This Week: The New England Patriots (3-4) will travel to Orchard Park, N.Y. to face the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium (73,967 capacity) on Nov. 3 at 1:00 p.m. This will only be the Patriots third game against an AFC East opponent this season and their first against the Bills.
Television: This week's game will be broadcast nationally on CBS (locally on WBZ Channel 4). The play-by-play duties will be handled by Greg Gumbel, who will be joined in the booth by Phil Simms. Armen Keteyian will provide sideline reports throughout the game.
Radio: Every Patriots game can be heard in stereo on the Patriots official flagship station WBCN 104.1 FM. Gil Santos, now in his 26th season as the voice of the Patriots, will call the game along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti, who will provide in-depth analysis for his 22nd season. A complete list of the Patriots WBCN Rock Radio Network can be found on pages 462-463 of the 2002 Patriots media guide or at www.patriots.com. National Radio: This week's game can also be heard nationally on CBS Radio. Harry Kalas and Jack Ham will be calling the play-by-play.
Versus the AFC East: The Patriots have recorded a 7-1 record against their AFC East rivals in their last eight meetings. This week's game will be the Patriots third division game of the season. All three games have been on the road. This season the Patriots have a 1-1 record against the AFC East, defeating the Jets at the Meadowlands, 44-7, and losing to the Dolphins at Pro Player Stadium, 26-13.
The Road Ahead: The Patriots will embark on a three-game road trip this week, starting with a trip to Buffalo to face the Bills. Next week, the Patriots will travel to Chicago (2-5) followed by another trip to the west coast to play Oakland (4-3). The Patriots are the only team in the NFL to play three consecutive road games this season. They will travel 7,872 miles during their three-game road trip.
As defending champions, the New England Patriots drew one of the most difficult schedules in the NFL this year. After opening the season 3-0 with victories over the Pittsburgh Steelers (30-14), New York Jets (44-7) and Kansas City Chiefs (41-38, OT), the Patriots have now lost four straight for the first time since 2000. Their opponents in those games are a combined 23-6 with Green Bay (6-1), San Diego (6-1) and Miami (5-2) all leading their divisions. The first team the Patriots will play this season with a sub-.500 record will be their Week 10 matchup against the Chicago Bears (currently 2-5). The Patriots next four opponents have a combined record of 13-16.
In 1994, the Patriots rebounded from a four-game losing streak to win their last seven games of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs. The Patriots have not lost five consecutive games since 1995.
Touchdown Streak: Quarterback Tom Brady extended his consecutive games with a touchdown pass streak to nine on an 8-yard pass to tight end Christian Fauria against Denver last week. It equals the longest streak by a Patriots quarterback since Drew Bledsoe connected for a touchdown in nine straight games (11/1/98 - 9/19/99). If he continues the streak this weekend, Brady will be only the fifth quarterback in franchise history to record a double-digit streak. Babe Parilli owns the longest consecutive streak of games with a touchdown pass with 14 (12/3/61 - 9/8/63).