NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS(10-6) vsJACKSONVILLE JAGUARS** (12-4)
Saturday, January 7, 2006
Gillette Stadium (68,756)
8:00 p.m. EST
The 2005 AFC East Champion New England Patriots will host the 12-4 Jacksonville Jaguars in a first-round playoff game on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. Jacksonville has won eight of its last nine games and boasts the NFL's sixth-ranked defense. New England enters the playoffs having won four of its last five contests and owns an NFL record-tying nine-game playoff winning streak. Jacksonville was the last team to defeat the Patriots in the playoffs, claiming a victory in the first round of the 1998 postseason. New England has compiled a 7-1 overall record in home playoff games and has not lost a home game in the postseason since 1978.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by ABC and can be seen in Boston on WCVB Channel 5. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties and will be joined by analyst John Madden. Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines.
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 in this press release. Play-byplay broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 29th 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 22nd season as a broadcast tandem.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One. Dave Sims and Boomer Esiason will call the game. Armando Quintero and Benny Ricardo will also call the game in Spanish for Westwood One.
PLAYOFF WINNING STREAKThe Patriots have won nine consecutive playoff games and currently share the NFL's all-time record with the 1960s Green Bay Packers teams coached by Vince Lombardi. The Patriots have not lost a playoff game since Jan. 3, 1999, when they dropped a 25-10 decision to this week's opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, in a Wild Card Weekend game in Jacksonville. Since then, the Patriots have gone 9-0 in the playoffs and have won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX.
SUSTAINING SUCCESSThe Patriots finished the 2005 regular season with a 10-6 record and are the only team in the NFL to have recorded nine or more wins in each of the last five seasons. The Patriots have won four AFC East titles in the last five seasons and in 2005 qualified for the playoffs for the third consecutive year, setting a franchise record with a third consecutive division title.
SERIES HISTORYThe Patriots and Jaguars will meet for the sixth time overall and for the first time since 2003. Two of the five previous games between the teams have been playoff games, including the 1996 AFC Championship Game at Foxboro Stadium. In that contest, the Patriots beat the Jaguars 20-6 to advance to Super Bowl XXXI. The Jaguars claimed a 25-10 win in the 1998 playoffs in the teams' other postseason matchup. The Patriots have won all three of the regular-season games between the clubs, including 27-13 victory in the 2003 season at Gillette Stadium. The Jaguars will visit Foxborough for the time, with the Patriots having won all previous games against the teams in England. In addition to their regular season and playoff games, the teams have met in preseason play, with the Jaguars claiming a 31-0 victory in the final game of the preseason on Sept. 2, 2004.
- In winning four of five contests in the series, the Patriots have won 80 percent of their games against the Jaguars. The only other teams against which the Patriots have won at least percent of their games are the Baltimore Ravens (3-0) and Houston Texans (1-0).
- The Jaguars are one of just three teams against which the Patriots own an undefeated home record (3-0). The Patriots are 2-0 at home against Baltimore and 2-0 against Chicago.
WILD CARD ROUND PLAYOFF RESULTSThe Patriots will play on Wild Card Weekend for the fifth time in team history and have compiled a 2-2 record in their previous four games during the opening weekend of the playoffs. New England's last game on Wild Card Weekend was following the 1998 season, when it dropped a 25-10 decision on the road to this week's opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Patriots will host a Wild Card Weekend game for just the second time in team history. The other occasion came on Dec. 28, 1997, when the Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins, 17-3.
SOLID DOWN THE STRETCHOver the last four seasons, the Patriots have stepped things up notch as the calendar has flipped to November. Since 2001, New England has done a remarkable job of finishing the season strong, compiling a 45-8 (.849) record after Nov. 1, including playoff games. In fact, since the 2003 season, the Patriots are 28-4 (.875) in games played in November or later, and New England has won 29 of its last 33 games post-Nov. 1. Their record in such games is the best in the NFL since 2001. Additionally, since 2001, the Patriots are 31-5 (.861) in games played after Thanksgiving Day.
- Patriots Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour and Jaguars Pro Bowl defensive lineman Marcus Stroud played on the same unit at the University of Georgia for four years from 1997-2000.
- Jaguars offensive line coach Paul Boudreau is a native of Arlington, Mass., and was the Patriots' offensive line coach from 1997-98. He was a letterman in both football and baseball at Boston College (1971-73). Boudreau's first season of coaching was at Oxford (Mass.) High School in 1973, followed by two seasons at Boston College and three seasons at Maine.
- Jaguars defensive line coach Ray Hamilton played on the Patriots defensive line from 1973 to 1981 where he started a team-record 110 consecutive games and racked up 54 sacks to place him fifth on the team's all-time list. He later had two coaching tenures with the Patriots, as a defensive line assistant (1985-89) and a defensive line coach (1997-99).
- Jaguars offensive coordinator Carl Smith was a coach on the Patriots staff for three seasons and held the responsibilities as the assistant head coach/quarterbacks (1997) and was also the tight ends coach (1998-99).
- Jaguars wide receivers coach Steve Walters had two tenures as an assistant coach for the Patriots. He was the defensive backs coach from 1982-84 and later returned as the wide receivers coach from 1997-98.
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick hired Terry McDonough as a scout while Belichick was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1992. McDonough is now an Executive Scout with the Jaguars and is a native of Hingham, Mass. He is the son of the late Will McDonough, a longtime sportswriter who covered the Patriots for the Boston Globe.
- Patriots tight end Christian Fauria and Jaguars guard Chris Naeole were teammates at the University of Colorado.
- Patriots tackle Brandon Gorin and center Gene Mruczkowski were teammates of Jaguars linebacker Akin Ayodele at Purdue.
- Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and Jaguars center Brett Romberg were teammates at the University of Miami.
- Patriots defensive lineman Marquise Hill, Patriots defensive lineman Jarvis Green and Jaguars running back LaBrandon Toefield were teammates at Louisiana State.
- Patriots wide receiver David Givens and Jaguars safety Deke Cooper were teammates at Notre Dame from 1998-99.
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Jaguars tackle Maurice Williams were teammates at the University of Michigan.
- Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin and Jaguars cornerback Terry Cousin were teammates with the Chicago Bears in 1999.
- Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie and Jaguars defensive end Marcellus Wiley were teammates for six seasons with the Buffalo Bills (1998-2000) and San Diego Chargers (2001-03).
- The Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., on Feb. 6, 2005
SOUTHERN HOSPITALITYThe Patriots have an all-time record of 68-42-1 (.617) against the teams that make up the AFC South. It is the only division in the NFL where the Patriots own a winning record against each team. New England owns winning marks against Tennessee (20-16-1), Indianapolis (43-25), Jacksonville (4-1) and Houston (1-0). New England has won eight of its last nine games against AFC South teams, including a 6-0 mark in 2003, sweeping the division in the regular season and then defeating Tennessee in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game and beating Indianapolis in the AFC Championship Game. New England also defeated the Colts twice in 2004. The Patriots are 4-2 against AFC South teams in the playoffs.
PASSING PERFORMANCESTom Brady will face off against the Jaguars for the second time in his career. In his only other game against Jacksonville, he compiled a passer rating of 103.6 in leading the Patriots to a 27-13 victory. Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich has faced the Patriots once, and Jaguars signal caller David Garrard has not played against New England in his career.