NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS(9-5) atNEW YORK JETS** (3-11)
Monday, December 26, 2005
Giants Stadium (80,062)
9:00 p.m. EST
The 2005 AFC East Champion New England Patriots will head to the Meadowlands to face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football on Dec. 26. With their playoff berth secure, the Patriots will hope to build on the momentum that they have built while winning five of their last six games by coming up with a solid effort on the road against a division rival.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by ABC Sports and can be seen in Boston on WCVB Channel 5. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties and will be joined in the booth by analyst John Madden. Reporter Michele Tafoya will contribute analysis from the sidelines.
RADIO: WBCN 104.1 FM is the flagship station for the Patriots Rock Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 36 stations can be found in this press release. Play-byplay broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 29th 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 22nd season as a broadcast tandem.
DOMINATING DEFENSEOver their last three games, the Patriots have allowed a total of just 10 points, setting a franchise record for the fewest number of points allowed during any threegame span. New England's defense has allowed just one touchdown and one field goal in the month of December, and has allowed an average of just 9.8 points per game in its last six contests dating back to Nov. 13. One of the keys to the Patriots' defensive dominance has been their ability to shut down the run, allowing an average of just 28.3 rushing yards per game in their last three contests.
HOT WHEN IT'S COLDThe weather may turn cold late in the NFL season, but in recent years the Patriots have remained red hot. New England has historically responded well to the cold, compiling a 20-1 record since 1993 when the temperature is 34 degrees or less. And when it gets even colder the Patriots get even better - they're 14-0 since 1993 when it's 30 degrees or less. New England has also won 15 straight games when it's been 35 degrees or less. Additionally, quarterback Tom Brady has been perfect in cold conditions, going 20-0 as a starter when it's below 40 degrees.
SERIES HISTORYThe Patriots and Jets will meet for the 92nd time since the series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots have won five straight and seven of the last eight games between the teams, including sweeps in each of the last two years. New England could complete its third consecutive series sweep with a victory. The Jets hold an overall edge in the series, but the Patriots lead the series 14-9 since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. With their 92nd meeting this week, the Jets tie the Buffalo Bills as the most frequent opponent in Patriots history. New England's 43 victories over the Jets (including one playoff win) are tied for the second most over any single opponent, trailing only Buffalo (51 all-time wins). Including one playoff victory, the Patriots are 13-9 against the Jets at the Meadowlands. New England has been victorious in each of its last four road games against the Jets.
BEAST OF THE EASTNew England has won 14 of its last 15 divisional games and owns the best record among AFC East teams in division games since the beginning of the 2001 season (24-6). The New York Jets rank second with a 14-16 record and Miami is third with 14-17 mark. Buffalo has a 10-21 record. In their last 27 divisional games, the Patriots are 23-4.
PATRIOTS-JETS QUICK HITS
- Only one player on the Jets' 53-man roster (FB Jerald Sowell) remains with the team from the time when Patriots head coach Bill Belichick served as New York's assistant head coach/secondary (1997-99). Four Jets currently on injured reserve were also with the team when Belichick was there (C Kevin Mawae, OT Jason Fabini, RB Curtis Martin and WR Wayne Chrebet).
- Two members of the Jets coaching staff are former Patriots players: defensive backs coach Corwin Brown (a Patriots safety from 1993-96) and assistant running backs/assistant special teams coach Sam Gash (a Patriots fullback from 1992-97).
PASSING PERFORMANCESTom Brady owns a 7-1 record against the Jets as a starting quarterback. Brooks Bollinger is 0-1 against the Patriots. Additionally, Jay Fiedler (4-4) and Vinny Testaverde (5-8) have each started games against the Patriots in their careers.
DOMINANT IN DECEMBERThe Patriots have recorded a perfect 3-0 mark so far in the month of December and could close out the month with an undefeated 4-0 mark with a victory this week over the Jets. Since 2001, the Patriots are 16-3 (.842) in the final month of the year, including an 11-1 (.917) mark in their last dozen December games. Since Bill Belichick became head coach in 2000, the Patriots have recorded an 18-5 (.783) record in December. Their record in the 12th month is indicative of how New England has saved their best football for the end of the season in recent years. Since 2001, the Patriots are 44-7 (.863) in games played on Nov. 1 or later in the season, including a 30-4 (.882) post- Thanksgiving mark. The Patriots have not lost a game played after Christmas Day since the 1999 season, when they dropped a 13-10 decision in overtime at Buffalo on Dec. 26, 1999. Since then, they are 15-0 in games played later than Dec. 25 (including 9-0 in the playoffs).
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was the Jets' assistant head coach/secondary for three seasons (1997-99).
- As head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Belichick hired Mike Tannenbaum as a personnel intern. He is now the Jets' senior vice president/football operations and assistant general manager. Tannenbaum attended high school in Needham, Mass.
- Defensive line coach Pepper Johnson played for two seasons with the Jets before retiring in 1999. In his first season with the Jets, he was voted captain before the start of the regular season.
- Defensive coordinator Eric Mangini served as the Jets defensive assistant/quality control coach from 1997-99.
- Special teams coach Brad Seely held the same position with the Jets in 1994.
- Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli was the director of pro personnel for the Jets from 1997-1999.
- Jets director of physical development Markus Paul was the Patriots' assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2000-04.
- Jets cornerback Ty Law was drafted by New England in the first round (23rd overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft and played for the Patriots from 1995-2004 and is tied with Raymond Clayborn for the club record with 36 career regular-season interceptions. Law set a club record with seven interceptions returned for touchdowns, including a 47-yard return for a score in Super Bowl XXXVI.
- Jets running back Curtis Martin was originally drafted by the Patriots in the third round (74th overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft and played for the Patriots from 1995-97. While with New England, Martin played on the same team as current Patriots Troy Brown, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi and Adam Vinatieri in addition to Jets cornerback Ty Law. Additionally, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichickwas the Patriots' assistant head coach/secondary in 1996.
- Jets quarterback Kliff Kingsbury was drafted in the fifth round (201st overall) by the Patriots in the 2003 NFL Draft. Kingsbury spent the 2003 season with the Patriots on injured reserve and was released following 2004 training camp.
- Jets defensive backs coach Corwin Brown played safety for the Patriots from 1993-96.
- Jets assistant running backs/assistant special teams coach Sam Gash played fullback for the Patriots from 1992-97.
- Patriots linebacker Don Davis originally signed with the Jets as a rookie free agent in the spring of 1995. HOMETOWN OR COLLEGE TIES
- Patriots defensive lineman Dan Klecko's father, Joe Klecko, was a four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle for the Jets from 1977-87. Dan Klecko grew up in New Jersey and attended Marlboro (N.J.) High School.
- Patriots punter Josh Miller attended high school in East Brunswick, N.J. and was born in Rockaway, N.Y.
- Jets guard Pete Kendall attended Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
- Jets assistant to the head coach/running backs coach Dick Curl was the quarterbacks coach at Boston College from 1989-91.
- Jets offensive line coach Doug Marrone was the offensive line coach at Northeastern University in 1994.
- Jets quarterback Jay Fiedler attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. FORMER NFL TEAMMATES
- Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde started 31 games at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns from 1993-95, when Bill Belichick was the team's head coach.
- Patriots linebacker Monty Beisel and Jets running back Derrick Blaylock were teammates with the Kansas City Chiefs for four years from 2001-04. Beisel was Kansas City's fourth-round pick in the 2001 draft and Blaylock was the Chiefs' fifth-round selection that season. Patriots running back
- Patriots special teams captain Larry Izzo and Jets quarterback Jay Fiedler were teammates while both were with the Miami Dolphins in 2000.
- Patriots wide receiver Andre' Davis and Jets linebacker Barry Gardner were teammates with the Cleveland Browns in 2003 and 2004.
- Patriots safety Michael Stone played for the Arizona Cardinals with Jets cornerback David Barrett and Jets guard Pete Kendall for three season from 2001-03.
- Patriots quarterbackDoug Flutie and Jets defensive lineman Kenyatta Wright were both members of the Buffalo Bills in 2000.
- Patriots special teams captainLarry Izzo played for the Miami Dolphins from 1996-2000, during which time Jets assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff was the Dolphins' special teams coach. Izzo earned his first Pro Bowl berth under Westhoff's tutelage in 2000. Additionally, Jets offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger held the same position at Rice University during Izzo's freshman and sophomore seasons at Rice (1992-93), and Jets tight ends coach John Zernhelt was Rice's offensive line coach during those seasons. **FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES *
- Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork and Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma were four-year teammates on the University of Miami defense from 2000-03.
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Jets guard Jonathan Goodwin, Jets fullback B.J. Askew and Jets linebacker Victor Hobson were teammates at the University of Michigan in 1999.
- Patriots wide receiver David Givens and Jets defensive lineman Lance Legree were teammates at Notre Dame from 1998-2000.
- Patriots safety Eugene Wilson and Jets guard Brandon Moore were four-year teammates at the University of Illinois from 1999-2002
- Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch and Jets rookie safety Kerry Rhodes were teammates at the University of Louisville in 2001.
- Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel recorded his first career interception when he picked off Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde and returned it 55 yards for the game winning touchdown on Sept. 21, 2003.
- Patriots running back Kevin Faulk set a career-high with a 95-yard kickoff return vs. the Jets (11/15/99). It was the eighth longest return - and the longest non-scoring return - in franchise history.
- Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie played for the New Jersey Generals of the USFL in 1985 and played his home games at Giants Stadium, the home field of the Jets.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
The number of different players that have recorded touchdown receptions for the Patriots this season, setting a franchise record (11, 2002).
The number of wide receivers that have caught touchdown passes for the Patriots this season.
The number of tight ends that have caught touchdown passes for the Patriots this season.
The number of running backs that have caught touchdown passes for the Patriots this season.
The number of linebackers that have caught touchdown passes for the Patriots this season.
The number of offensive tackles that have caught touchdown passes for the Patriots this season.
The number of points the Patriots have allowed in their last three games, setting a franchise record for the fewest points allowed in a three-game span.
The average number of points the Patriots have allowed per game in their last six contests, dating back to Nov. 13 at Miami.
The number of times in the Patriots' last five halves that they have held their opponents scoreless. The only points they have allowed over that span came in the second half at Buffalo on Dec. 11.
The average number of total rushing yards the Patriots have allowed in their last three games.
The number of consecutive fourth-quarter field goals Adam Vinatieri has made since missing a 43-yarder in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 8, 2002.
Vinatieri's success rate in the second half of games since the 2003 season finale. He has hit 30 of his 31 second-half field goals since that time.
Vinatieri's accuracy numbers since the beginning of the 2001 season when the Patriots are either leading or behind by a touchdown or less.
The number of game-winning kicks Vinatieri has converted in his career, including two this season, 12 since the beginning of the 2001 season and two in Super Bowl play.
The number of points Vinatieri has scored in his career, setting the Patriots' all-time record (Gino Cappelletti ranks second with 1,130 points).
The number of successful field goals Vinatieri has made in his career, the most in Patriots history.
Consecutive games in which Vinatieri has played, establishing the second longest streak in team history. He trails only Raymond Clayborn's franchise record (161). Vinatieri has not missed a game in his 10-year career.
Tom Brady's career record as a starter when the game-time temperature is less than 40 degrees (including playoffs).
The number of times Brady has not thrown an interception in his 20 starts when the game-time temperature is less than 40.
Adam Vinatieri's field goal success rate in his last 17 games when the game-time time temperature is less then 40 degrees (89.5 percent). The success streak includes a 13-for-14 performance in playoff games and dates back to Dec. 16, 2001.
The Patriots' record since 1993 when the game-time temperature is 35 degrees or less (.923 winning percentage).
The Patriots' record since 1993 when the game-time temperature is 34 degrees or less (.952 winning percentage).
The Patriots' record since 1993 when the game-time temperature is 30 degrees or less.
Tom Brady's career record in games played on Thanksgiving or later in the NFL season (.882 winning percentage), including playoff games.
The number of victories the Patriots have earned in their last 22 post-Thanksgiving games, including playoff games, dating back to the 2002 season finale.
The number of touchdown receptions Deion Branch needs to set a new single-season career high. He enters this week's game with four scoring grabs, tying a career high that he established in 2004.
The number of receptions David Givens needs to set a singleseason career high. Givens enters this week's game with 56 receptions, tying a career high also set in 2004.
The number of sacks Willie McGinest needs to pass Julius Adams (79.5 sacks) for second place on the team's all-time sacks list.
Consecutive regular-season games in which Tom Brady has started at quarterback, the longest consecutive starts streak on the team.
Consecutive games in which Willie McGinest has started at outside linebacker, the longest consecutive starts streak on the Patriots defense.
The number of consecutive games the Patriots have gone without recording back-to-back losses.
The number of consecutive games the Patriots have won when the game-time temperature is 35 degrees or less.
Consecutive Patriots games televised locally, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
Consecutive sellouts in Foxborough, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
NOTE: All of the above streaks include regular-season games only, unless noted.