NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-2) at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-4)* *Sunday, November 2, 2008 - Lucas Oil Stadium (63,000) - 8:15 p.m. EST
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The Patriots will make their first visit to Indianapolis' new Lucas Oil Stadium in a Sunday night clash with the Colts on Nov. 2. The contest features the NFL's top two teams since 2001 - the Patriots are an NFL-best 105-31 (.772) over that span while the Colts rank second with an 89-41 (.685) mark. The Patriots are 15-5 in their last 20 games against the Colts. Since 2001, New England is an NFL-best 64-14 (821) in games played on November 1 or later in the NFL season.
PATRIOTS ARE 5-2 OR BETTER THROUGH SEVEN GAMES FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR
The Patriots have begun the 2008 season tied for first place in their division with a 5- 2 record and are the only AFC team to start each of the last three seasons by winning at least five of their first seven games. New England joins the New York Giants as the only two NFL teams to achieve the feat in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The Patriots have begun the season with at least five wins in their first seven games for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by NBC. The game can be seen in the Boston area on WHDH-TV Channel 7. Al Michaels and John Madden will call the game and Andrea Kremerwill provide sideline reports.
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 Santos is 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 Westwood One. Dave Sims and Jim Fasselwill call the game.
The Patriots and Colts will face off for the ninth time since 2003 and for the 72nd time in the history of the franchises. The clubs have clashed in each of the last five regular seasons (2003-07) and also faced each other in the playoffs following the 2003, 2004 and 2006 seasons. The two teams share a longtime rivalry, as the Patriots and the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts played twice each year from 1970 to 2001 as members of the AFC East, with the exception of the 1982 strike season. New England has had more success against the Colts than any other team in the AFC, with the Patriots' .620 winning percentage ranking as their highest against any AFC team they have played more than 10 times. New England is 18-7 against Indianapolis since 1993, and has won 15 of the series' last 20 games, including seven of the last 10 dating back to the 2000 season. The games have tended to be highscoring affairs, as the Patriots have scored 20 or more points against the Colts in 19 of their last 20 meetings. New England holds an overall record of 14-7 in games played in Indianapolis, and has won three straight regular-season games at the RCA Dome.
PATRIOTS - COLTS QUICK HITS
- Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the Patriots have the NFL's best record (82-19) and Colts have the second best mark (73-25). The teams have combined to go 155-44, for a 77.9 percent winning percentage.
- Since 1996, the Patriots and Colts have played 20 times and the Patriots are 15-5 in those games (including a 2-1 playoff mark).
- New England will make its first visit to the Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium, which opened this season. The last time the Patriots played a team in a new stadium in its first season of existence was on Sept. 14, 2003, when New England defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-10, in the second game ever played at Lincoln Financial Field.
- In the last five seasons, the Patriots and Colts have met twice in the AFC Championship Game, with the Patriots claiming a 24-14 win in 2003 and the Colts winning 38-34 in 2006.
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick is 8-4 against the Colts as the head coach of the Patriots and is 10-6 against Indianapolis as a head coach overall.
- This week's game will mark the fourth straight year that the Patriots and Colts will play during the first week of November.
- Despite not being in the same division, the Patriots and Colts will play each other for the sixth straight season.
- The Patriots have won their last three regular-season games in Indianapolis, prevailing there in 2001, 2003 and 2007.
MANNING VS. PATRIOTS
The Patriots defense has had past success against Peyton Manning and the Colts offense, leading New England to wins in 11 of the 16 games Manning has started against the Patriots. The Patriots' 11 wins against Manning are the most by any team. The Miami Dolphins are second with eight victories over Manning-led clubs.
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick began his NFL coaching career as a special assistant for the Baltimore Colts in 1975 under head coach Ted Marchibroda.
- Patriots assistant head coach/offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was the offensive line coach for the Colts from 1989-90. Outside of those two seasons, Scarnecchia has been on the Patriots sidelines for each year since 1982.
- Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri played for the Patriots for 10 seasons from 1996-2005 and is New England's all-time leading scorer with 1,158 points and also holds the team record with 263 successful field goals.
- Patriots special teams coach Brad Seely got his first NFL coaching job as the special teams and tight ends coach of the Colts from 1989-93.
- Patriots tackle Matt Light earned four letters at Purdue University (1996, 1998-2000), earning All-Big Ten conference first-team honors in 2000.
- Colts defensive end Dwight Freeneywas born in Hartford, Conn., and attended Bloomfield High School, where he was a SuperPrep, Prep Football Report, USA Today, New Haven Register, Hartford Courant and Blue Chip Illustrated All- American selection.
- Colts defensive end Josh Thomaswas born in Plymouth, Mass.
- Patriots guard/center Russ Hochsteinwas drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round (151st selection) of the 2001 NFL Draft when Colts head coach Tony Dungy was in his last year of leading the Buccaneers.
- Patriots running back Laurence Maroney (2003-2005) played with Colts defensive tackle Darrell Reid (2001-2004) at the University of Minnesota.
- Patriots defensive lineman Mike Wright and Colts linebacker Tyjuan Hagler were four-year teammates at the University of Cincinnati from 2001-2004.
- Patriots linebacker Eric Alexander attended Louisiana State University with Colts running back Joseph Addai from 2002- 03 and were part of the 2003 BCS National Championship team.
- Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and Colts defensive end Keyunta Dawson were teammates at Texas Tech University in 2003.
- Patriots linebacker Pierre Woods and Colts defensive back Marlin Jackson were on the same defense at the University of Michigan from 2002-04.
- Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson and Colts defensive back Tim Jennings were teammates at Georgia from 2002- 03.
- Colts running back Clifton Dawson graduated from Harvard in 2007 with a degree in economics.
- Colts defensive line coach John Teerlinckheld the same position for the Denver Broncos when Patriots corner back Deltha O'Neal was on the team.
- Colts defensive back Jamie Silva is a rookie out of Boston College.
- Patriots linebacker Shawn Crable and Colts running back Mike Hart are both rookies out of the University of Michigan.
- Patriots defensive lineman Mike Wrightand Colts' linebacker Tyjuan Hagler were teammates at the University of Cincinnati.
- Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton and Colts linebacker Philip Wheeler were teammates at Georgia Tech from 2004-07
- Colts offensive tackle Corey Hilliardwas drafted by the Patriots in the 2007 NFL Draft (209th selection). The Patriots released him on Sept. 2, 2007
- Patriots running back LaMont Jordan and Colts running back Dominic Rhodeswere teammates on the Oakland Raiders in 2007.
RECENT PATRIOTS-COLTS GAMES
The Patriots have enjoyed recent success against Indianapolis, having won 15 of the last 20 games between the clubs, a streak dating back to 1996. The Patriots and Colts were both members of the AFC East division from 1970 to 2001, playing twice a year during that span. The Patriots' .750 winning percentage against the Colts ties their mark against Buffalo (18-6, .750) for the Patriots' best record against a single team since 1996 (minimum 10 games played).