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Game Notes: Patriots at Texans

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WELKER'S 123 RECEPTIONS ARE TIED FOR THE SECOND MOST RECEPTIONS IN NFL HISTORY
Wes Welker caught one pass in the first quarter before leaving with an injury to close out the 2009 season with an NFL-best 123 receptions, despite missing two games due to injury. The 123 receptions match Herman Moore (Detroit in 1995) for the second most receptions in a single season in NFL history. Marvin Harrison set the NFL record with 143 in 2002.

WELKER FINISHES WITH SECOND MOST RECEIVING YARDS IN PATRIOTS HISTORY
Welker finished the season with a career-high 1,348 receiving yards in 2009, the third highest receiving total in Patriots' history behind Randy Moss' team-record 1,493 receiving yards in 2007 and Stanley Morgan's 1,491 receiving yards in 1986.

WELKER AVERAGED 8.8 RECEPTIONS PER GAME IN 2009, THE SECOND HIGHEST IN NFL HISTORY
Welker finished the 2009 season with an average of 8.8 receptions per game (123 receptions in 14 games), which is second in NFL history to the 8.9 receptions per game by Marvin Harrison in 2002.

EDELMAN HAS CAREER DAY
Julian Edelman set a career-high in receptions with 10 receptions for 103 yards, besting the eight receptions for 98 yards at the New York Jets on Sept. 20. It was the 10th time in 2009 that the Patriots had a player finish with 10 or more catches in a game. Wes Welker had seven 10-plus catch games and Randy Moss had two 10-plus catch games.

GOSTKOWSKI GOOD ON A 51-YARD FIELD GOAL
Stephen Gostkowski kicked his second 50-yard field goal of the 2009 season when he kicked a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter. He had a career-high 53-yarder at Denver on Oct. 11. He is 4 of 5 for his career when attempting field goals of 50 yards or more. He added a 43-yarder later in the second quarter.

ROOKIE CB DARIUS BUTLER SCORES ON A 91-YARD INTERCEPTION RETURN
Rookie CB Darius Butler scored on a 91-yard interception return in the third quarter. It is the fourth longest interception return in New England history and the longest since CB Jimmy Hitchcock's team-record 100-yard return for a touchdown vs. Miami on Nov. 23, 1997.

PATRIOTS SCORE THREE DEFENISVE TOUCHDOWNS IN 2009
Butler's 91-yard interception return for a touchdown is the third interception returned for a touchdown by New England in 2009. S Brandon Meriweather scored on a 39-yard return against Tampa Bay on Oct. 25 and CB Leigh Bodden scored on a 53-yard return against the New York Jets on Nov. 22. The three touchdowns are tied for the third most in a season for New England (2007, 2002, 1998, 1992, 1976, 1963 and 162) behind four in 1997 and five in 2003 and 2001.

BRIAN HOYER ENTERS GAME IN SECOND QUARTER
Brain Hoyer saw his most meaningful playing time of the season, entering the game in the second quarter in place of Tom Brady and then entering the game for the final drive of the game. He finished 8 of 12 for 71 yards.

FRED TAYLOR SCORES TWO-TOUCHDOWNS
RB Fred Taylor scored two touchdowns against Houston. It was his first two-touchdown game as a member of the Patriots and the ninth game of his NFL career with two or more touchdowns. It is the third time in 2009 that the Patriots have had a player register two-rushing touchdowns in a game. Laurence Maroney rushed for two touchdowns vs. the New York Jets on Nov. 22 and at New Orleans on Nov. 30.

OFFENSIVE RANKS HIGHThe Patriots offensive finished the season with an average of 397.3 yards in total offense, second only to 2007 season when the Patriots averaged 411.3 yards in total offense.The Patriots 427 points are the fourth most in team history to the 589 in 2007, 441 in 1980 and 437 in 2004.

PATRIOTS OFFENSIVE LINE ALLOWS LEAST AMOUNT OF SACKS IN PATRIOTS HISTORY
The Patriots allowed 18 sacks in 2009, the fewest in New England history since the NFL moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978. The previous best was 21 sacks in 2007.

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