New England Head Coach Pete Carroll believes that long losing streaks to the same team can make a team feel like an underdog heading into a game. However, despite 11 consecutive losses to the Broncos, Pete Carroll doesn't think the Patriots will feel overmatched this Sunday.
"An attitude can prevail," Carroll said. "You can have an attitude that one team, for one reason or another, always does well against you. [But} Our guys aren't that familiar with this scenario. If you play somebody twice a year in your division, you can have more of a feel like that."
Heading into the Denver game, the Patriots know they won't be facing the names most easily associated with the Broncos, especially on offense.
Quarterback Brian Griese is coming off a strong win over Green Bay last week, and has seven touchdown passes to go with seven interceptions. Running back Olandis Gary is starting in place of Terrell Davis and has rushed 57 times for 188 yards and one score. Pro Bowl veteran Ed McCaffrey is now the top target after an injury knocked tight end Shannon Sharpe out of the lineup. McCaffrey has stepped up well, catching 26 passes for 396 yards and six touchdowns.
"We have to become familiar with these guys," Carroll said. "From the first moment I stepped into the meeting room on Wednesday we've been seeing the faces and studying the background of these guys. I didn't want us to go two or three days into the week without us knowing who we were dealing with."