NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (3-1) at SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (2-3)
Sunday, October 12, 2008 - 8:15 p.m. EDT
Qualcomm Stadium (70,000)
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The Patriots travel to San Diego for a Sunday night matchup with the San Diego Chargers this week. New England will place its mark of 12 straight road victories (the second-longest in NFL history) on the line as the Patriots and Chargers tangle for the fourth time in 22 months. New England has begun the 2008 season with a 3-1 record, marking the third straight season in which the Patriots have won at least three of their first four games. New England is the only NFL team to start each of the last three seasons with a record of 3-1 or better.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by NBC. The game can be seen in the Boston area on WHDH-TV Channel 7. Al Michaels and John Madden will call the game, and Andrea Kremer will provide sideline reports.
RADIO: WBCN 104.1 FM is the flagship station for the Patriots Rock Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 36 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santosis in his 32nd 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 25th anniversary season.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One. Dave Sims and Jim Fasselwill call the game.
PATRIOTS IN OCTOBER
The Patriots have won 11 consecutive games during the month of October, a streak that dates back to 2005. Since 2003, the Patriots are 20-3 in October games, having swept the month in 2003, 2006 and 2007. This season, the Patriots opened the month of October a 30-21 win at San Francisco. Following this week's game against San Diego, New England closes out the month with back-to-back home games against Denver and St. Louis.
The Patriots and Chargers will play for the 37th time overall and for the third time in a little more than a calendar year. In last season's AFC Championship Game on January 20, 2008, the Patriots claimed a 21-12 victory at Gillette Stadium to advance to Super Bowl XLII. The Patriots also defeated the Chargers, 38-14, in New England's 2007 regular-season home opener on Sept. 16, 2007. The series dates back to 1960, the inaugural season for each team, with the Patriots holding a 20-14-2 lead, including a 2-1 mark in the playoffs. In the last 35 years, the Patriots are 13-2 against San Diego, including regular-season and playoff games. Bill Belichick is 3-4 in his career against the Chargers with a 2-2 record while the Patriots head coach.
Matt Cassel played in his first career NFL contest against the Chargers at Gillette Stadium on October 2, 2005. He saw action in the fourth quarter and completed two of four passes for 15 yards with an interception. He recorded his first career NFL completion on a 3-yard pass to Patrick Pass. Philip Rivers has started against the Patriots three times, including twice in the playoffs.
PATRIOTS ON THE WEST COAST
This season, the Patriots play all four of the NFL's West Coast teams - San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Oakland - marking the first time in team history that New England will play four times on the West Coast. The Patriots and the New York Jets both play all four West Coast teams this season, becoming the first NFL teams from the eastern time zone to play four times on the West Coast since the 2005 New York Giants (who went 2-2 in their West Coast games en route to an 11-5 season and a wild card berth).
- Including the playoffs, the Patriots are 4-1 in their last five trips to San Diego. The streak dates back to 1975.
- The Patriots are 2-4 in their last six regular-season games against AFC West teams. New England was 1-3 against the AFC West in 2005, 0-1 in 2006 (falling to Denver) and 1-0 in 2007 (defeating San Diego).
- The Patriots and Chargers will play for the fourth time since January, 2007. The teams tangled in playoff games in Jan. 2007 and Jan. 2008 and also faced off in Sept. 2007. Following the game, the Chargers will be the Patriots' most frequent opponent since the beginning of the 2007 calendar year.
- Patriots safety Rodney Harrison played for the Chargers for nine seasons from 1994-2002. He earned Pro Bowl berths with San Diego in 1998 and 2001 and was selected as Chargers defensive player of the year four times (1996-97, 2000-01).
- Chargers head coach Norv Turner was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2005, when Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss played for the Raiders.
- Chargers executive vice president-general manager A.J. Smith was a part-time scout for the New England Patriots from 1978-80. He grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island and played wide receiver for the semipro Attleboro Kings of the Eastern Football League.
- Patriots wide receiver Wes Welkersigned with the Chargers as a rookie free agent in the spring of 2004. He served as a kick returner in the 2004 season opener returning four kicks for 102 yards. He was released on Sept. 15.
- Patriots offensive tackle Wesley Brittwas drafted by the Chargers in the fifth round (164th selection) of the 2005 NFL Draft. He spent the 2005 training camp with the Chargers before being released on Sept. 5. The Patriots signed him to their practice squad the next day.
- Patriots quarterback Kevin O'Connelland Chargers guard Brandyn Dombrowskiare both rookies out of San Diego State.
- Chargers quarterbacks coach John Ramsdell graduated from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass.
- Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs and Chargers linebacker Tim Dobbins played together at Iowa State in 2004.
- Patriots guard Stephen Neal was born in San Diego and attended San Diego High School, where he was a five-sport athlete, lettering in football, wrestling, swimming, tennis and track & field.
- Chargers defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell and assistant secondary coach/quality control coach Kevin Ross were on the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff during Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss's last season with Minnesota (2004).
- Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and running back Sammy Morris were teammates with Chargers wide receiver Chris Chambers on the Miami Dolphins from 2004-06. Chambers and Chargers offensive tackle L.J. Shelton were on the Dolphins from 2006-07 when Patriots special assistantsecondary coach Dom Capers was on Miami's coaching staff.
- Patriots wide receiver Kelley Washington was a teammate of Chargers guard Mike Goffon the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003.
- Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light was a teammate of Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips and center Nick Hardwick at Purdue University.
- Patriots linebacker Eric Alexanderand Chargers wide receiver Buster Davis were teammates at Louisiana State University in 2003.
- Chargers head coach Norv Turner was the Dallas Cowboys' offensive coordinator from 1991-93, during which time Patriots strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicikheld the same position with Dallas.
- Chargers special teams coach Steve Crosbywas the special teams/tight ends coach for the Patriots in 1990. Crosby also served on Bill Belichick's coaching staff with the Cleveland Browns from 1991-94, coaching running backs (1991-93) and serving as the offensive coordinator (1994).
- Chargers inside linebackers coach Ron Riverawas a linebacker for the Chicago Bears in their Super Bowl XX victory over the Patriots.
- Patriots cornerback Antwain Spann is a native of Oceanside, Calif., in northern San Diego County.
- Patriots offensive lineman Russ Hochstein and defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith were teammates with Chargers defensive lineman Ryon Bingham at the University of Nebraska.
- Chargers wide receiver Kassim Osgoodwas born in Boston.
- Chargers defensive end Jacques Cesaire is a native of Gardner, Mass. and attended Gardner High School before playing his college ball at Southern Connecticut State.
- Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabelcaught his first career touchdown pass against San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium on Sept. 29, 2002.