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Pre-Game Report

October 7, 2001

Pro Player Stadium (75,000) - Grass

1:00 p.m. EDT

This week's game will be broadcast regionally on CBS (locally on WBZ Channel 4 in Boston). Gus Johnson will provide the play-by-play detail and will be joined by broadcast partner Brent Jones.

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 former Patriots center Peter Brock.

The New England Patriots (1-2) travel to south Florida this week to play the co-division leading Miami Dolphins (2-1). It will be the Patriots third consecutive divisional opponent and Tom Brady's second career start. Brady will be just the second Patriots quarterback to start against the Dolphins since 1993. The last time the Patriots and the Dolphins battled without Drew Bledsoe at quarterback was when Jeff Carlson started in the 1992 season finale. The last time the Dolphins and Patriots played without either Dan Marino or Drew Bledsoe at quarterback was when Steve Grogan faced David Woodley on Sept. 11, 1983.

Brady made his NFL starting debut vs. the Colts last week. It was the first victory by a Patriots quarterback other than Bledsoe since Scott Zolak claimed a 24-21 victory over the 49ers (12/20/98). Zolak was also the last Patriots quarterback to win in his NFL starting debut when he led the team to a 37-34 overtime victory over the Colts in Indianapolis in 1992.

Last week, the Patriots claimed their first victory of the season, scoring a commanding 44-13 victory over the previously undefeated Indianapolis Colts. The Colts, who entered the game averaging 43.5 points per game, were outscored by the Patriots defense, which returned two interceptions for touchdowns for the first time since returning a pair for touchdowns against the Dolphins in 1999.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins, who boast one of the NFL's best defenses, surrendered 42 points in a 42-10 loss to the St. Louis Rams.

The Patriots rushed for 177 yards vs. the Colts, which was more than they had in their first two games combined. It also more than doubled the Colts total (82 yards) for the game. The last time the Patriots doubled an opponent's rushing total in a game was on Nov. 1, 1998 against Indianapolis.

The Patriots defense dominated the Colts, recording three interceptions and forcing one fumble that led to 17 points. Since 1996, the Patriots are now 28-10 when they have a positive turnover ratio.

The last time the Patriots opened a season 1-2 was in 1996 when they opened the season 0-2 before recording a 31-0 shutout victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. That game provided the Patriots with a boost of confidence that carried them on a three game win streak and propelled them toward a division and conference championship.

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