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Patriots kick off the 2013 season at Buffalo

Posted Sep 3, 2013

The Patriots will open the 2013 season when they travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. The Patriots will be looking for their 10th straight opening day win.

PATRIOTS (0-0) at BILLS (0-0)
Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
Ralph Wilson Stadium (72,498)

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The Patriots will open the 2013 season when they travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. The Patriots will be looking for their 10th straight opening day win.

The Patriots will be opening the season against Buffalo for the ninth time in team history and the first time since a 25-24 come-from-behind win vs. Buffalo in the 2009 season-opener on Sept. 14, 2009, on Monday Night Football. The Patriots, who are 64-41-1 all-time against Buffalo, are 4-4 against Buffalo when meeting in the season opener. Buffalo is the most frequent opening day opponent for the Patriots with eight games. Miami is second with seven meetings on opening week.

The 2013 Patriots will open and close the season against Buffalo. It will mark the fifth time in team history that they will open and close the season against the same opponent and the first time it will occur since opening and closing the season against Buffalo in 2003. It has also happened in 1987 against Miami, 1981 against the Baltimore Colts and in 1974 against Miami.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

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 Bob Fishman.

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 LOOKING FOR TENTH STRAIGHT OPENING DAY WIN
The Patriots enter this week's game with nine straight opening day wins. Only three other NFL teams have had streaks of more than nine straight opening day wins.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Bills will meet for the 107th time and for the first of two 2013 meetings. Buffalo will travel to face the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in the regular season finale on Dec. 29.

New England holds a 64-41-1 edge in the series following a series sweep last year with a 52-28 win at Buffalo on Sept. 30 and a 37-31 win at Gillette in the rematch on Nov. 11. It marked New England's 22nd sweep in the annual series.

The Patriots are 30-22-1 all-time in Buffalo, including 23-16 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The Patriots are 34-19 all-time in home games against Buffalo, including 11-0 at Gillette Stadium.

The series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots' 64 wins over the Bills are their highest victory total over any opponent, nine more than they own over the New York Jets (55). New England has won 23 of its last 26 games against Buffalo dating back to the 2000 season.

After seven straight series sweeps and 15 straight Patriots wins, Buffalo ended the streak with a 34-31 victory Ralph Wilson Stadium in the first meeting of the two teams in 2011 on Sept. 25. The 15-game win streak is the third longest winning streak over a single opponent in NFL history. The Patriots avenged that loss in the 2011 regular season finale on Jan. 1, 2012 by overcoming a 21-0 first quarter deficit and scoring 49 unanswered points en route to a 49-21 victory.

The teams have had many memorable matchups over the years, including a five-game span from 1999 to 2001 where four of the five contests were decided in overtime.

SERIES TRENDS

Home Record............................................................... 34-19
Record in Foxborough .................................................. 28-14
Foxboro Stadium ......................................................... 17-14
Gillette Stadium ........................................................... 11-0
Record in Boston .......................................................... 6-5
Away Record ................................................................ 30-22-1
War Memorial Stadium .................................................. 7-6-1
Ralph Wilson/Rich Stadium ........................................... 23-16
Largest Margin of Victory .............................................. 46 points (2007)
Largest Margin of Defeat .............................................. 35 points (1970)
Longest Win Streak ..................................................... 15 games (2003-2010)
Bill Belichick vs. Buffalo Bills .......................................... 23-4 (23-3 with N.E)

PATRIOTS HAVE SCORED 30 OR MORE POINTS AGAINST BUFFALO IN SIX STRAIGHT GAMES
The Patriots have scored 30 or more points against Buffalo in six straight games after scoring 52 and 37 points against the Buffalo Bills in the 2012 games. It is the longest such streak in team history. The longest streak in the NFL since the 1970 merger is 8 straight 30-point games by Miami against the New York Jets (1986-89).

PATRIOTS – BILLS QUICK HITS
  • The Patriots have recorded 64 wins over the Bills, the most by the Patriots against any one opponent.
  • The Patriots have won 12 straight games against Buffalo at home, including a perfect 11-0 record at Gillette Stadium.
  • Bill Belichick has a 61-21 (.744) all-time regular season record against the AFC East as head coach of the Patriots.
  • Bill Belichick has finished with a perfect 6-0 record against AFC East opponents two times, during the 2007 season and in 2012.


PASSING PERFORMANCES
Tom Brady has led the Patriots to 20 regular season victories over the Bills, recording his highest regular season victory total over any opponent. Additionally, Brady has thrown for more touchdowns (51) against Buffalo than any other opponent. Brady also has more 300-yard games (7) against Buffalo than any other NFL team. He has five 300-yard games against Miami.

BRADY AGAINST THE AFC EAST
As a starter against the AFC East, Tom Brady owns a 55-12 (.821) record. He is 20-2 against Buffalo, 17-4 against the New York Jets, 16-6 against Miami and was 2-0 against Indianapolis when they were in the AFC East (2001 season).

PATRIOTS VS. BUFFALO IN SEASON OPENERS
The Patriots will be opening the season against the Buffalo Bills for the ninth time in team history and the first time since a 25-24 come-from-behind win vs. Buffalo in the 2009 season-opener on Sept. 14, 2009 on Monday Night Football. The Patriots, who are 64-41-1 all-time against Buffalo, are 4- 4 against Buffalo when meeting in the season opener. Buffalo is the most frequent opening day opponent for the Patriots with eight games. Miami is second with seven meeting on opening week.

PATRIOTS HAVE BEST NFL RECORD, PAST TEN YEARS
The Patriots record of 126-34 (.788) over the past 10 seasons is the best in the NFL. Over the past 10 years, only five NFL teams have posted a winning percentage of .600 or better.

PATRIOTS ARE TIED FOR SECOND-BEST OPENING MONTH RECORD IN THE LAST 10 YEARS
Getting off to a strong start is important. Over the last 10 years, eight teams have a winning percentage of at least .600 through the season’s first month. Those eight teams have combined to win eight of the 10 Super Bowl championships during that span. The Patriots are tied with Dallas for the second-best opening month record in the last 10 seasons with a 21-10 (.677) record.

CONNECTIONS

New England Ties
  • Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone coached the offensive line at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., in 1993 and also coached the offensive line at Northeastern University in 1994.
  • Bills Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman joined Marrone at the Coast Guard Academy in 1993 as a defensive backs/special teams coach.
  • Bills Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Eric Ciano and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Hal Luther both played football at Springfield (Mass.) College.
  • Strength and Conditioning Assistant Dan Liburd also spent time at Springfield as a graduate associate and graduated from Boston University in 2006.
  • Bills WR Marcus Easley is a native of Bridgeport, Conn. and attended Bunnell High School in Stratford, Conn. before going on to play at the University of Connecticut. Buffalo Ties
  • Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski grew up in Williamsville, N.Y., just over 10 miles northeast of Buffalo, and attended Williamsville North High School for three years.
  • Patriots Offensive Coaching Assistant Brian Daboll is a Buffalo native and attended St. Francis (Buffalo) High School before graduating from the University of Rochester in 1997.


Former Patriots
  • Bills TE Lee Smith was drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft and spent the summer with the club before being released on Sept. 3.
  • Bills OT Thomas Welch was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft and was waived during final cuts on Sept. 4. He returned to the Patriots in 2011 and spent of the year on the practice squad and 53- man roster, seeing action in three games with one start.


Former Bills
  • Patriots LS Danny Aiken originally signed with the Bills as a rookie free agent on July 28, 2011 before he was released on September 3. The Patriots claimed Aiken the following day off waivers.


Former NFL Teammates
  • Bills QB Kevin Kolb was also teammates with Patriots DB Kyle Arrington (2008) and WR Danny Amendola (2009) for one season on the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Patriots WR Danny Amendola was also teammates with Bills RB Tashard Choice during Amendola's brief stint on the Dallas Cowboys in 2008.
  • Patriots DT Tommy Kelly was teammates Bills T Erik Pears on the Oakland Raiders for two seasons from 2009-2010.
  • Patriots S Steve Gregory and Bills TE Scott Chandler were teammates for two seasons (2007-2008) on the San Diego Chargers.
  • Bills WR Brad Smith was teammates with Patriots RB Leon Washington for four seasons (2006-2009) and CB Marquice Cole for one season (2009) on the New York Jets.
  • Bills LB Jamaal Westerman joined Washington for one season (2009) and Cole for three seasons (2009-2011) on the Jets.


Former College Teammates
  • Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount and Bills LB Kiko Alonso were teammates during the 2009 season at the University of Oregon. Blount was also teammates with Bills FS Jairus Byrd during the 2008 season.
  • DL Chandler Jones played under current Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone for three seasons (2009-11) at Syracuse.
  • Patriots RB Stevan Ridley and Bills DB Ron Brooks were teammates for three seasons from 2008-2010 at LSU.
  • Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower was teammates with Bills DT Marcell Dareus for two seasons (2009-2010) at the University of Alabama.
  • Bills TE Chris Gragg was teammates with Patriots DE Jake Bequette for four seasons (2008-2011) and QB Ryan Mallett for three seasons (2009-2011) at the University of Arkansas.
  • Patriots OL Marcus Cannon and Bills LB Jerry Hughes were teammates for two seasons (2007-2008) at TCU.
  • Patriots DL Armond Armstead was teammates with Bills DB Nickell Robey and WR Robert Woods during the 2010 season at USC.
  • Patriots WR Aaron Dobson and Bills TE Lee Smith were teammates for two seasons (2009-2010) at Marshall University.
  • Bills LB Jamaal Westerman teamed up with Patriots DB Devin McCourty for three seasons (2006-2008).
  • Patriots TE Zach Sudfeld and Bills DB Duke Williams were teammates for four seasons (2009-2012) at the University of Nevada. Fellow Countrymen
  • Patriots T Sebastian Vollmer and Bills OL Doug Legursky are both natives of Germany. Vollmer was born in Kaarst, Germany and drafted by the Patriots in 2009, while Legursky was born in Frankfurt, Germany 145 miles to the southeast. Legursky went undrafted but was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK VS. BUFFALO

TOM BRADY

  • With one touchdown pass against the Bills, Tom Brady will extend his streak to 49 straight games with at least one touchdown pass and continue his second longest streak of all time, behind Drew Brees (54-current).
  • Brady (44,806) needs 194 yards passing against Buffalo to become just the ninth NFL player to reach 45,000 career passing yards.
  • If Brady leads the Patriots to 50 points against Buffalo, it will be his sixth time leading his team to a 50-point game, matching the total of six by former Kansas City quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Len Dawson.
  • Brady tied Drew Brees with his ninth NFL game with four touchdowns, 300 yards and no interceptions against St. Louis (10/28/12) and needs one more such game to be alone in first place.
  • Brady to throw for his eighth 300-yard game against Buffalo. Brady's seven 300-yard games against Buffalo are the most against any opponent in his career. His second best is five games of 400 or more yards against Miami and the New York Jets.


JULIAN EDLEMAN
  • Julian Edelman enters this week with a 13.1 punt return average on 72 career returns. He needs three more punt returns to reach the NFL qualifying number (75) to statistically become the NFL's all-time punt return leader. The NFL's all-time leader is George McAfee with a 12.8-yard average.
  • Edelman needs one more punt return for a touchdown to set the team mark with his fourth punt retunred for a touchdown. He is tied with Irving Fryar and Troy Brown with three returns for a touchdown.


ROB NINKOVICH
  • Rob Ninkovich has the most fumble recoveries of any NFL player over the last three years (2010-12) with nine and can add on to that total with a fumble recovery against Buffalo.


TEAM
  • The Patriots will look to score 30 points against Buffalo for the seventh straight game. The six straight 30-point games against Buffalo are the most against a single opponent in Patriots team history. The Patriots have a current streak of four 30-point games against Cincinnati and Indianapolis. The longest streak in the NFL since the 1970 merger is eight straight 30-point games by Miami against the New York Jets (1986-89).
  • The Patriots have forced a turnover in 27 straight games dating back to 2011, and including all 16 regular season games of 2012. The NFL record for most consecutive games with a turnover since the merger in 1970 is 71 by Philadelphia from 1985-1990.
  • A win over Buffalo will increase the Patriots opening day streak to 10 straight. The Patriots have won nine straight openers, the longest streak in the NFL. Baltimore is second with five straight opening day wins.
  • A win over Buffalo will extend the Patriots record to 11 straight wins over AFC opponents. After losing at Buffalo, 34-31 in 2011, the Patriots won their remaining four AFC East games that year and then finished a perfect 6-0 against AFC opponents in 2012. The Patriots previous longest winning streak against AFC opponents was 9 games, starting on Sept. 21, 2003 with a 23-16 win vs. NY Jets and ending on Dec. 20, 2004 with a 29-28 loss at Miami.



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