Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Home-field advantage in NFC may not be as important this year

The 49ers' big win over the Saints at the Superdome reaffirms San Francisco's dominance in the playoff conversation.

As the 49ers, Seahawks, and Saints jostle for the top seed in the NFC and postseason home-field advantage in the playoffs, maybe they should be careful what they wish for.

With Sunday’s 48-46 I-thought-the-AFL-folded matchup between San Francisco and New Orleans, the opening round of the round robin between the Saints, Seahawks, and 49ers concluded. And the road teams are 3-0.

The Seahawks lost at home to the Saints, the 49ers lost at home to the Seahawks, and now the Saints have lost at home to the 49ers. (The Seahawks host the 49ers in Week 17.) While it’s always better to play at home in the postseason, these teams have shown that they can win big games on the road. Which ultimately will make the playoffs even more compelling -- and which will place the top seeds in the conference in greater jeopardy than usual.

Again, it’s MUCH better to be at home for the playoffs. But this could be one of those years where a team that is strapped with a low seed embraces a road warrior mindset and makes it to the Super Bowl without the benefit of playing even one game at home in the postseason.

At a time where the top seeds in both conferences have become far more successful than not at holding serve, this year’s NFC tournament could provide the kind of shakeup that would make the NFL’s 100th season even more memorable.