After the Patriots survived the Black Hole invasion of Foxborough this past week, they now turn their sights to the location of their Week 4 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs: Arrowhead Stadium, home of one of the loudest crowd in all of sports.
Arrowhead has been the home of the Chiefs since 1972, and for the past two decades has been known as one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, most notably because of the noise.
After the Seattle Seahawks and the CenturyLink Field crowd set the Guinness World Record for the loudest stadium crowd at 136.6 decibels on Sept. 15, 2013, the Chiefs fans took the title less than a month later, bringing the noise up to 137.5 decibels in the final minutes of their Oct. 13 win over the Oakland Raiders.
The Seahawks “12th Man’’ crowd just barely bested that number on Dec. 2, posting a 137.6 decibel reading, but according the the Chiefs official Twitter account, they will try to get it back on Monday.
The Patriots know that it is going to be a tough place to play, but they feel they are prepared for the challenge.
“It will be a great atmosphere, and playing on the road is always fun, especially when its Monday Night football,’’ tight end Rob Gronkowski said earlier this week. “It’s a prime time game; Arrowhead Stadium is going to be super loud, but you can’t ask for a better atmosphere, that’s the NFL and that’s Monday Night Football, so it’s going to be fun, and I can’t wait.’’
“Everyone and their mother [is] watching,’’ said defensive end Chandler Jones. “You have the opportunity to showcase your ability and your talent for a nationally televised game, so I’m excited, I’m really excited to go out there and play on Monday night.’’
One of the reasons why Arrowhead is so hard to play at is the sheer number of people who show up to the games. Thousands upon thousands of Chiefs diehards show up to Arrowhead every Sunday, some even before the sun comes up. There is no secret that Kansas City brings it completely when it comes to tailgating.
In a 2012 series on the toughest venues in the NFL, ESPN ranked Arrowhead as the tailgating capital of the league, as the team emphasized tailgating as a way to bring in fans in the late 1980s to boost attendance, according to former president and general manager Carl Peterson.
“People are getting primed for the game,’’ Chiefs Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry said to ESPN back in 2012. “That gets you amped up, too. It’s like, ‘Let’s get ready to fight through this war.’ It’s so packed it looks like a block party. It’s really going down out there.’’
With the Patriots identity still very much a mystery only three games into the season, their performance in Week 4 will be a great test to see if this team has what it takes to make a Super Bowl run.
And a road win in ear-splitting Arrowhead Stadium would be one they could definitely hang their hat on, because come Monday night, and it’s gonna get loud for Brady and Co.