September 16, 2001
Ericsson Stadium (73,250) - Grass
1:02 p.m. EDT
This week's game will be broadcast regionally on CBS (locally on WBZ Channel 4 in Boston). Ian Eagle will provide the play-by-play detail and will be joined by broadcast partner Solomon Wilcots.
WBCN's Rock Radio Network 104.1 FM. Gil Santos, now in his 25th season as voice of the Patriots, will call the action along with former Patriots center Peter Brock.
The New England Patriots (0-1) will seek their first win of the season when they travel to Charlotte to clash with the Carolina Panthers (1-0) on Sunday, Sept. 16. The Panthers, who defeated the Patriots in their only previous game in 1995, remain the only team in the NFL that the Patriots have never defeated during the regular season.
The Patriots lost the season opener at Cincinnati, 23-17. The last time the Patriots lost a season opener on the road was in 1998 at Denver. It was the team's last playoff season. This week's game will be the Patriots second consecutive road game. The last time the Patriots opened the regular season with consecutive road games was in 1996. That year, the team lost the season opener, 24-10 at Miami, yet rebounded to win 11 of their next 15 games en route to an AFC Championship. In fact, three of the last four seasons the Patriots qualified for the playoffs, the team lost their season opener. In the playoff seasons of 1994 and 1996, the Patriots started 0-2 before claiming their first victory of the season.
This week's game will feature a battle between two 29-year-old quarterbacks, the Patriots' nine-year veteran Drew Bledsoe and the Panthers' rookie Chris Weinke. Bledsoe, who is five-and-a-half months older than Weinke, is the Patriots all-time leading passer with 4,490 career attempts, 2,526 completions and 29,498 yards. Weinke, the 2000 Heisman Trophy winner at Florida State, was a fourth round draft choice by the Panthers in 2001. He earned a start in his NFL debut last week and completed 13 of 22 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown to lead the Panthers to an upset victory over the Minnesota Vikings, 24-13. Below is a breakdown of the two passers:
|**NFL Experience**||9 years||Rookie|
This week's game will be just the second time the Patriots have met the Panthers in the regular season. The only time they played in the regular season, Carolina edged the Patriots 20-17 in overtime in the Panthers' inaugural year of 1995. The Panthers are the only team the Patriots have never defeated in the regular season. The two teams have met in the preseason for the past three seasons and the Patriots have won the last two, including this year's meeting, 23-8.
|10/29/95||Panthers 20, Patriots 17 (OT)||-3||Focboro|
THE LAST MEETING - Oct. 29, 1995
The Panthers became the first expansion team in NFL history to win three consecutive games with a 20-17 overtime victory over the Patriots. The Panthers gained 434 yards of total offense, including 309 yards passing by Kerry Collins.
Carolina scored 17 points in the third quarter and jumped out to a 17-3 lead. The Patriots came back with two touchdowns in the forth quarter to tie the game at 17. Panther kicker John Kasay attempted a 39-yard field goal to win the game at the end of regulation but it hit the upright and bounced away, sending the game into overtime. Kasay capitalized on his second chance to win the game, nailing a 29-yard field goal for the victory.
DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN
The Patriots and Panthers will meet again this weekend after just facing each other less than a month ago. New England traveled down to Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte on Aug. 18 and defeated the Carolina 23-8.
- Carolina linebacker Chris Slade played with the Patriots from 1993-2000.
- Panthers strength and conditioning coach Jerry Simmons was on Belichick's staff in Cleveland from 1991-95.
- Carolina cornerback Jimmy Hitchcock played for New England from 1995-97.
- Patriots rookie cornerback Leonard Myers and Panthers rookie linebacker Dan Morgan both played their college football at Miami (Fla.).
- Numerous Patriots attended high school in the Carolinas; WR Troy Brown (Blackville, S.C.); S Antwan Harris (Raleigh, N.C.); WR David Patten (Hopkins, S.C.); LB Roman Phifer (Pineville, N.C.); NT Richard Seymour (Gadsden, S.C.) and S Matt Stevens (Chapel Hill, N.C.).
- Carolina fullback Chris Hetherington was a three-year letterman at Yale from 1993-95.NEXT WEEK
The Patriots will return home for their regular season opener at Foxboro Stadium against division rival New York Jets on Sept. 23. The Panthers will also face a division rival when the travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons.