THREE OUR OF FOUR TO START THE SEASONThe Patriots have begun the season with a 3-1 record, marking the third straight season in which they have won at least three of their first four games. The Patriots are the only NFL team to start each of the last three seasons with a record of 3-1 or better.
CAREER HIGHS FOR CASSELQuarterback Matt Cassel set single-game career highs with 259 yards, 22 completions and 32 attempts. Prior to today, his previous single-game highs were 168 yards (vs. Miami on Jan. 1, 2006), 19 completions (vs. Miami on Sept. 21, 2008) and 31 attempts (vs. Miami on Sept. 21, 2008).
CASSEL BOMB TO MOSSOn third and eight from the 49ers' 34-yard line in the first quarter, Matt Cassel rolled to his right and hit Randy Moss, who had split the defense down the middle, on a 66-yard touchdown, tying the score at seven. The catch was Moss's longest reception as a Patriot and his longest reception since Oct. 2, 2005, when he snared a 79-yard catch while playing for Oakland against the Dallas Cowboys. The touchdown toss was the longest of Matt Cassel's career, the longest play of the year for the Patriots and the longest since Donté Stallworth's 69-yard touchdown reception against Dallas on Oct. 4, 2007. The touchdown was Moss's 126th career scoring reception and his 25th touchdown grab since joining the Patriots via trade prior to the 2007 season. Last season, Moss had touchdown receptions of 65 yards (at N.Y. Giants, 12/29/07) and 63 yards (vs. Pittsburgh, 12/9/07).
FAULK'S GOAL LINE SCORESKevin Faulk scored on a two-yard run to give the Patriots a 17-14 lead with six seconds remaining in the first half and a two-yard run on fourth and goal to give the Patriots a 24-14 lead in the third quarter. It is the first time Faulk has scored two rushing touchdowns in a game and just the third time he has scored two total touchdowns in a game (vs. Houston, 12/17/06 and at Chicago, 11/10/02). The touchdowns were Faulk's first two of the season. Faulk's first touchdown was his first rushing score since Dec. 17, 2006, when he had an 11-yard scoring run against the Houston Texans. Last season, Faulk scored one touchdown, via a 13-yard reception at Indianapolis on Nov. 4, 2007. For his career, Faulk now has 13 rushing touchdowns, 11 receiving touchdowns and two touchdowns via kick return.
MOSS GOES FOR 111Randy Moss had five receptions for 111 yards, recording his second 100-yard receiving game of the season and the 57th 100-yard receiving game of his career. Moss's 57 career 100-yard receiving games rank third in NFL history, trailing only Jerry Rice (76) and Marvin Harrison (59). In 2007, Moss had nine 100-yard receiving games. Moss had four catches for 111 yards in the first half.
GOSTKOWSKI'S FIELD GOAL STREAKStephen Gostkowski nailed three field goals in the game -- a 35-yarder, a 40-yarder and a 49-yarder. The kicks were Gostkowski's 15th, 16th and 17th consecutive successful field goals, extending a streak that dates back to Dec. 9, 2007. Gostkowski has now made 30 of his last 32 regular-season field goals (93.8 percent) and is a perfect 10-for-10 this season. Gostkowski's 17 straight successful field goals streak is the third longest in Patriots history, trailing only a 25-kick streak by Adam Vinatieri from 1996-97 and a 23-kick streak by Vinatieri in 2004.
FIRST WIN IN SAN FRANCISCOToday's 30-21 victory over the 49ers was the Patriots' first win in San Francisco. New England had lost in each of their four previous road matchups with the 49ers. The Washington Redskins are now the only NFL team the Patriots have never beaten on the road.
MERIWEATHER HIGHLIGHTBrandon Meriweather recorded his second interception of the season and the second interception of his career when he made an acrobatic play to intercept a J.T. O'Sullivan pass at the San Francisco 4-yard line in the first quarter, tipping the ball in the air and corralling it with his back on the ground. Meriweather, who also had an interception in the Patriots' week two victory over the New York Jets, leads New England with two interceptions in 2008.
SEYMOUR'S 100th GAMERichard Seymour is playing in his 100th career game this afternoon against the 49ers. Seymour was selected by the Patriots with the sixth overall selection in the 2001 NFL Draft.
FAULK FIFTH IN CAREER RECEPTIONSWith a 2-yard reception in the first quarter, Kevin Faulk passed Terry Glenn for fifth place on the Patriots' all-time receptions list. The reception was the 330th of Faulk's career, passing Glenn's mark of 329 career catches in a New England uniform. Irving Fryar ranks fourth in team history with 363 career catches. Faulk is the Patriots' all-time leader in receptions by a running back and trails only Fryar, Ben Coates (490), Stanley Morgan (534) and Troy Brown (557) on the Patriots' all-time receptions list.
HARRISON'S PICKRodney Harrison intercepted a J.T. O'Sullivan pass in the third quarter to give the Patriots possession at the San Francisco 24-yard line and set up Kevin Faulk's second touchdown of the day, giving the Patriots a 24-14 lead. The interception was the 34th of Harrison's 15-year career and his eighth regular-season interception since joining the Patriots in 2003. Harrison also has seven interceptions in nine playoff games with New England. Harrison now has 34 career interceptions and 30.5 career sacks and is the only player in NFL history with at least 30 career interceptions and 30 career sacks.
O'NEAL INTERCEPTIONDeltha O'Neal intercepted a J.T. O'Sullivan pass that was deflected by Rodney Harrison with 2:45 remaining in the game and the Patriots holding a 30-21 lead. The interception was O'Neal's first in a New England uniform after being signed as a free agent on Sept. 1. The pick was the 32nd of O'Neal's nine-year NFL career. He had 14 interceptions with Denver from 2000-03 and 16 picks with Cincinnati from 2004-07.
INFREQUENT VISITSToday's game was the Patriots first visit to San Francisco since Sept. 17, 1995, a 28-3 loss to the 49ers at 3Com Park. Prior to today, the 13-year period between away games with the 49ers was second only to the Seahawks, who the Patriots last visited on October 24, 1993. The Patriots visit the Seahawks on Dec. 7, 2008.
WHITE JERSEY STREAKThe Patriots wore their road white jerseys today for the fourth consecutive game after wearing them in each of their first three games, including two home games. The Patriots typically wear their blue jerseys at home, but home teams have the option of choosing which jersey to wear.
- The Patriots won the opening coin toss, but deferred to the 49ers, who chose to receive.
- Rodney Harrison upended the 49ers' Josh Morgan for a 4-yard loss on a pass play on third-and-three in the third quarter, forcing a punt on the next play.
- Today's win is the Patriots third consecutive victory against the 49ers after going just 1-7 against San Francisco in the first eight meetings between the franchises.
- The 49ers still hold the series lead 7-4.