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Cardinals Unlikely To See Any More Fans On The Road

Home-field advantage absent in 2020's NFL

The Cardinals will have about 4,200 fans for Sunday's game at State Farm Stadium against the Bills. We will see how many fans will be allowed in for the last stretch of home games against the Rams, Eagles and 49ers.

But it's almost certain the Cards have seen their last fans on the road this year, even with half the road schedule remaining. The next two road trips, to Seattle and New England, have already come out and said there will not be fans when the Cardinals visit (the Patriots, in fact, have ruled out fans the balance of the season.)

And while the Giants and Rams technically could still have fans for the final two Cardinals road trips, neither team has hosted fans yet and the only way that would change would be a drastic reduction in COVID cases in those areas -- incredibly unlikely, since COVID cases are on the rise nationwide.

That all dovetails into the most remarkable but not surprising fact of the 2020 season so far: Home-field advantage, built in large part because of the noise and energy the home team gets from its fans, has disappeared. In the always odd 2020 season, road teams are 67-65-1 so far. According to NFL Research, since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, the road teams have never had a collective record above .500.

The Cardinals are 3-1 on the road this season, 2-2 at home.

Given that the Cards have just as many home games as road games remaining, it doesn't necessarily give them any boost in a playoff push. But knowing you can go to Seattle or New England with basically an even playing field in that regard does change an outlook.

Fans watch a Dolphins field goal attempt during a home game in 2020

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