The fog rolled into Gillette Stadium on Sunday night to give a different look to the matchup between the Patriots and Falcons than we got when they met at Super Bowl LI in Houston in February.
While any appearance of fog calls to mind the “Fog Bowl” between the Eagles and Bears in Chicago during the playoffs after the 1988 season, conditions never reached the pea soup visibility of that game. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said it “was definitely more difficult” to see the ball on deep throws, but that it didn’t change anything about the way the game was played.
That was the general assessment of players on both teams, including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“And, yeah, the fog — that was crazy,” Brady said in comments distributed by the team. “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.”
Coach Bill Belichick noted it was more difficult for coaches in the booth upstairs than it was on the field and compared it to a game during his first year in the NFL with the Colts in 1975 that ended with a Toni Linhart field goal in overtime that no one off the field could see sailing through the uprights.
Things never got that bad on Sunday night, but one never knows when the fog might make another, more aggressive appearance at an NFL game.