The Patriots will enjoy their bye week this week before returning to action on Oct. 5 at San Francisco. New England enters its bye having won two of three games to begin the 2008 season, marking the seventh straight year that they've begun the season with a mark of 2-1 or better. The Patriots and the Denver Broncos are the only teams have won at least two of their first three games in each year since 2002.
PATRIOTS IN OCTOBERThe Patriots enter the month of October having won 10 consecutive games during the month, a streak that dates back to 2005. Since 2003, the Patriots are 19-3 in October games, having swept the month in 2003, 2006 and 2007. This season, the Patriots open the month of October with road games at San Francisco and San Diego and then return to Gillette Stadium for back-to-back home games against Denver (Oct. 20) and St. Louis (Oct. 26).
PATRIOTS ON THE WEST COAST
This season, the Patriots play all four of the NFL's West Coast teams - San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Oakland - marking the first time in team history that New England will play four times on the West Coast. The Patriots and the New York Jets both play all four West Coast teams this season, becoming the first NFL teams from the eastern time zone to play four times on the West Coast since the 2005 New York Giants (who went 2-2 in their West Coast games en route to an 11-5 season and a wild card berth). The Patriots' 2008 western slate of games begins immediately following New England's bye week with games against San Francisco (Oct. 5) and San Diego (Oct. 12). The Patriots also have back-to-back West Coast games to open the month of December, traveling to Seattle (Dec. 7) and Oakland (Dec. 14).
PATRIOTS IN SAN FRANCISCOFollowing their bye week, the Patriots will travel to San Francisco for an Oct. 5 contest against the 49ers. New England will play the 49ers on the road for the first time since 1995 and for just the fourth time overall. San Francisco is one of just two NFL cities in which the Patriots have never won (0-3). The Patriots have also never defeated the Washington Redskins on the road (0-2).
MOSS AMONG ALL-TIME LEADERS
RANDY MOSS is among the NFL's all-time leaders in two major receiving categories - career touchdown receptions and receiving yards per game. In his 10-plus seasons, Moss has caught 125 touchdown passes and is one of just four receivers in NFL history to break the 125- touchdown mark. Additionally, Moss has averaged 79.0 receiving yards per game during his career, a mark that ranks third all-time.
CASSEL OFF TO SOLID START
MATT CASSEL won his first career start on the road against the New York Jets on Sept. 14, a week after playing the final threeplus quarters of the Patriots' season-opening win over Kansas City on Sept. 7. Through three games, Cassel has completed 66.7 percent of his passes, a completion rate that ranks fifth in the AFC. In September 2008, the Patriots as a team completed 58-of-87 passes, with their 66.7 percent completion rate standing as the third highest in team history for that month, trailing only the 2007 (79.5) and 2002 (69.4) Patriots squads.
FAULK: FRANCHISE RB RECEPTIONS LEADER
KEVIN FAULK is the Patriots' all-time leader in receptions by a running back, totaling 329 career receptions. His receiving total is tied for fifth on the Patriots' overall receptions list. Faulk needs one more reception to pass Terry Glenn and move into sole possession of fifth place on the Patriots' all-time receptions list.
CHARTER MEMBER OF 30/30 CLUB RODNEY HARRISON is the only player in NFL history to record at least 30 sacks and at least 30 interceptions in his career. He has 30.5 career sacks and 33 career interceptions over 14 seasons with the San Diego Chargers (1994-2002) and New England Patriots (2003-07). Harrison established the 30/30 club on Oct. 21, 2007, when a sack against the Miami Dolphins raised his career sack total to 30.5. Harrison is the NFL's all-time leader in sacks by a defensive back, dating back to when sacks became an official NFL statistic in 1982.
HOBBS IS TOP RETURNER
ELLIS HOBBS is the Patriots' all-time leader in kickoff return average (28.5) and leads the NFL this season by averaging 36.0 yards per return. Against Miami on Sept. 21, he set a team single-game record with 237 kickoff return yards and had long returns of 81 yards and 50 yards. Last season, Hobbs recorded the longest kickoff return in NFL history, a 108-yard touchdown return against the New York Jets on Sept. 9, 2007.
Since joining the Patriots as a fourth-round draft choice in 2006, STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI has connected on 84.2 percent of his regular-season field goals (48-for-57), achieving the best field goal percentage in Patriots history. Additionally, he has hit 14 straight field goals dating back to last season, tying the fourthlongest consecutive field goal streak in team annals.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Patriots' record through the first three games of 2008.
The number of consecutive seasons in which the Patriots have begun the season by winning at least two of their first three games, having achieved the feat in each year from 2002-08.
The number of other NFL teams besides the Patriots that have won at least two of its first three games in each season since 2002 (Denver).
The number of times the Patriots will play on the West Coast this season, playing at San Francisco (Oct. 5), at San Diego (Oct. 14), at Seattle (Dec. 7) and at Oakland (Dec. 14).
The number of other Eastern teams this season that are playing four times on the West Coast (New York Jets).
0The number of times in their 48-year history that the Patriots have played four West Coast games in a season prior to 2008.
The last season in which a team from the Eastern Time Zone played four games on the West Coast. That season the New York Giants went 2-2 in their four games at San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Oakland.
The number of touchdown receptions Randy Moss needs to become the ninth player in franchise history to total at least 25 touchdown receptions in a Patriots uniform.
The number of games played Richard Seymour needs to reach 100 for his career. Seymour has 99 career regular season games under his belt.
The number of receptions Kevin Faulk needs to pass Terry Glenn for fifth place on the Patriots' all-time receiving list. Faulk enters this week's contest with 329 career catches tied with Glenn for fifth on the team's all-time list.
The number of sacks Mike Vrabel needs to reach 50 sacks in his Patriots career, becoming the sixth player in team history to total 50 sacks in a Patriots uniform.
The number of victories Patriots head coach Bill Belichick needs to reach 150 total wins for his career. Belichick has 144 career wins (129 regular season, 15 playoffs). There are 16 coaches in NFL history who have reached the 150-win mark.
The number of touchdown receptions Randy Moss needs to pass Cris Carter for third place on the NFL's all-time touchdown receptions list. Moss enters this week's game with 125 career touchdown catches, while Carter had 130 career scoring grabs.
The number of rushing yards Sammy Morris needs to top 2,000 rushing yards for his career. Morris enters this week's game with 1,906 career rushing yards.
The number of receiving yards Randy Moss needs to pass Art Monk for 12th place on the NFL's all-time receiving yardage list. Moss is currently ranked 13th in league history with 12,356 career receiving yards. Monk ranks 12th with 12,721 career receiving yards.
THE BELICHICK ERA
Coach Belichick's overall winning percentage since becoming head coach of the Patriots in 2000, totaling 107 wins and 41 losses.
15The number of playoff wins in Bill Belichick's coaching career, the fifth-highest career total for any coach in league history.
.789Bill Belichick's career playoff winning percentage (15-4), second in NFL history to Vince Lombardi (9-1, .900).
The number of consecutive AFC East titles the Patriots have won (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007).
The number of AFC East teams besides the Patriots that have won as many as five consecutive division titles since the founding of the AFL in 1960.
The number of division title streaks in NFL history longer than the Patriots. None have occurred since the 1970s.
The NFL's all-time record for consecutive division titles, achieved by the Los Angeles Rams from 1973-79.
The Patriots' divisional record since 2001, the best in the NFL over that span.
The number of other AFC East teams besides the Patriots with a record of .500 or better in the division since 2001. The Jets rank second over that span with a record of 22-24.
153The number of consecutive Patriots home games that have been sold out. The streak began with the 1994 season and includes all regular-season, preseason and playoff games since then.
The number of consecutive Patriots games that have been televised locally. New England fans have not faced a local TV blackout since Robert Kraft purchased the Patriots in 1994.
THE KRAFT ERA
164The number of regular-season and playoff victories the Patriots have earned since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span.
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.
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.
The number of playoff victories the Patriots have earned since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span.
The number of times the Patriots have qualified for the playoffs since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is tied for the highest total in the NFL over that span.