Expanded Lambeau May Not Mean More Wins

Despite claims that Lambeau Field will be a tougher place to play with an increased capacity this season, the Packers have already proven to be pretty difficult to beat at home. In fact, no one in the league has been better the past three regular seasons.

The Green Bay Packers are on a roll at Lambeau Field.

Over the past three regular seasons, no team in the NFL has won more regular season games at home. The Packers have 22 wins during that span, one more than the New England Patriots and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

With just two losses during that run — an overtime game against the Miami Dolphins in 2010 and the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers a year ago — the Packers are in the midst of their best three-season run at home since 1996-98 when they went 23-1. Before that, the last time they had lost as few as two home games over a three-season span was 1961-63, when Vince Lombardi was on the sideline.

So, while a 6,600-seat expansion in the south end zone this season promises to make Lambeau Field a louder and conceivably tougher place to play, it would be difficult to imagine the Packers being any better at home than they have been in recent years.

In fact, going back two decades — to the start of the Ron Wolf/Mike Holmgren era — the Packers have posted a league-best .768 winning percentage at home in the regular season, nearly five percentage points ahead of the second-place Pittsburgh Steelers.

Regardless of seating capacity, crowd noise or the weather, the Packers always have been better than the league average in win/loss percentage at home. Home teams in the NFL generally win 57 percent of the time. (The regular season mark is .576 since the 1970 merger.) The Packers, dating to 1957 when Lambeau Field opened, have won at a clip of 65 percent at home, including playoff games.

Of course, recent playoff contests at home for the Packers are where the questions lie. Better opponents have turned out much poorer results. The Packers have won just three of their last seven postseason games at Lambeau. They had won the previous 11 dating to a 1961 thrashing of the New York Giants in the NFL Championship, the first time Lambeau hosted a postseason game.

Coach Mike McCarthy is 2-2 in postseason games at home. The Packers have been one of the league's best teams on the road (32-24) since McCarthy arrived in 2006 and even won the Super Bowl in 2010 after winning three playoff games on the road.

But following a disappointing 4-4 mark at Lambeau in 2008, McCarthy made it a goal in 2009 to re-establish a home-field advantage. Since then, the Packers have gone 6-2, 7-1, 8-0 and 7-1 each regular season thereafter.

Overall, McCarthy is 44-16 (.733) at Lambeau Field.

Author's Note: For more on Lambeau Field's latest expansion and its home-field impact, check out the next issue (October 2013) of Packer Report.

Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave publisher Bill Huber a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.

Matt Tevsh has covered the Packers since 1996. E-mail him at matttevsh@hotmail.com

Packer Report Top Stories