NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS(7-5) atSEATTLE SEAHAWKS (2-10)
Sunday, December 7, 2008 - 4:05 p.m. EST - Qwest Field (67,000)
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The Patriots travel to play the Seahawks in Seattle for the first time in 15 years, kicking off the final month of the NFL regular season with an inter-conference clash. The Patriots will kick off the fourth quarter of the NFL season with a two-game West Coast road swing, also playing Oakland on Dec. 14, before returning home to face Arizona on Dec. 21 and then closing out the season at Buffalo on Dec. 28.
PATRIOTS IN DECEMBER
Since the beginning of December 2003, the Patriots have compiled a 20-2 (.909) record in the 12th month, achieving the league's best December record over that period. San Diego ranks second with a 17-6 (.739) December record since 2003. New England has won eight straight December games dating back to 2006, and went undefeated in December in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the Patriots are 17-1 (.944) in games following a loss, including a 4-0 record in such games this season. New England fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, 33-10. Over the last five-plus seasons (2003- 08), the Patriots have only lost back-to-back games on one occasion (Nov. 5 and Nov. 12, 2006).
PATRIOTS VS. NFC
The Patriots have been successful against NFC teams in recent seasons, compiling a 29-5 (.853) record against the conference since 2001, including a 3-1 record in Super Bowls. The Patriots have won 13 straight regular-season games over NFC teams dating back to 2005. The Patriots are 2-0 against NFC competition this season, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 30-21 on Oct. 5 and beating the St. Louis Rams 23-16 on Oct. 26. In addition to this week's NFC matchup in Seattle, the Patriots play the NFC's Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 21 at Gillette Stadium.
TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS. The game can be seen in the Boston area on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Dick Enbergand Randy Crosswill call the game.
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 here. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 32nd 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 25th anniversary season.
The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks meet for the 15th time and just the second time since 1993. This will be the first time the Patriots have played at Qwest Field. The Patriots have not played a regular-season game in Seattle since Sept. 17, 1993. Since that time, the Patriots have played in every other NFL city. The cross country opponents have split the previous 14 games in the series. The last time the two squared off was in 2004 when The Patriots won by a 30-20 score at Gillette Stadium to end a five-game losing streak against the Seahawks. The Patriots have had the upper hand in road games against the Seahawks as they own a 3-2 record in games played in Seattle. New England won six of the first eight games in the series, which began in 1977.
- The Patriots and Seahawks played 12 times in a 14-year span from 1980-93, but have played only once since then (2004).
- The last time the two teams squared off in Seattle, on Oct. 24, 1993, James Busch Orthwein owned the Patriots and the team's future in New England was severely in doubt.
- The Seahawks are the only non-divisional team that the Patriots have played twice in the regular season in the same year. That scheduling oddity took place during the 1993 season, the only year in which the league's 16-game schedule was played over an 18-week span and each team was allotted two bye weeks.
- Heading into Sunday's game, the Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals are the only two teams the Patriots have not faced at least twice since Bill Belichick became head coach in 2000. The Patriots will face the Cardinals later this season on Dec. 21 at Gillette Stadium.
PATRIOTS ON THE WEST COASTThis week's game will kick off the Patriots' second set of back-toback West Coast games this season (in addition to this week's game in Seattle, the Patriots also play at Oakland on Dec. 14). New England split its previous set of back-to-back games on the West Coast, defeating San Francisco 30-21 on Oct. 5 and falling to San Diego 30-10 on Oct. 12). This season, the Patriots play all four of the NFL's West Coast teams on the road - it's the first time in team history that New England will play four times on the West Coast in the same season. The Patriots and the New York Jets both play all four West Coast teams this season, becoming the first NFL teams from the eastern time zone to play four times on the West Coast since the 2005 New York Giants (who went 2-2 en route to an 11-5 season and a wild card berth).
- Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu grew up in Wrentham, Mass., and attended King Phillip Regional High School. He is the son of former Patriots running back Mosi Tatupu, who played in 194 games over 13 seasons from 1978-90.
- Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is originally from Westwood, Mass., and he attended Boston College where he was the starting quarterback for two years. He is the son of former Patriots tight end Don Hasselbeck, who played in 86 games for the Patriots from 1977-83.
- Seahawks wide receiver Deion Branch was originally drafted by the Patriots in the second round (65th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft. Branch played for the Patriots from 2002-05. He was named Super Bowl MVP after tying a Super Bowl record with 11 receptions in the Patriots' 24-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
- Patriots fullback Heath Evans was originally drafted by the Seahawks in the third round (82nd overall) of the 2001 draft. Evans played for the Seahawks from 2001-04.
- Patriots quarterback Matt Casseland Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu were teammates at the University of Southern California from 2002-04.
- Patriots defensive lineman Jarvis Greenand Seahawks defensive lineman Howard Green are cousins and were on the same defensive line at Louisiana State from 2000-01.
- Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren was a teammate of Seahawks defensive tackle Rocky Bernard at Texas A&M.
- Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton and Seahawks guard Mansfield Wrotto attended Georgia Tech from 2004-06.
- Patriots punter Chris Hansonand Seahawks safety Deon Grantwere teammates with Jacksonville from 2004-06.
- Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo was teammates with Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare on the Miami Dolphins from 1997 to 2000.
- Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs and Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace were teammates at Iowa State University.
- Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather and nose tackle Vince Wilfork were teammates with Seahawks defensive end Baraka Atkins and cornerback Kelly Jennings at the University of Miami.