Welcome to Gillette Stadium
January, 13, 2013
By Mike Rodak | ESPNBoston.com
Mike Reiss/ESPNFOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Welcome to Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots and Houston Texans square off to wrap up the Divisional playoffs (CBS, 4:30 p.m.):
Another mild Texans-Patriots tilt. With a temperature at kickoff of 59 degrees, the Week 14 game between these two teams was the warmest home game after Dec. 1 for the Patriots since at least 2000. This one will be a little bit cooler, but still very mild for January in New England, with temperature at kickoff expected to be about 50 degrees. There is still dense fog lingering in the region, and conditions will remain cloudy as the sun sets and the game kicks off. Winds will be out of the south at about 8-9 m.p.h.
AFC Championship rematch at stake. With the Baltimore Ravens shocking the Denver Broncos on Saturday, the Patriots will host the Ravens in an AFC Championship rematch at Gillette Stadium next Sunday, January 20 (6:30 p.m., CBS) with a win over the Texans today. There are two Ravens scouts expected to be in attendance in the press box for today's game.
All clear on Patriots injury front. After removing 15 players from their Friday injury report and declaring another five as probable for today's game, the Patriots aren't expected to have any inactives due to injuries. That means tight end Rob Gronkowski (forearm/hip), defensive end Rob Ninkovich (hip), and cornerbacks Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring/knee) and Aqib Talib (hip) should all be active.
Corrente gets the call. Veteran official Tony Corrente, in his 18th season, is today's referee. Corrente last worked a Patriots game in Week 4 of the 2011 season (in Oakland), when he flagged the Patriots five times.
Tynan to perform national anthem. Well-known Irish tenor Ronan Tynan will perform the national anthem for the second straight Divisional playoff game for the Patriots. Last January, he sang the anthem in a Rob Gronkowski jersey before a 45-10 win over the Denver Broncos.
Flyover, too. The 104th Fighter Wing, based out of Barnes Air National Guard in Westfield, Mass., will perform a flyover prior to today's game.