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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Colts

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SUSTAINED SUCCESS: PATRIOTS TO FINISH ABOVE .500 FOR 10th STRAIGHT SEASON
With their eighth win of the 2010 season, the Patriots are guaranteed to finish the season with a record of .500 or better for the 10th consecutive year. At the conclusion of the 2010 season, the Patriots will be the only NFL team to finish with a record of .500 or better in each of the last 10 years (2001-2010). Each of the other 31 NFL teams had at least one losing season between 2001 and 2009.

BRADY TIES FAVRE FOR MOST CONSECUTIVE HOME GAMES WON AS A STARTING QB
Tom Brady won his 25th consecutive regular-season start at Gillette Stadium, tying Brett Favre's post-merger NFL-record 25-game home winning streak. Favre won 25 home games in a row from 1995-98. The last time the Patriots lost a regular-season home game in which Brady started was on Nov. 12, 2006 against the New York Jets.

BELICHICK TIES JOE GIBBS FOR 11th PLACE IN NFL HISTORY WITH 171 WINS
With the victory against the Colts, Bill Belichick passed Paul Brown and tied Joe Gibbs with his 171st career victory as a head coach, including playoff games. Belichick and Gibbs are tied for 11th in NFL history with 171 career victories. Mike Holmgren ranks 10th with 174 career wins.
SANDERS PICK ICES GAME
James Sanders, last week's AFC Defensive Player of the Week, clinched the victory for the Patriots when he intercepted a Peyton Manning pass at the Patriots' 6-yard line with 31 seconds left and New England holding a 3-point lead. Sanders's big play thwarted a potential game-tying field goal try or a potential game-winning touchdown. The interception was Sanders's second of the season and his second in as many weeks. Last week at Pittsburgh, Sanders returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown. The interception against the Colts was the seventh of Sanders's 6-year career .

GREEN-ELLIS SCORES SEVENTH RUSHING TOUCHDOWN OF THE SEASON
BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored his seventh rushing touchdown of 2010 on a 5-yard run in the second quarter. Green-Ellis has seven rushing touchdowns through the first ten games of the year. It is the first time that a Patriots running back has had seven rushing touchdowns in the first ten games since Corey Dillon had seven through the first ten games in 2006. Dillon finished with 13 rushing touchdowns that season. Green-Ellis is on pace for 11 rushing touchdowns in 2010, which would make him just the eighth player in Patriots history to record double digit rushing touchdowns in a season and the first since Corey Dillon did it three years in a row between 2004 and 2006. Besides Dillon, the other Patriots with 10 or more touchdowns in a season are Curtis Martin (2), Steve Grogan, Antowain Smith, Horace Ivory, Jim Nance and Tony Collins.

GREEN-ELLIS HAS THIRD GAME OF SEASON WITH 95 RUSHING YARDS
BenJarvus Green-Ellis had 96 rushing yards, marking the third time this season that he has topped the 95-yard rushing mark. In addition to today's performance, Green-Ellis had 112 rushing yards on 17 carries against Minnesota (10/31) and he had 16 rushes for 98 yards against Buffalo (9/26). Green-Ellis is the first Patriots player to have 95 rushing yards or more in three or more games in a season since Laurence Maroney had 95 or more yards in three games in 2007. The last time a Patriots player eclipsed the 95-yard rushing mark more than three times in a single season was in 2004, when Corey Dillon broke the mark 10 times.

WOODHEAD SCORES ON A 36-YARD TOUCHDOWN RUN
RB Danny Woodhead scored on a career-long 36-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to give the Patriots a 28-14 lead. It is the longest run of the season for New England, besting a 26-yard run by RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis' vs. Minnesota (10/31). It is Woodhead's second touchdown run of 20 or more yards. He had a 22-yard touchdown run vs. Buffalo (9/26). The 36-yard touchdown run was the longest scoring run for the Patriots since Laurence Maroney had a 45-yard touchdown in the Patriots' 59-0 win over Tennessee on Oct. 18, 2009.
WOODHEAD HAS A CAREER HIGH 69 YARDS RUSHING
Woodhead had a career-high 69 yards rushing, topping the 63 yards he had vs. Baltimore (10/17).

PRODUCTIVE RUNNING TANDEM
BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran 21 times for 96 yards and Danny Woodhead ran seven times for 69 yards. Today's game marked the first time the Patriots have had two players rush for 69 or more yards in nearly two full years, dating back to a Dec. 21, 2008 game against Arizona where Sammy Morris had 88 yards and LaMont Jordan had 78 yards.

BRADY GOOD IN THE COLD
The temperature at kickoff today was 37 degrees. Tom Brady improved to 30-4 in his career as a starter when the kickoff temperature is below 40 degrees (including a 22-3 regular season record and an 8-1 playoff mark).
PATRIOTS ON THE POINT
With a total of 31 points against the Colts today, the Patriots have now scored 30 or more points in five games in 2010 and lead the NFL with 289 points per game. The Patriots are on pace to score 462 points this season, a total that would rank second in franchise history to the Patriots' NFL record-setting 2007 total of 589 points. New England entered this week's games leading the NFL in averaging 28.7 points per game in 2010, and is now averaging 28.9 points per game.

WELKER EXTENDS STREAKWes Welker extended his streak to 73 straight regular-season games with at least one reception. He has caught at least one pass in each of his 59 games with the Patriots, including three postseason games. The last time that Welker did not catch a pass in a game was December 24, 2005 when he was with the Dolphins. He has caught at least one pass in 56 consecutive regular-season games as a member of the Patriots. The Patriots' record for most consecutive games with at least one pass is 63 by TE Ben Coates (12-17-92) to (12-15-96).

WELKER MATCHES HIS 2009 TOUCHDOWN TOTAL
Welker's 22-yard touchdown in the first quarter was his fourth of the 2010 season, matching the four he had in 2009. His career-best was eight touchdown catches in 2007.

BRADY HAS THROWN AT LEAST ONE TOUCHDOWN PASS IN ALL TEN GAMES
Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all ten games of the 2010 season after finishing with a pair of touchdown passes against Indianapolis. Brady has started the season with at least one touchdown in the first ten games for the third time. Brady started the 2007 with at least one touchdown in the first 13 games and began the 2004 season with at least one touchdown in the first ten games.

BRADY HAS MULTIPLE TDs AGAINST THE COLTS FOR THE SEVENTH TIME IN NINE GAMESIn nine career regular-season starts against the Colts, Brady has now thrown for two or more touchdowns seven times. Brady improved to 6-3 as a starter in the regular season against the Colts (8-4 including playoffs).

BRADY MOVES UP ON ALL-TIME TOUCHDOWN LIST
Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes to raise his career total to 244 touchdown tosses. Brady's 244 touchdowns tie John Hadl for 15th on the NFL's all-time list. Boomer Esiason ranks 14th on the list with 247 career touchdown tosses.

BRADY MOVES UP THE ALL-TIME PASSING YARDS LIST
With 186 passing yards today, Tom Brady passed Steve Young for 23rd place on the NFL's all-time passing yardage list. Brady finished the game with 33,206 career passing yards, and passed Young's career total of 33,124 yards. Drew Bledsoe ranks 22nd with 33,233 career yards and Phil Simms ranks 21st with 33,464 career yards.

ACCURATE START FOR BRADYTom Brady completed 12 of 14 first-half passes (85.7 percent), tying the fifth-highest first-half completion percentage of his 137-game regular season career. Brady also completed 85.7 percent of his passes in the first half against Tennessee on Oct. 18, 2009 (24-of-28). Brady finished the game with a completion percentage of 76 percent (19-of-25), marking his third game of the season completing 70 percent or more of his passes.

LB JEROD MAYO ON PACE FOR 200 TACKLESThe day-of-game state crew credited Jerod Mayo with 15 tackles against the Colts, raising his total to 131 total tackles in 2010. Mayo had 139 tackles as a rookie in 2008 and 114 in 2009 and with his 131 tackles in 2010 he is the first Patriots player to have three consecutive 100-tackle seasons since Lawyer Milloy registered five straight 100-tackle seasons from 1997 through 2001. Mayo is on pace for a career-high 210 total tackles. That number will be the highest since LB Steve Nelson had 207 tackles in 1984. Mayo has six games in 2010 with 10-plus tackles with 11 vs. Cincinnati (9/12), 17 at Miami (10/4), 19 vs. Baltimore (10/17), 12 at San Diego (10/24), 17 vs. Minnesota (10/31), 13 at Pittsburgh (11/14) and 15 vs. Indianapolis (11/21).

HERNANDEZ MAKES IMPACTAaron Hernandez had an eight-yard touchdown reception against the Colts and now has 35 receptions for 444 receiving yards in 2010. Hernandez is threatening franchise records for receptions and receiving yards for a rookie tight end. The Patriots rookie tight end records in those categories were set by Greg Baty (37 receptions in 1986) and Russ Francis (636 receiving yards in 1975).

PATRIOTS TOUGH IN CLOSE GAMES IN 2010
With a three-point win over the Colts, the Patriots improved to 4-0 this year in games decided by one score (8 points or fewer), and improved to 3-0 in games decided by three points or fewer in 2010.

QUICK HITS - DEFENSE

  • Ron Brace and Gerard Warren combined to stop Donald Brown for a 2-yard loss on the second play of the game.
  • Devin McCourty batted down a Peyton Manning pass intended for Pierre Garcon on first down from the Colts' 13-yard line in the first quarter.
  • Jerod Mayo leapt to deflect and break up a Peyton Manning pass intended for Reggie Wayne in the first quarter, setting up a third-and-nine situation that the Colts did not convert.
  • After their first six rushing attempts of the game, the Colts had zero net rushing yards.
  • Vince Wilfork tackled Donald Brown for a 2-yard loss on second down in the fourth quarter.

QUICK HITS - OFFENSE

  • Rob Gronkowski had a 25-yard catch in the second quarter as part of New England's third touchdown drive. The catch tied the rookie's longest career reception, equaling his 25-yard touchdown last week against Pittsburgh.
  • Tom Brady found Danny Woodhead for a 3-yard completion on third-and-three in the red zone in the second quarter. Woodhead's second effort gained the first down and kept the drive alive, setting up BenJarvus Green-Ellis's 5-yard touchdown run two plays later that gave the Patriots a 21-7 lead.
  • Tom Brady completed 12 of 14 first-half passes (85.7 percent), tying the fifth-highest first-half completion percentage of his 139-game regular season career. Brady also completed 85.7 percent of his passes in the first half against Tennessee on Oct. 18, 2009 (24-of-28). The Patriots led the Colts at halftime, 21-14.
  • The Patriots converted all six of their third down opportunities in the first half.
  • Tom Brady is on pace for 3,779 yards and 30 touchdowns this season.
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