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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu Sep 16 | 04:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Pre-Game Report

DATE:
November 18, 2001

SITE:
Foxboro Stadium (60,292) - Grass

TIME:
8:30 p.m. EST

TELEVISON:
This week's game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN (locally on WCVB Channel 5 in Boston). Mike Patrick will provide the play-by-play detail and will be joined by broadcast partners Paul Maguire and Joe Theismann. Suzy Kolber will report from the sidelines.

RADIO:
WBCN's Rock Radio Network 104.1 FM. Gil Santos, now in his 25th season as voice of the Patriots, will call the action along with Gino Cappelletti. The tandem is enjoying their 18th season together.
This week's game will also be broadcast nationally by CBS Radio. Joel Meyers will handle the play-by-play and Bob Trumpy will provide the color commentary.

The New England Patriots (5-4) will make their only prime time appearance of the season when they host the St. Louis Rams (7-1) this Sunday night. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN beginning at 8:30 p.m. The Patriots are 6-4 in their 10 previous appearances on ESPN. Their first appearance on ESPN was also the network's regular season NFL debut on Nov. 8, 1987. The Patriots lost that game at the Giants, 17-10. The Patriots have enjoyed recent success on ESPN, winning each of their last four games aired by the network and five of their six appearances since Robert Kraft took ownership in 1994. Overall, the Patriots are 9-8 when they are featured in Sunday night games.

Last week, the New England Patriots improved to 5-4 after a 21-11 victory over the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots have now won two straight and four of their last five. With the victory, Tom Brady improved to 5-2 as a starter and is 3-0 at Foxboro Stadium.

For the second consecutive week, the Patriots won despite surrendering more turnovers than they forced. The last time the Patriots overcame negative turnover ratios to win in consecutive weeks was in 1998 when the Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins (26-23) and the Buffalo Bills (25-21) on last second touchdowns. Like the current streak, both of those games were also played at Foxboro Stadium.

This week, the Patriots host the St. Louis Rams, who not only possess the NFL's best record at 7-1, but also own the league's most potent offensive arsenal. The Rams are first in total offense (417.3 yards per game), passing offense (283.0 ypg) and average per rush attempt (5.3 yards per carry). Through their first eight games, the Rams are also first in the league in scoring, averaging 31.9 points per game. The last time the Patriots faced an offense that averaged over 30 points a game was when they hosted the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3 on Sept. 30. The Colts entered that game with the league's top-rated offense, which was averaging 44.5 points in their first two games, but it was the Patriots who scored 44 while limiting the Colts to just 13.

The Rams exploded for 48 points in a victory over the Carolina Panthers last week, rebounding from their only loss of the season, a 34-31 loss at home vs. New Orleans. They are undefeated on the road (4-0), but will likely weather the coldest temperatures of their season in New England this weekend.

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