy 84-31 (.730),” Garber wrote. “The road record in that time is a less-than-stellar 50-64 (.439). No NFL team in recent years has had more dramatic Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings.”

Baltimore also has the greatest point differential over the past decade at home (plus-756) versus away (minus-77), a swing of 833 points.

Center Matt Birk says that team strength and fans are two leading factors in determining a tough venue. In Baltimore, fans are making “separation anxiety” work of them. Charm City lost the Colts to Indianapolis in 1983, and they know what it’s like to be without a football team.

“This city lost its football team,” Birk said. “The Ravens filled the void for them, and the fans are really into it here. That makes for a loud stadium on Sundays.”

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