|Sunday, November 5, 2000
|Foxboro Stadium (60,292) - Grass
|1:00 p.m. EDT
The New England Patriots will have two weeks to regroup and prepare for the second half of the season, after a disappointing 2-6 first half. After an 0-4 September, in games lost by an average of 5.3 points per game, the Patriots rebounded in October to claim an impressive 28-19 victory at Denver. It was their first victory in Denver in 32 years. The following week, the Patriots returned home and claimed their first divisional victory in over a year with a 24-16 triumph over the defending division champion Indianapolis Colts.
The Patriots stumbled in Week 7, surrendering a season-high six turnovers and seven sacks in a 34-17 loss to the Jets. It was their most lopsided loss of the season and admittedly their worst performance of the year. Last week, the Patriots responded with one of their most impressive offensive performances of the season against the Colts. The Patriots scored on their first five possessions, including all three first half possessions. After an 18-play drive and a pair of 14-play drives, the Patriots held a 13-7 advantage at the half with a 23:19 to 6:41 advantage in time of possession. They did not surrender a sack in the game and didn't turn the ball over until Troy Brown's desperation lateral was recovered by the Colts on the final play of the game.
At the break, the Patriots find themselves in last place in the division with a 2-6 record. Of their six losses, five games have been decided by eight points or less.
After this week's midseason bye, the Patriots will return home on Nov. 5 to host the Buffalo Bills. It will be the team's fourth consecutive AFC East opponent. The Patriots are 4-7 after their bye week and are 2-2 since 1996.
While facing arguably the most difficult first half schedule in the league, the Patriots second half schedule appears less daunting, but has the potential to be among the most chilling in recent history. After the bye week, the Patriots will open the month of November hosting Buffalo (3-4), an opponent who has defeated the Patriots three of their last four meetings. After games at Cleveland (2-6) and home vs. Cincinnati (1-6), the Patriots will play Thanksgiving Day at Detroit (5-2).
December has the potential to be among the coldest in franchise history, with four consecutive games in the league's coldest cities, Boston, Chicago and Buffalo. The Patriots will open December with a 9:00 p.m. kickoff when they host the Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) on Monday Night Football on Dec. 4. Their two road games will be played at Chicago (1-7) and at Buffalo (3-4) before returning home to host the Dolphins (5-1) on Christmas Eve.