NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-4) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (6-4)
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Arrowhead Stadium (79,451)
1:00 p.m. EST
The AFC East-leading Patriots will try to build on back-to-back victories as they gear up for the NFL's post-Thanksgiving push. New England will head to Kansas City as winners of 17 of their last 18 games played after Turkey Day, but will face a Chiefs team that has won five of its last six home games dating back to last season. With the final month of the 2005 season right around the corner, New England will bid to leave Kansas City with a victory for the second consecutive season but for just the second time since 1964.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ Channel 4. Dick Enberg will handle play-by-play duties and will be joined by analyst Dan Dierdorf. Reporter Armen Keteyian will contribute reports from the sidelines.
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 in this press release. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 29th 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 22nd season as a broadcast tandem.
MILESTONES ON THE HORIZON* Adam Vinatieri needs just 10 points to become the Patriots' all-time leading scorer, surpassing Gino Cappelletti on the Patriots all-time list. Entering this week's game against the Chiefs, Vinatieri has 1,121 career points, trailing Cappelletti's team-record of 1,130 points.
* Troy Brown needs one more catch to become just the second player in Patriots history to record 500 career receptions. The 13th-year veteran currently owns 499 career catches, a total that ranks second on the team's all-time receiving list. Stanley Morgan holds the team record with 534 receptions.
SOLID DOWN THE STRETCHOver the last four seasons, the Patriots have stepped things up a notch as the calendar has flipped to November. Since 2001, New England has done a remarkable job of finishing the season strong, compiling a 41-6 (.872) record after Nov. 1, including playoff games. In fact, since the 2003 season, the Patriots are 24-2 (.923) in games played in November or later, and New England has won 25 of its last 27 games post-Nov. 1. Their record in such games is the best in the NFL since 2001.
SERIES HISTORYThis week, the Patriots and Chiefs will renew acquaintances for the 30th time as the Patriots travel to Kansas City for the second consecutive season and for the 11th time in team history. New England has won four of the last five games in the series, including a 27-19 victory over the Chiefs on Monday Night Football almost exactly one year ago (Nov. 22, 2004). But prior to last year's triumph at Arrowhead, the Patriots had not won a game in Kansas City in 40 years, dating back to when the Boston Patriots came away with a 31-24 win at Municipal Stadium in 1964. The Patriots have won just once in four previous trips to Arrowhead Stadium, but have not lost to the Chiefs in the Bill Belichick era, taking victories in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
PASSING PERFORMANCESTom Brady has posted sparkling numbers in each of his two previous starts against the Chiefs, averaging 362.5 yards and a passer rating of 113.8 in those games. Brady set career highs in passing yards (410) and completions (39) in a 41-38 overtime win over Kansas City on Sept. 22, 2002. CONNECTIONS
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady set career highs with 410 passing yards, 39 completions and four touchdown passes in a 41-38 overtime win over Kansas City on Sept. 22, 2002.
- Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown set a franchise record with 16 receptions against the Chiefs on Sept. 22, 2002.
- Kansas City quarterback Damon Huard was with the Patriots from 2001-03 and was on New England's 2001 and 2003 Super Bowl championship teams.
- Patriots linebacker Don Davis grew up in Olathe, Kansas, located about 20 miles southwest of Kansas City, Mo. Davis also attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, located about 40 miles from Kansas City, Mo.
- Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel and Chiefs cornerback Benny Sapp were high school teammates at Boyd Anderson High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for four seasons from 1995-98.
- Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest and Chiefs wide receiver Johnnie Morton were teammates at the University of Southern California for four seasons from 1990-93.
- Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour and Chiefs linebacker Kendrell Bell were four-year teammates at the University of Georgia from 1997-2000.
- Patriots wide receiver David Givens and Chiefs tackle Jordan Black were three-year teammates at Notre Dame from 1999-2001.
- Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren, Patriots wide receiver Bethel Johnson and Chiefs wide receiver Dante Hall were teammates at Texas A&M University in 1999.
- Patriots running back Kevin Faulk and Chiefs wide receiver Eddie Kennison were teammates at Louisiana State University in 1995.
- New England linebacker Don Davis and Kansas City defensive back Dexter McCleon were teammates on the St. Louis Rams defense from 2001-02.
- Patriots linebacker/special teams captainLarry Izzo and Chiefs cornerbackPatrick Surtain were teammates on the Miami Dolphins from 1998-2000.
- Patriots defensive back Eugene Wilson attended the University of Illinois, where his defensive backs coach in 1999 was Chiefs tight ends coach Jason Verduzco.
- Patriots linebackerMike Vrabel was an All-American defensive end at Ohio State University from 1992-96 when Chiefs linebackers coach Fred Pagac was the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator.
- Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil coached at Hillsdale High School from 1960-1962 and at San Mateo College in 1963. Both schools are located in San Mateo, Calif., the home town of Tom Brady.
- Kansas City assistant offensive line coachIrv Eatman held the same position with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2000 when Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel was in his final year with the Steelers.
- Chiefs quarterback Todd Collins was named the 1989 New England High School Player of the Year by the Boston Globe as a senior at Walpole High School in Walpole, Mass., and grew up an avid Patriots fan.
- Chiefs defensive line coach Bob Karmelowicz was the offensive line coach at the University of Massachusetts in 1980.
WESTERN UNIONThe Patriots will play their final game of the season against AFC West opposition this week in Kansas City. Due to the NFL's scheduling rotation that was implemented for the 2002 season, all four AFC East teams will play all four AFC West teams this season. New England has gone 1-2 against AFC West opposition so far this year, defeating the Oakland Raiders in the season opener (30-20 on Sept. 8), and then dropping contests to San Diego and Denver.
Tom Brady's career record in games played on Thanksgiving or later in the NFL season (.900 winning percentage), including playoff games.
Brady's touchdown (30) to interception (10) numbers in the 17 post-Thanksgiving games he has started in the last two seasons. The Patriots own a 16-1 record in those games.
The number of victories the Patriots have earned in their last 18 post-Thanksgiving games, including playoff games, dating back to the 2002 season finale.
The Patriots' record under head coach Bill Belichick in their first game after Thanksgiving Day (not including two games played on Thanksgiving).
The number of passes of 25 yards or longer Tom Brady has completed this season, leading the NFL (Jake Delhomme ranks second with 22).
The number of yards per attempt Brady is averaging in 2005, a number that eclipses his single-season career high (7.79 in 2004).
The number of touchdown passes of 30 yards or longer Brady has thrown this season.
The number of different receivers who have caught a touchdown pass from Brady of 30 yards or longer this season (Deion Branch, Andre' Davis, Tim Dwight, Daniel Graham (2), Bethel Johnson, Benjamin Watson).
The number of consecutive fourth-quarter field goals Adam Vinatieri has made since missing a 43-yarder in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 8, 2002.
Vinatieri's success rate in the second half of games since the 2003 season finale. He has hit 27 of his 28 second-half field goals since that time.
Vinatieri's accuracy numbers since the beginning of the 2001 season when the Patriots are either leading or behind by a touchdown or less.
The number of game-winning kicks Vinatieri has converted in his career, including two this season, 12 since the beginning of the 2001 season and two in Super Bowl play.
The number of points Vinatieri has scored in his career, nine shy of the Patriots' all-time record (Gino Cappelletti, 1,130).
The number of successful field goals Vinatieri has made in his career, the most in Patriots history.
Consecutive games in which Vinatieri has played, establishing the second longest streak in team history. He trails only Raymond Clayborn's franchise record (161). Vinatieri has not missed a game in his 10-year career.
The number of receptions Troy Brown needs to reach 500 receptions for his career. The 13th-year Patriot enters this week's game with 499 career receptions and can join Stanley Morgan (534 receptions, 1977-89) as the only two players in team history to record 500 or more career catches.
The number of points kicker Adam Vinatieri needs to become the Patriots' all-time leading scorer. His current career total is 1,121 points. Gino Cappelletti (1960-70) holds the franchise record with 1,130 points.
The number of receptions Deion Branch needs to set a single season career high. Branch enters this week's game with 55 receptions and set a career high with 57 receptions in 2003.
The number of receptions David Givens needs to set a single season career high. Givens enters this week's game with 42 receptions and set a career high with 56 receptions in 2004.
The number of sacks Willie McGinest needs to pass Julius Adams (79.5 sacks) for second place on the team's all-time sacks list.
The number of different players who have started at safety for the Patriots this season (Eugene Wilson, Rodney Harrison, Guss Scott, Randall Gay, Arturo Freeman, James Sanders, Michael Stone).
The number of different starters that the Patriots have had at strong safety, heading into this week's game.
The number of different defensive backs who have seen time on the Patriots roster since the beginning of the 2004 season (not including LB Don Davis or WR Troy Brown, both of whom have seen action in the secondary since 2004).
The number of different defensive backs who have been on the Patriots roster in 2005.
The number of different players who have started in the secondary through 10 games in 2005.
The number of defensive backs currently on injured reserve for the Patriots (Rodney Harrison, Tyrone Poole, Guss Scott, Chad Scott, Duane Starks, Randall Gay).
Consecutive games in which Tom Brady has started at quarterback, the longest consecutive starts streak on the team.
Consecutive games in which Willie McGinest has started at outside linebacker, the longest consecutive starts streak on the Patriots defense.
Consecutive Patriots games televised locally, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
Consecutive sellouts in Foxborough, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
NOTE: All of the above streaks include regular-season games only, unless noted.