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For months, the Seattle Seahawks and NFL teams have been preparing for the most unusual season to date.
On Sunday, as the Seahawks took the field at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the season opener, players and coaches got their first taste of what it’s like to play in a stadium without fans during the COVID-19 era.
The stadium piped in artificial fan noise, curated to emulate an atmosphere which would typically feature fans in stadium seats.
The Seahawks prepared for this moment by playing two mock games at CenturyLink Field. The no-fan mandate is something that will take getting used to, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said it ultimately had no factor on the game’s 38-25 outcome.
“It was different,” Carroll said Sunday. “But it didn’t matter to the game, I guess. We’re on the road and we didn’t have a crowd screaming at us either. Way back when, I always felt like this was going to work out OK because the guys, they don’t play for the fans on game day; they’re playing to play the game the way they’re supposed to...
For safety Jamal Adams, the experience of playing his first game as a Seahawk with no stadium crowd was “weird.” But Adams said the comradery of his teammates helped feed the energy and hype players up.
“Once after that first series, we were good,” Adams said. “You could hear a lot of noise-talking out there, but at the end of the day, it showed. It showed who loves football more than that person or whatever the case may be...
The Seahawks will now prepare for their first home game of the season without the roaring 12s. Seattle elected to play the first three games of the season without fans in attendance after consulting with public health officials. It’s worth mentioning their fourth home game of the 2020 season is against divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 11.
In another game without the “12th Man,” the Seahawks will once again look to their players to bring the juice and energy as the Patriots head to CenturyLink Field on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 5:20 p.m.
[Listen to the latest Talking' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and guest Chris Simms!]