PATRIOTS OFF TO A HOT START ONCE AGAIN
The Patriots have started the season with at least six wins in their first seven games for the fifth time in team history and the fourth time under head coach Bill Belichick after improving to a 6-1 record with the win over the Vikings. The Patriots started the season 6-1 in 1974, 1980, 2004 and 2006. In 2007, New England started the season 7-0. The Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers are the only NFL teams with just one loss this season (Pittsburgh is 5-1 going into its game at New Orleans tonight).
PATRIOTS ARE GOOD AGAINST THE NFC, ESPECIALLY AT HOME
The Patriots have now won 16 straight games at Gillette Stadium against NFC opponents. The only time in Gillette Stadium history that the Patriots lost to an NFC team was in the very first game against an NFC opponent at the new stadium in 2002 when the visiting Green Bay Packers beat the Patriots, 28-10, on Oct. 13.
BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS SCORES TWO TDs, REACHES END ZONE IN 5TH STRAIGHT GAME
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored two touchdowns, finding paydirt on a 13-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter. Today's game was the first multiple-touchdown game of Green-Ellis's career. He leads the team with a career-high six touchdowns in 2010 and has 11 career touchdowns. Today's game was his fifth consecutive game with a rushing touchdown. He had a stretch of four straight games with a rushing touchdown as a rookie in 2008. The Patriots record for most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown is seven by Curtis Martin in 1996. Green-Ellis is the first Patriots player to have two or more rushing touchdowns in a game since Laurence Maroney had a pair of rushing scores at New Orleans on Nov. 30, 2009.
GREEN-ELLIS HITS CAREER-HIGH YARDAGE TOTAL
BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a career-high 112 rushing yards on 17 carries (6.6-yard avg.). Today's game was the second 100-yard rushing game of Green-Ellis's career, joining his 105-yard effort (on 26 carries) against Buffalo on Nov. 9, 2008. Green-Ellis was the first Patriots player to break the 100-yard rushing plateau since Oct. 18, 2009, when Laurence Maroney had 123 yards on 16 carries in the Patriots' 59-0 win over Tennessee. Green-Ellis's yardage total against Minnesota today included 62 yards on seven carries on the Patriots' final fourth quarter touchdown drive that extended a 3-point lead to a 10-point cushion late in the fourth quarter.
McCOURTY'S BIG PLAY MARKS HIS SECOND CONSECUTIVE GAME WITH AN INTERCEPTION
Rookie cornerback Devin McCourty had a game-changing play when he intercepted a Brett Favre pass intended for Percy Harvin at the Patriots' 26-yard line and returned it 37 yards to the Vikings' 37-yard line. The Patriots were clinging to a 14-10 third-quarter lead at the time of McCourty's interception, and the takeaway set up a 4-play, 37-yard drive that ended in a Patriots touchdown and a 21-10 lead with 2:25 left in the third quarter. Today's game was McCourty's second straight game with an interception. He also had a pick last week at San Diego.
BRADY WINS 24th STRAIGHT REGULAR-SEASON START AT GILLETTE STADIUM
Tom Brady has now won 24 consecutive regular-season starts at Gillette Stadium, closing to within one win of Brett Favre's post-merger NFL-record 25-game home winning streak 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. Favre won 25 straight home games for Green Bay from Sept. 17, 1995 through Oct. 5, 1998.
BRADY MOVES UP THE ALL-TIME PASSING YARDS LIST
Brady entered the Minnesota game in 28th place on the NFL's All-Time Passing Yards List with 32,206 yards and with 240 passing yards on the afternoon moved past Sonny Jurgensen (32,224) and Kurt Warner (32,344) in into 26th place on the NFL's All-Time Passing list, finishing the game with 32,446 career passing yards. Drew Brees ranks 25th on the all-time list, entering New Orleans's game tonight against Pittsburgh with 32,675 career passing yards.
BRADY MOVES UP ALL-TIME TOUCHDOWN LIST
Tom Brady's 65-yard touchdown pass to WR Brandon Tate was his 237th career touchdown pass. Brady moved out of a tie for 18th place with George Blanda (236) and is now tied for 17th place with Hall of Famer Jim Kelly on the NFL's All-Time Touchdown list. Len Dawson ranks 16th on the all-time list with 239 career touchdown passes.
BRANDON TATE SETS CAREER-HIGH WITH A 65-YARD TOUCHDOWN CATCH
Brandon Tate scored his first NFL receiving touchdown on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the third quarter. It is the longest reception of Tate's career and the seventh-longest completion of Brady's career. Tate also had a 32-yard reception from Brady in the second quarter, finishing with three catches for 103 yards, marking his first career 100-yard receiving game. Prior to today, Tate's longest career reception was a 29-yarder vs. Buffalo (9/26/10).
BRADY-TO-TATE FOR LONGEST PLAY FROM SCRIMMAGE IN 2010
Brandon Tate's 65-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was the Patriots' longest play from scrimmage in 2010 and was the team's longest play from scrimmage since Dec. 6, 2009, when Sam Aiken hauled in an 81-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady at Miami.
PATRIOTS WICKED GOOD IN OCTOBER
The Patriots finished the month of October with a 4-0 record. With the win today against Minnesota, the Patriots improved to 29-5 in the month of October since the 2003 season. The Patriots have won six straight October contests dating back to last season and have won 20 of their last 22 games in October.
PATRIOTS WIN FIRST HALLOWEEN HOME GAME
The Patriots won in the franchise's first Halloween home game. Heading into today's game, New England had a frightening 2-5 record on Halloween, with all of those games coming on the road.
MAYO HAS FOURTH STRAIGHT GAME WITH 10-PLUS TACKLES
LB Jerod Mayo had his fourth-straight game with 10-plus tackles after finishing with 14 tackles against Minnesota. Mayo became the first Patriots player to go four consecutive games with 10-plus tackles since Teddy Bruschi had four straight games with 10-plus tackles in 2003. Mayo had 17 tackles at Miami (10/4), 19 vs. Baltimore (10/17) and 12 at San Diego (10/24). Today's game was Mayo's fifth game in 2010 with 10-plus tackles. He had 11 in the opener vs. Cincinnati (9/12). Bruschi was the last Patriot to record four consecutive games of at least 10-plus tackles. Bruschi accomplished the feat in 2003 starting 9/21/03 against the N.Y. Jets and ending 10/12/03 vs. the N.Y. Giants.
MAYO ON HIGH TACKLE PACE
Mayo has 91 total tackles in 2010 and is on pace for a career high 208 total tackles. That number will be the highest since LB Clayton Weishuhn had 229 tackles in 1983. Mayo had 139 tackles as a rookie in 2008 and 114 in 2009. If he reaches 100 tackles in 2010, he will be the first Patriots player to have three consecutive 100-tackle seasons since Lawyer Milloy registered five straight 100-tackle seasons from 1997 through 2001.
PATRIOTS HAVE HUNDRED YARD RUSHER AND RECEIVER
BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 122 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns, while Brandon Tate had three receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots had a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game for the first time since Oct. 18, 2009 vs. Tennessee, when Wes Welker had 10 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns and Laurence Maroney had 16 rushes for 123 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots also had a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver vs. Atlanta on Sept. 27, 2009. In that game, Fred Taylor had 105 rushing yards and Randy Moss had 116 receiving yards.
BRING IN THE CLOSER
After the Vikings cut the Patriots lead to 21-18 with 7:22 left in the game, the Patriots put together their longest drive of the game, taking 5:30 off of the clock with a 13-play, 80-yard drive that ended in a 2-yard touchdown by BenJarvus Green Ellis and a 28-18 Patriots lead with 1:56 left in the game. Green-Ellis had seven rushes for 62 yards on the drive, and Tom Brady completed passes of 16 yards to Danny Woodhead and seven yards to Wes Welker.
WELKER EXTENDS STREAK
Wes Welker extended his streak to 70 straight regular-season games with at least one reception. He has caught at least one pass in each of his 56 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 53 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).
GOSTKOWSKI ON THE TOUHCBACK
With one touchback against the Vikings, K Stephen Gostkowski has 15 kickoffs that have gone for touchbacks in 2010. Last season he set a career-high of 21 that tied a Patriots team record for touchbacks. Justin Canale also had 21 touchbacks for the Patriots in 1966.
HERNAMDEZ MAKES BIG PLAYS
Rookie TE Aaron Hernandez leads the Patriots 388 receiving yards in 2010. Hernandez hauled in a 27-yard catch from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter against the Vikings and has had a reception of 20 or more yards in six of seven games in 2010. Hernandez has 29 receptions in 2010 to go along with his 388 receiving yards. The Patriots franchise records for rookie tight ends are 37 receptions (by Greg Baty in 1986) and 636 receiving yards (by Russ Francis in 1975).
PATRIOTS HIGH POINT TOTAL
The Patriots have scored 205 points through seven games this season and are averaging an NFL high of 29.3 points per game. New England is on pace to finish the season with 469 points, which would be second in team history to the NFL record 589 points the Patriots scored in 2007.
PATRIOTS PASS 100-YARD RUSHING MARK AS A TEAM
As a team, the Patriots ran for 122 yards on 27 carries (4.4 avg.), marking the fifth time in seven games this season that the Patriots had 100 or more rushing yards in a game.
MIKE WRIGHT HAS FOURTH STRAIGHT GAME WITH A SACK
Mike Wright was credited with a 10-yard sack in the fourth quarter for his fourth straight game with a sack. The last Patriots player to have four full sacks in four consecutive games was Rosevelt Colvin, who accomplished the task in 2005 with a four game streak beginning on 11/27 at Kansas City, and ending 12/17 against Tampa Bay.Colvin also recorded a half sack in the fifth game (12/26 at NYJ) giving him 4.5 sacks through five games. Wright's four sacks in 2010 are one shy of his career high of five sacks in 2009.
PATRIOTS ARE GOOD IN THROWBACKS
The 2010 season marks the 25 anniversary of the 1985 AFC Championship team. To help honor the 1985 season, the Patriots wore throwback uniforms today, with red jerseys, white pants and a white helmet featuring the 'Pat Patriot' logo. The Patriots improved to a perfect 4-0 while wearing their throwback jerseys in home games since switching to their current logo in 1993. The Patriots are 2-3 in road games while wearing throwbacks since 1993. Last season, the Patriots wore throwback uniforms to help honor the 50th anniversary of the AFL, replicating uniforms worn by the 1963 team that claimed the franchise's first division title and competed in the team's league championship game.
LAST THREE 100-YARD RECEIVING GAME ARE A FIRST
The last three times the Patriots had a 100-yard receiver, it marked the player's first career 100-yard game. In addition to this season's 100-yard performances by Brandon Tate (three catches for 101 yards today) and Aaron Hernandez (six catches for 101 yards at the N.Y. Jets on Sept. 19), Julian Edelman had 10 catches for 103 yards in the 2009 season-finale at Houston (1/3/10). The 100-yard games were the first 100-yard games of all three players' careers.
Rookies Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham combined to stop Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson on a fourth-and-goal situation from the New England 1-yard line late in the second quarter, keeping the Vikings from taking a lead and preserving a 7-7 halftime tie.
Tom Brady improved his regular-season record as a starter to…
- 103-31 overall
- 58-10 in home games
- 3-0 against Minnesota
- 50-5 on artificial turf
- 53-3 when posting a passer rating of 100.0 or higher
- 28-5 against the NFC
- Tully Banta-Cain stopped Adrian Peterson for a 2-yard loss in the third quarter.
- Brandon Deaderick and Ron Brace combined to stop Toby Gerhart for no gain in the second quarter.
- Dane Fletcher pressured Brett Favre in the fourth quarter, forcing Favre into committing an intentional grounding penalty on the play.
- Jerod Mayo stopped Adrian Peterson for no gain on third-and-one in the first quarter, forcing a Vikings punt on the next play. Prior to Mayo's stop, Peterson had picked up the first down on all seven of his third-and-one rushes this season.
- Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork combined to stop Toby Gerhart for no gain in the first quarter.
- Devin McCourty broke up a potential 59-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre to Percy Harvin in the third quarter.
- Devin McCourty broke up a Brett Favre pass intended for Greg Lewis on the goal line in the fourth quarter.
- Rob Ninkovich brought down Visanthe Shancoe for a 1-yard gain on third-and-three in the third quarter, forcing a Vikings punt on the next play.
- Brandon Spikes stopped Adrian Peterson for a 1-yard loss in the first quarter.
- Vince Wilfork and Brandon Spikes combined to stop Adrian Peterson for a 1-yard loss on first-and-goal from the 10-yard line late in the second quarter, starting a defensive stand that ended in Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham stopping Peterson for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
- Mike Wright sacked Tarvaris Jackson for a 10-yard loss in the fourth quarter, marking Wright's fourth straight game with a sack.