PATS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT FOR 17th TIME IN KRAFT'S 22 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP
New England has now qualified for the playoffs 23 times in its 56-year history. The Patriots have earned 17 playoff berths in the 22 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a dramatic contrast to the six total playoff berths that the team earned in its first 34 years of existence.
PLAYOFF SEASONS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots 17
Indianapolis Colts 16
Green Bay Packers 16
Pittsburgh Steelers 13
Philadelphia Eagles 12
PATRIOTS IN THE PLAYOFFS
New England has qualified for the playoffs 23 times in its 56-year history. Seventeen of those playoff berths have come in the 22 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994.
PATRIOTS WIN AT LEAST 11 GAMES FOR THE 17th TIME IN TEAM HISTORY
The Patriots have won 11 games so far in 2015. It is the 17th time in team history that the team has won at least 11 games in a season and the sixth straight season with at least 11 wins. The Patriots have had 11 or more wins 13 times in Robert Kraft's 22 seasons of ownership after having only four 11-win seasons prior to Kraft purchasing the team (1976, 1978, 1985, 1986).
PATRIOTS DECEMBER REIGN
Since 2001, the Patriots own the NFL's best December record, with a 53-9 since 2001.
PATRIOTS HAVE A SACK IN EVERY GAME SO FAR IN 2015
The Patriots have recorded at least one sack in every game so far in 2015. The Patriots finished with a sack in every game in 1979, 1977, 1973 and 1963. They had six against Houston.
PATRIOTS BEST ON THE ROAD SINCE 2000
The Patriots have the best road record since 2000 with an 83-43 record.
NEW ENGLAND HAS THE BEST RECORD SINCE 2010 IN FINAL FOUR GAMES
New England has posted an NFL-best 18-3 (.857) record in the final four games of the regular season since 2010, including a 3-1 record down the stretch last season en route to a Super Bowl XLIX title.
THE PATRIOTS DEFENSE HOLDS THE TEXANS TO JUST 7 FIRST DOWNS
The Patriots held the Houston Texans to just seven first downs, the lowest total since holding the Green Bay Packers to five first downs on Nov. 19, 2006.
BELICHICK LEADS PATRIOTS TO 11 WINS
The victory over Houston is the Patriots' 11th win of the 2015 season. Bill Belichick now has thirteen 11 wins seasons, including 12 with the Patriots to tie Don Shula for the most 11-win season by a head coach.
NFL HEAD COACHES WITH THE MOST 11 WIN SEASONS
Bill Belichick 13
Don Shula 13
Tom Landry 10
BELICHICK IS IMPRESSIVE IN DECEMBER
Bill Belichick is 55-11 (.833) in December with New England, the best record in December among head coaches with one team in NFL history (min. 25 games). George Seifert is second (27-6, .818).
BRADY REACHES 4,000 YARDS FOR EIGHTH TIME IN HIS CAREER
Tom Brady (4,138) reached 4,000 yards passing in 2015 for the eighth time in his career and for the fifth straight season. He is just the third player in NFL history with at least eight 4,000-yard passing seasons. Brady entered the game needing 88 yards to reach 4,000.
ALL-TIME 4,000 YARD PASSING SEASONS
14 Peyton Manning
9 Drew Brees
8 Tom Brady
6 Dan Marino
6 Brett Favre
6 Philip Rivers
5 Aaron Rodgers
GRONKOWSKI REACHES 10 TOUCHDOWNS….AGAIN
Rob Gronkowski became the first tight end in NFL history with five seasons with 10 or more touchdowns after reaching 10 in 2015 with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the second quarter.
NFL TIGHT ENDS WITH MOST 10-PLUS TOUCHDOWN SEASONS
Rob Gronkowski 5 10 in 2010, 18 in 2011, 11 in 2012, 12 in 2014 and 10 in 2015)
Antonio Gates 4 (13 in 2004, 10 in 2005, 10 in 2010 and 12 in 2014)
Tony Gonzalez 3
Jimmy Grahaam 3
Dallas Clark 2
Vernon Davis 2
Shannon Sharp 2
Wesley Walls 2
Julius Thomas 2
MOST 10-PLUS TOUCHDOWN SEASONS / PATRIOTS HISTORY
5 Rob Gronkowski – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015
3 Randy Moss – 2007, 2008, 2009
3 Corey Dillon – 2004, 2005, 2006
2 BenJarvus Green-Ellis – 2010, 2011
2 Curtis Martin – 1995, 1996
2 Stanley Morgan – 1979, 1986
GRONKOWSKI REACHED 1,000 YARDS FOR THE THIRD TIME
Rob Gronkowski reached 1,000 receiving yards for the third time in his career. He entered the game with 931 receiving yards and reached the feat on in the fourth quarter on a 34-yard reception.
NFL TIGHT ENDS WITH AT LEAST TWO 1,000-YARD SEASONS
Tony Gonzalez 4
Jason Witten 4
Rob Gronkowski 3
Kellen Winslow, Sr. 3
Shannon Sharpe 3
Todd Christensen 3
Antonio Gates 2
Jimmy Graham 2
GRONK HAS THIRD 1,000-YARD 10-PLUS SEASON
Rob Gronkowski eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving and 10+ touchdowns for the third time in his career in 2015 and is the only tight end in NFL history with three 1,000-yard and double-digit TD seasons.
RB JAMES WHITE SETS CAREER-HIGH
RB James White set a career-high with a 27-yard reception in the third quarter. His previous best was a 25-yarder vs. Philadelphia (12/6/15).
DL JABAAL SHEARD HAS SECOND TWO-SACK GAME OF 2015
DL Jabaal Sheard had two sacks against Houston for his second two-sack game of 2015 and the fourth two-sack o game of his career. His other two-sack game with the Patriots was at Dallas on Oct. 11. Sheard forced a fumble on both of his sacks against Houston, including one that was recovered by at the 7-yard line to lead to a Patriots touchdown.
AKIEM HICKS HAS FIRST NFL TWO-SACK GAME
DL Akiem Hicks had his first NFL two-sack game.
TE ROB GRONKOWKSI RETURNS TO ACTION
TE Rob Gronkowski returned to action after missing one game with a start at tight end.
ROOKIE CB JUSTIN COLEMAN RETURNED TO ACTION
Rookie CB Justin Coleman returned to action after missing three games due to injury.
DB LEONARD JOHNSON MAKES HIS PATRIOTS DEBUT
DB Leonard Johnson made his debut with the Patriots with a start a defensive back.
LB JONATHAN BOSTIC MAKES FIRST PATRIOTS START
LB Jonathan Bostic made his first start as a member of the Patriots.
TE ASANTE CLEVELAND MADE HIS FIRST NFL START
TE Asante Cleveland made his first NFL start when the Patriots opened in a two-tight end alignment.