We're not in Kansas City anymore.
The nation saw -- and heard -- how Arrowhead Stadium took back the record for loudest outdoor stadium when the noise level reached 142.2 decibels Monday night when the Chiefs clobbered the Patriots.
Now Tom Brady & Co. return to face the Bengals Sunday night in the cozy confines of Gillette Stadium -- a place loaded with luxury boxes, Putnam Club seats, and an open end that just sucks the noise out onto Route 1.
During his weekly appearance on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show Wednesday morning, Brady was asked if he wished Gillette were as loud as Arrowhead when the home team takes the field.
“We can’t focus on how loud we cheer or the chants that we have," Brady said. "Our stadium has been very loud at times and we’ve got sometimes a great crowd, sometimes we don’t have a great crowd. Sometimes it’s not as loud as it may be for other teams, but the better we play, the louder it will be so we’re going to focus on trying to play better. We’ve got a great home record over the years. I think we always play pretty well at home. Our communication is always pretty good. Our fans, they come, they cheer for us. We as players, we’re going to do the best we can. We’re going to try to make plays that excite the crowd and get them going.
"It all ties together. When it goes good, it’s great. When it doesn’t go good, I know it sucks for us, it sucks for you guys, it sucks for our fans, it sucks for our families. It’s not the way that you ever want it to go, but it’s the situation we’re in and it’s going to take some mental toughness to dig our way out of it, because there’s no one that’s feeling sorry for the Patriots, and nor do we want that. This isn’t a pity party, it’s highly competitive football. And if you’re not into highly competitive football then you probably won’t be on our team."
This isn't the first time Brady has addressed the crowd issue at Gillette Stadium.
Brady famously tackled the issue before the 2011 home opener against the San Diego Chargers when he advised Patriots fans to "start drinking early."
"Yeah, start drinking early," Brady said with a snicker leading into the 2011 opener at Gillette. "Get nice and rowdy. It's a 4:15 game, a lot of time to get lubed up. Come out here, and cheer for the home team."
The Patriots later clarified the "drinking early" remark on behalf of Brady, telling the assembled media, "He meant 'stay hydrated, drink a lot of water. Be loud, drink responsibly.'"
Brady took a lot of heat for the remark and really hasn't said much off the cuff in any interviews since.
We'll see how fired up the Sunday night crowd will get at Gillette in five days.
Back to onfield issues, Brady was asked about some of the mishaps that derailed the Patriots Monday night at Arrowhead, specifically about a third-and-three situation in the second quarter where he failed to connect with top target Julian Edelman for a first down.
“It’s a split-second decision,” Brady said. “In hindsight, I wish I would have run it because it would have been easier to get the first down. I kind of stepped up there in the pocket and caught Julian [Edelman] running across at the last second. I thought I had a little space to get it in there to him and as it turned out the ball ended up being incomplete. That was one of the plays I wish I would have made a better decision on and that leads to first downs, and first downs leads to keeping our defense off the field and leads to hopefully us staying on the field longer and being able to control the ball and get more into our offense and score more points which is our goal."
The Patriots offense was horrible Monday night, and Brady was one of the main culprits for the road disaster, completing 14 of 23 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions and a lost fumble. He was asked about getting the hook with his team trailing 41-7 early in the fourth quarter and being replaced by rookie Jimmy Garoppolo.
“I just do what I’m told,” Brady said. “I’m not over-analyzing anything, we were getting our butts kicked. It was a situation where we didn't have a good game and that’s what coach wanted to do so that’s what we did."
Brady was also reminded that the national television audience watched as the camera focused on him and many may have wondered why he didn't give Garoppolo a high-five when the came off the field after the rookie connected with Rob Gronkowski for a late score.
“I’m really not [paying attention to that]," Brady said. "When we lose, there’s not a lot to be… Even when we win, I think it’s important just to not to ride the roller coaster of emotions. You have to believe in your process. You have to believe in the things that you’re doing to help the team win. You gotta take the good with the bad and I was happy for Jimmy, I was happy for our team when we kept fighting to the end. That’s a good thing. The more good players we have the better we’re going to be as a team. I didn’t pay attention to any of those things. I was obviously disappointed that the outcome of the game was what it was.”
Brady was asked if he hand any inkling that things were going to go so badly heading into the game against the Chiefs.
“We fell behind to a good team on the road in a tough environment and it snowballed on us," Brady said. "We were down 17-0, we didn’t make any plays in the first half in order to score points. We got into the third quarter and turned the ball over and gave them short fields and that’s what happened. We’ve been on the other side of that and it feels great and when you’re on the losing side it sucks. I don’t think anybody’s feeling sorry for us, and we’re just going to have to go out there and play better but you take the good with the bad and we’ve had it good for a long time."
Brady spoke about what it's going to take to turn things around for his 2-2 team.
“We’ve got to all rally together," Brady said. "There’s no one who’s going to dig us out of the hole except for ourselves… our mental toughness, our will, and our ability to learn from our mistakes and move forward is going to be really important to the outcome of our season. We’ve got a lot of football to play. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the guys that I play with and that’s what we’re going to rely on.”
Brady also spoke about some other outside noise, specifically the negative reaction of fans and media following the lopsided defeat in KC.
“The outside noise, there’s a lot of negative views and that’s fine," Brady said. "That’s just the way it is. That’s professional sports. It’s very competitive, but we’ve got to figure out a way to rally around each other and rally around the people that can do it and have and influence on the game to go out there and do a better job.”
Many Patriots fans would say doing a better job might include getting receiver Danny Amendola into the act more. Amendola caught 85 passes for the Rams in 2010, 63 in 2011, but has only three receptions so far this season in New England.
“We’re trying to get everybody involved but offensively we’re not doing a good job to get everybody involved," Brady said. "If we want to be a good offense, we gotta get everybody involved… I don’t think we go into the game saying we’re not going to throw it to this particular player. You go to your reads. You to where you think you’re going to have an opportunity to complete it, then you throw it. And if he’s not the person that gets it, then he doesn’t get it but Julian’s got a lot of opportunity and taken advantage of it. Brandon LaFell did a great job the other night, doing some great things when he got it.”
Another issue for the Patriots has been the swiss-cheese offensive line that's mostly failed to protect him this season. Brady was asked if not having Logan Mankins on the line makes a difference.
“We’re trying to figure out a lot of things on offense," Brady said. "We dealt with that four weeks ago. That’s the way it is. We have who we have. That’s the way it goes. Nobody feels sorry for us. We’re trying to make the best of what we have and what we’re trying to do. Some days it’s good enough. Some days it’s not good enough.”
We'll find out soon enough if the Patriots are good enough to hang with the 3-0 Bengals Sunday night.