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Game Preview: New England Patriots host Kansas City Chiefs in divisional playoff game

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-4) vs. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-5)
Saturday Jan. 16, 2016 at 4:35 p.m. ET. Gillette Stadium (66,829)

The New England Patriots will host the Kansas City Chiefs in a Divisional Playoff game on Sat., Jan. 16, at Gillette Stadium. The Chiefs advanced to the second round of the playoffs after a 30-0 victory at Houston last Saturday. This week's game will be the first postseason meeting between the two teams. Kansas City holds a 17-13-3 edge in 33 regular-season meetings.

The Patriots will try to advance to the AFC Championship Game for the fifth straight sea son, joining Oakland (5; 1973-77) as the second team to reach five straight conference championship games.

The Patriots finished the 2015 regular season with a 12-4 record and the No. 2 seed in the conference. The Patriots won their seventh straight AFC East Title in 2015 (2009- 2015) to match the Los Angeles Rams (1973-1979) for the most conseuctive division titles in NFL history. The Patriots won at least 12 games for the sixth straight season, second only to the seven by Indianapolis (2000-2009). The Patriots earned a first round bye for the 11th time since the current playoff format was instituted, the most in the NFL.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on *WBZ-TV Channel 4 *in Boston. Ian Eagle will handle play-by-play duties with Dan Fouts as the color analyst. Evan Washburn will work the sidelines. The game will be produced by Mark Wolff and directed by Bob Fishman.

NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience on Westwood One. Dan Miller and Tony Boselli will call the game with Ross Tucker with Ross Tucker providing sideline analysis.

LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. Produced by Marc Cappello.

PATS AIM FOR 5TH STRAIGHT AFC CHAMP. GAME

The New England Patriots are seeking a berth in their fifth consecutive conference championship game, which would tie the Oakland Raiders for most in NFL history.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Chiefs will meet in the postseason for the first time. The last two regular season meetings between the two have been played on Monday Night Football, with the Patriots taking a 34-3 win at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 21, 2011, and falling 41-14, at Arrowhead Stadium on Sept. 29, 2014.

Kansas City holds a 17-13-3 edge against New England, including an 11-3- 1 advantage in games played in Kansas City and a 5-1 record at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs are 6-10-2 in games played at New England, including 0-3 at Gillette Stadium.

The two teams played twice a year from 1960 until the 1970 merger and two of the original American Football League teams.

SERIES BREAKDOWN

**Home Record****10-6-2**
Record in Foxborough7-2-0
Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium4-2-0
Gillette Stadium3-0-0
Record in Boston3-4-2
  
**Road Record****3-11-1**
Record in Kansas City2-9-1
Municipal Stadium1-4-1
Arrowhead Stadium1-5-0
Record in Dallas (Cotton Bowl)1-2-0
  
**Patriots vs. Chiefs since 1970 AFL-NFL merger****8-8-0**
Largest Margin of Victory10 pts (11/21/11)
Largest Margin of Defeat34 points (12/11/60)
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CONNECTIONS

NEW ENGLAND TIES

  • Chiefs DB Tyvon Branch played in 48 games with 31 starts in four years at Connecticut. Branch tallied 230 career tackles and three interceptions. He also contributed on special teams, returning 37 kickoffs for 980 yards and two touchdowns. He was the first Huskie to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same season.
  • Chiefs DBMarcus Cooperattended Bloomfield (Conn.) HS, where he became the school's all-time leader in receiving yards, touchdowns, receptions and consecutive games with a touchdown.
  • Chiefs DL Mike Devito hails from Wellfleet, Mass., and attended Maine, where he recorded 112 tackles and 16.0 sacks. DeVito earned All-Atlantic 10 honors twice in his collegiate career.
  • Chiefs RB Anthony Sherman attended North Attleboro (Mass.) HS, just eight miles south of Gillette Stadium, where he was the team captain in football, track and baseball. He was named the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year in 2006 and was thrice named to the Attleboro Sun-Chronicle All-Star team. During his high school career, Sherman rushed for a school-record 2,537 yards and 48 touchdowns. After graduation, Sherman played 51 games at Connecticut, where he rushed for 61 yards on 17 carries and caught 48 passes for 477 yards and a touchdown.

Taking a look at some of the connections between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs.

PATRIOTS TIES

  • Chiefs assistant offensive line coach Eugene Chung was selected by the Patriots in the first round (13th overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft and spent three seasons (1992-94) with the team.

FORMER CHIEFS

  • Patriots tight ends coach Brian Dabollspent one season (2012) as offensive coordinator for the Chiefs.
  • Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea began his NFL career as a volunteer special teams assistant for the Chiefs in 2003 and was promoted to special teams/linebackers coach in 2004.

FORMER NFL TEAMMATES

  • Patriots LB Jonathan Freeny and Chiefs CB Sean Smith were defensive teammates with the Miami Dolphins in 2012. Both players worked with Chiefs assistant secondary coach Al Harris, who was a coaching intern for the Dolphins at the time
  • Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy worked with Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea and defensive line coach Brendan Daly from 2006-08 when they were members of the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff, under Chiefs spread game analyst/special projects coach Brad Childress, who served at the Vikings head coach from 2006-10.
  • Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich worked with Chiefs linebackers coach Gary Gibbs when he served as defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-08.

FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES

  • Patriots LBJerod Mayo and Chiefs DB Eric Berry were defensive teammates at Tennessee in 2007.
  • Patriots C David Andrews and Chiefs WR **Chris Conley *were offensive teammates for all four years at Georgia (2011-14).
  • Patriots DL Geneo Grissom (2011-14), Chiefs DL David King (2009-12) and Chiefs DB Jaell Fleming *2008-11) were defensive teammates at Oklahoma.
  • Chiefs DB Marcus Cooper (2010-12) played with Patriots DB Duron Harmon (2009-12), CB Logan Ryan (2010-12), LB Jonathan Freeny (2007-10) and coaching assistant Steve Belichick (2009-11) at Rutgers
  • Patriots S Brandon King and Chiefs LB Dee Ford were defensive teammates at Auburn in 2013.
  • Patriots LB Jon Bostic *an Chiefs DL *Jaye Howard were defensive teammates at Florida from 2009-11.
  • Patriots C David Andrews (2011-14) blocked for Chiefs QB* AaronMurray* (2010-13) at Georgia.

PASSING PERFORMANCES

Tom Brady is slated to start against Kansas City for the seventh time in his career. He is 4-2 all-time against the Chiefs, including 3-0 at home.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

PATRIOTS IN THE PLAYOFFS

4
The New England Patriots have won four Super Bowls, joining Pittsburgh (6), Dallas (5), San Francisco (5), Green Bay (4) and the New York Giants (4) as the only teams with at least four Super Bowls.

6
New England reached 12 regular-season wins for the sixth consecutive season in 2015, the second-longest such streak since the 1970 merger.

6
Rob Gronkowski has seven postseason touchdowns, second among all tight ends in NFL postseason history to the 7 by Dave Casper and Vernon Davis.

7
New England has captured six consecutive AFC East titles from 2009-15, marking the longest streak in AFC East division history and tied with the LA Rams (1973-79) for the most consecutive division titles in NFL history.

8
The Patriots have earned a Super Bowl berth eight times in their 56-year history, tied with Dallas and Pittsburgh for the most Super Bowl berths.

10
The Patriots overcame a 24-14 fourth quarter deficit to take a 28-24 victory in Super Bowl XLIX. They became the first team in NFL history to overcome a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to claim a Super Bowl win.

11
The Patriots earned a first-round bye in the 2015 NFL playoffs, and they lead the NFL with 11 first-round byes since the current playoff format was instituted in 1990.

11
The Patriots played in their 11th Conference Championship game in 2014, tied with Oakland for fourth, behind Pittsburgh and San Francisco (15) and Dallas (14).

14
The Patriots overcame two 14-point deficits in the 35-31 win over Baltimore (01/10/15) in the Divisional game to become the first team ever to erase a pair of 14-point deficits in a single playoff game.

15
The Patriots currently have the longest active consecutive winning seasons streak with 15 straight winning seasons since 2001.

23
New England has made the playoffs 23 times in its 56-year history, with 17 of those berths coming in the 22 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994.

30
New England has compiled 30 winning seasons since the 1970 merger, tied for the second-most among all NFL teams.

38
New England's 45-7 victory over Indianapolis in the 2014 AFC title game is the third largest margin of victory in a Conference Championship Game since the merger.

.609
New England's playoff winning percentage of .609 is the second best in NFL history among teams that have played at least 15 playoff games.

BILL BELICHICK IN THE PLAYOFFS

4
Belichick won his fourth Super Bowl to match Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowl wins by a head coach.

6
Belichick has six Super Bowl berths as a head coach, and is tied with Don Shula for the most all time.

9
Belichick particiapted in his ninth Super Bowl overall, including six as a head coach and three as an assistant coach.

13
The number of division titles won by Bill Belichick, the most of any head coach in NFL history since the NFL merger in 1970.

22
Belichick passed Tom Landry (20) for the most postseason wins by a head coach in NFL history with three wins in the 2014 postseason.

TOM BRADY IN THE PLAYOFFS

3
Brady was named MVP of the Super Bowl for the third time in his career, joining Joe Montana as the only players to have three MVP awards.

4
Brady won his fourth Super Bowl in 2014, joining Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the third quarterback with four Super Bowl wins.

6
Brady won his sixth conference title, surpassing John Elway for the most conference titles by a quarterback. Brady's start in Super Bowl XLIX matched DL Mike Lodish for the most Super Bowls played. Lodish played in six (four with Buffalo and two with Denver).

8
The number of 300-yard games that Tom Brady has accumulated in the postseason after throwing for a franchise-record 367 yards against Baltimore (01/10/15) and 328 in Super Bowl XLIX. His eight 300-yard games in the postseason are second in NFL history to the nine by Peyton Manning.

9
Brady set an NFL record with his ninth start in a conference championship Game against Indianapolis (01/18/15), passing Charlie Waters and Jack Reynolds, who have eight starts.

13
The number of division championships by Tom Brady, the most division titles ever by a quarterback. Peyton Manning is second with 11.

16
Brady set a Super Bowl record with 16 straight pass completions in Super Bowl XLVI vs. the New York Giants.

21
The number of playoff wins for Tom Brady, the most of any quarterback in NFL history.

29
The number of playoff starts for Tom Brady, the most of any quarterback in NFL history.

53
Brady is first in NFL history with 53 postseason touchdown passes.

STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI IN THE PLAYOFFS

20
Gostkowski has 20 career postseason field goals and became the 11th player in NFL history to make 20 field goals in the playoffs.

117
The number of postseason points for Stephen Gostkowski, seventh in NFL history.

THE KRAFT ERA IN THE PLAYOFFS

4
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.

7
The number of conference championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, setting a new NFL record for most conference championships as an owner.

15
The number of division championships won by the Patriots since Kraft purchased the team in 1994.

17
The number of playoff seasons earned by the Patriots in the 22 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team.

36
The number of playoff games the Patriots have appeared in since 1994, the most in the NFL. Green Bay has the second most with 31.

238
The number of consecutive home games that have been sold out, including all playoff and preseason games dating back to the 1994 season opener.

265
The number of games the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the franchise in 1994. Prior to Kraft's ownership, the team had won 225 total games in its entire history from 1960-93.

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