NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS(2-1) atNEW YORK GIANTS** (3-0)
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Giants Stadium (80,242) - 7:30 p.m. EDT
The New England Patriots will conclude their 2006 preseason schedule on Thursday night when they take on the New York Giants at Giants Stadium. After dropping their preseason opener in Atlanta, the Patriots strung together solid victories over Arizona and Washington at Gillette Stadium, defeating the two teams by a combined score of 71-3. The Giants have won all three of their preseason games entering this week and will provide the Patriots with a challenging test as both teams try to maintain momentum leading into the regular season.
Just 10 days after taking on the Giants, the slate will once again be wiped clean when the Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills in the 2006 season opener at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 10.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by the Patriots Preseason Television Network and can be seen in Boston on WCVB Channel 5. The game will also be televised live in the following markets: Providence, R.I. (WNAC-TV Ch. 64), Manchester, N.H. (WMUR-TV Ch. 9), Portland, Maine (WMTW-TV Ch. 8) and Springfield, Mass. (WWLP-TV Ch. 22) Veteran CBS broadcaster Don Criqui provides play-by-play and is joined by three-time NFL Pro Bowler and CBS analyst Randy Cross. WCVB principal sports anchor Mike Lynch offers on-field reports from the sideline.
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 by clicking here. 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. Santos and Cappelletti are celebrating their 23rd season as a broadcast tandem.
PATRIOTS IN THE PRESEASON
New England has won 12 of its last 18 preseason games dating back to 2002. Since Bill Belichick became the head coach, the Patriots hold an overall mark of 18-10 (.643) in the preseason. Overall, New England is 35-55 (.389) on the road in the preseason and is 65-63 (.508) in preseason games against NFC teams.
ROSTER REDUCTION DATES
The first mandatory roster cutdown date is August 29, two days prior to the Patriots-Giants game. On that date, rosters must be reduced to 75 players and NFL Europe roster exemptions will expire. On Saturday, Sept. 2, rosters must be reduced to the regular-season limit of 53 players. On Sept. 3, clubs may establish an eight-man practice squad.
The Patriots and Giants will meet for the 16th time in the preseason as both teams finalize their preparations for the 2006 campaign. The clubs will clash in the preseason finale for the second straight year, with the Giants claiming a 27-3 victory at Gillette Stadium in 2005. Overall, the Giants hold a 9-6 advantage in the preseason series, but the Patriots claim a 4-3 edge in the regular season. The clubs have been frequent preseason opponents recently, squaring off in the preseason openers for three straight years from 2001-03 and resuming the series in 2005. New England has won six of the last eight overall games between the clubs dating back to 1990, including three straight regular-season contests and three of the last five preseason clashes. The series dates back to 1970, the year of the AFL-NFL merger and includes some memorable games despite the relative infrequency of the matchups. In 1996, the Patriots stole a 23-22 win to clinch a playoff berth after trailing 22-3 in the fourth quarter. The first preseason game between the teams was in the first NFL game played in Foxborough, as the Patriots opened Schaefer Stadium with a 20-14 win.
The Patriots and Giants have met just seven times in regular-season play. The Patriots' seven games against New York are the second fewest against any team that entered the league prior to the most recent era of expansion, which began with the entry of the Jaguars and Panthers to the NFL in 1995.
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick spent 12 seasons on the Giants' coaching staff, and was the team's defensive coordinator for their victories in Super Bowls XXI and XXV. Belichick joined the Giants as the special teams coach on Ray Perkins' staffing in 1979, and during his tenure coached special teams (1979-82), linebackers (1980-84) and the secondary (1989-90), while also holding defensive coordinator responsibilities (1985-90).
- Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson played for the Giants for seven seasons (1986-92), and was a member of the Giants' Super Bowl championship teams in 1986 and 1990.
- Patriots tight ends coach Pete Mangurian was the Giants' offensive line coach from 1993-96.
- Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin was the head coach at Boston College from 1991-93 and also served as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at the Heights (1981-83). Coughlin was also the wide receivers coach on the Giants' coaching staff while Bill Belichick was also on New York's staff (1988-90).
- Giants offensive coordinator John Hufnagel was the Patriots' quarterbacks coach in 2003.
- Giants special teams coordinator Mike Sweatman held the same position in New England from 1993-96.
- Giants tight ends coach Michael Pope coached running backs and tight ends for the Patriots from 1994-96.
- Giants assistant offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo has been an assistant at three New England colleges: Boston College (1991-92), Boston University (1993-96) and the University of Connecticut (1997-98).
- Giants running backs coach Jerald Ingram held the same position at Boston College (1991-93).
- Giants guard Grey Ruegamer played in 33 games for the Patriots over three seasons from 2000-02.
- Giants quarterback Tim Hasselbeck is from Westwood, Mass. and played for Boston College and for Xaverian Brothers High School. Tim's father, Don Hasselbeck, played tight end for the Patriots for six seasons (1977-83).
- Giants guard Chris Snee and Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka both attended Boston College. Snee was selected by the Giants in the second round of the 2004 draft, while Kiwanuka was taken by the Giants in the first round of the 2006 draft.
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Giants kicker Jay Feely were teammates at the University of Michigan from 1997-99.
- Patriots defensive back Eugene Wilson and Giants guard David Diehl were four-year teammates at the University of Illinois from 1999-2002.
- Patriots running back Heath Evans and Giants wide receiver Tim Carter were teammates at Auburn University from 1998-2000.
- Patriots rookie running back Patrick Cobbs and Giants second-year defensive end Adrian Awasom were teammates at North Texas from 2002-04.
- Patriots offensive lineman Dan Stevenson and Giants cornerback Vontez Duff were teammates at the University of Notre Dame from 2002-04.
- Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and Giants defensive lineman William Joseph were teammates at the University of Miami from 2000-02.
- Patriots cornerback Randall Gay and Giants cornerback Corey Webster were teammates at Louisiana State University from 2001-03.
- Giants wide receiver Michael Jennings was a member of the Patriots during 2004 training camp and was a part of the Patriots practice squad for three weeks in September, 2004.
- Giants punter Travis Dorsch was a member of the Patriots practice squad for a week in December, 2003.
Aug. 15, 1971 - The Patriots defeated the Giants 20-14 in the opening preseason game at the old Foxboro Stadium.
Dec. 21, 1996 - The Patriots rallied from a 22-3 fourth-quarter deficit to clinch a playoff spot with a 23-22 win at Giants Stadium.
Aug. 10, 2001 - New England began its Super Bowl championship season with a 14-0 preseason shutout of the NFC champion Giants.
LARGEST PRESEASON VICTORY MARGIN
The 41-point win was the largest margin of victory in Patriots preseason history. Prior to the win over Washington, New England's most lopsided preseason win was a 45-7 triumph (38 point margin) on Sept. 4, 1977. That game 29 years ago was also against the Washington Redskins in Foxborough.
New England's 41-0 shutout victory was the fourth preseason shutout in Patriots history and the first preseason shutout since a 14-0 victory over the New York Giants at Foxboro Stadium on Aug. 10, 2001.
Including their 41-0 victory over Washington, the Patriots have outscored their opponents 81-6 over the last nine quarters of preseason action. Beginning with the fourth quarter of the preseason opener at Atlanta (during which the Patriots outscored the Falcons 10-3), the Patriots have overpowered their preseason opposition. Last week, New England defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 30-3, at Gillette Stadium. Over their two-game homestand, the Patriots defeated the Cardinals and Redskins by a combined score of 71-3.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The number of players on the Patriots roster as of Aug. 27.
The number of players on the Patriots roster who were drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft in their respective seasons.
The number of players on the Patriots roster who were drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft in their respective seasons.
The number of rookies and first-year players on the Patriots roster.
The number of players on the Patriots roster who were drafted by the team in the last four drafts (2003-06).
The number of Patriots who have accrued three or more seasons of NFL experience entering 2005.
The number of 100-yard rushing games Corey Dillon needs to have recorded 40 such games in his career.
The number of touchdown passes Tom Brady needs to move ahead of Vito "Babe" Parilli (132) into third place in franchise history behind Steve Grogan (182) and Drew Bledsoe (166).
The number of points the Patriots' active scoring leader, Troy Brown, needs to reach the 200-point plateau.
The number of catches Troy Brown needs to pass Stanley Morgan (534 receptions) to claim the franchise record.
The number of receptions Kevin Faulk needs to pass Tony Collins (261 receptions) for the most by a Patriots running back in franchise history.
The number of yards rushing that Corey Dillon (currently ranked 12th) needs to move ahead of Mosi Tatupu (2,415) and Leonard Russell (2,437) into 10th place on the Patriots all-time rushing list.
The number of passing yards Tom Brady needs to become just the third player in franchise history to reach the 20,000-yard passing plateau, joining Drew Bledsoe (29,657) and Steve Grogan (26,886).
The number of consecutive Pro Bowls to which Richard Seymour has been selected.
The number of consecutive playoff games in which the Patriots defense has forced a turnover.
The number of consecutive games in which Deion Branch has caught a pass.
The number of consecutive games the Patriots have played since they last lost back-to-back games, dating back to December 2002. The NFL record is 60 games by the San Francisco 49ers from 1995-99. The next longest active streak in the NFL is the Denver Broncos with 20.
The number of consecutive 9 win seasons for the Patriots, the longest current streak in the NFL.
The number of consecutive Patriots overtime victories, the longest current streak in the NFL.
The number of career receptions by Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel (including playoffs). All eight receptions have been for touchdowns.
The number of consecutive games, including playoffs, that Tom Brady has started at quarterback.
THE HEAD COACH
The number of years Bill Belichick has been an NFL coach, making him the longest tenured coach among the NFL's 32 head coaches.
The number of division titles Belichick has won as a head coach or assistant coach.
The number of head coaches who have won three or more NFL championships since the postseason era began in 1933. Belichick joined that elite club with a victory in Super Bowl XXXIX.
The number of head coaches in the NFL or college who were once assistant coaches under Belichick (Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Nick Saban, Charlie Weis, Kirk Ferentz, Pat Hill and Al Groh).
THE KRAFT ERA
The 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.
The number of playoff victories for the Patriots since 1994, more than any other team in the NFL during that span.
The Patriots' overall record since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 (including postseason), a .619 winning percentage.
The Patriots' record at home since 1994, including regular-season and postseason games, a winning percentage of .712.
30-6The Patriots' record at Gillette Stadium, including regular-season and postseason games (.833 win pct).
THE BELICHICK ERA
Bill Belichick's overall record as head coach of the Patriots, including the regular season and the playoffs, the best head coaching record in franchise history.
Belichick's record in New England when the Patriots score 25 points or more.
Belichick's record in New England when the Patriots score 21 points or more.
Coach Belichick is the only NFL head coach to win nine or more games in each of the past five seasons with the same team.