This Week: The New England Patriots (6-5) will travel to Detroit, Mich. to face the Lions on Thanksgiving at Ford Field (65,000 capacity) on Thursday, Nov. 28. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. It will be the Patriots third appearance on Thanksgiving and their second in the past three years. It will be the Patriots fourth and final intraconference game of the regular season. They have a 2-1 record in their three games against the NFC, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 24-17 last week and the Chicago Bears 33-30 on Nov. 10. Their only loss against the NFC was a 28-10 decision against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 13.
Television: This week's game will be broadcast nationally on CBS (WBZ Channel 4 in Boston). The play-by-play duties will be handled by Greg Gumbel, who will be joined in the booth by Phil Simms. Armen Keteyian will provide sideline reports throughout the game.
Radio: Every Patriots game can be heard in stereo on the Patriots official flagship station WBCN 104.1 FM. Gil Santos, now in his 26th season as the voice of the Patriots, will call the game along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti, who will provide in-depth analysis for his 22nd season. A complete list of the Patriots WBCN Rock Radio Network can be found on pages 462-463 of the 2002 Patriots media guide or at www.patriots.com.
National Radio: This week's game can also be heard nationally on CBS Radio. Dave Sims and Jack Ham will be calling the play-by-play and Bonnie Bernstein will report from the sidelines.
Giving Thanks: While the American tradition of Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621 to commemorate the harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony after a harsh winter, the NFL's Thanksgiving tradition began in 1929 when the Chicago Bears defeated the Chicago Cardinals, 40-6. The Lions began their Thanksgiving tradition in 1934 when they hosted the defending World Champion Bears. Chicago won the inaugural game 19-16 on Nov. 28, 1934 at the University of Detroit Stadium. This week's game against the Patriots will be the Lions 63rd Thanksgiving game. The Lions have accumulated a 32-28-2 overall record on Thanksgiving.
Scoring in "Brady" Bunches: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who made his NFL debut two seasons ago against the Lions on Thanksgiving, leads the NFL with 24 touchdown passes this season. Last week, he completed three touchdowns against the Vikings, the fifth time this season he has thrown for three or more scores. He currently ranks sixth in Patriots single-season annals with 24 touchdown passes (with five games remaining). He reached 24 scoring passes in the fewest amount of games in Patriots history, 11. Vito 'Babe' Parilli held the previous mark of 12 games, set in 1964, the season he recorded the most touchdown passes in franchise history.
Christian Score-ia: The Patriots tight end caught two touchdown passes last week against the Vikings, to become the first Patriot tight end to record two scores in one game since Ben Coates on Sept. 19, 1999 vs. Indianapolis. Fauria leads the Patriots with a single-season career high six touchdown receptions this season. In his seven years prior to joining the Patriots, Fauria had caught seven touchdown passes. Fauria is tied with Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez for the league lead among the NFL's tight ends with six touchdown receptions. The last Patriot tight end to catch six touchdown passes in one season was Ben Coates in 1998.