NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTSvs.KANSAS CITY CHIEFS**
*Sunday, September 7, 2008 - 1:00 p.m. EDT
Gillette Stadium (68,756)
The Patriots will open their 49th season on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. After six months of preparation, including six weeks of training camp, the Patriots will take the field against Kansas City with the hope and anticipation of a new season. In the last seven years, the Patriots have won six division titles, appeared in five conference championship games, won four AFC titles and claimed three Super Bowl trophies. But with a new season comes a blank slate, and beginning Sunday the Patriots will look to begin the 2008 campaign on a positive note.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS. Greg Gumbeland Dan Dierdorfwill call the game, which can be seen in the Boston area on WBZ-TV Channel 4.
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 as a tandem.
NATIONAL RADIO:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One. Bill Rosinski and Dan Reeves will call the game.
The Patriots and Chiefs will renew acquaintances for the 31st time overall and for the third time in a regular-season opener. The last time the two clubs met was in 2005, where the Chiefs won by a 26-16 score at Arrowhead Stadium. The regular-season opener marks the second time Kansas City will play at Gillette Stadium. The first time was in 2002 with the Patriots holding homefield advantage with a 41-38 overtime victory. It has been 31 years since the Patriots and Chiefs have squared off in a regular-season opener. The last time was September 18, 1977 at Schaefer Stadium, when the Patriots won, 21- 17. The other time the teams faced each other in a regular-season opener was on September 8, 1962, when the Chiefs were known as the Dallas Texans.
Tom Brady is slated to start against Kansas City for the fourth time in his career, while Kansas City's Brodie Croyle is scheduled to start against New England for the first time.
The Patriots will play each of the four AFC West teams this season as part of the NFL's scheduling formula. In addition to opening the season against the Chiefs, the Patriots will travel our West to play the San Diego Chargers (Oct. 12) and Oakland Raiders (Dec. 14) and will also host the Denver Broncos (Oct. 20). The last time the Patriots played all four AFC West teams in a season was 2005. That year, New England compiled a 1-3 record against the AFC West.
- Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards is very familiar with the Patriots as he served as their division rival New York Jets head coach from 2001-05. Edwards compiled a 2-8 record against the Patriots during that span.
- Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards, while the Jets head coach, made Patriots running back LaMont Jordan his second draft pick as a head coach when he was taken with the 49th overall pick in the second round of the 2001 draft. Jordan played for Edwards from 2001-04.
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady set career highs with 410 passing yards and 39 completions in a 41-38 overtime win over Kansas City on Sept. 22, 2002.
- Kansas City quarterback Damon Huard was with the Patriots from 2001-03 and was on New England's 2001 and 2003 Super Bowl championship teams.
- Patriots offensive tackle Wesley Britt protected Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle at the University of Alabama from 2001-04. Britt's protection helped Croyle set a number of school records, including career passing yards (6,382) and touchdowns (41).
- Chiefs vice president of player personnel Bill Kuharich began his football career as a graduate assistant at Brown University in 1976.
- Chiefs offensive line coach Bob Bicknellwas born in Holliston, Mass., and played tight end for Boston College from 1988-91. He served on Boston University's coaching staff from 1993-97.
- Chiefs assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Dick Curl served as quarterbacks coach at Boston College in 1990.
- Chiefs defensive backs coach David Gibbswas the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Auburn in 2005 when Patriots rookie cornerback Jonathan Wilhite was a freshman on the team.
- Patriots cornerback Jonathan Wilhite and Chiefs defensive tackle T.J. Jackson were both at Auburn from 2004-05.
- Patriots cornerback Terrence Wheatley and Chiefs guard Edwin Harrisonare both rookies from Colorado.
- Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton (2004-07), along with Chiefs fullback Mike Cox (2004-07) and tight end John Paul Foschi(2002-03) all played at Georgia Tech when Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was the head coach (2002-07).
- Patriots linebackerEric Alexanderand Chiefs center Rudy Niswanger were teammates at Louisiana State University.
- Patriots linebacker Bo Ruudand Chiefs linebacker Steve Octavien are both rookies out of the University of Nebraska.
- Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomasand Chiefs cornerback Patrick Surtain were teammates at the University Southern Mississippi.
- Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo and Chiefs tight end Brad Cottam are both rookies out of the University of Tennessee.
- Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas was a teammate of Chiefs wide receiver Devard Darling and kick returner B.J. Sams on the Baltimore Ravens from 2004-06.
- Patriots safety Rodney Harrison and Chiefs linebacker Donnie Edwards and offensive tackle Damion McIntoshwere teammates on the San Diego Chargers in 2002.
- Patriots running back Sammy Morris and Chiefs defensive tackle Ron Edwards were teammates on the Buffalo Bills from 2001-03.
- Patriots running back Sammy Morrisand receiver Wes Welkerwere teammates with Chiefs center Wade Smithon the Miami Dolphins from 2004-05.
- Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo and Chiefs cornerback Patrick Surtain were teammates on the Miami Dolphins from 1998- 2000.
RECENT PATRIOTS SEASON OPENERS
The Patriots have won five of their last six regular-season openers, including four straight victories dating back to 2004. The Patriots have won six of the last seven times when opening at home, a streak dating back to 1995, when they beat a Bill Belichick-coached Cleveland Browns squad 17-14 at Foxboro Stadium.
PATRIOTS WINNING STREAKS
The Patriots have won 19 consecutive regular-season games dating back to a 40-7 win over the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 17, 2006. New England's 19-game regularseason winning streak is the longest in NFL history, eclipsing the Patriots' 18 consecutive regular-season wins from Oct. 5, 2003 to Oct. 24, 2004.
Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the Patriots have allowed an average of 17.12 points per game (including playoffs), a mark that leads the NFL over that span. In regularseason play only, the Patriots' 16.84 points per game allowed since 2003 also leads the NFL over that span. In 2007, the Patriots allowed 274 points, marking the fourth time in the last five seasons (since 2003) that New England has allowed fewer than 275 points in a season.
Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots have had the NFL's best defense at home. New England has allowed an average of just 15.35 points per game, a figure that leads the league since 2002.
TOUGH AT HOME
The Patriots own an overall record of 46-9 (.836) at Gillette Stadium. Since their state-of-the-art facility opened at the beginning of the 2002 season, the Patriots own the NFL's best record at home.
The New England Patriots own a 34-9 (.791) record in regular season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season, compiling the best intra-division record of any team in the NFL over the last six-plus seasons. The Patriots have claimed six of the last seven AFC East championships, including the 2007 division crown.
The Patriots are the only team in the NFL to have recorded nine or more wins in each of the last seven seasons.