PATRIOTS OWN BEST 100-GAME STRETCH IN NFL HISTORY
Entering tonight's game, the Patriots had won 82 of their last 100 games (including playoffs). New England's 81-18 record in those 100 games was the best record by any team over any 100-game stretch in NFL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Three teams (Green Bay, Pittsburgh and San Francisco) are tied for the second best 100-game stretch, with each having gone 79-21 over various 100-game spans. The Patriots' most recent 100-game stretch leading into tonight's game began with a 31-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 14, 2003.
WELKER TIES RECORD FOR MOST GAMES WITH SIX OR MORE CATCHES TO OPEN SEASON
On a 10-yard reception in the fourth quarter - his sixth catch of the game - Wes Welker tied the NFL record for most games with six or more receptions to begin a season. Welker has had six or more receptions in each of the Patriots' eight games this season and ties the NFL record established by Jacksonville's Jimmy Smith in 2001.
Stephen Gostkowski hit three field goals -- a 29-yard field goal in the second quarter to cut the Colts' lead to 7-3 and a 35-yard kick later in the quarter to cut the lead to 7-6 and a 25-yarder in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 15. The kicks raised Gostkowski to 19-for-20 (95 percent) on field goals this season. Following his boots against the Colts, Gostkowski had nailed 26 of his last 27 kicks (96.3 percent) dating back to last season. Gostkowski is the Patriots' all-time leader in field goal percentage, hitting 60-of-70 kicks (85.7 percent) since being selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
GREEN-ELLIS SCORES FOR THIRD STRAIGHT WEEKRookie running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis gave the Patriots a 12-7 lead on a 6-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. The scoring run was Green-Ellis's third of the season, the third of his career and his third in as many weeks, having also scored against Denver on Oct. 29 and against St. Louis on Oct. 26. Green-Ellis, who was originally signed by the Patriots in the offseason as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Mississippi, was signed to New England's active roster on Oct. 11. He has now scored a touchdown in three of his four professional games.
- Kelley Washington tackled Colts punt returner Marvin Harrison at the Indianapolis 9-yard line in the first quarter after just a 2-yard punt return, helping the Patriots to net 62 yards on a 64-yard Chris Hanson punt.
- Mike Vrabel tripped up Joseph Addai in the backfield for a 1-yard loss on third down in the second quarter, forcing a Colts punt on the next play.
- Kevin Faulk completed a pass to Wes Welker for a 2-yard loss in the second quarter. The completion was the second of Faulk's career, and came on his fourth career passing attempt (and his first since 2003). Faulk's only career completion prior to tonight's game came on a 23-yard completion to Tom Brady in 2001.
- The Patriots were called for a false start penalty in the third quarter, breaking a streak of seven penalty-free quarters. Prior to the third-quarter false start, the last time the Patriots were penalized was in the third quarter against Denver on Oct. 20. Last week against St. Louis, the Patriots played the first penalty-free game in franchise history.
- Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel combined to stop Joseph Addai for a 2-yard loss on first-and-goal in the third quarter.
- The Patriots outgained the Colts in total net yardage, 342-301.
- The Patriots outrushed the Colts 140-47.
- Jerod Mayo, the NFL's defensive rookie of the month for October, led the Patriots with 11 tackles (8 solo).
Terrence Wheatley knocked down a Peyton Manning pass intended for Marvin Harrison on third down on the Colts' first possession of the game, forcing an Indianapolis three-and-out as the Colts punted on the next play.
FAULK BREAKS 3,000-YARD RECEIVNG MARKOn an 11-yard reception in the second quarter, Kevin Faulk recorded his 3,000th receiving yard, becoming the 14th player in Patriots history to break the 3,000 receiving yard mark. Following his 11-yard catch against the Colts, Faulk had 3,003 career receiving yards - a total that ranks 14th in team history. Faulk is the Patriots' all-time leader in receptions by a running back, and his 343 receptions entering tonight's game ranked fifth in team history.