The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will clash this week for the first time since 2005 and for only the 12th time ever. Atlanta will be making its first trip to Gillette Stadium, becoming the 30th different opponent to come to Gillette for a regular-season or playoff game. Following this week’s game, the only club that will have not appeared at Gillette Stadium in a regular-season game is Carolina. The Panthers visited the Patriots in a preseason matchup at Gillette Stadium in 2002 and will play their first regular-season game at Gillette on Dec. 13.
This week’s game will be the first of four games the Patriots will play against NFC South opponents. The Patriots will travel to London to play Tampa Bay on Oct. 25, travel to New Orleans on Nov. 30 and then face Carolina at home on Dec. 13.
With an NFC opponent coming into town, the Patriots will be on the FOX network for this Sunday’s game against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.
In the Boston Globe on Friday, Chad Finn had a few thoughts from FOX analyst Troy Aikman as he prepares to call the game with Joe Buck.
Note: If you live in Berkshire County, you’re not going to be able to watch this game. According to the Berkshire Eagle:
WXXA, the Fox affiliate in Albany, N.Y., will air the New York Giants’ game at Tampa Bay on Sunday at 1 p.m. instead of the Patriots’ home game against the Atlanta Falcons.
According to Brian Johnson, the cable commission chairman for the City of Pittsfield, WXXA has not granted rights for an alternate out-of-market affiliate to air the Patriots game.
“Fox in Albany will not grant us that privilege,” he said. “They won’t give Time Warner Cable an alternate station for us to use. That’s what’s blocking the Patriot game on that day.”
The article tries to explain more on the situation, but the bottom line is that you live out in that area, you’re going to need a friend with Sunday Ticket, or a trip to a local sports bar to see the game.
Check here for your full week three NFL TV distribution maps.
Other outlets with coverage this weekend:
This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience by Westwood One. Mark Champion and Dan Reeves will call the game with Scott Graham handling the sideline reporting.
Sunday NFL Countdown
Michael Smith reports from Gillette Stadium, Trent Dilfer goes in the film room to show what’s different this season about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and how he it can be fixed.
NFL Matchup, Sunday 3 A.M. and 7:30 A.M.
Falcons @ Patriots – Hoge goes to the ‘Film Room’ and breaks down how Atlanta would create mismatches with tight end Tony Gonzalez against New England’s linebackers.
NFLN will have Kara Henderson reporting from Gillette for NFL Gameday Morning.
AFC Playbook (Sunday, 7:00 A.M.)
What’s wrong with the Patriots’ offense and how New England can get back on track versus the Falcons
Some material from this report was taken from the official Patriots game notes, as well as from releases from the various networks.