GAME TIME: 8:20 p.m. EST
TV NETWORK: NBC
TV ANNOUNCERS: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya
RADIO NETWORK: Anchored by WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)
RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Gil Santos and Scott Zolak
ALL-TIME SERIES BETWEEN THE TEAMS: 49ers lead, 7-4
LAST MEETING: Patriots 30, 49ers 21 at Candlestick Park on Oct. 5, 2008
This weeks game will be a battle between the team of the 2000s and the team of the 1990s. The Patriots 126 wins in the 2000s is the all-time best mark for a decade in NFL history. In the 1990s, the 49ers had 122 wins, which is the third-best record for a decade in NFL history.
The are 18-15 all-time on Sunday Night Football, including 9-9 under coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots are 11-5 in home Sunday Night Football games and 7-10 on the road.
The Patriots have won 13 consecutive regular-season December games, a streak that began with a win over the Panthers on Dec. 13, 2009, and is tied with the 1968-72 Cowboys for second-highest number of consecutive December wins. The Chargers hold the record, posting 18 consecutive regular-season wins in December from 2006-09. The Patriots also had 12 straight December wins from 2006-08.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
With one touchdown pass against the 49ers, Tom Brady will extend his streak to 46 straight games with at least one touchdown pass and continue his third-longest streak all time, behind Drew Brees (54) and Johnny Unitas (47).
Brady has 52 career 300-yard games in the regular season. He needs one more to break a tie with Kurt Warner for fifth place all time.
Brady (3,833) needs 167 passing yards to reach 4,000 yards for the fifth time and join Dan Marino (6), Drew Brees (6), Brett Favre (6) and Peyton Manning (11) as the only players to have at least five seasons with 4,000 passing yards.
Stephen Gostkowski (7-of-10 from 50 or more yards) needs one more 50-yard field goal to tie Adam Vinatieri (8-of-17) for most 50-yard field goals in Patriots history. Gostkowski has two 50-yarders so far in 2012 and can become the first Patriots player with three 50-yard field goals in a single season.
Rob Ninkovich has a team-leading five forced fumbles, tying Mike Vrabel (2007) for the most forced fumbles for a Patriots player within the last 20 years.
Wes Welker (17) needs one more 10-plus catch game to break a tie with Jerry Rice for the most 10-catch games in NFL history.
Welker (95) needs 5 receptions to become the first playerin NFL history with five 100-catch seasons.
The Patriots defense has forced a turnover in 24 straight games, dating back to 2011 and including the first 13 games of 2012. The last NFL team to have at least one takeaway in all 16 regular season games was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.