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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Ravens

OPENING PRESEASON AT HOME
The Patriots opened the preseason at home for the first time since 2004, and for just the third time in Gillette Stadium history. The last time New England opened the preseason at home it defeated Philadelphia, 24-6 (8/13/04). The Patriots entered tonight's game with three straight wins when opening the preseason with a home game, defeating Philadelphia in 2004, the New York Giants in 2003 (26-6 on 8/7/03) and the Giants again in 2001 (14-0 on 8/10/01). The last time the Patriots lost when opening the preseason at home was in 1999, then Washington claimed a 20-14 win at Foxboro Stadium (8/13/01).

EVEN STEPHEN
Stephen Gostkowski was a perfect 3-for-3, nailing field goals from 36, 44 and 40 yards. Last season, Gostkowski hit 21-of-24 field goals (87.5 percent) and all 74 of his extra point attempts (setting an NFL record). For his career, he is 41-for-50 in the regular season (82.0 percent) and 9-for-10 in the playoffs (90.0 percent). His combined career total of 50-for-60 (83.3 percent) gives him the highest field goal percentage in team history.

TOUCHDOWN FOR JORDAN
LaMont Jordan scored on a 1-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to cut the Ravens' lead to 16-15. Jordan, who was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on July 26, has scored 24 rushing touchdowns in his seven-year career with the New York Jets (2001-04) and Oakland Raiders (2005-07).

IRON MAN
Since his first NFL start on Sept. 30, 2001, Tom Brady has started 127 consecutive regular-season and playoff games for the Patriots. His streak is the longest in Patriots history and the third longest of all-time, trailing only Brett Favre (274) and Peyton Manning (172). During Brady's streak, three other quarterbacks have started a total of six preseason games, including tonight's start by Matt Cassel. This year marks the second time Brady has not started a preseason opener since making his first NFL start. Rohan Davey started for the Patriots in the 2005 preseason opener at Cincinnati.

QUARTERBACKS OTHER THAN TOM BRADY TO START PATRIOTS PRESEASON GAMES SINCE 2002

Date Quarterback Opponent W/L Score
9/2/04 Rohan Davey Jacksonville L 0-31
8/12/05 Rohan Davey at Cincinnati W 23-13
9/1/05 Doug Flutie N.Y. Giants L 3-27
8/31/06 Matt Cassel N.Y. Giants L 23-31
8/30/07 Matt Cassel at N.Y. Giants W 27-20
8/7/08 Matt Cassel Baltmore L 15-16

WOODS STRIP-SACK
Pierre Woods sacked Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco. caused him to fumble on the play and then recovered the loose ball himself to give the Patriots possession at the Ravens' 31-yard line in the fourth quarter. The play set up a 31-yard scoring drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown run by LaMont Jordan to cut Baltimore's lead to 16-15. Last season, Woods led the Patriots with 22 special teams tackles and has recorded 33 special teams tackles in 24 career games since being signed by the Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent prior to the 2006 season.

THOMAS STRIP-SACK
Adalius Thomas strip-sacked Kyle Boller in the first quarter and Ty Warren recovered the loose ball to give the Patriots possession at the Ravens' 44-yard line. Thomas, who played seven seasons for Baltimore from 2000-06, had 6.5 sacks in his first season with the Patriots in 2007, including six sacks in his final seven regular-season games. Thomas added a pair of sacks in Super Bowl XLII. Over his eight-year NFL career, Thomas has totaled 45.0 sacks and 17 forced fumbles.

CRABLE INTERCEPTION
Patriots rookie linebacker Shawn Crable intercepted a Kyle Boller pass and returned it 11 yards to the Ravens' 41-yard line in the second quarter. The play set up a 36-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski that cut the Baltimore lead to 10-3. Crable did not have an interception in his collegiate career, playing in 47 games with 20 starts for Michigan from 2004-07. His last interception in a game came as a senior at Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio.

QUICK HITS

  • Patriots cornerback Lewis Sanders reached in to break up a deep pass from Kyle Boller intended for Yamon Figurs in the first quarter.
  • Patriots rookie linebacker Jerod Mayo stuffed Baltimore's Ray Rice for a gain of just one yard in the first quarter with a hit that knocked Rice's helmet off.
  • Shawn Crable and Kenny Smith combined to down Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco for a 3-yard sack in the fourth quarter.
  • Rookie linebacker Vince Redd acrobatically broke up a Joe Flacco pass on fourth-and-one late in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots possession.
  • Tonight's home preseason opener on August 7 ties the Patriots' 2003 preseason opener as their earliest home preseason opener since beginning the 1995 preseason at home on August 4 against Detroit.
  • The Patriots entered tonight's game having won three of their last four preseason home games.
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