Yes, not having fans present creates a competitive disadvantage. Especially for teams that enjoy a significant advantage from having a loud, raucous home stadium.
The Vikings provided definitive proof of it on Sunday. With no fans at U.S. Bank Stadium to disrupt the Green Bay offense, Aaron Rodgers and company sliced and diced the Minnesota defense en route to 43 points.
As noted by Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, that’s the most points the Vikings have ever allowed in any season-opening game. It eclipses by one point the 42 allowed in Week One of the disastrous Les Steckel season of 1984.
The Vikings will try to improve ASAFP with a tour of the AFC South. They face the Colts, Titans, and Texans the next three weeks, before the seemingly annual trip to Seattle.
While the good news is that they won’t face Aaron Rodgers every week, the bad news is that they won’t have much if any of a home-field advantage this year to help their defense perhaps look better than it otherwise is.