5 Things You Need to Know About Sunday's Patriots Game vs. Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium
After a week of rest, the New England Patriots host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday - Veterans Day - at Gillette Stadium. Kick-off is 1 p.m.
The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills will meet for the 106th time Sunday and the second time in 2012, with New England holding a 63-41-1 edge following a 52-28 victory against the Bills in Buffalo on September 30.
The Patriots will be looking for their 22nd sweep in the annual series.
The Patriots are 33-19 all-time in home games against Buffalo, including 10-0 at Gillette Stadium.
The series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960. The Patriots’ 63 wins over the Bills are their highest victory total over any opponent, nine more than they own over the New York Jets (54). New England has won 22 of its last 25 games against Buffalo dating back to the 2000 season.
After seven straight series sweeps and 15 straight Patriots wins, Buffalo ended the streak with a 34-31 victory Ralph Wilson Stadium in the first meeting of the two teams in 2011 on Sept. 25. The 15-game win streak is the third longest winning streak over a single opponent in NFL history.
The Patriots avenged that loss in the 2011 regular season finale on Jan. 1, 2012 by overcoming a 21-0 first quarter deficit and scoring 49 unanswered points en route to a 49-21 victory.
The Patriots are 30-22-1 all-time in Buffalo, including 23-16 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
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 Pats enter Sunday’s game with a 5-3 record after defeating the St. Louis Rams, 45-7, two weeks ago at Wembley Stadium in London. Ironically, the Pats have the same record it had in 2011 after eight games. The Patriots finished the month of October with a 3-1 record and are now an NFL-best 35-7 in the month of October since 2003, including a 20-1 record at home.
After traveling for five of the first eight games this season, the Patriots will return home to host consecutive games for the first time this year. On Sunday, the Patriots host Buffalo and then will face the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 18 at Gillette Stadium.
This week’s game will be broadcast to a regional audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4.
Ian Eagle will handle play-byplay duties with Dan Fouts providing color.
98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 36th season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action. Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak will handle the color commentary.
Here's five things you need to know about Sunday's game.
1. Foxborough Parking Ban in Effect, Stadium Parking Information and Time Gates Open
Foxborough’s parking bylaw, which prohibits residents from parking vehicles on their property for a fee will be in effect Sunday. Those in violation of the parking ban will be subject to a $100 fine. Click here for more information.
As for parking along Route 1, parking lots will open for game day at 9 a.m. Gillette Stadium's gates open at 11 a.m. for admission to the game.
General Parking Rates for Gillette Stadium Lots
- $40 for cars
- $125 for RVs (enter P10 N from the North, Enter P11 from the South)
- $125 for Limos (enter P1 N from north or P7 S from the south)
- $200 for buses (Enter P10 N from the North, Enter P11 from the South)
- $40 for motorcycles (one per space)
All Gillette Stadium Lots are cash only.
Allow Plenty of Time for Traffic Around the Stadium
Drivers are advised to allow themselves plenty of time when travelling near the stadium on game day. Traffic restrictions will be in place on local roads before and after Sunday's game. Fans must use I-95, I-495 or Route 140 to access Gillette Stadium.
Click here to keep an eye on game day traffic with Patch’s live traffic feature.
2. The Dos and Don’ts at Gillette Stadium
No one wants to be "that fan" that doesn't know the stadium's security protocol. Be prepared on game day by reviewing the dos and don’ts at Gillette Stadium as well as other useful information about the facility:
- Ticket Policies
- Patron Screening
- Prohibited Items
- Acceptable Items
- Banner Policy
- Smoking Policy
- Medical Supplies or Dietary Considerations
- Fan Code of Conduct
- Security Assistance During an Event
- Lost & Found
- Letters of Disinvite
- Designated Driver Program
3. Veterans Day Events at Patriots Game
The Patriots will thank and honor veterans and active duty military members in several activities at Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. The activities are in recognition of Veterans Day and as part of the Patriots Charitable Foundation’s week-long focus on “Veteran and Military Volunteerism” in conjunction with the team’s ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.
In a pregame ceremony, more than 100 active military members, representing each branch of the military and Coast Guard, will join members of the Kraft family, Patriots alumni and cheerleaders to display a large American flag that will spread the entire length of the field.
“I consider our veterans and active duty soldiers as the true unsung heroes of our country,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “We look forward to honoring our military with events throughout the week, including a pregame Salute to Service on Sunday that will include representatives from each branch of military. It’s always great to give our fans an opportunity to show their appreciation to these real Patriots heroes.”
The game will also feature a flyover from 439 Airlift Wing in Westover, a Color Guard ceremony performed by the Army National Guard and national anthem sung by the 215th Army Band’s Voices of Freedom. During the game, all service men and women will be asked to stand and be recognized and messages from military members serving oversees will be played in-game on the video boards.
Prior to Sunday’s game, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and $25,000 grand prize 2012 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award Winner Lou Cimaglia from Local Heroes, will join Patriots partner Raytheon for a military care package event during Raytheon’s pregame hospitality in The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon.
More than 150 veterans and their families will attend. Guests will have the opportunity to create a care package, as well as write a personalized message for troops serving overseas. Throughout the weekend, veterans and active military can enjoy a free trip to The Hall. From Friday, Nov. 10 through Monday, Nov. 12, The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon will offer free admission to all veterans and active military with their military ID.
Also in recognition of Veterans Day, the Patriots unveiled a permanently unoccupied black seat in the south end of Gillette Stadium Friday that was dedicated to the thousands of Patriots who remain unaccounted for as POW/MIA. Footage from Friday’s ceremony will be shown during the game. The empty seat will serve as a permanent memorial to honor the brave men and women who served our country and never returned home.
4. Kevin Faulk to be Honored at Halftime
Former running back Kevin Faulk, who closed his 13-year career as one of the most productive Patriots’ players in the team’s history, will be honored at halftime of the Buffalo game.
“Kevin Faulk helped define the way an entire generation of Patriots fans have come to view and appreciate our brand of football,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “He worked so hard to get better every year. He was always one of the first to arrive in the building and among the last to leave. His work ethic, enthusiasm for the game and clutch performances, especially on third down, earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and fans alike. He retires a Patriot whose career will always be celebrated for helping deliver three Super Bowl Championships to New England.”
5. Quick Hits About Sunday's Game at Gillette Stadium
- Tom Brady has led the Patriots to 19 regular season victories over the Bills, recording his highest regular season victory total over any opponent. Additionally, Brady has thrown for more touchdowns (49) against Buffalo than any other opponent. Brady also has more 300-yard games (7) against Buffalo than any other NFL. He has five 300-yard games against Miami.
- As a starter against the AFC East, Tom Brady owns a 51-12 (.810) record. He is 19-2 against Buffalo, 16-4 against the New York Jets, 14-6 against Miami and was 2-0 against Indianapolis when they were in the AFC East (2001 season).
- The Patriots have won 11 straight games against Buffalo at home, including a perfect 10-0 record at Gillette Stadium.
- The Patriots have recorded 63 wins over the Bills, the most by the Patriots against any one opponent.
- Bill Belichick is 57-21 (.731) all-time regular season record against the AFC East as head coach of the Patriots. The Patriots were 5-1 against the Division in 2011, with the only loss coming at Buffalo in Week 3 of the season. The Patriots are 2-0 so far in 2012 in the division.
- Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick played quarterback at Harvard University from 2001-04 and was named the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2004.
- Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski grew up in Williamsville, N.Y. - 14 miles outside of Buffalo.
- DE Trevor Scott played football at the University of Buffalo from 2003-07 and grew up in Potsdam, N.Y.
- With one touchdown pass against the Bills, Tom Brady will extend his streak to 41 straight games with at least one touchdown pass and continue his third longest streak all time, behind Drew Brees (51-current) and Johnny Unitas (47).
- Brady has 50 career 300-yard games in the regular season and needs one more to tie hall of famer Dan Fouts (51) for 6th place all time.
- Brady has two rushing touchdowns in 2012 and needs one more to tie his single-season career high of three set in 2011.
- Brady tied Drew Brees with his ninth NFL game with four touchdowns, 300 yards and no touchdowns against St.
- Louis and needs one more such game to be alone in first place.
- Stephen Gostkowski (7-of-10) needs one more 50-yard field goal to tie Adam Vinatieri (8-of-17) for most 50-yard field goals in Patriots history.
- Gostkowski has two 50-yarders so far in 2012 and can become the first Patriots player with three 50-yard field goals in a single season.
- Rob Ninkovich has a team-leading four forced fumbles. If he has one more forced fumble he will be tied with Mike Vrabel (five in 2007) for the most forced fumbles for a Patriots player within the last 20 years.
- Wes Welker (16) needs one more 10-plus catch game to break a second place tie with Marvin Harrison (16) and tie Jerry Rice (17) for the most 10-catch games in NFL history.
- Welker needs one reception to extend his streak to 86 straight regular-season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots to extend his franchise record. Welker has an overall streak of 102 straight regular-season games with at least one reception, including his time with the Miami Dolphins.
- Welker (8,155) needs 30 yards to move past Irving Fryar (8,184) for fourth place on the Patriots all-time all-purpose yards list, behind Kevin Faulk (12,349), Stanley Morgan (11,468) and Troy Brown (11,053).
- The Patriots have gained at least 350 total yards in 17 consecutive games to move past the 1999-2000 St. Louis Rams (16) for the longest streak in NFL history.