Two weeks ago the Bears were flagged for nine false starts when they played the Lions at Ford Field, leading coach Jim Schwartz to set aside a game ball awarded to the raucous Detroit crowd. Last week the 49ers dealt with the crowd noise slightly better — but still had five false starts and wasted two timeouts trying to get plays called.
The crowd in Detroit, if you hadn’t noticed, is loud.
Now the Falcons are preparing to be the visitors for the Lions’ third straight home game at Ford Field, and they’re doing everything in their power to be ready: According to Jay Adams of AtlantaFalcons.com, the Falcons are practicing with crowd noise piped into the sound system at 124 decibels.
How loud is that? Ear pain usually begins at 125 decibels, while sandblasting or a loud rock concert is estimated at about 115 decibels. The average NFL crowd, Adams says, is 108 decibels.
Of course, the Falcons have already played this year at Seattle, which is regarded by many as the loudest stadium in the league, and they made it through that game without the crowd seeming to have much of an effect. Maybe the Falcons’ offense is impervious to sound, even when it approaches ear-pain territory.