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Patriots face first NFC team with a visit from Dallas

Posted Oct 11, 2011

The Patriots (4-1) will look to improve upon their record at Gillette Stadium and in the month of October this Sunday when they face the Dallas Cowboys (2-2) in their first game of the 2011 season against an NFC opponent.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-1) vs. DALLAS COWBOYS (2-2)
Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 4:15 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium (68,756)

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The New England Patriots will promote breast cancer awareness during the month of October as part of the NFL and the American Cancer Society's 'A Crucial Catch' campaign. The Patriots players and coaches wore pink game apparel on October 2 at Oakland and will wear pink game apparel again this week against Dallas.

The Patriots will look to improve upon their record at Gillette Stadium and in the month of October this Sunday when they face Dallas in their first game of the 2011 season against an NFC opponent. Since their state-of-the-art facility opened at the beginning of the 2002 season, the Patriots own the NFL's best record at home overall with a 69-14 record. With the win last week, the Patriots improved to a 31-5 record in the month of October since the 2003 season, including a 17-1 record in home games.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by FOX and can be seen in Boston on WFXT-TV Channel 25. Thom Brennaman will handle play-by-play duties with Troy Aikman providing color. Pam Oliver will serve as the sideline reporter. The game will be produced by Richie Zyontz and directed by Rich Russo.

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 Gil Santos is in his 35th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti. Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak will provide sideline analysis.

PATRIOTS RECORD AGAINST THE NFC AT HOME SINCE 2002
The Patriots have won 17 straight games at Gillette Stadium against NFC opponents. The only loss was the very first game against an NFC opponent at the new stadium in 2002 when the visiting Green Bay Packers beat the Patriots, 28-10, on Oct. 13.

SERIES HISTORY

The New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys will meet for the 11th time in team history and the first since the Patriots beat Dallas, 48-27, on Oct. 14, 2007 in Dallas when both team entered the game with 5-0 records.

The Cowboys hold a 7-3 series lead, including 3-2 in Foxboro and 4-1 in Dallas. The Cowboys lost 12-0 in their only other visit to Gillette Stadium on Nov. 16, 2003. The Cowboys won the first seven games of the series from 1971- 1996, but the Patriots have claimed victories in the last three games.

The Patriots first win against Dallas was a 13-6 decision at Foxboro Stadium on Dec. 5, 1999. The series dates back to 1971, when the Cowboys beat the Patriots in the first game ever played at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas.

SERIES TRENDS
Overall Record, 3-7

Record in New England, 2-3
- Record in Foxboro Stadium, 1-3
- Record in Gillette Stadium, 1-0

Record in Dallas, 1-4

Bill Belichick vs. Dallas, 3-1 (2-0 with New England)

Jason Garrett vs. New England, 0-0

BRADY AGAINST THE NFC AND NFC EAST
  • Brady is 7-1 all-time against the NFC East with his only loss coming in 2003 game against the Washington Redskins.
  • Brady is 16-2 at home against the NFC overall, and 15-1 at Gillette Stadium against the NFC. His only loss at Gillette Stadium was the 28-10 loss on Oct. 13, 2002 to Green Bay.
  • Brady is 31-5 against the NFC overall in the regular season.

CONNECTIONS

NEW ENGLAND TIES
  • LB Alex Albright was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College in 2011.

DALLAS AND TEXAS TIES
  • Patriots QB Ryan Mallet graduated from Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas which is three hours away from Dallas. Mallet was named Gatorade High School Player of the Year in Texas in 2006.
  • WR Wes Welker attended Texas Tech University from 2001- 2004.
  • Rookie OL Kyle Hix attended the University of Texas and was signed as a free agent on July 27, 2011.
  • T Marcus Cannon was drafted in the 5th round (138th overall) out of Texas Christian in the 2011 draft.
  • G Brian Waters attended the University of North Texas from 1995-1999.
  • T Sebastian Vollmer went to the University of Houston from 2005-2008 and was drafted in the 2nd round (58th overall) in the 2009 draft.

FORMER NFL TEAMMATES
  • Patriots DE Shaun Ellis, DB James Ihedigbo, and RB Danny Woodhead all played alongside DE Kenyon Coleman and S Abram Elam with the New York Jets.
  • DE Andre Carter suited up with G Derrick Dockery for the Washington Redskins in 2006.
  • Dallas backup QB Jon Kitna has 17 career touchdown passes to WR Chad Ochocinco during the duo's tenure at Cincinnati. Ochocinco's first career touchdown reception came from Kitna in 2001 against the San Diego Chargers in Week 3 of the season.
  • DE Andre Carter teamed up with G Kyle Kosier for three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 2002-2004.
  • LB Tracy White played with P Mat McBrair (Seattle Seahawks '03), S Gerald Sensabaugh (Jacksonville Jaguars =05 ), and CB Frank Walker (Green Bay Packers '07).
  • G Dan Connolly also played with S Gerald Sensabaugh with the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2006 season.

FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES
  • DE Ron Brace played together with Dallas rookie LB Alex Albright at Boston College for two seasons (2007-2008).
  • WR Matthew Slater teamed up with K Kai Forbath at UCLA. Slater played alongside the kicker during the 2007 season.
  • WR Kevin Ogletree and TE John Phillips played with Patriots' LS Danny Aiken at the University of Virginia from 2008-2009.
  • Cowboys' TE Jason Witten, who played DE in college, teamed up with DT/DE Albert Haynesworth and DE Shaun Ellis at the University of Tennessee to form a future all-star front. Ellis was drafted in the 2000 draft (12th overall), Haynesworth selected in the 2002 draft (15th overall), and Witten (69th overall) in the 2003 draft. The trio has tallied 11 Pro-Bowl appearances to date.
  • RB Kevin Faulk played with S Bradie James at LSU during the 1999 season. James was a true freshman during the 1999 season. Faulk holds nine school records at LSU.

PASSING PERFORMANCES
Tom Brady is scheduled to start at quarterback against Dallas for the third time in his career. He has a 2-0 record against the Cowboys. The last time he played Dallas, he threw for 388 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-27 win.

PATRIOTS VS. NFC
The Patriots have been successful against NFC teams in recent seasons, compiling a 35-5 (.875) regular-season record against the conference since 2001. Including the postseason, the Patriots are 38-6 (.864) against the NFC with a 3-1 Super Bowl record since 2001.

The Patriots were 4-0 against the NFC last season, beating Minnesota (28-18) and Green Bay (31-27) at home and Detroit (45-24) and Chicago (36-7) on the road.

The Patriots are 7-1 against the NFC East in the regular season since realignment in 2002. The Patriots only loss was a 20-17 defeat at Washington in 2003.The Patriots have squared off against the NFC East in two seasons, finishing 3-1 in 2003 and 4-0 in 2007. In addition to this week's game against Dallas, the Patriots will host the New York Giants on Nov. 6 and travel to Philadelphia on Nov. 27 and Washington on Dec. 11.

PATRIOTS ARE SHARP AT GILLETTE
The Patriots have now won 19 straight regular season home games dating back to a 47-7 win over Arizona on Dec. 21, 2008. The Patriots own an overall record of 62-12 (.838) at Gillette Stadium in regular season games. Since their state-of-the-art facility opened at the beginning of the 2002 season, the Patriots own the NFL's best record at home all-time.

PATRIOTS WICKED GOOD IN OCTOBER
The Patriots are 31-5 in the month of October since the 2003 season and have won 22 out of their last 24 October games. The Patriots are 17-1 at home and 14-4 on the road during that time in October. New England was 4-0 in October in 2010.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2011
The Patriots own an overall record of 62-12 (.838) at Gillette Stadium in regular season games. Since their state-of-the-art facility opened at the beginning of the 2002 season, the Patriots own the NFL's best record at home.

RECORD SETTING PACE
QUALIFIER - Five games into the season, a number of Patriots players are on pace for record-breaking seasons. While we know these won't be realistic projections, it is fun to look at what the numbers would be if they continued at this pace.

TOM BRADY
  • Tom Brady (1,874) is on pace to throw for 5,997 yards. Only two NFL players have thrown for 5,000 or more yards in a season with Dan Marino's NFL record 5,084 in 1984 and Drew Brees' 5,069 in 2008.
  • Brady has 14 touchdowns, putting him on pace for 45 touchdown passes, which would be his second season with 40 or more touchdowns. He had an NFL-record 50 touchdowns in 2007.
  • Brady currently has an NFL record of 30 straight wins as a starter in the regular season at home. The last time the Patriots lost a regular season home game which Brady started was on Nov. 12, 2006 against the New York Jets.
  • Brady has a current streak of 21 straight games with at least one touchdown pass, a Patriots team record.
  • Brady has 115 wins as a starter and needs two more wins to tie Joe Montana (117) for 7th all-time.

JULIAN EDELMAN

  • Julian Edelman has the highest punt return average in Patriots history with a 13.6-yard average (36-489).

BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS

  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis has 18 touchdown runs since the beginning of the 2010 season, the most in the NFL. Houston's Arian Foster is second with 17.

ROB GRONKOWSKI

  • Rob Gronkowski has five touchdowns so far in 2011, putting him on pace for 16 for the year. The NFL record for most touchdowns in a season by a tight end is 13 by Vernon Davis (SF) in 2009 and Antonio Gates (SD) in 2004. Gronkowski last season set the franchise record for touchdowns by a rookie tight end with 10.
  • Gronkowski has 15 touchdown catches in 21 career NFL games.

WES WELKER

  • Wes Welker has 45 receptions through four weeks and is on pace for 144, which would break Marvin Harrison's single season record of 143, set in 2002.
  • Welker has 740 receiving yards and is on pace for 2,368, which would break Jerry Rice's record of 1,848 set in 1995.
  • Wes Welker had a career-high 217 receiving yards to set a franchise record (09/25/11) at Buffalo, breaking the previous record set by Terry Glenn with 214 receiving yards.
  • Welker has a streak of 66 straight regular season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots to extend a franchise record. TE Ben Coates held the previous mark with 63 straight games.
  • Welker has caught at least one pass in 83 straight regular season games in his NFL career.
  • Welker is tied with six other NFL players as the only players in NFL history to have at least eight receptions, 150 yards and at least one touchdown three times in a single season.

VINCE WILFORK

  • Vince Wilfork has two interceptions so far in 2011 and is one of four Patriots defensive lineman to ever register two career interceptions. Anthony Pleasant (2001) is the only other Patriots defensive lineman to record two interceptions in a single season.
  • The Patriots currently have 165 points and are on pace to finish with 528 points, which would be second in team history and fifth all-time in NFL history. The 2007 Patriots have the record with 587.
  • The Patriots are averaging 33.0 points per game in 2011. That number would be second all-time in team history. In 2007, the Patriots averaged 36.8 points per game.
  • The Patriots have scored 30 or more points in 13 straight games. The NFL record is 14 by St. Louis (1999-2000).


INSIDE THE NUMBERS

BY THE NUMBERS

2
The number of games where the Patriots had three players with seven or more receptions: at Miami (9/12) and vs. San Diego (9/18).

2
The number of 2011 draft picks that were in the opening day starting lineup after T Nate Solder started at right tackle and S Ras-I Dowling started at cornerback.

2
The number of interceptions by Vince Wilfork in 2011. Anthony Pleasant (2001) is the only other Patriots defensive lineman to record two interceptions in the same season.

5
The number of touchdown catches by TE Rob Gronkowski in 2011. He is on pace for 16, which would be an NFL record.

7.15
The number of receptions that Wes Welker is averaging during his Patriots career with 477 receptions in 66 games, best in franchise history.

5.38
The average yards per carry by Danny Woodhead during his Patriots career (123 att. for 662 yards), the best average among any Patriots player with at least 100 rushing attempts.

10
The number of career 100-yard receiving games by Deion Branch after he finished with 8 receptions for 129 yards in the win vs. San Diego (9/18).

13
The number of consecutive games that the Patriots have scored 30 or more points, dating back to last season. That active streak is a franchise record.

18
The number of rushing touchdowns by BenJarvus Green-Ellis since the start of the 2010 season, the most in the NFL.

19
The number of 10-tackle games by LB Jerod Mayo after he finished with a team-high 11 total tackles vs. San Diego (9/18).

622
The number of total yards by the Patriots in the win at Miami in the season opener, a franchise record. The previous best was 619 yards vs. Tennessee (10/18/09).

740
The number of receiving yards by Wes Welker after five games, the most yards in the first five games in NFL history. In 2010, Welker led the Patriots with 848 total yards to finish 11th in the AFC.

TOM BRADY BY THE NUMBERS

1
The number of NFL quarterbacks that followed a 500-yard performance with a 400-yard performance after Brady had backto- back games with 517 yards and 423 yards.

6
The number of times that Brady has finished a season with 25 or more touchdowns. He is the sixth QB in NFL history to have 25 or more touchdown passes in at least six different seasons.

8
The number of times Tom Brady has passed for 3,000 or more yards in a season, a franchise record for most 3,000-yard seasons. He finished the season with 3,900 yards.

11
The number of times an NFL quarterback has thrown for 500 or more yards after Brady threw for 517 in the 2011 opener at Miami.

19
The number of times Tom Brady has earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the award in each of the first two weeks of the 2011 season.

18
The number of NFL quarterbacks that have reached 35,000 yards after Brady (36,618) reached the milestone at Miami.

30
The number of consecutive regular-season starts that Tom Brady has won at Gillette Stadium, extending an NFL record for most consecutive home wins by a starting quarterback in the regular season.

36
The number of touchdown passes thrown by Brady in 2010 to lead the NFL. He is one of just 13 players since the 1970 merger to have at least two 30 touchdown seasons. He set an NFL record with 50 in 2007.

38
The number of regular season 300-yard passing games by Tom Brady, a team record. He is in 9th place for the most 300-yard games in NFL history.

86
The number of times that Brady has thrown two or more touchdowns in a game. The Patriots are 73-13 when he throws for two or more touchdowns.

115
The number of wins that Brady has as a starting quarterback. He reached the 100-win milestone in the fewest number of starts (131) among all quarterbacks in the modern era.

1,327
The number of passing yards Brady had in the first three games (517, 423 and 387). Brady's 1,327 yards set the NFL mark for the most passing yards ever in a three-game streatch.

THE KRAFT ERA

3
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) and Pittsburgh (2; 2005 and 2008) have won multiple Super Bowl titles since 1994.

5
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 three conference titles since 1994.

10
The number of division championships won by the Patriots since Kraft purchased the team in 1994.

12
The number of playoff seasons earned by the Patriots in the 17 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team.

17
The number of playoff games 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 ranks second with 15 playoff wins over that span.

26
The number of playoff games the Patriots have appeared in since 1994. The mark is tied with Pittsburgh for the most playoff games during that time period.

THE BELICHICK ERA

4
Bill Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three championships since the Super Bowl era began. Belichick joins three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the exclusive club (Chuck Noll 4, Joe Gibbs 3 and Bill Walsh 3). Belichick is the only coach to win three Super Bowls in the post-1993 salary cap era and the only one to ever win three in four years.

181
Bill Belichick has 181 career victories as a head coach, including playoff games. Belichick is in sole possession of 10th place in alltime coaching victories.


PATRIOTS DEDICATE 2011 SEASON TO MYRA KRAFT

The New England Patriots announced that they will dedicate the 2011 season to the loving memory of Myra Kraft, who passed away on July 20 after a courageous battle with cancer. Every Patriots player and coach will honor Myra's memory by wearing a patch with her initials on it in recognition of her lifelong contributions to the local and global community and her influence on the charitable mission of the entire Patriots organization. The patch will be worn on the left chest of every player throughout the season.

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