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Game Notes: Patriots advance to eighth Super Bowl

The following are game notes from the Patriots AFC Championship game against the Colts.

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TEAM NOTES**

PATRIOTS ADVANCE TO EIGHTH SUPER BOWL OVERALL;
SEVENTH OF THE KRAFT ERA
New England has advanced to its eighth Super Bowl in franchise history, a total that is tied with Dallas and Pittsburgh for the most Super Bowl berths. The Patriots' appearance in Super Bowl XLIX will be its seventh Super Bowl appearance since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a total that is the most in the league over that span (Pittsburgh, 4). Kraft is the first owner in NFL history to have his team in seven Super Bowls.

ALL-TIME SUPER BOWL BERTHS
8 New England
8 Dallas
8 Pittsburgh
7 Denver
6 San Francisco
5 Green Bay Packers
5 New York Giants
5 Washington Redskins
5 Oakland Raiders
5 Miami Dolphins

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The New England Patriots take on the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, January 18, 2015.

PATRIOTS SET NFL RECORD WITH SIXTH SUPER BOWL TRIP IN 15-SEASONS**
The Patriots have advanced to the Super Bowl for the sixth time since 2001, setting a league record for most Super Bowl berths in any 15-season span. The Patriots are the only team to achieve the feat in the salary cap era (since 1993). Four teams have been to five Super Bowls in a 15-season span. All of those teams achieved the feat prior to the imposition of the salary cap and the modern NFL free agency system in 1993. The teams with the most Super Bowl appearances in a 15-season span are listed below.

KRAFT'S SEVEN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE MOST OF ANY NFL OWNER IN SUPER BOWL ERA
The 2014 AFC Championship is the seventh conference championship for Robert Kraft as Patriots owner, more than any other owner in NFL history in the Super Bowl Era (since 1966).

ROBERT KRAFT EARNS HIS 23rd POSTSEASON WIN
Robert Kraft has 23 career postseason wins and out of a tie with Eddie DeBartolo., Jr for sole possession of fourth place for most wins by an ownership group in NFL history.

PATRIOTS IMPROVE TO 8-3 IN AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
The Patriots are 8-3 in AFC Championship Games, including a 4-1 record at home and a 3-1 record at Gillette Stadium.

MOST APPEARANCES IN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Pittsburgh 15
San Francisco 15
Dallas 14
New England 11
Oakland 11
St. Louis Rams 9
Denver 9

PATRIOTS ALL-TIME IN PLAYOFF GAMES
The Patriots have compiled a 27-18 record in their 45 playoff games and their .600 playoff winning percentage is tied for third in NFL history among teams that have played at least 15 playoff games.

PATRIOTS HAVE SECOND-BEST POSTSEASON WINNING PERCENTAGE AT HOME
The Patriots have a 17-4 (.810) all-time record in home playoff games. The Patriots' .810 winning percentage at home in the postseason ranks second among teams with at least 10 home playoff games.

PATRIOTS TIE POSTSEASON HIGH WITH 45 POINTS;
SET RECORD FOR TEAM PLAYOFF VICTORY MARGIN
The Patriots' 45 points tied the franchise record for most points in a playoff game, equaling their total against Denver in the 2011 Divisional Playoffs (1/14/12). The Patriots' 38-point margin of victory is the largest in franchise history for a playoff game, topping the 35-point margin of victory (45-10) over Denver in the 2011 Divisional Playoffs (1/14/12). New England's 45 points are its second highest total of the 2014 season (including regular season and playoffs), trailing only the 51 points that New England scored against Chicago on Oct. 26, 2014. The game marked the sixth time in 18 games in the 2014 season that the Patriots have topped 40 points.

PATRIOTS TOTAL 177 RUSH YARDS
The Patriots had 177 rushing yards against Indianapolis, marking the fifth time in the team's 45 playoff games that they broke the 175-yard mark on the ground. Three of the franchise's five 175-yard days have come against the Colts.

PATRIOTS SOLID ON THIRD DOWN AGAINST COLTS
The Patriots converted 12-of-18 third-down opportunities against the Colts, with their 66.7% third down conversion rate standing as the second-best in the team's 45-game playoff history, trailing only the franchise-record 68.8% conversion rate against the New York Jets on Jan. 7, 2007 (11-of-16).

THE PATRIOTS DEFENSE DOES WELL AGAINST INDIANAPOLIS
Including a pair of interceptions in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots defense has 10 interceptions in four meetings against Andrew Luck. In the last four games against Indianapolis, including two playoff games, the Patriots have outscored the Colts 189-73 with a 59-24 win on Nov. 18, 2012, a 43-22 win on Jan. 11, 2014, a 42-20 win on Nov. 16, 2014, and a 45-7 win on Jan. 18, 2015.

PATRIOTS HAVE SUCCESS ON THE GROUND AGAINST INDY
The Patriots victory marked the third consecutive game that the Patriots have topped 175 rushing yards as a team against the Colts. New England finished the AFC Championship victory with 177 rushing yards on 40 carries (with three rushing touchdowns). LeGarrette Blount led the way with 148 yards on 30 carries and scored all three of New England's rushing touchdowns. In the 2014 regular season on Nov. 16, 2014, New England had 246 yards rushing against the Colts, with Jonas Gray leading the charge with 201 yards and four rushing touchdowns. In the 2013 Divisional Playoffs on Jan. 11, 2014, the Patriots had 234 rushing yards, with LeGarrett Blount leading the charge with a franchise-record 166 yards and four rushing touchdowns

HALFTIME HELP
During the 2014 regular season, the Patriots scored in 10 of the 16 games in the final two minutes of the first half with 66 points. Against Indianapolis, the Patriots scored on a 21-yard field goal with 10 seconds to play.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

BELICHICK HAS MOST POSTSEASON WINS
With the victory over Indianapolis, Bill Belichick collected his 21st career playoff win, the most postseason wins by a head coach.

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BELICHICK EARNS SIXTH CONFERENCE TITLE; * * TIES DON SHULA FOR MOST CONFERENCE TITLES IN SUPER BOWL ERA**
The 2014 AFC Championship was Bill Belichick's sixth conference championship as a head coach. Belichick's six conference titles are tied with Don Shula for the most in NFL history during the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

BELICHICK REACHES NINTH SUPER BOWL OVERALL
Belichick secured his ninth Super Bowl during his coaching career, the most among any head coach or assistant coach in NFL history.

SUPER SUCCESS
Bill Belichick is one of just four head coaches to win three Super Bowl championships. Belichick is the only coach to win three Super Bowls in the post-1993 salary cap era. He will attempt to tie Chuck Noll with his fourth Super Bowl title.

SUPER COMBINATION
New England head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady won their sixth conference championship together in 2014.

WINNINGEST COACH AND QB TANDEM IN THE POSTSEASON
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are the winningest coach and quarterback tandem in the postseason.

BRADY'S SIX CONFERENCE TITLES ARE THE MOST OF ANY QB IN SUPER BOWL ERA
The 2014 AFC Championship was Tom Brady's sixth conference title as a starting quarterback, passing John Elway (5) for the most conference titles in NFL history during the Super Bowl Era (since 1966).

BRADY'S SIX CONFERENCE TITLES ARE THE MOST OF ANY QB IN SUPER BOWL ERA
The 2014 AFC Championship was Tom Brady's sixth conference title as a starting quarterback, passing John Elway (5) for the most conference titles in NFL history during the Super Bowl Era (since 1966).

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BRADY RECLAIMS LEAD IN ALL-TIME POSTSEASON PASSING YARDS**
Tom Brady improved upon his standing on the NFL's all-time postseason passing lists. Brady entered the game needing 10 yards to move past Peyton Manning for the most postseason passing yards, and finished the game with 7,017 playoff passing yards, setting a new NFL record and becoming the first player in NFL history to eclipse the 7,000-yard mark in the playoffs. Following the Colts game, Brady was the all-time NFL leader in completions, yards, playoff victories as a starting quarterback, and postseason starts at quarterback.

BRADY PLAYS IN 28th POSTSEASON GANE, THIRD-MOST ALL-TIME
Brady played in his 28th NFL postseason game, the third-most all-time. He will tie Jerry Rice for the second most postseason games with 29 in the Super Bowl.

TOM BRADY THROWNS THREE TDS IN A POSTSEASON GAME FOR 7th TIME
Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes against Indianapolis. It was his seventh career postseason game with three or more touchdowns and the second time in the 2014 postseason that he has thrown three touchdown passes in a game. Only Joe Montana has more playoff games with three touchdown passes since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger (9). Brady is 7-0 in the playoffs when throwing three or more scoring passes.

Most 3 Pass TD Playoff Games - Since AFL-NFL Merger
Joe Montana 9
Tom Brady 7
Peyton Manning 6
Brett Favre 6

BRADY TIES BRETT FAVRE WITH 15TH MULTI-TD GAME IN THE POSTSEASON
Brady threw three touchdown passes in the win vs. Indianapolis and tied Brett Favre with 15 multi-TD passes in the playoffs.

MOST MULTI-TD PASSING GAMES IN THE PLAYOFFS – NFL HISTORY
Tom Brady 15
Brett Favre 15
Joe Montana 14
Terry Bradshaw 10
Dan Marino 10

BRADY IN THE SUPER BOWL

BRADY IS THE ALL-TIME LEADING PASSER IN SUPER BOWL HISTORY
Tom Brady threw for 276 yards in Super Bowl XLVI to become the all-time leading passer in Super Bowl history with 1,277 yards.

BRADY IS TIED FOR SECOND WITH NINE SUPER BOWL TD PASSES
Brady threw two touchdown passes in Super Bowl XLVI to increase his Super Bowl total to nine. Brady is tied for second with Terry Bradshaw and behind Joe Montana's 11 Super Bowl touchdown passes.

STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI MOVES UP ALL-TIME POSTSEASON SCORING LIST
Stephen Gostkowski had 6 extra points and a field goal against Indianapolis, moving up the NFL's all-time playoff scoring list. Gostkowski finished the game with 113 postseason points, and is one of just two Patriots players to score 100 playoff points, along with Adam Vinatieri (117). Gostkowski and Vinatieri are the only active players with 100 or more points in the playoffs. Gostkowski is the 11th player in NFL history to have 100 or more playoff points and is the seventh kicker to achieve the feat.
Patriots with 100 or More Points in the Postseason
Adam Vinatieri (117 points – 26 FGs, 39 PATs)
Stephen Gostkowski (113 – 20 FGs, 53 PATs)

Most Kicking Points in the Postseason
1.Adam Vinatieri 234
2.David Akers 175
3.Gary Anderson 153
4.George Blanda 115
5.Stephen Gostkowski 113
6.Matt Stover 106
7.Matt Bahr 103

Most Points in the Postseason
1.Adam Vinatieri 234
2.David Akers 175
3.Gary Anderson 153
4.Jerry Rice 132
5.Emmitt Smith 126
5.Thurman Thomas 126
7.George Blanda 115
8.Stephen Gostkowski 113
9.Matt Stover 106
10.Matt Bahr 103

GOSTKOWSKI BECOMES 11TH NFL PLAYER WITH AT LEAST 20 POSTSEASON FIELD GOALS
Gostkowski (20) became the 11th NFL player to reach at least 20 postseason field goals with a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter.

MOST POSTSEASON FIELD GOALS / NFL HISTORY
Adam Vinatieri 55
David Akers 39
Gary Anderson 32
Matt Stover 25
John Kasay 23
George Blanda 22
Steve Christie 22
Matt Bahr 21
Stephen Gostkowski 20
Toni Fritsch 20
Norm Johnson 20

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VINCE WILFORK PLAYS IN HIS 20TH POSTSEASON GAME * * TIED FOR THIRD-MOST POSTSEASON GAMES PLAYED IN PATRIOTS HISTORY**
Vince Wilfork played in his 20th NFL postseason game with the Patriots. He is tied for the third-most playoff games in Patriots history.

MOST PLAYOFF GAMES PLAYED IN PATRIOTS HISTORY
28 Tom Brady
22 Tedy Bruschi
20 Vince Wilfork
20 Troy Brown
20 Matt Light

BLOUNT HAS SECOND 100-YARD RUSHING GAME IN POSTSEASON; HAS SECOND-HIGHEST RUSH YARD TOTAL IN TEAM PLAYOFF HISTORY
Blount had his second career postseason 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 148 yards on 30 carries, with three touchdowns. Blount's 148 rushing yards are the second highest total in team history, trailing only the 166 rushing yards that Blount had in the 2013 playoff game against Indianapolis on Jan. 11, 2014, a total that tied the 166 rushing yards amassed by Curtis Martin against Pittsburgh on Jan. 5, 1997.

BLOUNT SOCRES THREE RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS;
BECOMES PATRIOTS ALL-TIME POSTSEASON RUSHING TD LEADER
RB LeGarrette Blount scored on a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter for his fifth NFL postseason rushing touchdown as a member of the Patriots, on a 13-yard run in the third quarter and 2-yard run in the fourth quarter. His seven career postseason rushing touchdowns are a franchise record. Tom Brady and Curtis Martin are tied for second with five rushing touchdowns. All seven of Blount's postseason touchdowns are against the Colts. He had four rushing touchdowns in the 2013 Divisional Playoff win and had three rushing scores in the 2014 AFC Championship Game.

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BLOUNT TIES FOR TEAM POSTSEASON LEAD WITH 7 CAREER TDS**
Blount has seven career overall touchdowns in the postseason to tie David Givens (7 rec. TDs) for the most postseason touchdowns in team history.

REVIS HAS FIRST PLAYOFF INTERCEPTION AS A PATRIOT
Darrelle Revis intercepted an Andrew Luck pass in the third quarter and returned it 30 yards to the Indianapolis 13-yard line, setting up LeGarrette Blount's 13-yard scoring run on the next play that gave the Patriots a 38-7 lead. The interception was the third of Revis's playoff career, and the first of his Patriots playoff career. Revis had a pair of interceptions for the New York Jets in the 2009 playoffs.

COLLINS HAS SECOND CAREER PLAYOFF PICK
Jamie Collins intercepted an Andrew Luck pass in the fourth quarter. The interception was the second of Collins's playoff career. He also picked off Luck in the 2013 Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium (1/11/14).

PATRIOTS SET UP GAME'S FIRST SCORE WITH SPECIAL TEAMS TAKEAWAY
Darius Fleming recovered a muffed fumble by Indianapolis's Josh Cribbs at the Colts' 26-yard line in the first quarter, setting up a 6-play, 26-yard Patriots touchdown drive that ended in LeGarrette Blount's 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead.

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SOLDER SCORES HIS FIRST NFL TD ON HIS FIRST CAREER PASS RECEPTION**
Nate Solder, who entered college at Colorado as a tight end, scored his first NFL touchdown on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the third quarter. He is the first offensive lineman to score a touchdown for the Patriots since Logan Mankins recovered a fumble in the end zone at Indianapolis in the 2006 AFC Championship Game on Jan. 21, 2007. Solder is the first offensive lineman to score a receiving touchdown since Tom Ashworth caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady vs. Tampa Bay on Dec. 17, 2005. Solder is the third offensive lineman in Patriots history to catch a touchdown pass, joining Tom Ashworth (12/17/05) and Pete Brock (11/21/76). He is the sixth Patriots offensive lineman to score a touchdown, joining Mankins, Ashworth, Brock, Freddie Childress and john Hannah.

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JAMES DEVELIN SCORES FIRST NFL POSTSEASON TD; * * SCORES 2nd TOUCHDOWN OVERALL AND 1st RECEIVING TOUCHDOWN**
FB James Develin scored his second NFL touchdown and his first ever postseason touchdown on a 1-yard pass from QB Tom Brady in the first quarter. He scored his first NFL touchdown on a 1-yard touchdown run at Houston at Houston on Dec. 1, 2013.

SOLDER AND DEVELIN EACH HAVE FIRST CAREER TOUCHDOWN RECEPTION
OL Nate Solder and FB James Develin each caught touchdown passes from Tom Brady tonight. For each player, it was their first career NFL touchdown reception (regular season or playoffs).

LINEUP NOTES

JOSH KLINE GETS FIRST POSTSEASON START
Josh Kline made his first NFL postseason start when he started at right guard when Ryan Wendell moved from guard to center to replace Bryan Stork, who was out with an injury.

THREE PATRIOTS PLAYED IN THEIR FIRST POSTSEASON GAME
Cameron Fleming, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jonas Gray saw action in their first postseason game.

JOE VELLANO PLAYED IN HIS FIRST GAME SINCE OCTOBER
Joe Vellano played in the first five games of the season before being released and signed to the practice squad. He was re-signed to the 53-man roster the day before the AFC Championship Game and saw action along the defensive line.

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