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Patriots travel to Tampa to face the Buccaneers

Posted Aug 14, 2011

The Patriots will make their first road trip of the season when they travel to Tampa to face the Buccaneers on Thursday, August 18 at 7:30 p.m. from Raymond James Stadium.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (1-0) at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1-0)
Thurs., August 18, 2011 - 7:30 p.m. EDT
Raymond James Stadium (65,908)

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The Patriots opened the preseason last Thursday night with a convincing 47-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium. The 47 points were the most ever for the Patriots in a preseason game. The previous best was a 45-7 win vs. Washington on Sept. 4, 1977. This week, the Patriots will make their first road trip of the season when they travel to Tampa to face the Buccaneers on Thursday, August 18 at 7:30 p.m. from Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay opened the preseason last Friday night with a 25-0 victory at Kansas City.

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.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by the Patriots Preseason Television Network and can be seen throughout New England as well as Eastern Canada. The network's flagship station is WBZ-TV Channel 4 in Boston. Veteran CBS broadcaster Don Criqui provides play-by-play for his 17th year with the Patriots and is joined by three-time NFL Pro Bowler and CBS analyst Randy Cross, who joined the preseason broadcast team in 2003.

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 34th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti. Santos and Cappelletti are celebrating their 28th season as a tandem.

SERIES HISTORY
The Patriots and Buccaneers will meet in the preseason for the ninth time and the first time since the Patriots lost 27-10 at Tampa Bay in the 2008 preseason. The Patriots are 1-7 alltime against the Buccaneers in preseason play. The only meeting between the two teams in the preseason that was not played at Tampa Bay was in 2000, when the Bucs beat the Patriots 31-21 at Foxboro Stadium. In 1990, the two teams played at Jacksonville.

The Patriots are 5-2 against the Buccaneers all-time in the regular-season. The teams last played against each other in 2009 when the Patriots won 35-7 in London's Wembley Stadium. Head coach Bill Belichick's first game as head coach of the Patriots came against Tampa Bay on Sept. 3, 2000. Tampa Bay claimed a 21-16 victory in that game, but the Patriots have won five of the seven total games in the series, which dates back to 1976, the first year of existence for the Buccaneers franchise. New England won the first three games in the series from 1976-88. Tampa Bay claimed the next two meetings, before a Patriots, 28-0, shutout victory in a meeting between the two teams in 2005.

The Patriots beat the Buccaneers in 1988 and then went 17 years before their next win against the Buccaneers in 2005. The 17-year victory gap is the second longest for the Patriots, trailing only a 33-year win drought against the Washington Redskins.

SERIES TRENDS
Home Record, 2-1
-Foxboro Stadium, 1-1
- Gillette Stadium, 1-0

Away Record, 3-1
- Tampa/Houlihan's Stadium, 2-1
- Raymond James Stadium, 0-0
- Played in London's Wembley Stadium, 1-0

Total Points in Regular Season Series, 124-83

Largest Margin of Victory, 28 pts (12/17/05 and 10/25/09)

Largest Margin of Defeat, 20 pts (11/16/97)

Longest Win Streak, 3 games (1976-88)

Bill Belichick vs. Tampa Bay, 3-1 (2-1 with New England)

PRESEASON HISTORY
The Patriots are 40-31 (.563) in the preseason since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. Prior to 1994, the Patriots were 60- 96-1 (.385) in the preseason. New England enters this week's game with an all-time preseason mark of 100-127-1 (.441).

BILL BELICHICK IN THE PRESEASON
Bill Belichick has compiled an overall record of 37-29 (.561) in the preseason, including a 26-20 (.565) mark as Patriots head coach. Belichick's teams have been .500 or above in 14 of his 16 previous preseasons as a head coach in the NFL.

NEWLY ACQUIRED PATRIOTS
Since the start of training camp the Patriots have acquired WR Chad Ochocinco, DE Albert Haynesworth, DE Shaun Ellis and DE Andre Carter. Below are some of their thoughts on joining the Patriots:

From Ochocinco: "It's everything; not just what you see on the field, it's how we work in meetings. Every little thing has to be right or you're getting ripped. Everybody gets ripped, even Tom [Brady], me, everybody….I love it. They expect perfection. You don't hear the coaches saying, 'Good play.' That's what you're supposed to do."

From Haynesworth: "The expectations here, the way things are run, this is how it's supposed to be."

From Ellis: "The first thing that comes to mind is winning, you know, championships. I don't have one and I want to get one before it's all said and done. This is the best opportunity for me to do it and I joined and I'm ready to get in line with the rest of the guys and play my role."

From Carter: "First and foremost, they do things the right way. It's about accountability. You take accountability for yourself, you take accountability as a team. It's about playing as one. It's about not having any egos. Leave your egos at the door. That's one thing this team does well. They all play together well."

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

BY THE NUMBERS

2
The number of kickoff returns that WR Brandon Tate returned for a touchdown in 2010 after he returned a 97-yard kickoff for a touchdown vs. Cincinnati (9/12) and a 103-yard kickoff for a touchdown at Miami (10/4). Tate is the first Patriots' player to return two kicks for a touchdown in a season since Kevin Faulk returned two for a touchdown in 2002. The Patriots record for most returns in a single season is three by Raymond Clayborn in 1977.

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.

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 alltime coaching victories.