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Patriots and Colts set to battle on Sunday night

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS(6-1) vs.INDIANAPOLIS COLTS** (7-0)
Sunday, November 5, 2006 - Gillette Stadium (68,756)
8:15 p.m. EST

The Patriots will face their toughest challenge of the 2006 season to date when the undefeated Indianapolis Colts travel to Foxborough for a prime-time showdown on Sunday night. The interdivisional AFC rivals will face each other for the fourth straight season at Gillette Stadium, following memorable clashes in Foxborough during the 2003 and 2004 playoffs and during the 2004 and 2005 regular seasons. Both teams have begun the 2006 season on a positive run, with New England's 6- 1 record tying the best seven-game start to a season in franchise history. Since seeing their nine-game home winning streak against Indianapolis snapped last Nov. 7, the Patriots have gone 12-3 in their last 15 regular-season games and are positioned atop the AFC East. The Colts – leaders of the AFC South – are 7-0 for the second straight year, becoming the first team since the 1929-31 Green Bay Packers to begin back-to-back seasons with seven or more consecutive wins.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by NBC. The game can be seen in Boston on WHDH-TV Channel 7. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties and John Madden will provide analysis. Andrea Kremer will offer updates from the sidelines.

RADIO: WBCN 104.1 FM is the flagship station for the Patriots Rock Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's stations can be found in this press release. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 30th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti for the 23rd season.

NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One. Dave Sims and Bob Trumpy will call the game and Kevin Kiley will report from the sidelines.

STRONG START
The Patriots have begun the 2006 season with a 6-1 record, tying the best start to a season in franchise history. The Patriots also started the season with a 6-1 record in 1974, 1980 and 2004.

MILESTONE IN SIGHT
Troy Brown needs just two more catches to pass Stanley Morgan as the Patriots' alltime leading receiver. Brown enters this week's game with 533 career receptions, standing one catch behind Morgan's team-record 534 receptions (1977-89). Morgan has held the Patriots' receptions record since Nov. 11, 1984, when he recorded his 293rd career reception in a 38-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills at Sullivan Stadium in Foxborough, passing Gino Cappelletti's then-record of 292 catches.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Colts will meet for the 69th time as the former AFC East rivals square off for the sixth time since November 2003. The teams have produced a strong recent rivalry, having faced each other in the playoffs in two of the last three years. But a rivalry between the teams is nothing new. 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. New England has had more success against the Colts than any other team in the NFL, with the Patriots' .632 winning percentage ranking as their highest against any team they have played more than 10 times. New England is 17-5 against Indianapolis since 1993, and has won 14 of the series' last 17 games, including six of the last seven dating back to the 2000 season. The games have tended to be high-scoring affairs, as the Patriots have scored 20 or more points against the Colts in 16 of their last 17 meetings and have scored 38 or more points in three of the last seven clashes.

PATRIOTS - COLTS QUICK HITS

  • Since losing to the Colts on Nov. 7, 2005, the Patriots have recorded a 12-3 record in their last 15 regular-season games.
  • Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick is 7-2 against the Colts as the head man in New England and is 9-4 against Indianapolis as a head coach overall.
  • Patriots QB Tom Brady is 6-1 against the Colts and owns a completion percentage of 67 percent in his six games against Indianapolis, while throwing 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
  • In his career, Tom Brady is 33-1 when posting a passer rating of 100.0 or higher. His only loss came last season against Indianapolis, when he notched a 121.4 rating in a 40-21 Colts victory.
  • The Patriots have won nine of their last 10 home games against Indianapolis, a streak that dates back to 1995.
  • The Patriots and Colts have combined for more than 50 total points in each of their last six regular-season meetings.
  • The Colts are the only team that the Patriots have played in consecutive years in both the regular season and the playoffs. New England and Indianapolis had such meetings in 2003 and 2004.

PASSING PERFORMANCES
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will lead their offensive teams against each other for the eighth time. Brady has compiled a 6-1 record against the Colts, helping the team put up an average of 30.3 points per game in games he has started against Indianapolis. Brady's first NFL start came against Indianapolis in a 44-13 win on Sept. 30, 2001. Brady recorded the highest passer rating of his career (148.3) against the Colts on Oct. 21, 2001. The Patriots defense has had past success against Peyton Manning and the Colts offense, leading New England to wins in 10 of the 13 games Manning has started against the Patriots.

PATRIOTS ON SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALLThe Patriots hold an all-time record of 13-12 when playing on Sunday night, and have won four of their last five games in that timeslot. The New England defense has especially enjoyed the prime-time Sunday night spotlight, allowing an average of just 11 points per game in the Patriots' five Sunday night appearances since 2003. The Patriots and Colts will meet on Sunday night for the fourth time overall and for the first time since 1998, when the Patriots claimed a 29-6 victory at Foxboro Stadium on Sept. 13, 1998.

CONNECTIONS

  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick began his NFL coaching career as a special assistant for the Baltimore Colts in 1975 under head coach Ted Marchibroda.
  • Patriots assistant head coach/offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was the offensive line coach for the Colts from 1989-90. Outside of those two seasons, Scarnecchia has been on the Patriots sidelines for each year since 1982.
  • Patriots special teams coach Brad Seely got his first NFL coaching job as the special teams and tight ends coach of the Colts. He spent five years with the organization.
  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his first NFL start against the Colts and completed 13 of 23 passes for 168 yards in a 44-13 victory on Sept. 30, 2001.
  • Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin grew up in Indianapolis and attended Broad Ripple High School in the city. He went on to attend Purdue University, where he was a three-year starter.
  • Patriots tackle Matt Light earned four letters at Purdue University (1996, 1998-2000), earning All-Big Ten conference first-team honors in 2000.
  • Patriots defensive back Eugene Wilson was born on Aug. 17, 1980 in Merriville, Ind. where he attended Merriville High. He earned an All-Duneland Athletic Conference selection, Conference MVP, two All-Indiana selections and Defensive Player of the Year honors.
  • Colts safety Dexter Reid was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
  • Colts strength and conditioning coach Jon Torine played football at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he received his bachelor's degree in exercise science.
  • Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney was born in Hartford, Conn., and attended Bloomfield High School, where he was a SuperPrep, Prep Football Report, USA Today, New Haven Register, Hartford Courant and Blue Chip Illustrated All- American selection.
  • Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks was the secondary coach for St. Louis in 2001, when Patriots linebacker Don Davis was a member of the Rams' Super Bowl XXXVI team.
  • Patriots safety Eugene Wilson and Colts wide receiver Aaron Moorehead were teammates at the University of Illinois for four years (1999-2002).
  • Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel recorded a career-high eight tackles (7 solo) against the Colts on Nov. 30, 2003.
  • Colts placekicker Adam Vinatieri played for the Patriots from 1996-2005 after being drafted by New England.
  • Colts defensive tackle Dan Klecko was drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Patriots.
  • Colts defensive end Ryan LaCasse was born in Stoughton, Mass. and attended Stoughton High School. He was named to the Boston Herald All-Hockomock League first-team, earned All-Scholastic honors as senior, and added Boston Globe, Patriot Ledger and Brockton Enterprise All-Scholastic selections.
  • Colts defensive end Josh Thomas was born in Plymouth, Mass.
  • Patriots running back Laurence Maroney (2003-2005) played with Colts tight end Ben Utecht (1999-2003) and defensive tackle Darrell Reid (2001-2004) at the University of Minnesota.
  • Patriots running back Kevin Faulk and Colts defensive tackle Anthony McFarland played together at Louisiana State University from 1995-1998. Patriots defensive lineman Jarvis Green was also a teammate in 1998.
  • Patriots linebacker Eric Alexander and defensive end Marquise Hill were teammates with Colts running back Joseph Addai at Louisiana State University from 2002-2003.
  • Patriots defensive lineman Mike Wright and Colts linebacker Tyjuan Hagler were four-year teammates at the University of Cincinnati from 2001-2004.
  • Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light and Colts linebacker Gilbert Gardner played together at Purdue University (2000).
  • Patriots linebacker Pierre Woods and Colts defensive back Marlin Jackson were three-year teammates at the University of Michigan from 2002-2004.
  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Colts linebacker Cato June played together at the University of Michigan from 1998- 1999.
  • Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson and Colts defensive back Tim Jennings were teammates at the University of Georgia from 2002-2003.
  • Patriots offensive lineman Ryan O'Callaghan and Colts defensive back Matt Giordano played together at the University of California from 2003-2004.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

THE PATRIOTS-COLTS SERIES

43-25
The Patriots' all-time record against the Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts franchise. The Patriots' .632 winning percentage against the Colts is their highest against any NFL team they have played more than 10 times.

24-10
The Patriots' all-time record against the Colts in Foxborough.

9-1
The Patriots' record against the Colts in Foxborough since 1995.

12-3The Patriots' regular-season record since losing to the Colts on Nov. 7, 2005.

19-12The Patriots' record in prime-time home games, including a 3-2 record in such games against Indianapolis.

THE KRAFT ERA

136The number of regular-season and playoff victories the Patriots have earned since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span.

4The number of times the Patriots have appeared in the Super Bowl since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994. No other team has made more than two Super Bowl appearances in that span.

136-81The Patriots' overall record since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 (including postseason), a .627 winning percentage.

76-31The Patriots' record at home since 1994, including regularseason and postseason games, a winning percentage of .710.

32-7The Patriots' record at Gillette Stadium, including regular-season and postseason games (.821 win pct).

HEATING UP

5The number of consecutive weeks in which Tom Brady has posted an increase in his passer rating from his previous game.

115.6Brady's passer rating against Minnesota last week, his highest rating of the season.

34-1New England's record when Brady posts a passer rating of 100.0 or higher.

STINGY DEFENSE

12.4The average number of points per game the Patriots have allowed in 2006.

3The Patriots' NFL rank in points allowed per game. Only Denver and Chicago rank higher.

14.9The Patriots team record for fewest points allowed per game in a full season, achieved in 2004.

17.61The average number of points per game the Patriots have allowed since 2001, a mark that ranks third in the NFL over that span, trailing only Tampa Bay and Philadelphia.

13The number of times Bill Belichick's defenses have finished in the NFL's top 10 in fewest points allowed since he was first named a defensive coordinator in 1985.

MR. PATRIOT 2The number of receptions Brown needs to pass Stanley Morgan (534 career receptions) to become the Patriots' all-time leader.

6,182The number of career receiving yards for Troy Brown, making him the second player in franchise history to reach the 6,000- yard mark (Stanley Morgan, 10,352).

14The number of seasons in which Brown has donned a Patriots uniform, tying Bruce Armstrong and Steve Nelson for the second longest Patriots tenure, trailing only Steve Grogan (16 seasons).

2The number of current NFL players who have been with their respective teams for more than the 14 seasons Brown has been a Patriot (Brett Favre, GB, and Jason Hanson, DET;15 seasons).

THE HEAD COACH

32The number of years Bill Belichick has been an NFL coach, making him the longest tenured coach among the NFL's 32 head coaches.

7The number of head coaches in the NFL or college who were assistant coaches under Belichick (Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Nick Saban, Charlie Weis, Kirk Ferentz, Pat Hill and Al Groh).

40-2Belichick's record in New England when the Patriots score 25 points or more.

61-5Belichick's record in New England when the Patriots score 21 points or more.

7-2Belichick's record against the Colts as head coach of the Patriots.

STREAKING

56The number of consecutive games the Patriots have played since they last lost back-to-back games, dating back to December 2002. The streak is the second longest in NFL history. The San Francisco 49ers set the NFL record by going 60 games without losing two in a row from 1995-99.

5The number of consecutive 9 win seasons for the Patriots, the longest current streak in the NFL.

8The number of consecutive Patriots overtime victories, the longest current streak in the NFL.

8The number of career receptions by Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel (including playoffs). All eight receptions have been for touchdowns.

96The number of consecutive games, including playoffs, that Tom Brady has started at quarterback.

132The number of consecutive home games that the Patriots have sold out. The streak includes preseason, regular-season and playoff games and dates back to the 1994 regular-season opener. The streak also includes this week's game against the Colts.

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