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Game Preview: Patriots at Buccaneers

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-2) at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-1)
*Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 at 8:25 p.m. ET. Raymond James Stadium (65,618) *

The New England Patriots will travel to Tampa to play the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football for the second time in 2017 after opening the season at home against Kansas City. Besides Thanksgiving when the Patriots traveled to play on the road in 2000, 2002, 2010 and 2012, the Patriots have not played a road game on a Thursday since Oct. 18, 1990 at Miami.

Tampa Bay is one of seven teams that QB Tom Brady is undefeated against. The others are: Atlanta (4-0), Chicago (4-0), Dallas (4-0), Detroit (4-0), Jacksonville (5-0) and Minnesota (4-0). Brady will play his first regular season game ever at Raymond James Stadium. The Patriots finished a perfect 8-0 on the road in 2016 and extended their road record to an NFL-best nine straight with a road win at New Orleans on Sept. 17.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Buccaneers will meet in a regular season game for the ninth time overall and for the first time since the 2013 season when New England beat Tampa Bay, 23-3, on Sept. 22, 2013 at Gillette Stadium. It will be the Patriots first-ever game played at Raymond James Stadium. In 2009, the Patriots played Tampa Bay on the road, a game the Patriots won 35-7 on Oct. 25, 2009 at Wembley Stadium in London. The last time the Patriots played a road game in Tampa was on Nov. 16, 2007 at Houlihan's Stadium.

The Patriots have visited Raymond James Stadium six times in the preseason.

The Patriots are 6-2 against the Buccaneers all-time in the regular-season. 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 six of the eight total games in the regular season 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 got the Patriots back on the winning side.

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, which lasted from 1973-2006.

SERIES BREAKDOWN

Home Record, 3-1

  • Foxboro Stadium, 1-1
  • Gillette Stadium, 2-0

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, 182-93
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 and 05-13)
Bill Belichick vs Tampa Bay, 4-1 (3-1 with New England)

TALE OF THE TAPE

**2017 REGULAR SEASON****NEW ENGLAND****TAMPA BAY**
Record2-22-1
Divisional Standings2nd (T)3rd
Total Yards Gained1,6951,087
Total Offense (Rank)423.8 (1)362.3 (9)
Rush Offense95.5 (20)84.7 (26)
Pass Offense328.3 (1)277.7 (3)
Points Per Game32.3 (2)23.7 (12t)
Total Yards Allowed1,8271,183
Total Defense (Rank)456.8 (32)394.3 (30)
Rush Defense132.8 (26)78.7 (6)
Pass Defense324.0 (32)315.7 (31)
Points Allowed/Game32.0 (31)21.3 (17)
Possession Avg.30:3527:04
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost13/865/31
Sacks Made/Yards8/451/11
Total Touchdowns Scored158
Penalties Against/Yards27/24515/90
Punts/Avg.18/42.211/46.2
Turnover Differential+4(4t)0 (14t)

PATRIOTS ON THURSDAY

The Patriots will be playing on Thursday for the 18th time in team history and for the second time in 2017. It is the second time in team history that the Patriots will play two Thursday games. The Patriots also played two Thursday games in 2015. Five of the Patriots Thursday games were played on Thanksgiving (1984, 2000, 2002, 2010 and 2012).

BILL BELICHICK ON THURSDAY

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will coach in his 15th game on a Thursday, including his 14th with the Patriots. Belichick is 11-3 all-time when coaching on Thursday, including 3-1 on Thursday Thanksgiving games and 10-3 as head coach of the Patriots in Thursday games.

TOM BRADY ON THURSDAY

Tom Brady is 9-1 as a starter in Thursday games and has passed for 2,872 yards with 24 TDs and 2 interceptions.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties with *Tony Romo as the color analyst. *Tracy Wolfson and Jay Feely will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Jim Rikhof and directed by Mike Arnold. The game will also air on the NFL Network *and streamed on *Amazon.

NATIONAL RADIO:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience on Westwood One.* an Eagle* and Tony Boselli 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.

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