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Home-Field Disadvantage: Why Do Falcons Struggle in Atlanta?

Why are the Falcons 0-4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this year, and 5-2 away from Atlanta?

The Atlanta Falcons are 0-4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season. Their lone "home" win came in London when they were the designated home team against the New York Jets.

And why? Maybe a struggling team in a new stadium with access attached to Personal Seat Licenses (PSL) for season-ticket holders was not conducive to building an intimidating atmosphere in Atlanta.

We can argue that the Falcons out-priced some of their hard-core fans when they moved to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and we know the lower bowl is frequently filled with opposition fans, or remains empty, while the team has struggled through three straight losing seasons.

But even with all of that, no one expects a team one-game off .500 at 5-6 to be 0-4 in their own stadium.

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith was asked about the struggles at home, and he boiled it down to a limited amount of games so far.

"Well, we’ve only played four home games," said Smith. "So small sample size there. A number of factors. Every game is a different story. So, I don't think essentially just being at home (is the issue)."

He continued: "Week 1, clearly didn't play well enough. Carolina, Washington came down the wire. Then obviously, against New England, it was a close game for most of fourth and then they finished us off, but I don't think it's necessarily just (about being at) home."

The coach thinks this can be fixed. 

"We appreciate our fans,'' Smith said. "So, we got to do our part at home, and we got another opportunity on Sunday that’s how we look at it."

The Falcons find themselves 11-point underdogs to the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Tampa Bay is a heavy favorite to put loss No. 5 on the Falcons.

The Falcons lost to the Buccaneers 48-25 in Week 2, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated.

Could playing at home be the difference for the Falcons on Sunday?

"Small sample size'' or not, recent history doesn't bode well for the Falcons against the Buccaneers.

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