The New England Patriots will be at home for the second straight week when they renew an old rivalry with a new twist against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium Sunday in Foxborough. The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. but was flexed to a 4:25 p.m. kickoff with the sudden emergence of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the 6-3 Colts.
Despite not being in the same division, the Patriots and Colts will play each other for the 10th straight year in the regular season. The two teams share a long-time rivalry, as the Patriots and the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts played twice each year from 1970 to 2001 as members of the AFC East, with the exception of the 1982 strike season.
After a down year last season, Indianapolis is off to a familiar start in 2012 with a 6-3 record. This week’s game is a battle against two of the top teams since the 2000 season. New England (161-62) has the best record since 2000, followed by Pittsburgh (145-73-1) and Indianapolis (142-77).
This week’s game will be the 200th consecutive sellout, including playoff and preseason games (dating back to the 1994 season opener).
The Patriots enter Sunday’s game with a 6-3 record and hold a two-game lead in the AFC East. They will put their three-game winning streak on the line Sunday against the Colts.
This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV Channel 4.
Jim Nantz will handle play-byplay duties with Phil Simms 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 noon. Gillette Stadium's gates open at 2 p.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. Patriots-Colts Series at a Glance
The Patriots and Colts will face off for the 13th time since 2003 and for the 76th time in the history of the franchises.
The clubs have clashed in each of the last nine regular seasons (2003-11) and also faced each other in the playoffs following the 2003, 2004 and 2006 seasons.
The two teams share a long-time rivalry, as the Patriots and the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts played twice each year from 1970 to 2001 as members of the AFC East, with the exception of the 1982 strike season. New England is 20-10 against Indianapolis since 1993, and has won 17 of the series’ last 24 games. The games have tended to be high-scoring affairs, as the Patriots have scored 20 or more points against the Colts in 22 of their last 24 meetings.
New England holds an overall record of 14-9 in games played in Indianapolis and 26-12 when playing at home.
4. Last Time the Patriots and Colts Met …
The Patriots and Colts met last December at Gillette Stadium in what turned out to be a closer than expected Patriots victory, 31-24.
New England withstood a 21-point fourth quarter rally by the Colts to get the win. The Patriots entered the final quarter of play leading 31-3. Colts QB Dan Orlovsky made his first start of the season and completed 30-of-37 passes for 353 yards and two touchdowns to lead the rally.
TE Rob Gronkowski scored three touchdowns overall on two touchdowns passes from QB Tom Brady and a 2-yard rushing touchdown off a lateral. Gronkowski scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and a 21-yard pass in the third quarter to tie an NFL record with 13 receiving touchdowns.
After playing to a 3-3 tie midway through the second quarter, Brady started to get the New England offense rolling, leading the Patriots to touchdowns on its next four possessions to take a 31-3 third quarter lead. New England took command of the game in the second quarter when it scored twice in the last three minutes of the first half for a 17-3 halftime advantage. Brady culminated a 16-play, 86-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski, after forcing a three-and-out on the Colts next possession, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis ended an 8-play, 60-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 18 seconds to play.
The Patriots got the ball to start the third quarter and Brady passed on each of the seven plays, completing all of them to drive 77 yards, ending with a 21-yard touchdown to Gronkowski. After CB Kyle Arrington recovered an Indianapolis fumble on the next series, Gronkowski scored again when he went in motion, took a lateral from Brady and ran untouched into the right side of the end zone for a 31-3 lead. The Patriots improved to a 38-5 record in the month of December since 2001, tops in the NFL.
5. Quick Hits About Sunday's Game at Gillette Stadium
- Tom Brady’s very first NFL start was against the Colts on Sept. 30, 2001 at Foxboro Stadium. He finished 13-of-23 for 168 yards in a 44-13 Patriots win. Brady owns a 7-3 record in the regular season against Indianapolis and 2-1 record in the postseason. He has thrown three touchdowns against the Colts in five of those games. He is 4-2 in the regular-season in home games and 2-0 at home in the postseason.
- With one touchdown pass against the Colts, Tom Brady will extend his streak to 42 straight games with at least one touchdown pass and continue his third longest streak all time, behind Drew Brees (52-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 interceptions against St. Louis and needs one more such game to be alone in first place.
- Brady (42,624) needs 417 passing yards to move past Dan Fouts (43,040) into 10th place all time.
- 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 87 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 103 straight regular-season games with at least one reception, including his time with the Miami Dolphins.
- The Patriots opened the second half of the 2012 regular season with a victory over Buffalo. Since the 2010 season, the Patriots are 17-0 in the second half. In both 2010 and 2011, the Patriots were 8-0 in the second half of the season. Their last loss was in the 2009 season-finale at Houston, a 34-27 loss, on Jan. 3, 2010.
- Colts RB Donald Brown played at the University of Connecticut from 2005-08 and set school records in rushing attempts and yards during his time with the team.
- Colts OL Anthony Castonzo played at Boston College from 2007-2010 and set a school record with 54 starts during his career.
- Colts OLB Dwight Freeney is a native of Bloomfield, Conn. and lettered in football (three), basketball (four), baseball (four) and soccer (one) at Bloomfield High School.
- Colts K Adam Vinatieri kicked for the Patriots from 1996-2005 and helped lead the team to three Super Bowl Championships. Vinatieri connected on last-minute game-winning field goals in Super Bowl XXXVI vs. St. Louis and Super Bowl XXXVIII vs. Carolina.
- Colts FS Sergio Brown played in 26 games for the Patriots from 2010-2011.
- Colts CB Darius Butler was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft and played for New England for two seasons (2009-10)
- Patriots Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Dante Scarnecchia coached the Colts offensive line from 1989-90.
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick earned his first job in the NFL in 1975 as a Special Assistant for the Baltimore Colts.
- The Patriots offense is ranked first in the NFL in 2012 with 430.3 yards per game. The Patriots offense has finished in the top 10 five straight seasons. Since the 1970 merger, the Patriots offense has finished in the top 10 a total of 16 times, including seven times under Bill Belichick.