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Game Preview: Falcons at Patriots

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-2) vs. ATLANTA FALCONS (3-2)
Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. ET.  Gillette Stadium (65,878)

The New England Patriots will host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football in a rematch of their historic come-from-behind Super Bowl LI overtime victory last February. The rematch marks just the eighth time in NFL history that two teams will meet in the regular season following a Super Bowl matchup the year prior, with the most recent such matchup coming in Week 1 of the 2016 season when the Denver Broncos hosted the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of Super Bowl 50.

In the previous seven Super Bowl rematches, the Super Bowl victor has hosted the regular season meeting five times, winning four of the five contests, with the lone loss coming in a rematch of Super Bowl XXVII when the Buffalo Bills defeated the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 of the 1993 season at Texas Stadium. Below are the seven previous Super Bowl matchups:

  • Super Bowl IV - Kansas City 23 vs. Minnesota 7
  • Super Bowl XI - Oakland 32 vs. Minnesota 14
  • Super Bowl XIII - Pittsburgh 35 vs. Dallas 31
  • Super Bowl XXVII - Dallas 52 vs. Buffalo 17
  • Super Bowl XXXI - Green Bay 35 vs. New England 21
  • Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle 43 vs. Denver 8
  • Super Bowl 50 - Denver 24 vs. Carolina 10

CRUCIAL CATCH

At the Patriots' Crucial Catch game on Oct. 22, the team will invite cancer survivors to take part in a special pregame ceremony. The Kraft family and the Patriots will spread awareness for all cancer types and will incorporate hundreds of survivors into the pregame ceremony. The game will also feature a $50,000 check presentation from the Patriots Foundation to the South End Community Health Center in Boston. In the weeks leading up to the game, Patriots players will visit cancer survivors in Boston area hospitals and will host a day of pampering for cancer survivors at Gillette Stadium.

SERIES HISTORY

The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will meet in Foxborough on Sunday in a rematch of last year's Super Bowl. It will mark the 15th time meeting between the two teams overall and the first regular season meeting since the Patriots traveled to Atlanta on Sept. 29, 2013, a in 30-23 win on Sunday Night Football from the Georgia Dome.

The Patriots have won the last four times the teams have played in the regular season with wins in 2001, 2005 and 2013 at The Georgia Dome and in a 2009 win at Gillette Stadium.

Prior to those four wins, the Patriots had suffered four straight losses to the Falcons, dating back to 1989.

The two teams spent a week working with each other at the Falcons facility prior to a 2010 preseason game.

Tom Brady's first ever start against an NFC team was on Nov. 4, 2001 against the Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Brady completed 21-of-31 passes for 250 and three touchdowns in a 24-10 win.

SERIES BREAKDOWN

(Regular Season)

Overall Record, 7-6

Home Record, 3-2

  • Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium, 2-2
  • Gillette Stadium, 1-0

Away Record, 4-4

  • Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, 1-2
  • Georgia Dome, 3-2

Bill Belichick vs. Atlanta Falcons: 4-1 (4-0 with NE)

Current Streak: Patriots, 4 wins

TALE OF THE TAPE

**2017 REGULAR SEASON****NEW ENGLAND****ATLANTA**
Record4-23-2
Divisional Standings1st2nd (T)
Total Yards Gained2,4721,892
Total Offense (Rank)412.0 (1)378.4 (5)
Rush Offense102.2 (19)120.6 (11)
Pass Offense309.8 (1)257.8 (6)
Points Per Game28.7 (5)24.2 (12)
Touchdowns Scored1913
Third Down Conversion Pct.44.345.5
Team Passer Rating106.987.3
Total Yards Allowed2,6441,562
Total Defense (Rank)440.7 (32)312.4 (10)
Rush Defense115.8 (20)102.0 (13)
Pass Defense324.8 (32)210.4 (12)
Points Allowed/Game26.5 (30)21.8 (15)
Touchdowns Allowed1911
Third Down Defense (Pct.)43.438.1
Field Goals Made/Attempted13/1410/11
Possession Avg.29:5529:43
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost16/8010/68
Sacks Made/Yards14/8012/101
Passing TD/Int. (Off.)13/26/6
Passing TD/Int. (Def.)14/57/2
Penalties Against/Yards45/39832/293
Punts/Avg.26/42.615/44.8
Takeaway/Giveaway Ratio+3 (8t)-4 (27)

PATRIOTS ON SUNDAY NIGHT

The Patriots own a 26-18 record overall on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots were 1-1 on Sunday night in 2016.

BRADY ON SUNDAY NIGHT

QB Tom Brady owns a 17-10 record in 27 games playing on Sunday Night Football.

His best statistical performance on Sunday Night Football came in Week 10 of the 2007 season when he completed 31-of-39 pass attempts for 373 yards and five touchdowns, including four to wide receiver Randy Moss, in a 56-10 rout of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium (11/18).

Brady has thrown for over 300 yards 13 times in Sunday Night Football games.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by NBC and can be seen on NBC Boston - 10. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties with Cris Collinsworth as the color analyst. Michele Tafoyawill work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Fred Gaudelli and directed by Drew Esocoff.

NATIONAL RADIO:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience on Westwood One. *Kevin Kugler *and *Mike Mayock *will call the game.

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 Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.

THE HALL OF FAME RING OF EXCELLENCE

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will honor John Hannah, Mike Haynes and Andre Tippettduring the New England Patriots' Week 7 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons when they are presented with the Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence. The special presentation will take place at Gillette Stadium during halftime.

The Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence is one of three iconic symbols that represent the elite status of being a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hannah, Haynes and Tippett all received their Hall of Fame Gold Jacket and unveiled their Bronzed Bust during their respective Enshrinements. All three symbols - the Gold Jacket, the Bronzed Bust, and the Ring of Excellence - will be displayed during the halftime presentation. All three Hall of Famers will also wear their Hall of Fame Gold Jacket and their Bronzed Bust will be temporarily removed from the Hall of Fame to make its way to the ceremony in Foxboro when the Hall's President David Baker presents them with their Ring of Excellence.

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