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Game Notes: Annual achievement - Patriots earn 16th straight winning season

TEAM NOTES 

ANNUAL ACHIEVEMENT – PATRIOTS EARN 16TH STRAIGHT WINNING SEASON
The win over the Jets improved the Patriots to a 9-2 record. The Patriots have won more than half of their games for 16 consecutive seasons; the first team to win more than half of their games in 16 straight seasons since free agency began in 1993. Additionally, the Patriots are the only team in the NFL to have recorded nine or more wins in each of the last 16 seasons. The Patriots are tied with the San Francisco 49ers (1983-98) and the Dallas Cowboys (1970-85) with the most consecutive winning seasons since the 1970 merger. 

MOST CONSECUTIVE WINNING SEASONS (SINCE 1970 MERGER)
New England (2001-16)    16
San Francisco (1983-98)        16
Dallas (1970-85)        16
Oakland (1970-80)        11

MOST CONSECUTIVE WINNING SEASONS ALL-TIME
Dallas (1966-85)        20
New England (2001-16)    16
San Francisco (1983-98)        16
Oakland (1965-80)        16
Chicago (1930-44)        15
Green Bay (1934-47)        14
Cleveland (1957-69)        13

MOST SEASONS OF 9+ WINS SINCE 2001
New England    16
Indianapolis            12
Green Bay            11
Pittsburgh            11
Philadelphia            10
Baltimore        10
Seattle            10

THE PATRIOTS HAVE 31 WINNING SEASONS SINCE THE MERGER
The Patriots have 31 winning seasons since the 1970 merger.

MOST WINNING SEASONS SINCE THE 1970 MERGER
1. Pittsburgh        33
2t. New England    31
2t. Dallas        31
4. Miami        29
5t. Denver        28
5t. Minnesota        28
7. San Francisco    26

KRAFT HAS 20TH WINNING SEASON
Robert Kraft earned his 20th winning season in 23 years of owing the team. 

16TH STRAIGHT SEASONS WITHOUT BEING SWEPT IN AFC EAST PLAY
With the win over the Jets, after wins against each of the other AFC East teams in 2016 earlier in the year, the Patriots improved to 16 straight seasons without being swept by a division opponent to extend the longest such streak since the 1970 merger. The Dallas Cowboys (13, 1971-1983) and the Los Angeles Rams (11, 1970-1980) are next on the list. 

THE PATRIOTS HAVE THE BEST RECORD AFTER THANKSGIVING SINCE 2001
The Patriots have the best record after Thanksgiving since 2001 with a 90-27 record (.769).

DIVISION DOMINANCE
The New England Patriots own a 74-22 (.771) record in regular-season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season, compiling the best intra-division record of any team in the NFL.

PATRIOTS PROVE TO BE GOOD ON THE ROAD;IMPROVE TO 6-0 ON THE ROAD IN 2016
Since the start of the 1994 season when Robert Kraft purchased the team, the Patriots have the best regular-season road record in the NFL. The only season the Patriots went undefeated on the road was in 2008 with an 8-0 record. 

INDIVIDUAL NOTES  

BELICHICK LEADS PATRIOTS TO 16TH STRAIGHT WINNING SEASON
Bill Belichick has led the Patriots to 16 straight winning seasons (2001-2016), second all-time, behind 20 by Tom Landry (1966-85). 

BRADY TIES MANNING FOR MOST WINS BY A QUARTERBACK
Tom Brady won his 200th game overall to tie Payton Manning for the most wins overall by an NFL quarterback. Brady reached the 200-win mark in 261 career starts, 31 fewer than the 292 by Manning. 

BRADY BECOMES FIFTH PLAYER TO REACH 60,000 PASSING YARDS
Tom Brady became the fifth NFL player to reach 60,000 passing yard on an 18-yard completion to WR Julian Edelman in the second quarter. He entered the Jets game needing 57 yards to reach the milestone. Brady finished the game with 286 yards to push his career totals to 60,229 passing yards. 

TOM BRADY BEATS THE JETS
Tom Brady has 22 wins against the New York Jets as a starter and joins Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks with at least 22 wins against two opponents. 

MOST WINS BY A STARTING QUARTERBACK AGAINST AN OPPONENT
Player    Wins
Tom Brady    26 wins against Buffalo
Brett Favre     26 wins against Detroit
Brett Favre    23 wins against Chicago
Tom Brady    22 wins against NY Jets 
Dan Marino    22 wins against Indianapolis

BLOUNT NEARING 1,000 YARDS
Blount has rushed for 869 yards this season and needs 131 yards for his second career 1,000-yard season. It would be the 15th time in team history and first since 2012 that the Patriots would have a 1,000-yard rusher in a season. Blount had a career-best 1,007 yards as a rookie with Tampa Bay in 2010. 

MOST YARDS RUSHING IN A SEASON IN PATRIOTS HISTORY
1,635 Corey Dillon, 2004
1,487 Curtis Martin, 1995
1,458 Jim Nance, 1966
1,263 Stevan Ridley, 2012
1,227 Craig James, 1985
1,216 Jim Nance, 1967 
1,168 John Stephens, 1988

BRADY ENGINEERS 50TH GAME-WINNING PERFORMANCE
Brady engineers his 50th career game-winning performance to lead his team to a victory from a fourth-quarter deficit after leading the Patriots back from a 17-13 deficit. 

CB MALCOLM BUTLER HAS FIRST NFL FUMBLE RECOVERY
CB Malcolm Butler recovered A WR Robby Anderson fumble that was forced by S Devin McCourty in the second quarter. It is his first NFL fumble recovery. 

DL ALAN BRANCH HAS FIRST BLOCKED FIELD GOAL OF HIS CAREER
DL Alan Branch blocked a 54-yard field goal attempt by Jets K Nick Folk in the second quarter for his first blocked kick of his career. It is the first blocked field goal for the Patriots since Vince Wilfork blocked a 52-yard attempt by Folk at the New York Jets on Dec. 21, 2014. 

ROOKIE MALCOLM MITCHELL SCORES TWO TOUCHDOWNS
Rookie WR Malcolm Mitchell had his first two-touchdown day. He scored on a 4-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and an 8-yard game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. 

LINEUP NOTES

TE ROB GRONKOWSKI RETURNED TO ACTION
TE Rob Gronkowski returned to action after missing the game at San Francisco due to injury and was in the starting lineup.  

WR CHRIS HOGAN RETURNED TO ACTION
WR Chris Hogan returned to action after missing the game at San Francisco due to injury and was in the starting lineup. 

LB KYLE VAN NOY MAKES FIRST START AS A PATRIOT
LB Kyle Van Noy made his first start as a member of the Patriots. Van Noy made seven starts in 2016 while with Detroit. 

DL JABAAL SHEARD RETUNRED TO PLAY
DL Jabaal Sheard returned to action after being inactive at San Francisco. 

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