The New England Patriots entertain the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA on Monday at 8:30 p .m.
The Patriots are 1-1 at home, 1-1 against the AFC West and 2-2 in the AFC. The Broncos are 1-1 on the road, 0-0 against the AFC East and 2-2 in the conference.
Here are the projected starting lineups for the game.
As of Thursday the line on the game from Yahoo! Sports is Patriots -3. The over/under is 47.
My prediction is Broncos 31, Patriots, 21. Give the points and take the over. I am 1-4 against the spread and 3 for 5 on calling the over/under in 2008.
The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out. It is the 154th consecutive sellout dating back to the 1994 season opener. The record includes preseason, regular season and playoff games.
Tickets to the game, if available, may be purchased through Ticketmaster. You can check the availability here. Many times tickets are released in the last 48 hours prior to the game.
Getting To The Game
If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game at the Razor make sure you check out the links.
Here is the up to date weather forecast for the game from The Weather Channel.
Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgaiting America. 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 for good measure here is one of my own.
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 by theme.
Whether it’s at the game, a bar or someone’s house moderation is always the key to a great time. Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver. Remember You Drink, You Drive, You Lose.
ESPN is televising the game to the entire country as the Monday Night Football Game and Mike Tirico will do the play-by-play while Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser will handle the game analysis. In the Boston television market the game will also be broadcast on WCVB-TV 5. In Denver the game can be seen on KDVR-TV 31 per the NFL television contract.
The channel for Direct TV Feed of the game is 206 (Ch 73 for HD).
For those of you overseas here is some general information on NFL Broadcasts for the 2008 season.
Patriots All-Access airs tonight at 7 p.m. on WCVB TV 5 in Boston. It will also be simulcast on the team website at the same time. Make sure you check out the Patriots Football Network for information on when you can see Patriots All-Access in your market.
The Patriots Rock Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBCN-FM 104.1 in Boston. Gil Santos handles the play-by-play and former Patriot Gino Cappelletti does the color.
It all starts with Gary Tanguay, Scott Zolak and Andy Gresh and the pregame show at 5:30 p.m. along the network.
The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours.
If you are outside of the broadcast area of the stations on the Patriots Rock Radio Network you can purchase NFL Field Pass which allows you to listen to any NFL game live. You can also pick which teams broadcasters you want to listen to.
All NFL games are also available on Sirius Satellite Radio. The Patriots Rock Radio Network call is available on Channel 127, the Broncos Radio Network has Dave Logan calling the game and David Diaz-Infante provides the game analysis. Their call is available on Channel 126.
The game will also be heard nationally along the Westwood One Radio Network with Marv Albert on play-by-play and Boomer Esiason providing analysis.
The game will also be heard nationally in Spanish on Univision Radio via ESPN Deportes. Clemson Smith Ruiz and Roberto Abramowitz will call the game.
The Patriots were beaten badly by the Chargers, 30-10 in San Diego to drop to 3-2. While the Broncos lost 24-17 to the Jaguars at home and fell to 4-2.
- This is the 42nd meeting between the teams with Denver leading the series 26-15 including 2-0 in the playoffs. The series dates back to 1960 and the AFL. In fact they played their franchises inaugural game against each other a 13-10 Denver win at Boston University Field on September 9, 1960.
- The Patriots were 10-7 against Denver prior to the merger since then the Broncos have had the advantage 19-5.
- The last meeting between these teams was in the 2006 season the Broncos beat the Patriots at Gillette 17-7 on September 24th.
- New England has won only three times in the last 18 regular season meetings dating back to 1984.
- The teams have met twice in the playoffs in the 2005 AFC Divisional Game with Denver winning at home, 27-13. The Broncos also beat the Patriots in the 1986 AFC Divisional Game at Mile High Stadium, 22-17.
- The Patriots have not beaten the Broncos since 2003 when they won 30-24 on Monday Night Football in Denver when Bill Belichick elected to take a safety and punt the ball from better field position. Then Tom Brady threw an 18 yard TD pass to David Givens in the last minute for the win.
- The Patriots have played the Broncos more than any other team who has never been in their division. This is the 13th meeting in the last 15 years.
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was on Red Miller’s Denver coaching staff in 1978 as an assistant special teams coach under defensive coordinator Joe Collier.
- Patriots TE’s coach Pete Mangurian was on Dan Reeves’s staff in Denver for five seasons from 1988-92
- Patriots rookie CB Terrence Wheatley and rookie TE Tyson DeVree (PS) played football with Broncos rookie T Tyler Polumbus at the University of Colorado.
- Broncos C Tom Nalen (IR) was grew up in Foxboro MA and played football at Boston College. He lettered in football, basketball and track at Foxboro HS.
- Patriots cornerback Deltha O’Neal was originally drafted by the Broncos in the first round (15th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft.
- Broncos TE Daniel Graham was originally drafted out of Colorado by the Patriots in the 1st round of the 2002 Draft (21st overall). He was a member of two Super Bowl Championship teams in his five seasons (2002-2006) in New England.
- Patriots WR Jabar Gaffney and Broncos S Marquand Manuel were 4 year college teammates at the University of Florida.
- Patriots DE Richard Seymour and Broncos CB Champ Bailey were college teammates at the University of Georgia (1997-98). He was also teammates with Broncos LB Boss Bailey from 1998-2000.
- Patriots TE Ben Watson and Broncos LB Boss Bailey were college teammates at the University of Georgia (2000-02).
- The Bailey’s are brothers the fourth pair of siblings to play for the Broncos.
- Patriots NT Vince Wilfork and Broncos LB D.J. Williams were 4 year college teammates at the University of Miami and both were 1st round picks in 2004.
- Broncos CB Karl Paymah was born in Boston MA.
- Patriots OL Mark LeVoir and S Mike Richardson (PS) were 4 year college teammates at Notre Dame with Broncos T Ryan Harris.
- Broncos LB Niko Koutouvides grew up in Plainville CT and played football at Plainville HS and a year of post graduate football at Milford (CT) Academy. He was also a college teammate of Patriots OL Matt Light at Purdue (2000). He also wears #53 which was worn in Denver by another CT native, Bill Romanowski.
- Broncos DE Tim Crowder and RB Selvin Young played at the University of Texas with Patriots TE David Thomas (2003-05). They were members of the National Championship team in 2005.
This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Broncos. You can also see what Denver head coach Mike Shanahan had to say about the game in a conference call with the New England media.
Here is the injury list for the game.
This is the second consecutive nationally televised night game for the Patriots who are in the middle of a streak of 4 prime time games in 6 weeks. This is the only Monday night game they will play this season.
The Patriots are hosting their first Monday night game since 2005.
The Patriots are 16-21 in their previous 37 appearances. Tonight will tie them in overall appearances on MNF with Buffalo and the New York Jets with 38 (11th most all-time).
Monday night is Andre Tippett night and starting Thursday through Monday fans will be able to view his Hall of Fame bust at the Hall at Patriot Place. It will be the only time the bust can ever be viewed outside of the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton OH.
Belichick is 2-8 in his career against Denver (0-4 with Cleveland; 2-4 with New England). He also is 0-1 against them in the post season.
Matt Cassel is now 2-2 in his four starts since replacing the injured Tom Brady. Cassel is currently the 19th rated QB in the NFL he is 92 of 142 for a 64.8 completion percentage for 910 yards. He has thrown 3 TD passes and been intercepted four times. He has been sacked 19 times (only J.T. O’Sullivan has been sacked more) and his rating is 78.1.
Don’t expect any changes at quarterback anytime soon. Belichick told the media on Tuesday “Matt is our starting quarterback. He gives our team the best chance to win. We’ve all got to play better, and coach better than we did last week. We have to do a better job than we did against San Diego. But he’s our quarterback.”
The Patriots are minus 1 in turnover differential for the season.
New England has forced the opponents defense into 18 three and out’s in 53 chances for 34%. This is the second best ranking in the league behind Baltimore at 35.5%.
The Patriots have had only 17 penalties accepted against them in 2008, second fewest in the NFL behind Houston who has had only 11.
There were some personnel changes in the last few days. Recently released WR Maurice Price was added to the practice squad. Along with that OL Oliver Ross and OL Stephen Neal were activated from the PUP list and are now practicing. The team has up to 21 days to either activate them or put them on the IR.
Since 2003 the Patriots are 20-4 in October.
Including playoff games, since December 17, 2006 the Patriots are 26-4, since September 10, 2006 they are 35-8.
The Patriots overall franchise record is 369-351-9. They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXIII, XXXIX) in 6 appearances.
The Patriots are 9-9 in their last 18 regular season games against AFC West teams dating back to 2000. They are 3-1 vs the AFC West in the playoffs in that time span with wins over San Diego (twice) and Oakland and a loss to Denver.
The Patriots are yet to wear their dark blue uniform jerseys in 2008 having worn their white jersey in all five previous games. In the NFL the home team selects which jersey they want to wear.
NFL Pro Bowl balloting begins this week and runs from Oct. 13 through Dec. 9. Fans may vote for their favorite NFL players to represent the AFC and NFC in the 2009 Pro Bowl in Honolulu on Sunday, Feb. 8. Fans may vote online at nfl.com/probowl or on Web-enabled mobile phones by going to NFL.com.
News from this weeks opponent:
Denver head coach Mike Shanahan is 8-3 in his career against New England and 1-0 against them in the post season all with Denver. He never faced the Patriots as the head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders.
Shanahan is 134-80 in his 14th season in Denver and he was 8-12 in less than two seasons in Los Angeles. Overall in his 16th season as a NFL head coach Shanahan is 142-92-0 and 8-5 in the playoffs.
Shanahan is one of three active coaches with at least 100 wins for their current team with 134. Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher has 126 and Belichick has 108.
Broncos QB Jay Cutler has never faced the Patriots.
The Broncos are just one of two visiting teams with a winning record (2-0) at Gillette Stadium. Green Bay (1-0) is the other.
The Broncos are 1-0 this season on Monday Night Football beating Oakland in Week 1. They are 26-31-1 all time on Monday Nights.
This will be Denver’s 59th Monday appearance 5th most in the NFL and they have had at least one Monday Night game the past 17 seasons the longest current active streak and 4th longest overall.
The Broncos have yet to allow any first quarter points in 2008.
Denver has had 13 drives of 10 plays or more tying them with New England for the most in the NFL.
The Broncos are minus 4 in turnover differential.
Denver’s all-time record is 382-338-10 they are 17-15 in the post season with their last post season appearance coming in 2005 when they beat New England in the division game and lost to Pittsburgh in the conference championship . They have won two Super Bowls in six appearances having beaten Green Bay 31-24 in Super Bowl XXXII and Atlanta 34-19 in Super Bowl XXXIII.
The Broncos were one of the original AFL teams and were absorbed as part of the 1970 merger. In the AFL they never played in a post season game and their best single season record was 7-7 in 1962.
Denver didn’t have it’s first winning season until 1973 when they went 7-5-2 and didn’t appear in the playoffs until 1977 when they went all the way to Super Bowl XII losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 27-10.
In the 2008 NFL Draft Denver had one first round pick and chose T Ryan Clady (Boise State – 12th overall) . In all the Broncos made 9 picks in the 7 rounds.
The Broncos have more players on their roster from the University of Florida (5) than any other school.
In 2007 the Broncos had Champ Bailey and John Lynch make the Pro Bowl. They had no First Team All-Pro’s.
Charges have been filed in the 2007 murder of Broncos CB Darrent Williams.
The Broncos will go on their bye week after the game. They are the second team (Miami) this season New England has played prior to that teams bye week.
Denver has played New England in 7 different stadiums over the years they are:
- Boston University Field (aka Nickerson Field)
- Bears Stadium
- Fenway Park
- Mile High Stadium
- Schaefer Stadium (aka Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro Stadium)
- Invesco Field at Mile High
- Gillette Stadium
The New England Patriots host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Kick off is at 1 p.m.