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Game Preview: Patriots to host Raiders in home opener

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (1-1) vs. OAKLAND RAIDERS (0-2)
Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET
* Gillette Stadium (68,756)*

The New England Patriots will host the Oakland Raiders in the 2014 home opener this Sunday at Gillette Stadium. After losing the opener at Miami, the Patriots rebounded with a 30-7 victory last week at Minnesota. New England will attempt to get over the .500 mark with a win on Sunday.

Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots are 11-1 in home openers. The Patriots won their first 10 openers at Gillette before suffering their first loss, a 20-18 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 16, 2012. Overall, the Patriots enter this week's game with a 29-25 record in home openers.

The Patriots enter this week's game with a nine game home winning streak against AFC West opponents, including two playoff wins. The Patriots last loss at home against the AFC West was 17-7 defeat to Denver on Sept. 24, 2006.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen on WBZ-TV Channel 4 in Boston. Greg Gumbel will handle play-by-play duties with Trent Green as the color analyst. Evan Washburn will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Bob Mansbach and directed by Suzanne Smith.

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.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Raiders will meet for the 34th time overall and for the 31st time in regular-season play this Sunday when Oakland travels to New England. It will be the Raiders second time playing at Gillette Stadium. On Sept. 8, 2005, the Patriots opened the season with a 30-20 victory in the Raiders Gillette Stadium debut. The last two meetings between the teams in 2008 and 2011 were in Oakland.

The teams have met three times in the playoffs, producing memorable, classic encounters on each occasion. In 1976 the Patriots beat the Raiders 48-17 in the regular season before losing a playoff game at Oakland, 24-21. The Patriots advanced to their first AFC Championship game in 1985 after beating the Raiders, 27-20, in Los Angeles. Then in the first Super Bowl championship year in 2001, the Patriots beat Oakland, 16-13, in overtime in the last game ever played in Foxboro Stadium.

The last time the Patriots and Raiders squared off in the regular season was in 2011 when New England traveled to Oakland and won 31-19 on Oct. 2, 2011.

The Patriots lead the all-time series with a 17-15-1 advantage, including a 2-1 postseason record.

The Raiders have had the edge in home games against the Patriots as they own a 10-7 record when the two teams square off on the west coast. The Raiders are 6-3 against the Patriots at the Oakland Coliseum. The series between the two charter members of the American Football League dates back to 1960, the inaugural season for each club.

Although the teams played frequently prior to the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, they have met just four times in the regular-season since 1989.

SERIES BREAKDOWN
New England 17, Oakland 15 (1 Tie)
(Including New England 2, Oakland 1 in Playoffs)

Home Record, 10-5-1 (incl. 1-0 in playoffs)
Gillette Stadium, 1-0

Away Record, 7-10 (incl. 1-1 in playoffs)
in Oakland, 3-6 (incl. 0-1 in playoffs)
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 1-1 (incl;. 1-0 in playoffs)

Bill Belichick vs. Oakland, 6-1 (4-1 with New England)

Dennis Allen vs. New England, first meeting

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CONNECTIONS

NEW ENGLAND TIES

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Raiders assistant head coach/offensive line Tony Sparano is a native of West Haven, Conn., and he played center at Richard C. Lee HS in New Haven, Conn. He attended the University of New Haven, where he was the starting center and graduated with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Sparano launched his coaching career at his alma mater with a four-year stint (1984- 87) as the school's offensive line coach. He spent the next six seasons (1988- 93) at Boston University, where he served as offensive line coach (1988-89) and offensive coordinator (1990-93). Sparano returned to New Haven to serve as the team's head coach from 1994-98. * Raiders CB Tyvon Branch attended the University of Connecticut from 2004-07, where he played in 48 games with 31 starts, recording 230 tackles and three interceptions. * Raiders LB Sio Moore attended the University of Connecticut from 2009-12, where he played in 41 games with 31 starts, recording 274 tackles, 16 sacks and four interceptions.
OAKLAND TIES

  • Patriots QB Tom Brady attended Junipero Serra HS in San Mateo, Calif., located 45 minutes from Oakland across the San Francisco Bay. He was the starting varsity quarterback for two seasons (1993-94) and completed 236 of 447 passes for 3,702 yards and 31 touchdowns, earning All-State and All-Far West honors. Brady was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2003.
  • Patriots WR Julian Edelman attended Woodside (Calif.) HS, where he totaled 2,237 passing yards and 29 touchdowns in his high school career and also rushed for 964 yards and 13 touchdowns. As a senior dual-threat quarterback, Edelman led his high school to a 13-0 record and Central Coast Section championship in 2004, earning first-team all-league and all-county honors.
  • Patriots RB Shane Vereen played collegiately at the University of California, Berkeley from 2008-10, appearing in 38 games and rushing 556 times for 2,834 yards (5.1 avg.) and 29 touchdowns. Vereen's 29 touchdown runs tied Marshawn Lynch (2004-06) and Jahvid Best (2007-09) for third on Cal's all-time list.
  • Patriots OL Cameron Fleming (2011-13) and RB Tyler Gaffney (2009- 11, 2013) both played collegiately at Stanford University. In 2013, Gaffney started 14 games and produced 1,709 yards on 330 carries – the second- most yards and carries in school history – and added 21 touchdowns. Fleming helped pave the way for Gaffney, starting all 39 games he played in and posting 272 key blocks and 30 touchdown-resulting blocks.
    FORMER NFL TEAMMATES
  • Patriots CB Darrelle Revis, TE Tim Wright and Raiders OL Donald Penn all played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013.
  • Patriots CB Darrelle Revis and Raiders OL Austin Howard were teammates on the New York Jets from 2011-12. Howard was tutored by Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo while with the Jets in 2012.
  • Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo coached Raiders OL Kevin Boothe while with the New York Giants from 2007-08.
    FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES
  • Patriots QB Tom Brady and Raiders CB Charles Woodson were teammates at Michigan in 1997, when the Wolverines went 12-0 and won the AP National Championship. Woodson earned several honors after his eight-interception junior season, including the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first predominantly defensive player to win the award. Brady served as Brian Griese's backup in 1997 before taking over as the starter and leading Michigan to the Big Ten title in 1998.
  • Patriots WR/ST Matthew Slater and Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew were teammates at UCLA from 2003-05.
  • Patriots DT Sealver Siliga and Raiders OL Tony Bergstrom were teammates at Utah from 2008-10.
  • Patriots C Bryan Stork and Raiders OL Menelik Watson played together along Florida State's offensive line in 2012.
    MEMORABLE MATCHUPS
    The Patriots and Raiders have met three times in the playoffs, with each game producing a memorable result.

2001 DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
Jan. 19, 2002: Patriots 16, Raiders 13 (OT)

Playoffs: Patriots vs. Raiders - 1-19-2002

In one of the greatest games in NFL history, the Patriots rebounded from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Raiders in overtime. The game was played in a snowstorm that coated the field with a thick white blanket throughout the game, creating a unique scene that few people who have seen the game will ever forget. It was the final contest at Foxboro Stadium and began a record-tying nine-game playoff winning streak that the Patriots carried into the 2005 season. The Patriots trailed by a 13-3 score heading into the fourth quarter, but Tom Brady's 6-yard touchdown run cut the deficit to 13-10 with 7:52 left in the game. With 1:50 left in the game and the Patriots at their own 42-yard line, instant replay was used to overturn a call that had been incorrectly ruled a fumble by Tom Brady. New England was able to continue its drive down the field and Adam Vinatieri dramatically tied the game with 27 seconds left on a 45-yard field goal through the snow, forcing overtime. New England won the overtime coin toss and marched down the field to set up a 23-yard game-winning boot by Vinatieri to earn a berth in the AFC Championship Game.

1985 DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
Jan. 5, 1986: Patriots 27, Raiders 20

The Patriots rallied from a halftime deficit to upset the top-seeded Raiders in Los Angeles, continuing their run to Super Bowl XX. New England forced six L.A. turnovers and converted those opportunities into 20 points. New England scored first following a recovery of a muffed punt, but the Raiders rattled off 17 unanswered points to take a 17-7 lead midway through the second quarter. A Ronnie Lippett interception helped the Patriots tie the game at 17, but L.A. took a 20-17 lead into the intermission. In the third quarter, the Patriots tied the game on a field goal after Fred Marion recovered a Marcus Allen fumble. On the kickoff following the tying field goal, New England's Mosi Tatupu forced the Raiders' Sam Seale to fumble and the ball rolled into the end zone, where New England's Jim Bowman recovered for a touchdown and a 27-20 Patriots lead. The New England defense stopped all three of L.A.'s fourth-quarter drives to clinch the win and a trip to Miami for the first AFC Championship Game in franchise history.

1976 DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
Dec. 18, 1976: Raiders 24, Patriots 21

The Raiders, en route to a 16-1 season and the Super Bowl XI championship, came back from a 21-10 fourth-quarter deficit in Oakland to defeat what many observers feel was one of the most talented teams in Patriots history. The Patriots controlled much of the first half, but an interception of a Russ Francis pass on an end around stalled the Patriots' momentum as the Raiders scored a touchdown in the final minute of the half to take a 10-7 lead into intermission. New England scored touchdowns on both of its third-quarter possessions, taking a 21-10 lead. Oakland scored early in the final quarter to cut New England's lead to 21-17 and the score stayed that way into the final minute. With Oakland facing a third-and-18 at the Patriots' 27-yard line, Ken Stabler's pass fell incomplete to seemingly put New England in position to win the game with one more stop on fourth-and-long. But Patriots nose tackle Ray Hamilton was called for a controversial roughing the passer penalty, giving the Raiders a first down at the Patriots' 13-yard line. Five plays later, Stabler ran into the end zone on a 1-yard run with 10 seconds left to clinch a 24-21 Oakland victory and advance to the AFC Championship Game.

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