The New England Patriots will travel to Charlotte, N.C., this weekend to take on the Carolina Panthers in a preseason rematch of Super Bowl XXXVIII. These two teams participated in one of the greatest championship games in NFL history only seven months ago and will continue to prep for their follow-up campaigns with a prime-time preseason matchup on national television.
After tasting defeat for the first time in nearly 11 months last week in Cincinnati, the Patriots hope to get back on track this week, resuming positive preparation for their season-opening clash with the Indianapolis Colts. In the wake of last week's game, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his team will focus not on last week or last year, but simply on the task at hand - preparing for the 2004 season.
"I'm not really concerned about anybody's record last year or anything else," Belichick said. "I think that's not really what it's about. It's about being prepared for your opponents, their best effort, best plays and best execution, and you being on top of your game so that you can combat it."
Now at the midpoint of the preseason schedule, the Patriots have just two more games to tune up for the regular season, when the contests will count for real. Next week, the Patriots will return home to Gillette Stadium for their final preseason game on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 6:45 p.m.
This week's game will be broadcast nationwide on CBS. The game can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Jim Nantz will handle the play-by-play duties and Phil Simms will provide analysis. Lesley Visser will provide reports from the sidelines throughout the game.
WBCN 104.1 FM is the flagship station for the Patriots Rock Radio Network. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos begins his 28th 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 21st season as a broadcast tandem.