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Patriots travel to Cleveland to face Browns

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PATRIOTS (6-1) at BROWNS (2-5)
Sun., Nov. 7, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
Cleveland Browns Stadium (73,300)

The New England Patriots won their fifth straight game to improve to an NFL-best 6-1 record and claim first place in the AFC East following a 28-18 victory last Sunday against Minnesota.

The Patriots travel to play the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday in the first game of the only back-to-back road trip for the Patriots in 2010. The team will follow this week's game at Cleveland with a Sunday Night Football game at Pittsburgh on Nov. 14. Under head coach Bill Belichick the Patriots are 26-14 when going on the road for two straight games or more.

The Patriots posted a 4-0 record in October and enter November with an NFL-best 75-22 (.773) record after Nov. 1 since 2001. Indianapolis has the second-best record after Nov. 1 since 2001 with a 66-32 record.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Bill Macatee will handle playby- play duties with Rich Gannon providing color. The game will be produced by Bob Dekas and directed by Andy Goldberg.

RADIO:98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 36 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 34th 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 27th season as a tandem.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots and Browns will meet for the 22nd time overall when the clubs square off on Sunday.

The Patriots have won the last four games dating back to 2001.

Cleveland leads the all-time series with a 12-9 mark, including one postseason game when the Bill Belichick-led Browns claimed a 20-13 victory over the Patriots on New Year's Day, 1995 in a Wild Card Playoff game at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium.

The Patriots and Browns played five times in a six-year span from 1999-2004 and then went three seasons before the last meeting in 2007, a 34-17 New England win at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 7.

The Patriots are 4-7 overall in games played in Cleveland, including a 2-1 record at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Patriots' last visit to Cleveland was on Dec. 5, 2004 when New England took a 42-15 win. The Patriots have allowed the Browns to score fewer than 20 points in each of the ten regular-season meetings between the teams since 1992

SERIES BREAKDOWN
(Including Playoffs)
Overall Record: 9-12
Record in New England: 5-5
Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium: 3-5
Gillette Stadium: 2-0
Record in Cleveland: 4-7
Cleveland Municipal Stadium: 2-6
Cleveland Browns Stadium: 2-1
Bill Belichick vs. Cleveland: 4-1
Eric Mangini vs. New England: 2-5

STRONG IN THE SECOND HALF
Since 2001, New England has done a remarkable job of finishing the season strong, compiling a 75-22 (.773) record after Nov. 1, including playoff games.

PATRIOTS vs. AFC NORTH
The Patriots are 14-2 all-time against the AFC North in the regular-season since it was founded in 2002. The only AFC North losses for New England were to the Steelers, with a 34-20 loss at Pittsburgh (10/31/04) and a 33-10 loss vs. Pittsburgh (11/30/08). The Patriots only other loss to the AFC North during that time frame was a 33-14 loss in a 2009 Wild Card game at home against Baltimore. The Patriots are 2-0 so far in 2010 against the AFC North following a 38-24 win vs. Cincinnati (9/12) and a 23-20 overtime win vs. Baltimore (10/17).

PASSING PERFORMANCES
Tom Brady is slated to start against Cleveland for the fifth time in his career. Brady has started only one game at Cleveland, a 2004 game that the Patriots won 42-15.

CONNECTIONS

NEW ENGLAND TIES

  • Cleveland Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini is a Hartford, Conn. native, lettered in football at Wesleyan University, and spent six seasons (2000-05) on the Patriots coaching staff - five as the defensive backs coach and one as the defensive coordinator.

FORMER PATRIOTS

  • Cleveland Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Brad Seely was New England's special teams coordinator for 10 seasons (1999-2008).
  • Browns Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll was a member of the Patriots coaching staff from 2000-06, as a defensive assistant from 2000-01, and as the wide receivers coach from 2002-06.
  • Cleveland Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryanwas New England's linebackers coach from 2000-03.
  • Browns Defensive Line Coach Bryan Cox played linebacker for the 2001 Super Bowl-winning Patriots.
  • Cleveland Assistant Offensive Line Coach Andy Dickerson was a Tufts University graduate assistant in 2003, then spent the 2004-05 seasons as a member of the Patriots operations department.
  • Browns Quarterbacks Coach Carl Smith was the New England Patriots assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach in 1997 and the tight ends coach from 1998-99.
  • Browns TE Benjamin Watson was a member of the New England Patriots from 2004-09.
  • Cleveland OL Billy Yates played for the Patriots from 2005-08.
  • Browns DBRay Ventrone was a New England Patriot from 2007-08 and his younger brother, SRoss Ventrone, is currently on the Patriots Practice squad.
  • Cleveland RBThomas Clayton had been an off and on member of the Patriots for five months this year.
  • Browns QB Brett Ratliff was a Patriots practice squad player from Oct. 7-11.

FORMER BROWNS

  • Patriots DL Gerard Warren played for the Cleveland Browns from 2001-04.

FORMER TEAMMATES

  • New England Patriots WRWes Welker and RB Sammy Morris were members of the Miami Dolphins in 2004 with Browns LB David Bowens, LB Matt Roth and OL John St. Clair.
  • Roth and Browns DEDerreck Robinson also played for Miami on 2007 with Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich.
  • Patriots LB Tracy White and Browns DB Sheldon Brown, LB Chris Gocong and TE Alex Smith all played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009.
  • New England WR Deion Branch and Cleveland OLSteve Vallos and Floyd Womackand QB Seneca Wallace were teammates on the Seattle Seahawks in 2009.
  • Pats LB Rob Ninkovich and Browns LB Scott Fujita played for the New Orleans Saints in 2007.
  • Patriots DL Gerard Warren and OLPaul McQuistain were members of the Oakland Raiders from 2007-09.
  • New England RBFred Taylorand Cleveland DBNick Sorensen were teammates on the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-06. Sorensen was also teammates on Jacksonville with Patriots OL Dan Connolly in 2006 and LB Tracy White in 2005.

FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES

  • Pats DL Kyle Love and Browns LB Titus Brown were teammates at Mississippi State from 2006-07.
  • New England LB Tully Banta-Cain and Cleveland LB Scott Fujita both played at California from 1999-2001.
  • Patriots rookies - DE Jermaine Cunningham, LB Brandon Spikes and TE Aaron Hernandez were Gators at the University of Florida from 2007-09 with Browns DB Joe Haden.
  • Pats CB Terrence Wheatley and Browns FBLawrence Vickers were teammates at Colorado from 2003-05.
  • New England S Patrick Chung and Cleveland WR Demetrius Williams and FS T.J. Ward all played at the University of Oregon in 2005.

NFL'S BEST ROAD WARRIORS THIS DECADE
Since the start of the 2000 season, the Patriots have the third best road record at 53-30, behind only Indianapolis (57-27) and Philadelphia (54-29-1).

WINNINGEST COACH/QB TANDEM
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have the best winning percentage among a head coach-starting quarterback tandem since the 1970 merger.

PATRIOTS FORCE TURNOVERS
The Patriots lead the NFL with a 83 turnover margin since the 1997 season.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

BY THE NUMBERS

2
The number of kickoff returns that WR Brandon Tate has returned for a touchdown in 2010 after he returned a 97-yard kickoff for a touchdown vs. Cincinnati (9/12) and a 103-yard kickoff for a touchdown at Miami (10/4). Tate is the first Patriots' player to return two kicks for a touchdown in a season since Kevin Faulk returned two for a touchdown in 2002. The Patriots' record for most returns in a single season is three by Raymond Clayborn in 1977.

2
The number of blocked kicks recorded by S Patrick Chung in 2010 after he blocked a punt and a field goal in the Patriots win at Miami (10/4). He is the first NFL player to block a field goal and a punt in the same game since CB Ramon Walker of Houston blocked a field goal and a punt vs. New England on Nov. 23, 2003.

2
The number of interceptions that the Patriots have returned for a touchdown in 2010 after LB Gary Guyton returned an interception 59 yards for a score vs. Cincinnati (9/12) and S Patrick Chung returned an interception 51 yards for a score at Miami (10/4).

4
The number of consecutive games that DE Mike Wright has registered a sack. The last player to have four full sacks in four consecutive games was LB Rosevelt Colvin in 2005.

5
The number of consecutive games that BenJarvus Green-Ellis has scored a rushing touchdown. The Patriots record for most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown is seven by Curtis Martin in 1996.

11
The number of 10-plus reception games by Wes Welker. He has the most 10-plus reception games in Patriots' history.

15
The number of kickoffs that Stephen Gostkowski has kicked for a touchback in 2010. Last season he tied a Patriots record with a career-high 21 touchbacks. Justin Canele had 21 touchbacks in 1966 for the Patriots.

24
The number of consecutive regular-season starts that Tom Brady has won at Gillette Stadium. The NFL record for most consecutive home wins by a starting quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger is held by Brett Favre, who won 25 straight games for Green Bay (1995-98).

29.3
The number of points the Patriots are averaging in 2010. The Patriots are on pace to finish with 469 points, which would be second in team history to the 589 scored in 2007.

70
The number of consecutive regular-season games that Welker has caught at least one pass. He has caught at least one pass in all 56 games as a member of the Patriots, including three postseason games.

72
The number of times that Brady has thrown two or more touchdowns in a game. The Patriots are 61-11 when he throws for two or more touchdowns.

94
The number of total tackles by LB Jerod Mayo. He is on pace to finish the season with 215 tackles. That number would be the highest since LB Clayton Weishuhn had 229 tackles in 1983.

103
The number of wins that Brady has as a starting quarterback. He reached the milestone in the fewest number of starts (131) among all quarterbacks in the modern era.

THE KRAFT ERA

3
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.

5
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.

17
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.

25
The number of playoff games the Patriots have appeared in since 1994. The mark is the highest in the NFL, ahead of the 23 games played by Pittsburgh.

176
The number of consecutive home games the Patriots have sold out, a streak that includes every preseason, regular season and playoff game since the 1994 regular season opener.

THE BELICHICK ERA

4
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 Knoll 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.

113-38
The Patriots' regular season record since 2001 under Head Coach Bill Belichick. Under Belichick, the Patriots have won 74.8 percent of their regular season games, recording the highest winning percentage of any major American professional sports team over that span.

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