Quarterbacks get a distinct advantage when they get to play in domes. With no wind, rain, or snow, they can comfortably sling the ball with the perfect trajectory in perfect weather. A more thorough longitudinal study may soon reveal that playing in a dome provides such a distinct advantage, that record-holding QBs should get an asterisk (*) if they played in a dome.
Last year, 9 teams played all their home games in a dome: Indianapolis, Houston, Detroit, Minnesota, Atlanta, New Orleans, St. Louis, Arizona, and Dallas. The average total passing yards for teams in domes was 3,639. The average total passing yards for teams not in domes was 3,035. That’s an average difference of over 600 yards! Does that mean that if Jamarcus Russell got to play in a dome last year, he would have had 600 more passing yards too? No. It’s a very small sample size, but worth noting.
Here are the QBs this year that will get the most dome:
Tony Romo: 12 games
Drew Brees: 11 games
Sam Bradford: 11 games
Matt Leinart: 11 games
Brett Favre: 10 games
Matt Ryan: 10 games
Matthew Stafford: 10 games
Matt Schaub: 9 games
Peyton Manning: 9 games
Please, don’t reach for Sam Bradford based on these stats. Don’t even draft him. But if you’re absolutely torn between Brees and Rodgers, maybe this little bit of analysis can tip the scale in favor of Brees. And this only increases my love for Romo this year. Plus, he’s such a good guy! You might even call me a Romo-sexual.
This also sheds an interesting light on Brett Favre’s incredible success last year in Minnesota. He played for years in the wind and snow of Green Bay and then New York, and his stats were good. But when he got in the Dome, his stats were incredible. Now I’m a bit of a Favre-hater. When I used to meet people at a loud bar, and they couldn’t hear my first name (Brett), I would say, “Brett, as in Brett Favre.” But after the past 2 years of Favre drama, I tell people, “Brett, as in Bret Michaels.” (Most people can’t hear the double “T”). In spite of my Favre-hate, perhaps his great year was not a total anomaly, but rather a result of a new stadium. So maybe his interception totals won’t triple this year after all.