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Game Notes: Patriots at Ravens

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BRADY TALLIES 30th CAREER COMEBACK
Brady engineered his 30th career game-winning performance to lead his team to a victory from a fourth quarter deficit. The Patriots trailed Baltimore 20-10 following Billy Cundiff's 25-yard field goal with 14:53 remaining in the game. From there, Brady completed 16-of-24 passes for 156 yards, one touchdown and one interception as New England scored the game's final 13 points in a 23-20 overtime win.

  • New England's defense forced punts on each of the Ravens' five drives after Baltimore took its 20-10 lead, including forcing punts on each of the Ravens' three overtime possessions.
  • Today's comeback was Brady's seventh career comeback when trailing by 10 or more points in the fourth quarter. The others are vs. Buffalo (9/14/09, down 24-13 with 5:32 left in a 25-24 win); at Indianapolis (11/4/07, down 20-10 with 9:42 left in a 24-20 win); vs. Miami (12/29/02, down 24-13 with 4:59 left in a 27-24 overtime win); at Chicago (11/10/02, down 30-19 with 5:16 left in a 33-30 win); vs. Oakland (1/19/02, down 13-3 with 15:00 left in a 16-13 overtime win); and vs. San Diego (down 26-16 with 8:48 left in a 29-26 overtime win).

MESKO PUNT A GAME CHANGER
Rookie Zoltan Mesko boomed a 65-yard punt in overtime. The punt significantly changed field position, giving the Ravens possession at their own 19-yard line after the Patriots faced a fourth-and-6 from their own 16-yard line. Mesko's 65-yard punt was the longest in Patriots history in overtime, besting Mike Saxon's 46-yard punt in overtime on Nov. 7, 1993 in a 13-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Mesko's 65-yard punt was the longest of his career and the longest for the Patriots since Chris Hanson boomed a 70-yard punt in 2008.

GOSTKOWSKI NAILS GAME-TYING AND GAME-WINNING FIELD GOALS
Stephen Gostkowski nailed a game-winning 35-yard field goal with 1:56 remaining in overtime, marking his first career game-winning overtime field goal in his first career opportunity. Gostkowski also nailed a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at 20-20 with 1:51 remaining. Gostkowski improved to 17-for-18 in his career in close games in the fourth quarter or overtime (when the Patriots are trailing by seven or fewer points or leading by seven or fewer points). In the playoffs, Gostkowski has one game-winning field goal, a 31-yarder with 1:10 remaining in the game to give New England a 24-21 win at San Diego in the 2006 divisional playoffs (1/14/07).

MAYO ON HIGH TACKLE PACE
LB Jerod Mayo was credited with 18 total tackles by the day-of-game stats crew, his second highest career output, trailing only the 23 tackles he had as a rookie vs. NY Jets (11/23/08). Mayo has 64 total tackles in 2010 and is on pace for a career high 205 total tackles. Mayo had 139 tackles as a rookie in 2008 and 114 in 2009. If he reaches 100 tackles in 2010, he will be the first Patriots player to have three consecutive 100-tackle seasons since Milloy registered five straight 100-tackle seasons from 1997 through 2001.

BRANCH RETURNS HOME, RECORDS 2ND HIGHEST REGULA SEASON RECEPTION TOTAL OF CAREER
Deion Branch returned to the Patriots today after spending four-plus seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and had nine receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Branch's nine receptions were the second highest single-game total of his career, dating back to his career-high 13-catch performance at San Diego as a rookie on Sept. 29, 2002. Prior today, Branch's last appearance in a Patriots uniform was four years, nine months and three days ago. Branch's last appearance in a Patriots uniform was in the 2005 Divisional Playoffs at Denver (1/14/06), when he had eight receptions for 153 yards in the Patriots' 27-13 loss to the Broncos.

BRANCH SCORES IN PATRIOTS RETURN
Branch caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter, his first as a member of the Patriots since he caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brady in the 2005 regular-season vs. Miami (1-1-06). Branch is the only Patriots player to score a touchdown on his second stint with the team after spending four years away. He is the second player to score a point in his second stint. Doug Flutie scored an extra point on a drop kick during his second stint with the Patriots.

BRADY WINS 23rd STRAIGHT START AT GILLETTE STADIUM
Tom Brady has now won 23 consecutive regular-season starts at Gillette Stadium, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway for the second-longest regular-season home winning streak as a starting quarterback. The last time the Patriots lost a regular-season home game in which Brady started was on Nov. 12, 2006 against the New York Jets. The NFL record for most consecutive home wins by a starting quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger is held by Brett Favre, who won 25 straight home games for Green Bay from Sept. 17, 1995 through Oct. 5, 1998.

WELKER EXTENDS STREAK
Wes Welker extended his streak to 68 straight regular-season games with at least one reception. He has caught at least one pass in each of his 54 games with the Patriots, including three postseason games. The last time that Welker did not catch a pass in a game was December 24, 2005 when he was with the Dolphins.

PATRIOTS OFF TO A HOT START ONCE AGAIN
The Patriots have started the season with at least four wins in their first five games for the fourth time under head coach Bill Belichick. New England is 4-1 this season. The Patriots' best records through five games under Belichick are 5-0 in 2004, 4-1 in 2006 and 5-0 in 2007. New England is the only NFL team to begin each of the last five seasons with a record of 3-1 or better through their first four games.

SOLID AGAINST AFC NORTH
The Patriots are 14-2 in regular-season games against AFC North teams since the division was founded in 2002. The only AFC North losses for New England were to the Steelers, with a 34-20 loss at Pittsburgh (10/31/04) and vs. Pittsburgh (11/30/08). This week's game is New England's second AFC North win of the season, having defeated Cincinnati 38-24 in the 2010 season opener on Sept. 12.

RECORD CHECK
The Patriots improved to 6-0 all-time in regular season games against Baltimore
The Patriots improved to 27-5 in the month of October since the 2003 season.
Tom Brady improved to 7-1 as a starter in overtime games (including 1-0 in the playoffs)

BRADY MOVES UP THE ALL-TIME PASSING YARDS LIST
Brady entered the Baltimore game in 29th place on the NFL's All-Time passing list (31,755) and moved past Mark Brunell (31,935) into 28th place on a 4-yard pass to WR Deion Branch in the fourth quarter. Brady finished the game with 32,047 career passing yards.
HERNANDEZ MAKES BIG PLAYS
Rookie TE Aaron Hernandez had four receptions for 61 yards and leads the Patriots with 301 receiving yards through five games in 2010. Hernandez has had a reception of 20 or more yards in four of his five games in 2010. Against Baltimore, Hernandez had a 30-yard reception in the first quarter and a 21-yard reception in the third quarter against Baltimore. He had a 45-yard reception vs. Cincinnati (9/12), a 46-yarder at NY Jets (9/19) and a 25-yarder vs. Buffalo (9/26).

HERNANDEZ BREAKS HIS OWN RECORD FOR LONGEST RUN BY A PATRIOTS TIGHT END
Aaron Hernandez had an 18-yard rush in the third quarter, which is the longest run by a tight end in Patriots history, besting the 13-yard he had vs. Buffalo (9/26). Prior to Hernandez, the longest run by a Patriots tight end was an 11-yard run by TE Ben Watson vs. Cleveland (10/7/07).

CUNNINGHAM GETS FIRST NFL SACK
LB Jermaine Cunningham recorded his first NFL sack when he forced QB Joe Flacco to fumble early in the second quarter. Cunningham was credited with a sack for a 4-yard loss when he hit Flacco's arm and forced a fumble (Flacco recovered the fumble).

TATE GAINS 22 YARDS ON AN END AROUND
WR Brandon Tate gained 22 yards on a end around. It was the longest run by a Patriots wide receiver since 2007, when Wes Welker had a 27-yard run at Cincinnati (10/1).

WOODHEAD TOTALS 115 YARDS FROM SCRIMMAGE; FIRST PATRIOT SINCE 2006 WITH 60 RUSH YARDS AND 50 RECEIVING YARDS IN SAME GAME
Running back Danny Woodhead had 115 yards from scrimmage, totaling 63 rushing yards and 52 receiving yards. Woodhead is the first Patriots player to have 60 or more rushing yards and 50 or more receiving yards in the same game since Dec. 31, 2006, when Corey Dillon had 67 rushing yards and 59 receiving yards at Tennessee. Woodhead's 60 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards mark the sixth time that a Patriots player has achieved that feat in a game since Bill Belichick became Patriots head coach in 2000. The other players to achieve the feat for the Patriots since 2000 are Dillon, Patrick Pass (10/16/05), Kevin Faulk (10/26/03 and 11/23/03) and Antowain Smith (9/30/01).

AMONG THE GREATS
Coach Belichick has recorded 167 career wins and is one of 15 coaches in NFL history to win 160 or more games. Belichick owns a career winning percentage of .630, which is tied for third all-time with Curly Lambeau (.630), behind George Halas (.682) and Don Shula (.666).
FIRST TIME STARTER
Rookie DL Brandon Deaderick, a 2010 seventh-round draft pick, made his first NFL star when he lined up at defensive end. He was credited with a sack in the first quarter when he chased QB Joe Flacco out of bounds.

BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS SCORES FOR THIRD STRAIGHT GAME
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter for this third consecutive game with a rushing touchdown. It marks the second time in his career that he has scored in at least three consecutive games. He had a stretch of four straight games with a rushing touchdown as a rookie in 2008.

QUICK HITS

  • Vince Wilfork and Gerard Warren combined to stop Joe Flacco for no gain on a quarterback sneak on third-and-1 in the fourth quarter, forcing a punt on the next play and setting up Stephen Gostkowski's game-tying field goal with 1:51 remaining.
  • Deion Branch's first reception in a Patriots uniform in more than four years came on an 8-yard catch from Tom Brady on the Patriots' first quarter touchdown drive.
  • Danny Woodhead had runs of 14 yards and 12 yards on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter during the Patriots' touchdown drive that cut the Ravens' lead to 20-17. Woodhead's 12-yard run brought the Patriots to the Ravens' 21-yard line, setting up Deion Branch's 5-yard touchdown catch three plays later.
  • Jermaine Cunningham stopped Ray Rice in the backfield for a 3-yard loss in the first quarter, setting up a third-and-9.
  • Vince Wilfork hit Ray Rice in the backfield for a 1-yard loss on first down in the second quarter.

SACK ATTACK

  • Brandon Deaderick was credited with a sack after chasing Joe Flacco out of bounds on second down, setting up a third-and-9 that the Ravens did not convert and had to settle for a field goal.
  • Mike Wright sacked Joe Flacco for a 3-yard loss on third-and-4 in the first quarter, finishing a three-and-out for the Patriots defense and forcing a Baltimore to punt on the next play.
  • Jermaine Cunningham was credited with a sack for a 4-yard loss when he hit Joe Flacco's arm and forced a fumble in the second quarter (Flacco recovered the fumble).

OVERTIME RECORDS

  • The Patriots improved 3-1 in overtime games at Gillette Stadium
  • Bill Belichick improved to 9-3 in overtime as Patriots head coach
  • Tom Brady improved to 8-1 in overtime games as a starting quarterback
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