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Patriots at Seahawks: Game Notes

Matt Cassel directed his second career fourth-quarter comeback in the Patriots 24-21 win over the Seattle Seawhawks. The following are notes from the game.

WELKER HAS 12 CATCHES -- A SEASON-HIGH RECEPTION TOTALWes Welker had 12 receptions for 134 yards, recording his highest reception total of the season and the second-highest reception total of his career. In addition to his 12 receptions, Welker also caught a 2-point conversion pass to give the Patriots a 24-21 fourth-quarter lead. Welker's 12 receptions trail only his career-high 13-catch performance against Philadelphia on Nov. 25, 2007. His 12 receptions tie the fifth-highest single-game total in team history, behind Troy Brown's team-record 16 catches on Sept. 22, 2002 and three 13-catch performances (Welker, 11/25/07; Deion Branch, 9/29/02; Terry Glenn, 10/3/99).

Wes Welker had 134 receiving yards, the highest single-game total by a Patriot this season and the highest total for a Patriots player since Randy Moss also had 135 receiving yards against Pittsburgh on Dec. 9, 2007.

Sammy Morris plunged into the end zone on a 1-yard scoring run to give the Patriots their first lead of the game with 2:44 left in the contest. Following a 2-point conversion, the Patriots held a 24-21 lead. The touchdown was Morris's second in as many weeks, his sixth rushing score of the season and the 23rd rushing touchdown of his career.

Brandon Meriweather ran up the middle and sacked Seneca Wallace for a 5-yard loss, forcing him to fumble on the first play following the 2-minute warning. Jarvis Green recovered the ball, returning possession back to the Patriots and allowing New England to run out the clock on a 24-21 win. Seattle had a second-and-11 at the Patriots' 44-yard line and was driving for a possible game-tying field goal or a go-ahead touchdown. The sack was the first of Meriweather's career.

Bill Belichick recorded his 150th career victory as a head coach, including 135 regular-season wins and 15 playoff victories. Following the win, Belichick's career record stands at 150-90 (.625). Belichick is the 17th head coach in NFL history to record 150 or more wins. His winning percentage of .625 ranks fourth among all coaches with 150 or more wins, trailing only George Halas (324-151-31, .671), Don Shula (347-173-6, .665) and Joe Gibbs (171-101-0, .629).


  • The Patriots won their 14th consecutive regular-season game against an NFC club. The Patriots have not lost a regular-season game to an NFC team since Sept. 18, 2005 at Carolina. New England is 3-0 against the NFC this season.
  • The Patriots improved to 18-1 in games following a loss since the beginning of the 2003 season.
  • The Patriots improved to 21-2 in the month of December since 2003. New England has won nine straight December games.
  • Jabar Gaffney's 28-yard reception from Matt Cassel on third-and-10 in the third quarter was the 250th reception of his career and his longest catch of the season.

Matt Cassel directed his second career fourth-quarter comeback, helping to rally the Patriots to a 24-21 victory following a 21-13 deficit entering the fourth quarter. He also led a fourth-quarter comeback against St. Louis on Oct. 26, leading the Patriots to a 23-16 win following a 16-13 fourth-quarter deficit. Against the Seahawks, the Patriots trailed 21-13 and got the ball with 41 seconds left in the third quarter. Cassel directed a 10-play, 68-yad drive that ended in a 27-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski that cut the Seattle lead to 21-16 with 12:19 left in the game. Following a Seattle punt, Cassel then led the Patriots on a 14-play, 71-yard drive that took 6:03 off the clock to give the Patriots a 24-21 lead with 2:44 left (their first lead of the game), following a Sammy Morris touchdown run and a 2-point conversion pass from Cassel to Wes Welker.

CASSEL BREAKS 3,000-YARD MARKOn an 11-yard completion to Kevin Faulk in the fourth quarter, Matt Cassel exceeded 3,000 passing yards for the season, becoming the seventh player in Patriots history to throw for 3,000 yards or more in a campaign. Cassel joined Babe Parilli, Steve Grogan, Tony Eason, Hugh Millen, Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady as the only Patriots players to achieve the feat. Following his fourth-quarter completion to Faulk, Cassel had 3,003 passing yards on the season.

Stephen Gostkowski hit a 50-yard field goal to cut the Seattle lead to 7-3 with 48 seconds left in the first quarter. The kick was Gostkowski's longest of the season (topping his 49-yard boot at San Francisco on Oct. 5), and was the second longest boot of his regular-season career, trailing only a 52-yarder against Chicago at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 26, 2006. In his regular-season and playoff career, Gostkowski is a perfect 3-for-3 from 50 yards or longer, having also nailed a 50-yard kick in the 2006 divisional playoffs at San Diego on Jan. 14, 2007.

On 13-yard reception in the second quarter, Randy Moss became the 11th player in NFL history to record at least 13,000 career receiving yards. Following that reception, Moss had 13,001 receiving yards in his 11-year career. Moss entered the game averaging 78.2 receiving yards per game, a mark that ranks second in NFL history (Torry Holt, 80.5).

Ellis Hobbs returned a second-quarter kickoff 55 yards to the Seattle 43-yard line, setting up a Patriots touchdown drive that ended in a 2-yard scoring reception by Benjamin Watson. The return was Hobbs's fourth of 50 yards or longer this season and was his sixth of 40 yards or longer. In his 60-game NFL career, Hobbs has now totaled seven kickoff returns of 50 yards or longer and 10 returns of 40 yards or longer.

WATSON SCORES SECOND TOUCHDOWN OF 2008Benjamin Watson cut the Seattle lead to 14-10 with a 2-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. The score was Watson's second touchdown catch of the season and the 15th scoring grab of his career. Watson's other touchdown this season came against the New York Jets on Nov. 13. Watson's 15 career touchdown catches tie Don Hasselbeck for 18th on the Patriots' all-time touchdown receptions list. Watson and Hasselbeck are tied for fifth among Patriots tight ends, trailing only Ben Coates (50), Russ Francis (28), Jim Whalen (17) and Daniel Graham (17).

Wes Welker's 5-yard catch late in the first quarter was his 200th reception since joining the Patriots via trade prior to the 2007 season. Welker entered the game leading the NFL in receptions since the beginning of the 2007 campaign. He is the 15th player in Patriots history to reach the 200-catch milestone. Welker tied for the NFL lead with a franchise-record 112 receptions last season and entered this week's action ranked second in the league with 84 catches this season.

Veteran linebackers Junior Seau and Rosevelt Colvin each made their 2008 debuts on a second-and-six play with 13:43 left in the second quarter. Colvin was signed by the Patriots on Wednesday, Dec. 3 and Seau was signed on Friday, Dec. 5.

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