Patriots players talk up Buffalo road environment and Bills fans
Veterans for the New England Patriots were highly complimentary of the atmosphere at New Era Field – particularly the Bills fans in attendance.
The New England Patriots will bring an unblemished 3-0 record into New Era Field on Sunday afternoon. The only problem is that the team that waits for them there, the Buffalo Bills, also has an unblemished 3-0 record on the season.
It’s a rare early-season matchup between two undefeated AFC East squads. And while the Patriots have obviously enjoyed much more success over the past two decades than their rivals from New York state, the Bills have something every bit as impressive in Orchard Park as the Patriots have in Foxborough, and that’s an incredible home-field advantage.
“Bills Mafia,” as they’re known around the world, are some of the most vocal and rambunctious fans you’ll find in the entire NFL. They don’t care that their team hails from one of the smallest markets in the nation, or that their team has never won a Super Bowl. They still bleed navy, red, white, and royal blue, and they’ll surely be out in full-force on Sunday as their team sets out to topple the mighty Patriots.
At least two New England veterans have already spoken glowingly about the tough road environment the Patriots are going to be forced to navigate this weekend.
Longtime safety and team captain Devin McCourty called the atmosphere “awesome” while addressing reporters earlier this week, per SB Nation’s Bernd Buchmasser:
"“I think as an away team, if you like that type of atmosphere where everybody’s against you, you know it’s going to be just you and your guys there for three hours trying to get a win. When you can get a win in that environment, I think it builds great character. It bonds a team together. But it’s going to be tough. We know how hard it is. We went there last year on Monday night. It was a back and forth, low scoring, tough game. I think that’s the type of battles they want to have there, and the crowd was in it from the beginning to the end. So, we know it’s going to be the same type of game Sunday. They’ll be ready to go. I think this is only their second home game anyway, and it’s a division game coming.”"
Quarterback Tom Brady also had some nice things to say about the environment in western New York and the fanatical Bills fans who absolutely detest him. Here’s what he told reporters, via MassLive’s Matt Vautour:
"“It’s going to be a great environment for football. They’re going to challenge us. It’s going to be the toughest game we’ve had. We’re going to have to play a great game. To go on the road in the NFL is tough. Certainly early in the game after their pregame tailgate, they’re a little fired up. They’re pretty into it. They’re pretty loud.”"
Brady did leave the interview on a decidedly pro-Patriots note, however.
“It’s always gratifying when you go in there and by the end of the game there’s only Patriots fans left,” he said with a smug smile. “That’s pretty cool.”
If all goes according to plan for New England, Brady will once again get his wish at the end of the game.