NEW RECORD FOR FEWEST POINTS ALLOWEDThe 2006 Patriots allowed 237 points in the regular season, a total that stands as the fewest in franchise history for a 16-game season. New England topped the previous mark (238, set in 2003) by one point. The Patriots allowed an average of 14.81 points per game, a mark that also sets a new franchise record. The previous record was 14.88 points, set in 2003.
TWELVE VICTORIESThe Patriots finished the 2006 season with a 12-4 record. New England's 12 regular-season victories that trail only the 14 wins by the 2003 and 2004 teams for the highest total in team history. New England has won 11 regular-season games on six occasions (1976, 1978, 1985, 1986, 1996, 2001).
TEN PICKS FOR SAMUELAsante Samuel recorded two interceptions in the fourth quarter against the Titans, raising his season total to 10. His 10 interceptions stand as the second highest single-season total in Patriots history, trailing only Ron Hall's team-record 11 interceptions for the Boston Patriots in 1964. Samuel entered today's game tied for second in the NFL with eight interceptions, trailing only Denver's Champ Bailey, who had nine interceptions heading into today's action.
DILLON MOVING UP THE ALL-TIME RUSHING LISTWith a 7-yard run in the fourth quarter, Corey Dillon passed O.J. Simpson to move into 14th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list. Following that run, Dillon had totaled 11,238 yards, two better than Simpson's career total of 11,236 yards. Following the game, Dillon's career total stood at 11,241 yards on 2,618 career carries.
TESTAVERDE ADDS TO HIS RECORDVinny Testaverde threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Troy Brown in the fourth quarter, marking his 20th consecutive season with a touchdown pass – adding to his NFL record total. Last season, Testaverde became the first player in league history to throw for a touchdown in 19 straight seasons when he connected on a 27-yard scoring pass to Lavaranues Coles while playing for the New York Jets in a game against the Patriots on Dec. 26, 2005. Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton are tied for the second longest streak, each throwing a touchdown pass in 18 straight NFL seasons. Testaverde has thrown a touchdown pass in each season since entering the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the first overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft.
BOMBS AWAYReche Caldwell hauled in a 62-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the third quarter to give New England a 26-13 lead. The reception marked New England's longest play from scrimmage this season and the longest reception for a Patriot since Troy Brown hauled in a 71-yard catch at Carolina on Sept. 18, 2005. Caldwell's grab marked the longest touchdown reception by a Patriot in the regular season since Deion Branch hauled in a 66-yard touchdown catch at Denver on Nov. 3, 2003. Caldwell's 62-yard reception was also the longest of his career, topping a 58-yard touchdown reception on Oct. 3, 2004 while playing for San Diego. That 58-yard catch also came against Tennessee.
CAREER HIGHS FOR CALDWELLReche Caldwell set a single-game career high with 134 receiving yards on four catches, setting a new career high f=in that category for the second time this month. His previous career high was set on Dec. 3, when he hauled in 112 yards worth of passes in New England's 28-21 victory over Detroit. Caldwell's touchdown catch in the third quarter was his fourth of the season, a mark that sets a new single-season career high, topping his totals of three touchdown catches in 2002 and 2004 for San Diego.
DILLON IN THE ZONECorey Dillon scored two touchdowns in the first half, giving him 13 rushing touchdowns on the season – a mark that ties the franchise's single-season record (Curtis Martin, 1995 and 1996). Dillon had totaled 12 rushing touchdowns in each of his first two seasons with the Patriots (2004-05). Dillon's two touchdowns today raised his scoring total to 236 points since joining the Patriots prior to the 2004 season, and with his first-quarter touchdown passed Curtis Martin (226 points) to move into 14th place on New England's all-time scoring list. Jim Colclough and Matt Bahr are tied for 12th place with 238 points. Dillon's first score today was his 38th overall touchdown for New England, passing Martin (37) to move into 10th place on the club's all-time touchdowns list. With his second touchdown of the afternoon – his 39th in a Patriots uniform – Dillon tied Jim Colclough for ninth place on the team's all-time touchdowns list.
GREEN MONSTERDefensive lineman Jarvis Green strip-sacked Tennessee's Vince Young in the first quarter, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Rosevelt Colvin at the Titans' 25-yard line. The play set up a Patriots drive that ended in a 26-yard field goal and a 12-3 lead. Green's strip-sack was his third of the season and his second in as many weeks, having sacked Jacksonville's David Garrard late in the fourth quarter on Dec. 24, coming up with a play that sealed New England's 24-21 division-clinching win. Green also strip-sacked Cincinnati's Carson Palmer in New England's 38-13 win on Oct. 1 as part of a three-sack performance that earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Today's strip-sack gave Green 7.5 sacks for the season, a career-high total. Green's three forced fumbles lead the team (Mike Vrabel, 2) and equal his career total in his first four NFL seasons heading into 2006. Green's three forced fumbles are the most for a Patriots player in a single-season since 2004, when Rodney Harrison, Eugene Wilson and Tedy Bruschi each forced three fumbles.
MARONEY IN THE ZONELaurence Maroney gave the Patriots a 33-23 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The touchdown was Maroney's sixth rushing score of the season and was his seventh overall touchdown (6 rushing, 1 receiving). Maroney set up his 1-yard scoring run with a 31-yard run on third down on the previous play.
CAREER-LONG CATCH FOR DILLONCorey Dillon caught a 52-yard screen pass from Tom Brady in the first quarter, recording the longest reception of his 10-year career. His previous career long reception was a 41-yard grab, recorded while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals in a 35-0 loss at Tampa Bay in the 1998 season finale on Dec. 27, 1998. Dillon's 52-yard catch was Patriots' third longest receiving play of the season. The only longer pass plays for New England this year were a 54-yard touchdown catch by Reche Caldwell at Green Bay on Nov. 19 and a 62-yard touchdown catch by Caldwell in the third quarter against the Titans today.
TWO MINUTE DRILL
The Patriots allowed a punt return for a touchdown in the final minute of the first half. Heading into today's game, New England had allowed just 16 points in the final two minutes of the first or second half, a mark that was the lowest in the NFL.