HOME SWEET HOME FOR THE PATRIOTS; IMPROVE TO 34 STRAIGHT HOME WINS AGAINST THE AFC CONFERENCE
With today's victory over the Denver Broncos, New England has now won 34 straight games at home against AFC conference opponents. The Patriots' 34 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). The Patriots last loss at home against an AFC opponent was a 33-10 loss vs. Pittsburgh on Nov. 30, 2008.
The Patriots have been very successful in the final two minutes of the first half in 2014. In eight of the first nine games this season, New England has scored in the final two minutes of the first half, including three field goals as time has expired. Against Denver, the Patriots scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Shane Vereen with eight seconds to play in the first half. The Patriots have scored 56 points in the final two minutes of the first half in 2014, the most in the NFL.
PATRIOTS WIN 14th STRAIGHT HOME GAME**
The Patriots won their 14th consecutive home game. The Patriots have not lost a regular-season home game since December 16, 2012, when San Francisco left Foxborough with a 41-34 win. The NFL record for most consecutive home victories is 27, achieved by Miami from 1971-74.
MOST CONSECUTIVE HOME VICTORIES (Current Streaks)
New England 14
New Orleans 11
PATRIOTS WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT GAME
The Patriots won their fifth consecutive game, which is the longest winning streak in the NFL. New England and Denver entered today's game tied for the league's longest current winning streak (4). The Patriots have not lost since a 41-14 defeat at Kansas City on Sept. 29. Over their five-game winning streak, the Patriots have averaged 40.2 points per game.
PATRIOTS EXTEND STREAK TO 46 STRAIGHT HOME GAMES WITH AT LEAST 1 TD PASS
The Patriots extended their streak 46 straight home games with at least one touchdown pass, the longest streak in post-merger NFL history, with a 5-yard touchdown pass from QB Tom Brady to WR Julian Edelman in the second quarter. New Orleans has the second longest streak with 41. The last time the Patriots did not have a touchdown pass in a home game was in a 33-10 loss vs. Pittsburgh on Dec. 30, 2008.
PATS HAVE WON 72 STRAIGHT HOME GAMES WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF
The Patriots have now won 72 straight home games when leading at halftime, adding to their NFL record. The last time the Patriots lost at home after leading at halftime was on Dec. 24, 2000 (vs. Miami) when they Patriots lost 27-24 after leading 21-17 at halftime. Today, the Patriots were leading 27-7 at halftime and won the game 43-21.
PATRIOTS LEAD THE NFL WITH MOST POINTS OFF TURNOVERS IN 2014
Patriots scored 14 points off of turnovers against the Broncos, and now have scored 74 points off of turnovers in 2014. New England entered Week 9 with 60 points off turnovers, which was the most in the NFL entering the week. Against Denver, Rob Ninkovich intercepted a Peyton Manning pass intended for Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter, setting up a 4-play, 34-yard drive that ended in the Patriots' first touchdown of the afternoon and a . Brandon Browner intercepted a Manning pass that bounced off of the hands of Wes Welker in the third quarter, and Browner returned the pick 30 yards to the Broncos' 10-yard line. Tom Brady hit Brandon LaFell for a 10-yard scoring pass on the next play to give the Patriots a 37-14 lead.
PATRIOTS SCORE FIRST FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT GAME
The Patriots scored first on a 49-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski in the first quarter. It is the fifth straight game that the Patriots have scored first (all victories).
PATRIOTS START 7-2 OR BETTER FOR 13th TIME IN TEAM HISTORY
The Patriots are off to a 7-2 record or better the eighth time in team history and for the second season in a row. The Patriots also started the year with a 7-2 or better record in 2013, 2010, 2007, 2004, 2003, 1980 and 1978.
PATRIOTS SET SEASON HIGH WITH EIGHT PASSES DEFENSED
The Patriots had eight passes defensed, setting a season-high in that category. The previous season-best was seven passes defensed at Minnesota on Sept. 14. Patrick Chung led the way for the Patriots with a career-high three passes defensed.
HOT WHEN ITS COLD
The game time temperature was 35 degrees. Tom Brady improved his career regular-season record as a starter to 33-4 in games where the temperature at kickoff was less than 40 degrees. In his last 15 such games, Brady is 14-1 and has thrown 36 touchdowns and just six interceptions. In his career as a starter in home games where the temperature is less than 40 degrees at kickoff, Brady is 23-3 with 46 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Including playoffs, he is 43-6 overall in such games.
TOM BRADY MAKES HIS 200 CAREER REGULAR SEASON START; BECOMES 8th QUARTERBACK TO START IN 200 CAREER GAMES
Tom Brady made his 200th career start against Denver and is now one of eight NFL quarterbacks to start at least 200 games. The other NFL quarterbacks with 200 starts are: Brett Favre (298), Peyton Manning (247), Dan Marino (240), Fran Tarkenton (239), John Elway (231), Vinny Testaverde (214) and Warren Moon (203).
BRADY HAS MOST WINS IN FIRST 200 STARTS IN NFL HISTORY**
Brady has 155 career regular season wins in his first 200 regular-season starts (155-45, .775). Brady has more wins than any other quarterback in his first 200 regular-season starts. Denver's Peyton Manning is second with 136 victories in his first 200 starts.
BRADY IS THE SECOND PATRIOTS PLAYER WITH 200 STARTS
Tom Brady is the second New England Patriots player to start in at least 200 games. Patriots Hall of Fame OL Bruce Armstrong started in 212 games during his career.
BRADY GOES OVER 300 YARDS FOR THE 62ND TIME; TIES BRETT FAVRE FOR FOURTH MOST IN NFL HISTORY
Brady had his 62nd career 300-yard game and the third of the season after finishing with 333 passing yards. He tied Brett Favre for the fourth-most 300-yard games in NFL history and is third among active NFL quarterbacks, behind NFL-leader Peyton Manning (88) and Drew Brees (83).
BRADY PASSES ELWAY FORPASSING YARDS TO MOVE INTO FITH ALL-TIME
Tom Brady moved past Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for fifth all-time on the NFL list on a 6-yard completion to WR Julian Edelman in the third quarter. He entered the Denver game needing 268 yards to move past Elway. Brady now has 51,541 career passing yards.
TOM BRADY WINS 42nd STRAIGHT HOME GAME AGAINST AFC
Tom Brady won his 42nd straight regular season home game as a starting quarterback against an AFC opponent. Brady is now 68-8 in his career as a starting quarterback against AFC teams at home. 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 IS NOW .500 OR BETTER AGAINST EVERY NFL TEAM
Tom Brady entered the Denver game with a 4-5 record against the Broncos, the only team he had a losing record against in the regular season. With the win, Brady now has a record of .500 or better against every NFL team.
TOM BRADY HAS FOURTH STRAIGHT GAME WITH THREE OR MORE TDS
Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns against the Broncos, marking his fourth consecutive game with three or more touchdowns and the third time in the last four games that he has had four or more touchdowns. Brady had four touchdowns at Buffalo (10/12), three vs. New York Jets (10/16) and five vs. Chicago (10/26).
TOM BRADY NOW HAS 22 GAMES WITH FOUR MORE TOUCHDOWNS; MOVES OUT OF A FOURTH PLACE TIE WITH DAN MARINO
Tom Brady had his 22nd game with four or more touchdowns and moved out of a fourth-place tie with Dan Marino.
MOST GAMES WITH 4 TD
Peyton Manning 33
Drew Brees 25
Brett Favre 23
Tom Brady 22
Dan Marino 21
Johnny Unitas 17
JULIAN EDELMAN SET FRANCHISE RECORD WITH FOURTH CAREER PUNT RETURN FOR A TOUCHDOWN**
WR Julian Edelman returned a second quarter punt 84 yards for a touchdown and now has a franchise-best four punt returns for a touchdown. Edelman had a franchise record 94 yard touchdown return vs. Miami (11/2/11), a 72-yard return for a touchdown vs. Kansas City 911/21/11) and a 68-yard return for a touchdown 11/18/12 vs. Indianapolis.
Most Punt Return Touchdowns/Patriots Career
4 Julian Edelman
3 Troy Brown
3 Irving Fryar
2 Mike Haynes
GRONKOWSKI TIES RANDY MOSS FOR SECOND FASTEST TO 50 REC. TDS; BECOMES THE FASTEST TIGHT END TO REACH 50 TDS
TE Rob Gronkowski reached 50 career touchdowns receptions in his 59th career regular season game to tie Randy Moss for the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach 50 touchdown receptions. Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (54 games) is the fastest player in NFL annals to reach the milestone. Gronkowski also surpassed the record for fewest games by a tight end to reach 50 career touchdown catches. Antonio Gates reached 50 touchdown receptions in 92 games. Gronkowski is the fifth player in NFL history to have 50 or more touchdown catches in his first five seasons, joining Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Lance Alworth and Andre Rison.
GRONKOWSKI MOVES INTO SECOND PLACE ON PATRIOTS ALL-TIME TOUCHDOWNS LIST**
Rob Gronkowski now has 51 career touchdowns overall (50 receiving, 1 rushing), which ranks second in team history to the 68 total touchdowns by Stanley Morgan.
BRANDON BROWNER RECORDS FIRST INTERCEPTION AS A PATRIOT
Brandon Browner picked off a Peyton Manning pass in the third quarter and returned it 30 yards to the 10-yard line to set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Brandon LaFell. The interception was Browner's first as a Patriot. Browner also had some key defensive plays, notably with tight coverage on Demaryius Thomas on third down on the Broncos' second offensive possession of the game to complete the Patriots defense's second straight three-and-out to begin the game. Browner also provided tight coverage on Thomas in the second quarter, helping to force an incompletion on second-and-20, setting up a third-and long that the Broncos did not convert, and Julian Edelman returned the ensuing punt 84 yards for a touchdown and a 20-7 Patriots lead in the second quarter.
RYAN ALLEN HAS CAREER-LONG 67-YARD PUNT
Ryan Allen had a career-long 67-yard punt in the fourth quarter. His previous best was a 65-yarder in his first NFL game when he had a 65-yarder at Buffalo on Sept. 8, 2013. The punt was the longest for the Patriots since Chris Hanson had a 70-yard punt in the 2008 season opener vs. Kansas City on Sept. 8, 2008.
BRADY ON PACE FOR 4,000-PLUS YARDS AND 30-PLUS TDS
Tom Brady has 2,392 passing yards and 22 touchdowns thought the first nine games and is on pace to finish with 4,252 passing yards and 39 touchdowns.
Most Seasons with 30 or more TDs
Brett Favre 9
Peyton Manning 8
Drew Brees 6
Tom Brady 4
Dan Marino 4
Most 3,000-yard seasons
Brett Favre 18
Peyton Manning 15
Dan Marino 13
John Elway 12
* Tom Brady 11*
Drew Brees 11
GOSTKOWSKI ON A GOOD PACE IN 2014
Stephen Gostkowski has 24 field goals so far in 2014, putting him on pace to finish with 43 field goals, which would be the second highest single-season total in NFL history.
GOSTKOWSKI HAS 34 STRAIGHT HOME FIELD GOALS
Stephen Gostkowski has made 34 consecutive field goals at Gillette Stadium, including 3-for-3 in windy conditions against Denver today. Gostkowski's last miss at home was a 43-yard field goal that sailed wide left vs. the New York Jets on Sept. 12, 2013.
GOSTKOWSKI IS OFF TO A 24-for-25 START IN 2014
Stephen Gostkowski was a perfect 3-for-3 in windy conditions against the Broncos, and has made 24 of 25 field goals (96 percent) this season. He has made 11 consecutive field goals.
GRONKOWSKI EXTENDS HIS STREAK TO 59 STRAIGHT GAMES WITH A RECEPTION
Rob Gronkowski caught a 20-yard pass in the first quarter and has caught at least one pass in all 59 regular season games that he has played.
LONGEST CURRENT STREAKS OF CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A RECEPTION BY TIGHT ENDS
96 Jason Witten (Dallas)
95 Owen Daniels (Houston/Baltimore)
*89 Heath Miller (Pittsburgh)
*59 Rob Gronkowski
*Not including this week's game
GRONKOWSKI EXTENDS RECORD WITH 15th 100-YARD GAME**
TE Rob Gronkowski finished with 105 yards on nine receptions for his 15th career game with 100 or more receiving yards and his second consecutive game having broken the mark. He has done it three times so far in 2014. Gronkowski's 15 100-yard games extended his team record for most 100-yard receiving games by a tight end.
GRONKOWSKI TIES CAREER HIGH WITH NINE RECEPTIONS
TE Rob Gronkowski had nine receptions, tying his career high, which he also matched last week against Chicago. Gronkowski also had nine receptions on Nov. 3, 2013 against Pittsburgh.
ROB NINKOVICH REGISTERS FIFTH NFL INTERCEPTION
LB Rob Ninkovich registered his fifth NFL interception and first of the season when he picked off a QB Peyton Manning pass in the second quarter. The turnover led to a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman.
LaFELL TIES CAREER HIGH WITH FIFTH TD CATCH**
Brandon LaFell had a 10-yard touchdown catch from Tom Brady in the third quarter, marking LaFell's fifth touchdown reception of the season, tying his career high. LaFell also caught five touchdown passes last year for Carolina.
- Kyle Arrington and Patrick Chung stopped Denver's Ronnie Hillman for no gain on the game's first play from scrimmage, setting the tone for a three-and-out for the Patriots defense on the Broncos' first possession.
- Patrick Chung broke up a Peyton Manning pass intended for Wes Welker on first down from the Patriots' 13-yard line in the first quarter. On the next play, Jamie Collins hit Ronnie Hillman as Hillman attempted to make a catch, forcing an incompletion.
- Kyle Arrington broke up a Peyton Manning pass intended for Wes Welker on second-and-ten in the second quarter, nearly coming up with an interception, and setting up a third-and-long that the Broncos did not convert.
- The interceptions by Rob Ninkovich and Brandon Browner were the 25th and 26th by Patriots players against Peyton Manning in New England's 19 regular-season games squaring off against Manning.
- Malcolm Butler broke up a Peyton Manning pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders in the fourth quarter.
- Tom Brady had back-to-back completions totaling 44 yards in the last two minutes of the first half following an intentional grounding penalty, hitting Julian Edelman for a 26-yard gain and then finding Shane Vereen for an 18-yard gain on the next play, and setting up a first-and-goal from the Broncos' 5-yard line with 38 seconds left. Two plays later, Brady hit Shane Vereen for a 5-yard touchdown reception that gave the Patriots a 27-7 lead with eight seconds left in the first half.
NATE EBNER RETURNS TO ACTION
DB Nate Ebner returned to action after missing the last four games due to injury.
AKEEM AYERS MAKES FIRST START FOR THE PATRIOTS
LB Akeem Ayers made his first start as a member of the Patriots. He had a 9-yard sack of QB Peyton Manning on a fourth-down play with just over two minutes left in the second quarter.
RB JONAS GRAY MADE HIS FIRST NFL START
RB Jonas Gray made his first NFL start against Denver.
NEWLY ACQUIRED LB JONATHAN CASILLAS AND DL ALAN BRANCH MAKE PATS DEBUT
Newly acquired LB Jonathan Casillas and DL Alan Branch played in their first game with the Patriots against Denver.