PATRIOTS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH FOR 12th TIME IN KRAFT'S 17 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP
New England has qualified for the playoffs 18 times in its 51-year history. The Patriots have earned 12 playoff berths in the 17 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. The Patriots have 10 division crowns in the 12 playoff berths under Kraft, including eight of the last 10 seasons. The 14-2 2010 record earned the Patriots their third top seed in the AFC and it is the seventh time the Patriots have been seeded high enough to earn a first round playoff bye.
PATRIOTS CAPTURE AFC EAST TITLE
The Patriots clinched the AFC East Championship with the victory over Buffalo and earned home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. It is the third time in franchise history that the Patriots have earned home-field advantage (2007 and 2003).
ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RESULTS
The Patriots have compiled a 21-14 record in their 35 playoff games and their .600 playoff winning percentage is the third best in NFL history among teams that have played at least 10 playoff games. New England has qualified for six Super Bowls (XX, XXXI, XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX and XLII) and one AFL Championship Game in 1963.
PATRIOTS PLAYOFF RECORD BY ROUND
First Round* 0-1
Wild Card Round 4-3
Divisional Round 8-5
AFC Championship 6-1
AFL Championship 0-1
Super Bowl 3-3
*-1982 Strike Season
PATRIOTS EARN FOURTH 14 WIN SEASON
The Patriots finished 14-2 in 2010. The Patriots have finished with at least 14 wins in four separate seasons. In addition to the 2010 season, the Patriots finished 14-2 in 2003, 14-2 in 2004 and 16-0 in 2007. The Patriots join the San Francisco 49ers as the only teams to have four 14-win seasons.
PATRIOTS TIED FOR MOST PLAYOFF WINS IN A DECADE
The Patriots won 14 playoff games in the decade from 2000-2009, tying the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys for the most playoff victories by any NFL team in either the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or 2000s. Pittsburgh and Dallas both won 14 playoff contests between 1970 and 1979, while New England won 14 postseason games from 2000-2009.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Patriots are 11-2 at home in the playoffs in their history. Twelve of the franchise's 13 home playoff games have taken place since Robert Kraft purchased the team 17 years ago.
The Patriots won the AFC East seven times during the decade of 2000-09. The Patriots had a streak of five straight division titles snapped in 2008 when they finished 11-5, but lost to Miami on a tie breaker to finish in second place. New England's five straight AFC East crowns from 2003-07 top the four straight division titles by the Buffalo Bills from 1988-91 and by the Miami Dolphins on two occasions. The Patriots have won eight of the last nine division crowns. The Patriots have won ten division titles in the 17 seasons since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994.
The Patriots are the only team in the NFL to have recorded nine or more wins in each of the last 10 seasons.
MOST SEASONS OF 9 WINS SINCE 2001
New England - 10
Indianapolis - 9
Philadelphia - 8
Pittsburgh - 8
In 2011, the Patriots will play each of the other AFC East rivals twice and will play one game against each of the AFC West and NFC East teams. As the first-place team in the AFC East, the Patriots will play the first-place teams of the AFC South (Indianapolis) and the AFC North (Pittsburgh).
BILL BELICHICK'S WINNING WAYS
New England head coach Bill Belichick has guided the Patriots to an NFL-best 14-2 record this season. Belichick is the first head coach ever to win at least 14 regular-season games in four separate seasons. Only four other coaches - San Francisco's George Seifert (3), Washington's Joe Gibbs (2), Chicago's Mike Ditka (2) and Miami's Don Shula (2) - have more than one 14-win season.
PATRIOTS SET NFL RECORD FOR FEWEST TURNOVERS IN A 16-GAME SEASON
The Patriots had just 10 turnovers in 2010 (5 interceptions and 5 fumbles), setting an NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season. The previous NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season was 12 by Kansas City in the strike-shortened 1982 season. The previous record for fewest turnovers in a 16-game season was 13 by the Giants and Dolphins in 2008. The former Patriots record for fewest turnovers in a season was 15 in 2007 (9 interceptions and 6 fumbles).
PATRIOTS FINISH EIGHT IN NFL HISTORY WITH 65 TOUCHDOWNS
The Patriots scored 65 touchdowns in 2010, a total that ranks as the eighth-highest total in NFL history. New England set the league record with 75 touchdowns in 2007.
PATRIOTS TIE NFL RECORD FOR FEWEST INTERCEPTIONS IN A SEASON
The Patriots had just five passes intercepted in 2010, tying the NFL mark for fewest interceptions in a single season. New England attempted 507 passes in 2010, with just five resulting in interceptions. The other teams to have only five interceptions in a season were the 1960 Cleveland Browns, the 1966 Green Bay Packers, the 1990 Kansas City Chiefs and the 1990 New York Giants.
PATRIOTS CLOSE OUT THE 2010 SEASON PERFECT AT HOME
The Patriots finished with a perfect 8-0 regular-season record at Gillette Stadium for the second consecutive season. New England has now finished perfect at home five times in team history (2003, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2010). The Patriots are the only team in the NFL to finish undefeated at home in 2010. New England has won 17 straight regular-season home games, with its last home loss coming on Nov. 30, 2008 against Pittsburgh. The Patriots' 17 straight home wins marks the longest current streak in the NFL and the second longest in franchise history, trailing only the Patriots' 18 straight home wins from 2002-2005. The Patriots own a 60-12 regular-season record at Gillette Stadium since the facility opened in 2002.
EDELMAN SETS FRANCHISE RECORD WITH A 94-YARD PUNT RETURN FOR A TOUCHDOWN
WR Julian Edelman set a franchise record with a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter. The Patriots' previous longest punt return was an 89-yard touchdown return by Mike Haynes vs. Buffalo on Nov. 7, 1976. It is the first punt return for a touchdown by the Patriots since Troy Brown had a 68-yard return at Carolina on Jan. 6, 2002.
GREEN-ELLIS GOES OVER 1,000 YARDS
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis finished the 2010 season with 1,008 rushing yards, becoming the first Patriots player to top the 1,000-yard rushing mark since Corey Dillon had a team-record 1,635 rushing yards in 2004. Green-Ellis is the 11th New England player to record a 1,000-yard rushing season. Green-Ellis recorded his 1,000 yard season without fumbling the ball all year, joining Ray Rice as the only NFL backs with at least 175 rushing attempts and no fumbles this season. Green-Ellis and Rice are the first running backs to have a 1,000-yard season without a fumble since DeAngelo Williams had a 1,000-yard season without a fumble in 2008.
GRONKOWSKI SCORED HIS 10TH TOUCHDOWN
Patriots rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski caught his 10th touchdown reception of the season on a 13-yard pass from QB Tom Brady in the first quarter. Gronkowski set a Pariots rookie record for receiving touchdowns in a season, moving past WR Jim Colclough and WR Randy Vataha, who each had nine. Gronkowski ranks second in NFL history for touchdowns by a rookie tight end. Only Mike Ditka (12) had more touchdowns as a rookie tight end. Gronkowski's 10 touchdowns are the highest single-season total by a Patriots tight end in franchise history. Gronkowski is only the fourth Patriots player to record 10 or more touchdown receptions in a season, joining Randy Moss (3 times), Stanley Morgan (2) and Jim Colclough (1).
WOODHEAD SET TEAM MARK FOR RUSHING AVERAGE
Danny Woodhead finished the season with 97 rushes for 551 yards, with his average of 5.68 yards per carry setting a new team record (minimum 90 rushing attempts). Woodhead topped Don Calhoun's previous team mark of 5.59 yards per carry in 1976 (129 attempts for 721 yards).
WILFORK CREDITED WITH TWO SACKS
Wilfork had his first NFL two-sack game. Wilfork sacked Chad Henne for losses of 9 yards and 6 yards in third-quarter possession.
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of kickoff returns that WR Brandon Tate returned for a touchdown in 2010 after he returned a 97-yard kickoff for a touchdown vs. Cincinnati (9/12) and a 103-yard kickoff for a touchdown at Miami (10/4). Tate is the first Patriots' player to return two kicks for a touchdown in a season since Kevin Faulk returned two for a touchdown in 2002. The Patriots' record for most returns in a single season is three by Raymond Clayborn in 1977.
The number of blocked kicks recorded by S Patrick Chung in 2010 after he blocked a punt and a field goal in the Patriots win at Miami (10/4). He is the first NFL player to block a field goal and a punt in the same game since CB Ramon Walker of Houston blocked a field goal and a punt vs. New England on Nov. 23, 2003.
The number of interceptions that the Patriots returned for a touchdown in 2010 after LB Gary Guyton returned an interception 59 yards for a score vs. Cincinnati (9/12), S Patrick Chung returned an int. 51 yards for a score at Miami (10/4), S James Sanders returned an int. 32 yards for a touchdown at Pittsburgh (11/14), and CB Kyle Arrington returned an int. 36 yards for score vs. Green Bay (12/19).
The average of yards per carry by Danny Woodhead in 2010 after he finished with 97 rushes for 551 yards. His average set a Patriots team record, topping Don Clahoun's previous team record of 5.59 yards per carry in 1976.
The number of interceptions by CB Devin McCourty in 2010. It is the second most interceptions by a rookie in Patriots history to Mike Haynes (8) in 1976.
The number of touchdown receptions by rookie TE Rob Gronkowski in 2010, a record for most touchdown catches by a tight end in Patriots history. The only other rookie tight end in NFL history to have more touchdowns was Mike Ditka (12).
The number of rushing touchdowns in 2010 by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, establishing a career high. His previous best was the five he had as a rookie in 2008. He is the first Patriots player with 10-plus rushing touchdowns since Corey Dillon had 13 in 2006.
The number of touchdowns by the 2010 Patriots, a total that ranks as the eighth-highest total in NFL history. New England set the NFL record with 75 touchdowns in 2007.
The number of yards Dan Connolly gained on a second quarter kickoff return vs. Green Bay (12/19). It is the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman in NFL history.
The number of yards that BenJarvus Green-Ellis had rushing in 2010, becoming the first Patriots player to top the 1,000-yard rushing mark since Corey Dillon had a team-record 1,635 yards in 2004.
JEROD MAYO BY THE NUMBERS
The number of total tackles by LB Jerod Mayo. That number is the third-highest in team history.
TOM BRADY BY THE NUMBERS
The number of times that Brady has finished a season with 25 or more touchdowns. He is the sixth QB in NFL history to have 25 or more touchdown passes in at least six different seasons.
The number of times Tom Brady has passed for 3,000 or more yards in a season, a franchise record for most 3,000-yard seasons. He finished the season with 3,900 yards.
The number of times Tom Brady has earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the award in back-to-back weeks in 2010: at Detroit (11/25) and vs. NY Jets (12/6).
The number of consecutive regular season starts that Tom Brady has won at Gillette Stadium, setting an NFL record for most consecutive home wins by a starting quarterback in the regular-season.
The number of touchdown passes thrown by Brady in 2010 to lead the NFL. He is one of just the 13 players since the 1970 merger to have at least two 30 touchdown seasons. He set an NFL record with 50 in 2007.
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 70-12 when he throws for two or more touchdowns.
The number of wins that Brady has as a starting quarterback. He reached the 100-win milestone in the fewest number of starts (131) among all quarterbacks in the modern era.
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 champions won since Kraft purchased the team in 1994.
The number of playoff seasons earned by the Patriots in the 17 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 the highest in the NFL, ahead of the 23 games played by Pittsburgh.
The number of consecutive home games the Patriots have sold out, a streak that includes every preseason, regular season and playoff game since the 1994 regular season opener.
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 177 career victories as a head coach, including playoff games. Belichick is in sole possession of 10th place in all-time coaching victories.