After a week off, the AFC East Champion New England Patriots will host the AFC South Champion Indianapolis Colts in a Divisional Playoff game this Saturday evening at 8:15 p.m. at Gillette Stadium. The winner will advance to the AFC Championship.
The Colts advanced to the second round of the playoffs after a come-from-behind 45-44 victory at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.
This week’s game will be the fourth postseason meeting between the two teams. The Patriots are 2-1 in the postseason against the Colts. The Patriots beat Indianapolis, 24-14, in the 2003 AFC Championship Game and 20-3 in a Divisional Playoff Game in 2004 played at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots dropped a 38-34 decision in the 2006 AFC Championship Game at Indianapolis. The Patriots will be looking to become the first team since Philadelphia (2001-04) to go to at least three straight Conference Championships.
To help you get ready for tonight’s postseason showdown, here is what you need to know:
Radio and TV Information
TELEVISION: This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience by CBS and can be seen in Boston on WBZ-TV. Greg Gumbel will handle play-by-play duties with Dan Dierdorf providing color. Allie LaForce will report from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Mark Wolff and directed by Bob Fishman.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One. Ian Eagle and Trent Green will call the game. Tony Boselli will report from the sidelines.
RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis.
Parking Lot Information
The stadium lots will open up four hours before the start of the game. Parking at Gillette Stadium is $40 for cars and motorcycles and $150 for busses, RVs, and limos.
In addition, the following vehicles will not be allowed in the lots:
- Any vehicle towing a trailer (this includes fifth-wheel RV units).
- Professional catering trucks and or services without prior written approval from Stadium Management.
- Excessive tailgate setups that impede on customers parked around your vehicles, emergency access or deemed to be unsafe or inappropriate by Stadium Management.
- Any type of swimming pool, portable pool, hot tubs, water filled pickup trucks, or the like.
Allow Plenty of Time for Traffic Around the Stadium
With a capacity crowd expected, drivers are advised to allow themselves plenty of time when traveling near the stadium on game day. Traffic restrictions will be in place on local roads before and after the game. Fans must use I-95, I-495 or Route 140 to access Gillette Stadium.
Those not going to the game should seek alternate routes to their destination.
Be Aware of Stadium Rules
According to the National Weather Service, the chance of precipitation for Saturday night is 100 percent with a south wind 21 to 31 mph becoming west 9 to 14 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 46 mph.
Despite the rain, please be aware that no umbrellas will be allowed in the stadium and the NFL bag policy will be in effect. To read the bag policy, click here.
What to Look For
The New England Patriots have a chance to advance to their third straight AFC Championship game. They can become the first team to advance to at least three straight Championship games since Philadelphia went to four straight from 2001 through 2004. They can become the first AFC team do to go three straight since Buffalo went to four straight AFC Championship Games from 1990 1993.
- Bill Belichick (18) needs one more postseason victory to tie Don Shula (19) for second place in postseason wins. Tom Landry (20) is in first place.
- Tom Brady (6) needs two more 300 yard games in the postseason to match the 8 by Peyton Manning for the all- time lead.
- Brady (42) needs four more postseason touchdowns to move past Joe Montana (45) and Brett Favre (44) for the all-time lead.
- Brady has the most postseason wins with (17) in NFL history and can add to his NFL record this postseason. He has one more win than Joe Montana (16), who is in second place.
- Brady has the all-time record for most postseason yards in NFL history (5,949) and will be looking to add to that total this postseason. Brett Favre (5,855), Joe Montana (5,772) and Peyton Manning (5,679) are behind Brady.
- Brady (533) can add to his NFL record of postseason completions.
- Stephen Gostkowski (18) needs two more postseason field goals to become just the 11th NFL player to reach 20 field goals in the postseason. He is currently tied for 11th in the NFL with his 18 postseason field goals.
- Gostkowski is tied for 11th in NFL history with 90 postseason points and needs 10 points to become just the 7th NFL player with 100 postseason points.
- The Patriots and Colts both surpassed the 1990s San Francisco 49ers for the all-time best mark for a decade in NFL history. New England had 126 wins in the decade from 2000- 2009, while Indianapolis had 124 wins. San Francisco had 122 wins in the 1990s.
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick is 11-6 against the Colts as the head coach of the Patriots and is 13-8 against Indianapolis as a head coach overall.
- Despite not being in the same division, the Patriots and Colts will played each other for the 10th straight season in 2012.
The Patriots and Colts will face off for the fourth time in the postseason and for the second time in a Divisional round game.
The clubs faced each other in the playoffs following the 2003, 2004 and 2006 season. The Patriots beat the Colts in the 2003 AFC Championship game, 24-14, at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 18, 2004, won 20-3 against the Colts on Jan. 16, 2005 at Gillette Stadium in an AFC Divisional game and then lost in the 2006 AFC Championship Game, 38-34, on Jan. 21, 2007 at Indianapolis.
The Patriots lead the all-time series 45-28 in the regular season and 2-1 in the postseason, including 2-0 against the Colts in the postseason at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots and Colts last met Nov. 18, 2012 at Gillette Stadium with the Patriots pulling away with a 59-24 victory.
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 21-10 against Indianapolis since 1993, and has won 18 of the series’ last 25 games overall.
New England holds an overall record of 14-9 in games played in Indianapolis and 27-12 when playing at home.