The Patriots host their preseason home opener this Friday night against Vince Young and Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro at 8 p.m. Young is expected to start after missing last weeks game for breaking team rules.
TELEVISION: This week’s game will be broadcast by the Patriots Preseason Television Network.
The game be televised live in the following markets: Boston, MA (WCVB-TV Ch. 5), Providence, R.I. (WNAC-TV Ch. 64), Manchester, N.H. (WMUR-TV Ch. 9), Portland, Maine (WMTW-TV Ch. 8) and Springfield, MA (WWLP-TV Ch. 22)
Veteran broadcaster Don Criqui provides play-by-play, former NFL Pro Bowler Randy Cross handles the analyst duties, while Mike Lynch offers on-field reports from the sideline.
RADIO: 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 Capelleti does the color. I am unclear on if the network will produce the usual pre-game and post game shows for the preseason.
For the low down on the Patriots Rock Radio Network and stations in your area make sure you click the link.
The Patriots dropped the preseason opener on the road 13-10 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a game winning field goal as time expired. While the Titans lost at home to Washington 14-6.
These two clubs last played in Week 16 last season in Tennessee with the Patriots winning 40-23 on New Year’s Eve. The games was marred by chippiness amongst the teams and a season ending knee injury to Patriots emotional leader Rodney Harrison when he was blocked low on what many of the Pats players thought was a dirty hit.
This is the sixth time these franchises have met in the preseason but first since 1988 when the Titans were the Houston Oilers. These two original AFL franchises have played each other 38 times in the regular and post season since 1960. The Patriots hold a 21-16-1 edge over the Titans. They have met 18 times since the AFL-NFL merger and the Pats come out on top with an 11-7 record.
Patriots WR Troy Brown is the only current player to have played against the Houston Oilers.
The Houston Oilers are the only team to ever beat the Patriots in a home playoff game when they beat the Pats 31-14 in an AFC Divisional game in 1978 at Schaeffer Stadium.
Patriots TE David Thomas and Titans QB Vince Young were four year teammates at the University of Texas. They won the 2006 National Championship by beating USC in the Rose Bowl.
Patriots offensive lineman Russ Hochstein and Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch were four-year teammates at the University of Nebraska from 1997-2000.
Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel spent four years (2001-04) at the University of Southern California while Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow served in the same role with the Trojans.
Titans WR David Givens makes his return to Gillette Stadium where he played with the Patriots for four years (2002-05).
Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots have been one of the NFL’s best teams at home. New England’s 36-9 (.800) home record in the four-plus years since their state-of-the-art facility opened is tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the best home record over that span, and the Patriots defense has allowed an NFL-low 15.76 points per game at home since 2002.
The Titans and head coach Jeff Fischer are reportedly close to a contract extension. Fischer is currently the longest tenured head coach in the NFL at 13 years. He started in 1994 when he replaced Jack Pardee as head coach of the then-Houston Oilers. He, along with along with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, are two of the 35 coaches in NFL history with 100+ wins.
There is still no word on Belichick’s contract status. Everyone assumes this is the final year of his current contract based on comments he has made, but the team and the coach both refuse to confirm it. Therefore, even if and when he signs an extension we will most likely never know. If he doesn’t, one day he just won’t be there any longer and we will know an extension was never reached. The CIA could learn things from the Patriots front office.