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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Steelers

Posted Oct 30, 2011

The following are game notes from the New England Patriots regular season game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, October 30, 2011.

ANDRE CARTER HAS SECOND STRAIGHT 2-SACK GAME
Andre Carter sacked Ben Roethlisberger twice, marking his second consecutive game with at least two sacks and the 11th two-sack game of his career. Carter sacked Tony Romo two times vs. Dallas on Oct. 16. It marks the second time in his career that he has had at least two sacks in back-to-back games. In 2009 with Washington he had 2.5 sacks at Carolina (10/11) followed by a two sack game vs. Kansas City (10/18).

CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE TOUCHDOWN PASS CONTINUES FOR BRADY
Tom Brady has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 23 straight regular season games, extending his team mark. Brady's current streak started when he threw a touchdown pass in all 16 games in 2010 and he has now achieved the feat in all six games in 2011. The old team record was 19 games, also set by Brady. The NFL record is 47 set by Johnny Unitas (1956-7), followed by Brett Favre with 36 and Drew Brees with 35.

BRADY ON PACE FOR SECOND CAREER 40 TOUCHDOWN SEASON
Brady has 18 touchdown passes through seven games and is on pace for 41 touchdown passes. Brady has led the league in touchdowns passes three times in his career and can tie Len Dawson, Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas and Steve Young (4) for the most seasons leading the league in touchdown passes.

Last season, Brady led the NFL with 36 touchdowns. He also led the NFL with a record 50 touchdowns in 2007 and 28 touchdowns in 2002. If Brady reaches 40 touchdowns he will be just the second player in NFL history to have two seasons with 40 or more touchdowns. Dan Marino had 48 touchdowns in 1984 and 44 in 1986.

WELKER HAS SECOND MOST RECEPTIONS IN NFL HISTORY IN FIRST SEVEN GAMES
Wes Welker had six receptions for 39 yards and now has 57 receptions for 824 yards through seven games this season. The 57 receptions through the first seven games are tied with Rod Smith (57 in 2001) for the second most in NFL history through the first seven games of the season. He is on pace to finish with 130 receptions, which would be second in NFL history to Marvin Harrison's NFL record of 143 in 202.

MOST RECEPTIONS IN FIRST SEVEN GAMES
Marvin Harrison (Colts)        2002    58
TJ Houshmandzadeh (Bengals)    2007    58
Wes Welker (NE)            2011    57
Rod Smith (Broncos)        2001    57

WELKER IS STREAKING
Wes Welker extended his streak to 68 straight regular-season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots to extend his franchise record. Welker has an overall streak of 85 straight regular-season games with at least one reception, including his time with the Miami Dolphins. Welker has caught at least one pass in each of his 72 games with the Patriots, including four postseason games. The last time that Welker did not catch a pass in a game was December 24, 2005 when he was with Miami.

GRONKOWSKI TIES CAREER HIGH WITH SEVEN CATCHES
Rob Gronkowski tied his career high with seven catches against Pittsburgh. He also had seven catches vs. Dallas (10/16) and at Buffalo (9/25) this year.

FAULK AND DEADERICK RETURN TO ACTION
RB Kevin Faulk and DL Brandon Deaderick both saw their first action of the season after starting the year on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Faulk was in the starting lineup, while Deaderick was used as a reserve along the defensive line. Faulk had six carries for 32 yards and caught five passes for 20 yards. Deaderick registered one solo tackle.

MAYO AND VOLLMER RETURN TO THE FIELD
LB Jerod Mayo and T Sebastian Vollmer both returned after missing time due to injury.Mayo was injured in the Oakland game and missed the last two games. Vollmer has been bothered by an injury has not played since the San Diego game.

WOODHEAD RETURNS A KICK
RB Danny Woodhead returned a second quarter kick for 20 yards. It was his second NFL kickoff return and first since a 16-yard return on Dec. 20, 2009 vs. Atlanta. He finished the game with four returns for 74 yards.

GUYTON SETS UP PATRIOTS FIRST POINTS WITH AN INTERCEPTION
LB Gary Guyton intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the second quarter and returned it 17 yards to the Pittsburgh 8-yard line. It marks his third interception of his career and first of the 2011 season. That turnover helped set up a 2-yard touchdown pass to WR Deion Branch