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Patriots to host Broncos in AFC Divisional Playoff game

The New England Patriots will host the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, January 14 at 8:00 for an AFC Divisional playoff game.


Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
* Gillette Stadium (68,756)*

The AFC East Champion New England Patriots will host the AFC West Champion Denver Broncos in a Divisional Playoff game this Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The winner will advance to the AFC Championship. The Broncos advanced to the second round of the playoffs after a 29-23 overtime victory last Sunday against Pittsburgh. This week's game will be the third postseason meeting between the two teams, and the first in New England. The Patriots are 0-2 against Denver in the postseason after AFC Divisional round losses in 1986 and 2005.


TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Jim Nantz will handle play-byplay duties with Phil Simms providing color. The game will be produced by Lance Barrow and directed by Mike Arnold.

NATIONAL RADIO: Today's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One Radio Sports. Dave Sims and James Lofton will call the game. Hub Arkush will provide sideline analysis.

RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 37 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 35th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti. Scott Zolak will provide sideline analysis.

The Patriots have qualified for the playoffs 19 times in their 52-year history. Thirteen of those playoff berths have come in the 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a dramatic contrast to the six total playoff berths that the team earned in its first 34 years of existence. New England has won 11 AFC East crowns under Kraft's leadership. New England has won 14 division crowns overall (13 AFC East Crowns and one AFL East crown) and has qualified as a Wild Card team on four occasions (1998, 1994, 1985 and 1976). The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 as part of a 16-team tournament following a players' strike. The Patriots are guaranteed to host their 14th home playoff game in 18 years. The Patriots are 11-2 in those games. In the 34 years prior to Kraft's ownership, the Patriots hosted just one playoff game.

The victory over Buffalo in the 2011 season-finale earned the Patriots the number one seed in the AFC playoff field for the second straight season. The Patriots have now earned the number one seed four times (2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003) in the past nine seasons. New England is the first team since Philadelphia (2002, 2003 and 2004) to have the top seed in its conference in at least two straight years and is the first AFC team to have the first seed in two straight years since Buffalo in 1990 and 1991.



The Patriots and Broncos will meet for the 45th time in series history and for the third time in the postseason. New England traveled to Denver on Dec. 18, 2011 and overcame a 16-7 deficit to beat Denver, 41-23. Denver leads the all-time regularseason series with a 25-17 advantage and has lost both postseason meetings between the two. New England lost a Divisional playoff game at Denver during the 1986 and 2005 playoffs. Both of those games were played in Denver.

Of the 44 previous games in the series, 27 have been played in Denver. The Patriots have played more games against the Broncos than any other team that has never been in New England's division. The Patriots are 8-9 all-time against Denver in Foxborough, including 1-2 against Denver at Gillette Stadium.

The history between the teams dates back to the first days of the American Football League in 1960. The Patriots played the Broncos in the inaugural game of each franchise, a 13-10 Denver win on Sept. 9, 1960 at B.U. Field. The teams squared off twice a year in the decade prior to the AFL-NFL merger, with the Patriots taking a 10- 7 advantage out of those games.

* (Including Playoffs)*

  • Overall Record, 17-27 (Including 0-2 in playoffs)
  • Record in New England, 8-9
  • Record in Denver, 9-18 (Including 0-2 in playoffs)
  • Total Points in the Series, Denver 1020, Patriots 905
  • Bill Belichick vs. Denver, 4-10 (4-6 with New England)
  • John Fox vs. New England, 1-3 overall
  • The Broncos are the only team the Patriots have lost to twice in the playoffs (1986 and 2005). New England's 13 other playoff losses have been to 13 different clubs.
  • In Belichick's first two wins at Denver (10/1/00 and 11/3/03) he took intentional safeties in the second half to help secure the win.
  • K Stephen Gostkowski's longest field goal was a 53-yarder at Denver on Oct. 11, 2009.

Tom Brady is 2-5 against the Broncos in the regular season and 0-1 against Denver in the postseason following a 2005 AFC Divisional playoff loss in Denver. Denver is the only team that Brady has a losing record against.


New England Ties

  • Denver offensive line coach Dave Magazu attended Springfield College, Mass. 1976-80, where he played defensive line. Prior to joining the NFL, Magazu was the offensive line coach at Boston College from 1999-02.
    Denver, Colo. Ties
  • Rookie T Nate Solder, drafted in the 1st round (17 overall) in the 2011 draft, attended the University of Colorado. Solder originally was brought in to play tight end for Colorado before eventually switching over to the tackle position. He is from Buena Vista, Colo.
    Former Patriots
  • LS Lonie Paxton signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2000 and remained with the organization until 2008. He is known for his snow angel after former K Adam Vinatieri kicked a game winning field goal in overtime to send the Patriots to the 2001 AFC Championship game.
  • DT Ty Warren was drafted by the Patriots in the 1st round (13th overall) in the 2003 draft. Warren, who recorded 20.5 sacks with New England, was a staple on the Patriots defensive line until his final season in 2010.
  • G Russ Hochstein was an offensive lineman and special teams member for the Patriots from 2002-08.
  • DB Jonathan Wilhite played with the Patriots from 2008- 10 and recorded three interceptions in 15 starts for New England.
    Former Teammates
  • LB Tracy White, S Brian Dawkins, and LB Joe Mays played on the same side of the ball in Philadelphia from 2008-09.
  • DB Andre Goodman played in Miami from 2006-08 and played one season each with WR Wes Welker (2006), LB Rob Ninkovich (2007), and G Donald Thomas (2008).
  • DE Mark Anderson played with DB Chris Harris for the Chicago Bears during the 2006 season.
  • LB Rob Ninkovich played with K Matt Prater in Miami during the 2007 season.
  • G Donald Thomas protected the quarterback with G Manny Ramirez for the Detroit Lions in 2010.
  • S James Ihedigbo and RB Xavier Omon were teammates for 10 days in New York with the Jets during the 2010 season.
  • WR Wes Welker played two seasons with DT Kevin Vickerson in Miami from 2005-06. Former Broncos
  • Head Coach Bill Belichick was the assistant special teams/assistant to the defensive coordinator for the Broncos during the 1978 season.
  • Special teams coach, Scott O'Brien, was the special teams' coordinator for the Denver Broncos (2007-08)
    Former College Teammate
  • LB Jerod Mayo, P Britton Colquitt, and DE Robert Ayers went to the University of Tennessee and played together from 2005-07.
  • LB Gary Guyton and WR Demaryius Thomas were teammates during Guyton's final season with Georgia Tech.
  • S Sergio Brown and S David Bruton played together from 2006-09 at Notre Dame.
  • LB Brandon Spikes, TE Aaron Hernandez, LB Jermaine Cunningham, and QB Tim Tebow were teammates at Florida and were all crucial to the team winning the BCS National Championship in 2009.
  • DT Vince Wilfork and LB D.J. Williams played for the Miami Hurricanes from 2001-03.
  • WR Matthew Slater played with WR Matthew Willis at UCLA. Slater and Willis played for the Bruins from 2004-07. QB Brian Hoyer and WR Mark Dell made a great duo for two seasons at Michigan State (2007-08). Dell caught 56 passes for 899 yards and 5 touchdowns from Hoyer over the QB's junior and senior season.
  • RB Shane Vereen played with DB Syd'Quan Thompson at the University of California from 2007-09.
  • RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis and DB Cassius Vaughn played together at the University of Mississippi for one season.

Since their state-of-the-art facility opened at the beginning of the 2002 season, the Patriots own the NFL's best record at home overall. The Patriots own an overall record of 67-13 (.838) at Gillette Stadium in regular season games and a 74-15 (.831) record including playoffs.

New England has qualified for the playoffs 19 times in its 52- year history. Thirteen of those playoff berths have come in the 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a dramatic contrast to the six total playoff berths that the team earned in its first 34 years of existence. New England has won 14 division crowns, including nine in the last 11 seasons, and has qualified as a Wild Card team on four occasions (1976, 1985, 1994, and 1998). The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 as part of a 16-team tournament following a players' strike.

The Patriots won 14 playoff games in the decade from 2000-09, tying the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys for the most playoff victories by any NFL team in either the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or 2000s. Pittsburgh and Dallas both won 14 playoff contests between 1970 and 1979, while New England won 14 postseason games from 2000- 09.

The Patriots are 11-3 at home in the playoffs in their history. Thirteen of the franchise's 14 home playoff games have taken place since Robert Kraft purchased the team 18 years ago. After Kraft bought the team, the Patriots won 11 consecutive home playoff games before experiencing a home loss.

The Patriots won the AFC East seven times during the decade of 2000-09. The Patriots had a streak of five straight division titles snapped in 2008 when they finished 11-5, but lost to Miami on a tie breaker to finish in second place. New England's five straight AFC East crowns from 2003-07 top the four straight division titles by the Buffalo Bills from 1988-91 and by the Miami Dolphins on two occasions. The Patriots have won eight of the last nine division crowns. The Patriots have won 11 division titles in the 18 seasons since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994.

The Patriots won 11 playoff games from 2003-07, tying the NFL's highest playoff victory total over a five-season span. New England won three playoff games in 2003, three in 2004, one in 2005, two in 2006 and two in 2007.

The Patriots have compiled a 21-15 record in their 36 playoff games and their .583 playoff winning percentage is the fourth best in NFL history among teams that have played at least 10 playoff games. New England has qualified for six Super Bowls (XX, XXXI, XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX and XLII) and one AFL Championship Game in 1963.

First Round* ............................... 0-1
Wild Card Round ......................... 4-3
Divisional Round.......................... 8-6
AFC Championship....................... 6-1
AFL Championship ....................... 0-1
Super Bowl ................................. 3-3
Total .................................. 21-15
*-1982 Strike Season

(since the 1970 merger)
Patriots Playoff Trends (Since NFL Merger in 1970)
All Time (20-14)

  • vs. AFC, 17-11
  • vs. NFC, 3-3
  • Home, 11-3
  • Away, 6-8
  • Leading at Halftime, 15-2
  • Trailing at Halftime, 3-10
  • Tied at Halftime, 2-2
  • Leading After 3 Quarters, 16-3
  • Tied After 3 Quarters, 2-0
  • Trailing After 3 Quarters, 2-11
  • Decided by 7 Points or Less, 8-7
  • Decided By 3 Points or Less, 6-3
  • When Scoring First, 15-6
  • When Not Scoring First, 5-8
  • Positive Turnover Ratio, 15-1
  • Even Turnover Ratio, 2-4
  • Negative Turnover Ratio, 2-10
  • Winning or Even Penalty Ratio, 15-1
  • Losing Penalty Ratio, 5-13
  • With a 100-Yard Rusher, 7-0
  • Without a 100-Yard Rusher, 12-15
  • With a 100-Yard Receiver, 8-4
  • Without a 100-Yard Receiver, 12-10
  • When Allowing a 100-Yard Rusher, 2-5
  • When Not Allowing a 100-Yard Rusher, 18-9
  • When Allowing a 100-Yard Receiver, 4-5
  • When Not Allowing a 100-Yard Receiver, 17-8
  • With a 300-Yard Passer, 2-1
  • Without a 300-Yard Passer, 18-13
  • Allowing a 300-Yard (net) Passer, 3-1
  • Not Allowing a 300-Yard (net) Passer, 17-13
    The Patriots clinched the division with a 41-23 victory over the Denver Broncos on Dec. 18, 2011



The number of interceptions by Vince Wilfork in 2011. Anthony Pleasant (2001) is the only other Patriots defensive lineman to record two interceptions in the same season.

The number of punts returned by Julian Edelman for touchdowns during his career, the fourth Patriots' player with two or more punt returns for a touchdown.

The number of NFL players with four 100-reception seasons after Wes Welker (122) reached 100 receptions in 2011 to join Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison.

The number of times LB Jerod Mayo has reached 100 tackles to start his career. He is the first player in New England history to register 100 tackles in his first four NFL seasons.

The number of interceptions by Kyle Arrington to put him in a three-way tie for the NFL lead in 2011.

The number of times in NFL history a player reached 1,000 yards in the ninth game of the season after Wes Welker reached the milestone in 2011.

The number of AFC East titles by the Patriots since the 2000 season.

The number of sacks by Andre Carter in 2011 for his fourth career 10-plus sack season.

The number of sacks by Mark Anderson in 2011 for his second career 10-plus sack season.

The number of touchdown catches by TE Rob Gronkowski, the most in NFL history by a tight end in a single season.

The number of total touchdowns by TE Rob Gronkowski in 2011 (16 rec. and 1 rush.) the highest number of combined touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history.

The number of receptions in 2011 by Wes Welker. With 122 in 2011 and 123 in 2009, Welker joins Cris Carter as the only two NFL players with at least 120-plus receptions twice in their career.

The number of receiving yards by Gronkowski in 2011 to set an NFL record, surpassing Kellen Winslow in 1980 (1,290).


Tom Brady became the first player to follow a 500-yard performance with a 400-yard performance after Brady had back-to- back games with 517 yards and 423 yards to start 2011.

Brady joins Drew Brees (2011) as the only players to reach 3,000 yards in the first nine games of the season. Brady (3,032) had the most yards ever through the first nine games of the year.

The number of times in his career that Brady has thrown a game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute of the game to turn a deficit into a Patriots win after a final-minute touchdown vs. Dallas (10/16), including the postseason.

The number of seasons that Brady has reached 4,000 passing yards. His four 4,000 yard seasons are tied with Warren Moon and Philip Rivers for the fifth most in NFL history.

Brady became the sixth NFL quarterback in NFL history to have 30 or more touchdowns passes in at least three seasons after reaching 30 vs. Indianapolis (12/4).

Tom Brady was the 11th quarterback in NFL history to throw for 500 or more yards after he passed Brady for 517 in the 2011 opener at Miami.

The number of times Tom Brady has earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the award in each of the first two weeks of the 2011 season and in Week 16.

The number of regular season 300-yard passing games by Tom Brady, a team record.

The number of times that Brady has thrown two or more touchdowns in a game. The Patriots are 81-15 when he throws for two or more touchdowns.

The number of wins that Brady has as a starting quarterback to tie Fran Tarkenton for fifth place. Brady reached the 100-win milestone in the fewest number of starts (131) among all quarterbacks in the modern era.

The number of passing yards Brady had in the first three games (517, 423 and 387) of 2011. Brady's 1,327 yards set the NFL mark for the most passing yards ever in a three-game stretch.

The number of passing yards by Brady in 2011, the second most in a season in NFL history.


The number of Super Bowl championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Only Denver (2; 1997 and 1998) and Pittsburgh (2; 2005 and 2008) have won multiple Super Bowl titles since 1994.

The number of conference championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Pittsburgh is second with three conference titles since 1994.

The number of division championships won by the Patriots since Kraft purchased the team in 1994.

The number of playoff seasons earned by the Patriots in the 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team.

The number of playoff games the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Pittsburgh ranks second with 15 playoff wins over that span.

The number of playoff games the Patriots have appeared in since 1994. The mark is tied with Pittsburgh for the most playoff games during that time period.


Bill Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three championships since the Super Bowl era began. Belichick joins three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the exclusive club (Chuck Noll 4, Joe Gibbs 3 and Bill Walsh 3). Belichick is the only coach to win three Super Bowls in the post-1993 salary cap era and the only one to ever win three in four years.

Bill Belichick has 190 career victories as a head coach, including playoff games. Belichick moved past Bill Parcells into sole possession of ninth place in all-time coaching victories. Chuck Knox is in 8th place with 193 wins.

The Patriots dedicated the 2011 season to the loving memory of Myra Kraft, who passed away on July 20 after a courageous battle with cancer. Every Patriots player and coach are honoring Myra's memory by wearing a patch with her initials on it in recognition of her lifelong contributions to the local and global philanthropic community and her influence on the charitable mission of the entire Patriots organization. The patch has been worn on the left chest of every player throughout the season.

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