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Game Notes: Patriots fall to Buffalo at Gillette for first time

TEAM NOTES

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PATRIOTS FINISH 2014 SEASON WITH 12-4 RECORD AND EARN NUMBER ONE SEED IN AFC PLAYOFF FIELD**
New England finished the 2014 regular season with a 12-4 record and the top seed in the AFC playoffs. The Patriots have now earned the number one seed five times (2014, 2011, 2010, 2007, and 2003). New England's 12 wins marks the ninth time in franchise history that the Patriots have recorded 12 or more victories in the regular season, and it is the ninth time in the last 12 years that the Patriots have had at least 12 regular season wins. The Patriots have had at least 12 wins in five straight seasons dating back to 2010. The Patriots finished with a 12-4 regular season record for the third straight year.

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PATRIOTS END NFL-RECORD STREAK OF 35 STRAIGHT HOME WINS AGAINST CONFERENCE OPPONENTS**
New England's loss to Buffalo ended a streak of 35 straight wins at home against AFC conference opponents. The Patriots' 35 straight home wins against a conference is the longest in NFL history (following the 1970 merger). The Miami Dolphins are second in NFL history with 21 straight home conference wins (1971-1974). Prior the loss to Buffalo, the Patriots last loss at home against an AFC opponent was a 33-10 loss vs. Pittsburgh on Nov. 30, 2008.

PATRIOTS FINISH SEASON WITH 468 POINTS AND 52 TOUCHDOWNS
The Patriots finished the 2014 season with 52 touchdowns, marking the eighth time in franchise history that New England has scored at least 50 touchdowns in a season. New England totaled 468 points in 2014, a total that ranks fifth in team history.

PATRIOTS SECOND HALF DEFENSE
The Patriots defense shut out the Bills in the second half. The Patriots have now gone six straight games without allowing a second half touchdown. The last time the Patriots allowed a second half touchdown was in the fourth quarter of the win vs. Indianapolis on Nov. 16. The Patriots have allowed just 12 second half points during that six-game stretch. The Patriots had shutouts in the second half three times (at Green bay, at San Diego and vs. Buffalo).

PATRIOTS SNAP 17-GAME HOME WINNING STREAK AGAINST THE AFC EAST
Prior to the loss to Buffalo, the Patriots had won their last 17 consecutive home games against AFC East opposition. Before the loss to Buffalo, the last time the Patriots lost a home game against an AFC East opponent was on Nov. 13, 2008, when the New York Jets left Gillette Stadium with a 34-31 overtime win. The Patriots' 17-game streak ties Buffalo's 17 straight home divisional wins from 1988-92 for the second longest since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The Green Bay Packers (1994-98) own the record with 18 straight home wins against division opponents.

PATRIOTS SNAP STREAK OF 16 STRAIGHT HOME WINS
The Patriots ended their streak of 16 consecutive regular-season victories at home. Prior to the Buffalo loss, the Patriots had not lost a regular-season home game since December 16, 2012, when San Francisco left Foxborough with a 41-34 win.

PATRIOTS FALL TO BUFFALO AT GILLETTE FOR FIRST TIME
Prior to the Buffalo game, the Patriots had won their last 14 home games against Buffalo, and had a perfect 13-0 record against the Bills at Gillette Stadium.

2015 OPPONENTS DETERMINED
The Patriots 2015 opponents have been determined. In addition to playing each of the other AFC East opponents twice, the Patriots will play one game against each of the AFC South and NFC East teams. As the first-place team in the AFC East, the Patriots will play the first-place team of the AFC North (Pittsburgh or Cincinnati) and AFC West (Denver).

Home: Buffalo, Miami., NY Jets, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburgh/Cincinnati*

Away: Buffalo, Miami., NY Jets, Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, NY Giants, Denver *-The winner of the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game on Dec. 28 will be the Patriots' AFC North opponent in 2015.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

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TOM BRADY ENDS STREAK OF 43 STRAIGHT HOME WINS AGAINST AFC**
Tom Brady ended a streak of 43 straight regular-season home victories as a starting quarterback against AFC opposition. Brady is now 69-9 in his career as a starting quarterback against AFC teams at home. Prior to the loss to Buffalo, the last time that Brady lost a home regular season game to an AFC opponent was on Nov. 12, 2006 when the Patriots lost to the New York Jets, 17-14.

BRADY FINISHES SEASON WITH 4,109 PASSING YARDS
Tom Brady finished the 2014 season with 4,109 passing yards, marking his fourth straight 4,000-yard season and his seventh 4,000-yard season of his career. Brady owns seven of the nine 4,000-yard passing seasons in Patriots history.

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The New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills in a regular season game at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, December 28, 2014.

LB JAMIE COLLINS FORCES AND RECOVERS A FUMBLE ON A 6-YARD SACK**
LB Jamie Collins forced and recovered a fumble on a 6-yard sack of QB Kyle Orton in the second quarter. He has a team-leading four forced fumbles. It was his second fumble recovery of the season, also a team high.

GOSTKOWSKI SETS PATRIOTS TEAM RECORD FOR FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Stephen Gostkowski made 94.6 percent of his field goals in 2014 (35-for-37), setting a new team record for field goal percentage.

GOSTKOWSKI FINISHES SEASON WITH 156 POINTS; SECOND MOST IN TEAM HISTORY
Stephen Gostkowski finished the 2014 season with 156 points (35 FG, 51 PAT). His 156 points rank second in team history, trailing only his 158 points in 2013. Gostkowski's 156 total points are seventh all-time for most kicking points in a season. He is the only kicker with three of the top eight kicking point seasons.

PATRIOTS RECORD FOR MOST POINTS IN A SEASON
158 Stephen Gostkowski, 2013
156 Stephen Gostkowski, 2014
155 Gino Cappelletti, 1964 (includes 7 Tds)
153 Stephen Gostkowski, 2012
148 Stephen Gostkowski, 2008
147 Gino Cappelletti, 1961
143 Stephen Gostkowski, 2011

NFL RECORD FOR MOST POINTS BY A KICKER
166 David Akers (SF) in 2011
164 Gary Anderson (MIN) in 1998
163 Jeff Wilkins (STL) in 2003
161 Mark Mosley (WAS) in 1983
158 Stephen Gostkowski (NE) in 2013
157 Mike Vanderjagt (IND) in 2003
156 Stephen Gostkowski (NE) in 2014
153 Stephen Gostkowski (NE) in 2012

VEREEN FINISHES WITH 52 CATCHES, MOST BY A PATRIOTS RB SINCE 2008
Shane Vereen finished the 2014 season with 52 receptions for 447 yards. His 52 catches were the most by a Patriots running back since Kevin Faulk had 58 receptions in 2008. Vereen joins Faulk, Tony Collins, Leroy Thompson, Dave Meggett and Kevin Turner as the only running backs in Patriots history to have 50 or more receptions in a season.

ALLEN FINISHES SECOND IN TEAM HISTORY IN PUNTING AVERAGE
Ryan Allen finished the season with 66 punts for 3,060 yards, and his average of 46.36 yards per punt ranks second in team history. Zoltan Mesko holds the franchise record with an average of 46.46 yards per punt in 2011 (57 punts for 2,648 yards). As a rookie in 2013, Allen averaged 45.9 yards per punt, a total that now ranks third in team history. Allen's two seasons with the Patriots have produced two of the top three single-season punting averages in franchise history.

LINEUP NOTES

STEVE MANERI MAKES PATRIOTS DEBUT
Steve Maneri played in his first NFL game with New England. He dressed last week at the Jets but did not play. He has played in 23 NFL games with Kansas City and Chicago.

JOSH BOYCE PLAYS IN HIS FIRST GAME IN 2014
WR Josh Boyce was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster yesterday and made his 2014 debut.

MARCUS CANNON MADE HIS FIRST START OF THE SEASON AT RIGHT TACKLE
Marcus Cannon made his first start of the 2014 season at right tackle in place of Sebastian Vollmer. Cannon made three other starts in 2014 when he started at left guard in the first three games of the season.

LEGARRETTE BLOUNT RETURN TO ACTION
LeGarrette Blount returned to action after missing the Jets game due to injury. He led the team with 62 yards on 10 carries for a 6.2-yard average.

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