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Game Preview: Patriots travel to face the Bengals
Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 - 1:00 p.m. EDT
Paul Brown Stadium (65,515)
The New England Patriots improved to 4-0 with a 30-23 win last week against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome and will look to get to 5-0 for the fourth time in team history and for the first time since 2007 when they travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Patriots will look to continue their winning October ways. The Patriots are an NFL-best 35-7 in the month of October since 2003 and have won 26 out of their last 30 October games.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV. Greg Gumbel will handle play-by-play duties with Dan Dierdorf providing color. The game will be produced by Mark Wolff and directed by Suzanne Smith.
RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 37 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis.
PATRIOTS WICKED GOOD IN OCTOBER
The Patriots are 35-7 in the month of October since the 2003 season and have won 26 out of their last 30 (.866) October games. The Patriots are 20-1 (.952) at home and 15-6 (.714) on the road during that time in October. The Patriots only October home loss since 2003 was a 41-17 victory by the visiting San Diego Chargers on October 2, 2005.
BILL BELICHICK NEEDS ONE MORE WIN TO MOVE PAST CHUCK NOLL
Bill Belichick needs one more win to move past Chuck Noll into sole possession of fifth place on the NFL's all-time wins list.
New England has won seven of the last eight regular season meetings between the clubs dating back to 1993, including the last four meetings.
While New England is 8-2 all-time at home against Cincinnati, including 2-0 at Gillette Stadium, the teams are even at 6-6 in games played at Cincinnati. The Patriots are 2-0 in games played at Paul Brown Stadium, winning 38-13 on Oct. 1, 2006 and 34-13 exactly one year later on Oct. 1, 2007.
The Patriots have scored over 30 points against Cincinnati in the last four meetings.
PATRIOTS vs. AFC NORTH
This week's game is the Patriots' first of four meetings with AFC North teams this season. The last time the Patriots played all four AFC North teams in a season was in 2010, when they compiled a 3-1 record against the division. New England is 37-35 against AFC North teams overall and is 15- 5 against the AFC North since the NFL realignment in 2002, including 4-0 against Cincinnati.
New England Ties
- Brown also went on to graduate from Harvard Law School in 1959.
- Bengals Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn also attended Dartmouth College, where she played on the women's ice hockey team.
- Bengals Strength and Conditioning Coach Chip Morton is a native of Hamden, Conn., located just north of New Haven.
- Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins attended the University of Cincinnati, located just five miles north of Paul Brown Stadium, for two years from 2011-2012. Former Patriots
- Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis was signed by the Patriots in 2008 as an unrestricted free agent and spent the next four seasons in New England. Green-Ellis rushed for over 2,000 yards with the club, highlighted by a 1,008- yard, 13-touchdown campaign in 2010. Green-Ellis became a free agent during the 2011 offseason and signed with the Bengals in March 2012.
- Bengals WR Brandon Tate was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Tate was released by the Patriots on Sept. 3, 2011 and signed with the Bengals the following day.
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick hired current Bengals Special Teams Coordinator Darrin Simmons as a coaching intern while he was head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
- Patriots RB James Develin was originally signed by the Bengals in November 2010 and spent two seasons as a member of practice squad before he was released in August 2012.
Former NFL Teammates
- Bengals TE Alex Smith teamed up with Arrington and Talib on the Buccaneers during the 2008 season, while K Mike Nugent joined Talib, Arrington, and Blount for one season in Tampa Bay in 2009. Smith went to training camp with New England in 2009. Nugent was also teammates with Patriots RB Leon Washington for three seasons (2006-2008) on the New York Jets.
- Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich and Bengals S Chris Crocker were teammates during the 2008 season on the Miami Dolphins.
- Patriots WR Danny Amendola was teammates with Bengals CB Adam Jones and CB Terence Newman in Dallas during Amendola's stint on the Cowboys practice squad in 2008.
Former College Teammates
- Patriots WR Josh Boyce caught passes from Bengals QB Andy Dalton during their one season together at TCU in 2010, including a game-high 44-yard reception from Dalton in the team's Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin. Patriots OL Marcus Cannon was also teammates with Dalton at TCU for two seasons from 2007-2008.
- Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower and Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick played for three seasons together (2009- 2011) at Alabama and were part of a top-ranked defensive unit that led the Crimson Tide to two championships in three years. Bengals T Andre Smith also joined Hightower during the 2008 season at Alabama.
- Bengals WR Mohammed Sanu was teammates with Patriots LB Steve Beauharnais and DB Duron Harmon for three seasons (2009-2011), CB Logan Ryan for two seasons (2010-2011), and DB Devin McCourty for one season (2009) at the University of Rutgers.
- Patriots LB Brandon Spikes was defensive teammates with Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap for three seasons (2007- 2009) and S Reggie Nelson for one season (2006) at the University of Florida
- Patriots OL Will Svitek and Bengals TE Alex Smith were teammates for four seasons from 2001-2004 at Stanford University.
- Patriots CB Aqib Talib and Bengals T Anthony Collins were teammates for three seasons at the University of Kansas from 2005-2007.
- Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard was teammates with Bengals RB Rex Burkhead for three seasons (2009- 2011) at the University of Nebraska.
- Patriots RB Shane Vereen and Bengals WR Marvin Jones were teammates for three seasons from 2008- 2010 at the University of California.
- Patriots DB Nate Ebner and Bengals WR Dane Sanzenbacher were teammates for two seasons (2009- 2010) at Ohio State.
- Patriots LS Danny Aiken and Bengals RB Cedric Peerman were teammates for two seasons from 2007- 2008 at the University of Virginia.
TOM BRADY AGAINST THE BENGALS
Tom Brady is scheduled to start at quarterback against Cincinnati for the fifth time and enters this week with a 4-0 record against the Bengals. Brady is 2-0 against Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium. He has thrown three touchdowns against the Bengals in each of the last two games.
CONSECUTIVE AWAY GAMES UNDER BILL BELICHICK
The Patriots will play consecutive games on the road for the 25th time under Bill Belichick after traveling to Atlanta last week and then traveling to Cincinnati this week. Since 2000, Belichick's Patriots have compiled a 33-17 record in those 50 road games for a .660 winning percentage when playing more than one consecutive game on the road. The Patriots have played two away games in a row 22 times since 2000, earning a 29-15 record in those contests. They have also played three away games in a row twice since 2000, with a 4-2 record in those games. Under Belichick's tenure, the Patriots have won back-to-back games on the road 10 times and have lost consecutive road games just twice. The Patriots were 3-1 in their two pairs of consecutive away games in 2012, splitting a late September road trip with a loss in Baltimore and a win in Buffalo before earning backto- back road wins against the New York Jets on Nov. 22 and the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 2.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK AT BENGALS
- Bill Belichick needs one win to pass Chuck Noll and take sole possession of fifth place on the NFL's all-time wins list. Belichick and Noll are tied with 209 career wins.
- Tom Brady needs one touchdown pass against the Bengals to extend his streak to 53 straight games with at least one touchdown pass. It is the second longest streak of all time, behind Drew Brees (54).
- Brady (45,820) needs 414 passing yards to move past Vinny Testaverde (46,233) into 8th place on the NFL's all-time passing list.
- Brady (341) needs one touchdown against the Bengals to move into a tie with Fran Tarkenton (342) for fourth place all-time and two to take sole possession of fourth place on the NFL's all-time list.
- Julian Edelman has the highest punt return average in NFL history at 13.0 (83-1076) and is one of seven NFL players with a punt return average of 12.0 or above.
- Edelman needs one more punt return for a touchdown to set the team mark with his fourth punt returned for a touchdown. He is tied with Irving Fryar and Troy Brown with three returns for a touchdown.
- Edelman and Houston's Andre Johnson are leading the NFL with 34 receptions. Edelman needs four receptions against the Bengals to surpass his career high of 37 receptions that he had as a rookie in 2009.
- Edelman (319) needs 41 receiving yards to surpass his career high of 359 yards set as a rookie in 2009.
- Edelman needs at least seven receptions against Cincinnati for his fifth straight game with seven or more receptions. If he reaches that mark he will tie an NFL record for most consecutive games to start a season with at least seven receptions. It has happened many times in NFL history, most recently by T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Derrick Mason in 2007.
- Stephen Gostkowski is tied with Adam Vinatieri for the team lead with eight career 50-yard field goals and needs one more to break the tie and become the team's all-time leader.
- Rob Ninkovich has the most fumble recoveries of any NFL player over the last four years (2010-13) with 10 and can add on to that total with a fumble recovery against the Falcons.
- Stevan Ridley has a career average of 4.42 yards (424- 1,878) and needs 26 carries against the Bengals to meet the team qualifications of 450 attempts to have the highest rushing average in team history.
- Aqib Talib needs an interception against Cincinnati to register an interception in his fourth straight game. Talib can tie the franchise record of four straight games with an interception that was set by Mike Haynes in 1976.
- Leon Washington needs one more kick returned for a touchdown to set the NFL record. He is tied with Josh Cribbs with eight career returns for a touchdown. TEAM
- The Patriots have forced a turnover in 31 straight games dating back to 2011, the longest active streak in the NFL. The last time the Patriots did not register at least one turnover was on Oct. 9, 2011 vs. the New York Jets.
- A win over Cincinnati will give the Patriots its first 5-0 start since 2007 and its fourth time starting the season at 5-0.
PATRIOTS OFF TO 4-0 START FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2007
The New England Patriots improved to 4-0 in 2013 with a 30-23 win over Atlanta. The Patriots are 4-0 for the seventh time in team history and for the first time since 2007. New England is now 4-0 for the third time under Head Coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots also started 4-0 in 1964, 1974, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2007.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
BY THE NUMBERS
Rookie free agent WR Kenbrell Thompkins caught two touchdown passes vs. Tampa Bay (9/22/13) to become the first rookie free agent to catch two touchdown passes in a game since Blair White of Indianapolis in 2010.
The Patriots own the top three totals in NFL history for most ball control plays from scrimmage with 1,199 in 1994, 1,191 in 2012 and 1,187 in 1995.
Linebacker Jerod Mayo has led the Patriots in tackles in each of the last five seasons, amassing 648 tackles over that five-year span.
The number of fumble recoveries by Rob Ninkovich over the last four years (2010-13), the most of any player in the NFL. Brian Urlacher and Vince Wilfork are second with seven.
The Patriots enter the season having compiled a winning record in 12 consecutive seasons and are the third team in NFL history to have 12 straight winning seasons since the 1970 merger.
The Patriots have won 12 straight games against AFC East opponents, tied with Baltimore, Green Bay and Indianapolis for the longest streaks of wins against division opponents since the 2002 NFL realignment.
Julian Edelman has a 13.0 punt return average on 83 returns, the best in NFL history. He is one of just seven NFL players to maintain a career average of 12.0 yards per punt return.
The number of points the Patriots have allowed in their last three home games, dating back to the 2012 regular season finale and the first two games of the 2013 season.
The Patriots have 13 rookies on their roster, including 7 draftees and 6 undrafted free agents.
Seventeen players on the Patriots 52-man roster entered the NFL as undrafted free agents.
Including the 13 rookies, there are seven new veterans on the team for a total of 20 new faces on the 2013 Patriots roster.
The number of rushing attempts Stevan Ridley needs to qualify for the highest rushing average in team history. Ridley has a 4.4-yard average on 424 attempts for 1,878 yards and needs 450 attempts to qualify.
The Patriots have forced a turnover in 31 straight games, dating back to 2011, the longest active streak in the NFL.
Julian Edelman is tied with Houston's Andre Johnson for the NFL lead with 34 receptions.
The receiving total of rookie free agent WR Kenbrell Thompkins at Atlanta (9/29), the highest single-game output by a Patriots rookie free agent in his rookie season and only the second 100- yard game by a rookie free agent in his rookie season.
The number of total snaps by Ryan Wendell in 2012 (1,231 offense and 148 on special teams), to lead the NFL.
TOM BRADY BY THE NUMBERS
Brady is tied with John Elway as the only quarterback to lead his team to five conference titles. Brady needs to play in one more Super Bowl to match DL Mike Lodish for the most Super Bowls played. Lodish played in six (four with Buffalo and two with Denver)
The number of 12-win seasons that Brady has guided the Patriots to during his career, second only to Peyton Manning's nine.
The number of division championships by Tom Brady, surpassing the nine division titles by Joe Montana and Peyton Manning for an NFL record.
The number of consecutive games that Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass, the longest active streak in the NFL and the second longest streak behind Drew Brees (54).
The percent of quarterback keepers converted by Brady (89 of 94) for first downs (67-of-69 on third-and-2 or less and 22 of 25 on fourth-and-2 or less).
The number of times that Brady has thrown two or more touchdowns in a game. The Patriots are 94-16 (.854) when he throws for two or more touchdowns.
Tom Brady leads the NFL with 5,949 passing yards in the postseason.
THE KRAFT ERA
The number of Super Bowl championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Only Denver (2; 1997 and 1998), Pittsburgh (2; 2005 and 2008) and the NY Giants (2: 2007 and 2011) have won multiple Super Bowl titles since 1994.
The number of conference championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Pittsburgh is second with four conference titles since 1994.
The number of division championships won by the Patriots since Kraft purchased the team in 1994.
The number of playoff seasons earned by the Patriots in the 19 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team.
The number of playoff games the Patriots have appeared in since 1994, the most in the NFL. Green Bay has the second most with 28.
The number of consecutive home games that have been sold out, including all playoff and preseason games dating back to the 1994 season opener.
The number of games the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the franchise in 1994. Prior to Kraft's ownership, the team had won 225 total games in its entire history from 1960- 93.
THE BELICHICK ERA
The number of wins Bill Belichick needs to pass Chuck Noll for fifth all-time in career wins as a head coach. Belichick and Noll are tied for fifth with 209 career wins.
Bill Belichick is the first coach to lead his team to four 500-point seasons (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012).
Belichick has been a part of eight Super Bowls overall, including five as a head coach and three as an assistant coach.
The number of 11-win seasons by Bill Belichick, tied with Tom Landry for second to Don Shula's 13.