The New England Patriots (1-1) will host the Carolina Panthers (0-2) on Friday, Aug. 23 at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:05 p.m., but fans are encouraged to arrive early. Lots will open at 4:00 p.m. and gates to the stadium will open at 6:00 p.m.
CBS play-by-play veteran Don Criqui returns to the booth along with fan-favorite Jerry Glanville. WCVB sports anchor Mike Lynch will provide sideline reports throughout the game. This week's game will be televised live locally on WCVB (ABC) Ch. 5 in Boston, WNAC (Fox) Ch. 64 in Providence, WWLP (NBC) Ch. 22 in Springfield and WMUR (ABC) Ch. 9 in Concord, NH. Other tape-delayed broadcasts of the game will be shown in other New England markets. Please check your local listings.
Every Patriots game can be heard in stereo on the Patriots official flagship station WBCN 104.1 FM. Gil Santos, now in his 26th season as the voice of the Patriots, will call the game along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti, who will provide in-depth analysis for his 22nd season. A complete list of the Patriots WBCN Rock Radio Network can be found on pages 462-463 of the 2002 Patriots media guide or at www.patriots.com.
The Carolina Panthers are on the prowl for their first victory of the preseason, but the Patriots have not been defeated at home in the preseason since 2000 and have a 13-4 record at home since 1994.
The Patriots christened their new home in Foxborough, hosting their largest crowd in franchise history (68,436). The crowd celebrated a 16-15 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in their new venue. It was the first capacity crowd event in a series of "soft openings" at Gillette Stadium. This week, the Patriots will host a second preseason game as final preparations are made for the Grand Opening of Gillette Stadium when the Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 9, 2002 on Monday Night Football.
Home Sweet Home:
The Patriots extended two home win streaks with their victory over the Eagles last week. The 16-15 win was their fifth consecutive victory in Foxborough, including last season's playoff win over the Oakland Raiders. Their last loss at home was on Nov. 18, 2001, when the Rams defeated the Patriots 24-17. The preseason victory was also the fourth consecutive win at home in the preseason. The last time the Patriots lost a preseason contest at home was on Aug. 20, 2000 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-21). Foxborough has been a wonderful home to the Patriots since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. The team has compiled a 55-28 (.663) overall record at home, including a 13-4 (.765) record in the preseason.
The Patriots wrap up the preseason in the nation's capital on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 8:00 p.m. against Steve Spurrier's Washington Redskins.
The league's mandatory roster limits get reduced next week, as all teams must trim their rosters to a maximum of 65 players on Tuesday, Aug. 27. Roster limits of 53 players will be made on Sunday, Sept. 1.\