In the Red Zone: New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers Preview – Week 11

In the Red Zone

This Week

New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers

The New England Patriots visit the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Monday at 8:30 p.m.

The Patriots - The Panthers
Overall Record 7-2 Overall Record 6-3
Road Record 2-2 Home Record 3-1
NFC South 3-0 AFC East 0-1
NFC 3-0 AFC 0-1

John Parry is the referee for the game

The Line/Prediction

As of Thursday the line on the game from Sports Betting via Yahoo Sports has the game at Patriots PLUS 2.5.  The over/under is 46. 

My Prediction is Panthers 30, Patriots, 28.  Take the Patriots and the over.  I am 3-6 against the spread and 4 of 9 on calling the over/under in 2013.


Tickets to the game, if available, can be purchased through Ticketmaster.  You can check the availability here.

Getting to the Game

If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game in Charlotte NC make sure you check out the links.

Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Charlotte NC.

Click for all the game day information including stadium directions, parking information and map and a Bank of America Stadium seating chart.


Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from  There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack.  I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good. 

And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages.  With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks.  You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or theme.

Whether it’s at the game, a bar or a friend’s house moderation is always the key to a great time.  Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver.  Remember drive sober or get pulled over.



ESPN is televising the game nationally and Mike Tirico will do play by play while Jon Gruden will provide the game analysis and Lisa Salters will work the sidelines.

In the Boston MA market you can also watch the game on WCVB Channel 5.

In the Charlotte NC market you can also watch the game on WSOC Channel 9.

There is no DirecTV designation as the game is broadcast nationally.

Here are all the rules on NFL TV broadcasts including explaining the blackout rules; flex scheduling and commercial breaks.


The Patriots Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBZ-FM, 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston. Bob Socci handles the play-by-play and former Patriots QB Scott Zolak will do game analysis. It all starts with Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh with the pregame show at 5:30 p.m. on the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.

The Patriots Radio Network call is available on Sirius Channel 92, XM Channel 225 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 818.

The Panthers Radio Network has Mick Mixon calling play by play and former NFL player and Hartford CT Native Eugene Robinson doing the color via their flagship station WBT-AM 1100 and WBT-FM 99.3. 

Their call is available on Sirius Channel 86, XM Channel 86 and on SiriusXM Internet Channel 804.

The game will be carried nationally by Westwood One with Kevin Harlan doing play by play, Boomer Esiason on color and Mark Malone on the sidelines.

Their call is available on Sirius Channel 88, XM Channel 88 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 88.

Patriots All Access

Patriots All-Access features behind the scenes looks, interviews and breakdowns with head coach Bill Belichick and in depth features on the team.  It’s hosted by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (Boston) and airs weekly in most New England television markets.

  • Boston MA on TV 38 Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Providence RI on WNAC Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Manchester NH on WMUR Saturday at midnight
  • Portland ME on WMTW Saturday at 5 a.m.
  • Hartford CT on WCTX Saturday at 5 p.m.
  • Springfield MA on WFXQ Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • Bangor ME on WVII Sunday at 11 a.m.

You can also watch it anytime on the teams website in the media section.

Last Week

The Patriots had their bye week but when they last played they stomped the Stealers at home, 55-31. The Panthers beat the 49ers on the road, 10-9.


  • This is the 6th meeting between the two teams.
  • New England holds a 3-2 series advantage including1-0 in the post season.
  • The Patriots post season win was in Super Bowl XXXVIII, 32-29.
  • Patriots won the last meeting in 2009, 20-10 in Foxboro.

Patriots Team Notes

New England PatriotsHere is the Patriots roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2013 Patriots Schedule/Results

The Patriots overall franchise record is 433-371-9.  They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in seven appearances.  Overall they are 24-17 in the post season.

They last appeared in the playoffs in 2012 when they beat Houston in the AFC Divisional Round 41-28 and lost to Baltimore 28-13 in the AFC Championship Game.

The Patriots were 12-4 (1-1 in playoffs) in 2012 and are the defending four-time AFC East Champions.  They have won the division 10 times and the conference 5 times since 2000.

Patriots are 22-22 on MNF in team history.  Under Bill Belichick they 1re 15-5 on MNF including 8-4 on the road.

Since 2003 the Patriots have the NFL’s best record at 133-36.  The Indianapolis Colts are second 15 games behind.

Since November 2001 the Patriots are a NFL best 36-13 in November games.

Since 2010 the Patriots are 24-1 in the second half of the season.

Since 2000 under Belichick the team is 84-21 in the second half.

The Patriots are the only NFL team to be .500 or better every season since 2001.

New England is 1-1 at Bank of America Stadium vs. Carolina.

The Patriots have forced a turnover in 36 consecutive games.

The 55 points scored vs. Pittsburgh in Week 9 were the 5th highest total in team history.

The 610 total yards in week 9 vs. Pittsburgh was the third most in team history.

Since 1994 the Patriots are PLUS 156 in turnover differential best in the NFL by a wide margin.  Kansas City is 2nd at PLUS 93 and Green Bay is 3rd at PLUS 76.

New England is PLUS 9 in turnover differential 3rd in the NFL.  They have 12 INT’s and have recovered 7 fumbles while they have thrown 6 INT’s and lost 4 fumbles.

The Patriots are 8th in points scored averaging 26.0 points per game and are tied for 7th in fewest points allowed with 19.4 points per game.

Patriots led the NFL in 2012 in:

  • Points, 557
  • First downs, 444
  • Touchdowns, 67
  • Total yards, 6,846
  • Turnover differential, +25
  • Total offense, 427.9 yards per game
  • Points per game, 34.8

New England set the following team records in 2012:

  • First downs, 444 (NFL record).
  • Fewest fumbles, 7

This is the 20th season of Patriots ownership by the Kraft family.  Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 they:

  • Have the most Super Bowl wins, 3.
  • Have the most regular season wins, 212.
  • Have the most wins including playoffs, 232.
  • Have the most conference titles, 6.
  • Have the most division titles, 12.
  • Have the most playoff wins, 20
  • Have played the most playoff games, 31.
  • Are tied for the most playoff seasons, 14.
  • The fewest head coaches within the division, 3.
  • Have drafted the most Pro Bowl players, 20.

From 1960 to 1993 the New England/Boston Patriots won a total of 225 games.  In the 20 years the Kraft family has owned the team they have now won 232 games including the three biggest in franchise history.

Patriots Staff Notes

This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Panthers.

Bill Belichick is 3-2 vs. the Panthers in his career including a win over Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 194-103 in his 19th NFL season as a head coach.  He is 158-59 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland.  He is 18-8 in the playoffs, 17-7 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season.  When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 212-111.

Belichick’s 212 wins are good for 5th all-time.

He has won 5 conference titles; he needs one more to tied Don Shula’s record of 6.

He is the first head coach to have had 4 teams that scored at least 500 points in a season.

Belichick is one of five head coaches in NFL history whose father (Steve Belichick) played in the league.  The others are former Kansas City head coach Todd Haley (Dick Haley), former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan (Dick Nolan), former Cincinnati head coach David Shula (Don Shula) and former NY Jets head coach Joe Walton (Frank Walton).

Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three Super Bowls, joining Chuck Noll (4), Joe Gibbs (3) and Bill Walsh (3).  Those men are all in the Hall of Fame.

He is the only coach in NFL history to win three championship titles in four seasons.

No coach either as the head coach or an assistant has appeared in more Super Bowls than Belichick who has been to 8 (five as a head coach).

He is the only coach in NFL history to have led his team to 10+ wins in 10 consecutive seasons.

He has been NFL Coach of the Year three times he and Chuck Knox are the only three time winners, while Don Shula won four times.

Only one of three coaches in NFL history with 100 more wins than loses joining Don Shula and George Halas.

Patriots Possible Starters


  • LT: Solder
  • LG: Mankins
  • C: Wendell
  • RG: Connolly
  • RT: Svitek
  • TE: Gronkowski
  • WR: Edelman
  • WR: Dobson
  • WR: Amendola
  • QB: Brady
  • RB: Ridley


  • DE: Ninkovich
  • DT: Vellano
  • DT: Chr. Jones
  • DE: Cha. Jones
  • LB: Collins
  • LB: Spikes
  • LB: Hightower
  • LCB: Talib
  • RCB: Dennard
  • S: Arrington
  • S: McCourty

Patriots Players Notes

Tom Brady Notes:

  • This is his 14th NFL season he is 3-1 vs. the Panthers in his career including 1-0 in the playoffs. He is 63-28 on the road in the regular season.
  • Overall he is 143-41 as a starting QB and is 17-7 in the playoffs for an overall record of 160-48.  He is an 8 time Pro Bowl QB; 3 time All-Pro selection; two time NFL MVP and has won 3 Super Bowls while twice being named the games MVP.  He is also listed as the 21st Greatest Player in the History of the NFL according to the NFL Network.
  • He is 13-4 in MNF games.
  • When the Patriots put up 55 points on Pittsburgh in Week 9 it marked the 6th 50-point game of Brady’s career tying the NFL record of Len Dawson.
  • He is the only QB in any era to have 100 more wins than losses at anytime in their career.
  • Brady has led New England to 10 Division titles, most by any QB in NFL history.
  • With his Week 6 comeback win over New Orleans he now has 38 wins in his career (31 in the regular season and 7 in the playoffs) in which the team was trailing or tied in the fourth quarter.  It was the second time this season he also turned the trick at Buffalo in Week 1.  In 28 of the 38 comeback wins the team was losing in the fourth quarter.
  • 347 TD passes in his career makes him 5th in NFL history two behind New Orleans QB Drew Brees
  • Is just the 5th NFL QB with 340 or more TD passes in his career.
  • Has 7 games with two 50+ yard TD passes in his career.
  • 143 career wins are 5th all-time.  Dan Marino is 4th with 147.
  • Is only 5th NFL QB to have achieved 140 regular season wins joining Peyton Manning, John Elway, Dan Marino and Brett Favre.
  • He had 30+ TD passes for the 3rd consecutive season and is just the fifth player to have four or more 30+ TD pass seasons.
  • He has thrown for 2 or more TD’s in 111 games; the team’s record is 95-16.
  • Has thrown TD passes to 50 different players in his career.
  • Tied Drew Brees for most 4 TD 0 INT games in his career with 15 after doing it against Pittsburgh Week 9.

Rob Gronkowski notes:

  • In his first 3 games he has 19 catches for 284 yards.
  • Caught his 200th career pass Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Has franchise record with his 11th 100-yard game.
  • Has 39 touchdown receptions from Tom Brady and is tied with Randy Moss at 39 for the most touchdown receptions from Brady.
  • Has 39 touchdown receptions in 45 career games. He has an opportunity to become the fastest to 40 touchdown receptions.  Antonio Gates from San Diego has the current record, reaching 40 touchdown receptions in 71 games.

Danny Amendola notes:

  • Had his 2nd 100-yard game as a Patriot vs. Pittsburgh in week 9 it was the third of his career.  Also went over 100-yard in Week 1 win at Buffalo.
  • Caught his first TD pass from Tom Brady in week 9 win over Pittsburgh.
  • Has missed 4 games in 2014 due to injuries (groin, 3 and concussion, 1).

Julian Edelman notes:

  • Had a 43-yard punt return vs. Pittsburgh Week 9 it was the 10th punt return of 30 yards or more in his career.  That ranks third in team history.
  • With 1 more punt return for a TD he will set a new team record.  He is tied at 3 with Irving Fryar and Troy Brown.
  • He had his second career 100-yard game at Atlanta when he had a career high 118-yards on 7 catches.
  • Leads the team with 49 catches for 473 yards.  He had just 21 catches in 2012.

Stevan Ridley notes:

  • Had his 4th 2-TD game of his career against Pittsburgh in Week 9.
  • Leads the team with 514 rushing yards in 8 games.
  • Has team lead in TD’s with 6.
  • Has a rushing TD in 4 consecutive games.

Stephen Gostkowski notes:

  • He is the most accurate kicker by percentage in team history at 85.3% (192 0f 225).
  • Has scored at least 1 point in 100 consecutive games.  Adam Vinatieri and John Smith hold the team record of 101 consecutive games with a point.
  • He has made 17 consecutive field goals; the team record is 23 set by Adam Viniateri.
  • He is 3rd in team history in points with 955 trailing only Gino Cappelletti (1,130) and Adam Vinatieri (1,158).
  • Set team record with his 9th career field goal of 50+ yards against the Saints in Week 6.
  • His field goal against Buffalo was only the second game winner in his career.
  • The 54-yard field goal against New Orleans set a new career long.

Rob Ninkovich notes:

  • Forced a fumble in Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh. It was his second this season and is tied for team lead with DB Kyle Arrington and S Devin McCourty.
  • Forced 5 fumbles in 2012 to tie a team record with LB Brandon Spikes.
  • Has 11 fumble recoveries since 2010 the most in the NFL in that span.
  • Leads the team with 2 fumble recoveries.

Joe Vellano notes:

  • Rookie made his first NFL start Week 5 at Cincinnati.
  • Has 21 tackles (11 solo) so far this season.
  • Registered his first NFL sack Week 4 at Atlanta.
  • Recovered his first fumble in the NFL Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh.
  • One of four father-son combo’s to be named All-American’s from the same Division 1 school.  The Chicago Bears drafted his father Paul in 1974.

Chris Jones notes:

  • Rookie had his first NFL sack Week 5 at Cincinnati.
  • Made first NFL start Week 6 vs. New Orleans and had 3 tackles.
  • Leads all NFL rookies with 5 sacks.

Brandon Spikes notes:

  • Leads the team in tackles made with 84 (48 solo).
  • Had team high 22 tackles against Cincinnati.  It was a career high for Spikes.
  • He had career high 128 tackles in 2012 including 6 games with 10 or more tackles.
  • He is a native of Shelby NC.

Chandler Jones notes:

  • His brother Arthur plays for the Ravens and his brother Jon is a UFC Champion.
  • Leads the team in sacks with 8.5 and QB hits with 16.
  • Blocked his first NFL field goal attempt Week 8 vs. Miami.
  • He forced 3 fumbles on sacks in 2012.

Aqib Talib notes:

  • Leads the team with 4 INT’s and 9 passes defensed.
  • Practiced this week and I expect him to play vs. Panthers.  He missed last 3 games due to a hip injury suffered against the Saints in Week 6.

Duron Harmon notes:

  • Had his first NFL INT vs. Miami in Week 8.
  • Had his 2nd career INT Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh and is second on the team in INT’s.

Logan Ryan notes:

  • Had his first NFL INT at New York in Week 7 and returned it 79-yards for a touchdown.
  • Forced a fumble on his first NFL sack Week 8 vs. Miami.  He later added a 2nd second in the game.

There are only two players on the team who played on at least one of the Super Bowl championship teams, Brady (3) and Wilfork (on IR) (1).

Roster moves this week:

Patriots team captains for 2103:

Players with New England roots:

Players from New England based colleges and universities:

The Patriots have 6 retired numbers:

  • 20 – Gino Cappelletti
  • 40 – Mike Haynes
  • 73 – John Hannah
  • 78 – Bruce Armstrong
  • 79 – Jim Lee Hunt
  • 89 – Bob Dee

Panthers Team Notes

Carolina PanthersHere is the Panthers roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2013 Panthers Schedule/Results

The Panthers all-time record is 138-159 and they are 6-4 in the playoffs with their last playoff appearance coming in 2008.  That season the Panthers lost at home to the Arizona Cardinals in the AFC Division game.  

The Panthers last appeared in a Super Bowl following the 2003 season and lost the New England Patriots, 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII. It has been their only Super Bowl appearance.

This is the first time since 2008 that Carolina has hosted a MNF game.

The Panthers are 6-4 on MNF.

Carolina will wear their black jersey for the second time in 2013. 

Panthers have had back-to-back Rookie of the Year’s in Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly.

Won the last home meeting against New England in 2005, 27-17.

They had 6 sacks at San Francisco Week 10 in their 10-9 win.

Lead the NFL in time of possession as they average 33:48 per game.

Carolina is PLUS 8 in turnover differential tied for 4th in the NFL.  They have 13 INT and have recovered 8 fumbles while they have thrown 8 INT’s and lost 5 fumbles.

The Panthers are 15th in points scored averaging 23.7 points per game and are 2nd in fewest points allowed with 12.8 points per game.

Panthers Staff Notes

Read what Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera had to say to the New England media about the match up.

Rivera is 19-22 in his 3rd season as a head coach. 

He has never faced New England in his career.

Has been in NFL for 25 years as a player and coach.  He was the defensive coordinator of both the San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears before becoming the Panthers head coach.

He is only the 3rd Latino head coach in NFL History.

Was a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl team that beat New England 46-10 in Super Bowl XX.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is a former NFL player for the Baltimore Colts.  As a rookie he caught the clinching TD pass from Johnny Unitas in the 1959 NFL Championship Game which some consider among the best games in NFL History.

General Manager Dave Gettleman was born in Boston and graduated from Springfield College and has a masters degree from Southern Connecticut State University.

Offensive coordinator Mike Shula is the son of Don Shula and is the former head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide.  In four seasons in Tuscaloosa he was 26-23 and went to two bowl games. 

Due to NCAA violations under his watch Alabama was forced to vacate 16 of the 26 wins his teams had in his tenure.

He has also been the offensive coordinator under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay.

Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach Jason Benguche is a graduate of Springfield College (2002-05) where he played offensive line and was an All-New England selection in his senior season.  He also served as a student assistant in 2006 at UMass.

Panthers Wide Receivers coach is Ricky Proehl who will forever be known for remarking on the Super Bowl XXXVI highlight video that a dynasty was going to be born that day.  He was right he just thought it was going to the Rams who built the dynasty, not the Patriots.

Proehl has the distinction of having lost to the Patriots in two Super Bowls.  He was with the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI and the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.  He also was on the winning side in Super Bowl XXXIV (Rams over Titans) and XLI (Colts over Bears).

Panthers Possible Starters


  • LT: Gross
  • LG: Wharton
  • C: Kalil
  • RG: Chandler
  • RT: Bell
  • TE: Olsen
  • WR: Smith
  • WR: LaFell
  • WR: Hixon
  • QB: Newton
  • RB: D. Williams


  • DE: Johnson
  • DT: Edwards
  • DT: Lotulelei
  • DE: Hardy
  • LB: Davis
  • LB: Kuechly
  • LB: Blackburn
  • LCB: Munnerlyn
  • RCB: White
  • S: Mikell
  • S: Mitchell

Panthers Players Notes

Cam Newton notes:

  • Starting QB for the Panthers is 19-22 in his 3rd NFL season.
  • He has never faced New England.
  • He was the Panthers 1st Round Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Auburn he was taken #1 overall.
  • He has made 1 Pro-Bowl (2011) and was named AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2011).
  • He has started every game he has dressed for in the NFL.
  • Won the 2010 Heisman Trophy while leading Auburn to a National Championship as a redshirt junior.
  • In his career has thrown 53 TD passes and run for 26 TD’s.  He is the only NFL player to have 50 passing TD’s and 25 rushing TD’s in any three year span.
  • Has 79 total TD’s in 41 games 5th most in NFL History.
  • His 26 rushing TD’s in his first 3 seasons eclipsed the old mark of 16 held by Patriots Steve Grogan.

Jon Beason notes:

  • His 691 tackles are second in team history.
  • Had a streak of 65 consecutive starts, 4th longest in team history, snapped following Week 1 of 2011.
  • Has made three Pro Bowls and earned one All-Pro selection.

Ted Ginn Jr. notes:

  • Since entering the league in 2007 he is 4th in combined return average.
  • Was a 1st Round pick in 2007 of the Miami Dolphins out of Ohio State.
  • Was 4th in the NFL in punt return average in 2012 while with San Francisco.
  • Was 3rd in the NFL in kick return average in 2012.
  • Had a key 32-yard punt return in Super Bowl XLVII vs. Baltimore.
  • In 2008 lead the Dolphins in receptions (56) and receiving yards (790).
  • As a Dolphin he twice had 8 kick off returns in games against New England.

Steve Smith notes:

  • Panthers franchise leader in TD’s with 71, receiving TD’s with 63, catches with 772 and receiving yards with 11,452.
  • Has a catch in 91 consecutive games dating back to 2006.
  • Only 1 of 28 players in NFL history with over 11,000 receiving yards.
  • 5-time Pro Bowl selection.
  • Only one of three players in NFL History to win the NFL Triple Crown in 2005 in which he was first in receiving yards (1,563), receptions (103) and TD catches (12).  Other two are Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe.
  • In Super Bowl XXXVIII vs. New England he had 4 catches for 80 yards and a TD.
  • Made his first NFL start vs. the Patriots on January 6, 2002 and had 3 catches for 36 yards.
  • Leads team with 42 catches and 450 receiving yards.

D’Angelo Williams notes:

  • One of only three players to have 6,000 rushing yards in college and the NFL.  Ricky Williams and Tony Dorsett are the others
  • Is the Panthers career leader in rushing yards with 6,349 and rushing TD’s with 45.
  • Franchise leader with 18 games of 100 yards or more rushing.
  • Leads team with 135 carries and 565 yards rushing in 2013.

Luke Kuechly notes:

  • Leads team with 90 tackles (55 solo).
  • Co-leader in INT’s with 3.
  • 2012 Defensive Rookie of the Year.
  • Since 2012 leads the NFL in tackles with 239 (148 solo).
  • Is considered one of the next great middle linebackers.
  • Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 10.

Players with New England ties:

Players who attended New England based colleges or universities:

  • LB Luke Kuechly – Boston College

Carolina’s team captains for 2013 are:

Carolina has one retired number:

51 – Sam Mills

Next Week

Denver BroncosUp next: Denver Broncos

Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro MA

Date/Time: Sunday November 24 at 8:20 p.m.

TV Network: NBC

Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII