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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Chargers

BILL BELICHICK BECOMES SECOND HEAD COACH IN NFL HISTORY WITH AT LEAST THREE SEPARATE 10-GAME WIN STREAKS
With the win over San Diego, the Patriots have now won 10 straight regular season games dating back to Nov. 14, 2010. Bill Belichick has become the second coach in NFL history with three separate 10-game win streaks, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula who had four 10-game win streaks.  Belichick's Patriots won 21 consecutive games from 2006-08 and 18 consecutive games from 2003-04. Shula led the Baltimore Colts to 11 straight wins in 1964 and posted two 10-game win streaks with the Miami Dolphins (16 from 1971-73; 10 in 1973; 16 in 1983-84).

TOUGH AT HOME
The Patriots have now won 15 of their past 17 home openers, including a perfect 10-0 record at Gillette Stadium since its opening in 2002. The 10 consecutive wins by the Patriots in home openers is the longest streak in the NFL.

TOUGH AT HOME
With their win over San Diego, the Patriots have now won 17 straight regular season home games dating back to a 47-7 win over Arizona on Dec. 21, 2008. The Patriots own an overall record of 61-12 (.836) at Gillette Stadium in regular season games. Since their state-of-the-art facility opened at the beginning of the 2002 season, the Patriots own the NFL's best record at home.

BRADY HAS 940 PASSING YARDS THROUGH TWO GAMES
Tom Brady threw for 423 yards on 31-of-40 passing (77.5 percent) with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Combined with his career-high and franchise-record 517 passing yards last week at Miami, Brady has totaled 940 yards in the last two games. Brady's aggregate total of 940 yards in a two-game span marks the highest two-game yardage total of his career, topping the 763 total yards he had in back-to-back games on Sept. 22, 2002 vs. Kansas City (410) and Sept. 29, 2002 at San Diego (353). Brady's 940 yards are a franchise record for a two-game span, besting Matt Cassel's total of 815 passing yards from Nov. 13 and 23, 2008.

BRADY WINS 29th STRAIGHT START AT GILLETTE STADIUM
Tom Brady extended his NFL record with his 29th straight regular season win at home. Brady set an NFL record for most consecutive home wins as a starting quarterback with his 26th straight win in a regular-season home start following the 45-3 win against the Jets (12/6/10). The last time the Patriots lost a regular-season home game in which Brady started was on 11/22/06 vs. the N.Y. Jets.

TOM BRADY NOTES
In his past six regular season starts at home, Tom Brady has thrown for 1537 yards and has tallied 14 touchdowns and no interceptions.

TEN STRAIGHT GAMES WITH 30 POINTS RANKS SECOND IN NFL HISTORY
The Patriots set a team record with their 10th straight regular season game with 30 or more points dating back to Nov. 14 of last season with a 39-26 win at Pittsburgh. The Patriots' previous team record for consecutive games with 30 or more points was nine straight games from the last game of the 2006 regular season and the first eight games of the 2007 season. The Patriots' current streak of 10 straight games with 30 or more points is second in NFL history to the 14 straight games by the St. Louis Rams (1999-2000). Following today's 35-21 win, the Patriots are now 63-2 when scoring 30 or more points under head coach Bill Belichick.

GREEN-ELLIS RECORDS 20th CAREER RUSHING TOUCHDOWN
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis became the 10th player in Patriots history to record 20 or more touchdowns in a New England uniform. He tallied his second touchdown of the season and the 20th touchdown of his career on a 16-yard run in the fourth quarter. Green-Ellis's 20 career rushing touchdowns rank 10th in team history. Laurence Maroney and Antowain Smith are tied for eighth place in franchise history with 21. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, Green-Ellis has 15 touchdown runs. Heading into today's games, Green-Ellis's total of 14 touchdowns since the beginning of 2010 ranked second in the NFL to Houston's Arian Foster (16 entering today).

VINCE WILFORK RECORDS FIRST CAREER INTERCEPTION
Vince Wilfork recorded his first career interception when he picked off San Diego QB Philip Rivers in the second quarter. Wilfork returned the pick 28 yards to help set up a 47-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski that gave the Patriots a 17-7 halftime lead. Wilfork's interception was the 14th time in team history that a defensive lineman intercepted a pass and the first time since Richard Seymour had an interception in a 40-7 win vs. Houston on Dec. 17, 2006.

SERGIO BROWN RECORDS FIRST CAREER INTERCEPTION
Safety Sergio Brown recorded his first career interception when he picked off a Philip Rivers pass at the New England 7-yard line to end a San Diego scoring threat.

BRADY MOVES PAST JIM KELLY INTO 17TH ON THE NFL ALL-TIME PASSING LIST
Tom Brady (who finished today's game with 35,694 career passing yards) moved past Jim Kelly (35,467) into 17th place on the NFL's all-time passing list. Drew Brees ranks 16th on the NFL's all-time list with 35,955 career yards (including today's games).

BRADY NEARING CHILDHOOD IDOL IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES AND WINS.
Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes today to increase his career total to 268 touchdown passes. Brady is in 10th place on the NFL's all-time passing touchdown list. Brady's child idol Joe Montana is in ninth place in league history with 273 career touchdown passes. Brady has 113 career victories as a starting quarterback, trailing Montana by four wins.

BRADY HAS 11th STRAIGHT GAME WITH TWO OR MORE TDS DATING BACK TO 2010
With three touchdown passes against the Chargers, Brady had his 11th straight game with two or more touchdown passes. The NFL record for most consecutive games with two or more touchdowns is 13 by Peyton Manning in 2004. Last season, Brady had 12 total games with two or more touchdowns, including two or more scores in each of the last eight games. He had four 3-touchdown games and two 4-touchdown games in 2010. The Patriots are 72-12 when Brady throws for two or more touchdowns in a game.

BRADY THROWS THREE TOUCHDOWNS INA GAME FOR THE 43RD TIME
Brady finished a game with three touchdowns for the 43rd time in his career. The Patriots are 40-3 when he throws for three touchdowns in a game.

BRADY GOES OVER 300 YARDS FOR THE 36th TIME IN HIS CAREER
Tom Brady threw for 423 yards today, recording his third career game with 400 or more yards and his his 36th game with 300 or more yards passing. Brady's total of 36 career 300-yard passing games ranks third among active NFL quarterbacks, behind NFL-leader Peyton Manning (63) and Drew Brees (45). The Patriots are now 32-4 when Brady throws for 300 or more yards.

BRADY HAS 423 YARDS AS A FOLLOW-UP TO HIS 517 YARD PERFORMANCE IN MIAMI
Last Monday in Miami, Brady threw for 517 yards, becoming one of 11 passers in NFL history to break the 500-yard mark. Today against San Diego, Brady became the first of those 11 500-yard passers to follow up his 500-yard performance by throwing for 400 or more yards. Before today, only Drew Brees (2006) had followed-up a 500-yard game with 300 or more passing yards.

CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE TOUCHDOWN PASS CONTINUES FOR BRADY
Brady threw a touchdown pass in all 16 games in 2010 and extended that streak to 18 straight games with three touchdown passes against San Diego today. Brady needs to throw at least one touchdown pass in the next two games to break his own team record of 19 straight games (12/17/06-12/09/07) with at least one touchdown pass.

WELKER IS STREAKING
Wes Welker extended his streak to 63 straight regular-season games with at least one reception as a member of the Patriots, tying TE Ben Coates for the franchise record. Welker has an overall streak of 80 straight regular-season games with at least one reception, including his time with the Miami Dolphins. Welker has caught at least one pass in each of his 67 games with the Patriots, including four postseason games. The last time that Welker did not catch a pass in a game was December 24, 2005 when he was with Miami.

WELKER AVERAGING 7.10 RECEPTIONS PER GAME IN PATRIOTS CAREER
Following his seven receptions today, Wes Welker has 447 receptions in 63 games with the Patriots, averaging 7.10 receptions per game. That total by far is the best in Patriots franchise history.

BRADY ECLIPSES 30 COMPLETION MARK FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK
Tom Brady finished with 31 completions today following his 32-completion performance last week in Miami. This week's game marks the 15th time Brady has had 30 or more completions in a game and is the third time he has accomplished the feat in back-to-back games. The last time he had 30 or more completions back-to-back was in 2007: 11/18/07 at Buffalo (31), 11/25/07 v. Philadelphia (34).

MAYO LEADS IN TACKLES, BIG PLAYS
Jerod Mayo led the Patriots with 11 tackles today, marking his 19th career game with 10 or more tackles. Last season, Mayo led the Patriots with 10 games with 10 or more tackles. Mayo came up with a pair of big plays to contribute to the Patriots' win over San Diego. In the second quarter, with the Patriots holding a 10-7 lead, Mayo stopped Mike Tolbert on fourth-and-one from the Chargers' 1-yard line to complete a Patriots goal-line stand. Then in the fourth quarter, with the Patriots holding a 20-14 lead and the Chargers facing a second-and-5 at the Patriots' 34-yard line, Mayo forced Tolbert to fumble. The ball was recovered by Rob Ninkovich to set up a 4-play, 61-yard drive that ended in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski that gave the Patriots a 28-14 lead with 8:40 left in the game.

SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK WITH THREE PLAYERS WITH SEVEN OR MORE CATCHES
This week marks the second straight week the Patriots have had three players with seven or more receptions. Today, Deion Branch (8), Wes Welker (7), and Aaron Hernandez (7) all eclipsed the 7-catch mark. Last week, Welker (8), Branch (7), and Hernandez (7) also accomplished the feat.Prior to last week, the last time New England had three players with seven or more catches in the same game was on Nov. 13, 2008, when Benjamin Watson (8), Wes Welker (7), and Jabar Gaffney (7) turned the trick.

BRANCH GOES OVER 100 YARDS
Deion Branch had eight receptions for 129 yards, marking his 10th 100-yard receiving game and his seventh as a member of the Patriots. Through two games this season, Branch has caught 15 passes for 222 yards. Branch's 129 yards against San Diego pushed him over 6,000 career receiving yards. He finished the game with 6,019 career receiving yards.

GRONKOWSKI SCORES IN HIS FOURTH STRAIGHT REGULAR SEASON GAME
TE Rob Gronkowski scored a touchdown reception in his fourth straight regular season game, dating back to 2010. He caught two touchdowns at Buffalo (12/26) and vs. Miami (1/2) to close out the 2010 season. He added a 10-yard touchdown pass in the 2011 opener at Miami in the second quarter and then had a 10-yarder against the Chargers. He added a 17-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to push his 2011 total to 3. His 10 touchdowns as a rookie in 2010 were the second most ever by a rookie tight end in NF history. Only Mike Ditka had more with 12 as a rookie.

GRONKOWSKI HAS THIRD GAME WITH 2 OR MORE TOUCHDOWNS
Gronkowski scored on a 10-yard pass in the second quarter and 17-yard pass in the fourth quarter. It is his third game with two or more touchdowns. He had a career-high three at Pittsburgh (11/14/10) and then had two at Buffalo (12/26/10).

GRONKOWSKI SETS CAREER-LONG RECEPTION
Gronkowski had a career-long 30-yard reception in the third quarter. His previous best was a 28-yarder vs. Miami (1/2/11) in the 2010 regular season finale.

HERNANDEZ HAS TOUDHCOWN PASSES IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES FOR THE FIRST TIME
TE Aaron Hernandez registering his first games with back-to-back touchdowns after catching a 14-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter against the Chargers. He had a 1-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter in the season-opener at Miami.

HERNANDEZ TIES A CAREER HIGH WITH SEVEN RECEPTIONS
Hernandez finished the game with seven receptions for 62 yards against San Diego. His seven receptions match the seven he had in the season-opener at Miami (9/12) as a career-high mark.

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