BRADY REACHES MILESTONE
Tom Brady recorded the 1,000th completion of his career today on a 13-yard completion to Corey Dillon in the first quarter. Brady becomes the fourth Patriots passer to join the 1,000-completion club, joining Drew Bledsoe (2,544), Steve Grogan (1,879) and Vito "Babe" Parilli (1,140).
PATTEN'S 100-YARD DAY
David Patten caught five passes for 113 yards today, marking the sixth time he has reached the century mark in a game in his career and the second consecutive game that the Patriots have produced a 100-yard receiver (David Givens, 120 yards at Arizona). Patten recorded four catches for 101 yards in the first half, including a 30-yard touchdown grab with 1:28 left in the half. Patten's score was his second touchdown in as many games, giving him two for the season and 15 for his career. The last time Patten passed the 100-yard receiving mark was on Oct. 6, 2002, when he snared five passes for 102 yards at Miami. Patten's career high 117 yards, which he gained on four catches at Indianapolis on Oct. 21, 2001.
"BIG SEY" SEES THE ZONE
Two-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour scored his first career touchdown this afternoon, scooping up a Drew Bledsoe fumble caused by Tedy Bruschi and rumbling 68 yards for the score and a decisive 31-17 advantage for the Patriots.
GRAHAM GRABS TDs
Daniel Graham has grabbed a touchdown pass in four consecutive games, dating back to the 2003 regular-season finale. Today, he caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady with 11:17 left in the game to give the Patriots a 24-17 lead, giving him a team-leading four touchdowns in three games this season and raising his career total to nine touchdowns. Graham's four consecutive games reaching the end zone is one shy of the Patriots' team record for consecutive games with a touchdown reception.
CONSECUTIVE GAMES SCORING A RECEIVING TOUCHDOWN
|5||Michael Timpson||12/26/93 to 09/18/94|
|Jim Colclough||11/11/62 to 12/09/62|
|4||Daniel Graham||12/27/03 to Present|
|Stanley Morgan||09/21/86 to 10/12/86|
|Stanley Morgan||09/07/80 to 09/29/80|
|Art Graham||12/11/66 to 09/17/67|
The Bills' opening drive saw them crack the Patriots' 10-yard line, but New England's defense was able to hold Buffalo to a 33-yard Rian Lindell field goal. New England has now kept its opponent out of the end zone on their opening drive in 18 consecutive games. The last time the Patriots allowed their opponent to score a touchdown on their opening drive was in their last trip to Buffalo on Sept. 7, 2003.
The Patriots have begun the season with three consecutive victories for the sixth time in the team's 45-year history. New England was previously 3-0 in 2002, 1999, 1997, 1974 and 1964. The Patriots' longest winning streak to begin a season came in 1974, when they won the season's first five games.
The Patriots have won 18 consecutive regular-season and postseason games, tying the all-time pro football record for consecutive victories. The Patriots have not lost a meaningful game in more than a year, and have become the seventh team in history to compile an 18-game winning streak including regular-season and postseason games. New England won its final 15 games of the 2003 season en route to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVIII, and has begun the 2004 season with a 3-0 record. The last time the Patriots lost a game was on September 28, 2003, when they dropped a 20-17 decision on the road to the Washington Redskins.
PRO FOOTBALL'S LONGEST WINNING STREAKS
Includes postseason games
|18||New England Patriots||2003-04||NFL|
|18||San Francisco 49ers||1989-90||NFL|
FULL TILT, FULL TIME
Tedy Bruschi sacked Drew Bledsoe twice today, marking his third career multiple sack game. Bruschi's first sack produced one of the biggest plays of the game, as he rushed in on Bledsoe, sacked him and forced him to fumble as the Bills were driving and looking for a game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Richard Seymour scooped up the ensuing loose ball and rumbled 68 yards for the game-breaking score, giving New England a 31-17 lead. Bruschi is the third Patriot to record multiple sacks in a game this season (Rodney Harrison and Willie McGinest, two sacks each at Arizona 9/19/04). It is Bruschi's first multiple sack game since he recorded 1.5 sacks against Minnesota on Nov. 24, 2002. His 2.0 sacks ties his career high, set in his rookie season, when he recorded two sacks at Baltimore on Oct. 6, 1996.
DILLON: RARE MISCUE
Corey Dillon's second-quarter fumble was his first fumble in 229 touches, dating back to the 2002 season. Before today, the last time Dillon fumbled was on Dec. 22, 2002, when he coughed the ball up in the first quarter while playing for Cincinnati in a game at New Orleans. Since that fumble, Dillon had recorded 212 rushes and 17 receptions without fumbling.
OFFENSE FROM DEFENSE
Richard Seymour's fumble return was the Patriots' first defensive touchdown of the season and New England's first touchdown on a fumble recovery since Matt Chatham recorded a 38-yard scoop-and-score in a 17-6 win over the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 12, 2003. Last season, the Patriots led the NFL with six defensive touchdowns and were 6-0 in games in which they scored on defense. Including their win over the Bills, the Patriots are now 13-2 in their last 15 games in which they scored a defensive touchdown, dating back to 1999.
The Patriots scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time this season and for the sixth time in their last nine games, as Corey Dillon rumbled into the end zone from 15 yards out to complete a nine-play, 77-yard drive. New England was remarkably proficient on opening drives at the end of last season, reaching the end zone on five of their last six opening drives, including the postseason. Including field goals, the Patriots have put points on the board following their opening drive in eight of their last 11 games, and the Patriots have scored first in each of their last 11 games. The last time the Patriots allowed their opponent to score the first points of the game was at Houston on Nov. 23, 2003, when the Texans jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a 19-yard field goal from Kris Brown.
David Givens caught a 44-yard pass from Tom Brady in the first quarter as the Patriots faced a first-and-35 on their own 24-yard line. The 44-yard grab was the longest play from scrimmage by Patriots so far this season, and New England's longest play from scrimmage since Givens caught a career-long 57-yard pass from Brady on Nov. 16, 2003 against Dallas. Givens made a leaping grab at Buffalo's 32-yard line, recording the third-longest catch of his career and kick-starting a Patriots touchdown drive that ended in a 15-yard touchdown run by Corey Dillon. Brady also completed a 17-yard pass to Bethel Johnson on third-and-10 to continue the opening drive.
Corey Dillon scored the first touchdown of his Patriots career on a 15-yard run up the middle to cap off the Patriots' first scoring drive and give New England a 7-0 lead. It was the Patriots' first touchdown run of over 10 yards in nearly a year. The last time New England ran the ball in from more than 10 yards out was on Oct. 5, 2003, when Michael Cloud scampered 15 yards to the end zone in a 38-30 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Buffalo's Terrence McGee returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to tie the game at 10. It was the second longest kickoff return the Patriots have allowed in team history, and the first time a Patriots opponent returned a kickoff to the end zone since Denver's Deltha O'Neal notched an 87-yard touchdown return on Oct. 1, 2000. The only time the Patriots allowed a longer kickoff return was also against Buffalo, on Nov. 7, 1965. That day, the Bills' Charlie Warner returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown against the Boston Patriots at Fenway Park.
The Patriots wore their white road jerseys today for the first time in six games. The last time New England suited up in white was when it traveled to the Meadowlands to play the New York Jets on December 20, 2003 and came away with a 21-16 victory. The Patriots wore white jerseys in just five of last season's 19 games and recorded a 4-1 record, with the only loss coming in their season-opening defeat at Buffalo. Since the beginning of the 2002 season, the Patriots have now worn white jerseys in 10 of their last 38 games, recording a 6-4 record in those games.
- Rosevelt Colvin recorded his first sack of the season, his third sack as a Patriot and the 29th sack of his six-year career when he pounced on Drew Bledsoe for a 12-yard loss in the second quarter.
- Buffalo punter Brian Moorman ran the ball 34 yards following a botched punt attempt in the second quarter. It was the longest run the Patriots have allowed since Miami's Chris Chambers scampered 44 yards on a reverse in the 2002 season finale on Dec. 29, 2002.
- Bethel Johnson downed a Josh Miller punt at the Bills' two-yard line in the third quarter.
- Roman Phifer sacked Drew Bledsoe for as six-yard loss on third-and-six in the third quarter, forcing a Bills punt.
BEAST OF THE EAST
Including today's 31-17 win over the Bills, the Patriots have recorded the best divisional record among AFC East teams over the last three seasons. Since 2001, the Patriots are 16-5 against divisional opposition, including a 15-3 record in their last 18 games. Over the same three-year time span, the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets are tied for second with identical 11-10 records, while the Buffalo Bills have compiled a 5-16 record. The Patriots have won six straight division games.