'Boston' Patriots to make
history on Monday Night
Team hosted first
ever regular season AFL game vs. Buffalo 50 years ago
MA - The
New England Patriots, to be called the Boston Patriots
for four legacy games this season, will open their 2009
NFL schedule on Monday Night Football for the fourth time in team history and the first time since the opening of Gillette Stadium in 2002. This week's game will mark the ninth time that the Patriots have opened the season against AFC East Divisional rival Buffalo and the first since the 2006 season. Last season the Patriots finished second in the division with an 11-5 record and are the only team in the NFL to have recorded nine or more wins in each of the last eight seasons.
AFL LEGACY GAMES
This season marks the 50th anniversary of the American Football League (AFL), of which the Patriots and Bills were original members. The Boston Patriots hosted the AFL's first regular season game on September 9, 1960 at Boston University Field. This Patriots and Bills will be the NFL's first "AFL Legacy Game." Both teams will wear their throwback uniforms. The Patriots will wear red and white uniforms, replicating the ones worn by the 1963 team that claimed the franchise's first division title and competed in the team's first league championship game.
In honor of the 50th Anniversary, the Patriots will be the Boston Patriots for the four legacy games.
TELEVISION: This week's game will be nationally televised by ESPN and can be seen
locally on WMUR-TV Channel 9 (Comcast cable 12). Mike Tirico will handle play-by-play duties with Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden providing color.
Suzy Kolber will be the sideline reporter.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One. Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason will call the game with Steve Tasker handling the sideline reporting.
RADIO: WBZ 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network.
Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 33rd season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti. Santos and Cappelletti are celebrating their 26th season as a tandem.
The game can also be found on Manchester's WGAM 1250 AM.
50TH ANNIVERSARY TEAM TO BE HONORED AT HALFTIME
In recognition of the 50th anniversary, the Patriots' Hall of Fame nominating committee has selected an All-Time Team, recognizing the greatest players at each position to play for the Patriots over 50 years. The Patriots' All- Time Team will be recognized in a ceremony on the field at halftime of the game against Buffalo.
The Patriots are celebrating their 50th anniversary season in 2009 through a series of acknowledgements and dedications. The 50th season logo will appear throughout the 2009 season in Gillette Stadium, on Patriots.com, on items in the ProShop and in Patriots publications. For the Patriots and their fans, this season is one to celebrate a franchise that has grown from humble beginnings to become the winningest franchise in the NFL over the last 15 seasons.
Over the course of the year, the Patriots are unveiling a series of 20 "Top 10 All-Time" lists for fans to discuss and debate on Patriots All-Access and Patriots.com. Fans have the opportunity to vote for Top 10s in each of the 20 categories at Patriots.com. Fans can also rank the Top 50 Moments in Franchise History, and the Top 10 Moments, as chosen by the fans, will be unveiled over the course of the season.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary, the Patriots' Hall of Fame nominating committee has selected an All-Time Team recognizing the greatest players at each position to play for the Patriots over 50 years. The Patriots' All-Time Team will be recognized in the Patriots' home-opener against Buffalo on Sept. 14.
AFL LEGACY GAMES
This season also marks the 50th anniversary for the American Football League (AFL), of which the Patriots were an original member. The Boston Patriots, who hosted the AFL's first regular season game on Sept. 9, 1960 at Boston University Field, will be featured in the NFL's first "AFL Legacy Game" on the opening weekend of the 2009 season. On Sept. 14, 2009, the Patriots will host the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on Monday Night Football. It will be the first of four "AFL Legacy Games" in which the Patriots will appear this season (at Den, vs. Ten and at Mia). The Patriots will wear red and white "throwback" uniforms in those games, replicating the uniforms worn by the 1963 team that claimed the franchise's first division title and competed in the franchise's first league championship game. Patriots coaches will also wear apparel featuring the Pat Patriot logo.
PATRIOTS ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The New England Patriots are 16-21 all-time on Monday Night Football, including a streak of five-straight wins on Monday Night dating back to a 31-21 win at the New York Jets on December 26, 2005. The Patriots are 7-8 in home Monday Night football games.
Last season, the Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos 41-7 in the team's only game on MNF on October 20, 2008 at Gillette Stadium.
This week's game will be the fourth time that the Patriots will open the season on Monday Night Football and the first time since the 2002 season when the Patriots opened Gillette Stadium with a 30-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-9-02). The Patriots also opened the season on Monday Night Football in 1979 vs. Pittsburgh in Foxboro and at Denver in 1998.
PATRIOTS VS. BUFFALO IN SEASON OPENERS
The Patriots will be opening the season against the Buffalo Bills for the eighth time in team history and the first time since a 19-17 win vs. Buffalo in the 2006 season-opener on September 10, 2006.
The Patriots, who are 57-40-1 all-time against Buffalo, are 3-4 against Buffalo when meeting in the season-opener.
RECENT PATRIOTS SEASON OPENERS
The Patriots have won 12 of their past 14 home openers, including a perfect 7-0 record at Gillette Stadium. Overall, the Patriots have won five of their last six regular-season openers, including five straight victories dating back to 2004.
The New England Patriots own a 39-11 (.780) record in regular season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season, compiling the best intra-division record of any team in the NFL over the last eight seasons.
The Patriots and Bills will meet for the 99th time, with New England holding a 57-40-1 edge. The series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots' 57 wins over the Bills are their highest victory total over any opponent, eight more than they own over the New York Jets (49). New England has won 11 straight games in the series and has won 16 of its last 18 games against Buffalo dating back to the 2000 season. The Patriots have swept the season series from the Bills in five straight years and have achieved the feat seven of the last eight years. The Patriots have won by an average margin of 20.5 points per game during their current 11-game win streak. The Patriots have had the upper hand when playing the Bills at home as they own a 30-19 record. The Patriots beat the Bills last season at Ralph Wilson Stadium by a 13-0 score. The teams have had many memorable matchups over the years, including a five-game span from 1999 to 2001 where four of the five contests were decided in overtime.
The Patriots have won 11 straight games against the Bills, which is tied for the longest regular-season winning streak against an opponent in team history.