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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Falcons

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PATRIOTS WIN GAME NUMBER 400
The Patriots recorded the franchise's 400th all-time victory, including postseason games. The 400 victories rank third among the eight original AFL teams, behind Denver and Oakland. The eight original AFL teams, including the Patriots, began play in 1960. The Patriots recorded their milestone 400th victory in their 50th season and in their 777th overall game. Since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, the Patriots have 175 victories, more than any other NFL team.

BRADY THROWS 200th CAREER TOUCHDOWN PASS
QB Tom Brady became the 27th player in NFL history to reach 200 touchdowns with his 36-yard touchdown pass to TE Chris Baker in the fourth quarter. Brady reached the milestone in a short period of time. Below is a chart showing where he ranks in NFL history on how many games it took him to reach this milestone.

Among active NFL quarterbacks, Brady's 200 career touchdown passes rank third, behind Brett Favre (467 before today's game) and Peyton Manning (336 before today's game).

BRADY GOOD WITH THE LEADTom Brady improved his career regular-season record to 69-2 when leading at halftime and 72-1 when leading after three quarters. Today, New England held a 13-10 lead at halftime and a 19-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

FRED TAYLOR PASSES JOHN RIGGINS ON ALL-TIME RUSHING LISTFred Taylor's 19-yard run in the second quarter moved him past Hall of Fame RB John Riggins (11,352) into 15th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list. Taylor's run was also the longest of the season for the Patriots. Taylor finished the day with 11,447 career rushing yards.

TAYLOR REGISTERS 49th CAREER 100-YARD RUSHING GAME
Fred Taylor finished with 105 rushing yards on 21 carries, recording his 49th career 100-yard rushing game and first as a Patriot. Taylor's 49 career 100-yard rushing games rank ninth in NFL history and second among active players. The only active player with more 100-yard games than Taylor is Seattle's Edgerrin James with 57.

MOST 100-YARD RUSHING GAMES / CAREER
Emmitt Smith 78
Walter Payton 77
Barry Sanders 76
Eric Dickerson 64
Jerome Bettis 61
Jim Brown 58
Edgerrin James 57*
Curtis Martin 57
Fred Taylor 49*
Franco Harris 47

DOMINATING DEFENSE
The New England defense entered the Atlanta game ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense. The Patriots defense has not allowed more than 19 points in a game so far in 2009, limiting Buffalo to 17 offensive points, the New York Jets to 19 points and Atlanta to 10 points.

DEFENSE STARTS STRONG
The Patriots have allowed a total of 50 points through three games in 2009, an average of 16.7 points per game. The total of 50 points allowed is the Patriots' third fewest through three games in their 10 seasons being coached by Bill Belichick. Since Belichick arrived in 2000, the only times the Patriots allowed fewer than 50 points through the season's first three games were in 2007 (35) and 2001 (46).

PATRIOTS IMPROVE TO 26-4 AGAINST FIRST-TIME VISITORS TO GILLETTE STADIUM
The Atlanta Falcons made their first appearance at Gillette Stadium today. With the Patriots' 26-10 win, New England improved to 26-4 against teams in their first game at the facility, which opened in 2002. The Patriots have won 22 of their last 23 games against first-time visitors to Gillette. Following today's game, the only NFL team the Patriots have not faced at Gillette Stadium in a regular-season or playoff game is the Carolina Panthers, who will make their debut at Gillette on Dec. 13, 2009. Including today's victory, the Patriots are 53-12 (.815) at Gillette Stadium since the venue opened in 2002 (including regular-season and playoff games).

SACK-FREE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT GAMEThe Patriots did not allow a sack in 42 pass attempts today, marking their second consecutive game with no sacks allowed. Including today's sack-free performance, the Patriots have not allowed a sack in their last 134 pass attempts, recording the longest current streak in the NFL. Through three games this season, the Patriots have allowed just one sack on 142 pass attempts.

WINNING STREAK AGAINST NFC CONTINUESThe Patriots' winning streak against NFC opponents increased to 16 with their 26-10 win over Atlanta. The Patriots, who have gone 4-0 against the NFC in each of the last three years (2006-2008) last lost to an NFC team in Week 2 of the 2005 season, when the Patriots dropped a 27-17 decision at Carolina (9/18/05).

MOSS OFF TO BEST CAREER START WITH 26 CATCHES THROUGH THREE GAMESRandy Moss has 26 receptions through three games so far this season, recording more catches through three games than in any other season in his career. Moss's previous best catch total through a season's first three games was 22 catches through the first three games of the 2007 season. Moss's 21-yard catch on fourth-and-three in the third quarter of today's game was his 23rd of the season.

MOSS RECORDS 61st CAREER 100-YARD RECEIVING GAME
Moss finished the day with 10 receptions for 116 yards, recording his second 100-yard receiving game of the season and the 61st of his career. Moss ranks second in NFL history in that category (Jerry Rice, 76). Moss now has 15 100-yard receiving games as a member of the Patriots, and the Patriots are 15-0 when Moss has a 100-yard receiving game.

MOSS HAS 10th CAREER 10-CATCH GAME
Randy Moss had 10 catches today, marking his 10th game with 10 or more catches in his 173-game career. The 10-catch performance was Moss's second of the 2009 season - he tied his career high with 12 catches in the season opening win over Buffalo. Moss now has three 10-catch games since joining the Patriots in 2007. Prior to his two 10-catch games this season, he also had a 10-catch outing for the Patriots at Buffalo on Nov. 18, 2007.

GOSTKOWSKI PASSES MORGAN ON PATRIOTS ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Stephen Gostkowski moved past Stanley Morgan (408 points) into fifth place on the New England All-Time scoring list with seven first half points. Gostkowski finished the day with 14 points on the day and 418 career points.

GOSTKOWSKI TIES CAREER HIGH WITH FOUR FIELD GOALSStephen Gostkowski tied his career-high with four field goals against Atlanta today (22, 33, 33 and 21 yards). He also had four field goals at NY Jets (9/14/08) and vs. Arizona (12/21/08).

SELLOUT STREAK CONTINUES
Today's game was the 163rd consecutive home sellout for the Patriots. The streak includes every preseason, regular-season and postseason game since the 1994 regular-season opener on Sept. 11, 1994.

McGOWAN FORCES FUMBLE
Brandon McGowan forced Michael Turner to fumble on first down at the Patriots' 27-yard line with 4:05 left in the first half. James Sanders recovered to give the Patriots possession, setting up a 12-play, 58-yard drive that ended in a 33-yard field goal and a 13-10 Patriots lead. The fumble was the third opponent fumble that the Patriots have recovered through three games this season, and the Patriots have scored following all three of their opponent fumble recoveries so far in 2009.

QUICK HITS

  • Vince Wilfork and Jarvis Green combined to stuff Michael Turner for a 2-yard loss on the final play of the first quarter.
  • Vince Wilfork batted down a Matt Ryan pass intended for Tony Gonzalez on third-and-three in the second quarter.
  • Adalius Thomas dropped Roddy White for a 4-yard loss on a first-down pass play in the fourth quarter, setting up a long yardage situation that ended in an Atlanta three-and-out.
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