In the Red Zone: New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots Preview – Week 6

In The Red Zone

This Week

New Orleans Saints @ New England Patriots

The New England Patriots host the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA on Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

The Saints - The Patriots
Overall Record 5-0 Overall Record 4-1
Road Record 2-0 Home Record 2-0
AFC East 1-0 NFC South 2-0
AFC 1-0 NFC 2-0

Tony Corrente 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 Patriots at MINUS 1.  The over/under is 50.5. 

My Prediction is Saints 28, Patriots, 21.  Take the points (Saints) and take the under.  I am 1-4 against the spread and 1 of 5 on calling the over/under in 2013.

Tickets

The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out. It is the 210th consecutive sell out dating back to the 1994 season opener.  The record includes preseason, regular season and playoff games.

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

After market tickets are available through the Official Patriots Ticket Exchange where season ticket holders can sell their unused seats to fans on the season ticket waiting list.

Getting to the Game

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

Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Foxboro MA.

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

Tailgating

Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgating.com.  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.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Television

FOX in televising the game regionally and Thom Brennaman will do play by play while Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman will provide the game analysis and Pam Oliver works the sidelines.  You can look here for your local affiliate.

See if you’re getting the game courtesy of J.P. Kirby at the506.com.

The DirecTV designation is Channel 714.

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

Radio

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 1 p.m. along 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 86, XM Channel 86 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 818.

The Saints Radio Network has Jim Henderson calling play by play with Hokie Gajan doing the color and Kristian Garic on the sidelines via their flagship stations WWL-AM 870 and WWL-FM 105.3. 

Their call is available on Sirius Channel 93 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 819.

Sports USA Radio will carry the game nationally to their affiliates with Larry Kahn and Ross Tucker on the call.

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 lost on the road to the Bengals, 13-6.  The Saints beat the Bears on the road, 26-18.

History

  • This is the 13th meeting between the Patriots and the Saints all since 1972.
  • New England leads the series 8-4
  • Patriots have won 3 of the last 4 meetings.
  • New England is 4-3 as the home team in the series.
  • This is the Saints 2nd visit to Gillette Stadium.
  • The Saints won the last meeting between the teams in 2009 at The Louisiana Superdome, 38-17.

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 430-370-9.  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.

Since 2003 the Patriots have the NFL’s best record at 130-35.  The Indianapolis Colts are second 14 games behind.

Since October 2003 the Patriots are an NFL best 35-8 in October games including a home record of 20-1

Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 the Patriots are 76-15 at home in the regular season.  They are 19-4 in that span against NFC teams.

They have won 26 of their last 31 October games.

The Patriots have forced a turnover in 32 consecutive games.

Since 1994 the Patriots are PLUS 151 in turnover differential best in the NFL by a wide margin.  Kansas City is 2nd at PLUS 81 and Green Bay is 3rd at PLUS 77.

The 70 points the Patriots have allowed through 5 games are the 3rd fewest allowed in that span in franchise history (1974 – 61 pts; 2007 – 65 pts). 

The Patriots did not commit a penalty against Cincinnati.

Patriots are operating at 70.5% in the red zone offense (12 scores in 17 attempts); while their red zone defense is at 26.7% (4 stops in 15 attempts).

New England is PLUS 4 in turnover differential tied for 6th in the NFL.  They have 6 INT’s and have recovered 4 fumbles while they have thrown 3 INT’s and lost 3 fumbles.

The Patriots are 24th in points scored averaging 19.0 points per game and are 2nd in fewest points allowed with 14.0 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, 209.
  • Have the most wins including playoffs, 229.
  • 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 229 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 Bengals.

Bill Belichick is 3-1 vs. the Saints in his career.  He is 2-1 as the Patriots head coach and was 1-0 while with the Browns.

Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 191-102 in his 19th NFL season as a head coach.  He is 155-58 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 209-110.

Belichick’s 209 wins are good for a tie for 5th all-time with Chuck Noll.

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.

Patriots Possible Starters

Offense:

  • LT: Solder
  • LG: Mankins
  • C: Connolly
  • RG: Svitek
  • RT: Vollmer
  • TE: Hoomanawanui
  • WR: Edelman
  • WR: Thompkins
  • WR: Amendola
  • QB: Brady
  • RB: Blount

Defense:

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

Patriots Players Notes

Tom Brady Notes:

  • This is his 14th NFL season he is 2-1 vs. the Saints in his career.  He is 77-13 at home in the regular season. He is 35-9 vs. the NFC.
  • Overall he is 140-40 as a starting QB and is 17-7 in the playoffs for an overall record of 157-47.  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 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 1 comeback win over Buffalo he now has 27 4th quarter comebacks in his career, 6th most all-time.
  • 341 TD passes in his career make him now 5th all-time.  Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 4th with 342.
  • 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.
  • 140 career wins are 5th all-time.  Dan Marino is 4th with 147.
  • 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 110 games; the team’s record is 94-16.

Rob Gronkowski notes:

  • Ask his dad if he can play Sunday.

Danny Amendola notes:

  • Had his first 100-yard game as a Patriot at Buffalo.  It was the third of his career.
  • Returned to action at Cincinnati in Week 5 after missing previous 3 games with a groin injury.
  • He had 4 catches on 9 attempts for 55 yards in his return.

Julian Edelman notes:

  • Based on a minimum of 75 returns he has the highest punt return average in NFL history averaging 13.0 yards per return.
  • 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 36 catches for 354 yards.  He had just 21 catches in 2012.

Kenbrell Thompkins notes:

  • Had his first two career NFL TD catches against Tampa Bay and another at Atlanta.
  • Had 127-yards receiving at Atlanta and is just the second Patriots rookie to have a 100-yard game.
  • The 127-yard receiving is the highest single game total by a Patriots rookie WR.

Stevan Ridley notes:

  • Had two fumbles at Buffalo in Week 1 and one was returned for a TD.
  • 2nd on the team with 177 rushing yards in 4 games.
  • Missed Week 5 game at Cincinnati with an injury.

Brandon Bolden notes:

  • Had 51 yards rushing and 49 receiving for 100 yards from scrimmage.  It is the second highest total of his career having gotten 148 yards from scrimmage at Buffalo in 2012.
  • His 46-yard run in the 3rd quarter against the Buccaneers was a career long.
  • Set career highs in receptions (5) and receiving yards (49) against Tampa Bay.

LeGarrette Blount notes:

  • His 47-yard TD run at Atlanta was the longest by a Patriots running back since LaMont Jordan went 49-yards for a TD at Oakland in 2008. 
  • Leads team in rushing yards with 206 through 5 games.
  • Has led team in rushing the last 3 weeks.

Stephen Gostkowski notes:

  • He is the most accurate kicker by percentage in team history at 84.7% (183 0f 216).
  • Is tied with Vinatieri with 8 career field goals of 50+ yards.
  • His field goal against Buffalo was only the second game winner in his career.
  • The 53-yard field goal against Tampa Bay matched his career long.

Jerod Mayo notes:

  • He leads the team with 55 tackles (35 solo) through Week 5.
  • Since 2010 he has the most tackles in the NFL with 480.
  • Had a team high 15 tackles at Buffalo in Week 1, 12 were unassisted.

Rob Ninkovich notes:

  • Forced five fumbles last season along with LB Brandon Spikes to tie a team record.
  • Has 10 fumble recoveries since 2010 the most in the NFL in that span.
  • Drafted by New Orleans in the 5th round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

Devin McCourty notes:

  • He has 2 career 2 INT games.
  • Led team with 12 tackles (10 solo) at Atlanta.
  • His twin brother, Jason plays for Tennessee.

Joe Vellano notes:

  • Rookie made his first NFL start Week 5 at Cincinnati.
  • Was undrafted free agent out of Maryland.
  • Has 14 tackles (8 solo) so far this season.
  • He had 3 tackles against the Bengals last week.
  • Registered his first NFL sack Week 4 at Atlanta.

Chris Jones notes:

  • Rookie had his first NFL sack Week 5 at Cincinnati.
  • Could start against Saints due to Tommy Kelly knee injury.

Brandon Spikes notes:

  • Had a team high 22 tackles against Cincinnati.  It was a career high for Spikes.
  • He had a career high 128 tackles in 2012 including 6 games with 10 or more tackles.

Chandler Jones notes:

  • His brother Arthur plays for the Ravens and his brother Jon is a UFC Champion.
  • Had his first 2+ sack games at Seattle in 2012 and his second in Week 2 against the Jets.
  • Leads the team in sacks with 3.5 and QB hits with 9.
  • He forced 3 fumbles on sacks in 2012.

Aqib Talib notes:

  • Leads the team with 4 INT’s.

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:

  • Promoted LB Ja’Gared Davis from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
  • Promoted S Kanorris Davis from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
  • Signed DT Andre Neblett to the 53-man roster.
  • Re-signed DB Marquice Cole to the 53-man roster.
  • Released LB Ja’Gared Davis and S Kannoris Davis and then re-signed them to the practice squad.

Patriots team captains for 2103:

Players with New England roots:

Players from New England based colleges and universities:

The Patriots have 6 retired numbers:

Saints Team Notes

New Orleans SaintsHere is the Saints roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2013 Saints Schedule/Results

New Orleans all-time record is 311-395-5 they are 6-8 in the post season with their last post season appearance coming in 2011 when they beat Detroit in the NFC Wild Card game and lost to San Francisco in the NFC Divisional Round.

The Saints won the only Super Bowl (XLIV) they appeared in when they beat the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17. It was the only Super Bowl that was played in the rain.

New Orleans is 5-0 for the 2nd time in four seasons and third time in team history.

In Saints history they are 4-2 in games played on October 13th.

Since 2006 Saints have second best road record in NFL at 35-23.  Overall they are 74-43.  That is the fifth best record in the NFL in that span.

Since 2006 New Orleans has 9 win streaks of three games or more.  They currently are on a 5 game win streak.

Since 2006 the Saints average 28.1 points per game. That’s the second highest average in the NFL in that time span trailing only the Patriots (29.9).

If New Orleans wins Sunday they will be 3-0 on the road for the first time since 2009.  They started 7-0 on the road that season on their way to a 7-1 road record in their Super Bowl winning season.

In that same time span they lead the NFL in total offense generating an average of 402.6 yards per game.

The Saints franchise leader in rushing yards per carry is Archie Manning with 5.8 ypc.

New Orleans is PLUS 6 in turnover differential tied for 4th in the NFL.  They have 7 INT’s and have recovered 4 fumbles while they have thrown 4 INT’s and lost 1 fumble.

The Saints are 9th in points scored averaging 26.8 points per game and are 4th in fewest points allowed with also 14.6 points per game.

Saints Staff Notes

Read what New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton had to say to the New England media about the match up.

Payton is in his 7th season with the team, he is 67-34 in the regular season since taking over and is 5-3 in the playoffs for an overall record of 72-37.

He is part of the Bill Parcells coaching tree, which also includes Patriots coach Bill Belichick. 

The NFL suspended him for the entire 2012 season for his involvement in “Bounty-gate”.  New Orleans was 7-9 in his absence in 2012.

He is 1-0 vs. New England in his career.

Payton has the highest winning percentage among all 16 Saints head coaches (.661).

Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael is a native of Framingham MA and attended Medway High School before going on to graduate from Boston College.

Tight Ends Coach Terry Malone graduated from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester MA where he played four seasons at tight end. Malone coached the tight ends at his alma mater during the 1985 season and also served as the offensive line coach at Boston College in 1996.

Running Backs Coach Dan Roushar spent the 1993 football season as an assistant at the University of Rhode Island.

Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan won two Super Bowl rings with the Patriots during his four-year stint as linebackers coach from 2000 to 2003.

Wide Receivers Coach Henry Ellard played in five games for the Patriots during his final season as a player in the NFL in 1998.

Saints Possible Starters

Offense:

  • LT: Brown
  • LG: Grubbs
  • C: de la Puente
  • RG: Evans
  • RT: Harris
  • TE: Graham
  • TE: Toon
  • WR: Colston
  • WR: Stills
  • QB: Brees
  • RB: Thomas

Defense:

  • DE: Hicks
  • NT: J. Jenkins
  • DE: Jordan
  • LB: Gallette
  • LB: Lofton
  • LB: Hawthorne
  • LB: Haralson
  • LCB: Greer
  • RCB: Lewis
  • S: Vaccaro
  • S: M. Jenkins

Saints Players Notes

Drew Brees notes:

  • He is 104-70 in his career in the regular season (74-42 with New Orleans and 30-28 with San Diego) and 5-3 in the playoffs (5-2 with New Orleans and 0-1 with San Diego) for an overall record of 109-73 in 13 seasons.
  • Brees was a 2nd round draft pick (32nd overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft out of Purdue by the San Diego Chargers.
  • In his career Brees is 3-0 vs. New England. He is 1-0 with the Saints and 2-0 with the Chargers.  He is 35-22 in his career on the road and 18-11 vs. the AFC.
  • He is a two-time AP Offensive Player of the Year, AP Comeback Player of the Year, Bert Bell Award winner, Walter Payton Man of the Year winner and was the Super Bowl XLIV MVP.  He has also been selected to 7 Pro Bowls and named to All-Pro team once.
  • NFL record holder for most passing yards in a season, 5,476
  • NFL record holder for consecutive games with a TD pass, 54.
  • NFL record holder for most passes completed in a season, 468
  • NFL record holder for most passing yards per game in a season, 342.3
  • NFL record holder for most passes completed per game in a season, 29.3
  • NFL record holder for pass completion pct in a season, 71.2
  • NFL record holder for most total offense in a season, 5404
  • Last game against New England he was 18 of 23 for 371 yards and 5 TD’s.
  • Was NFC Player of the Week for Week 4 was 30 of 39 for 413 yards and 4 TD’s.

Jimmy Graham notes:

  • Was NFC Player of the Week for Week 3.  Had 9 catches for 134 yards and 2 TD’s.
  • NFC Offensive Player of the Month for September.
  • Only Saints TE to record over 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
  • In 2011 had club record 99 catches for 1,310 yards.
  • Has 2nd most TD catches by a TE (31) since 2010 behind Gronkowski (38).
  • Leads team with 37 catches for 593 yards and 6 TD’s.

Ben Watson notes:

  • Former 1st round pick of the Patriots in the 2004 NFL Draft.
  • Member of Patriots 2004 Super Bowl XXXIX Championship team.
  • Spent 6 seasons in Foxboro.

Pierre Thomas notes:

  • Fourth Saint with 3,000 rushing yards and 1,500 receiving yards in his career.
  • Undrafted free agent out of Illinois in 2007.

Darren Sproles notes:

  • 3rd season with Saints after 6 seasons with Chargers.
  • Since 2007 leads NFL in all-purpose yards with 13,168.
  • Has 5 career TD returns 2 on kickoffs and 3 on punts.
  • Since 2011 leads all NFL running back in receptions with 187.

Marques Colston notes:

  • Since 2006 has 555 catches for 7,707 yards and 59 TD’s.
  • 7th round pick in 2006 NFL Draft out of Hofstra.
  • Is New Orleans all-time receptions leader.
  • Has 63 career catches of 25 or more yards.

John Jenkins notes:

  • Native of Meriden CT; played his college ball at Georgia.
  • 3rd round pick of the Saints in the 2013 NFL Draft.
  • Has 17 tackles (9 solo) this season.
  • Had career high 6 tackles vs. Arizona on Sept 22.

The Saints have 3 retired numbers:

Next Week

New York JetsUp next: New York Jets

Location: MetLife Stadium (The Snoopy), East Rutherford NJ

Date/Time: Sunday October 20 at 1 p.m.

TV Network: CBS

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