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Pats Face Dolphins In AFC East Clash

20041220_pats_dolphins.jpg

Sunday, November 13, 2005
Dolphins Stadium (75,540)
1:00 p.m. EST

The Patriots return to divisional play this week when they travel to South Florida to face their division foes, the Miami Dolphins. New England reached the halfway point of the season with a 4-4 record, and will play five of its remaining eight games against AFC East opposition, against whom the Patriots have won 20 of their last 24 games.

But despite their recent divisional success, the Patriots will face a tough test in a city that has historically been one of the toughest places for New England to win. Since the Patriots-Dolphins series was inaugurated in 1966, the Patriots have recorded just seven victories in Miami. The Dolphins hold a 30-7 advantage in games played at their home field, including six wins in the last seven games played in Florida.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ Channel 4. CBS' number one broadcasting crew will produce the game for the fifth time in six CBS-televised Patriots games this season. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties and will be joined by analyst Phil Simms. Reporter Bonnie Bernstein will provide updates from the sidelines throughout 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 in this press release. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 29th 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 22nd season as a broadcast tandem.

NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national radio audience by Westwood One. Dave Sims and Bob Trumpy will call the game.

BOUNCING BACK

The Patriots have not lost back-to-back regular-season games since December, 2002. Their streak of 41 consecutive games without back-to-back losses is the longest current streak in the NFL and the longest such mark in franchise history. The postmerger NFL record for consecutive games without two straight losses is 60, set by the San Francisco 49ers from 1995-99. The last time the Patriots had a losing streak was when they dropped a game at Tennessee (24-7, 12/16/02) and followed that with a home loss to the N.Y. Jets (30-14, 12/22/02). Below is a list of the longest current streaks without back-to-back defeats.

SERIES HISTORY

The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will meet for the 80th time in their history and for the 40th year as division foes. The Patriots have won four of the last five matchups between the teams, but have won just one of the last seven games played in Miami. New England trails in the overall series, 46-33 including the postseason. New England's most recent victory in Miami came in the 2003 season, when it claimed a dramatic 19-13 overtime victory on Oct. 19, 2003. That win was the first for the Patriots over the Dolphins in Miami since 1997, and featured an 82-yard pass from Tom Brady to Troy Brown to win the game in overtime. Miami has historically been one of the toughest places in the NFL for the Patriots to win. Overall, the Patriots hold a 7-30 regular-season record in Miami, and are 5-13 all-time at Dolphins Stadium. Last season, New England dropped a 29-28 decision to the Dolphins in Miami, a loss that broke a four-game winning streak over their division rivals. In 2004, New England split the season series, winning by a 24-10 score at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 10, 2004, a game in which the Patriots set the all-time pro football record with its 19th consecutive victory.

BEAST OF THE EAST

New England has won 11 of its last 12 divisional games and owns the best record among AFC East teams in division games since the beginning of the 2001 season (21-6). The New York Jets rank second with a 14-14 record and Miami is third with a 12-16 mark. Buffalo has a 10-19 record. In their last 24 divisional games, the Patriots are 20-4.

QUICK HITS

  • Bill Belichick will face off for the first time against Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban, who was the defensive coordinator on Belichick's coaching staff with the Cleveland Browns. This week's game marks the third time in Belichick's Patriots tenure that he will face an opposing head coach who was once one of his assistants. In 2000, Belichick matched wits twice with then-New York Jets Head Coach Al Groh, who was the linebackers coach on Belichick's Cleveland staff.
  • Three of the last five games between the Patriots and Dolphins have been tight contests that have come down to the final seconds. Patriots won back-to-back overtime games (a 27-24 win in the 2002 season finale and a 19-13 win in 2003), then the Dolphins squeezed out a one-point victory last season, winning 29-28.

SOLID DOWN THE STRETCH

Over the last four seasons, the Patriots have 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 39-6 (.867) record after Nov. 1, including playoff games. In fact, since the 2003 season, the Patriots are 22-2 (.917) in games played in November or later, and New England has won 23 of its last 25 games post-Nov. 1. Their record in such games the best in the NFL since 2001.

PASSING PERFORMANCES

Tom Brady is scheduled to start at quarterback against Miami for the ninth time. Brady and the Patriots have taken all four of the meetings in Foxborough, while the Dolphins have taken three of the four battles in Miami. For the Dolphins, Gus Frerotte is scheduled to make his second career start against the Patriots. His other start against New England came more than nine years ago (Oct. 13, 1996) when he directed the Washington Redskins to a 27-22 win over the Patriots at Foxboro Stadium.

CONNECTIONS

  • Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick hired Nick Saban as his defensive coordinator when Belichick was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1991. The pair worked together with the Browns for four seasons from 1991-94, and the 1994 Browns allowed an average of 12.8 points per game.
  • While serving as the head coach at Louisiana State University from 2000-04, Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban coached three current Patriots players: defensive lineman Jarvis Green, cornerback Randall Gay and defensive end Marquise Hill.
  • Patriots wide receivers coach Brian Daboll, quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels and linebackers coach Dean Pees were all on Head Coach Nick Saban's staff at Michigan State. Pees was the defensive coordinator on Saban's staff from 1995- 97, Daboll was a graduate assistant from 1998-99 and McDaniels was a graduate assistant in 1999. Pees was also the defensive coordinator on Saban's staff at Toledo in 1990.
  • Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent. In his five seasons with the team he appeared in 61 games and recorded 95 special teams tackles. He was named to the Pro Bowl following the 2000 season with the Dolphins.
  • Patriots fullback Heath Evans played in the first six games the 2005 season for the Dolphins and earned two starts. He was signed by the Patriots on Nov. 1, 2005. Evans is a native West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and attended Central Florida. He played quarterback, defensive back, kicker and punter on Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lake, Fla.) High School's football team.
  • Dolphins defensive tackle Keith Traylor played for the Patriots in 2004, starting 10 of 16 games at nose tackle.
  • Patriots assistant secondary coach Joel Collier was a member of the Dolphins coaching staff for 11 seasons prior to joining the Patriots for the 2005 season. Collier served as Miami's defensive staff assistant from 1994-97, then was the team's running backs coach from 1998-2004.
  • Patriots fullback Patrick Pass was drafted in 1996 by the Florida Marlins and that year played for the organization's rookie league team in Melbourne, Florida.
  • Patriots running back Patrick Pass and defensive lineman Richard Seymour were teammates of Dolphins tight end Randy McMichael at the University of Georgia.
  • Dolphins National Scout/Assistant Director of College Scouting Chris Grier interned with the Patriots in 1994 and then joined the staff full-time until 1999.
  • Patriots rookie defensive lineman Vince Wilfork was a standout defensive tackle at the University of Miami, where he recorded 148 tackles and 14 sacks from 2001-2003.
  • Patriots defensive lineman Marquise Hill's position coach at Louisiana State in his senior year of 2003 was Dolphins assistant defensive line coach Travis Jones.
  • Patriots cornerback Randall Gay and defensive lineman Marquise Hill played under Dolphins assistant head coach/defense Will Muschamp when he was the defensive coordinator for Louisiana State from 2002-03.
  • Patriots wide receiverDeion Branch's offensive coordinator at the University of Louisville from 1999-2001 was Dolphins offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.
  • Patriots strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik held the same position for the New Orleans Saints from 1997-99, while Miami offensive quality control coach Judd Garrett was an offensive assistant for the Saints during the same time period.
  • Dolphins defensive quality control coach Glenn Pires is a native of New Bedford, Mass., and was a four-year letterman at Springfield (Mass.) College from 1976-79. Pires began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Melrose (Mass.) High School in 1980.

BOUNCING BACK

41
The number of games the Patriots have played since suffering
back-to-back losses. Their streak is the longest such current
streak in the NFL.

7
The number of times the Patriots have followed a loss with a
victory during their streak.

29.6
The average number of points the Patriots have scored in their
seven games following a loss since 2003.

14-4
Tom Brady's career record as a starter following a Patriots loss.

3-0
The Patriots' record following losses this season.

MIAMI VICE

7
The number of regular-season victories the Patriots have
recorded in Miami since the Dolphins were founded in 1966.

1
The number of times the Patriots have won in Miami in the last
seven games dating back to 1997 (a 19-13 OT win in 2003).

1985
The season in which New England broke a string of 18
consecutive losses to the Dolphins at the Orange Bowl with an
AFC Championship Game victory that propelled the Patriots to
Super Bowl XX.

BEAST OF THE EAST

21-6
The Patriots record against the AFC East since 2001, the best
divisional record among AFC East teams over that span.

20
The number of victories by the Patriots in their last 24 games
against AFC East teams.

6
The number of games the Patriots played this season before
opening divisional play, setting a franchise record.

5
The number of their final eight games that the Patriots will play
against AFC East opponents.

THE KRAFT ERA

88-37
The Patriots' record at home since 1994, including preseason,
regular-season and postseason games.

26-5
The Patriots' record at Gillette Stadium, including regular-season
and postseason games (.839 win pct).

131-73
The Patriots' record in preseason, regular-season and
postseason games since 1996 (.642 win pct).

95-57
The Patriots' regular-season record since 1996 (.625 win pct).

THE BELICHICK ERA

66-31
Bill Belichick's overall record as head coach of the Patriots,
including the regular season and the playoffs.

33-1
Belichick's record with New England when his team scores 25
points or more.

50-4
Belichick's record with New England when his team scores 21
points or more.

FAMILIAR FACES

3
The number of Patriots players who played for Dolphins Head
Coach Nick Saban when he was the head coach at Louisiana
State University (Jarvis Green, Marquise Hill, Randall Gay).

3
The number of Patriots assistant coaches who were once a part
of Saban's coaching staff when he was the head man at
Michigan State (Dean Pees, Josh McDaniels, Brian Daboll).

12.8
The number of points per game given up by the 1994 Cleveland
Browns, a mark that led the NFL. That season, Bill Belichick was
Cleveland's head coach and Nick Saban was the defensive
coordinator.

CONSECUTIVE STREAKS

152
Consecutive games in which Adam Vinatieri has played, tying
him with Gino Cappelletti for the second longest streak in team
history, behind only Raymond Clayborn (161). Vinatieri has not
missed a game in his 10-year career.

70
Consecutive games in which Tom Brady has started at
quarterback, the longest consecutive starts streak on the team.

39
Consecutive games in which Dan Koppen has started at center,
the second longest starting streak on the team.

32
Consecutive games in which Willie McGinest has started at
outside linebacker, the longest consecutive starts streak on the
Patriots defense.

36
Consecutive games played in which Deion Branch has recorded
at least one reception.

25
Consecutive victories when producing a positive turnover
differential.

7
Consecutive overtime wins (8 games including playoffs).

251
Consecutive Patriots games televised locally, including
preseason, regular-season and postseason games.

121
Consecutive sellouts in Foxborough, including preseason,
regular-season and postseason games.

NOTE:* All of the above streaks include regular-season games only, unless noted.*

2005 MILESTONES

25
The number of points needed by kicker Adam Vinatieri to
become the Patriots' all-time leading scorer. His current career
total is 1,106 points. Gino Cappelletti (1960-70) holds the
franchise record with 1,130 points.

5.5
The number of sacks needed by Willie McGinest (74.5 sacks) to
pass Julius Adams (79.5 sacks) for second place on the team's
all-time sacks list.

45
The number of receptions Kevin Faulk needs to pass Tony Collins
(261) for the most receptions by a running back in Patriots
history.

65
The number of receiving yards needed by Faulk to reach 2,000
for his career. He could become just the third running back in
Patriots history to achieve the milestone (Larry

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