PATRIOTS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH FOR THE 13TH TIME IN KRAFT'S 18 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP**
The Patriots have qualified for the playoffs 19 times in their 52- year history. They have earned 13 playoff berths in the 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a dramatic contrast to the six total playoff berths that the team earned in its first 34 years of existence. New England has won 11 AFC East crowns under Kraft's leadership. New England has won 14 division crowns overall (13 AFC East Crowns) and has qualified as a Wild Card team on four occasions (1998, 1994, 1985 and 1976). The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 as part of a 16-team tournament following a players' strike. The Patriots are guaranteed to host their 14th playoff home playoff game in 18 years. In the 34 years prior to Kraft's ownership, the Patriots hosted just one playoff game.
PATRIOTS IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND
The Patriots have compiled an 8-6 all-time record in divisional playoff games, including 5-2 at home and 3-1 at Gillette Stadium.
PATRIOTS AT HOME IN THE PLAYOFFS
The Patriots are 11-3 at home in the playoffs in their history. Thirteen of the franchise's 14 home playoff games have taken place since Robert Kraft purchased the team 18 years ago. After Kraft bought the team, the Patriots won 11 consecutive home playoff games before experiencing a home loss.
NFL'S BEST AT HOME
Since their state-of-the-art facility opened at the beginning of the 2002 season, the Patriots own the NFL's best record at home overall. The Patriots own an overall record of 67-13 (.838) at Gillette Stadium in regular season games and a 74-15 (.831) record including playoffs.
Tom Brady finished the season with 5,235 passing yards and joins Drew Brees (5,476 in 2011 and 5,069 in 2008), Dan Marino (5,084 in 1984) and Matthew Stafford (5,038 in 2011) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to reach 5,000 passing yards in a single season.
Brady finished the season with 39 touchdown passes, marking the second highest total of his career, trailing his NFL-record 50 scoring tosses in 2007. Brady joins Dan Marino (48 in 1984 and 44 in 1986) as the only players in NFL history with at least two different seasons with 39 or more touchdown passes.
Brady has a current streak of 32 straight games with at least one touchdown pass, a Patriots team record. Brady's streak is fourth all-time. The NFL record is 47 by Johnny Unitas (1956- 57), followed by Drew Brees with 43 and Brett Favre with 36.
Brady has 300 career touchdowns and became the sixth player in NFL history to reach 300 touchdown passes, joining Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Fran Tarkenton and John Elway. Brady is tied with Elway for fifth on the NFL's all-time list.
Julian Edelman (2009-11) has the highest career punt return average in Patriots history with a 12.4-yard average (55-684), ahead of Mack Herron (12.0).
He became the fourth Patriots player with two or more punt returns for a touchdown after his 72-yard touchdown return vs. Kansas City (11/21), joining Troy Brown (3), Irving Fryar (3) and Mike Haynes (2).
Rob Gronkowski finished the season with 17 receiving touchdowns to set the NFL record for most touchdown receptions by a tight end in NFL history. Vernon Davis (SF) in 2009 and Antonio Gates (SD) in 2004 had 13. Including his 2- yard touchdown run vs. Indianapolis (12/4), Gronkowski had 18 total touchdowns this season - the highest number of combined touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history.
Gronkowski finished with 1,327 reciving yards, surpassing Kellen Winslow's record of 1,290 receiving yards with San Diego in 1980 for most receiving yards in a season by a tight end.
Wes Welker finished the season with 1,569 receiving yards to set the franchise record, topping Randy Moss who had 1,493 receiving yards in 2007.
Welker finished the season with 122 receptions, a total that is tied for the fourth-highest single-season total in NFL history. The 120-plus catch season was the second time in Welker's career he has passed the 120-reception mark (123 in 2009 and 122 in 2011), joining Cris Carter (122 in 1995 and 122 in 1994) as the only players to have 120-plus receptions twice in a career.
With over 100 receptions in 2011, Welker joined Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice as the only NFL players with four 100- reception seasons.
Kyle Arrington finished in a three-way tie for the NFL lead with seven interceptions. Eric Weddle of San Diego and Charles Woodson of Green bay also had seven interceptions. The last Patriots player to lead the NFL in interceptions was Asante Samuel with 10 in 2006.
Jerod Mayo finished the 2011 season with 103 total tackles, registering 100 tackles for the fourth straight year. He is the first player in New England history to register 100 tackles in his first four NFL seasons. He is the fifth Patriots player to register at least four consecutive 100 tackle seasons.
PATRIOTS FORCE TURNOVERS
The Patriots lead the NFL with a 123 turnover margin since the 1994 season, including a league-leading and franchise record 28 in 2010 and an AFC leading 17 in 2011 that was third to San Francisco's 28 and Green bay 24. The Patriots 17 is 10 higher than the second place AFC team (Houston at 7)
PATRIOTS SCORE TOUCHDOWNS
The Patriots scored 61 total touchdowns in 2011. That number is third in team history to the 75 scored in 2007 and the 65 scored in 2010.
PATRIOTS ON POINT
The Patriots averaged 32.1 points per game in 2011. That average ranks third all-time in team history.
PATRIOTS REACHED 400 POINTS FOR THE FIFTH STRAIGHT YEAR**
The Patriots finished the season with 513 points for their fifth straight season of 400 or more points and their second straight season with over 500 points. The 513 points are third in team history. The Patriots are the third team to ever have at least five straight 400-point seasons. Indianapolis had five straight (2003- 07) and San Diego has a current streak of eight straight 400 point seasons (2004-11).
PATRIOTS SET FRANCHISE RECORD FOR MOST TOTAL NET YARDS IN 2011
The Patriots finished the 2011 season with 6,848 total net yards, setting a new franchise record for most total net yards in a season. That total is fourth all-time in NFL history.
WHAT'S THE POINT?
The Patriots finished 15th in the NFL on defense by allowing an average of 21.4 points per game. Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots have never finished worse that 17th among the 32 teams in points allowed.
The Patriots offense finished second in the NFL in total yards. The Patriots offense has finished in the top 10 five straight seasons. Since the 1970 merger, the Patriots offense has finished in the top 10 a total of 16 times, including seven times under Bill Belichick.
WELKER AND GRONKOWSKI ARE THE TOP TWO IN THE AFC
Wes Welker (1,569) and Rob Gronkowski (1,327) rank first and second respectively in the AFC in receiving yards. They are the first teammates to finish 1-2 in a conference in receiving yards since Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce in 2000 (St. Louis).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of interceptions by Vince Wilfork in 2011. Anthony Pleasant (2001) is the only other Patriots defensive lineman to record two interceptions in the same season.
The number of punts returned by Julian Edelman for touchdowns during his career, the fourth Patriots' player with two or more punt returns for a touchdown.
The number of NFL players with four 100-reception seasons after Wes Welker (122) reached 100 receptions in 2011 to join Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison.
The number of times LB Jerod Mayo has reached 100 tackles to start his career. He is the first player in New England history to register 100 tackles in his first four NFL seasons.
The number of interceptions by Kyle Arrington to put him in a three-way tie for the NFL lead in 2011.
The number of times in NFL history a player reached 1,000 yards in the ninth game of the season after Wes Welker reached the milestone in 2011.
The number of AFC East titles by the Patriots since the 2000 season.
The number of sacks by Andre Carter in 2011 for his fourth career 10-plus sack season.
The number of sacks by Mark Anderson in 2011 for his second career 10-plus sack season.
The number of touchdown catches by TE Rob Gronkowski, the most in NFL history by a tight end in a single season.
The number of total touchdowns by TE Rob Gronkowski in 2011 (16 rec. and 1 rush.) the highest number of combined touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history.
The number receptions in 2011 by Wes Welker. With 122 in 2011 and 123 in 2009, Welker joins Cris Carter as the only two NFL players with 120-plus receptions twice in their career.
The number of receiving yards by Gronkowski in 2011 to set an NFL record, surpassing Kellen Winslow in 1980 (1,290).
TOM BRADY BY THE NUMBERS
Tom Brady became the first player to follow a 500-yard performance with a 400-yard performance after Brady had back-to-back games with 517 yards and 423 yards to start 2011.
Brady joins Drew Brees (2011) as the only players to reach 3,000 yards in the first nine games of the season. Brady (3,032) had the most yards ever through the first nine games of the year.
The number of times in his career that Brady has thrown a game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute of the game to turn a deficit into a Patriots win after a final-minute touchdown vs. Dallas (10/16), including the postseason.
The number of seasons that Brady has reached 4,000 passing yards. His four 4,000 yard seasons are tied with Warren Moon and Philip Rivers for the fifth most in NFL history.
Brady became the sixth NFL quarterback in NFL history to have 30 or more touchdowns passes in at least three seasons after reaching 30 vs. Indianapolis (12/4).
Tom Brady was the 11th quarterback in NFL history to throw for 500 or more yards after he passed Brady for 517 in the 2011 opener at Miami.
The number of times Tom Brady has earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the award in each of the first two weeks of the 2011 season and in Week 16.
The number of regular season 300-yard passing games by Tom Brady, a team record.
The number of times that Brady has thrown two or more touchdowns in a game. The Patriots are 81-15 when he throws for two or more touchdowns.
The number of wins that Brady has as a starting quarterback to tie Fran Tarkenton for fifth place. Brady reached the 100-win milestone in the fewest number of starts (131) among all quarterbacks in the modern era.
The number of passing yards Brady had in the first three games (517, 423 and 387) of 2011. Brady's 1,327 yards set the NFL mark for the most passing yards ever in a three-game stretch.
The number of passing yards by Brady in 2011, the second most in a season in NFL history.
THE KRAFT ERA
The number of Super Bowl championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Only Denver (2; 1997 and 1998) and Pittsburgh (2; 2005 and 2008) have won multiple Super Bowl titles since 1994.
The number of conference championships the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Pittsburgh is second with three conference titles since 1994.
The number of division championships won by the Patriots since Kraft purchased the team in 1994.
The number of playoff seasons earned by the Patriots in the 18 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team.
The number of playoff games the Patriots have won since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. That mark is the highest total in the NFL over that span. Pittsburgh ranks second with 15 playoff wins over that span.
The number of playoff games the Patriots have appeared in since 1994. The mark is tied with Pittsburgh for the most playoff games during that time period.
THE BELICHICK ERA
Bill Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three championships since the Super Bowl era began. Belichick joins three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the exclusive club (Chuck Noll 4, Joe Gibbs 3 and Bill Walsh 3). Belichick is the only coach to win three Super Bowls in the post-1993 salary cap era and the only one to ever win three in four years.
Bill Belichick has 190 career victories as a head coach, including playoff games. Belichick moved past Bill Parcells into sole possession of ninth place in all-time coaching victories. Chuck Knox is in 8th place with 193 wins.
PATRIOTS DEDICATE 2011 SEASON TO MYRA KRAFT
The Patriots dedicated the 2011 season to the loving memory of Myra Kraft, who passed away on July 20 after a courageous battle with cancer. Every Patriots player and coach are honoring Myra's memory by wearing a patch with her initials on it in recognition of her lifelong contributions to the local and global philanthropic community and her influence on the charitable mission of the entire Patriots organization. The patch will be worn on the left chest of every player throughout t