PATRIOTS (1-2) at BILLS (2-1)
Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Ralph Wilson Stadium (73,967)
The New England Patriots will begin play in the AFC East when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills. It will be the Patriots third road game of the season. The Patriots own a 53-15 (.779) record in regular season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season, compiling the best intra-division record of any team in the NFL.
After seven straight series sweeps and 15 straight wins by New England, Buffalo ended the streak with a 34-31 victory at Ralph Wilson Stadium in the first meeting of the two teams in 2011 on Sept. 25. The 15-game win streak is the third longest winning streak over a single opponent in NFL history. The Patriots avenged that loss in the 2011 regular season finale on Jan. 1, 2012 by overcoming a 21-0 first quarter deficit by scoring 49 unanswered points en route to a 49-21 victory.
The loss to Baltimore last week ended the Patriots' run of 145 consecutive games at .500 or better, the longest such streak in NFL history. Dallas had the second longest streak ever with 115 games at .500 or better (1965-1974). At 1-2, the Patriots are under .500 for the first time since starting the 2003 season with a 31-0 loss at Buffalo to start the season 0-1.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Greg Gumbel will handle play-by-play duties with Dan Dierdorf providing color. The game will be produced by Mark Wolff and directed by Bob Fishman.
RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 40 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 36th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action. Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak will handle the color commentary, taking over duties for Gino Cappelletti. Cappelletti, a member of the original Boston Patriots in 1960 and the all-time leading scorer in the American Football League's history, retired from the broadcast team after 31 years as the team's iconic color analyst.
The New England Patriots own a 53-15 (.779) record in regular season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season, compiling the best intra-division record of any team in the NFL.
The Patriots and Bills will meet for the 105th time, with New England holding a 62-41-1 edge. After seven straight series sweeps and 15 straight Patriots wins, Buffalo ended the streak with a 34-31 victory Ralph Wilson Stadium in the first meeting of the two teams in 2011 on Sept. 25. The 15-game win streak is the third longest winning streak over a single opponent in NFL history.
The Patriots avenged that loss in the 2011 regular season finale on Jan. 1, 2012 by overcoming a 21-0 first quarter deficit and scoring 49 unanswered points en route to a 49-21 victory. The series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots' 62 wins over the Bills are their highest victory total over any opponent, nine more than they own over the New York Jets (53). New England has won 21 of its last 24 games against Buffalo dating back to the 2000 season.
The Patriots are 29-22-1 all-time in Buffalo, including 22-16 at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Patriots are 33-19 all-time in home games against Buffalo, including 10-0 at Gillette Stadium. 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.
SERIES TRENDS** Home Record, 33-19
Record in Foxborough, 27-14
Foxboro Stadium, 17-14
Gillette Stadium, 10-0
Record in Boston, 6-5
Away Record, 29-22-1
War Memorial Stadium, 7-6-1
Ralph Wilson/Rich Stadium, 22-16
Largest Margin of Victory, 46 points (2007)
Largest Margin of Defeat, 35 points (1970)
Longest Win Streak, 15 games (2003-2010)
Bill Belichick vs. Buffalo Bills, 21-4 (21-3 with N.E)
PATRIOTS – BILLS QUICK HITS
- The Patriots have won 11 straight games against Buffalo at home, including a perfect 10-0 record at Gillette Stadium.
- The Patriots have recorded 62 wins over the Bills, the most by the Patriots against any one opponent.
- Bill Belichick is 55-21 (.724) all-time against the AFC East as head coach of the Patriots. The Patriots were 5-1 against the Division in 2011, with the only loss coming at Buffalo in Week 3 of the season.
Tom Brady has led the Patriots to 18 regular season victories over the Bills, recording his highest regular season victory total over any opponent. Additionally, Brady has thrown for more touchdowns (46) against Buffalo than any other opponent. Brady also has more 300-yard games (6) against Buffalo than any other NFL. He has five 300-yard games against Miami.
New England Ties
- Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick played quarterback at Harvard University from 2001-04 and was named the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2004.
- Bills Wide Receivers Coach Bob Bicknell is a native of Holliston, Mass. and played tight end at Boston College. Following his graduation in 1992, Bicknell took his first coaching job at Boston University. Bicknell spent time coaching the safeties, running backs and linebackers at BU from 1993-97. Bicknell's father, Jack, was the head coach of Boston College from 1981-90.
- Bills Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Eric Ciano graduated from Springfield (Mass.) College in 1997 and played football for the Pride.
- Prior to joining the Bills, Assistant Offensive Line Coach Andrew Dees served as the Recruiting Coordinator/Running Backs Coach at the University of Massachusetts in 2011.
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski grew up in Williamsville, N.Y. 14 miles outside of Buffalo. * DE Trevor Scott played football at the University of Buffalo from 2003-07 and grew up in Potsdam, N.Y.
- Bills DE Mark Anderson played for the Patriots in 2011 and finished the season tied for the team lead in sacks (10) and forced fumbles (2).
- Bills TE Lee Smith was a fifth-round draft pick of the Patriots in the 2010 NFL draft. He spent training camp with the Patriots before being released and claimed off waivers by the Bills.
- Assistant Defensive Backs Coach Adrian White played DB for the Patriots in 1993.
- Patriots LB Tracy White played for the Green Bay Packers with Bills LB Nick Barnett and Bills WR Ruvell Martin from 2006-08.
- Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich played with Bills SS Bryan Scott in New Orleans for the Saints in 2006.
- Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich played part of the 2006 season with Bills FB Corey McIntyre with the New Orleans Saints.
- WR Brandon Lloyd and Bears DE Mark Anderson were teammates with the Chicago Bears in 2008.
- TE Visanthe Shiancoe and Bills QB Tavaris Jackson were teammates in Minnesota from 2007-10. Bills DE Spencer Johnson played his final season in Minnesota (2009) with Jackson and Shiancoe.
- DL Rob Ninkovich played with Bills RB Corey McIntyre and LB Bryan Scott in New Orleans in 2006.
- CB Marquice Cole played with Bills WR Brad Smith for the New York Jets from 2009-10. Patriots RB Danny Woodhead spent the beginning of the 2009 season with the Jets.
- DE Trevor Scott and Bills LB Kirk Morrison spent two seasons together in Oakland. Bills T Erik Pears played one season in Oakland with Scott (2009).
- TE Daniel Fells and Bills WR Ruvell Martin spent one season together in St. Louis (2009).
- TE Kellen Winslow and Bills RB Corey McIntyre played together for one season in Cleveland (2005).
- Winslow and LB Niko Koutouvides played with Bills DE Kyle Moore in Tampa Bay from 2009-10.
Former College Teammates
- LB Dont'a Hightower played on the defensive side of the ball at Alabama with Bills DT Marcell Dareus from 2008-10. Patriots DL Brandon Deaderick was teammates with Dareus and Hightower during his senior year (2008) and also played with Bills DE Mark Anderson during his freshman season (2005).
- RB Stevan Ridley and Bills LB Kelvin Sheppard played their entire college careers together at LSU (2007-10).
- S Patrick Chung and Bills S Jairus Byrd roamed the defensive backfield together at the University of Oregon from 2006-08.
- DL Kyle Love and Bills LB Chris White played together at Mississippi State in 2009.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK AT BUFFALO
With a victory over Buffalo, Bill Belichick will earn his 194th career victory, moving him out of a tie with Chuck Knox into sole possession of 8th place all-time.
With one touchdown pass against Buffalo, Tom Brady will extend his streak to 36 straight games with at least one touchdown pass and tie Brett Favre (36) for the third longest streak all time. His current streak is fourth alltime, behind Johnny Unitas (47), Drew Brees (46-current) and Brett Favre (36).
Brady (3,476) needs 12 completions to move past Kerry Collins (3,487) into 10th place all-time on the NFL's all-time completion list.
Brady (40,866) needs 57 passing yards to move past Kerry Collins (40,922) into 11th place all-time on the NFL's all-time passing list. Drew Brees is in 10th with 44,611 yards.
Stephen Gostkowski (7-of-10) needs one more 50-yard field goal to tie Adam Vinatieri (8-of-17) for most 50-yard field goals in Patriots history. Gostkowski has two 50 yarders so far in 2012 and can become the first Patriots player with three 50 yard field goals in a single season.
Jerod Mayo can extend his streak to four straight games with 10 or more tackles, which would tie his career high after recording 13 at Tennessee, 11 vs. Arizona and 11 at Baltimore. Two times in 2011, he had four-game stretches with 10 or more tackles.
Wes Welker (6,356) needs 11 receiving yards to move past Troy Brown (6,366) into second place on the New England all-time receiving list. Stanley Morgan is in first place with 10,352 yards.
Welker needs one reception to extend his streak to 81 straight regular-season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots to extend his franchise record. Welker has an overall streak of 97 straight regularseason games with at least one reception, including his time with the Miami Dolphins.
PATRIOTS UNDER .500 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2003
The loss to Baltimore ended the Patriots run of 145 consecutive games at .500 or better, the longest such streak in NFL history. Dallas had the second longest streak ever with 115 games at .500 or better (1965-1974). At 1-2, the Patriots are under .500 for the first time since starting the 2003 season with an 0-1 record after dropping the season opener to Buffalo, 31-0. Baltimore now has the longest streak at .500 or better with 62 games. The Patriots are 1-2 for the first time since the 2001 season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of punts returned by Julian Edelman for touchdowns during his career, the fourth Patriots player with two or more punt returns for a touchdown. A third will tie Troy Brown for the franchise record.
The number of forced fumbles in three games by first round pick DE Chandler Jones.
The number of consecutive games in 2012 that LB Jerod Mayo has had 10 or more tackles in game. Mayo is the first player in New England history to register 100 tackles in his first four NFL seasons.
The number of 20-yard runs by RB Stevan Ridley. Since 2000, Corey Dillon and Antwain Smith are tied with 13 runs of 20 or moore, followed by Laurence Maroney (11), Kevin Faulk (10) and Sammy Morris (9).
Since the beginning of 2010, Rob Ninkovich leads the Patriots with a total of 11.5 sacks.
The number of rushing yards the Patriots defense held Tennessee to in the 2012 season, opener – tied for fifth-lowest total in team history.
The number of receptions of 30 or more yards by WR Brandon Lloyd since 2010, tied with Larry Fitzgerald for fourth, behind DeSean Jackson (30), Mike Wallace (30) and Calvin Johnson (28).
The number of touchdown receptions by TE Rob Gronkowski since he entered the NFL in 2010, tied with Calvin Johnson for the most in the NFL in that time span. The NFL record for most touchdown receptions in a player's first three NFL season is 43 by Randy Moss.
The number of receptions in 2011 by WR Wes Welker. With 122 in 2011 and 123 in 2009, Welker joins Cris Carter as the only two NFL players with at least 120-plus receptions twice in their careers.
The loss to Baltimore (9/23) ended the Patriots run of 145 consecutive games at .500 or better, the longest such streak in NFL history. Dallas had the second longest streak ever with 115 games at .500 or better (1965-1974).
TOM BRADY BY THE NUMBERS
Tom Brady became the first player to follow a 500-yard performance with a 400-yard performance after Brady had backto- back games with 517 yards and 423 yards to start 2011.
Brady joined Drew Brees (2011) as the only players to reach 3,000 yards in the first nine games of the season. Brady (3,032) had the most yards ever through the first nine games of the year.
The number of seasons that Brady has reached 4,000 passing yards. His four 4,000-yard seasons are tied with Warren Moon and Philip Rivers for the fifth most in NFL history.
Brady became the sixth NFL quarterback in NFL history to have 30 or more touchdowns passes in at least three seasons after reaching 30 vs. Indianapolis (12/4) in 2011.
Tom Brady is one of 13 quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 500 or more yards after he passed for 517 in the 2011 opener at Miami.
Tom Brady (40,866) is one of 14 quarterbacks in NFL history to reach at least 40,000 passing yards.
The number of times Tom Brady has earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the award in each of the first two weeks of the 2011 season and in Week 16.
The number of consecutive games that Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass, fourth best behind 47 by Johnny Unitas, 46 by Drew Brees and 36 by Brett Favre.
The number of regular season 300-yard passing games by Tom Brady, a team record.
The number of times that Brady has thrown two or more touchdowns in a game. The Patriots are 82-15 when he throws for two or more touchdowns.
The number of wins that Brady has as a starting quarterback to for fifth place. Brady reached the 100-win milestone in the fewest number of starts (131) among all quarterbacks in the modern era and the 125 career wins in the fewest starts (160).
The number of passing yards by Brady in 2011, the second most in a season in NFL history.
THE KRAFT ERA
The number of Super Bowl championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Only Denver (2; 1997 and 1998), Pittsburgh (2; 2005 and 2008) and the NY Giants (2: 2007 and 2011) have won multiple Super Bowl titles since 1994.
The number of conference championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Pittsburgh is second with four conference titles since 1994.
The number of division championships won by the Patriots since Kraft purchased the team in 1994.
The number of playoff seasons earned by the Patriots in the 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team.
The number of playoff games the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Pittsburgh ranks second with 17 playoff wins over that span.
The number of playoff games the Patriots have appeared in since 1994, the most in the NFL. Pittsburgh has the second most with 27.
The number of consecutive home games that have been sold out, including playoff and postseason games dating back to the 1994 season opener.
THE BELICHICK ERA
Bill Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three championships since the Super Bowl era began. Belichick joins three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the exclusive club (Chuck Noll 4, Joe Gibbs 3 and Bill Walsh 3). Belichick is the only coach to win three Super Bowls in the post-1993 salary cap era and the only one to ever win three in four years.
Bill Belichick has 193 career victories as a head coach, including playoff games to tie Chuck Knox for 8th place all-time.