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Patriots at Packers: Game notes

The New England Patriots shutout the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.  The following are notes from the game.

The Patriots won their seventh straight regular-season road game, tying the team record for consecutive road victories. New England has not lost a regular-season game on the road since Nov. 27, 2005, when it dropped a 26-16 decision to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Today's victory over the Packers ensures that the Patriots will go an entire calendar year without losing a regular-season road contest (the team's next road game is Dec. 10 at Miami). New England also won seven straight road games from Oct. 19, 2003 to Oct. 2, 2004, a streak that was part of the Patriots' NFL-record 18 straight regular-season victories.

The Patriots shut out the Packers 35-0 today, marking their first road shutout in 20 years. The last time New England blanked a team on the road was on Oct. 19, 1986, when they shut out the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-0 at Three Rivers Stadium. Today's shutout was the fifth of the Bill Belichick coaching era and the first since blanking Tampa Bay 28-0 at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 17, 2005.

Today's 35-0 win over the Packers marks New England's fourth straight road win by 22 or more points. Besides today's XX-point victory, the Patriots also defeated Minnesota by 24 points (31-7 on Oct. 30), Buffalo by 22 points (28-6 on Oct. 22) and Cincinnati by 25 points (38-13 on Oct. 1). During their seven-game road winning streak, the Patriots have outscored their opponents 222-71, scoring an average of 31.7 points per game while allowing just 10.1 points per game. In their last four road games, the Patriots have outscored their opponents 132-26, scoring an average of 33.0 points per game while allowing just 6.5 points per game.

Tom Brady hit Reche Caldwell for a 54-yard touchdown completion, recording New England's longest play from scrimmage this season. The play was the longest from scrimmage for the Patriots in the regular season since Brady hit Andre Davis for a 60-yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 20, 2005.

Tom Brady completed 20-of-31 passes (64.5 percent) for 244 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, good for a passer rating of 128.2. The rating was Brady's highest of the 2006 season and his highest since posting a 140.4 rating at Atlanta on Oct. 9, 2005.

Tom Brady tied his career high with four touchdowns against the Packers, marking his second game this season with four touchdown passes. This season is the first in which Brady has thrown four touchdowns in two different games. Brady also threw four touchdown passes on Oct. 30 against the Minnesota Vikings. Brady has now thrown for four or more touchdowns five times in his career – once in 2001, once in 2003, once in 2004 and twice in 2006. Including playoff games, Brady has now thrown three or more touchdowns 21 times and the Patriots improved to 19-2 in those games.

Tom Brady improved his career record to...

  • 75-24 overall including regular-season and playoff games
  • 21-4 against NFC teams (including 3-0 in Super Bowls)
  • 19-2 when throwing for three or more touchdowns
  • 35-1 when posting a passer rating of 100.0 or higher
  • 56-2 when leading at halftime

Reche Caldwell gave the Patriots a 21-0 lead with a 54-yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady in the second quarter. The touchdown was Caldwell's third of the season and his third in the last four games. The 54-yard grab was the second longest of Caldwell's five-year career, trailing only a 58-yard touchdown reception for San Diego in a game against Tennessee on Oct. 3, 2004. Caldwell's three touchdowns this season tie his career-high, also achieved in 2002 and 2004. His 54-yard catch put his receiving yardage total at 398 yards, topping his previous career high of 352 yards for San Diego in 2005. Caldwell has already set a career-high with 34 receptions (as of halftime), topping his total of 29 catches in 2005.

Tight end Daniel Graham gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead with a 2-yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady to cap off the Patriots' opening drive of the game. The touchdown was Graham's second of the season and was the 17th touchdown of his career. Graham's 17 touchdowns tie him with tight end Jim Whalen (1965-69) for 13th on New England's all-time receiving touchdowns list, moving him past David Patten and Cedric Jones (16 touchdowns). Graham and Whalen are tied for the third-highest career touchdown total among Patriots tight ends, with only Ben Coates (50) and Russ Francis (28) having scored more often.

The Patriots scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the third time this season, moving 63 yards on seven plays after the New England defense held Green Bay to a three-and-out to start the game. The Patriots also scored touchdowns on their opening drives at Buffalo (10/22) and at Minnesota (10/30).

Tight end Benjamin Watson hauled in a 36-yard reception from Tom Brady on the Patriots' opening drive. The catch was Watson's eighth grab of 20 yards or more this season, a mark that leads the team. Entering today's games, Watson had five receptions of 25 yards or more, a mark that ranked second among all NFL tight ends, trailing only Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez (7).

The Patriots converted two-of-two fourth-down attempts today, raising their NFL-leading fourth-down conversion percentage to 81.5 percent (13-of-16). Entering today's game, the Patriots had converted 11 fourth-down tries this season, nearly twice as many as any other NFL team (6). Heading into today's action, three teams (Arizona, Houston, Minnesota and Pittsburgh) were tied for second place with six fourth-down conversions.

Corey Dillon gave the Patriots a 14-0 lead with a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Dillon has now scored 33 touchdowns (31 rushing, 2 receiving) in 37 regular-season games for the Patriots (including today's game). Entering today's game, the Patriots had compiled a 19-3 record (including playoffs) in games where Dillon has scored a touchdown. Dillon is the leading career rusher among all active players, entering today's game with 10,908 career rushing yards.


  • Mike Vrabel strip-sacked Aaron Rogers at the Packers' 45-yard line late in the fourth quarter, forcing him to fumble and setting up Mike Wright to recover the ball.
  • The Patriots allowed Green Bay to convert just one third down all day, as the Packers went 1-for-13 on third-down tries (eight percent).
  • The Patriots defense allowed just four rushing yards in the first half.
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