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Game Notes: Patriots reach 10 wins for the 12th straight season

TEAM NOTES

PATRIOTAS REACH 10 WINS FOR THE 12 STRAIGHT SEASON
New England has reached at least 10 regular-season wins for 12 consecutive seasons after the win against San Diego. The Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers (16) are the only teams to have at least 10 straight seasons with 10 or more wins.

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The New England Patriots take on the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday, December 7, 2014.

STRONG IN THE SECOND HALF**
Since 2001, the Patriots have done a remarkable job of finishing the season strong, compiling an NFL-best 81-21 (.794) record in games on or after Thanksgiving.

PATRIOTS HAVE THE BEST RECORD IN THE FINAL FOUR GAMES OT HE REGULAR SEASON SINCE 2009
With the win over San Diego, the Patriots now have the best record of any NFL team in the last four games of the season since 2009 with an 18-3 (.857) record. The Patriots entered the game tied with the Chargers with 17-3 records in the final four games since 2009.

BOUNCING BACK
Since the beginning of 2003, the Patriots are 37-4 (.902) in regular-season games following a loss, including nine straight wins following a defeat since 2012. The Patriots have dropped back-to-back regular season games just four times since 2003. As a starter in his career, Tom Brady is 38-8 in games following a loss.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

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BELICHICK ADDS TO HIS RECORD WITH HIS 12TH STRAIGHT SEASON WITH 10 OR MORE WINS**
Bill Belichick has coached the Patriots to 12 straight seasons with 10 or more wins after reaching his 10th win of the 2014 season with the win over San Diego, adding to his NFL record streak. In 2011, Belichick became the first coach in NFL history with nine straight seasons with at least 10 victories. George Seifert has the second most consecutive 10-win seasons with eight from 1989-1996 for San Francisco.

BELICHICK ADDS TO HIS NFL-BEST DECEMBER RECORD
Bill Belichick is 52-9 (.852) 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).

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GRONKOWSKI IS THE FIRST TIGHT END IN NFL HISTORY WITH FOUR 10-PLUS TOUCHDOWN SEASONS**
TE Rob Gronkowski became the first tight end in NFL history to have four 10-plus touchdown seasons (10 in 2010, 18 in 2011, 11 in 2012 and 10 in 2013) with his 14-yard touchdown pass from QB Tom Brady in the second quarter. Gronkowski entered the game with nine touchdowns for the season and tied with Tony Gonzales (3) and Antonio Gates (3) for the most seasons with 10 or more touchdowns by a tight end.

NFL TIGHT ENDS WITH MOST 10-PLUS TOUCHDOWN SEASONS
Rob Gronkowski 4 10 in 2010, 18 in 2011 and 11 in 2012 – 10 in 2014)
Antonio Gates 3 (13 in 2004, 10 in 2005 and 10 in 2010 - 9 in 2014)
Tony Gonzalez 3 (11 in 1999, 10 in 2003 and 10 in 2008)
Dallas Clark 2
Vernon Davis 2
Jimmy Graham 2
Shannon Sharp 2
Wesley Walls 2
Julius Thomas 2

MOST 10 TOUCHDOWN SEASON IN PATRIOTS HISTORY
Gronkowski's four 10-plus touchdown seasons are the most in New England Patriots team history. Gronkowski moved past Randy Moss (2007, 2008 and 2009) and Corey Dillon (2004, 2005, 2006) for the most 10-touchdown seasons in Patriots history.
MOST 10-PLUS TOUCHDOWN SEASONS / PATRIOTS HISTORY
4 Rob Gronkowski – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
3 Randy Moss – 2007, 2008, 2009
3 Corey Dillon – 2004, 2005, 2006
2 BenJarvus Green-Ellis – 2010, 2011
2 Curtis Martin – 1995, 1996
2 Stanley Morgan – 1979, 1986

LB JAMIE COLLINS RECORDS FIRST NFL 2-SACK GAME
LB Jamie Collins registered his first NFL two-sack game with a 9-yard sack in the first quartrer and a 9-yard sack in the second quarter. It was thr fourth time in 2014 that a Patriots player had a multiple sack game. LB Dont'a Hightower had two sacks at Minnesota (9/14), DL Chandler Jones had two sacks Minnesota (9/14) and DL Rob Ninkovich had three sacks at Buffalo (10/12).

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JULIAN EDELMAN SET CAREER-HIGH WITH A 69-YARD TOUCHDOWN**
WR Julian Edelman set a career-high with a 69-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. His previous best was a 56-yard touchdown at the New York Jets on Nov. 22, 2012. Edelman's 69-yard touchdown is the longest of the season for the Patriots. Tom Brady threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to WR Brandon LaFell at Buffalo on Oct. 12.

EDLEMAN GOES OVER 100 YARDS FOR FIRST TIME IN 2014
Edelman finished with eight receptions for 141 yards for his fifth career 100-yard game and his first of the 2014 season.

BRADY COMES UP BIG IN DECEMBER
Tom Brady is 46-7 (.867) 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 30-7 (.811) record.

BRADY IS GREAT WHEN IT IS LATE
This week's matchup showcased the top two quarterbacks in the final four games of the season since the merger. Brady has a 41-8 record in the final four games, including five 4-0 records in the final four games (2001, 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2011).

GRONKOWSKI EXTENDS HIS STREAK TO 63 STRAIGHT GAMES WITH A RECEPTION
Rob Gronkowski caught a 30-yard pass in the second quarter and has caught at least one pass in all 63 regular season games that he has played.

GRONKOWSKI NEARING 1000 YARDS
Ron Gronkowski entered the San Diego game with 910 yards and finished the game with 87 yards for 997 yards. He needs tree yards for his second career 1,000-yard season. He had an NFL record of 1,327 yards in 2011. Gronkowski can become the first New England tight end to record two 1,000-yard seasons. Ben Coates had the Patriots only other 1,000-yard season by a tight end when he had 1,174 yards in 1994.

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BRADY GOES OVER 300 YARDS FOR THE 64TH TIME;**
PASSES DAN MARINO FOR SOLE POSSESION OF THIR IN NFL HISTORY
Brady had his 64th career 300-yard game and the fifth of the season after finishing with 317 passing yards. He moved out of a tie with Dan Marino (63) and is not third all-time for most 300-yard games.

TOM BRADY REACHES 30 TOUCHDOWNS FOR FIFTH TIME IN HIS CAREER
Tom Brady threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to TE Rob Gronkowski in the second quarter and a 69-yard touchdown pass to WR Julian Edelman in the fourth quarter and now has 30 touchdowns on the season to become just the fourth player in NFL history with at least 30 or more touchdown passes in five seasons.
Most Seasons with 30-Plus Touchdown Passes
Brett Favre 9
Peyton Manning 9
Drew Brees 6
Tom Brady 5
Dan Marino 4
Aaron Rodgers 4

BRANDON BOLDEN REGISTERS FIRST CAREER BLOCKED PUNT
Brandon Bolden blocked his first NFL punt in the second quarter to give the Patriots a first down at the San Diego 25-yard line. It was the Patriots first blocked punt since Patrick Chung blocked a punt at Miami on Oct. 4, 2010.

NINKOVICH INCHES CLOSER TO HIS 3rd STRAIGHT YEAR WITH 8 SACKS
DL Rob Ninkovich recorded a 7-yard sack on a third-down play in the third quarter to increase his 2014 totals to a team-leading seven sacks. If he gets to eight sacks in 2014, he'll be there first Patriots player with eight in three straight seasons since LB Andre Tippett (1985, 16 ½, 1986, 9 ½ and 1987, 12 ½)

LINEUP NOTES

DL SEALVER SILIGA MAKES RETURN
DL Sealver Siliga made his return to action after being activated from injured/reserve with a designation to return after sustaining an injury in the win vs. Oakland on Sept. 21.

LB JONATHAN CASILLAS MAKES FIRST START WITH THE PATRIOTS
LB Jonathan Casillas made his first start as a Patriot after filling in at linebacker for the injured Dont'a Hightower. It was Casillas' fourth start of the season overall – he made three starts for Tampa Bay before being traded to New England.

LEGARRETTE BLOUNT MAKES FIRST START OF THE YEAR FOR PATRIOTS
RB LeGarrette Blount made his first start of the season for the Patriots since re-joining the team. He started in seven games for New England in 2013. It was also his first start overall of the 2014 season. He played in 11 games with no starts with Pittsburgh.

LS DANNY AIKEN RETURNED TO ACTION
LS Danny Aiken returned to action after missing the Green Bay game due to injury.

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