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Patriots 2012 Season in Review

Posted Jan 28, 2013

Take a look back at the achievements of the 2012 New England Patriots team.

Download Season-Ending Release >>

PATRIOTS WIN 10+ FOR THE TENTH STRAIGHT YEAR
New England has reached at least 10 regular-season wins for the tenth consecutive season. San Francisco (16) is the only other team to accomplish the feat.

Consecutive Seasons with 10+ Wins
San Francisco, 1983-1998 (16)
New England, 2003-present (10)

2012 NOTES OF INTEREST

BILL BELICHICK

Bill Belichick (205) moved into a tie with Marty Schottenheimer for sixth place all time in career wins.

Belichick (18) needs one more postseason victory to tie Don Shula (19) for second place in postseason wins. Tom Landry (20) is in first place.

Belichick has five conference titles and needs one more to match Don Shula, who led his teams to six Super Bowls.

TOM BRADY

Tom Brady has 53 career 300-yard games, including eight in 2012, and ranks fifth all-time for most 300-yard games.

Brady (34) reached 30 touchdown passes in 2012 for the third straight season and became just the fifth player in NFL history with at least 30 or more touchdown passes in four seasons.

Brady (4,827) reached 4,000 passing yards in 2012. He is just the fifth player in NFL history to reach 4,000 yards in five or more seasons: Peyton Manning (12), Drew Brees (7), Dan Marino (6) and Brett Favre (6).

Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 48 straight games, the NFL’s longest active streak. Brady’s 48 straight games with at least one touchdown pass is second all-time, behind Drew Brees (54).

Brady is the only quarterback in NFL history to have thrown for at least one touchdown pass in each game for three consecutive seasons after throwing at least one touchdown in all 16 games in 2012.

ROB GRONKOWSKI

Rob Gronkowski (10 touchdowns in 2010 and 18 in 2011) became the first tight end in NFL history with three straight 10- plus touchdown seasons after reaching 11 for the season in 2012. Gronkowski and Antonio Gates (13 in 2004 and 10 in 2005) are the only tight ends to have back-to-back 10-plus touchdown seasons.

Gronkowski joins Randy Moss (2007, 2008 and 2009) and Corey Dillon (2004, 2005, 2006) as the only Patriots with three straight 10-plus touchdown seasons and three 10-plus seasons overall.

Gronkowski has 38 receiving touchdowns and 39 touchdowns overall (38 receiving and 1 rushing) since 2010. The 38 receiving touchdowns are the most in the NFL in that time span, and the 39 overall touchdowns are tied with Adrian Peterson for second, behind Arian Foster’s 47 touchdowns.

ROB NINKOVICH AND BRANDON SPIKES

Ninkovich and Brandon Spikes had five forced fumbles in 2012 and are tied with Mike Vrabel, who had five forced fumbles in 2007, for the most by a Patriots player in the last 20 years.

WES WELKER

Wes Welker now has 18 10-plus catch games and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and Andre Johnson (17) for the most such games in NFL history

Welker (118) had over 100 receptions in 2012 and is the first player in NFL history to have five 100-catch seasons.

TEAM

The Patriots led the NFL with 557 points in 2012, the second most in team history and the third most in NFL history. The 2007 Patriots set the NFL record 589 points in 2007.

The Patriots offense set an NFL record for most first downs in a season with a total of 444 in 2012. The previous record was 416 by New Orleans in 2011.

The Patriots scored 67 touchdowns in 2012, the second most in the team history and tied for the fourth most in NFL history. The Patriots set the NFL record with 75 touchdowns in 2007.

The Patriots had 25 rushing touchdowns in 2012, the second most in team history to the 30 in 1978. The Patriots finished 2012 with 6,846 total yards, second in team history to the 6,848 in 2011 and the fifth most in NFL history.

TOP OFFENSE IN 2012
The Patriots offense finished first in the NFL in 2012 with 427.9 yards per game. The Patriots offense has finished in the top 10 for six straight seasons. Since the 1970 merger, the Patriots offense has finished in the top 10 a total of 17 times, including eight times under Bill Belichick.

PATRIOTS SCORE TOUCHDOWNS IN 2012
The Patriots finished first in the NFL in 2012 with 67 touchdowns, which is second all-time in team history. The Patriots hold the NFL record with 75 touchdowns scored by the 2007 team

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

PATRIOTS LED NFL IN TOTAL YARDS
The Patriots finished first in the NFL with 6,846 total yards, 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

2012 PATRIOTS SET NFL RECORD FOR MOST FIRST DOWNS IN A SEASON
The Patriots set an NFL record for most first downs in a season with 444 first downs in 2012, an average of 28 per game.

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

2012 PATRIOTS GO OVER 400 POINTS FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT SEASON
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. In 2012, the Patriots became the second team to ever have at least six straight 400-point seasons. San Diego ended a streak of eight straight 400-point seasons (2004- 11) after finishing with just 350 points in 2012.

PATRIOTS ALL ALONE IN 500 POINT CLUB
The Patriots are the first franchise in NFL history to score 500 or more points in four seasons (2007-589, 2010-518, 2011-513 and 2012-557). St. Louis is the only other team to have done it three times (1999-526, 2000-540, 2001-503). Bill Belichick is the first head coach in NFL history to lead a team to three straight 500- point seasons.

PATRIOTS HAD FIVE DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS IN 2012
Steve Gregory’s 32-yard touchdown on a fumble return and Julian Edelman’s 22-yard fumble return at the Jets (11/22) gave the Patriots five defensive touchdowns in 2012. In addition to Gregory and Edelman’s scores, LB Dont’a Hightower returned a fumble at Tennessee (9/9), and Alfonzo Dennard and Aqib Talib returned interceptions for touchdowns vs. Indianapolis (11/18). It is the most for the Patriots since scoring five defensive touchdowns in 2010. The Patriots team record for most defensive touchdowns in a season is six by the 2007 team (3 interception returns and 3 fumble returns). The Patriots also had five defensive touchdowns in 2003 (5 interception returns), 2001 (5 interception returns), 1992 (3 interceptions and 2 fumble returns) and 1961 (2 interception returns and 3 fumble returns).

2012 PATRIOTS HAD SEVEN NON-OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS IN 2012
The Patriots had seven non-offensive touchdowns in 2012. The 2010 Patriots and 1961 Patriots teams own the team record with nine non-offensive touchdowns. The NFL record for most nonoffensive touchdowns is 13 by Seattle in 1998.

Date Game Touchdown
9/9/12 at Tennessee Dont’a Hightower 6-yd. Fumble Return
10/21/12 N.Y. Jets Devin McCourty 104-yd. Kickoff Return
10/18/12 Indianapolis Julian Edelman 68-yd. Punt Return
11/18/12 Indianapolis Aqib Talib 59-yd. Int. Return
11/18/12 Indianapolis Alfonzo Dennard 87-yd. Int. return
11/22/12 at N.Y. Jets Steve Gregory 32-yd. Fumble Return
11/22/12 at N.Y. Jets Julian Edelman 22-yd. Fumble Return


2012 PATRIOTS LED THE NFL WITH A TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL OF +25
The 2012 Patriots finished first in the NFL with a +25 turnover differential, forcing 41 turnovers while allowing just 16 turnovers. The Patriots set a franchise record with a +28 turnover differential in 2010, forcing 38 turnovers while allowing just 10 turnovers. The Patriots turnover differential of +28 in 2010 is tied with the 2011 San Francisco 49ers for the secondbest turnover differential since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, trailing only the +43 posted by the 1983 Washington Redskins.

2012 PATRIOTS DEFENSE FORCED TURNOVERS
The 2012 Patriots’ defense finished second in the NFL to Chicago (44) with 41 forced turnovers (20 interceptions and 21 forced fumbles). The Patriots team record is 50 turnovers in 1976. The Patriots 41 turnovers in 2012 ties the 2003 team for the most under Bill Belichick. The 21 fumbles are tied with the 1987 and 1978 teams for third, behind the 24 in 1985 and the 27 in 1976.

PATRIOTS HAVE TWO PLAYERS WITH 100 TACKLE SEASONS
Jerod Mayo finished the 2012 season with 184 total tackles and Brandon Spikes recorded 128 total tackles. It is the fifth time in the Bill Belichick era that two players have recorded 100 tackles, but the first time since 2006 when LB Tedy Bruschi (124), DL Ty Warren (117) and LB Mike Vrabel (101) each went over 100 tackles.

PATRIOTS SCORE 21 POINTS IN 52 SECONDS AGAINST THE JETS
With 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter at the Jets on Nov. 22, 2012, the Patriots were in front, 7-0, but the Jets were in New England territory with a chance to tie the game. Shonn Greene lost a fumble on a fourth-and-one and the Jets proceeded to allow 21 points within a 52-second span. Steve Gregory recovered the Greene fumble. On the next play, Tom Brady completed a screen pass to Shane Vereen that he took 83 yards for a touchdown. On the second play of the Jets next series, Mark Sanchez fumbled and Gregory scooped up the ball and returned the fumble 32 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Devin McCourty forced a fumble that was fielded in stride by Julian Edelman, who returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. The Patriots are one of three teams to ever score three touchdowns in under a minute since the 1970 merger.

NFL TEAMS TO SCORE THREE TDS IN UNDER 1 MINUTE
2012, New England Patriots at New York Jets (11-22-12)
2002, Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings (9-29-02)
1998, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers (10-4-98)

2012 HONORS AND AWARDS

QB Tom Brady
AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Wk. 4 at Buffalo)
AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Wk. 8 at St. Louis)
AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Wk. 14 vs. Houston)
AFC Pro Bowl

TE Rob Gronkowksi
AFC Pro Bowl starter
Pro Football Weekly All-NFL Team

DE Chandler Jones
AFC Rookie of the Month (September)
Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie Team

G Logan Mankins
AFC Pro Bowl starter
Associated Press All-Pro: Second Team

LB Jerod Mayo
AFC Pro Bowl starter

DB Devin McCourty
AFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Wk. 7 vs. New York Jets)

WR Matthew Slater
AFC Pro Bowl (special teams)
Pro Football Weekly All-NFL Team

WR Wes Welker
AFC Pro Bowl

DL Vince Wilfork
AFC Pro Bowl starter
Associated Press All-Pro: First Team
Pro Football Weekly All-NFL Team

A LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2013 DRAFT

PATRIOTS 2013 DRAFT SELECTIONS

Round How Acquired
1 Assigned Selection
2 Assigned Selection
3 Assigned Selection
4 Traded to Tampa Bay for CB Aqib Talib
5 Traded to Washington for DL Albert Haynesworth
6 Traded to Cincinnati along with a 2012 5th round pick for WR Chad Ochocicino
7 Obtained from Tampa Bay in the CB Aqib Talib trade
7 Assigned Selection

PATRIOTS WILL PLAY AT BALTIMORE IN 2013
In 2013, the Patriots will play each of the other AFC East rivals twice and will play one game against each of the AFC North and NFC South teams. As the first-place team in the AFC East, the Patriots will play the first-place teams of the AFC South (Houston) and the AFC West (Denver).

HOME

TEAM W L Pct.
Denver Broncos 13 3 .813
Pittsburgh Steelers 8 8 .500
New Orleans Saints 7 9 .438
Miami Dolphins 7 9 .438
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 9 .438
New York Jets 6 10 .375
Buffalo Bills 6 10 .375
Cleveland Browns 5 11 .313


AWAY

TEAM W L Pct.
Atlanta Falcons 13 3 .813
Houston Texans 12 4 .750
Baltimore Ravens 10 6 .625
Cincinnati Bengals 10 6 .625
Miami Dolphins 7 9 .438
Carolina Panthers 7 9 .438
New York Jets 6 10 .375
Buffalo Bills 6 10 .313