The New England Patriots will look to build on the strong foundation that was laid in last week's season-opening victory when they travel to Arizona this weekend to play the Cardinals. The Patriots began the 2004 campaign with a thrilling 27-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in a rematch of the 2003 AFC Championship Game, and if that game is a harbinger of things to come this season, Patriots fans are sure to be in for yet another gripping year on the gridiron.
The Patriots will visit the Grand Canyon State for the first time since 1999 and will face a Cardinals team rife with optimism coming from a young, promising team and new head coach Dennis Green. Just four years ago, the Patriots found themselves in a similar situation with a young team, a new coach and a new stadium on the horizon. But just as the Patriots proved a few seasons ago, a team like that can be a very dangerous one, and New England will be sure to keep the Cardinals' high potential in mind during their preparations this week.
Sunday's game will feature a halftime tribute to former Cardinal Pat Tillman, an Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. For all games this week, NFL players will wear Tillman's number 40 on the backs of their helmets, as the Cardinals will do all season. This week's halftime tribute will honor Tillman and all Arizonans who have sacrificed their lives in service of their country.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be televised by CBS to a regional audience. Don Criqui will handle play-by-play and will be joined by analyst Steve Tasker.
RADIO: WBCN 104.1 FM is the flagship station for the Patriots Rock Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 34 stations can be found in this press release. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos begins his 28th 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 21st season as a broadcast tandem.
The Patriots have won 16 consecutive games (including the postseason), including 12 straight at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots won 15 straight regular-season and postseason games to end the 2003 season, compiling the second longest single-season winning streak in NFL history. New England's last loss was a 20-17 decision to the Washington Redskins on Sept. 28, 2003.