If you tune in to Monday night’s showdown between the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals, don’t bother telling Brandon Bolden what’s happening. He won’t be watching.
The NFL’s final installment of “Monday Night Football” has big implications for the New England Patriots. If the Broncos lose, it guarantees the Patriots home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If Denver wins, it means New England will have to beat the Buffalo Bills next Sunday or hope for another Broncos loss to ensure home field.
If you ask Bolden, though, he and his teammates have more important things to worry about.
“I don’t even think I’m watching the game tonight. I’ve actually got a birthday party I’ve got to get to,” the Patriots running back told reporters Monday. “Nobody is really talking about it.
“Everybody is still trying to recover from the (New York) Jets game, the war we had yesterday, so I think everybody is going to take the rest of the day to try to just recover. If they watch football, they do, but I don’t think anybody is rooting for anybody.”
Patriots fans, of course, would disagree. After all, it was a loss at Denver in the AFC Championship game that prevented New England from reaching the Super Bowl last season, and the Patriots have won 16 straight games at Gillette Stadium.
Patriots tight end Tim Wright admitted that the matchup between the 11-3 Broncos and the 9-4-1 Bengals could be fun to watch, but he’s also just focused on one thing — preparing for Buffalo.
“It’s going to be a good game,” Wright told reporters Monday. “We’re not really looking past what has to go on with the Bills, what’s coming up next for us, but it’s going to be a good game for them.”
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images