Back in the '80s and '90s, one of the annual storylines in the NFL was how dome teams just weren't cut out to win a Super Bowl. Football outdoors in the cold of December and January was too difficult for dome types to adjust to, and all that climate control made them soft just when the season got tough. Blah, blah, blah.
First the 1999 Rams disproved the theory, and then the 2006 Colts followed suit. By the time the 2009 Saints won their ring, I'm not sure the dome angle was even mentioned. Some piece of supporting evidence is always absolutely pivotal to a particular trend, until it's not.
If this dome-team thing runs in three-year cycles, it might be a good omen for the Texans and Falcons this season, a pair of indoor teams that currently hold down the No. 1 playoff seeds in their respective conferences. In fact, if current realities hold, neither Houston or Atlanta will have to play outdoors again this season after Week 14.
The Texans are at New England in Week 14, then play home against Indy and Minnesota, and then at the Colts in the regular season finale (presuming the roof is closed both at home and in Indy, which is almost always the case). As for the Falcons, they're at Carolina in Week 14, then home against the Giants, at Detroit, and home against Tampa Bay. Throw in the pair of playoff games both top seeds are hoping to play host to, and a trip to the Superdome in early February, and the Texans and Falcons might not have to venture outside from Dec. 9-10 until next season.
Which is fortunate, because it's really cold in Houston and Atlanta at this time of year. Wait, no it's not. Oh, never mind. Now on to this week's rankings...
NFL Power Rankings