Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.
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The AFC East Champion New England Patriots will host the AFC South Champion Houston Texans in a Divisional Playoff game this Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The winner will advance to the AFC Championship on Jan. 20, 2013. The Texans advanced to the second round of the playoffs after a 19-13 victory last Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals. This week’s game will be the first postseason meeting between the two teams, and the second meeting of the 2012 season. The Patriots beat Houston, 42-14, in a Monday Night Football matchup at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 10, 2012.
TELEVISION: This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Jim Nantz will handle play-byplay duties with Phil Simms providing color. The game will be produced by Lance Barrow and directed by Mike Arnold.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Dial Global Sports. Ian Eagle and Trent Green will call the game. Lewis Johnson will provide sideline analysis.
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 in this press release. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 36th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak.
PATRIOTS EARN NUMBER TWO SEED IN AFC PLAYOFF FIELD
With the New England Patriots’ 28-0 victory over Miami (12/30) in the season finale, a Houston loss and a Denver victory, the Patriots earned the number two seed in the AFC playoff field. The Patriots have advanced to the Super Bowl in three of the four seasons (1978, 1996, 2001 and 2004) that they have earned the two seed, winning in two (2001 and 2004) of their three appearances.
PATRIOTS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT FOR 14TH TIME IN KRAFT’S 19 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP
New England has now qualified for the playoffs 20 times in its 53- year history. The Patriots have earned 14 of those playoff berths in the 19 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. New England has won 12 AFC East crowns under Kraft’s leadership. New England has won 15 division crowns overall (14 AFC East Crowns) and has qualified as a Wild Card team on four occasions (1998, 1994, 1985 and 1976). The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 as part of a 16-team tournament following a players’ strike.
2012 AFC EAST CHAMPIONS
The Patriots claimed the AFC East Division title for the fourth consecutive season and for the 12th time under Robert Kraft.
The Patriots are the fourth team to win more than half of their games in 12 straight seasons since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, joining the 49ers (16 straight from 1983-1998), the Cowboys (16 straight from 1970-85) and the Raiders (11 straight from 1970-80).
The Patriots and Texans will meet for the fifth time since Houston entered the NFL in 2002, for the second time in 2012 and for the first time in the postseason.
The Patriots and Texans met on Monday Night Football on Dec. 10, 2012, with the Patriots taking a 42-14 victory.
New England is 3-1 against Houston in the regular season with wins in 2003, 2006 and 2012 and a loss in the 2009 regular-season finale. Houston is 0-2 against New England at Gillette Stadium and has allowed 40 points in both losses. The Texans lost, 47-7, on Dec. 17, 2006 in their first visit to Gillette Stadium and then lost 42-12 in the 2012 Monday Night Football matchup.
Before the Texans joined the league, the Patriots and the Houston Oilers were foes dating back to the days of the American Football League, playing twice a year from 1960-69 and 33 times overall before the Oilers moved to Tennessee following the 1996 season.
The Patriots have an all-time record of 82-47-1 (.635) against the teams that make up the AFC South. It is the only division in the NFL where the Patriots own winning records against each team. New England owns winning marks against Tennessee (23-16-1), Indianapolis (47-29), Jacksonville (9-1) and Houston (3-1).
New England Ties
- Texans Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison began his coaching career at Suffield Academy in Suffield, Conn.
- Texans Special Teams Coordinator Joe Marciano coached the wide receivers at The University of Rhode Island from 1978-79.
- Texans NT Terrell McClain appeared in one game for the Patriots in 2012.
- Texans K Shayne Graham played eight games for New England in 2010 and was a perfect 12/12 on field goals during his stint with the Patriots.
Houston, Texas Ties
- Patriots Special Teams Coach Scott O’Brien served as the Linebackers/Special Teams Coach for Rice University, Houston, Texas during the 1986 season.
- Patriots T
Sebastian Vollmerattended the University of Houston from 2005-2008.
- Patriots Wide Receivers Coach Chad O’Shea was born on Dec. 18, 1972 in Houston. O’Shea went to Marshall University to play quarterback before transferring to the University of Houston (1994-1995). O’Shea got his coaching experience started at his alma mater acting as the team’s Graduate Assistant (1996), Wide Receivers Coach (1997), and Tight Ends/Special Teams (1998- 1999).
- Texans T Ryan Harris played for the Denver Broncos from 2007-10 and teamed up with Patriots LB
Niko Koutouvides(2008) and WR Brandon Lloyd(2009- 10).
- Patriots CB
Aqib Taliband Texans LB Barrett Ruud were defensive teammates with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2008-10. Patriots LB Niko Koutouvides also played with Ruud in Tampa Bay from 2009-10.
- Patriots LB
Tracy Whiteand Texans S Quintin Demps played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009.
- Patriots WR Brandon Lloyd played one season in Chicago with Texans S Danieal Manning (2008).
- Texans P Donnie Jones has teamed up with a number of Patriots throughout his career. In 2004 Jones played in Seattle with Patriots LB Niko Koutouvides and Patriots LB Tracy White. From 2005-06 Jones teamed up with Patriots WR
Wes Welkerin Miami. During his five years with the St. Louis Rams, Jones played with Patriots TE Daniel Fells(2008-10), Patriots TE Michael Hoomanawanui(2010-11) and WR Brandon Lloyd (2011).
- Patriots DE
Trevor Scottplayed with Texans CB Stanford Routt in Oakland from 2008-11.
- Patriots WR
Deion Branchand Texans RB Justin Forsett were teammates in Seattle from 2008-10. Former College Teammates
- Texans FB Tyler Clutts played at Fresno State with Patriots G
Logan Mankins(2003-04) and OL Ryan Wendell(2004-07).
- Patriots LB
Jerod Mayoand Texans RB Arian Foster were teammates at Tennessee from 2004-07.
- Patriots DL
Vince Wilforkplayed at the University of Miami with Texans WR Andre Johnson (2000-02) and C Chris Myers (2000-03).
- Patriots TE
Rob Gronkowskiplayed at the University of Arizona with Texans NT Earl Mitchell and Texans LB Brooks Reed in 2007 and 2008.
- Patriots T Sebastian Vollmer and Texans CB Stanford Routt played together at the University of Houston in 2004.
- Patriots S
Patrick Chungand Texans S Eddie Pleasant played together in the Oregon Ducks secondary from 2007-08.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE POSTSEASON
Bill Belichick (17) needs one more postseason victory to move ahead of Joe Gibbs for sole possession of third place all-time in postseason wins. Tom Landry (20) is in first place followed by Don Shula (19).
Tom Brady (16) needs one more postseason victory to break a tie with Joe Montana (16) for most playoff wins by a starting quarterback in NFL history.
Brady has played in 22 playoff games with the Patriots and needs to play in one more playoff game to break a tie with Tedy Bruschi for most playoff games by a Patriots player.
Brady (39) needs seven more postseason touchdowns to move past Joe Montana (45) and Brett Favre (44) for the all-time lead.
Brady (5,285) needs 571 postseason yards to set the all-time NFL record for most postseason yards. Brett Favre (5,855), Joe Montana (5,772) and Peyton Manning (5,389) are currently ahead of Brady.
Brady (499) can add to his NFL record of postseason completions.
Brady (5) needs to play in on more Super Bowl to match DL Mike Lodish, who played in six (4 with Buffalo and two with Denver).
Deion Branch (54) needs five receptions in the postseason to pass Troy Brown (58) for the most career playoff receptions in franchise history.
Branch (836) can add to his team record for most receiving yards in the postseason.
Welker has had at least six catches in each of his seven postseason games with the Patriots.
Welker (53) needs six postseason receptions to pass Troy Brown (58) for the most career playoff receptions in franchise history.
Welker (438) needs 257 postseason receiving yards to move past Troy Brown (694) into second place all-time behind Deion Branch (836).
PATRIOTS IN THE PLAYOFFS
New England has qualified for the playoffs 20 times in its 53- year history. Fourteen of those playoff berths have come in the 19 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a dramatic contrast to the six total playoff berths that the team earned in its first 34 years of existence. New England has won 15 division crowns, including 10 in the last 12 seasons, and has qualified as a Wild Card team on four occasions (1976, 1985, 1994, and 1998). The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 as part of a 16-team tournament following a players’ strike.
PATRIOTS IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND AND CONFERENCE TITLE GAME
The Patriots have compiled a 9-6 all-time record in divisional playoff games, including 6-2 at home and 4-1 at Gillette Stadium. They are 7-1 in the conference title game, including a 4-0 record at home and a 3-0 mark at Gillette Stadium.
PATRIOTS AT HOME IN THE PLAYOFFS
The Patriots are 13-3 at home in the playoffs in their history. Fifteen of the franchise’s 16 home playoff games have taken place since Robert Kraft purchased the team 19 years ago. After Kraft bought the team, the Patriots won 11 consecutive home playoff games before experiencing a home loss.