Mankins: Mental toughness needed to overcome Seattle atmosphere

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Mankins: Mental toughness needed to overcome Seattle atmosphere

FOXBORO -- If we know anything at all about Sunday's game between the Patriots and the Seahawks, it's that CenturyLink Field is going to be as loud as any stadium in the history of the sport.

For New Englanders who have never been to Seattle to witness a Seahawks game first-hand, all you have is the good word of the Patriots players who have played there before.

And veteran Vince Wilfork wants you to believe him when he says it's abnormally loud.

"Probably Seattle. Seattle is probably one of the loudest stadiums around," said Wilfork before Thursday's practice at Gillette Stadium. "And you know what? It shows. The offsides penalties and stuff. It shows."

Wilfork and the rest of the Patriots defense won't have it quite as bad as New England's offense though. Seahawks fans will want their quarterback to work under a much less hectic environment than Tom Brady.

So, what do offensive players think of the noise level in Seattle?

"It's a tough place to play," said Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins on Thursday. "Been there before. It's super loud. They have a good defense, so it's going to be tough.

"I've been in some loud ones. It's one of the loudest. Last time I was there, their team wasn't that good. They were out of the playoffs already and that place was still rocking. So, they've got good support out there."

For all the talk about New England's lightning-quick no-huddle offense, the Seahawks' fan base hopes to throw a wrench into those plans with their noise volume, making the Patriots' communication with each other that much more difficult especially on the offensive line.

"A lot of it's mental toughness," said Mankins. "Just being able to focus through that. It takes a lot of communication. You can't just look over and say it. You've got to scream it to the guy next to you, so he can hear you. Just making sure everyone's on the same page, when you can't verbally get on the same page all the time."

Study ranks Patriots fan base as second-best in NFL

Study ranks Patriots fan base as second-best in NFL

A scholarly blog from Emory ranks the Patriots as having the second-best fan base in the NFL. 

Compiled by professor Mike Lewis and favoring in numerous statistical data, the list ranks the Patriots first in terms of “social equity,” third in “fan equity” and fifth in “road equity.” The Cowboys hold the top overall spot. 

The following graphic is from Lewis' report. 

Lewis allows for the possibility that many of New England’s fans may be bandwagon fans, but that the league’s Deflategate scandal boosted engagement from Patriots dans on social media. 

Click here for the full report.