Setting the scene: Patriots-Giants
|11.06.11 at 12:16 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Welcome to Gillette Stadium where the embattled Patriots defense looks to rebound against the New York Giants in crucial game for both teams.
The weather figures to be ideal once again. Clear skies and temperatures in the mid-50s are expected for today’s tilt. There is no chance of rain with a breeze out of the southwest at 11 MPH expected for kickoff.
On the injury front, there was a late addition Saturday night that could impact the Patriots as receiver Taylor Price was officially listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.
Wes Welker is expected to play after suffering a strained neck last Sunday on a hit by Troy Polamalu. Welker missed practice on Wednesday but returned on Thursday on a limited basis. He was also limited Friday and was listed as questionable on the Friday injury report. He did not have any setbacks on Saturday and will be vital once again to the Patriots passing game.
Albert Haynesworth is someone to keep an eye on once again as he is listed as questionable with lingering back issues. He has played in the last three games after missing Weeks 3 and 4 with the ailment.
The injury news is more significant for the Giants as running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), receiver Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) and center David Baas (knee) were all ruled out for today’s game and did not make the trip.
Additionally, defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul (concussion) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (foot) both made the trip to Foxboro and are questionable.
The Patriots will look to extend some remarkable winning streaks today that nearly ended three weeks ago against the Cowboys before Tom Brady hit Aaron Hernandez in the back of the end zone for the winning touchdown with 22 seconds remaining.
The Patriots have won 18 straight games at Gillette against NFC opponents. The only game they have ever lost at Gillette came in their first try, when Brett Favre and the Packers handled the Patriots, 28-10, on Oct. 13, 2002.
Brady has won 31 straight regular-season starts at Gillette Stadium, dating back to Nov. 12, 2006, when the Eric Mangini-led Jets beat the Patriots, 17-14. The 31 straight wins is an NFL record for home starts, six more than Favre had from 1995-98 at Lambeau Field.
There has naturally been lots of reflecting this week back on Super Bowl XLII, when the Giants ended the dreams of a perfect season with a 17-14 win over the Pats in Glendale, Ariz. But it’s worth noting the Patriots have beaten the Giants in the last four regular-season meetings, including the epic 38-35 game when the Giants played to win in the 2007 regular season finale, just coming up short as the Pats improved to 16-0. That was the game that Brady hit Randy Moss for a touchdown pass, establishing new NFL records for TD passes in a season (50) and TD receptions (22).