Crowd Noise Will Test New England Patriots in Seattle
In 2012, the New England Patriots have had the best offense in the NFL. They currently lead the league in both yards and scoring. On Sunday the Patriots will travel to play the Seattle Seahawks in the loudest NFL stadium. This upcoming battle will test the discipline of the Patriots fast moving offense.
CenturyLink Field in Seattle is the loudest stadium in the NFL and causes the most problems to opposing offenses. This coming Sunday, the Patriots will be the next team to deal with the “12th man”. The biggest test will be for the Patriots young and inexperienced offensive line. Though the Patriots offense has been pretty well disciplined so far this season, Sunday will be an unforeseen test.
This will be the first time most of the Patriots have played in Seattle. The biggest concern will be the team’s young offensive line which includes two 2011 draft picks and two 2010 draft picks. In addition to the line’s youth, only Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly and Matt Tennant have played in Seattle. With the veterans Mankins and Connolly still recovering from injuries, that means that Tennant is the only healthy Patriots offensive line member with experience in that environment.
The good news is that the Patriots haven’t had too many problems with false starts so far this season. Through the first five weeks, the Patriots offense has only had six false starts, which compares favorably to last season when they had seven at this point. Despite the youth, they have generally been a disciplined group.
The crowd noise will most likely create another change in the Patriots offense that the team will be forced to get used to. Since the injury to Aaron Hernandez has forced to team to look more toward the wide receivers, the Patriots have used an up tempo no huddle offense. With crowd noise almost certain to be an issue Sunday, the Patriots will be expected to slow down the offense. Likely the Patriots will run plays that are called in the huddle to avoid anyone missing an audible.
After a tough start that saw the Patriots reeling, the team has turned it around winning their last two games and look to be back on the rise. Sunday will be a different kind of test for many of the young players as the offense faces the loudest crowd in the NFL. This game will be the first real hostile crowd many of the young Patriots have encountered as they continue their first year as starters. Sunday will be another challenge to pass as the Patriots attempt to regain their dominance on the AFC.