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Game Notes: Patriots at Steelers

Tom Brady threw three touchdowns to rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski in New England's 39-26 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The following are notes from the game.

Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the Patriots are 25-2 (.926) in games following a regular-season loss. Over the last seven seasons (2003-09), the Patriots have only lost back-to-back games on two occasions, once in 2006 and once in 2009.

GRONKOWSKI SETS A PATRIOT RECORDRookie tight end Rob Gronkowski recorded his first NFL three-touchdown game. His three touchdowns increased his 2010 total to six touchdowns for the season. The six touchdowns are a record for most touchdown catches by a rookie tight end in Patriots history. The previous record was held by Russ Francis (four touchdowns in 1975) and Don Hasselbeck (four touchdowns in 1977). He scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the first quarter, a 9-yard touchdown in the third quarter and a 25-yarder in the fourth quarter. He is the first Patriots player to have three touchdowns in a game since Randy Moss had three vs. Jacksonville on Dec. 27, 2009.

PATRIOTS ROOKIE TIGHT ENDS PRODUCE BIGGronkowski finished with his first NFL three-touchdown game. Last week at Cleveland, Aaron Hernandez had two touchdown catches the previous.

WELKER EXTENDS STREAKWes Welker extended his streak to 72 straight regular-season games with at least one reception. He has caught at least one pass in each of his 58 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. He has caught at least one pass in 55 consecutive regular-season games as a member of the Patriots. The Patriots' record for most consecutive games with at least one pass is 63 by TE Ben Coates (12-17-92) to (12-15-96).



]()WELKER HAS SEASON HIGHS **Wes Welker had a season high of 89 receiving yards. Welker's previous high was 70 yard receiving at Miami (10/4). His eight catches against Pittsburgh matched the eight catches he had in the season-opener vs. Cincinnati (9/12).

BRADY RECORDS FIRST 300-YARD GAME OF 2010 AND 31ST OF CAREERTom Brady registered his first 300-yard game of the 2010 season and the 31st of his career after finishing with 350 yards passing.

BRADY COMPLETES 30 PASSESBrady finished the game with 30 pass completions. It marks the 13th time in his career that he has recorded 30 completions or more in a game. It is his first time completing 30 or more passes since he had 39 completions in the 2009 season-opener vs. Buffalo (9/14/09).

BRADY MOVES UP ON ALL-TIME TOUCHDOWN LISTTom Brady entered the Pittsburgh game tied with Len Dawson for 16th place on the NFL's All-Time Touchdown list with (239). He finished with three touchdown passes for 242 career touchdown passes for sole possession of 16th place. John Hadl is in 15th place with 244 touchdown passes.

PATRIOTS RUSHING GAME DOES WELLPittsburgh entered the game first in the NFL, allowing teams an average of just 58.3 yards per game for a 2.6-yard average. The Patriots gained 103 yards rushing for a 4.3-yard average. They became the first team to have 100-yards rushing against the Pittsburgh defense.

MIKE WRIGHT PUSHES HIS 2010 TOTAL TO A CAREER-HIGH 5.5 SACKSDL Mike Wright combined on a seven-yard sack in the first quarter with DL Gerard Warren and then added a 10-yard sack in the third quarter to increase his season total to 5.5 sacks. The 5.5 sacks are a career high. Last season he had 5.0 sacks.

JAMES SANDERS SCORES ON A 32-YARD INTERCEPTION RETURNED FOR A TOUCHDOWNJames Sanders returned a fourth quarter interception 32 yards for a touchdown. It is the second time in his career that he has returned an interception for a touchdown. He returned an interception 39 yards for a score as a rookie at Buffalo on Dec. 11, 2005.

PATRIOTS NOW HAVE THREE INTERCEPTIONS RETURNED FOR A SCORE IN 2010Sanders' 32-yard interception returned for a touchdown is the third interception that was returned for a touchdown by the Patriots in 2010. LB Gary Guyton returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown vs. Cincinnati and S Patrick Chung returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown at Miami. It is the 12th time in team history that the team has had three or more interceptions returned for a touchdown in a season. The team has returned three interceptions for a score nine times, four one time in 1997 and five two times (2003 and 2001).

BRADY MOVES UP THE ALL-TIME PASSING YARDS LISTBrady entered the Pittsburgh game in 26th place on the NFL's All-Time Passing List with 32,670 career passing yards. His 350 yards moved him past Ken Anderson (32,838) and Troy Aikman (32,942) into 24th place with 33,020 yards. Steve Young is in 23rd place with 33,124 yards.

Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all nine games of the 2010 season after finishing with three against Pittsburgh. Brady has started the season with at least one touchdown in the first nine games for the fourth time. He started the 2007 with at least one touchdown in the first 13 games, the 2004 season with at least one touchdown in the first ten games and the 2002 season with at least one touchdown in the first nine games.

BRADY HAS THIRD THREE TOUCHDOWN GAME OF 2010Tom Brady had his third three touchdown game of 2010. He had three touchdowns vs. Cincinnati and three vs. Buffalo.

PATRICK CHUNG RETURNS TO THE STARTING LINEUPPatrick Chung returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two games due to injury.

BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS HAS LONGEST RUN OF SEASON AGAINST PITTSBURGHBenJarvus Green-Ellis had a 17-yard run in the first quarter, the longest run of the season against the Pittsburgh defense.



]()HERNANDEZ ON DEFENSE **Rookie TE Aaron Hernandez got credit for a pass defesned when he lined up deep to knock down a Pittsburgh Hail Mary attempt at the end of the first half.

PATRIOTS PRODUCE SEASON-HIGH 5.0 SACKSThe Patriots registered a season-high 5.0 sacks, the most since recording 6.0 sacks at Buffalo (12/20).

QB TOM BRADY IS GOOD AGAINST PITTSBURGHIncluding the playoffs, Brady improved to a 6-1 record against Pittsburgh

PATRIOTS SCORE BIG AGAINST PITTSBURGHThe Patriots 39 points were the most scored against Pittsburgh in 2010. Pittsburgh entered the game averaging a league low 15.4 points.

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