Bill Belichick explained why Thursday’s matchup vs. the Rams is ‘almost like having a home game’

He said not having to travel back and forth is helpful.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick walks the sideline during the second half of Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick walks the sideline during the second half of Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta. –Charlie Riedel/AP File Photo

When the Patriots (6-6) face the Los Angeles Rams (8-4) on Thursday at 8:20 p.m. EST, they’ll be coming off a short week and going up against one of the hotter and more complete teams in football.

There is one major advantage the Patriots have, however, and that’s that they didn’t have to travel between Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers and Thursday’s matchup.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he went back to the hotel after the Chargers game and started watching Rams film that night. Though they’re playing far from Gillette Stadium, Belichick made it clear the setup has several benefits.

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“It’s almost like having a home game,” Belichick said.

He said that not having to travel is a “big advantage” and is part of why the Patriots elected to stay in California. The restrictions are nothing new, he said, but this trip provides less opportunity to do things outside of football and the chance to focus even more on preparing.

Having Saturday as a day to relax and rest up before the game is ideal in his eyes.

“I’m glad we’re doing it,” Belichick said. “Hopefully it will help us this week.”

Belichick noted that one difficult aspect of the week is that the Patriots don’t face the Rams particularly often. They met in Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl LIII, of course, with the Patriots winning both matchups. In between those games, which are exactly 17 years apart, they faced off just four times.

While he said both teams have played a lot of games since the Super Bowl in 2019, he believes there’s “some carryover offensively” from the Rams. Their defense and special teams, however, are largely different from Belichick’s perspective.

Said Belichick: “There’s some similarities, but plenty of differences, as well.”

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