NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS(3-1) vs.MIAMI DOLPHINS** (1-3)
Sunday, October 8, 2006
Gillette Stadium (68,756) - 1:00 p.m. EDT
The 3-1 Patriots return to divisional play this week when the Miami Dolphins visit Foxborough. New England's final game before entering its bye week will provide another solid test against the Dolphins, who have handed the Patriots four of their seven divisional losses in the last five-plus seasons.
BEAST OF THE EAST
The New England Patriots own a 27-7 record in 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 five-plus seasons. The Patriots have claimed four of the last five AFC East championships, and along with the Philadelphia Eagles are the only teams in the NFL to have won four division titles in the last five years. Since 2001, the Patriots are 14-3 in home divisional games and they are 4-1 at home against the Dolphins over that span.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by CBS. The game can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Greg Gumbel will handle play-by-play and Dan Dierdorf will provide analysis.
RADIO: WBCN 104.1 FM is the flagship station for the Patriots Rock Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 30th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti for the 23rd season.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports. Bill Rosinski and Dan Reeves will call the game.
The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will meet for the 82nd time in their history in their 41st year as division foes. The Patriots have won five of the last seven matchups between the teams, including four of the last five games in Foxborough. New England trails in the overall series, 47-34 including the postseason. In 2005, the teams split the season series, with the road team winning each game. The Patriots claimed a 23-16 victory at Miami on Nov. 13, 2005, while the Dolphins were victorious in the regular season finale at Gillette Stadium, winning 28-26 on Jan. 1, 2006. Despite last season's home loss, the Patriots are 8-3 in their last 11 home games against Miami, dating back to the 1996 season.
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick hired Nick Saban as Cleveland's defensive coordinator when Belichick was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1991. The pair worked together with the Browns for four seasons from 1991-94, and the 1994 Browns allowed an average of 12.8 points per game.
- While serving as the head coach at Louisiana State University from 2000-04, Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban coached three players on the Patriots active roster: defensive lineman Jarvis Green, defensive end Marquise Hill and linebacker Eric Alexander.
- Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, defensive coordinator Dean Pees and wide receivers coach Brian Daboll were all on Head Coach Nick Saban's staff at Michigan State. Pees was the defensive coordinator on Saban's staff from 1995-97, Daboll was a graduate assistant from 1998-99 and McDaniels was a graduate assistant in 1999. Pees was also Saban's defensive coordinator at Toledo in 1990.
- Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent. In his five seasons with the team he appeared in 61 games and recorded 95 special teams tackles. He was named to the Pro Bowl following the 2000 season with the Dolphins.
- Patriots linebacker Junior Seau played for the Dolphins for three seasons from 2003-05, playing in 30 games with 28 starts for Miami over that span.
- Patriots fullback Heath Evans played in the first six games of the 2005 season for the Dolphins and earned two starts. He was signed by the Patriots on Nov. 1, 2005. Evans is a native of West Palm Beach, Fla.
- Dolphins defensive tackle Keith Traylor played for the Patriots in 2004, starting 10 of 16 games at nose tackle.
- Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and attended Central Florida. He played quarterback, defensive back, kicker and punter on Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lake, Fla.) High School's football team.
- Patriots secondary coach Joel Collier was a member of the Dolphins coaching staff for 11 seasons prior to joining the Patriots for the 2005 season. Collier served as Miami's defensive staff assistant from 1994-97, then was the team's running backs coach from 1998-2004.
- Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork was a standout defensive tackle at the University of Miami, where he recorded 148 tackles and 14 sacks from 2001-2003.
- Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour was a teammate of Dolphins tight end Randy McMichael at the University of Georgia from 1997-2000, while Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson was at Georgia with McMichael in 2001.
- Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin and Dolphins wide receiver Marty Booker were teammates with the Chicago Bears from 1999-2002.
- Patriots fullback Heath Evans and Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown were teammates at Auburn in 2000.
- Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork and Dolphins offensive tackle Vernon Carey were teammates at the University of Miami from 2000-03.
- Patriots wide receiver Chad Jackson and Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder were teammates at the University of Florida from 2003-04.
- Dolphins linebacker Keith Adams is the son of former Patriots defensive end Julius Adams, who played in 206 games over 15 seasons in New England.
- Dolphins coordinator of football operations/assistant to the head coach Scott O'Brien was hired by Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick as the special teams coach for the Cleveland Browns in 1991. O'Brien was the special teams coach on Belichick's staff from 1991-94. PASSING PERFORMANCES
Tom Brady is scheduled to start at quarterback against Miami for the 11th time. Brady and the Patriots have taken four of the five previous meetings in Foxborough, while the Dolphins have taken three of the five battles in Miami. In the last meeting between the teams in the 2005 regular-season finale, Brady played in just the first quarter of the game. Brady is 27-6 in his career as a starter in division games, with four of the six losses coming to the Dolphins. Miami signal caller Daunte Culpepper will face the Patriots for the third time after splitting the previous two encounters (both in New England). In Sept. 2000, Culpepper's Minnesota Vikings defeated the Patriots, 21-13 at Foxboro Stadium. In Culpepper's only visit to Gillette Stadium, the Patriots took a 24-17 win over the Vikings in Nov. 2002.
Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots have been the NFL's best team at home. New England leads the NFL with a 31-7 (.816) home record in the four-plus years since their state-of-theart facility opened, and the Patriots defense has allowed an NFLlow 15.7 points per game at home since 2002. The Patriots own 27 victories in their last 31 home games, including regular-season and playoff games. In the first four seasons that the Patriots called Gillette Stadium home, they won two Super Bowl championships, three AFC East titles and went 4-0 in home playoff games.
PROTECT THE HOUSE
The Patriots are 11-2 against AFC East teams at Gillette Stadium since the facility opened in 2002. The Patriots have won 10 of their last 11 at home against divisional opponents, including a 19- 17 win over Buffalo in the 2006 season opener on Sept. 10. New England's only divisional loss at home since 2003 came to the Dolphins in the 2005 regular-season finale, when the Patriots came up short on a potential game-tying two-point try on the final play of the game in a 28-26 loss.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
WHERE THEY RANK
The Patriots' AFC rank in total offense, averaging 367.8 total yards per game.
The Patriots' NFL rank in first downs per game, averaging 22.8 first downs through four contests.
The NFL rank of the Patriots rushing offense, averaging 154.0 rushing yards per game.
The Patriots' NFL rank in total yards per game, averaging 367.8 yards.
The Patriots' AFC rank in points allowed per game, with opponents averaging 16.0 points per game.
The Patriots' AFC rank in average yards allowed per rushing attempt, averaging 3.7 yards per rush.
The number of sacks recorded by defensive end Jarvis Green last week against Cincinnati. The mark set a career high for Green and was the highest sack total by a Patriot since 2003.
The number of sacks the Patriots have recorded through four games.
The number of sacks the Patriots have allowed through four games.
The number of total sacks the Patriots would allow this season if they continue on their current pace. The fewest allowed by the Patriots in a 16-game season is 20 sacks in 1981 and 1992.
The number of career receiving yards for Troy Brown, making him the second player in franchise history to reach the 6,000- yard mark (Stanley Morgan, 10,352).
The number of receptions Brown needs to pass Stanley Morgan (534 career receptions) to become the Patriots' all-time leader.
The number of seasons in which Brown has donned a Patriots uniform, tying Bruce Armstrong and Steve Nelson for the second longest Patriots tenure, trailing only Steve Grogan (16 seasons).
The number of current NFL players who have been with their respective teams for more than the 14 seasons Brown has been a Patriot (Brett Favre, GB, and Jason Hanson, DET;15 seasons).
THE HEAD COACH
The number of years Bill Belichick has been an NFL coach, making him the longest tenured coach among the NFL's 32 head coaches.
The number of head coaches in the NFL or college who were assistant coaches under Belichick (Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Nick Saban, Charlie Weis, Kirk Ferentz, Pat Hill and Al Groh).
38-2Belichick's record in New England when the Patriots score 25 points or more.
Belichick's record in New England when the Patriots score 21 points or more.
The number of consecutive games the Patriots have played since they last lost back-to-back games, dating back to December 2002. The streak is tied for the second longest in NFL history. The San Francisco 49ers set the NFL record by going 60 games without losing two in a row from 1995-99.
The number of consecutive 9 win seasons for the Patriots, the longest current streak in the NFL.
The number of consecutive Patriots overtime victories, the longest current streak in the NFL.
8The number of career receptions by Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel (including playoffs). All eight receptions have been for touchdowns.
The number of consecutive games, including playoffs, that Tom Brady has started at quarterback.
The number of consecutive home games that the Patriots have sold out. The streak includes preseason, regular-season and playoff games and dates back to the 1994 regular-season opener.
THE DILLON FACTOR
Corey Dillon's career rushing yardage total, the highest total among any player on a current 53-man active roster.
The Patriots' record in games in which Dillon has played since joining the Patriots prior to the 2004 season.
The Patriots record in games Dillon has missed during his Patriots tenure.
Corey Dillon's average yards per carry since joining the Patriots (2,604 yards on 612 rushes).
THE KRAFT ERA
The number of times the Patriots have appeared in the Super Bowl since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994. No other team has made more than two Super Bowl appearances in that span.
The number of playoff victories for the Patriots since 1994, more than any other team in the NFL during that span.
The Patriots' overall record since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 (including postseason), a .623 winning percentage.
75-31The Patriots' record at home since 1994, including regularseason and postseason games, a winning percentage of .706.
The Patriots' record at Gillette Stadium, including regular-season and postseason games (.816 win pct).
The Patriots' home playoff record since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. In the franchise's first 34 seasons, the team was 0-1 at home in the playoffs.