New England Patriots (7-5) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-7)
Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009 - Gillette Stadium (68,756) - 1:00 p.m. EDT
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The New England Patriots return to Gillette Stadium to face the Carolina Panthers for the first time since the 2005 season. Carolina will be making its first regular-season appearance at Gillette Stadium. The Panthers are the only team that has not played the Patriots in a regular-season game at Gillette Stadium. The Panthers visited the Patriots in a preseason matchup at Gillette Stadium in 2002.
Since the beginning of December 2003, the Patriots have compiled a 24-3 record in the 12th month, achieving the NFL's best December record over that period. The Patriots are 14-1 at Gillette Stadium in December.
TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by FOX and can be seen in Boston on WFXT-TV Channel 25. Kenny Albertwill handle play-by-play duties with Daryl Johnston providing color. Tony Siragusa will be the sideline reporter.
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.
The Patriots and Panthers will meet for just the fourth time in the regular season and the first time since the 2005 season. While the overall series is tied at 2-2, Carolina leads the regular-season series with a 2-1 record. The 2005 meeting was the first since the two met in Super Bowl XXXVIII when New England scored a 32-29 victory.
The Patriots-Panthers Super Bowl is widely believed to be among the most entertaining Super Bowls ever played, as the Panthers took a fourth-quarter lead only to see the Patriots came up with a game-winning field goal to clinch the see-saw battle in the final seconds.
In the 2005 meeting, Carolina beat New England 27-17 in Charlotte. After that loss, the Patriots won 17 regular-season games against NFC opponents until losing to the Saints two weeks ago.
The series dates back to 1995, when the Panthers claimed a 20-17 win at Foxboro Stadium in their inaugural season. The two teams have also played six times in the preseason, with the Patriots holding a 4-2 lead in those games.
Overall Record (including playoffs), 2-2
Record in Foxborough, 0-1
Record in Charlotte, 1-1
Record in Houston, 1-0
Total Points in the Series, Patriots 104, Panthers 82
Patriots' Largest Margin of Victory, 32 points (01/06/02)
Patriots' Largest Margin of Defeat, 10 points (09/18/05)
Highest Combined Point Total, 61 points (02/01/04)
Lowest Combined Point Total, 37 points (10/29/95)
Games Decided by Seven or Fewer Points, 2
Games Decided by 21 or More Points, 1
Current Win Streak - Carolina, one game
PATRIOTS VS. NFC
The Patriots have been successful against NFC teams in recent seasons, compiling a 30-5 (.857) regular-season record against the conference since 2001. Including the postseason, the Patriots are 33-6 (.846) against the NFC with a 3-1 Super Bowl record since 2001.
The Patriots are 2-1 so far in 2009 against the NFC following a 26-10 win over Atlanta on Sept. 27 at Gillette Stadium, a 35-7 win vs. Tampa Bay on Oct. 25 in London, and a 38-17 loss at New Orleans on Nov. 30. The Patriots hold an all-time mark of 21-14 (including postseason) against the four teams that make up the NFC South.
- Patriots FS Brandon McGowan and Panthers S Chris Harris, CB Dante Wesley and WR Muhsin Muhammadplayed together for the Chicago Bears in 2006.
- Panthers DE Tyler Brayton and Patriots WR Randy Moss and LB Derrick Burgess were teammates on the Oakland Raiders from 2005-06.
- Patriots LB Adalius Thomas and Panthers G Keydrick Vincent were teammates on the Baltimore Ravens from 2005-06.
- In 2004, Patriots WR Wes Welker, RB Sammy Morris, LB Junior Seau and Panthers QB A.J. Feeley were teammates on the Miami Dolphins.
- A.J. Feeley and Panthers DT Hollis Thomas also played on the Philadelphia Eagles with Patriots LB Derrick Burgessfrom 2001-02.
- Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich and Panthers LB Kelvin Smith played on the Miami Dolphins in 2007.
- Rob Ninkovichwas also teammates with Hollis Thomason the New Orleans Saints in 2006 and 2008.
- Patriots SS Brandon Meriweather and Panthers LB Jon Beason were teammates at the University of Miami from 2003-06. Patriots NT Vince Wilfork was also on the team in 2003.
- Patriots rookie OL Rich Ohrnberger and Panthers LB Dan Connor were teammates at Penn State from 2004-07.
- Patriots OL Mark LeVoir and Panthers LS J.J. Jansenwere teammates at Notre Dame in 2005.
- Patriots G Logan Mankins, S James Sanders and Panthers CB Richard Marshall played together for Fresno State from 2003-04.
- Patriots WR/special teamer Sam Aiken and Panthers DE Julius Peppers were teammates at North Carolina from 1999-2001.
- Patriots rookie S Patrick Chungwas teammates at Oregon with Panthers RB Jonathan Stewartand Panthers TE Dante Rosario and T Geoff Schwartz from 2004-06.
- Patriots WR Sam Aikenand Panthers DE Hilee Taylorwere teammates at North Carolina.
- Patriots LB Derrick Burgess and Panthers G Keydrick Vincent were teammates at Mississippi from 1997-2000.
- Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski and Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams played four years together at Memphis, 2001-05.
- Patriots DL Myron Pryorand Panthers OT Garry Williamswere teammates at Kentucky from 2005-08.
- Patriots Special teams Coach Scott O'Brien served as Asst. Head Coach/Special Teams for the Panthers from 1999-2004.
- Panthers Offensive Coordinator Jeff Davidson was a member of the New England Patriots coaching staff from 1997-2004.
- Panthers Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Simmons was a member of the Patriots staff from 1988-90.
PATRIOTS AGAINST FIRST TIME VISITORS
The Panthers will make their first regular-season appearance at Gillette Stadium, becoming the 31st different opponent to travel to the Patriots' state-of-the-art facility for a regular-season or playoff game. The Patriots are 26-4 against first-time visitors. The Patriots are 22-1 in the last 23 games, including a 10-game winnings steak.
DID YOU KNOW?
The New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers are two of only three NFL teams that are not named after a specific city or state. The other team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.