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Patriots Playbook Thu Dec 03 | 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

Game Notes: Patriots earn fifth straight first round bye

TEAM NOTES

ROBERT KRAFT TIES GEORGE HALAS FOR FASTEST OWER TO 250 WINS
The victory over the New York Jets was the 250th win under Robert Kraft. He has 250 wins in 368 total games, tying Chicago's George Halas for the fastest an owner has reached 250 victories.

PATRIOTS EARN FIFTH STRAIGHT FIRST ROUND BYE;
LEAD THE NFL IN FIRST ROUND BYE UNDER CURRENT PLAYOFF FORMAT
The Patriots earned a first-round bye in the 2014 NFL playoffs and lead the NFL with 10 first-round byes since the current NFL playoff format was instituted in 1990. The Patriots have earned a first-round bye for the fifth consecutive season, becoming the first team to earn five straight byes. Dallas and San Francisco eanred four straight byes from 1992 through 1995.
MOST SEASONS EARNING A BYE SINCE 12-TEAM PLAYOFF FORMAT IN 1990
New England 10
Pittsburgh 8
San Francisco 8
Denver 6

PATRIOTS EARN ANOTHER FIRST ROUND BYE
The Patriots secured a first round playoff bye for the ninth time since 2001—a quantity unmatched by any team in the NFL in the last 14 years. During that time, the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers have locked up a bye four times and the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles have earned a first-round pass three times.
MOST SEASONS EARNING A BYE SINCE 2001
New England 9
Chicago 4
Pittsburgh 4
Atlanta 3
Denver 3
Indianapolis 3
Philadelphia 3

PATRIOTS WIN AT LEAST 12 GAMES FOR THE NINTH TIME;
NOW HAVE FOUR STRAIGHT SEASONS WITH 12 WINS
The Patriots have won 12 games so far in 2014. It is the 9th time in team history that the team has won at least 12 games in a season and the fifth straight season with at least 12 wins.

Teams With 4 Consecutive 12-Win Seasons Since 1970 Merger
Indianapolis Colts 7 (2003-09)
New England Patriots 5 (2010-14)
Dallas Cowboys 4 (1992-95)

12-Win Seasons Since 1970 Merger
1. San Francisco 13
2. Dallas 10
3t. New England 9
3t. Denver 9
3t. Pittsburgh 9
5t. Indianapolis 8

STRONG IN THE SECOND HALF
Since 2001, the Patriots have done a remarkable job of finishing the season strong, compiling an NFL-best 83-21 (.798) record in games on or after Thanksgiving.

SECOND HALF DEFENSE DOMINATES
The Patriots outscored the Dolphins 27-0 in the second half today, marking the second consecutive game that the Patriots have shut out their opponent in the second half. Last week in San Diego, the Patriots outscored the Chargers 10-0 in the second half. Today's game marked the fourth consecutive game that the Patriots have not allowed a touchdown in the second half. Detroit (11/23) and Green Bay (11/30) each scored lone field goals in the second half. Over their four-game stretch of second-half dominance, the Patriots have outscored their opponents 54-6 in the second half.

PATRIOTS DEFENSE KEEPS OPPONENTS OUT OF END ZONE
The Patriots defense allowed the Dolphins offense to score just one touchdown today in a 41-13 win. Last week against San Diego, the Patriots defense also allowed just a single touchdown (San Diego also scored on a fumble return). In New England's last home game against Detroit (11/23), the defense did not allow an opponent touchdown in a 34-9 win. New England has allowed one or fewer opponent offensive touchdowns in three of its last four games.

PATRIOTS HAVE THE BEST RECORD IN THE FINAL FOUR GAMES OF THE REGULAR SEASON SINCE 2009
With the win over Miami, the Patriots now have the best record of any NFL team in the last four games of the season since 2009 with a 19-3 (.864) record.

DIVISIONAL DOMINANCE
The Patriots improved to a 67-18 (.788) record in regular season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season with the win over Miami. That is the best intra-division record in the NFL over that span (Indianapolis, 62-23 (.729).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

BELICHICK PASSES CURLY LAMBEAU FOR FOURTH PLACE ALL-TIME
Belichick won his 230th career game to pass Curly Lambeau for sole possession of fourth-place for most wins by an NFL coach.

BELICHICK ADDS TO HIS NFL-BEST DECEMBER RECORD
Bill Belichick is 54-9 (.857) in December with New England, the best record in December among head coaches with one team in NFL history (min. 25 games). George Seifert is second (27-6, .818).

TOM BRADY GUIDES PATRIOTS TO 9TH 12-WIN SEASON IN 2014
Tom Brady guided the Patriots to their 12th win in 2014. Since entering the NFL in 2000, Brady's teams have reached 12 regular-season wins in nine different seasons, second all-time, behind Peyton Manning.
Starting QBs with the most 12-win Regular Seasons in NFL History
Player Seasons
Peyton Manning 10
Tom Brady 9
Brett Favre 6
John Elway 4
Jim Kelly 4

BRADY GOES OVER 4,000 YARDS FOR THE 7TH TIME
Brady finished with 182 yards and now has 4,029 yards for the season. It is his seventh 4,000-yard season. Brady joins Peyton Manning (14) and Drew Brees (9) as the only NFL quarterbacks with at least seven 4,000-yard seasons. Brady entered the game with 3,847 yards and needed 153 yards to reach 4,000.
ALL-TIME 4,000-YARD PASSING SEASONS
14 Peyton Manning
9 Drew Brees
7 Tom Brady
6 Dan Marino
6 Brett Favre

BRADY COMES UP BIG IN DECEMBER
Tom Brady is 48-7 (.872) in December, the best record in December among quarterbacks with at least 20 starts. Roger Staubach is second (17-3, .850). Among active quarterbacks, Philip Rivers is second with a 31-8 (.795).

LB JAMIE COLLINS RECORDS SECOND INTERCEPTION OF 2014
LB Jamie Collins recorded his second regular season interception when he picked off a third quarter pass by jets QB Geno Smith. Collins recorded his first regular season interception at Buffalo on Oct. 12. He had his first NFL interception in the AFC Divisional Playoff game vs. Indianapolis on Jan. 11, 2014.

VEREEN SETS CAREER HIGHS IN RECEIVING YARDS
Shane Vereen caught a 12-yard pass in the second quarter to set a new single season high for receiving yards with 433 receiving yards for the season. His previous high was last season with 427 receiving yards.

LINEUP NOTES

CHANDLER JONES RETURNS TO STARTING LINEUP
DL Chandler Jones returned to action last week vs. Miami (12/14) for the first time since missing six games but made his return to the starting lineup this week against the Jets.

JOSH KLINE MAKES THIRD START OF THE SEASON;
FIRST AT LEFT GUARD IN 2014
Josh Kline started at left guard in place of Dan Connolly, who was inactive with an injury. It was his third start of the 2014 season. He started at right at Buffalo (10/12) and vs. N.Y. Jets (10/16). It was his second career at left guard. As a rookie in 2013, he stared at left guard at Baltimore on Dec. 22, 2013 when Logan Mankins moved from guard to left tackle in place of an injured Nate Solder.

ALAN BRANCH MAKES FIRST WITH THE PATRIOTS
DL Alan Branch made his first start as a member of the Patriots.

CHRIS WHITE RETURNS TO ACTION
LB Chris White returned to action after missing the last three games due to injury.

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