New England Patriots(6-2) atIndianapolis Colts *(8-0)
*Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009 - Lucas Oil Stadium (63,000) - 8:20 p.m. EDT
The New England Patriots will travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts on Sunday Night Football for the second consecutive season. Last season, the Patriots fell to the Colts, 18-15. Both clubs are moving near the top regular-season victory total for any team in any NFL decade. New England and Indianapolis are tied with 109 regular-season wins in the 2000s, including the final game of the 1999 season that was played on Jan. 2, 2000, and are within striking distance of the all-time win mark for a decade held by San Francisco of the 1990s with 113 wins. Including playoff games, the 49ers had 125 wins during the '90s. New England has 123 wins and Indianapolis has 116 wins during this decade. It is also a matchup of the top two teams over the last seven seasons, with New England and Indianapolis both entering the game with records of 83-21 in regular-season games since 2003. The Colts and Patriots each won five consecutive division titles (2003-07), before finishing second in their respective divisions last year. Indianapolis and New England are two of nine organizations to win five or more consecutive divisional flags since the NFL Merger.
TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by NBC and can be seen in Boston on WHDH-TV Channel 7. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties with Cris Collinsworth providing color. Andrea Kremer will be the sideline reporter.
NATIONAL RADIO:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One. Dave Sims and James Lofton will call the game. Hub Arkushwill be the sideline reporter.
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 33rd 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 26th season as a tandem.
STRONG IN THE SECOND HALF
The Patriots have traditionally 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 71-17 (.807) record after Nov. 1, including playoff games. Additionally, since 2001, the Patriots are 52-10 (.839) in games played after Thanksgiving Day and are 23-4 (.852) in games played after Christmas.
The Patriots and Colts will face off for the 10th time since 2003 and for the 73rd time in the history of the franchises. The clubs have clashed in each of the last six regular seasons (2003-07) and also faced each other in the playoffs following the 2003, 2004 and 2006 seasons. The two teams share a long-time rivalry, as the Patriots and the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts played twice each year from 1970 to 2001 as members of the AFC East, with the exception of the 1982 strike season. New England has had more success against the Colts than any other team in the AFC, with the Patriots' .611 winning percentage ranking as their highest against any AFC team they have played more than 10 times. New England is 18-9 against Indianapolis since 1993, and has won 14 of the series' last 20 games. The games have tended to be high-scoring affairs, as the Patriots have scored 20 or more points against the Colts in 18 of their last 20 meetings. New England holds an overall record of 14-8 in games played in Indianapolis. The Colts beat the Patriots, 18-15 last season on November 2, 2008 in their first meeting at Lucas Oli Stadium.
SERIES TRENDSOverall Record (including 2-1 in playoffs), 44-28
Overall at Home, 24-12
in Foxborough, 24-11
in Boston, 0-1
Overall on Road, 20-16
in Indianapolis, 14-8
in Baltimore, 6-8
Largest Victory, 39 points (10/06/74)
Largest Defeat, -31 points (11/26/72)
Highest Combined Point Total, 72 points (11/30/03 and 1/21/07)
Lowest Combined Point Total, 6 points (12/06/92)
Longest Winning Streak, 7 (1996-99)
Longest Losing Streak, 3 (1970-71, 2005-07)
Seasonal Sweeps of 2 or more wins, Patriots 12, Colts 5
PATRIOTS - COLTS QUICK HITS
- Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the Patriots and Colts are tied with the NFL's best record (83-21)
- In the last six seasons, the Patriots and Colts have met twice in the AFC Championship Game, with the Patriots claiming a 24-14 win in 2003 and the Colts winning 38-34 in 2006.
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick is 8-5 against the Colts as the head coach of the Patriots and is 10-7 against Indianapolis as a head coach overall.
- This week's game will mark the fifth straight year that the Patriots and Colts will play during the first two weeks of November. The Patriots faced the Colts in the first week of November for the last four seasons.
- Despite not being in the same division, the Patriots and Colts will play each other for the seventh straight season.
PATRIOTS AND COLTS HAVE SUSTAINED SUCCESS
Both clubs are moving near the top regular-season victory total for any team in any NFL decade. San Francisco won 113 regular-season games during the 1990s.The Indianapolis Colts (109) and New England Patriots (109) are both within striking distance of the all-time win mark for a decade held by the 49ers of the 1990s.
- Patriots head coachBill Belichick began his NFL coaching career as a special assistant for the Baltimore Colts in 1975 under head coach Ted Marchibroda.
- Patriots assistant head coach/offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was the offensive line coach for the Colts from 1989-90. Outside of those two seasons, Scarnecchia has been on the Patriots sidelines for each year since 1982.
- Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri played for the Patriots for 10 seasons from 1996-2005 and is New England's all-time leading scorer with 1,158 points and also holds the team record with 263 successful field goals.
- Patriots tackle Matt Lightearned four letters at Purdue University (1996, 1998-2000), earning All-Big Ten conference first-team honors in 2000.
- Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney was born in Hartford, Conn., and attended Bloomfield High School, where he was a SuperPrep, Prep Football Report, USA Today, New Haven Register, Hartford Courant *and *Blue Chip Illustrated All-American selection.
- Patriots DL Ty Warrenand Colts DB Melvin Bullitt were both born in Bryan, Texas. Both players also attended Texas A&M.
- Patriots WR Wes Welker and Colts DT Keyunta Dawson were teammates at Texas Tech in 2003.
- Colts WR Pierre Garcon played one year at Norwich Academy (Vt.) before transferring to Mount Union.
- Colts Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach Clyde Christensenwas receivers and tight ends coach/offensive coordinator at Holy Cross from 1989-90.
- Indianapolis Linebackers Coach Mike Murphywas a defensive line coach at the University of Vermont from 1970-73.
- Colts Special Teams Coordinator Ray Rychleski served as Northeastern's defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach from 1989-90.
- Colts Strength and Conditioning Coach Jon Torine attended and played football for Springfield (Mass.) College from 1991-95.
- Indianapolis Area Scout Bob Guarini worked as Western Connecticut State University's offensive coordinator/assistant athletic director from 1992-93.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The number of 10-plus reception games Wes Welker needs in 2009 to match the single-season record of 7 set by Houston's Andre Johnson in 2008. Welker has three 10-plus reception games so far this season.
8The number of receptions WR Randy Moss (892) needs to become the 11th player in NFL history to surpass 900 career receptions.
The number of touchdown receptions Randy Moss needs to become the second player in NFL history with 150 receiving touchdowns. Moss can join Jerry Rice (197) as the only players in NFL history with 150 receiving touchdowns. In 11 seasons, Moss has 140 touchdown receptions.
87The number of yards WR Randy Moss needs to become the seventh player in NFL history to reach 14,000 receiving yards. Moss is in ninth place all-time with 13,766 yards.
113The number of rushing yards RB Kevin Faulk (3,279) needs to pass Don Calhoun (3,391 yards) for fifth place on the Patriots' all-time rushing list.
848The number of passing yards QB Tom Brady (28,478) needs to pass Patriots' all-time leader Drew Bledsoe (29,657).
PATRIOTS HALL OF FAME
1The number of contributors in the Patriots Hall of Fame after Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft inducted William H. "Billy" Sullivan, the team's founder this year.
2The number of Patriots Hall of Famers who also won League MVP honors (Gino Cappelletti in 1964 and Jim Nance in 1966).
The number of Patriots Hall of Famers who are also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (John Hannah, Andre Tippett, Mike Haynes and Nick Buoniconti).
The number of players in the Patriots Hall of Fame following the induction of former RB Jim Nance.
8The number of consecutive seasons in which the Patriots have won nine or more regular-season games. They are the only team in the NFL to have won at least nine games in each of the last eight seasons entering 2009.
14The number of consecutive regular-season games the Patriots have won when a New England player has a 100-yard rushing game. The last time New England lost a game in which one of its runners broke the 100-yard mark was on Dec. 20, 2004, when the Patriots lost 29-28 at Miami despite a 121-yard effort by Corey Dillon.
The number of consecutive home games won by Tom Brady, including the postseason.
166The number of consecutive home games the Patriots have sold out. The streak includes every preseason, regular-season and playoff game since the 1994 regular-season opener.
The number of times QB Tom Brady has earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, after earning the award for his 378- yard passing effort in the Patriots' come-from-behind 25-24 win on opening week vs. Buffalo and for a 6 TD effort vs. Tennessee.
The number of NFL running backs who have reached at least 400 career receptions after RB Kevin Faulk caught two passes against Tampa Bay to reach 400 receptions.
The number of regular season 300-yard passing games by Tom Brady, a new team record. Brady's four 300-yard games in 2009 moved him past QB Drew Bledsoe (26) for the team record.
The number of 100-yard games by RB Fred Taylor, which ranks ninth in NFL history.
63The number of 100-yard receiving games by WR Randy Moss, which ranks second in NFL history to WR Jerry Rice's 76 100- yard receiving games.
THE KRAFT ERA
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.
5The 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 has won three conference titles since 1994.
17The 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.
24The 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.
THE BELICHICK ERA
Bill Belichick is one of just four head coaches to win three championships since the Super Bowl era began following the 1966 season. Coach 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.
The number of consecutive home-opening wins in Belichick's nine Patriots seasons.
103-33The Patriots' regular-season record since 2001 under Head Coach Bill Belichick. Under Belichick, the Patriots have won 75.7 percent of their regular-season games, recording the highest winning percentage of any major American professional sports team over that span.
122The number of wins Coach Belichick has recorded since becoming Patriots head coach in 2000, including the post season.