NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-3) vs.BUFFALO BILLS** (5-3)
*Sunday, November 9, 2008 - Gillette Stadium (68,756) - 1:00 p.m. EST
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The Patriots welcome the Buffalo Bills to Gillette Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. clash this Sunday. New England will look to extend its nine-game winning streak against the Bills and kick off a string of three straight AFC East division games on a positive note.
Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the Patriots are 15-1 (.938) in games following a loss. New England fell to the Indianapolis Colts last week, 18-15. Over the last five-and-a-half seasons (2003-08), the Patriots have only lost back-to-back games on one occasion (Nov. 5 and Nov. 12, 2006).
This week's game against the Bills begins a streak of three straight AFC East games for the Patriots, marking their first string of back-to-back-to-back divisional contests since 2001. Over the last seven-plus seasons (2001-08), the Patriots have compiled a 36-10 (.783) record against AFC East opponents, marking the best divisional record in the NFL. Pittsburgh ranks second with a 36-13 (.735) divisional mark since 2001. New England's five straight division championships heading into this season are the most in the history of the AFL/AFC East division (1960-present). The Patriots have won the AFC East title in six of the last seven years (2001, 2003-07).
HOME SWEET HOME
Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots have allowed the NFL's fewest number of points per game at home, sparking the team to the NFL's best home record over that span. The Patriots are 49-10 (.831) at home since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 and have allowed just 15.51 points per game at home over that span. New England's home record since the stadium opened, tops the Indianapolis Colts' 44-14 (.759) mark as the best home record in the league. The Patriots' average of allowing 15.51 points per game at home since 2002 tops the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' mark of 16.18 points per game allowed at home over that span.
TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS. The game can be seen in the Boston area on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Dick Enberg and Randy Crosswill call the game.
RADIO:WBCN 104.1 FM is the flagship station for the Patriots Rock Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 36 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santosis in his 32nd season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti. Santos and Cappelletti are celebrating their 25th anniversary season.
NATIONAL RADIO:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Sports USA Radio. Larry Kahn and Dan Fouts will call the game and Troy West will provide sideline reports.
This week, the Patriots and Bills will meet for the 97th time since the series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots lead the series 55-40, with one tie. The Patriots' 55 wins over Buffalo are their most over any opponent, six more than they own over the New York Jets (49). New England has won nine straight games in the series and has won 14 of its last 15 games against Buffalo dating back to the 2000 season. The Patriots have swept the season series from the Bills in four straight years and have achieved the feat six of the last seven years. The Patriots have dominated the series in recent years as four of their last five victories have come by 22 points or more. The Patriots own a perfect 6-0 record against the Bills at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots beat the Bills last season at Gillette Stadium by a 38-7 score. The teams have had many memorable matchups over the years, including a five-game span from 1999 to 2001 where four of the five contests were decided in overtime.
The Patriots have won nine straight games against the Bills, establishing their third longest regular-season winning streak against an opponent. The longest winning streak against any opponent in team history came against Buffalo, with the Patriots winning 11 straight games in the series from the 1982 season finale until the final month of the 1987 season. New England's current nine-game winning streak against Buffalo is tied for the third longest current winning streak against an opponent in the NFL, trailing only the 10 straight wins by Pittsburgh over Cleveland and the 10 straight wins by San Diego over Oakland.
PATRIOTS - BILLS QUICK HITS
- The Patriots have recorded 55 wins over the Bills, the most by the Patriots against any one opponent.
- New England has won nine straight games against Buffalo and has swept the season series in each of the last four seasons.
- The Nov. 9 meeting is the latest the division rivals have met for the first game of their season series since 1998.
- The Patriots have defeated the Bills 14 times in the last 15 games between the teams - a feat never before achieved in franchise history against any opponent.
- The Patriots defense has held the Bills to a touchdown or less in five of the last eight games between the teams.
- Bill Belichick holds a 14-3 career record against Buffalo, including a 14-2 record as head coach of the Patriots.
- The Patriots and Bills have played in 19 games decided by three points or fewer since 1972.
- Since 1993, the two teams have played five overtime games, good for a total of 51:49 of extra time, almost equaling an entire game.
Matt Cassel is slated to start against the Buffalo Bills for the first time. Cassel played against the Bills the last time the two teams squared off on Nov. 18, 2007. Cassel entered the game on New England's final drive of the game and completed two passes for 10 yards to help close out the Patriots' 56-10 victory.
- Bills head coach Dick Jauron is a native of Swampscott, Mass., and was a three-sport standout at Swampscott High, where he was named one of the top 10 Massachusetts prep athletes of the 20th Century by the Boston Globe.
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was the Detroit Lions' assistant special teams coach from 1976-77, while Bills head coach Dick Jauron played safety for Detroit.
- Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour and Bills defensive lineman Marcus Stroud were on the same defensive front at the University of Georgia from 1997-2000. Seymour and Stroud each earned All-Southeastern Conference honors during their senior season (2000).
- Patriots running back Sammy Morris was drafted by the Bills in the fifth round (156th selection) of the 2000 NFL Draft. Morris played for the Bills from 2000-03.
- Bills offensive lineman Melvin Fowlerblocked for LaMont Jordan at the University of Maryland, helping him become the Terrapins all-time leading rusher with 4,147 yards.
- Bills offensive line coach Jim McNally was the offensive line coach at Boston College from 1975-77.
- Patriots wide receiver Sam Aiken was drafted by the Bills in the third round (127th selection) of the 2003 NFL Draft. Aiken played in his first five season with the Bills before signing with the Patriots in March 2008.
- Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss was teammates with Bills defensive tackle Spencer Johnsonon the Minnesota Vikings in 2004.
- Patriots fullback Heath Evansand Bills kicker Rian Lindell were teammates eith the Seattle Seahawks from 2001-02.
- Patriots tight end David Thomas was a teammate of Bills offensive lineman Derrick Dockery at the University of Texas in 2002.
- Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and safety Brandon Meriweather and Bills wide receiver Roscoe Parrish were teammates at the University of Miami. Wilfork and Parrish were on the Hurricanes' National Championship season in 2001.
- Patriots offensive lineman Russ Hochstein and Bills defensive end Chris Kelsayplayed together at the University of Nebraska from 1998-2000.
- Patriots running back LaMont Jordan and wide receiver Randy Moss were teammates with Bills offensive tackle Langston Walker with the Oakland Raiders from 2005-06.
- Patriots wide receiver Kelley Washingtonand Bills cornerback Jabari Greer were teammates at the University of Tennessee in 2001.
- Bills defensive quality control coach Adrian Whiteplayed for the Patriots in the 1993 season. White played in five games in '93 with four starts.
- Patriots cornerback Deltha O'Nealand Bills offensive lineman Langston Walker were teammates at the University of California from 1998-99.
- Six current Patriots and Bills played college football at Louisiana State University. They are Patriots running back Kevin Faulk (1995-1998), defensive lineman Jarvis Green (1998-2001) and linebacker Eric Alexander (2000-2003) and Bills tight end Robert Royal(1997-2001), wide receiver Josh Reed (1998-2001) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams(2002-2005).
- Patriots tight ends coach Pete Mangurian was an offensive assistant for the Atlanta Falcons in 1997, when Bills defensive line coach Bill Kollarwas Atlanta's defensive line coach.
- Bills strength and conditioning coordinator John Allaire graduated from Springfield (Mass.) College.
- Patriots Punter Chris Hanson and Bills defensive tackle Marcus Stroud were teammates on the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2001-06.