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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Steelers

Posted Nov 3, 2013

The following are game notes from the New England Patriots game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, November 3, 2013.

PATRIOTS STRONG IN SEASON'S SECOND HALF
The Patriots opened the second half of the 2013 regular season with a victory over Pittsburgh. Since the 2010 season, the Patriots are now a combined 24-1 in the second half of the regular season. In both 2010 and 2011, the Patriots were 8-0 in the second half of the regular season and last year New England was 7-1. Since Bill Belichick became Patriots head coach in 2000, New England is 83-21 in the second half of the season, and has gone 8-0 in the second half four times in Belichick's tenure and has had a 7-1 second half three times under Belichick.

BRADY TIES NFL RECORD BY LEADING THE PATRIOTS TO SIXTH 50-POINT GAME
Today's 55-31 win over Pittsburgh game marked the sixth time that New England scored at least 50 points in a game started by Brady, tying Len Dawson for the most 50-point games by a starting QB in NFL history.

PATRIOTS 50-POINTS GAMES WITH TOM BRADY AS STARTING QB
Date............Opponent..................Score
10/28/07........vs. Washington............52-7
11/18/07........at Buffalo................56-10
10/18/09........vs. Tennessee.............59-0
09/30/12........at Buffalo................52-28
11/18/12........vs. Indianapolis..........59-24
11/03/13........vs. Pittsburgh............55-31

BRADY SETS NFL MARK FOR MOST GAMES WITH 4 TD AND NO INTERCEPTIONS
Tom Brady had four touchdowns and no interceptions, marking the 15th time in his career that he has had four or more touchdowns without an interception. Brady passed Drew Brees (14) for the most such games in NFL history. Brady has now had 19 games with at least four touchdown passes, a total that ranks fifth in NFL history.

BRADY GOES LONG
Brady had two passes of 50 or more yards in a single game for the eighth time in his career with a 57-yard pass to WR Danny Amendola in the second quarter and an 81-yard touchdown pass to WR Aaron Dobson in the fourth quarter.

BRADY CONNECTS WITH AARON DOBSON ON AN 81-YARD TOUCHDOWN PASS
Tom Brady connected with Aaron Dobson on an 81-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. It is tied for the fifth longest pass in Brady's career and is the sixth touchdown pass of 80 or more yards in his career.

BRADY'S 432 YARDS ARE THIRD HIGHEST SINGLE-GAME TOTAL OF HIS CAREER
Tom Brady finished with 432 passing yards, marking the third highest single-game total of his 186-game career. The only times that Brady threw for more yards in a game that he did against Pittsburgh were on Sept. 12, 2011, when he had 517 passing yards at Miami and on Dec. 16, 2012, when Brady had 443 passing yards against San Francisco.

PATRIOTS' 610 TOTAL NET YARDS RANKS THIRD IN TEAM HISTORY
The Patriots totaled 610 net yards against Pittsburgh, marking the third highest single-game net yardage total in the franchise's 853-game history. The only times the Patriots have gained more net yards in a game were when they had a team-record 622 total net yards at Miami on Sept. 12, 2011, and when they had 619 total net yards against Tennessee on October 18, 2009.

PATRIOTS' 55 POINTS TIES FIFTH HIGHEST SINGLE-TAME TOTAL
The Patriots' 55 points tied the fifth-highest single-game total in team history. New England also had a 55-point output in a 55-21 win over the New York Jets on Oct. 29, 1978. The Patriots team record for most points scored in a game is 59, achieved on Oct. 18, 2009 against Tennessee and on Nov. 18, 2012 against Indianapolis.

PATRIOTS FORCE A TURNOVER FOR THE 36th STRAIGHT GAME
The Patriots have now forced a turnover in 36 straight games dating back to 2011 after Rob Ninkovich's strip sack that was recovered by DL Joe Vellano in the first quarter. It is the longest active streak in the NFL. The NFL record for most consecutive games with a turnover since the merger in 1970 is 71 by Philadelphia from 1985-1990. The last time the Patriots did not register at least one turnover was on Oct. 9, 2011 vs. the New York Jets.

300-YARD PASSER, TWO 100-YARD RECEIVERS AND A 100-YARD RUSHING PERFORMANCE
The Patriots had a 300-yard passer (Tom Brady - 432), a 100-yard rusher (Stevan Ridley - 115) and three 100-yard receivers (Rob Gronkowski – 143, Aaron Dobson – 130 and Danny Amendola – 122). It is the first time that the Patriots have had a 300-yard passer, at least two 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher in the same game since last season at Buffalo on Sept. 30, 2012 when Ridley (106) and Brandon Bolden (137) went over 100 yards rushing, Rob Gronkowskit (104) and Wes Welker (129) had 100 yards receiving and Tom Brady passed for 340 yards.

THE PATRIOTS FINISH WITH THREE RECEIVERS OVER 100 YARDS FOR FIRST TIME IN TEAM HISTORY
The Patriots had three players finish with 100 yards receiving in a single game for the first time in team history when Rob Gronkowski finished with 143 yards, Aaron Dobson with 130 yards and Danny Amendola with 122 yards.

PATRIOTS ARE THIRD TEAM IN NFL HISTORY WITH THREE PLAYERS WITH 120 RECEIVING YARDS AND ONE OR MORE TOUCHDOWNS IN THE SAME GAME
The Patriots had three receivers with 120 or more receiving yards and a touchdown, as Rob Gronkowski (9-143-1), Aaron Dobson (5-130-2) and Danny Amendola (4-122-1). It is the third time in NFL history that a team has had three receivers top the 120 yard mark and score a touchdown in a game. The Dallas Cowboys achieved the feat earlier this season in their 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos on Oct. 6, 2013. In that game, the Cowboys' Terrence Williams (4-151-1), Dez Bryant (6-141-2) and Jason Witten (7-121-1) all had 120 or more yards and a touchdown. The only other time in NFL history that a team had such an accomplishment was the Houston Oilers on November 19, 1961 against the New York Titans. In that game, the Oilers' Bill Groman (5-152-3), Charley Hennigan (8-123-1) and Billy Cannon (7-122-3) had 120 or more yards to go along with a touchdown as the Oilers beat New York 49-13.

DANNY AMENDOLA REGISTERS FIRST PATRIOTS TOUCHDOWN; BECOMES 50TH DIFFERENT PLAYER TO CATCH A TOUCHDOWN PASS FROM BRADY
Danny Amendola caught his first touchdown as a member of the Patriots on a 34-yard reception from Tom Brady in the first quarter. Amendola is the 50th different player to catch a touchdown pass from Tom Brady.

AMENDOLA CONNECTS WITH BRADY FOR A 57-YARD GAIN; LONGEST RECEPTION OF AMENDOLA'S CAREER
Danny Amendola and Tom Brady connected for a 57-yard reception in the second quarter. It is the longest reception of Amendola's career. His previous best was a 56-yard reception 56 vs. Washington on Sept. 16, 2012 when he was with St. Louis.

AMENDOLA REGISTERS SECOND 100 YARD GAME AS A PATRIOT
Amendola finished with four receptions for 122 yards. It is his second 100-yard game with the Patriots. He had 10 receptions for 104 yards at Buffalo on Sept. 8 in the 2013 season opener. It is the fourth 100-yard receiving game of his career.

PATRIOTS TIE RAIDERS FOR MOST REGULAR SEASON WINS AMONG ORIGINAL 8 AFL TEAMS
The Patriots won their 433rd regular season game, tying Oakland for the most regular season wins among the original eight AFL teams.

PATRIOTS GOOD IN NOVEMBER
The New England Patriots own an NFL-best 36-13 (.735) record in the month of November since 2001. During that time, the Patriots have had four undefeated Novembers, including winning all three November games in 2012.

SACK ATTACK CONTINUES
The Patriots had at least five sacks for the second straight game, marking the first time since 2007 that they have had back-to-back games with at least five sacks. The last time New England had at least five sacks in back-to-back games was in 2007, when they followed up a 5-sack performance against the New York Jets (12/16/07) with a 7-sack performance against Miami (12/23/07). The Patriots' five sacks marked their third straight game with at least four sacks. New England had four sacks at the New York Jets on Oct. 20 and had six sacks last week against Miami. Today's game marked the fifth time this year the Patriots have had at least four sacks.

TOM BRADY PASSES WARREN MOON FOR SIXTH PLACE ON NFL COMPLETIONS LIST; PASSES FRAN TARKENTON FOR SEVENTH ON NFL PASSING YARD LIST
Tom Brady (3,992) moved past Warren Moon (3,988) into sixth place all-time on the NFL completions list. John Elway is in fifth place with 4,123 completions. Brady needs eight completions to become the fifth player in NFL history reach 4,000 completions. Brady (47,062 career yards) moved past Fran Tarkenton (47,003) for seventh place on the NFL's all-time passing yards list.

MOST PASS COMPLETIONS IN NFL HISTORY
Brett Favre 6,300
Peyton Manning 5,319
Dan Marino 4,967
Drew Brees 4,629
John Elway 4,123
Tom Brady 3,992
Warren Moon 3,988

STEVAN RIDLEY SCORED A TOUCHDOWN IN HIS FOURTH STRAIGHT GAME
Stevan Ridley scored a rushing touchdown in his fourth straight game. He had a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 5-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. In 2012, Ridley had a streak of six straight games with at least one rushing touchdown, which is tied for the second longest streak in team history. Ridley now has six touchdown runs in 2013.

RIDLEY HAS HIS SECOND TWO-TOUCHDOWN GAME OF 2013 AND FOURTH OF CAREER
Ridley scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter. It is the fourth time in his career that he has rushed for two touchdowns in a single game and the second time he has done so in 2013. He scored two touchdowns in the win vs. New Orleans on Oct. 13.

RIDLEY GOES OVER 100 YARDS FOR FIRST TIME IN 2013; FIFTH TIME IN CAREER
Ridley had his fifth career 100-yard game and the first of the 2013 season, finishing the game with 115 rushing yards on 26 carries (4.4 avg.).

NEWLY ACQUIRED DL ISAAC SOPOAGA STARTS
Newly acquired DL Isaac Sopoaga was in the starting lineup.

ROB NINKOVICH GETS FIRST STRIP SACK OF THE SEASON
Rob Ninkovich forced a fumble on a 6-yard sack of QB Ben Roethlisberger that was recovered by DL Joe Vellano at the New England 42-yard line to end Pittsburgh's first drive. It was Ninkovich's first strip sack of the season. He had four strip sacks in 2012.

GRONKOWSKI REACHES 200 CAREER RECEPTIONS
Rob Gronkowski caught his 200th career reception on a 27-yard pass from Tom Brady in the first quarter to become the 17th player in Patriots history to reach 200 receptions.

GRONKOWSKI TIES RANDY MOSS WITH 39TH TOUCHDOWN PASSES FROM TOM BRADY
Gronkowski caught his 39th touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the second quarter on a 19-yard pass, tying him with Randy Moss for the most touchdown receptions received from Tom Brady. His 39 career touchdowns with the Patriots are tied for the fifth most in team history

Most Patriots Touchdown Receptions/Career
67 Stanley Morgan
50 Ben Coates
50 Randy Moss
42 Gino Cappelletti
39 Jim Colclough
39 Rob Gronkowski
38 Irving Fryar

GRONKOWSKI ADDS TO HIS TEAM RECORD WITH HIS 11TH 100-YARD GAME
Gronkowski totaled a season-high 143 receiving yards, registering his 11th career 100-yard game and his second of the season. Gronkowski had eight receptions for 114 yards at the New York Jets on Oct. 20, 2013. Gronkowski leads all Patriots tight ends with 11 100-yard games. Ben Coates is second with 9 100-yard games.

GRONKOWSKI HAS THIRD 100-YARD FIRST HALF
Gronkowski finished the first half with 119 yards on seven receptions. It is the most yards he has ever had in a half and the third time he has ever had 100 yards in a half. His previous best was 118 yards in the first half at Washington on Dec. 11, 2011. He also had 106 yards in the first half vs. St. Louis on Oct. 28, 2012 in a game played in London.

GRONKOWSKI SETS CAREER HIGH IN RECEPTIONS
Gronkowski finished the game with nine receptions, setting a new single-game career high. His previous best was eight receptions in a game, a feat he accomplished five times.

CHANDLER JONES HAS THIRD TWO-SACK GAME OF 2013
Chandler Jones had a pair of sacks and registered his third two-sack game of the 2013 season. Jones also had two sacks vs. New York Jets on Sept. 12 and at the New York Jets on Oct. 20. He now has 8.5 sacks for the year. The Patriots have had a player finish with 10 or more sacks in a season 14 times in team history.

JONES HAS 14.5 SACKS IN HIS FIRST TWO NFL SEASONS
Chandler Jones set a single-season high in 2013 after reaching 6.5 sacks in the first seven games of 2013. He had 6.0 sacks as a rookie in 2012.

EDELMAN RETURNS A THIRD QUARTER PUNT 43 YARDS
WR Julian Edelman returned a third quarter punt 43 yards. It is his 10th punt retured for 30- or more yards, third in team history behind Troy Brown (14), Irving Fryar (13) band Mike Haynes (13).

BRADY RECORDS 55TH CAREER 300-YARD GAME
Brady had his 55th NFL game with 300 or more yards passing and his second of the 2013 season. Brady also had 316 yards passing at Atlanta on Sept. 29. His 300-yard game total ranks third among active NFL quarterbacks, behind NFL-leader Peyton Manning (79) and Drew Brees (73). The Patriots are 45-10 when Brady throws for 300 or more yards.

NFL QUARTERBACK 300-YARD GAMES (*ACTIVE)
Player..........300-Yard Games
Peyton Manning 79
Drew Brees 73
Dan Marino 63
Brett Favre 62
Tom Brady* 55
Kurt Warner 52
Dan Fouts 51
Warren Moon 49
Tony Romo 43

STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI EXTENDS FIELD GOAL STREAK TO 17
Stephen Gostkowski extended his streak to 17 straight field goals with his 20-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter. The streak is the longest single-season consecutive field goal streak of Gostkowski's career. The streak is tied with Adam Vinatieri for the second longest such streak in a single season in team history. The longest single-season streak in team history belongs to Vinatieri, who booted 23 straight field goals in the 2004 season.

GOSTKOWSKI SCORES IN HIS 100TH STRAIGHT GAME
K Stephen Gostkowski has now scored at least one point in 100 games. He is one game away from tying Adam Vinatiere and John Smith for the all-time lead with 101 consecutive games scoring.

Patriots Record for Most Consecutive Games Scored
101 Adam Vinatieri (11/24/96-12/29/02)
101 John Smith (09/28/75-10/02/80)
100 Stephen Gostkowski (12/17/06- present)

QUICK HITS
  • Brandon Spikes stopped Le'Veon Bell for no gain on second down in the first quarter, setting up a third down on which Rob Ninkovich strip-sacked Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Vellano recovered the ball to give the Patriots possession.
  • Rob Gronkowski had four receptions for 78 yards on the Patriots' second drive of the game.
  • Chris Jones and Jamie Collins tackled Le'Veon Bell for a 1-yard loss on fourth down in the second quarter, giving the Patriots the ball at the Steelers' 33-yard line.
  • Chris Jones tackled Ben Roethlisberger for no gain on a rushing play on first down in the fourth quarter.
  • Andre Carter sacked Ben Roethlisberger for a 6-yard loss in the fourth quarter.

The Patriots improved to...
  • 24-1 in the second half of the season (final 8 games) since 2010 (NFL Best).
  • 36-13 in November since 2001 (NFL Best).
  • 78-15 all-time at Gillette Stadium (NFL Best at home since 2002).
  • 232-112 in all games (including playoffs) since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 (NFL Best).
  • 143-41 in regular season games where Tom Brady starts at quarterback (NFL Best QB winning percentage in Super Bowl Era)
  • 80-13 in regular season home games where Tom Brady starts at quarterback.

GAME TIES FRANCHISE RECORD FOR COMBINED POINTS

The 86 combined points by the Patriots and Steelers in New England's 55-31 win tied the Patriots franchise record for most combined points in a game. The other time New England had 86 combined points in a game was on Oct. 16, 1964, when the Boston Patriots and Oakland Raiders played to a 43-43 tie at Fenway Park.