The Patriots have joined the 1972 Miacmi Dolphins as the only two teams to end a season with 12 or more wins since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. The Dolphins won all 14 of their regular-season games in 1972, and the Patriots ended the 2003 season with a 12-game winning streak to finish 14-2. New England's 12-game streak is tied with the 1990-91 Washington Redskins for the ninth-longest winning streak in the NFL since the 1970 merger. The Patriots' 12 consecutive wins in a single season are tied for third with the 1985 Chicago Bears for the most consecutive wins in a single season since 1970 (1998 Denver Broncos, 13 wins; 1972 Miami Dolphins, 14 wins)
TURNING OVER WINS
The 2003 Patriots finished the regular-season with a turnover differential of 17, the greatest turnover differential in franchise history. New England's previous best turnover differential was in 1986, when they finished at 16. Larry Izzo's interception with 13 seconds left in the game clinched the best differential in team history.
The 2003 Patriots allowed an average of 14.9 points per game, the lowest points-per-game total in franchise history. New England allowed a total of 238 points, including a franchise-record three shutouts. In their last six home games, the Patriots have allowed an average of 3.7 points per game.
The Patriots finished 8-0 at Gillette Stadium this season, recording the first undefeated home season in team history. New England is now 17-3 in its last 20 home games. The Patriots were 7-1 at home in 1988 and 1985.
The Patriots are…
25-4 in games played after Nov. 1 since 2001
14-3 in their last 17 games against the AFC East
23-2 since the beginning of 2001 when maintaining a positive turnover ratio
77-51 in the regular season since 1996, the fourth-best record in the NFL
17-3 in their last 20 home games
New England has…
Won 27 consecutive games when leading after three quarters.
Won 22 consecutive games when leading at halftime.
Tom Brady threw for three touchdowns in the first 15:45 of the game and four touchdowns in the first half. It is the most productive start to a game in Brady's career, netting a 21-0 lead by the opening minute of the second quarter. Brady threw his fourth touchdown of the afternoon to David Givens with 3:55 left before halftime to set a season-high and tie his career high with four touchdowns. It is the third time in his career Brady has thrown for four touchdowns and the first time since Sept. 22, 2002 against Kansas City. It's the 11th time in Brady's career that he has thrown for three or more touchdowns and the Patriots are 10-0 in his 10 previous games with three or more touchdowns.
Tom Brady did not throw an interception at home this season, despite attempting 241 passes at Gillette Stadium. The last time Brady threw an interception at Gillette was against Miami on Dec. 29, 2002.
TURNING OVER WINS
The Patriots forced the Bills to turn the ball over four times today, giving New England 40 takeaways this season. It's the greatest number of takeaways for the Patriots since 1994 (40). Mike Vrabel notched a first-quarter interception, then Tedy Bruschi sacked Drew Bledsoe and forced him to fumble in the fourth quarter, then recovered the loose ball. Matt Chatham then recovered a Travis Henry fumble on the Patriots' 10-yard line to stop a deep Buffalo drive in the fourth quarter, before Larry Izzo notched his first career pick in the end zone to snuff out Buffalo's final scoring attempt. New England's first two turnovers led to points, with Vrabel's interception leading to a Tom Brady-to-Bethel Johnson touchdown that made the score 14-0. Bruschi's forced fumble led to an Adam Vinatieri field goal that made the score 31-0.
The Patriots intercepted two passes today, finishing the season with 29 interceptions, ranking second on the team's all-time list. The 2003 Patriots tied the 1963 team with 29 picks, two behind the franchise record set in 1964. Mike Vrabel ended Buffalo's first possession of the game with his second interception of the season, setting up New England's second touchdown to make the score 14-0. Larry Izzo then ended the game with a pick in the end zone to preserve New England's third shutout of the season. New England recorded at least one interception in each of its eight home games this season and recorded at least one pick in 15 of their 16 regular-season games. The Patriots have an NFL-leading 29 interceptions, the most for a Patriots team since they had 31 in 1964.
Most interceptions in franchise history
31: 1964; 29: 2003; 29: 1963; 25: 1962, 1960; 24: 1998, 1980, 1974.
Four different Patriots receivers caught touchdowns in the first half. Daniel Graham grabbed his fourth touchdown of the season on a 1-yard grab in the back of the end zone to make the score 7-0. Bethel Johnson continued the charge with a 9-yard touchdown grab for the second touchdown of his career, making the score 14-0 in the first quarter. Troy Brown grabbed his fourth touchdown of the season and the 24th score of his career to make the score 21-0 with 14:15 left in the second quarter. David Givens made the score 28-0 with his team-leading sixth touchdown of the year with 4:01 left before halftime.
The Patriots scored a touchdown on their opening possession of the game for the third consecutive week. New England took the opening kickoff and marched 62 yards on nine plays, culminating in a 1-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Daniel Graham to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead. New England also scored a touchdown on its first possession last week against the New York Jets and also two weeks ago against Jacksonville. Prior to the Jacksonville game on Dec. 14, the Patriots had not scored on their opening drive since Nov. 24, 2002 against Minnesota at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots scored 14 points in the first quarter today. It is the most first-quarter points for New England since it scored 17 first-quarter points the last time Buffalo visited Gillette Stadium, on Dec. 8, 2002. The Patriots shut the Bills out in the first quarter, marking the seventh time this season the Patriots have shut out their opponent in the opening stanza.