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Game Notes: Patriots advance to NFL-record ninth Super Bowl overall; eighth of the Kraft era

TEAM NOTES 

PATRIOTS ADVANCE TO NFL-RECORD NINTH SUPER BOWL OVERALL; EIGHTH OF THE KRAFT ERA
New England has advanced to its ninth Super Bowl in franchise history, a total that is the most in the NFL. The Patriots' appearance in Super Bowl LI will be its eighth Super Bowl appearance since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a total that is the most in the league over that span (Pittsburgh and Denver 4). Kraft is the first owner in NFL history to have his team in eight Super Bowls.

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

KRAFT'S EIGHT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE MOST OF ANY NFL OWNER IN SUPER BOWL ERA
The 2016 AFC Championship is the eighth conference championship for Robert Kraft as Patriots owner, more than any other owner in NFL history in the Super Bowl Era (since 1966). 

MOST APPEARANCES IN CONF. CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Pittsburgh    16
San Francisco    15
Dallas    14
New England    13
Oakland    11
Denver    10
St. Louis Rams    9

PATRIOTS PLAY IN A RECORD SIXTH STRAIGHT AFC TITLE GAME
The Patriots have played in an NFL-record six straight Conference Championship Games, the most consecutive appearances in NFL history.

PATRIOTS ALL-TIME IN PLAYOFF GAMES;
The Patriots have compiled a 31-19 record in their 50 playoff games and their .620 playoff winning percentage is second in NFL history among teams that have played at least 15 playoff games. They are the fifth NFL team to reach 30 postseason wins. 

PATRIOTS IMPROVE TO 20-4 ALL-TIME IN HOME PLAYOFF GAMES
New England improved its all-time home playoff record to 20-4 (.833), which is the second-best home playoff record in NFL history among teams that have played at least 10 home playoff games (Seattle, 12-2, .857).The Patriots are now 16-3 all-time in home playoff games played at Gillette Stadium since the facility opened in 2002.

COMBINATION OF KRAFT-BELICHICK AND BRADY LEADS TO SUCCESS
The New England Patriots are the second team (1970s Pittsburgh Steelers) in NFL history to win four Super Bowls with the same owner (Robert Kraft), head coach (Bill Belichick) and quarterback (Tom Brady). The Patriots have a chance to become the first with the same combination to win five Super Bowls. 

PATRIOTS HAVE TWO 100-YARD RECEIVERS IN THE POSTSEASON FOR SECOND TIME
Julian Edelman (118) and Chris Hogan (180) each finished with 100-yard games to mark the first time two Patriots have turned in 100-yard performances in a playoff game since the Patriots' first-ever playoff game in 1963. Larry Garron and Gino Cappelletti finished with 120 and 109 yards, respectively, in the Patriots' 28-6 victory over Buffalo on December 28, 1963. 

INDIVIDUAL NOTES  

The New England Patriots take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

BELICHICK EARNS SEVENTH CONFERENCE TITLE; MOST CONFERENCE TITLES IN SUPER BOWL ERA
The 2016 AFC Championship was Bill Belichick's seventh conference championship as a head coach, the most conference titles by a head coach in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

*BELICHICK HAS CHANCE FOR FIFTH SUPER BOWL WIN *
Bill Belichick won his fourth Super Bowl in 2014 to match Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowls wins by a head coach and will have a chance in Super Bowl LI to be the first NFL coach to lead his team to five Super Bowl wins.

BELICHICK WILL COACH IN HIS 10TH SUPER BOWL OVERALL
Super Bowl LI will be the 10th Super Bowl that Belichick will coach in overall, the most among any head coach or assistant coach in NFL history. 

*BELICHICK MOVES PAST LANDRY WITH HIS 11TH CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME *
Bill Belichick coached in his 11th conference championship game as head coach, to move past Tom Landry for the most conference championships by a head coach. 

SUPER BOWL LI WILL BE BELICHICK'S 36 POSTSEASON GAME;HE WILL TIE LANDRY AND SHULA FOR THE MOST POSTSEASON GAMES
Bill Belichick coached in his 35th postseason game against Pittsburgh. Super Bowl LI will be Belichick's 36th postseason game and will tie him with Tom Landry and Don Shula for the most postseason games as a head coach.

BRADY EARNS SEVENTH CONFERENCE TITLE;MOST OF ANY QB IN SUPER BOWL ERA
The 2016 AFC Championship was Tom Brady's seventh conference title as a starting quarterback, the most in NFL history during the Super Bowl Era (since 1966). 

BRADY WILL HAVE THE MOST SUPER BOWLS PLAYED
Super Bowl LI will be the seventh Super Bowl of Tom Brady's career, giving him the most by any NFL player. He is currently tied with DL Mike Lodish with six Super Bowls. Lodish played in six (four with Buffalo and two with Denver).

BRADY HAS A CHANCE TO MATCH DL CHARLES HALEY'S FIVE SUPER BOWL WINS
Brady joined Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only QBs with four Super Bowl wins. The only NFL player with more Super Bowl wins than four is Hall of Fame DL Charles Haley with five, the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history by a player. Haley won two with San Francisco and three with Dallas. Bart Starr is the only NFL quarterback with five NFL championships (three NFL Championships and two Super Bowls). 

BRADY PLAYS IN RECORD 11TH CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Tom Brady played in his 11th AFC Championship game, moving past Gene Upshaw (10) and George Blanda (10) for the most appearances in a conference title game by any player in NFL history. In 15 full seasons as the Patriots' primary starting quarterback (omitting the 2008 season in which Brady started only one game due to injury), Brady has led the Patriots to 11 AFC Championship Games in 15 seasons as the Patriots' primary starting quarterback.

BRADY TIED JOE MONTANA WITH HIS 9TH POSTSEASON GAME WITH 3-PLUS TDS
Brady tied Joe Montana with his ninth postseason game with three or more touchdowns after throwing for three against Pittsburgh. 

Most 3 Pass TD Playoff Games – since the merger
Tom Brady        9
Joe Montana        9
Aaron Rodgers     7
Peyton Manning    6
Brett Favre        6

BRADY EXTENDS NFL RECORD FOR MOST MULTI-TD GAMES IN POSTSEASON
Brady threw three touchdowns against Pittsburgh to extend his NFL record for the most multi-TD passes in the playoffs with 19. 

MOST MULTI-TD PASSING GAMES IN THE PLAYOFFS – NFL HISTORY
Tom Brady        19
Brett Favre        15
Joe Montana         14
Aaron Rodgers        12
Terry Bradshaw    10
Dan Marino        10
Peyton Manning    10

BRADY HAS 11TH CAREER 300-YARD PASSING GAME IN THE PLAYOFFS;SETS NEW PARIOTS POSTSEASON HIGH
Tom Brady threw for 384 yards to set a team postseason mark. The previous record was his 367 yards vs. Baltimore on Jan. 10, 2015. It is third Conference Championship game with 300 or more yards, tied for the most with Peyton Manning. Brady also had 300 yard games in the Conference Championship Games vs. Baltimore on Jan. 20, 2013 and at Denver on Jan. 24, 2016. 

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

JULIAN EDELMAN BECOME PATRIOTS ALL-TIME LEADER IN POSSEASON RECEPTIONS;MOVES INTO THE TOP 10 ALL-TIME IN POSTSEASON RECEPTIONS
WR Julian Edelman had a 41-yard reception in the first quarter that moved him past Deion Branch (852) for the most receiving yard in Patriots postseason history. He finished with 118 yards to move his career postseason total to 937 postseason yards. Edelman entered the game needing 34 yards to move past Branch. 
**Most Postseason receiving yards *
937 Julian Edelman
852 Deion Branch
754 Rob Gronkowski
694 Troy Brown
686 Wes Welker
412 Kevin Faulk

Most Postseason Receptions in Patriots History
84 Julian Edelman
69 Wes Welker
58 Troy Brown 
56 Dion Branch
52 Rob Gronkowski

Most Postseason Receptions/NFL History
1. Jerry Rice    151
2. Reggie Wayne    93
3t. Hines Ward    88
3t. Wes Welker    88
5. Michael Irvin    87
6. Andre Reed    85
7. Julian Edelman    84
8. Thurman Thomas    76
9. Cliff Branch    73
10t. Fred Belinikoff    70
10t. Anquan Boldin    70

EDELMAN HAS NINTH STRAIGHT POSTSEASON GAME WITH SIX OR MORE RECEPTIONS;SECOND LONGEST SUCH STREAK IN THE POSTSEASON
WR Julian Edelman had his ninth straight postseason game with six or more receptions after finishing with eight receptions. It is the second longest such streak in postseason history, behind Wes Welker 10 straight from 2008 to 2014.

EDELMAN HAS FOURTH 100-YARD DAY IN THE POSTSEASON;SECOND STRAIGHT 100-YARD DAY
Edelman finished 118 yards receiving. It is his fourth 100-yard receiving day in the postseason and his second straight postseason game with 100-yards. He had 137 yards in the win vs. Houston in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game. His four postseason 100-yard games are tied with Deion Branch for the most in Patriots history. 

HOGAN HAS FIRST POSTSEASON 100-YARD DAY; SETS FRANCHISE POSTSEASON RECORD
WR Chris Hogan had his first postseason 100-yard game and set a franchise postseason record with 180 yards receiving on nine receptions. The previous high for the Patriots was 153 yards by WR Deion Branch at Denver on Jan. 14, 20016. Hogan had two 100-yard games during the regular season. He had 114 yards at Cleveland on Oct. 9 and 129 yards vs. Baltimore on Dec. 12. 

MOST RECEIVING YARDS IN A GAME – PATRIOTS POSTSEASON HISTORY
180 Chris Hogan vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 22, 2017 (9 receptions)
153 Deion Branch at Denver, Jan. 14, 2006 (8 receptions)
145 Rob Gronkowski vs. Denver, Jan. 14, 2012 (10 receptions)
144 Rob Gronkowski at Denver, Jan. 24, 2016 (8 receptions)
143 Deion Branch vs. Carolina, Feb. 1, 2004 (10 receptions)

HOGAN HAS FIRST TWO-TD GAME OF HIS CAREER
Hogan scored on a 16-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 34-yarder in the second quarter for his first multi-touchdown game of his career. 

HOGAN SETS CAREER-HIGH IN RECEPTIONS
Hogan's nine receptions are a single-game high. Hogan had seven receptions at Miami on Nov. 13, 2014 and at Denver on Dec. 7, 2014 when he played for Buffalo. 

GOSTKOWSKI BECOMES PATRIOTS ALL-TIME LEADER IN POSTSEASON FIELD GOALS;MOVES INTO THIRD ALL-TIME IN POSTSEASON POINTS
Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal in the first quarter moved him out of a tie and into the lead for most field goals in Patriots postseason history. He now has 29 career postseason field goals. 

Most Field Goals in Patriots Postseason History
29 Stephen Gostkowski (21 games) 
26 Adam Vinatieri (17 games)

Most Points in the Postseason / NFL History
1.Adam Vinatieri        234
2.David Akers            175
3.Stephen Gostkowski    154
4.Gary Anderson        153
5. Mason Crosby        137
6.Jerry Rice            132
7t.Emmitt Smith        126
7t.Thurman Thomas        126
9.George Blanda        115
10.Matt Stover            106
11.Matt Bahr            103
12.Franco Harris        102

Most Kicking Points in the Postseason / NFL History
1.Adam Vinatieri        234
2.David Akers            175
3.Stephen Gostkowski    154
4.Gary Anderson        153
5. Mason Crosby        137
6.George Blanda        115
7.Matt Stover            106
8.Matt Bahr            103

MOST FIELD GOALS MADE IN NFL POSTSEASON HISTORY
56    Adam Vinatieri
39    David Akers
32    Gary Anderson
29     Stephen Gostkowski
26    Mason Crosby 
25    Matt Stover

LINEUP NOTES  

ROOKIE WR MALCOLM MITCHELL MAKES HIS POSTSEASON DEBUT
WR Malcolm Mitchell made his postseason debut and was in the starting lineup against Pittsburgh after missing 4.Stephen Gostkowski    142
the AFC Divisional win against Houston. 

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