The New England Patriots’ third road game of the season did not always feel like one. Despite the Los Angeles Chargers looking like serious contenders in the AFC this season, the crowd of 70,240 at SoFi Stadium was not fully behind the home team. Instead, Patriots fans took over and at times made it sound like Gillette Stadium West.
The healthy contingent of Patriots fans in the stands was not lost on the team either.
“Crazy. Crazy,” said Adrian Phillips about the atmosphere.
Phillips gave the New England followers in attendance plenty of reasons to celebrate. The veteran safety intercepted two passes on the day, including one in the fourth quarter that was returned for a decisive touchdown.
“Catching that pick and then you hear screams like that, it was crazy,” he said. “I love the fan base out in Boston, in Foxborough. I’m glad that they’re traveling with us and are supporting us still, because it’s been a frustrating season. I know that they’ve planned to see the season go a totally different way than it’s going right now, but to be able to hear that support and see those fans in the stands with all the jerseys on is real love.”
When it comes to the Patriots-friendly crowd, Sunday’s game was a perfect storm. Not only are New England fans generally traveling well, the Chargers are only slowly building a loyal following in Los Angeles after moving to the city from San Diego in 2017.
As Gunner Olszewski pointed out after the game, the Patriots therefore knew what to expect.
“We showed out today,” the reigning All-Pro punt returner said. “We had Patriots fans all over the place. ‘Defense, defense’ — it was sweet. We kind of expected it because that has been the case here for the Chargers, but shoutout to Patriots Nation showing out in L.A.”
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, meanwhile, took to social media to share his thoughts on the atmosphere at SoFi Stadium:
Backed by their supporters, the Patriots beat the Chargers 27-24. They are now 3-0 on the road this season — a significantly better record than the 1-4 mark they have posted back home at Gillette Stadium so far.