BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick is well aware of the kind of environment the Patriots should expect in Denver on Sunday night, but you’ve never heard him describe it like this.
Speaking to reporters at the start of his Wednesday press conference ahead of Pats-Broncos on Sunday Night Football, Belichick acknowledged that the notoriously loud Mile High Stadium will likely be as challenging as ever for his team, as it is for anyone who visits the Broncos.
“The fans have a lot of energy. It’s a great crowd, a great football environment, Sunday night. I’m sure that place will be lit up,” Belichick said. “I feel like we’ll need our best game Sunday night and that’s what we’re working towards. Hopefully, that’s what we’ll be able to get.”
Belichick realizes that the Patriots have not been immune to the problems that the crowd noise and thin air in Denver present to road teams. Tom Brady is 3-7 (including playoffs) in Denver in his career, posting an 83.1 passer rating in those games. He struggled when the Patriots played there last season, despite New England getting a 16-3 win on the strength of their defense.
Considering how poorly Broncos starting quarterback Brock Osweiler is playing, the Patriots defense should be able to shut down the Denver offense. But based on recent history, there’s also a chance that Brady and the Patriots offense have trouble moving the ball. The crowd noise could be a direct factor, as it has forced the team to use silent snap counts and often led to disorganization and mistakes on the offensive line.
Either way, Belichick seems to be expecting a bash on Sunday night in Denver.