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Patriots, Jets battle for AFC east lead

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS(6-3) vs.NEW YORK JETS* (-3)
*Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 8:15 p.m. EST - Gillette Stadium (68,756)
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The Patriots will host the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium in a prime-time battle this Thursday night at Gillette Stadium. The winner will take sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

TROY BROWN NIGHTThis week's game will be "Troy Brown Night" at Gillette Stadium, giving fans the chance to recognize the player who personified what it means to be a New England Patriot over his 15-year Patriots career. Brown will be honored on the field at halftime. In recognition of the "Troy Brown Night" activities, the Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon will display exclusive Troy Brown photos and artifacts from Monday, Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 16. Brown's game jersey, shoes and his favorite practice T-shirt will be among the items on display at The Hall.

DIVISIONAL SUCCESS
This week's game against the Jets is the second in a streak of three straight AFC East games for the Patriots, marking their first string of back-to-back-to-back divisional contests since 2001. Over the last seven-plus seasons (2001-08), the Patriots have compiled a 37-10 (.787) divisional record, marking the best divisional record in the NFL. Pittsburgh ranks second with a 36-13 (.735) divisional mark since 2001. New England's five straight division championships heading into this season are the most in the history of the AFL/AFC East division (1960-present). The Patriots have won the AFC East title in six of the last seven years (2001, 2003-07).

HOME SWEET HOME
Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots have allowed the NFL's fewest number of points per game at home, sparking the team to the NFL's best home record over that span. The Patriots are 50-10 (.833) at home since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 and have allowed just 15.41 points per game at home over that span. New England's home record since the stadium opened tops the Indianapolis Colts' 44-14 (.759) mark as the best home record in the league. The Patriots' average of allowing 15.41 points per game at home since 2002 tops the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' mark of 16.18 points per game allowed at home over that span.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by the NFL Network. The game can also be seen in the Boston area on WCVB-TV Channel 5. Bob Papa and Cris Collinsworth will call the game.

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. Ian Eagle, Dennis Green and Hub Arkush will call the game.

SERIES HISTORYThe Patriots and Jets will meet for the 99th time since the series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. New England defeated the Jets earlier this season in their first road contest by a 19-10 score. The Patriots have won 11 of their last 12 games against the Jets (including one playoff game). The Patriots have swept the season series with the Jets in four of the last five seasons. New England is 20-10 against the Jets since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. New England's 49 victories over the Jets (including two playoff wins) are the second most over any single opponent, trailing only Buffalo (55 all-time wins).

PATRIOTS-JETS QUICK HITS

  • The Patriots have won four of their last five home games against the Jets.
  • The Patriots lead the all-time series with the Jets by a 49-48-1 mark (including playoffs), climbing above the .500 mark with their 19-10 win at New York on Sept. 14. Prior to then, the last time the Patriots were above .500 in their all-time series with the Jets was in entering the 1967 season, when they led the series 7-6-1.
  • The Patriots have held the Jets to 17 points or fewer in 11 of the last 12 meetings between the teams (including playoffs).
  • This week's game will mark the 99th meeting between the Patriots and Jets. The Jets have been the Patriots' most frequent opponent over the years - Buffalo ranks second with 97 meetings.
  • Seven members of the Jets coaching staff are former Patriots coaches, players or staff members - Eric Mangini (head coach), Bryan Cox (asst. defensive line), Brian Daboll (quarterbacks), Andy Dickerson (quality control-defense), Jerome Henderson (asst. secondary), Jimmy Raye (running backs) and Rick Lyle (asst. strength and conditioning).

PASSING PERFORMANCESQuarterback Matt Cassel picked up a victory in his first career start earlier this season against the Jets on Sept. 14, 2008 at Giants Stadium. Cassel led the Patriots to five scoring drives in their 19-10 victory. Quarterback Brett Favre has started against the Patriots six times, once with the Jets, and owns a 3-3 record in those games.

RECENT PATRIOTS-JETS GAMES
The Patriots and Jets have played 16 times since 2001, with New England holding a 13-3 advantage in those games, including victories in the last four meetings. Since 2003, the Patriots are 11-1 against the Jets and have allowed New York to score more than 17 points in a game just once over that span.

CONNECTIONS

FRANCHISE CONNECTIONS

  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was the Jets' assistant head coach/secondary for three seasons (1997-99).
  • Jets head coach Eric Manginiwas a member of the Patriots coaching staff for six seasons from 2000-05, serving as the secondary coach for the first five seasons and as New England's defensive coordinator in 2005.
  • Defensive line coach **Pepper Johnson *played for two seasons with the Jets from 1997-98 before retiring in 1999.
  • Special teams coach Brad Seely held the same position with the Jets in 1994.
  • Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel **Scott Pioli *was the director of pro personnel for the Jets from 1997-1999.
  • Jets assistant defensive line coach *Bryan Cox *as a linebacker on the Patriots' 2001 world championship team.
  • Jets assistant strength and conditioning coach Rick Lyle was a defensive lineman for the Patriots from 2002-03.
  • Jets running backs coach Jimmy Raye was the Patriots' offensive coordinator on head coach Rod Rust's staff in 1990.
  • Jets quarterbacks coach Brian Daboll was the Patriots' wide receivers coach from 2002-06 and served as a defensive assistant with the team from 2000-01.
  • Jets defensive backs coach *Jerome Henderson *payed cornerback for the Patriots from 1991-93, then again in 1996. He was originally a Patriots second round pick (41st overall) in the 1991 NFL Draft, and played in Super Bowl XXXI.
  • Jets defensive lineman Kareem Brown was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft and spent the first 11 weeks of the season on the Patriots' active roster before being released on Nov. 27.
  • Jets offensive lineman Damien Woody was the Patriots' first pick (17th selection overall) in the 1999 draft. Woody played for the Patriots from 1999-2003.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

  • Patriots linebackers Shawn Crable and Pierre Woods and Jets linebacker David Harris were teammates at the University of Michigan.
  • Jets tight end Chris Bakerattended Michigan State while Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels was a graduate assistant on the Spartans coaching staff.
  • Patriots defensive lineman *Le Kevin Smith *played at the University of Nebraska when Jets assistant head coach/offensive line coach *Bill Callahan *was the head coach of the Cornhuskers.
  • Patriots defensive back Brandon Meriweather and Jets defensive lineman Kareem Brown were teammates at the University of Miami.
  • Patriots wide receiver Kelley Washington and Jets defensive end *Shaun Ellis *ttended the University of Tennessee together.
  • Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo and Jets quarterback Erik Ainge are both rookies out of the University of Tennessee.
  • Jets offensive lineman Damien Woody attended Boston College.
  • Jets offensive guard Alan Faneca blocked for Patriots running back Kevin Faulk at Louisiana State University from 1995-97. Faneca helped Faulk finish second (4,557) on the Southeastern Conference's career rushing list.
  • Patriots cornerback Lewis Sanders was teammates with Kris Jenkins and Eric Barton at the University of Maryland.
  • Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork was a teammate of Jets defensive lineman Kareem Brown at the University of Miami.
  • Jets linebackers coach Jim Herrmann served as the University of Michigan's defensive coorodinator/linebackers coach when Patriots linebackers Shawn Crable *ad *Pierre Woods were on the team.

NFL CONNECTIONS

  • As head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1995, Belichick hired Mike Tannenbaum as a personnel intern and Eric Manginias a coaching assistant. Tannenbaum is now the Jets' general manager and Mangini is the Jets' head coach.
  • Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and Jets defensive end *David Bowens were teammates on the Dolphins in 2005.
  • Jets director of player personnel Terry Bradway was a scout with the New York Giants from 1986-90, while Bill Belichick was a member of the coaching staff.
  • Jets offensive coordinator *Brian Schottenheimer *was the San Diego Chargers quarterbacks coach when Patriots safety *Rodney Harrison **as on the team.
  • Patriots special assistant/secondary coach Dom Capers was the Miami Dolphins' assistant to the head coach in 2006 when Jets defensive line coach Dan Quinn held the same position for the Dolphins.
  • Jets running backs coach Jimmy Raye was the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders in 2005, which was Patriots running back LaMont Jordan and wide receiver *Randy Moss' *frst year with the Raiders.
  • Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel *an Jets guard *Alan Faneca were teammates on the Steelers from 1998 to 2000.

HOMETOWN CONNECTIONS

  • Jets head coach Eric Manginiis from Hartford, Conn., and attended Wesleyan University.
  • Jets defensive end **Mike DeVito *is a native of Welfleet, Massachusetts and played at the University of Maine, where he finished his college career with 112 tackles and 16 sacks.
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