The Patriots will travel to Seattle this Friday in advance of Sunday's showdown with the Seahawks. The challenge will include not only matching up one of the top defenses in all of football, but also playing in perhaps the loudest stadium, according to head coach Bill Belichick.
"It might be the loudest stadium that we've been in, and we're in a lot of loud ones," he told reporters of CenturyLink Field during a Tuesday conference call. "I'd put that one right up there. Their fans are vocal. It was really loud when we were out there before, four years ago, whatever it was. I forget what their record was, it was like 2-10, not very good, something like that, and there was a lot of energy, lot of enthusiasm, and a great atmosphere for football.
"[The] crowd is totally into it, they do a great job of being loud, causing false start penalties and things like that on the offense," Belichick added. "Seattle has historically played very well at home, it's a huge home field advantage for them. Record-wise, their record at home has been amongst the best in the National Football League. Really, they're right up there with I want to say the Packers in the NFC. Absolutely, that'll be another big challenge for us, the whole long-trip out there and the environemnt and hostile crowd that we'll be facing."
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels stressed the importance of communication in playing in what figures to be a raucous atmosphere.
"This is an incredible place to play at. I've had an opportunity to be there three or four times, and it never disappoints in terms of how loud and how vocal they're going to be," he said. "I think it's a great eviroment to play in and certainly for us on offense it will be important for us to do a good job of communicating and paying attention to all the little details so that we make sure that we can work together and try to execute our assignments as best we can."
"Certainly they make it difficult, but I think the best way for us to do that is to practice with the noise here and do the best we can here, and focus on our assignments and execution and hopefully play well," he continued. "And if we do that, we give ourselves the best chance to be successful."
He says that having already played three road games this season helps his offense.
"I think playing on the road in this league is always hard," McDaniels noted. "Really, wherever you play, you're going to have to deal with noise on offense, if you're playing away. I think the way that we practice here helps us. Playing a lot of road games already, we dealt with it in Tennessee, Buffalo, Baltimore. I think all of those expreiences help."