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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered and Patriots Playbook Fri Jan 21 - 12:00 AM | Sun Jan 23 - 11:55 PM

Bledsoe off to a strong start

It was not a dazzling effort, but Sunday's performance by Drew Bledsoe was one of the strongest opening-day games of his career. Bledsoe's 340 passing yards tied his second-best total for a first game; his top total was 421 yards against Miami in 1994.

In addition to the yardage, the win over the Jets also was Bledsoe's most accurate opener. He connected on 21-of-30 passes, good for a 70 percent completion rate. It marked the ninth time in his career that Bledsoe had completed 70 percent or more in one game, and it was the first time he did so since Dec. 7, 1997 against Jacksonville.

Making the performance that much more impressive was that nine different receivers caught passes. Among those who caught a pass was tight end Rod Rutledge, who made the first reception of his career.

Glenn catches = wins: Wide receiver Terry Glenn was Bledsoe's favorite target, as he caught seven passes for 113 yards. It was the 12th time Glenn has caught seven or more passes in one game. New England is 9-3 in such games.

He just catches touchdowns: Wide receiver Tony Simmons came up big with a 58-yard touchdown catch Sunday. The second-year player now has 24 catches and four touchdowns in his career. That makes for an impressive average of one touchdown every six catches.

Run, Terry, run: The running game was not a strong point, but Terry Allen's 22-yard touchdown run was a highlight. The line created a huge hole on the play to spring Allen, whose run was the Patriots longest scoring run since 1997. Last year New England's longest touchdown run went for eight yards.

Go with the percentages: New England converted 7-of-14 third downs against the Jets. The Patriots converted 50 percent only once all of last season. The only game in which the Patriots converted 50 percent was on Sept. 20 against Tennessee when they made 6-of-12.

Good, good, good job Adam: Adam Vinatieri made three field goals in one game for the 13th time in his career. The last of the three marked his fifth game-winning kick.

Much better result: Lawyer Milloy, Steve Israel and Chris Slade each intercepted a pass Sunday, a feat New England's defense accomplished twice last season. The last time the Patriots picked off three passes came in a 12-9 overtime loss to Miami on October 25. The other three-interception game was against Indianapolis on Sept. 13, which also was the last time the team forced four turnovers.

Deuces for Willie: The two-sack performance by Willie McGinest Sunday was the sixth such game of his career. McGinest also recovered a fumble for a touchdown, which was the second fumble recovery for a touchdown of his career.

Better late than never: New England had to overcome a 16-10 deficit to beat the Jets Sunday. The team was just 2-7 last season in games in which they trailed at halftime.

Play football day: Five New England Patriots visited youth football groups in Dorchester and Cape Cod Tuesday as a part of the NFL's nationwide "Play Football Day" celebration.

Quarterback Michael Bishop, safety Tony George and wide receiver Sean Morey went to the Boys and Girls Club of Cape Cod to meet with kids in the club's after school football program.

Wide receiver Tony Simmons and center Damien Woody met with youngsters participating in the Pop Warner Dorchester Eagles football program. Simmons and Woody met with the youths at William H. Garvey Field.

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