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Game Preview: Patriots at Cardinals

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (0-0) at ARIZONA CARDINALS (0-0)
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 at 8:30 p.m. ET. University of Phoenix Stadium (65,500)

The New England Patriots will kickoff this week in a nationally-televised game on Sunday Night Football on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. It will be the Patriots first-ever visit to University of Phoenix Stadium to face the Cardinals. The Patriots have played two Super Bowls in the stadium, Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008 and Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015.

Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is set to become just the fifth quarterback in the last 30 years to make his first regular-season start in a season-opening night game (Sept. 11, vs. Cardinals). Aaron Rodgers was the last (2008, win vs. Minnesota), with Philip Rivers (2006), David Carr(2002) and Brian Griese (1999) before him.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots will open the season against the defending NFC West Champion Arizona Cardinals for the first time in team history. This week's game will be the Patriots first time ever facing the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots have played two games at that stadium, Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLIX. This week's game will be the Patriots first trip to Arizona to face the Cardinals since a 23-12 win on Sept. 19, 2004, at Sun Devil Stadium and their first trip to the stadium since the Super Bowl XLIX victory.

The Patriots will be opening the season against an NFC team for the fifth time in team history and for the first time since 2000 when they opened the season at home against Tampa Bay on Sept. 3, 2000, a 21-16 loss in head coach Bill Belichick's first ever game as head coach of the Patriots.

After a 1-6 series start against Arizona, New England won the next five games before losing the 2012 home opener, 20-18, at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 16, 2012 - the last meeting between the two teams.

The Patriots have faced the Cardinals three times during Bill Belichick's tenure as head coach (2000-present).

SERIES BREAKDOWN

ARIZONA, 7, NEW ENGLAND 6

Home Record, 2-3
Schaefer Stadium, 0-1
Sullivan Stadium, 0-1
Foxboro Stadium, 1-1
Gillette Stadium, 1-0

Road Record, 4-4
Busch Stadium, 1-2
Sun Devil Stadium, 3-2

Bill Belichick vs. Arizona, 3-1 (2-1 with New England)

TALE OF THE TAPE

**2015 REGULAR SEASON****NEW ENGLAND****ARIZONA**
Record12-413-3
Divisional Standings1st1st
Total Yards Gained5,9916,533
Total Offense (Rank)374.4 (6)408.3 (1)
Rush Offense87.8 (30)119.8 (8)
Pass Offense286.7 (5)288.5 (2)
Points Per Game29.0 (3)30.5 (2)
Touchdowns Scored5258
Third Down Conversion Pct.40.947.0
Team Passer Rating101.9100.9
Total Yards Allowed5,4315,147
Total Defense (Rank)339.4 (9)321.7 (5)
Rush Defense98.8 (9)91.3 (6)
Pass Defense240.7 (17)230.4 (8)
Points Allowed/Game19.7 (10)19.6 (7t)
Touchdowns Allowed3634
Third Down Defense (Pct.)37.335.7
Field Goals Made/Attempted33/3628/31
Possession Avg.30:0832:04
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost38/22527/159
Sacks Made/Yards49/35836/270
Passing TD/Int. (Off.)36/735/13
Passing TD/Int. (Def.)24/1224/19
Penalties Against/Yards96/85994/758
Punts/Avg.74/45.461/42.2
Takeaway/Giveaway Ratio+7 (5t)+9 (4)

PATS VS. NFC IN OPERNERS

The Patriots will be opening the season against an NFC team for the fifth time in team history and for the first time since 2000 when they opened the season at home against Tampa Bay on sept. 3, 2000, a 21-16 loss in head coach Bill Belichick's first ever game as head coach of the Patriots.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

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TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by NBC and can be seen locally on WHDH- TV Channel 7 in Boston. Al Michaelswill handle play-by-play duties with Cris Collinsworth as the color analyst. Michele Tafoya will work 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 Sports. Kevin Kugler and James Lofton will call the game.

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

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