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Patriots open season against Miami on Monday night

Posted Sep 5, 2011

The New England Patriots will open the 2011 season against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (0-0) at MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-0)
Monday, September 12, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. EDT
Sun Life Stadium (75,192)

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The New England Patriots will open the season against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. The Patriots closed out the 2010 regular-season with a 38-7 win against Miami (1/2/11) to secure a series sweep following a 41-14 win in a Monday Night Football matchup in October at Sun Life Stadium.

The Patriots will open the season against Miami for the 7th time in team history and will open on Monday Night Football for the fifth time in team history and second time in the last three seasons. The Patriots are 3-3 against Miami in season-openers.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be nationally televised by ESPN and can be seen in Boston on WCVB-TV Channel 5. Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden will call the game. Suzy Kolber will be the sideline reporter.

NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One Radio Sports. Ian Eagle and Trent Green will call the game. Steve Tasker will work the sidelines.

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. Scott Zolak will provide sideline analysis.

DIVISIONAL DOMINANCE
The New England Patriots own a 48-14 (.774) record in regular season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season, compiling the best intra-division record of any team in the NFL over the last 10 seasons.

SERIES HISTORY
The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will square off for the 92nd time, including three playoff games, in their 46th year as division foes. The Dolphins and Patriots began playing twice a year during the regular season in 1967.

The Patriots have won seven of the last 10 games against Miami, including a series sweep in 2010 after splitting the series in 2008 and 2009.

In the first meeting of the 2010 season, the Patriots beat Miami 41-14 on Monday Night Football on Oct. 4 at Sun Life Stadium. The Patriots earned their seventh series sweep and first since the 2007 season with a 38-7 win in the rematch at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 2, 2011 in the final game of the 2010 regular season.

The Patriots have had the upper hand at home against Miami, as they hold a 27-17 record in games played in New England in the regular-season, including a 7-2 record at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots are 13-33 all-time in Miami.

The two have played three times in the postseason with New England holding a 2-1 advantage.

The Patriots and Dolphins have met 15 times in prime time with the Patriots and Dolphins tied at 5-5 in Monday Night Football Games. Nine of the 10 Monday Night football games have been played in Miami with the Dolphins holding a 5-4 advantage.

SERIES TRENDS
Miami 50, New England 41
(Including New England 2, Miami 1 in Playoffs)
*-A Miami home game was played in Tampa in 1969

Record in New England,    28-17 (Incl. 1-0 in playoffs)
- Record in Foxborough,    26-15 (1-0)
- Record in Boston,    2-2

Record in Miami    13-33 (Incl. 1-1 in playoffs)
- Record at Dolphins / Pro Player / Joe Robbie/ Sun Life    9-15
- Record at Orange Bowl    3-18 (1-1)
- Record in Tampa*,    1-0

Seasonal Sweeps: Patriots 7, Dolphins 13

Seasonal Splits, 23 (Most recent 2009)

Bill Belichick vs. Miami, 13-11 (13-9 with New England)

Tony Sparano vs. New England, 2-4


PATRIOTS-DOLPHINS QUICK HITS

  • Since Bill Belichick became Patriots head coach in 2000, New England is 13-9 (.591) against the Miami Dolphins. Since 2001, the Patriots are 48-14 (.774) against AFC East opponents. Half of those losses (7) have come to Miami. The Patriots are 13-7 against the Dolphins over that span and are 14-6 against the New York Jets and 19-1 against the Buffalo Bills in that time.
  • The Patriots have not been swept in their season series with a divisional opponent since 2000, when they lost both games to Miami and also to the New York Jets.
  • In seven career games against the Dolphins, Wes Welker has caught 55 passes for 683 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 7.8 catches and 98 receiving yards per game against his former club. Those averages are the best against any team Welker has faced more than once in his career. He also has three 100-yard games against Miami with a 138-yard game at Miami (10/21/07), a 120-yard game at Miami (11/23/08) and a 10-catch 167-yard game in 2009 at Miami (12/06/09).

PASSING PERFORMANCES
Tom Brady is scheduled to start at quarterback against Miami for the 19th time and has compiled a 12-6 record in his previous 18 starts against the Dolphins. Brady is 44-11 in his career as a starter in the regular-season against AFC East opponents, with six of the 11 losses coming to the Dolphins. One of those losses was in the final game of the 2005 season when Brady was pulled after the first quarter.

BRADY AGAINST THE AFC EAST
As a starter against the AFC East, Tom Brady owns a 44-11 (.800) record. He is 17-1 against Buffalo, 13-4 against the New York Jets, 12-6 against Miami and was 2-0 against Indianapolis when they were in the AFC East (2001 season).

CONNECTIONS

New England Ties

  • Miami Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano was raised in West Haven, Conn. and was a four-year letterman at the University of New Haven. Sparano later became the offensive line coach/recruiting coordinator at the University of New Haven from 1984-87 and its head coach from 1994-98. Sparano was also the offensive line coach/recruiting coordinator/academic liaison at Boston University from 1988-89 and BU's offensive coordinator from 1990-93.
  • Miami Director of College Scouting Chris Grier is a native of Holliston, Mass., and son of former Patriots' Vice President of Player Personnel Bobby Grier.

Miami Ties

  • Patriots NT Vince Wilfork attended University of Miami and is a Florida native.
  • Former NFL Teammates
  • Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich and Dolphins RB Reggie Bush were teammates when they played for the New Orleans Saints in 2006.
  • Patriots OL Dan Connolly and Dolphins DE Tony McDaniel were members of the Jacksonville in 2006.
  • Dolphins LB Jason Taylor was NFL teammates with a number of Patriots players:  WR Wes Welker, LB Rob Ninkovich (Dolphins 2007), DE Andre Carter (Redskins 2008), S James Ihedigbo and DE Shaun Ellis (Jets, 2010).
  • Patriots WR Wes Welker and LB Rob Ninkovich were teammates with Dolphins C Joe Berger in Miami from 2005-06.
  • Patriots DL Albert Haynesworth and Dolphins DE Randy Starks were teammates when they played for the Tennessee Titans from 2005-07.

Former Dolphins

  • Patriots WR Wes Welker played for the Miami Dolphins from 2004-06.
  • Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich played for the Dolphins in 2007.

Former Patriots

  • Dolphins Pass Rush Coach Bryan Cox played linebacker for the Patriots in 2001; he was a part of the Super Bowl XXXVI winning team.

PATRIOTS VS. MIAMI IN SEASON OPENERS
The Patriots will be opening the season against the Miami Dolphins for the seventh time in team history and the first time since a 24-10 loss at Miami in the 1996 season-opener on September 1, 1996.

The Patriots, who are 41-50 all-time against Miami, are 3-3 against the Dolphins when meeting in the season-opener. The Patriots are 3-1 in home games and 0-2 at Miami.

PATRIOTS ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The New England Patriots are 19-22 all-time on Monday Night Football, including 12-5 under head coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots were 2-0 in 2010 on Monday Night Football, following a 41-14 win at Miami on Oct.4 and a 45-3 win vs. NY Jets on Dec. 6. The Patriots are 9-8 in home Monday Night Football games and 10-14 on the road. The Patriots are 5-5 against Miami on Monday Night Football, including, including 4-5 in games played in Miami.

BRADY ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
QB Tom Brady owns a 10-4 record when playing on Monday Night Football. His best statistical performance on Monday Night Football was the 2009 season opener when he went 39-of-53 for 378 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Patriots to a 25-24 win over Buffalo. He earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. He has thrown three or more touchdowns in a Monday Night game seven times, including two four-touchdown performance when he threw four in a 31-7 win at Minnesota (10/30/06) and four in a 45-3 win last season vs. NY Jets (12/06/10).

PATRIOTS VS. MIAMI ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The Patriots and Dolphins have played each other on Monday Night Football 10 times and the series is even at 5-5. Nine of the ten games have been played in Miami where the Patriots have a 4-5 record. Eight of the 10 games have been played in Miami in December.

BILL BELICHICK ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Bill Belichick is 13-8 all-time on Monday Night Football, including 12-5 as head coach of the Patriots. He is 1-1 vs. Miami on Monday Night Football with the Patriots.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2011

TOM BRADY

  • Tom Brady enters 2011 with an NFL record of 335 consecutive regular season pass attempts without an interception.
  • Brady enters the 2011 season tied for 10th place with Dave Krieg with 261 career touchdown passes. He needs 13 touchdown passes to surpass his childhood hero Joe Montana (273) into ninth place (see Brady section for entire list).
  • Brady enters 2011 with 111 regular season wins as a starter and needs nine wins to become just the sixth quarterback with 120 or more regular season victories as a starter.
  • Brady currently has an NFL record of 28 straight wins as a starter in the regular season at home. The last time the Patriots lost a regular season home game in which Brady started was on Nov. 12, 2006 against the New York Jets.
  • Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick need six more wins to become the all-time winningest coach/QB tandem in NFL history.  Dan Marino and Don Shula have the most wins with 116 wins.
  • Brady threw a touchdown pass in all 16 games in 2011 and needs to throw at least one touchdown pass in the next four games to break his own team record of 19 straight games with at least one touchdown pass.
WES WELKER

  • Wes Welker enters the 2011 season with a streak of 61 straight regular season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots. He needs three more games with at least one reception to surpass the team mark of 63 set by TE Ben Coates.  
  • Welker needs 100 receptions in 2011 to become the third player in NFL history with four 100-catch seasons. Welker can join Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice has the only players with four 100-reception seasons.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

BY THE NUMBERS

2
The number of blocked kicks recorded by S Patrick Chung in 2010 after he blocked a punt and a field goal in the Patriots win at Miami (10/4). He is the first NFL player to block a field goal and a punt in the same game since CB Ramon Walker of Houston blocked a field goal and a punt vs. New England on Nov. 23, 2003.

4
The number of interceptions that the Patriots returned for a touchdown in 2010 after LB Gary Guyton returned an interception 59 yards for a score vs. Cincinnati (9/12), S Patrick Chung returned an interception 51 yards for a score at Miami (10/4), S James Sanders returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown at Pittsburgh (11/14), and CB Kyle Arrington returned an interception 36 yards for score vs. Green Bay (12/19).

5.64
The average yards per carry by Danny Woodhead in 2010 after he finished with 97 rushes for 547 yards. His average set a Patriots team record, topping Don Clahoun's previous team record of 5.59 yards per carry in 1976.

7
The number of interceptions by CB Devin McCourty in 2010. It is the second most interceptions by a rookie in Patriots history to Mike Haynes (8) in 1976.

10
The number of touchdown receptions by rookie TE Rob Gronkowski in 2010, a record for most touchdown catches by a tight end in Patriots history. The only other rookie tight end in NFL history to have more touchdowns was Mike Ditka (12).

13
The number of rushing touchdowns in 2010 by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, establishing a career high. His previous best was the five he had as a rookie in 2008. He is the first Patriots player with 10-plus rushing touchdowns since Corey Dillon had 13 in 2006.

45
The number of receptions by Aaron Hernandez in 2010, the most receptions by a rookie tight end in franchise history.

65
The number of touchdowns by the 2010 Patriots, a total that ranks as the eighth-highest total in NFL history. New England set the NFL record with 75 touchdowns in 2007.

71
The number of yards Dan Connolly gained on a second quarter kickoff return vs. Green Bay (12/19). It is the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman in NFL history.

193
The number of total tackles by LB Jerod Mayo in 2010. That number is the third-highest in team history and led the NFL in 2010.

1,008
The number of yards that BenJarvus Green-Ellis had rushing in 2010, becoming the first Patriots player to top the 1,000-yard rushing mark since Corey Dillon had a team-record 1,635 yards in 2004.

TOM BRADY BY THE NUMBERS

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.

17
The number of times Tom Brady has earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the award in back-to-back weeks in 2010: at Detroit (11/25) and vs. NY Jets (12/6).

28
The number of consecutive regular-season starts that Tom Brady has won at Gillette Stadium, setting 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.

34
The number of regular-season 300-yard passing games by Tom Brady, a team record.

82
The number of times that Brady has thrown two or more touchdowns in a game. The Patriots are 70-12 when he throws for two or more touchdowns.

111
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.

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.

177
Bill Belichick has 177 career victories as a head coach, including playoff games. Belichick is in sole possession of 10th place in all-time coaching victories.