NFL teams often go out of their way to secure any and all advantages.
And in the case of the Saints’ decision to play their Week 1 game against the Packers in Jacksonville, after being forced out of New Orleans because of Hurricane Ida, this *LITERALLY* takes the cake:
My column: The inside story of how the Saints picked Jacksonville for their "home" opener
— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) September 1, 2021
Jeff Duncan does some fine sleuthing in this story, unearthing some wild reasoning behind the Saints’ move to play the Packers in the home of the Jaguars.
For instance, one reason behind playing at TIAA Bank Field is because of Aaron Rodgers’ statistical short-comings in Florida. Rodgers has just a 78.1 passer rating in seven games played in the Sunshine State. He even has more losses (4) than wins (3) when playing out south. Maybe the Saints believe forcing the Packers to play in the heat and humidity will give them an upper hand. Then again, both teams have to play in the same weather. And last I checked, the Saints wear black home uniforms. But, hey, no one asked me to advise on the situation.
But the best reason the Saints reportedly chose Jacksonville was because it was an inconvenience for Packers fans!
“They had a staffer look up Green Bay flights on Expedia and compare the difference in costs and itineraries between Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa,” Duncan writes. “Predictably, Jacksonville was the most difficult and costly destination for Packers fans.”
Essentially, the Saints didn’t want to turn a home game into a road game. So rather than choose Miami (a destination location for fans) or Tampa (where Bucs fans could show up and root against the Saints), the decision was made to take the game to Jacksonville. Now, *THAT* is how you cook up a home-field advantage, my friends.