It sure seems as though NFL football will be played this fall, but it might look a little different than usual.
As the United States shifts into the recovery period of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a distinct possibility the 2020 season will be played without fans in attendance. Of course, every team across the league would be impacted by empty stadiums, but as Mike Florio and Chris Simms explained Monday, some franchises would feel the effects much more than others.
The “Pro Football Talk” hosts held a draft selecting which teams are most in need of fans in the stands, and the New England Patriots were included among Simms’ picks.
“We know the spotlight is going to be on Jarrett Stidham,” Simms said on NBC Sports. “There’s expectations, there’s pressure. Well, hey, in New England, they got a great defense. They won a lot of games with their defense last year. So in a year where the great Tom Brady’s gone and you got a new quarterback, man, do you need the crowd this year to help out your football team, to help out your young quarterback and help out the quarterback help out the defense by being loud for opposing offenses. Early in the year, they’re going to need to lean on that defense and crowd noise and do things like that. It’s not gonna be like Tom Brady in 2014 and Jarrett Stidham’s just gonna come out there and throw lasers and be surgical. There will probably be a few bumps in the road. I think New England, they’re one that needs fans this year just to help out that young quarterback and play through that defense, especially early in the year.”
Given the roster turnover they experienced this offseason coupled with a brutal regular-season schedule, the upcoming campaign is poised to be an uphill climb for the Patriots. So yeah, any boost, including the presence of fans, likely would be welcomed by Bill Belichick and Co.