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Game Notes: Patriots have best divisional record since 2001

TEAM NOTES

PATRIOTS HAVE BEST DIVISIONAL RECORD SINCE 2001
The New England Patriots own a 72-21 (.774) record in regular-season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season, compiling the best intra-division record of any team in the NFL.

PATRIOTS IMPROVE TO 14-1 IN HOME OPENERS AT GILLETTE STADIUM
Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots are 14-1 in home openers. The Patriots won their first 10 openers at Gillette before suffering their first loss, a 20-18 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 16, 2012. Overall, the Patriots are 32-25 record in home openers.

PATRIOTS IMRPOVE AGAINST MIAMI IN HOME OPENERS
The Patriots have played Miami in the home opener seven times and have a 5-2 record. Before this season, the last time the Patriots played Miami in the home opener was on Sept. 9, 1990, a 27-24 loss.

PATRIOTS KNOW HOW TO HOLD THE LEAD AT HOME
The Patriots have won 82 straight home games when leading at halftime, adding to their NFL record. The Patriots were in front, 24-3, against Miami at the break. The last time the Patriots lost at home when leading at halftime was on Dec. 24, 2000, vs. Miami when they lost 27-24 after leading 21-17 at halftime. 

THIRD STRAIGHT HOME GAME AGAINST MIAMI SCORING 30 POINTS
The Patriots have scored at least 30 points in three straight home games against Miami.

PATRIOTS HAVE NOW WON EIGHT STRAIGHT HOME GAMES AGAINST MIAMI
The Patriots have now won eight straight home games against Miami. The current longest active road winless streak in the NFL is Cleveland at Pittsburgh, which currently sits at 12 straight losses. 

PATRIOTS END SACK STREAK AT 30 STRAIGHT GAMES
The Patriots did not record a sack against Miami, ending a 30-game streak with at least one sack. It is the first game without a sack since a game vs. Oakland on Sept. 21, 2014. The Patriots' record for most consecutive games with a sack is 36 (1976-1978 - Oct. 31, 1976-Dec. 10, 1978). Valentine, DE Chris Long and LB Jamie Collins registered sacks against the Cardinals. 

INDIVIDUAL NOTES  

BELICHICK INCHES CLOSER TO PASSING CURLY LAMBEAU
Bill Belichick now has 225 regular-season wins and needs one more regular-season win to tie Curly Lambeau (226) for fourth place overall, behind Don Shula (328), George Halas (318) and Tom Landry (250). Belichick (248 wins overall) needs two victories to join Don Shula (347) George Halas (324) and Tome Landry (270) as the only coaches to reach 250 career wins. 

QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO HAS LED THE PATRIOTS ON SCORING DRIVES IN BOTH OPENING DRIVES OF THE 2016 SEASON
QB Jimmy Garoppolo has led the Patriots on scoring drives in both opening drives of the 2016 season, completing 9-of-10 passes for 139 yards with two touchdowns. He
led the Patriots on an 8-play, 75-yard that ended in a 12-yard touchdown pass to WR Danny Amendola. In the season-opener at Arizona, Garoppolo led the Patriots on an 8-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a 37-yard touchdown pass to WR Chris Hogan. 

TE MARTELLUS BENNET SCORES FIRST TD AS A PATRIOT
TE Martellus Bennett scored his first touchdown as a member of the Patriots when he culminated a 7-play, 75-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. 

BENNETT GOS OVER 100 FOR THIRD TIME IN CAREER
Bennett went over 100 yards receiving for the third time in his NFL career after finishing with five receptions for 114 yards. He had 134 yards vs. Green Bay (9/28) and 109 yards at Detroit (11/27) in 2014 while with Chicago. In 2015, the Patriots had a player over 100 yards receiving 10 times. 

BLOUNT GOES OVER 100 YARDS FOR THE 11TIME IN HIS CAREER
RB LeGarrett Blount finished with his 11th career 100-yard rushing game after gaining 123 yards on 29 attempts for a 4.2-yard average. It is his fourth 100-yard rushing game as a member of the Patriots and his first since he rushed for 129 yards vs. Washington on Nov. 8, 2015. 

PATRIOTS HAVE A 100-YARD RUSHER AND A 100-YARD RECEIVER
With TE Martellus Bennett (114) and LeGarrette Blount (123) each going over 100 yards, the Patriots have now had a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game 32 times. It is the first time since RB Stevan Ridley (113) and Rob Gronkowski (110) accomplished the feat vs. Cincinnati on Oct. 5, 2014. 

WR DANNY AMENDOLA HAS FIRST NFL TWO-TD GAME
WR Danny Amendola had his first NFL two-touchdown game with a 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 10-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. 

ROOKIE QB JIMMY BRISSETT SEES FIRST NFL ACTION
2016 third-round pick QB Jimmy Brissett entered the game in the second quarter. He completed his first NFL pass to TE Martellus Bennett for a 37-yard gain in the third quarter. He finished 6-of-9 for 92 yards. 

COLLINS RECORDS FOURTH CAREER REGULAR-SEASON INTERCEPTION
LB Jamie Collins picked off a QB Ryan Tannehill pass in the second quarter, his fourth regular season pick. He has two additional interceptions in the postseason. 

LOGAN RYAN AND JONATHAN FREENY BOTH FORCE FUMBLES
CB Logan Ryan forced a fumble that was recovered by DL Chris Long in the second quarter. LB Jonathan Freeny forced a fumble in the third quarter that was recovered by DL Trey Flowers. 

HARMON HAS SEOCND PICK IN THE END ZONE TO SECURE A WIN
S Duron Harmon picked off Miami QB Ryan Tannehill in the end zone with nine seconds to play to secure the Patriots 31-24 win. It is the second time in his career that he has picked off a pass in the end zone to secure a win. Harmon intercepted a Joe Flacco pass in the end zone with 1:39 left to preserve the Patriots 35-31 lead in an AFC Divisional win vs. Baltimore on Jan. 10, 2015. 

JULIAN EDELMAN HAS HIGH AVERAGE AGAINST MIAMI
WR Julian Edelman finished with seven receptions for 76 yards. He has had at least seven receptions against Miami in his last five games against them. He has averaged eight receptions for 96 yards. 

LINEUP NOTES

NATE SOLDER RETURNS TO STARTING LINEUP
T Nate Solder returned to the starting lineup at left tackle after missing the season opener. Solder was limited to four start in 2015 due to injury. 

SHAQ MASON MAKES FIRST NFL START AT RIGHT GUARD
G Shaq Mason made his first NFL start at right guard. In the season-opener he rotated in at right guard with rookie Ted Karras. As a rookie, 2015, Mason made 10 starts at left guard. 

2016 SIXTH-ROUND PICK LB ELANDON ROBERTS SEES FIRST NFL ACTION
2016 sixth-round draft pick LB Elandon Roberts played in his first NFL game. Roberts was inactive in the season opener. 

ROOKIE FREE AGENT RB D.J. FOSTER PLAYS IN HIS FIRST NFL GAME
Rookie free agent RB D.J. Foster played in his first NFL game. 

TE CLAY HARBOR MAKES FIRST APPEARANCE A PATRIOT
TE Clay Harbor made his first appearance as a member of the Patriots. He was inactive in week 1.

LB BARKEVIOUS MINGO SEES FIRST ACTION ON DEFENSE FOR THE PATRIOTS
After playing on exclusively on special teams in the season opener vs. Arizona, LB Barkevious Mingo saw his first action on defensive at linebacker. 

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