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Patriots vs. Chiefs Pre-Game Notes

SERIES HISTORY

This week, the Patriots and Chiefs will renew acquaintances for the 29th time overall as the Patriots travel to Kansas City for the 10th time in team history. New England has won three of the last four games in the series, including a 41-38 overtime shootout at Gillette Stadium two seasons ago. But despite the Patriots' recent success against the Chiefs, they have 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. New England will look for its first win at Arrowhead Stadium after coming up empty in its first three visits to the Chiefs' current home, most recently dropping a tight 16-14 decision in 1999.

A TOUGH ROAD TO K.C.

The Patriots have not won in Kansas City since 1964, recording an 0-6-1 record in their last seven visits. New England's 7-game winless streak in Kansas City is the team's longest such current streak in any NFL city.

FANTASTIC FINISHES

One of the oldest mantras in sports is that it doesn't matter where you start a season, but it does matter where you finish it. The Patriots have done a remarkable job of finishing strong over the past two-plus seasons, as they have compiled a 30-4 (.882) record after November 1 since the 2001 season.

PATRIOTS ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

The Patriots will make their 30th appearance on Monday Night Football. New England has won three of its last four games on Monday nights dating back to a 30-24 victory over Kansas City on Dec. 4, 2000. The Patriots have scored exactly 30 points in each of their last three Monday night victories, including a memorable 30-26 win at Denver in 2003. This week's game is the first of two Monday appearances this season. The Patriots will also travel to Miami for a Monday night showdown on Dec. 20. New England holds an all-time record of 10-19 in its 29 previous Monday night games.

PASSING PERFORMANCES

Tom Brady will face the Chiefs for the second time in his career. The last time the teams squared off Brady had one of the best games of his career, completing a career-high 39 passes and racking up a career-high 410 yards. The New England signal caller also tied his career high with four touchdown passes.

NINE-GAME MARK

The Patriots have recorded an 8-1 mark in 2004, notching the best mark in franchise history through nine games. New England has started the season with a 7-2 mark on three prior occasions, most recently in 2003, but this season is the first in which they have begun the campaign at 8-1. The best starts in franchise history are listed below.

8-1: 2004

7-2: 2003, 1980, 1978

6-2-1: 1964, 1962

LAST TIME: PATRIOTS 41, CHIEFS 38 (OT)

September 22, 2002 - Gillette Stadium (Att: 68,436)

The Patriots improved to 3-0 on the 2002 season, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 41-38 in overtime at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots offense totaled 496 yards, their highest output since they gained 506 yards vs. Seattle (09/21/86) and scored five touchdowns.

Wide receiver Troy Brown recorded 16 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown, setting a franchise record for receptions in a game and tying him for fourth place in NFL history. Brown also recorded a career high with 176 yards, which ranks fourth in Patriots annals. Quarterback Tom Brady threw for a career-high 410 yards and tied a career high with four touchdowns.

The Chiefs jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but the Patriots closed the gap to 10-9 by halftime. In the second half, Kansas City added a quick touchdown and increased its lead to 17-9 before the Patriots scored 22 unanswered points to take a 31-17 lead. Kansas City chipped back into the game, and a pair of Priest Holmes touchdown runs helped the Chiefs tie the game at 38 at the end of regulation.

After winning the overtime coin toss, the Patriots elected to receive the ball and Brady led the offense 53 yards on nine plays into field goal position. With the ball spotted at the Chiefs 35-yard line, Adam Vinatieri kicked the 13th game-winning field goal of his career, giving New England a 41-38 win.

CONNECTIONS

  • Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil, defensive line coach Carl Hairston and defensive backs coach Peter Giunta held the same positions for the St. Louis Rams from 1997-99 and Patriots linebacker Roman Phifer played until 1998. Chiefs wide receiver Eddie Kennison also played for the Rams during that time.
  • Kansas City assistant offensive line coach Irv Eatman held the same position with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2000 when Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel was in his final year with the Steelers.
  • Vrabel was an All-American defensive end at Ohio State University from 1992-96 when Chiefs linebackers coach Fred Pagac held the same position and acted as the defensive coordinator.
  • Chiefs fullback Omar Easy played his high school football at Everett High School in Everett, Mass., and earned Gatorade and USA Today Massachusetts Player of the Year Honors.
  • 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.
  • Patriots rookie safety Dexter Reid and Kansas City defensive tackle Ryan Sims played on the same defensive unit at the University of North Carolina in 2000 and 2001.
  • Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest and Chiefs wide receiver Johnnie Morton were teammates at the University of Southern California for four seasons from 1990-93.
  • New England linebacker Don Davis and Kansas City defensive back Dexter McCleon were teammates on the St. Louis Rams defense from 2001-02.
  • Kansas City quarterback Damon Huard was the backup quarterback for the Patriots from 2001-03 and was on the Patriots' 2001 and 2003 Super Bowl championship teams.
  • 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.
  • Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren and Chiefs wide receiver Dante Hall were teammates at Texas A&M University in 1999.

AMAZING ADAM

1,010

The number of points kicker Adam Vinatieri has scored in his career, ranking second in Patriots history to Gino Cappelletti's team record 1,130 points.

17

The number of points Vinatieri scored in last week's victory over the Buffalo Bills, establishing a single-game career high.

93

The number of points Vinatieri has scored this season, leading the NFL.

235

The number of successful field goals Vinatieri has booted in his Patriots career, establishing a franchise record.

81.9

Vinatieri's career accuracy rate on field goals, establishing a team record and making him the sixth most accurate kicker in NFL history.

16

The number of consecutive field goals Vinatieri has made, tying his own mark for the second longest success streak in team history.

122.9

Vinatieri's career passer rating after completing the only attempt of his career, a 4-yard touchdown to Troy Brown on a fake field goal at St. Louis on Nov. 7.

WHAT A RUSH

900

The number of rushing yards Corey Dillon has gained this season, ranking second in the AFC and fourth in the NFL.

5.0

The average number of yards Dillon has gained per attempt, leading the AFC and tying him with the Giants' Tiki Barber for second in the NFL (Shaun Alexander, 5.4) among all rushers with at least 100 attempts.

5

The number of 100-yard games Dillon has recorded this season, tying his career high and notching the most by a Patriot since Curtis Martin broke the mark nine times in 1995.

4

The number of consecutive games in which he has played where Dillon has exceeded the 100-yard mark, establishing a personal best and the longest streak by a Patriot since Martin had five straight 100-yard games in 1995.

GIVENS RECEIVES ACCOLADES

710

The number of receiving yards David Givens has gained this season, ranking fourth in the AFC.

4

The number of games this season in which Givens has exceeded the 100-yard mark for receiving yards.

4

The number of 100-yard receiving games the Patriots had all of last season.

1999

The last year in which a Patriot recorded four 100-yard games in a single season, when Terry Glenn accomplished the feat.

SOLID STARTERS

50

The number of consecutive games in which Matt Light has started at left tackle for the Patriots, dating back to his rookie season of 2001.

55

The number of consecutive games in which Tom Brady has started at quarterback for the Patriots, a streak which ranks fourth in the NFL.

THE KRAFT ERA

101

The number of regular-season victories the Patriots have recorded since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994.

111

The number of consecutive Patriots preseason, regular-season and postseason home games that have been sold out since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994.

229

The number of consecutive Patriots games that have been televised locally.

79-34

The Patriots record at home since 1994, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.

20-3

The Patriots' record at Gillette Stadium, including regular-season and postseason games (.870 win pct).

SEVEN-PLUS SOLID SEASONS

116-66

The Patriots' record in preseason, regular-season and postseason games since 1996 (.637 win pct).

85-52

The Patriots' regular-season record since 1996 (.620 win pct).

9-3

The Patriots' postseason record since 1996 (.750 win pct).

CONSECUTIVE STREAKS

16

The number of consecutive regular-season and postseason games the Patriots have won at Gillette Stadium, dating back to the 2002 season finale.

17

The number of consecutive games, including playoffs, in which the Patriots have scored first.

15

The number of consecutive games, including playoffs, in which Tom Brady has thrown a touchdown pass.

13

The number of consecutive games the Patriots have won when they have had a 100-yard rusher, dating back to the 1999 season.

SACK ATTACK

26

The number of sacks the Patriots have recorded through eight games.

46

The number of sacks the Patriots are on pace to record this season, a total that would be the most by the team since 1986, when they recorded 48 sacks.

THIRD DOWN DOMINANCE

44.3

The Patriots' offensive third-down conversion percentage this season (51 conversions in 115 tries).

24

The number of seasons since the Patriots ended a campaign with a third-down conversion rate as high as 44.3 percent, dating back to the 1980 team's 46.7 percent conversion rate.

GOOD POINTS

9.4

The Patriots' points-per-game differential, averaging 26.3 points per game while allowing 16.9 points per game.

2

The ranking among all NFL teams of New England's points-per-game differential, trailing only the San Diego Chargers.

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