5. How big of a role will home-field advantage play?
The home teams are 4-4 so far in the playoffs. The Broncos and Seahawks have been two of the best home teams over the last two seasons, but we saw the Chargers win in Denver and the Cardinals win in Seattle earlier this year.
Crowd noise will be a factor, especially in Seattle – there’s no way to simulate the noise. However, the 49ers are a good road team, and with Russell Wilson in a slump for the last month or so, San Francisco has a better shot in Seattle. New England is 4-4 on the road this year; Denver is 8-1 (including playoffs).