TAMPA, Fla. -- The Washington Redskins had a lot working against them entering Sunday's game at Tampa Bay. But one thing in their favor, according to cornerback Josh Norman, was playing on the road -- and away from a stadium that no longer sells out.
"I feel like we play better on the road," Norman said. "It seems like the true fans, they really be with us on the road and we feed off that ... s---, play all of the games on the road if you ask me."
And that's because, he said, their home-field advantage hasn't existed this season. After beating Tampa Bay 16-3, the Redskins are 3-1 on the road and 3-2 at home, where they play Houston next week. All three of their road victories are against teams that currently have losing records, including Arizona and the New York Giants. At home, they've beaten Carolina, Dallas and Green Bay.
But it's been a struggle for the Redskins to sell tickets at FedEx Field, which has created a situation where opposing fans are plentiful. Washington has tried to appease its season-ticket holders by not selling tickets at discounted prices, even shortly before kickoff. The Redskins also haven't helped by not producing better seasons, often toggling between mediocrity and worse. They haven't won 10 games in a season since 2012; haven't won 11 since 1991; and last won a postseason game in the 2005 playoffs. It's a fan base tired of waiting.
However, the Redskins still often attract thousands of their fans at road games; there were plenty in Tampa. At home all Norman sees, though, are empty seats and opposing fans.
"It's like an open bubble, it's like the other team's turf or something," Norman said. "You hear more of them than you do us. And if something bad happens, they sulk. They sit back in their seat and they boo. I don't know. This year I'm starting to see that. It's kind of crazy. The first couple years I been here, you would see sellouts and people are happy and excited and all for the Redskins."
Norman said he was impressed that when the Redskins played at the then-1-6 Giants two weeks ago, MetLife Stadium was mostly full.
"We come back to our home and it seems like guys don't really care," Norman said. "They just boo everything. They're not really behind us. We don't really feel that. Tired of it, really.
"At the end of the day the people who are gonna be for you, fans that really [have] your back, they'll be there. The other ones, it is what it is. I can't speak on them. They talk about what they talk about anyway. They're all keyboard warriors anyway."