Note: Information used in this article was provided by Patriots Media Relations.
There will be no time to rest down at Gillette Stadium as the Patriots are back for a Thursday night showdown with the New York Jets.
The Patriots and Jets will meet for the 109th time, including three postseason games, since the series between the AFC East rivals began in 1960.
Last season, the Patriots swept the annual series for the 15th time in team history and for the second straight season after a 29-26 overtime win at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 21 and a 49-19 win at MetLife Stadium in Thanksgiving night on Nov. 22.
The 2012 victories put the Patriots in front in the series, 55- 52-1 overall.
The Patriots are 29-25-1 all-time in home games against the Jets, including 25-19 overall in Foxborough and 9-4 at Gillette Stadium.
The teams have played in the postseason three times, a 1985 Wild Card game, a 2006 Wild Card game and an AFC Divisional game in 2010. New England beat the Jets, 26-14, in 1985 at the Meadowlands on their way to Super Bowl XX. In 2006, the Patriots defeated the Jets, 37-16, at Gillette Stadium. The Jets defeated the Patriots, 28-21, in the 2010 playoff game.
New England is 26-14 against the Jets since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994.
New England’s 55 victories over the Jets (including two playoff wins) are the second most over any single opponent, trailing only Buffalo with 64 all-time wins.
To help you get ready for the game, here are five things you need to know about tonight's big divisional showdown.
1. Parking Lot Information and Traffic
The stadium lots will open at 4:30 p.m. 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 game traffic expected during the evening commute, 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.
2. Where to Watch and Listen to the Game
This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience by the NFL Network. The game can also be seen in the Boston area on WCVB-TV Channel 5. Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock will call the game. Alex Flannagan will report from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Bob Goodrich and Mark Teitelman and directed by Artie Kempner.
The NFL Network can be seen on Ch. 265(SD) and 853(HD) on Comcast Xfinity and Ch. 88(SD) and 588 (HD) on Verizon FiOS.
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.
3. It's Tedy Bruschi Night!
Patriots 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Tedy Bruschi will be honored at halftime of this week’s game. Bruschi and former Patriots play-by-play man Gil Santos were inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon in a public ceremony on Monday, July 29. Bruschi has been called the “consummate Patriot” by Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and described as the “perfect player” by Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. As a seven-time team captain, Bruschi’s relentless work ethic and intensity helped set the tone for the entire team and helped guide the Patriots to three Super Bowl championships in four years. Bruschi joins Drew Bledsoe (2011) and Troy Brown (2012) as the only players to be selected by the fans into the Patriots Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Santos, the “Voice of the New England Patriots,” retired last season and learned in a pregame ceremony prior to the 2012 regular season finale that he would be inducted into the team’s hall of fame. Santos will serve as an honorary team captain before Thursday’s game.
4. The New NFL Bag Policy is in Effect
During the offseason, the NFL Committee on Stadium Security unanimously recommended the implementation of an NFL Stadium Bag Policy that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into all stadiums for NFL games.
Prior to each preseason game, the Patriots distributed policy reminders upon entry into the parking lots and offered complimentary freezer bags upon request to patrons needing a free replacement bag. The organization will continue those practices for Thursday night’s regular season home opener as well.
Patriots fans arriving at Gillette Stadium gates and plaza areas must have bags that are in compliance with the new policy. Fans arriving with bags that are not in compliance will be asked to return their bags to their cars. There is no bag check. A description of the style and size of the bags that will be allowed is described below:
- Bags that are clear (see through) plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.”
- One-gallon clear (see through) plastic freezer bag or similar.
- Small clutch bags, not to exceed 7” x 4” x 2” (approximately the size of a hand), with or without a handle or strap, may be carried into the stadium along with one of the clear bag options.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: non see-through purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, seat cushions, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.
For additional information, go to NFL.com/allclear.
5. Quick Hits and What to Look for.
- The Patriots will be without two of their main offensive threats tonight in Shane Vereen and Danny Amendola. Vereen is out for at least eight weeks with a wrist injury and Amendola is recovering from a groin injury suffered during Sunday's game against the Bills.
- The responsibility of running the ball may return to Stevan Ridley who is listed as probable for tonight's game. The running back started against the Bills but did not see another carry after allowing a fumble that was returned by Buffalo for a touchdown in the second quarter.
- With Julian Edelman likely rising up the depth chart tonight and Aaron Dobson listed as questionable, eyes will be on Kendrall Thompkins to see if he can improve and put in a quality performance. The undrafted rookie was targeted 14 times by Tom Brady in week 1 but only caught four passes for 44 yards.
- The Patriots will once again face a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith. While the Jets QB showed some good scrambling abilities against the Buccaneers, it may do the Patriots' defense well to attempt to rattle Smith and take him out of his comfort zone. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Smith threw for 256 yards and a touchdown along with 47 yards rushing.