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Game Preview: Patriots travel to Indianapolis to take on Colts

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-0) at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-2)
Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Lucas Oil Stadium (63,000)

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The New England Patriots will travel to face the Indianapolis Colts in a Sunday Night Football matchup at Lucas Oli Stadium this week. It will be a rematch of the 2014 AFC Championship Game, a game won by the Patriots 45-7 at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 18, 2015.

The Patriots and Colts also played in the 2014 regular season. That game was played on Sunday Night Football as well, with the Patriots taking a 42-20 win on Nov. 16 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Patriots will be looking to start the season 5-0 for the third time in team history (1974, 2004 and 2007) and for the third time in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era.

Brady is just the third quarterback in NFL history with at least four 4-0 starts to a season in NFL history. Fran Tarkenton started 4-0 four times in his career and Peyton Manning now has seven 4-0 starts to a season.

The Patriots have achieved great success in the month of October, compiling the NFL's best record in the month since 2000. New England is an NFL-best 46-16 in October since 2000, including a 27-4 mark at home and 19-12 on the road.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast by NBC and can be seen locally on WHDH-TV Channel 7 in Boston. Al Michaels will 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. 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.

WINNINGEST TEAM IN SPORTS

With the win over Dallas, the Patriots now have the highest regular-season winning percentage in major American professional sports since 1994 when Robert Kraft purchased the team.

SERIES HISTORY

The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts will meet in a rematch of the 2014 AFC Championship Game, a game the Patriots won 45-7 at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 18, 2015.

The AFC Championship Game was the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Patriots beat the Colts, 42-20, in a Sunday Night Football matchup on Nov. 16, 2014 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The two teams share a long rivalry, as the Patriots and the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts played twice each year from 1970 to 2001 as members of the AFC East, with the exception of the 1982 strike season.

Since realignment in 2002 with the Colts moving to the AFC South, the two teams played in the regular season in every season for 10 straight seasons from 2003 through 2012 with New England winning six of the 10 games. While they did not play in the 2013 regular season, breaking a streak of 10 regular-season meetings, they did face each other in the postseason with the Patriots claiming a 43-22 win at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 11, 2014. The rivalry was rekindled with two meetings last season, a regular-season game at Indianapolis and the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, both of which were won by the Patriots.

Overall, this week's game will be the 80th meeting between the two teams. The Patriots lead the series with a 46-28 record in the regular season and a 4-1 record in the postseason.

New England holds an overall record of 29-12 when playing at home against the Colts, including an 8-2 record at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots own a 4-1 record overall against Indianapolis in the postseason, including a 4-0 record in playoff games played in New England.

The clubs have clashed in the playoffs following the 2003, 2004, 2006, 2013 and 2014 seasons. The Patriots beat the Colts in the 2003 AFC Championship Game, 24-14, at Gillette Stadium (1/18/04), won 20-3 at Gillette Stadium in a 2004 AFC Divisional game (1/16/05), lost in the 2006 AFC Championship Game, 38-34, at Indianapolis (1/21/07), won in the AFC Divisional meeting 43- 22 at Gillette Stadium (1/11/14) and won 45-7 in last year's AFC Championship Game.

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SERIES BREAKDOWN
(Includes Postseason)

Overall Record, 50-29

Home Record, 29-12
In Foxborough, 29-11
In Boston, 0-1

Road Record, 21-17
In Indianapolis, 15-9
In Baltimore, 6-8

Largest Victory, 39 points (10/06/74)

Largest Defeat, -31 points (11/26/72)

Longest Winning Streak, 7 (1996-99)

Longest Losing Streak, 3 (1970-71, 2005-07)

Seasonal Sweeps of 2 or more wins,Patriots 12, Colts 5

PATRIOTS-COLTS QUICK HITS

  • The Patriots and Colts both surpassed the 1990s San Francisco 49ers for the all-time best mark for a decade in NFL history. New England had 126 wins in the decade from 2000-2009, while Indianapolis had 124 wins. San Francisco had 122 wins in the 1990s.
  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is 14-6 against the Colts as the head coach of the Patriots and is 16-8 against Indianapolis as a head coach overall.
  • The Patriots have averaged 43 points against the Colts in the last three meetings with a 43-22 win in the 2013 AFC Divisional playoffs, a 42-20 win in the 2014 regular season and a 45-7 win in the 2014 AFC Championship Game.

GROUND CONTROL

The Patriots AFC Championship win over Indianapolis last year marked the third consecutive game that the Patriots topped 177 rushing yards as a team against the Colts.

2014 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - JAN. 18, 2015
New England finished the AFC Championship victory with 177 rushing yards on 40 carries and three rushing touchdowns. LeGarrette Blount led the way with 148 yards on 30 carries and scored all three of New England's rushing touchdowns.

NOV. 16, 2014 AT INDIANAPOLIS
In the 2014 regular-season game on Nov. 16, 2014, New England had 246 yards rushing against the Colts, with Jonas Gray leading the charge by piling up 201 yards and four rushing touchdowns.

2013 AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS - JAN. 11, 2014
In the 2013 Divisional Playoff on Jan. 11, 2014, the Patriots had 234 rushing yards, with LeGarrette Blount leading the charge with a franchise playoff record 166 yards and four rushing touchdowns.

PASSING PERFORMANCES

Tom Brady's very first NFL start was against the Colts on Sept. 30, 2001, at Foxboro Stadium. He finished 13-of-23 for 168 yards in a 44-13 Patriots win. Brady owns a 9-3 record in the regular season against Indianapolis and 3-1 record in the postseason. He has thrown three touchdowns against the Colts in six of those games. He is 5-2 in the regular season in home games and 3-0 at home in the postseason.

CONNECTIONS

NEW ENGLAND TIES

  • Colts CB Darius Butler started all 45 of the games he played at Connecticut and finished his collegiate career with 180 tackles, three forced fumbles, 10 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, and 26 passes defensed.
  • Colts T Anthony Costanzo set a school record with 54 career starts on the offensive line at Boston College and was a team captain as a senior.
  • Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck is a native of Norfolk, Mass., and was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at Boston College. Hasselbeck played in 37 career games with 21 starts and finished fifth on the Eagles' career passing list with 4,548 yards, completing 390-of-701 passes for 22 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.
  • Colts LB Sio Moore appeared in 41 games with 31 starts for Connecticut and recorded 274 tackles, 44 tackles for a loss, 16 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception. As a senior, Moore was a First Team All-Big East selection.
  • Colts NT Zach Kerr attended Delaware, where he earned Second Team All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) honors as a junior after starting all 11 games and leading a defensive front that ranked second in the conference in rushing defense (134.2 yards per game), and finished his season with 57 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles.
  • Colts offensive quality control coach Frank Giufre wore multiple hats as the run game coordinator/offensive line/tight ends coach at Maine from 2007-2011.
  • Colts head strength and conditioning coach Roger Marandino graduated from Connecticut after transferring from Kean University. Marandino began his career as a graduate assistant with the strength and conditioning program at Connecticut from 1993-95 before moving on to serve as the director of strength and conditioning coach at Brown from 1995-2011.
  • Colts offensive line coach Joe Gilbert coached the offensive line at Maine from 1994-95 before being promoted to the role of offensive coordinator, which he held from 1996-99.
  • Colts defensive line coach Gary Emanuel is a native of New London, Conn., and attended Plymouth State University. His first coaching job was at his alma mater, where he coached the offensive line in 1981 before being promoted to offensive coordinator/offensive line coach in 1982. He held the position for two years and moved on to coach the defensive line at West Chester University from 1985-86. Emanuel left West Chester the following season to coach outside linebackers at Maine, a position he held from 1986- 88. His final coaching role in the New England area was at Dartmouth, where he coached the defensive line from 1988-91.

INDIANAPOLIS TIES

  • Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich was a two-year letterman at Purdue (2004- 05) during which time he played in 23 games with five starts. As a senior, Ninkovich was a second-team All-Big Ten selection when he registered 48 tackles, eight sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
  • Patriots linebackers coach Patrick Graham spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame (2007-08), where he worked with the defense.

HOMETOWN TIES

  • Patriots RB James White (2008-11) and Colts WR Phillip Dorsett (2007-2010) were offensive teammates at St. Thomas Aquinas HS in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Largely due to the success of its football program, St. Thomas Aquinas was named the nation's top athletic program by Maxprep in 2011, following football state championships in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

FORMER COLTS

  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick began his coaching career as a coaching assistant with the Baltimore Colts in 1975. At the age of 23, he was named special assistant to Head Coach Ted Marchibroda.
  • Patriots RB Dion Lewiswas signed by the Colts in September of 2014, but spent only one week on the active roster before being released.

Taking a look at some of the connections between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.

FORMER PATRIOTS

  • Colts CB Darius Butler was selected by the Patriots in the second round (41st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played in 29 games with eight starts as a Patriot.
  • Colts K Adam Vinatieri was the kicker for the Patriots from 1996- 2005. Vinatieri won Super Bowls with the Patriots in 2001, 2003 and 2004. In New England, he is remembered for his 45-yard field goal in the 2001 playoffs during a blizzard that sent the game into overtime as well as the 48- yard game-winning kick that gave the Patriots their first world championship in Super Bowl XXXVI.

FORMER NFL TEAMMATES

  • Patriots DL Sealver Siliga, Colts LB Nate Irving and Colts S Mike Adams were defensive teammates with the Denver Broncos in 2012.
  • Patriots S Patrick Chung(2013) was defensive teammates with Colts S Colt Anderson (2013) the Philadelphia Eagles. Colts LB* rent Cole* also played for the Eagles in 2013-14.
  • Colts G Todd Herremans blocked for Patriots RB Dion Lewis when the two were offensive teammates for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2012-13.
  • Patriots CB Tarell Brown and Colts LB **Sio Moore *were defensive teammates with the Oakland Raiders in 2014.
  • Patriots DL Alan Branch *nd Colts CB *Greg Toler were defensive teammates with the Arizona Cardinals from 2009-10.
  • Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky tutored Patriots CB Tarell Brown from 2007-10, when Manusky was the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll and Colts special teams coordinator Tom McMahon were members of the Kansas City Chief coaching staff in 2012. McMahon tutored special teams, and Daboll was the offensive coordinator.
  • Colts associate head coach Rob Chudzinski called plays for Patriots WR *Brandon LaFell *wen Chudzinski was the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers 2011-12.
  • Colts wide receivers coach Jim Hostler tutored Patriots TE Scott Chandler when he served as the senior offensive assistant for the Buffalo Bills in 2014.
  • The following players and coaches were members of the Cleveland Browns organization between 2006-13: Patriots special teams assistant Ray Ventrone *(payed safety from 2009-12), Patriots DL *Jabaal Sheard (2011-14), Colts S Mike Adams *(209-11), Colts LB *D'Qwell Jackson *(200-13), Colts DT *Billy Winn (2012-14), Colts associate head coach Rob Chudzinski (served as head coach in 2013) and Colts assistant special teams coach Brant Boyer (served as a training camp coaching intern in 2009).

FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES

  • Patriots DB Jordan Richards, Colts DT David Parry and Colts DT Henry Anderson were defensive teammates at Stanford for four years (2011- 14).
  • Patriots DB Tavon Wilson and Colts CB Vontae Davis were defensive teammates at Illinois in 2008.
  • Patriots RB Brandon Bolden and Colts WR Donte Moncrief were offensive teammates at Mississippi in 2011.
  • Colts offensive line coach Joe Gilbert tutored Patriots T Sebastian Vollmer during his senior year in 2008 when Gilbert held the same position at Houston.
  • Colts secondary coach Mike Gillhamer tutored Patriots DB Tavon Wilson during his senior year in 2011 when Gillhamer held the same position at Illinois.

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