FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In addition to New England Patriots players and coaches stepping up in the fourth quarter with a terrific comeback effort, another part of what unfolded Sunday stood out to some of the top principals with the club: the home crowd.
“I have never heard Gillette Stadium as loud as it was tonight,” owner Robert Kraft said during the Lamar Hunt Trophy presentation after the team’s 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That thought was echoed by head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
“I thought there was a lot of energy in the stadium, I sure did,” Belichick said in his day-after-game conference call.
Then, on sports radio WEEI, Belichick said he could feel it in the pre-game, saying, "It was an awesome crowd. There was a lot of excitement in the air. Certainly in the fourth quarter, once things got going, I think after Slater's tackle on the kickoff, it seemed like the whole stadium just erupted. Like they usually do on touchdowns, but on plays like that. ... There was some explosive reactions."
There was also some fun with Jon Bon Jovi in attendance and leading the crowd in singing "Livin' on a Prayer", which Belichick also noted.
"I told him after the game, 'Jon, you got this place going like I don't think I ever had seen it going before.'" Belichick said on WEEI.
Specific to the fourth quarter, Brady felt the energy level rise after Danny Amendola's 21-yard catch on third-and-18.
“You need sparks. You need something to ignite you. When you’re losing, it’s which play are you going to make that’s going to kind incite everything? That was one of those plays,” Brady said on sports radio WEEI's "Kirk and Callahan Show."
“The stadium last night, they were cheering as loud as I’ve heard.”
Added offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels: "The stadium, I thought, was amazing. I've been here for quite a few great, big games, great atmospheres. And they were tremendous. We needed their support and I thought they really stepped up. It was a great evening to be a part of and a fun environment to play in. That's why you work so hard during the course of the season to try to earn the right to play the game at home, and I thought that stood out."