|DATE:||Monday, September 11, 2000|
|SITE:||Meadowlands (79,466) - Grass|
|TIME:||9:00 p.m., EDT|
|TELEVISION:||This week's game will be broadcast nationally on ABC (locally on WCVB Channel 5 in Boston). Al Michaels will provide the play-by-play detail and will be joined by broadcast partners Dan Fouts and Dennis Miller. They will be joined by Eric Dickerson and Melissa Stark from the sidelines.|
|RADIO:||WBCN's Rock Radio Network 104.1 FM. Gil Santos, who enters his 24th season as voice of the Patriots, will call the action along with Gino Cappelletti. The tandem is in their 17th season together.
This week's game will also be broadcast nationally by Howard David, Matt Millen and Boomer Esiason on CBS Radio.
The New England Patriots (0-1) will travel to New York this week to battle their AFC East rivals, the New York Jets (1-0). It is the latest in a series of "border wars" and will be broadcast nationally on ABC's Monday Night Football. It is the third of five nationally televised games that will feature the Patriots this year.
Last week, Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe led the team to the Tampa Bay 22-yard line in the final seconds of their game against the Buccaneers, but the drive stalled there, ending a scoring threat that would have been the 18th come-from-behind victory of his career. But, Bledsoe's final pass into the end zone fell incomplete as time expired. The 21-16 loss was the Patriots first in a home opener since 1994 and just their second loss during the month of September since 1997.
The last time the Patriots dropped their season opener was on the road in 1998, a 27-21 loss to the defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos. They responded by winning their next four games en route to a 9-7 record and a wild-card playoff berth.
Over the past two years, the AFC East has been considered the best in the NFL from top to bottom. In 1998, four teams from the division qualified for the playoffs and last season no team in the division finished below .500. This year, the rest of the division celebrated season-opening victories, leaving the Patriots a game behind the pack. This week, the Patriots must win to keep pace in the division race and avoid an 0-2 start. They have not had to overcome an 0-2 start since 1996. That year, they won 11 of their final 14 games to finish 11-5 and win the AFC East division title.
This week's game will be the first of three road games during the next four weeks and their first of two divisional road games in the next three weeks. After traveling to New York this week, the Patriots will return home to host the Vikings before playing back-to-back road games at Miami and at Denver.
Last year, the Patriots opened the season in New York and claimed a 30-28 victory over the Jets. The Jets evened the season series in the rematch, claiming a 24-17 victory before a nationally televised audience on ABC's Monday Night Football.
Historically, the Patriots have not fared well on Monday Night Football, having won just seven of 24 games in the franchise's history. Their last MNF win was a 26-23 victory over Miami in 1998. Since 1995, the Patriots have appeared in eight Monday night matchups, but have won just three of those games. Their last two MNF losses were to the Jets, a 24-14 loss in 1998 and a 24-17 loss in 1999.