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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Dolphins

Posted Dec 30, 2012

The following are game notes from the New England Patriots regular season game vs. the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, December 30, 2012.

PATRIOTS EARN NUMBER TWO SEED IN AFC PLAYOFF FIELD
With the victory over Miami, a Houston loss and a Denver victory, the Patriots earned the number two seed in the AFC playoff field. The Patriots have been the two seed four times previously, including following the 2001 and 2004 seasons in which they went on to win the Super Bowl. The Patriots also earned the two seed following the 1978 and 1996 seasons.

THE PATRIOTS HAVE EIGHTH SHUTOUT IN THE BILL BELICHICK ERA
The Patriots shut out Miami 28-0, recording their first shutout of the season and their first since downing the Tennessee Titans 59-0 on Oct. 18, 2009. The shutout is the eighth for the Patriots since Bill Belichick became head coach in 2000. New England had three shutouts in 2003, one in 2005, one in 2006, in 2008 and 2009. It is the 25th shutout in team history.

PATRIOTS FINISH UNDEFEATED IN AFC EAST
With the victory over the Dolphins, the Patriots finish their slate of divisional games without a loss for the second time in team history. The Patriots were a perfect 6-0 in AFC East play in 2007. New England had just one loss in division play in 1986, 1997, 2003, 2004 and 2005, 2010 and 2011.

BRADY MOVES PAST JOHNNY UNITAS WITH THE SECOND LONGEST TOUCHDOWN STREAK
Brady has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 48 straight regular season games after his 9-yard touchdown pass to WR Wes Welker in the first quarter to move past Johnny Unitas (47) for the second longest touchdown streak in NFL history, behind Drew Brees (54)

MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES, TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Player / Games
Drew Brees (2009-2012) 54
Tom Brady (2010-current) 48
Johnny Unitas (1956-60) 47
Brett Favre (2002-04) 36
Dan Marino (1985-87) 30

PATRIOTS BREAK NFL RECORD FOR MOST FIRST DOWNS IN A SEASON
The Patriots set a new NFL record for most first downs in a season after gaining 28 first downs against Miami to give them a total of 444 in 2012.

NFL RECORD FOR MOST FIRST DOWNS IN A SEASON
444 New England in 2012
416 New Orleans in 2011
399 New England in 2011
398 Kansas City in 2004

TOM BRADY GUIDES PATRIOTS TO 7TH 12-WIN SEASON
Tom Brady guided the Patriots to their 12th win in 2012. Since entering the NFL in 2000, Brady’s teams have reached 12 regular-season wins in seven different seasons, tied with Brett Favre for second all-time, behind Peyton Manning.
Starting QBs with the most 12-win Regular Seasons in NFL History
Player / Seasons
Peyton Manning 9
Tom Brady 7
Brett Favre 6
John Elway 4
Jim Kelly 4

GOSTKOWSKI HAS SECOND HIGHEST POINT TOTAL IN TEAM HISTORY
Stephen Gostkowski set a single-season career-high after gaining four points against Miami to push his season total to 153. Gostkowski’s previous best was 148 points in 2008. Gino Cappelletti has the Patriots record with 155 points in 1964.
Patriots Record for Most Points in a Season
155 Gino Cappelletti, 1964
153 Stephen Gostkowski, 2012
148 Stephen Gostkowski, 2008
147 Gino Cappelletti, 1961
143 Stephen Gostkowski, 2011

GOSTKOWSKI FINISHES WITH SECOND MOST EXTRA POINTS IN A SEASON
With four extra points against Miami, Gostkowski finished 2012 with 66 extra points, tied for second in Patriots and NFL history to his 74 in 2007.
Patriots/Most Extra Points in a Season
74 Stephen Gostkowski, 2007
66 Stephen Gostkowski, 2012
59 Stephen Gostkowski, 2011

NFL/Most Extra Points in a Season
74 Stephen Gostkowski, 2007
66 Stephen Gostkowski 2012
64 Jeff Wilkins (St. Louis), 1999
63 John Kasay (New Orleans), 2011

STEVE GREGORY SETS CAREER HIGH WITH HIS THIRD INTERCEPTION OF THE SEASON
Steve Gregory set a single-season career high when he intercepted Miami QB Ryan Tannehill in the first quarter for his third on the season. The pick helped set up a 9-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker. Gregory’s previous single season high was two interceptions in 2010 when he played for San Diego.

ROOKIE JUSTIN FRANCIS RECORDS FIRST THREE NFL SACKS
Rookie DL Justin Francis dropped Miami QB Ryan Tannehill for a 4-yard loss in the first quarter, a 1-yard loss in the third quarter and a 3-yard loss in the fourth quarter for his first three NFL sacks. Francis’ three sacks in a game are tied for seventh all time in franchise history with 30 others. The last three-plus sack game was Andre Carter, who had four at the Jets on November 13, 2011.

PATRIOTS RECORD SEVEN SACKS
The Patriots recorded seven sacks against Miami, which is a season-high. Rookie Justin Francis led the way with three, and Vince Wilfork, Brandon Deaderick, Trevor Scott and Derrick Martin each had one. The seven sacks is the most in a game for the Patriots since they had seven against Miami on December 23, 2007.

WELKER FINISHES WITH 1,354 RECEIVING YARDS
Wes Welker finished the season with 1,354 receiving yards, the fourth highest in franchise history and the second highest total of his career. He had a franchise record 1,569 in 2011.

PATRIOTS SCORE TOUCHDOWNS IN 2012
The Patriots are first in the NFL in 2012 with 67 touchdowns, which is second in team history and tied for fourth in NFL history.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN A SEASON / PATRIOTS
75 in 2007
67 in 2012
65 in 2010
61 in 2011
52 in 1961 and 1980

PATRIOTS FINISH FIRST IN THE NFL WITH 557 TOTAL POINTS
The Patriots finished first in the NFL with 557 points in 2012, which is second in team history to the NFL record of 589 points set by the 2007 team and third in NFL history. The Patriots finished with an average of 34.8 points per game in 2012.

WELKER EXTENDS STREAK TO 110 CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE RECEPTION
Wes Welker extended his streak to 110 straight regular season games with at least one reception, including his time with the Miami Dolphins. He has a streak of 93 straight regular-season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots to extend his franchise record. Welker has caught at least one pass in each of his 100 games with the Patriots, including seven postseason games. The last time that Welker did not catch a pass in a game was December 24, 2005 when he was with Miami. He is one of 39 NFL players to have a streak of at least 100 games with one reception.

PATRIOTS FORCE TURNOVERS
With Steve Gregory’s first quarter interception, the Patriots have forced a turnover in 27 straight games, dating back to 2011 and including the first 16 games of 2012. The last team to have at least one forced turnover in all 16 regular season games was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons. The streak of 27 straight games with a turnover is the longest streak for the Patriots since going 30 straight games with at least one takeaway from 1986 to 1988. The Patriots have now had at least one interception in nine of the last ten games.

2012 PATRIOTS DEFENSE FORCES TURNOVERS
The 2012 Patriots’ defense finished with 421 turnovers in 2012 (20 interceptions and 21 forced fumbles. The Patriots team record is 50 turnovers in 1976. The most forced turnovers under Bill Belichick’s reign with the Patriots are 41 by the 2003 team and 41 by the 2012 team.

WELKER FINISHES THE SEASON WITH 118 RECEPTIONS.
Wes Welker finished the season with 118 receptions, the third highest of his career.

PATRIOTS TWO YARDS SHY OF TEAM MARK IN TOTAL YARDS
The Patriots finished the season with 6,846 net yards through, the second highest in team history and the fifth highest in NFL history.

MOST TOTAL NET YARDS/SEASON PATRIOTS
6,848 in 2011
6,846 in 2012
6,580 in 2007
6,357 in 2009

MOST TOTAL NET YARDS/ NFL
7,474 New Orleans in 2011
7,075 St. Louis in 2000
6,936 Miami in 1984
6,848 Patriots in 2011
6,846 Patriots in 2012

BRADY THROWS AT LEAST ONE TD PASS IN ALL 16 GAMES FOR THIRD STRAIGHT SEASON
Since the NFL went to a 16-game season in 1978, Tom Brady is the only quarterback to have thrown for at least one touchdown pass in each game for three consecutive seasons. Since the NFL went to a 16-game season in 1978, only eight quarterbacks have thrown for at least one touchdown in each game. Brady and Peyton Manning are the only quarterbacks to do so in 2012.

QBS WITH A LEAST ONE TD PASS IN All 16 GAMES IN A SEASON
Tom Brady (New England) 2010, 2011 and 2012
Drew Brees (New Orleans) 2010, 2011
Peyton Manning (Denver) 2012
Daunte Culpepper (Minnesota) 2004
Brett Favre (Green Bay) 2003
Kurt Warner (St. Louis) 1999
Dan Marino (Miami) 1984, 1986
Dave Kreig (Seattle) 1984
*16-game schedule was instituted in 1978

BRADY MOVES PAST DREW BLEDSOE INTO 9TH PLACE ON THE ALL-TIME PASSING LIST
Brady (44,806) moved past Drew Bledsoe(44,611) into ninth place in NFL passing yards, Drew Brees is in 8th place with 45,523 passing yards entering today’s games.

BRADY MOVES PAST VINNY TESTAVERDE INTO 8TH ON ALL-TIME COMPLETION LIST
Tom Brady (3,798) moved past Vinny Testaverde (3,787) into 8th place in completions. Drew Bledsoe is in 7th place with 3,839 completions.

PATRIOTS SCORE ON THE GROUND
After scoring two times on the ground tonight, the Patriots lead the NFL with 25 rushing touchdowns in 2012. The 25 rushing touchdowns are second to the 30 scored by the 1978 team.

STEVAN RIDLEY BECOMES FIFTH PATRIOTS RUNNING BACK TO REACH 1200 YARDS
Stevan Ridley has a total of 1,263 rushing yards after gaining 74 against Miami. Ridley is the fifth Patriots player to reach 1,200 yards and his 1,263 is fourth in franchise history.

RIDLEY SCORED TWICE FOR HIS 12TH RUSHING TOUCHDOWN OF THE SEASON
Ridley scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and a 2-yard run in the second quarter to push his total to 12 rushing touchdowns in 2012. The 12 are tied with Corey Dillon (2005 and 2004), Antowain Smith (2001) and Steve Grogan (1976) for fifth all-time. It is Ridley’s second career two-touchdown game. He scored two rushing touchdowns at Buffalo on Sept. 30, 2012

MOST RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS/SEASON IN PATRIOTS HISTORY
14 Curtis Martin, 1996
14 Curtis Martin, 1995
13 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 2010
13 Corey Dillon, 2006
12 Stevan Ridley, 2012
12 Corey Dillon, 2005
12 Corey Dillon, 2004
12 Antowain Smith, 2001
12 Steve Grogan, 1976

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