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Patriots open season vs Buffalo on monday night

The Boston Patriots will open the 2009 season on Monday Night Football for the fourth time in team history and the first time since the opening of Gillette Stadium in 2002.

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BOSTON PATRIOTS VS. BUFFALO BILLS
Monday, September 14, 2009 - Gillette Stadium (68,756) - 7:00 p.m. EDT

The Boston Patriots will open the 2009 season on Monday Night Football for the fourth time in team history and the first time since the opening of Gillette Stadium in 2002. This week's game will mark the ninth time that the Patriots have opened the season against AFC East Divisional rival Buffalo and the first since the 2006 season. Last season the Patriots finished second in the division with an 11-5 record and are the only team in the NFL to have recorded nine or more wins in each of the last eight seasons.

AFL LEGACY GAMES
This season marks the 50th anniversary of the American Football League (AFL), of which the Patriots and Bills were original members. The Boston Patriots hosted the AFL's first regular season game on September 9, 1960 at Boston University Field. This Patriots and Bills will be the NFL's first "AFL Legacy Game." Both teams will wear their throwback uniforms. The Patriots will wear red and white uniforms, replicating the ones worn by the 1963 team that claimed the franchise's first division title and competed in the team's first league championship game. In honor of the 50th Anniversary, the Patriots will be the Boston Patriots for the four legacy games.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION:This week's game will be nationally televised by ESPN and can be seen in Boston on WCVB-TV Channel 5. Mike Tirico will handle play-by-play duties with Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden providing color. Suzy Kolber will be the sideline reporter.

NATIONAL RADIO:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One. Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason will call the game with Steve Tasker handling the sideline reporting.

RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 36 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 33rd 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 26th season as a tandem.

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50TH ANNIVERSARY TEAM TO BE HONORED AT HALFTIME**
In recognition of the 50th anniversary, the Patriots' Hall of Fame nominating committee has selected an All-Time Team, recognizing the greatest players at each position to play for the Patriots over 50 years. The Patriots' All- Time Team will be recognized in a ceremony on the field at halftime of the game against Buffalo.

50th ANNIVERSARYThe Patriots are celebrating their 50th anniversary season in 2009 through a series of acknowledgements and dedications. The 50th season logo will appear throughout the 2009 season in Gillette Stadium, on Patriots.com, on items in the ProShop and in Patriots publications. For the Patriots and their fans, this season is one to celebrate a franchise that has grown from humble beginnings to become the winningest franchise in the NFL over the last 15 seasons.

ALL-TIME LISTS
Over the course of the year, the Patriots are unveiling a series of 20 "Top 10 All-Time" lists for fans to discuss and debate on Patriots All-Access and Patriots.com. Fans have the opportunity to vote for Top 10s in each of the 20 categories at Patriots.com. Fans can also rank the Top 50 Moments in Franchise History, and the Top 10 Moments, as chosen by the fans, will be unveiled over the course of the season.

ALL-TIME TEAM
In recognition of the 50th anniversary, the Patriots' Hall of Fame nominating committee has selected an All-Time Team recognizing the greatest players at each position to play for the Patriots over 50 years. The Patriots' All-Time Team will be recognized in the Patriots' home-opener against Buffalo on Sept. 14.

AFL LEGACY GAMES
This season also marks the 50th anniversary for the American Football League (AFL), of which the Patriots were an original member. The Boston Patriots, who hosted the AFL's first regular season game on Sept. 9, 1960 at Boston University Field, will be featured in the NFL's first "AFL Legacy Game" on the opening weekend of the 2009 season. On Sept. 14, 2009, the Patriots will host the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on Monday Night Football. It will be the first of four "AFL Legacy Games" in which the Patriots will appear this season (at Den, vs. Ten and at Mia). The Patriots will wear red and white "throwback" uniforms in those games, replicating the uniforms worn by the 1963 team that claimed the franchise's first division title and competed in the franchise's first league championship game. Patriots coaches will also wear apparel featuring the Pat Patriot logo.

PATRIOTS ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALLThe New England Patriots are 16-21 all-time on Monday Night Football, including a streak of five-straight wins on Monday Night dating back to a 31-21 win at the New York Jets on December 26, 2005. The Patriots are 7-8 in home Monday Night football games.

Last season, the Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos 41-7 in the team's only game on MNF on October 20, 2008 at Gillette Stadium.

This week's game will be the fourth time that the Patriots will open the season on Monday Night Football and the first time since the 2002 season when the Patriots opened Gillette Stadium with a 30-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-9-02). The Patriots also opened the season on Monday Night Football in 1979 vs. Pittsburgh in Foxboro and at Denver in 1998.

PATRIOTS VS. BUFFALO IN SEASON OPENERS
The Patriots will be opening the season against the Buffalo Bills for the eighth time in team history and the first time since a 19-17 win vs. Buffalo in the 2006 season-opener on September 10, 2006.

The Patriots, who are 57-40-1 all-time against Buffalo, are 3-4 against Buffalo when meeting in the season-opener.

RECENT PATRIOTS SEASON OPENERS
The Patriots have won 12 of their past 14 home openers, including a perfect 7-0 record at Gillette Stadium. Overall, the Patriots have won five of their last six regular-season openers, including five straight victories dating back to 2004.

DIVISIONAL DOMINANCE
The New England Patriots own a 39-11 (.780) 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 eight seasons.

SERIES HISTORY
The Patriots and Bills will meet for the 99th time, with New England holding a 57-40-1 edge. The series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots' 57 wins over the Bills are their highest victory total over any opponent, eight more than they own over the New York Jets (49). New England has won 11 straight games in the series and has won 16 of its last 18 games against Buffalo dating back to the 2000 season. The Patriots have swept the season series from the Bills in five straight years and have achieved the feat seven of the last eight years. The Patriots have won by an average margin of 20.5 points per game during their current 11-game win streak. The Patriots have had the upper hand when playing the Bills at home as they own a 30-19 record. The Patriots beat the Bills last season at Ralph Wilson Stadium by a 13-0 score. The teams have had many memorable matchups over the years, including a five-game span from 1999 to 2001 where four of the five contests were decided in overtime.

SERIES SUCCESS
The Patriots have won 11 straight games against the Bills, which is tied for the longest regular-season winning streak against an opponent in team history.

PATRIOTS - BILLS QUICK HITS

  • The Patriots will look to remain undefeated against Buffalo at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots have won the previous seven games.
  • The Patriots have recorded 57 wins over the Bills, the most by the Patriots against any one opponent.
  • New England has won 11 straight games against Buffalo, tying their longest series winning streak against an opponent.
  • The Patriots have defeated the Bills 16 times in the last 18 games between the teams - a feat never before achieved in franchise history against any opponent.
  • The Patriots defense has held the Bills to a touchdown or less in the last five games between the teams.
  • Bill Belichick holds a 16-3 career record against Buffalo, including a 16-2 record as head coach of the Patriots.

CONNECTIONS

  • Buffalo Head Coach Dick Jauron attended Swampscott High School, where he was named one of the top ten prep athletes of the 20th Century in the state of Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. Later, Jauron went on to play running back at Yale University where he still holds several school records, including consecutive 100-yard rushing games (16).
  • Patriots veteran RB Fred Taylor and Bills CB Drayton Florence were 2008 teammates on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Florence was also teammates with Patriots WR Wes Welkerin 2004 on the San Diego Chargers.
  • Bills CB Dustin Fox's uncle, Tim, was a first round draft choice of New England in 1976 and played 6 seasons with the Patriots. In 2006, Fox was also teammates with the Patriots 2009 offseason trade acquisition WR Greg Lewis.
  • Bills OL Geoff Hangartnerplayed his college ball at Texas A&M and was teammates with DL Ty Warren (2001-02).
  • Patriots rookie DL Myron Pryorand Bills WR Steve Johnson were teammates at Kentucky from 2005- 2007.Newlyacquired Patriots DB Shawn Springsand Bills Rian Lindellwere teammates on the Seattle Seahawks from 2000- 2002.
  • Patriots CB Leigh Bodden and Bills FB Corey McIntyre played for the Browns during the 2005 campaign.
  • Bills OL Seth McKinney was teammates with Pats CB Leigh Bodden in Cleveland in 2007.
  • Bills WR/PR Roscoe Parrish and Patriots S Brandon Meriweatherwere teammates at the University of Miami in 2003 & 2004. Meriweather and Parrish were also teammates with Patriots NT Vince Wilforkin 2003.
  • Returning Patriots LB Tully Banta-Cainand Bills OT Langston Walker were teammates at Cal from 1999-2001.
  • Patriots WR Randy Mossand OT Langston Walkerplayed together on the Oakland Raiders in 2005 and 2006.
  • Patriots LB Pierre Woodsand Bills S Donte Whitnerwere high school teammates at Glenville High School (OH) and played against each other in college football's biggest rivalry. Whitner attended Ohio State (2003-2006) and Woods played at Michigan (2002-2006).
  • Bills RB Justise Hairston hails from New Britain, Conn. And transferred to Central Connecticut from Rutgers for his senior season in 2006. Hairston also spent the 2007 season as a member of the New England Patriots practice squad.
  • Bills TE Jonathan Stupar originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Patriots in 2008.
  • Patriots rookie OL Rich Ohrnbergerand Bills rookie DE Aaron Maybin were teammates at Penn State from 2006-2008.
  • Patriots rookie S Pat Chung and Bills rookie CB Jairus Byrdpatrolled the secondary together at Oregon for three years, from 2006-2008.
  • Patriots WR Sam Aiken played for the Bills from 2003-2007.
  • Patriots RB Sammy Morrisplayed for the Bills from 2000- 2003.
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