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Patriots at Titans: Pregame notes; Inactives

PATRIOTS INACTIVES:

14 Vinny Testaverde 3QB
13 Bam CHildress WR
30 Chad Scott CB/S
33 Kevin Faulk RB
75 Vince Wilfork NT
65 Wesly Britt OT
64 Gene Mruczkowski G/C
84 Benjamin Watson TE

TITANS INACTIVES

26 Andre Woolfolk CB
29 Chris Brown RB
57 Terna Nande LB
73 Justin Geisinger C/G
85 Jonathan Orr WR
89 Cooper Wallace TE
91 Travis LaBoy DE
94 Jesse Mahelona DT

PLAYOFF SCENARIO*New England Patriots - 2006 AFC East Champions
*The Patriots have clinched their fourth straight AFC East title and will host a playoff game at Gillette Stadium the weekend of Jan. 6-7, 2007. If New England defeats Tennessee this week and the Indianapolis Colts lose at home to the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots would claim the third seed in the AFC playoffs and would host the sixthseeded AFC team. Any other combination of results would see the Patriots claim the AFC's fourth seed and host the fifth-seeded team on Sat., Jan. 6 or Sun., Jan. 7.

BEAST OF THE EASTThe Patriots have won four straight AFC East titles, tying the all-time record for consecutive titles in that division. New England's four straight AFC East crowns equals the totals of the Buffalo Bills from 1988-91 and of the Miami Dolphins on two occasions. The Patriots have won five of the last six division crowns dating back to 2001, recording an NFL-best 29-9 record within their division over that span. New England has won seven division titles since 1996, the highest total in the NFL over that span. The Patriots have won seven division titles in the 13 seasons since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 after winning just three in the franchise's first 34 seasons from 1960-93.

RECORD PERFORMANCEThe Patriots have allowed an average of 14.27 points through 15 games this season, a mark that ranks second in the NFL (Baltimore, 12.93), and are on track to challenge the Patriots franchise record of 14.88 points per game, set in 2003.

SERIES HISTORYThe New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans (formerly the Houston Oilers) will play for the 38th time since the two charter members of the American Football League began play in 1960. The Patriots and Oilers played twice each year from 1960- 1969 in the AFL, and have played 16 times since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. In those 17 post-merger games, the Patriots have a 10-7 record, including a 1-1 mark in playoff games. New England leads the overall series, 20-16-1 and own an 8-3 record against the Titans franchise since 1981. The last game between the clubs came in the 2003 divisional playoffs, where New England advanced to the AFC Championship Game with a 17-14 victory in the coldest game in team history (4 degrees). The teams last tangled in regular-season play on Oct. 5, 2003, at Gillette Stadium, with the Patriots winning a 38-30 shootout. New England will make its first appearance in Tennessee since the 2002 season, when the Titans won 24-7 on Monday Night Football.

QUICK HITS

  • The Patriots are playing their final two contests on the road (at Jacksonville and at Tennessee). New England is one of just three NFL teams to play each of its last two games on the road (also Arizona and Carolina).
  • Troy Brown is the only current Patriot to play for New England against the Houston Oilers (10/17/93). He recorded his second career reception in that game, a 14-yard grab from Scott Secules in the third quarter of a 28-14 Oilers victory.
  • The Houston Oilers dealt the Patriots their only home playoff loss in team history, coming away with a 31-14 win in an AFC Divisional game at Schaefer Stadium (12/31/78).
  • LP Field, the home of the Titans, is the only current AFC stadium in which the Patriots have played at least one game and have never won. New England is 0-1 all-time at the stadium, dropping a 24-7 decision on Monday Night Football on Dec. 16, 2002.
  • Since the Patriots and Titans last squared off in the regular season (2003), the Patriots have played all of the AFC teams and all but two of the other 30 NFL teams. The only two NFL teams who the Patriots have gone longer without playing in the regular season are Philadelphia and Washington.
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