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Patriots return home to face the Denver Broncos

Posted Oct 2, 2012

The New England Patriots return to the confines of Gillette Stadium with a matchup against the Denver Broncos after opening the season playing three of the first four games on the road.

PATRIOTS (2-2) vs. BRONCOS (2-2)
Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium (68,756)

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The New England Patriots return to the confines of Gillette Stadium with a matchup against the Denver Broncos after opening the season playing three of the first four games on the road.

Sunday's game between the Patriots and the Broncos will mark the 13th time that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have started opposite one another overall. The Patriots have won six of the nine regular season games in which the two quarterbacks have faced each other. Brady and Manning have also faced each other three times in the postseason. The Patriots are 2-1 in those three playoff games.

The Patriots played the Broncos two times last season and won both the regular season and postseason meeting. New England traveled to Denver on Dec. 18, 2011 and overcame a 16-7 deficit to beat Denver, 41-23. The Patriots and Broncos met in a rematch in the AFC Divisional Playoffs on Jan. 14, 2012 at Gillette Stadium with the Patriots taking a 45-10 victory.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

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.

RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 40 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 36th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action. Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak will handle the color commentary, taking over duties for Gino Cappelletti. Cappelletti, a member of the original Boston Patriots in 1960 and the all-time leading scorer in the American Football League's history, retired from the broadcast team after 31 years as the team's iconic color analyst.

NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Dial Global Sports. Kevin Kugler and Mark Malone will call the game.

PATRIOTS WICKED GOOD IN OCTOBER
The Patriots are 32-6 in the month of October since the 2003 season and have won 23 out of their last 26 October games. The Patriots are 18-1 at home and 14-5 on the road during that time in October. The Patriots only home loss during that time was a 41-17 victory by the visiting San Diego Chargers on October 2, 2005.

PATRIOTS SCORE 40 TWICE AGAINST DENVER IN 2011
The Patriots became the 13th NFL team to score 40 or more points against the same team two times in a season and the first to do so since Philadelphia accomplished the feat in 2009 against the New York Giants. The Patriots are the first team to score 40 points two times in a season against a non-division opponent since the Oakland Raiders did so against Tennessee in the regular season and AFC Championship game in 2002.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Broncos will meet for the 46th time in series history, including three postseason meetings.

The Patriots played the Broncos two times last season and won both the regular season and postseason meeting. New England traveled to Denver on Dec. 18, 2011, and overcame a 16-7 deficit to beat Denver, 41-23. The Patriots and Broncos met in a rematch in the AFC Divisional Playoffs on Jan. 14, 2012 at Gillette Stadium with the Patriots taking a 45-10 victory. Denver leads the all-time regular-season series with a 25-17 advantage and is 2-1 in the postseason against New England. In addition to the 2011 postseason game, New England lost a Divisional playoff game at Denver during the 1986 and 2005 playoffs. Both of those games were played in Denver.

Of the 45 previous games in the series, 27 have been played in Denver. The Patriots have played more games against the Broncos than any other team that has never been in New England's division. The Patriots are 9-9 all-time against Denver in home games, including 2-2 against Denver at Gillette Stadium.

The history between the teams dates back to the first days of the American Football League in 1960. The Patriots played the Broncos in the inaugural game of each franchise, a 13-10 Denver win on Sept. 9, 1960 at B.U. Field. The teams squared off twice a year in the decade prior to the AFL-NFL merger, with the Patriots taking a 10-7 advantage out of those games.

SERIES BREAKDOWN
(Including Playoffs)

  • Overall Record, 18-27 (Including 1-2 in playoffs)
  • Record in New England, 9-9
  • Record in Denver, 9-18 (Including 0-2 in playoffs)
  • Total Points in the Series, Denver 1050, Patriots 950
  • Bill Belichick vs. Denver, 5-10 (5-6 with New England)
  • John Fox vs. New England, 1-4 overall


QUICK HITS

  • In Belichick's first two wins at Denver (10/1/00 and 11/3/03), he took intentional safeties in the second half to help secure the win.
  • K Stephen Gostkowski's longest field goal was a 53-yarder at Denver on Oct. 11, 2009. He matched that mark with a 53- yarder vs. Arizona (9/16/12) in the 2012 home opener.


BRADY VS. DENVER
Tom Brady is 2-5 against the Broncos in the regular season and 1-1 against Denver in the postseason following a 2005 AFC Divisional playoff loss in Denver and last season's AFC Divisional victory at Gillette Stadium. Denver is the only team that Brady has a losing record against.

BRADY VS. MANNING
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have had many epic games against each other over the course of their careers. This week's game will be the first Brady-Manning game that does not involve the Indianapolis Colts. Despite playing in separate divisions following the 2002 NFL division reformatting, the Patriots and the Colts played each other an astounding 14 times since 2001 overall. With the exception of the 2011 regular season matchup—a game which Peyton Manning missed due to a neck injury—and the 2008 regular season game that Tom Brady missed following an ACL tear, Brady and Manning have started at quarterback for their respective teams in every game dating back to September 30, 2001. Sunday's game between the Patriots and the Broncos will mark the 13th time that Brady and Manning have started opposite one another.

Although Manning holds a regular season advantage over Brady in touchdowns, yards and completions, the Patriots have won six of the nine regular season games in which the two quarterbacks have faced each other.

Brady and Manning have also faced each other three times in the postseason. The Patriots are 2-1 in those three playoff games with Brady posting a better passer rating (81.7) than Manning (61.0).

GRONK ON GRONK
Sunday's game once again features a brother-vs.-brother matchup, as Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and Broncos FB Chris Gronkowski will face each other for the first time in the NFL. Two other members of the Patriots have played against their siblings in 2012, with Patriots CB Devin McCourty playing his twin brother CB Jason McCourty in Tennessee and Patriots DE Chandler Jones squaring off against his older brother DE Arthur Jones in Baltimore.


CONNECTIONS

New England Ties
  • Broncos C Dan Koppen played for Boston College from 1998-2002.
  • Denver Offensive Line Coach Dave Magazu is a native of Taunton, Mass. and attended Taunton High School.


Denver Ties
  • Patriots T Nate Solder is originally from Buena Vista, Colo. and attended the University of Colorado from 2006-10.


Former Patriots
  • C Dan Koppen played for the Patriots from 2003-11 and went to training camp with New England in 2012. During his nine seasons with the Patriots, Koppen started 120 of 121 games and was a part of eight division championships, four conference titles and two Super Bowl crowns.
  • CB Tony Carter played for New England in 2010 and appeared in two games. He spent the majority of the 2010 season on the Patriots' practice squad.
  • Injured Reserve DL Ty Warren was drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft and played for New England until 2009. During his seven seasons with the Patriots, Warren started 92 of 105 games and recorded 496 tackles (292 solo) and 20.5 sacks.
  • Denver Defensive Quality Control Coach Cory Undlin served as a Patriots' defensive assistant and worked with the secondary in 2004.


Former Broncos
  • Head Coach Bill Belichick was the assistant special teams coach/assistant to the defensive coordinator for the Broncos during the 1978 season.
  • Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Josh McDaniels was the head coach of the Broncos from 2009-10.
  • Patriots special teams coach, Scott O'Brien, was the special teams coordinator for the Denver Broncos (2007-08).
  • TE Daniel Fells played for Denver in 2011 and started 15 of the 16 regular season games he played in.
  • WR Brandon Lloyd played for the Broncos from 2009-11. Lloyd posted a career year in 2010 and finished the season with 77 receptions for 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns.


Former Teammates
  • Patriots players TE Michael Hoomanawanui and WR Brandon Lloyd played with Broncos DT Justin Bannan in St. Louis in 2011.
  • Lloyd was teammates with Broncos S Mike Adams in San Francisco from 2004-05.
  • Patriots CB Marquice Cole played in the New York Jets secondary with Broncos S Jim Leonhard from 2009-11. Patriots RB Danny Woodhead also played for the Jets in 2009.
  • Patriots LB Tracy White and Broncos LB Joe Mays played on the same side of the ball in Philadelphia from 2008-09.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK VS. DENVER

TOM BRADY
  • With one touchdown pass against Denver, Tom Brady will extend his streak to 37 straight games with at least one touchdown pass and break a tie with Brett Favre (36) for the third longest streak all time, behind Johnny Unitas (47) and Drew Brees (47-current).
  • Brady has 48 career 300 yard games in the regular season and needs one more to tie Warren Moon (49) for 7th place all time.
  • If Brady reaches 300 yards against Denver it will be the third time in his career that he has had at least a fourgame stretch of 300 yard games. His career best is five straight 300-yard games in 2009. The NFL record is Drew Brees with nine consecutive 300 yard games (2011-12). Brady has thrown for 300 yards or more in 7 out of his last 8 regular season games.


STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI
  • Stephen Gostkowski (7-of-10) needs one more 50-yard field goal to tie Adam Vinatieri (8-of-17) for most 50-yard field goals in Patriots history.
  • Gostkowski has two 50 yarders so far in 2012 and can become the first Patriots player with three 50 yard field goals in a single season.


WES WELKER
  • Wes Welker (31) needs one more touchdown reception to break out of a tie for seventh place with Troy Brown on the Patriots all-time touchdown reception list.
  • Welker (14) needs one more 10-plus catch game to tie Andre Johnson (15) of Houston for the most 10-plus reception games among active players. Reggie Wayne also had 14 10-plus reception games.
  • Welker needs one reception to extend his streak to 82 straight regular-season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots to extend his franchise record. Welker has an overall streak of 98 straight regularseason games with at least one reception, including his time with the Miami Dolphins.


TEAM
  • The Patriots have had two straight games with two receivers reaching 100 yards. It is the fourth time in team history that the team has had back-to-back games with two receivers at 100 yards. The Patriots have never had three straight games with two 100-yard receivers.
  • The Patriots will be looking for their first back-to-back games with a 100-yard rusher since Laurence Maroney in 2007.


INSIDE THE NUMBERS

BY THE NUMBERS

3
The number sacks in four games by first round pick DE Chandler Jones.

6
The number of 20-yard runs by RB Stevan Ridley. Since 2000, Corey Dillon and Antowain Smith are tied with 13 runs of 20 or more, followed by Laurence Maroney (11), Kevin Faulk (10) and Sammy Morris (9).

8.6
The average of rookie Brandon Bolden on 16 carries for 137 yards at Buffalo 9/30), tied for the third highest among Patriots players with at least 15 carries in a game.

12.5
Since the beginning of 2010, Rob Ninkovich leads the Patriots with a total of 12.5 sacks.

20
The number of rushing yards the Patriots defense held Tennessee to in the 2012 season opener – tied for fifth-lowest total in team history.

28
The number of receptions of 25 or more yards by WR Brandon Lloyd since 2010, tied with Calvin Johnson for third, behind Mike Wallace (30) and DeSean Jackson (31).

30
The number of touchdown receptions by TE Rob Gronkowski since he entered the NFL in 2010, the most in the NFL in that time span. The NFL record for most touchdown receptions in a player's first three NFL season is 43 by Randy Moss.

122
The number of receptions in 2011 by WR Wes Welker. With 122 in 2011 and 123 in 2009, Welker joins Cris Carter as the only two NFL players with at least 120-plus receptions twice in their careers.

145
The loss to Baltimore (9/23) ended the Patriots run of 145 consecutive games at .500 or better, the longest such streak in NFL history. Dallas had the second longest streak ever with 115 games at .500 or better (1965-1974).

157
The number of games the Patriots have gone without suffering a three-game losing streak, the longest in the NFL. Atlanta is second with 69 straight games.

580
The number of total yards in offense that the Patriots had at Buffalo (9/30/12), the fourth highest in team history and the ninth time under Bill Belichick that the Patriots offense had a game with at least 500 yards in total offense.

TOM BRADY BY THE NUMBERS

1
Tom Brady became the first player to follow a 500-yard performance with a 400-yard performance after Brady had backto- back games with 517 yards and 423 yards to start 2011.

4
The number of seasons that Brady has reached 4,000 passing yards. His four 4,000-yard seasons are tied with Warren Moon and Philip Rivers for the fifth most in NFL history.

6
Brady became the sixth NFL quarterback in NFL history to have 30 or more touchdowns passes in at least three seasons after reaching 30 vs. Indianapolis (12/4) in 2011.

7
Brady has thrown for 300 yards in seven out of the last eight regular season games, dating back to the 2011 season.

13
Tom Brady is one of 13 quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 500 or more yards after he passed for 517 in the 2011 opener at Miami.

TOM BRADY BY THE NUMBERS

14
Tom Brady (41,206) is one of 14 quarterbacks in NFL history to reach at least 40,000 passing yards.

20
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 and in Week 16.

36
The number of consecutive games that Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass, tied with Brett Favre for third best behind 47 by Johnny Unitas and 47 by Drew Brees.

48
The number of regular season 300-yard passing games by Tom Brady, a team record.

98
The number of times that Brady has thrown two or more touchdowns in a game. The Patriots are 83-15 when he throws for two or more touchdowns.

126
The number of wins that Brady has as a starting quarterback for fifth place. Brady reached the 100-win milestone in the fewest number of starts (131) among all quarterbacks in the modern era and the 125 career wins in the fewest starts (160).

5,235
The number of passing yards by Brady in 2011, the second most in a season in NFL history.

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), Pittsburgh (2; 2005 and 2008) and the NY Giants (2: 2007 and 2011) have won multiple Super Bowl titles since 1994.

6
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.

11
The number of division championships won by the Patriots since Kraft purchased the team in 1994.

13
The number of playoff seasons earned by the Patriots in the 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team.

19
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 17 playoff wins over that span.

29
The number of playoff games the Patriots have appeared in since 1994, the most in the NFL. Pittsburgh has the second most with 27.

196
The number of consecutive home games that have been sold out, including playoff and postseason games dating back to the 1994 season opener.

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.

194
Bill Belichick has 194 career victories as a head coach, including playoff games for 8th place all-time.

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