FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The fog that made it hard for some fans to see the action in the New England Patriots' 23-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons was a hot topic of discussion among coaches and players after the game.
A sampling of their reaction:
Tom Brady: "I have never seen that. It was just so still out there. The fog had no place to go. I don’t think it affected much, really, at the end of the day. I’m sure it looked cool on TV, though."
Rob Gronkowski: "Yeah, that fog was pretty crazy. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like that or played in anything like that, but, I mean, a deep ball up in the air was definitely more difficult [to see than if there were no fog]. But it didn’t change anything in the game."
Bill Belichick: "I think the coaches upstairs did a real good job on that. It was challenging at times ... it was not easy for our spotters upstairs to get it. That being said, I didn’t think it really affected the game too much. ... Not the most normal situation, but my first year in the league with Baltimore in '75 when we beat Miami and then that didn’t clinch the playoffs but it put us pretty close in Baltimore. The final kick came down to Toni Linhart. It was about a 40-yard field goal and you could see the line of scrimmage, you could see the two teams line up for the field goal but once the ball left his foot you had no idea whether it was good or not good, so we had to wait for the official signal. So, that’s the first year. I haven’t had anything that bad since I’d say this was -- it was tough to see from up on top. I wouldn’t say it was that bad on the field. I mean, it wasn’t clear but I don’t think it changed anything."
Devin McCourty: “It wasn’t bad field level. I mean, it was rough for us to see on the big screen when the offense was out there, but once we were on the field, you could see the ball. It wasn’t a problem, I don’t think, for either side.”
Matt Ryan: "You know what? It wasn’t bad on the field. I think it was worse when you kind of got off and you tried to look into the stands or anything like that. You realized you couldn’t see that far. But I mean on the field it wasn’t bad."
Devonta Freeman: “I remember playing in the fog at my high school national championship game down in Orlando, Florida against Dr. Phillips; it was a similar situation. It’s just foggy for the fans, but on the field it’s kind of clear. No, it didn’t affect us at all.”
Mohamed Sanu: "You just have to focus a little more. It was weird but you just have to go out there. They have the same element. I could see.”