The Patriots will return to action in Foxborough for the first time in three weeks when they face their AFC East rivals from Buffalo in a prime-time matchup at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night. The Patriots are one of three NFL teams to reach the midpoint of the 2004 season with a 7-1 record, but will face a solid challenge from the Bills who, like the Patriots, have won three of their last four games. The game is a rematch of the Week Four battle in Western New York, when the Patriots faced a 17-10 second-quarter deficit and used three unanswered touchdowns to take the win. New England has defeated the Bills in six of the last seven meetings, but the resurgent Buffalo team will provide a tough test this week under a national spotlight.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be televised nationwide by ESPN. The game can be also seen in Boston on WCVB-TV Channel 5. Mike Patrick will handle the play-by-play duties, while Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire will provide analysis. Suzy Kolber will contribute reports from the sidelines.
**RADIO: WBCN 104.1 FM is the flagship station for the Patriots Rock Radio Network. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 28th 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 21st season as a broadcast tandem.
HOME SWEET HOME The Patriots have recorded a 19-3 (.864) all-time record at Gillette Stadium, including regular-season and postseason games. New England has won 15 consecutive regular-season and postseason contests at home, compiling the longest current home winning streak in the NFL. New England has not lost at home since a 30-17 defeat to the New York Jets on Dec. 22, 2002. Last season, the Patriots were undefeated at home for the first time in team history, winning all eight regular-season games and two postseason games. The Patriots' .864 winning percentage at Gillette Stadium is the highest of any NFL team at its current home.
BEAST OF THE EAST The Patriots have won eight consecutive games against AFC East opposition and are 17-3 in their last 20 divisional games. The defending AFC East champions have not lost within the division since the 2003 season opener and have defeated each of their divisional foes once so far this season. Since the beginning of the 2001 season, the Patriots own the best cumulative record within the division, notching an 18-5 mark.**