Gillette ranks as 7th toughest venue

ESPN.com's "power rankings" series continues today with a look at the toughest venues in the NFL.

Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots, ranks seventh.

Gillette appears on seven of eight ballots, receiving a total of 29 points. Gillette received a high vote of third (AFC West reporter Bill Williamson) and was not on NFC East reporter Dan Graziano's ballot.

Green Bay's Lambeau Field ranked first, followed by Pittsburgh's Heinz Field and Seattle's Qwest Field.

When considering toughest places to play, the criteria of voting would seem to be most important to define. Is it the actual venue? Or the team that plays in the venue? Or perhaps a combination of both?

Because if it's solely based on the venue, I get the feeling that even some Patriots fans might dispute a No. 7 ranking, thinking that is too high.