BRADY TURNS IN 29th CAREER COMEBACK WIN
Tom Brady led the Patriots to victory following a fourth-quarter deficit or tie for the 29th time in his career, as the Patriots rallied to a 25-24 win after trailing 24-13 with 5:32 remaining. On the Patriots' final two scoring drives, Brady completed 11-of-13 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He had an 18-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson with 2:10 remaining to cap off an 11-play, 81-yard drive and cut the deficit to 24-19. After the Patriots recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Brady directed a 3-play, 31-yard drive that ended in a 16-yard scoring toss to Watson and a 25-24 Patriots lead. The Patriots' comeback against the Bills tonight came following a deficit remarkably similar to their 27-24 comeback win against the Dolphins on Dec. 29, 2002 – in that game they trailed 24-13 with 4:59 remaining in the contest and also came back for the victory.
WATSON HAULS IN TWO LATE TOUCHDOWNS IN COMEBACK
Benjamin Watson caught a pair of touchdown passes in the final 2:10 of the game as the Patriots came back from a 24-13 deficit to rally for a 25-24 win. Watson, who had two touchdown catches in the 2008 season, tied his career high with his third career regular-season game with two touchdown receptions.
MOSS TIES CAREER HIGH WITH 12 RECEPTIONSRandy Moss caught 12 passes for 141 yards, tying his single-game career high for receptions. Moss also had 12 catches in a 204-yard effort while playing for Minnesota at Chicago on Nov. 14, 1999. Prior to tonight, his best single-game reception total with the Patriots came in a 10-catch outing at Buffalo on Nov. 18, 2007. Moss's 141 receiving yards are his third-highest total since joining the Patriots in 2007.
BRADY TIES SINGLE-GAME CAREER HIGH FOR COMPLETIONSTom Brady's 39 completions against Buffalo are the most in his career in a non-overtime game and tie his overall career high. He also had 39 completions against Kansas City on Sept. 22, 2002 in a 41-38 overtime win at Gillette Stadium. His 378 yards are his fifth-highest single-game career total, trailing his career-best 410 yards in that same 2002 contest against Kansas City. Brady's 53 attempts against Buffalo tonight tie his sixth-highest single-game career total, trailing his career-best of 55 attempts (11/10/02 and 9/24/06).
MOSS AND WELKER: FIRST TIME IN PATRIOTS HISTORY TWO PLAYERS HAVE 12 CATCHES
Randy Moss and Wes Welker each hauled in 12 catches for the Patriots, with each player tying the team's fifth-highest single-game reception total. Tonight's game is the first time in team history that two players have had at least 12 catches in the same game. The last time the Patriots had two or more players with at least 10 catches in the same game was on Nov. 13, 1994, when Leroy Thompson had 11 catches, Ben Coates had 10 and Michael Timpson had 10 catches in a 26-20 overtime win over Minnesota.
MOSS RECORDS 60th CAREER 100-YARD RECEIVING GAME; MOVES INTO 2nd ALL-TIME
Moss finished the night with 12 receptions for 141 yards. Tonight's game marks his 60th career 100-yard receiving game, moving him into sole possession of second place in NFL history in that category (Jerry Rice, 76). Marvin Harrison ranks second in league annals with 59 100-yard games. Moss now has 14 100-yard receiving games as a member of the Patriots, and the Patriots are 14-0 when Moss has a 100-yard receiving game.
MOSS MOVES UP ALL-TIME RECEPTIONS LIST
Randy Moss's 12 receptions moved him up two places to 13th on the NFL's all-time receptions list. He finished the night with 855 career catches, seven shy of 12th-place receiver Jimmy Smith (862). With 12 catches tonight, Moss passed Rod Smith (849) and Irving Fryar (851) on the all-time list. Moss ranks ninth on the league list with 13,342 career receiving yards.
- The Patriots improved to 8-0 in home openers since moving to Gillette Stadium in 2002.
- Tonight's game was the Patriots' 50th season-opening contest, and the team improved to 26-24 in those games.
- Tonight marked Tom Brady's 24th career 300-yard passing game in the regular season, with the Patriots improving to 22-2 in those contests. Drew Bledsoe has a team-record 26 300-yard regular-season passing games.
- Tonight's game was Tom Brady's 21st consecutive regular-season victory as a starting quarterback.
- The Patriots have won all 18 regular-season games in which both Tom Brady and Randy Moss have started.
- Tonight's game was the Patriots' 162nd consecutive home sellout, a streak that includes every preseason, regular-season and playoff game since the 1994 regular-season opener.
- In seven career games against Buffalo, Randy Moss has now had five 100-yard receiving games.
- Tom Brady improved to 14-1 in his career as a starter against Buffalo.
PATRIOTS SET CLUB RECORD FOR CONSECUTIVE WINS AGAINST AN OPPONENT
The Patriots defeated the Bills for the 12th straight time, a streak that dates back to 2003, and now stands as the longest winning streak against a single opponent in Patriots history. New England topped the previous record of 11 straight wins against an opponent, achieved against the Bills from the 1982-87 seasons.
TWO SACKS FOR BANTA-CAIN IN RETURN TO NEW ENGLAND
Tully Banta-Cain had two sacks in his return to the Patriots, recording his second career game with at least two sacks (2.5 at Minnesota, 10/30/06). His second sack came on a key third down as the Patriots were holding off a last-minute Bills comeback bid, as he dragged Trent Edwards down for a 10-yard loss in the final minute with the Bills 10 yards away from field goal range. Banta-Cain also recorded a 6-yard sack in the third quarter. The sacks raised Banta-Cain's career total to 14. Banta-Cain re-joined the Patriots in 2009 after beginning his career in New England from 2003-06. He had eight sacks in his previous stint with the Patriots, including a career-high 5.5 sacks in 2006.
WOODS FORCES CRUCIAL FUMBLE
Pierre Woods forced a key fumble by Buffalo kickoff returner Leodis McKelvin (after an initial hit by Brandon Meriweather) with 2:10 left in the game after the Patriots kicked off to the Bills facing a 24-19 deficit. Stephen Gostkowski came out of the scrum holding the ball, giving the Patriots possession and setting up a game-winning, 3-play, 31-yard drive that ended in a 25-24 Patriots lead in the game's final minute.
PERFECT IN RED
Tonight's game was the first time the Patriots wore red jerseys at home since the 1992 season-ending overtime loss to Miami on Dec. 27, 1992. The Patriots wore their throwback jerseys in a home game for the first time since Oct. 2, 1994, when they donned white throwback jerseys against the Green Bay Packers in a 17-16 win at Foxboro Stadium. New England wore throwbacks in that game as part of a league-wide initiative in recognition of the NFL's 75th anniversary season. The last time the Patriots wore their throwbacks in any game was on Nov. 28, 2002, at Detroit. In that Thanksgiving contest, New England wore red jerseys modeled after those worn by the 1985 AFC Champions.
WELKER TIES SECOND HIGHEST SINGLE-GAME CAREER CATCH TOTAL
Wes Welker tied his second-highest single-game reception total with 12 catches. His dozen receptions trails only his career-high 13-catches against Philadelphia on Nov. 25, 2007. Tonight's game was Welker's fifth career regular-season game with 10 or more catches. Last season, Welker became the first player in NFL history to open the season with six or more catches in the first 11 games of the season, and following tonight's game he has six or more catches in 28-of-36 regular-season and playoff games since joining the Patriots in 2007.
Of the 23 new Patriots on the 53-man roster from opening day last season, 17 saw action in their first regular-season game as a member of the New England Patriots. Of that group, five were 2009 draft picks. (G Stephen Neal began the season on the PUP list)
VETERAN ACQUISITIONS IN STARTING LINEUP
Newly acquired veterans RB Fred Taylor and WR Joey Galloway were in the starting lineup for the Patriots on offense. Taylor is ranked 16th in NFL history with 11,296 rushing yards, while Galloway needs 290 receiving yards to become the 22nd player in NFL history to reach 11,000 receiving yards.
TAYLOR MAKES GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
Taylor scored his first touchdown as a Patriots player on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. He had 62 career rushing touchdowns as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1998-2008. His 63 career rushing touchdowns rank 34th on the NFL's All-Time List.
FAULK COMES UP BIG ON THIRD DOWNKevin Faulk converted two big third downs on the Patriots' first scoring drive of the evening that ended in a 1-yard touchdown run by Fred Taylor. Faulk's first third-down conversion came when he hauled in a 16-yard completion from Tom Brady on third-and-nine from the Patriots' 43-yard line. Four plays later, Faulk had a 4-yard run on third-and-four from the Patriots' 18-yard line, and three plays after that Taylor tied the game at 7-7 with his first touchdown as a Patriot.
ELITE COMPANY:This offseason, the New England Patriots signed free agents Joey Galloway, who entered the 2009 season having totaled 10,710 career receiving yards, and Fred Taylor, who began 2009 with 11,271 career rush yards. With Galloway, Taylor, Tom Brady and Randy Moss on the same team, the Patriots became only the fourth team in NFL history to start the season with a 25,000-yard passer, 10,000-yard rusher and a 10,000-yard receiver. New England also became the first team in NFL history to start a season with two 10,000-yard receivers (Galloway and Moss) and one 25,000-yard passer and a 10,000-yard rusher.