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Patriots vs. Chiefs: Game notes

500th RECEPTION FOR TROY BROWN
With a 25-yard catch in the second quarter today, Troy Brown recorded his 500th career reception, becoming just the second player in Patriots history to achieve the feat. Brown, a 13th-year veteran and former eighth-round selection in the 1993 NFL Draft, joins Stanley Morgan in the exclusive club. Morgan is the franchise's all-time leading receiver and recorded 534 career receptions for the club from 1977-89. Brown's career total of 500 receptions ranks second in franchise history. Additionally, Brown's 5,842 receiving yards rank second in franchise history, trailing only Morgan's franchise-record 10,352 yards.

DOUBLE MEANINGThe throw that produced Troy Brown's 500th career reception also marked a milestone of sorts for quarterback Tom Brady. That 25-yard completion moved Brady into third place on the Patriots' all-time passing yardage list, passing Vito "Babe" Parilli's total of 16,747 yards. Brady entered today's game with 16,707 yards and finished it with 16,995 yards. He now trails only Drew Bledsoe (29,657) and Steve Grogan (26,886) in franchise history.

VINATIERI CLOSING IN ON FRANCHISE SCORING RECORDAdam Vinatieri ended today's game with 1,125 career points, trailing Gino Cappelletti's franchise record of 1,130 points by just five points. Vinatieri is in his 10th NFL season and was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent prior to the 1996 season. The two-time Pro Bowler (2002 and 2004) led the NFL in scoring last season and is one of just two kickers in NFL history (Jason Elam) to record 100 or more points in each of his first nine NFL seasons. In his career, Vinatieri has converted 20 game-winning field goals, including final-minute game-winners in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII. Vinatieri is the Patriots' all-time leader with 257 career successful field goals.

NEON DEION
Deion Branch has set a new single-season career high, finishing today's game with a total of 60 receptions for the 2005 season. Branch's previous career high was 57 receptions, set in 2003. Branch passed that mark with his 58th reception of the year, a 16-yard grab that helped set up Christian Fauria's 1-yard touchdown catch three plays later. Branch's 60 receptions are the most by a Patriot since 2002, when Troy Brown grabbed 97 passes and David Patten caught 61 balls.

MILESTONE MANTom Brady has 3,030 passing yards in 2005, giving him his fourth consecutive 3,000-yard season. Drew Bledsoe holds the team record with seven straight 3,000-yard seasons (1994-2000). Brady and Bledsoe are the only two players in team history to put together back-to-back 3,000-yard campaigns. Brady reached the 3,000-yard mark today with a 10-yard completion to Heath Evans in the fourth quarter, a play that gave Brady exactly 3,000 yards on the year. Brady's 3,030 yards through 11 games puts him on pace to total 4,407 yards this season, a number that could challenge Bledsoe's team-record 4,555 yards, set in 1994.

TOUCHDOWN RUN FOR PASSPatrick Pass scored his third rushing touchdown of the season on a 1-yard run in the third quarter that cut Kansas City's lead to 26-10. The score was Pass' fourth overall career touchdown, with his three scores from this season joining a 23-yard touchdown reception on Dec. 22, 2001 against Miami at Foxboro Stadium. Pass scored his first career rushing touchdown on a 6-yard run on Oct. 9, 2005 at Atlanta. Pass also scored on an 8-yard run the following week at Denver (Oct. 16).

CHRISTIAN SCORIA
Tight end Christian Fauria scored his first touchdown of the season on a 1-yard reception from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter that cut Kansas City's lead to 26-16. The touchdown was the 19th of Fauria's 11-year career and his 12th since joining the Patriots prior to the 2002 season.

BELICHICK'S 100th GAME IN NEW ENGLANDToday's game against the Chiefs marked Head Coach Bill Belichick's 100th overall game (including playoffs) since becoming head coach of the Patriots prior to the 2000 season. In his 100 games as head man in New England, Belichick has compiled a 68-32 record (.680 winning percentage). That record is the best mark among the 14 head coaches in franchise history in terms of both winning percentage and total victories.

START ME UP
Artrell Hawkins started at safety and Heath Evans started at running back today, bringing the Patriots' season total to 43 different starters. New England's total of 43 starters eclipses its total from the 2003 season, when the Patriots used 42 starters and set an NFL record for the most starters by a division champion. In 2004, the Patriots utilized 40 different starters. So far in 2005, the Patriots have used 21 different starters on offense and 22 different starters on defense. The defensive total includes 12 different players who have started in the secondary, a number that eclipsed last season's total of nine. Hawkins becomes the seventh different player to start at strong safety for the Patriots this season.

BEND BUT DON'T BREAK
The Patriots held the Chiefs to field goals on three successive red zone trips in the first half. Below are the key plays that allowed the Patriots defense to minimize the Chiefs' offensive attack.

  • Willie McGinest pressured Chiefs quarterback Trent Green on third-and-goal from the 7-yard line, forcing an incompletion as the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal after gaining a first-and-goal from the 4-yard line.
  • Larry Izzo saved a touchdown when he broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Tony Gonzalez on third-and-goal from the 2-yard line in the second quarter. Kansas City had to settle for a field goal after gaining a first-and-goal from the 8-yard line.
  • Ellis Hobbs batted away a Trent Green pass in the end zone that was intended for Eddie Kennison on third down from the 16-yard line in the second quarter, forcing the Chiefs to settle for a field goal after they had gained a first down at the Patriots' 16-yard line.
  • Mike Vrabel and Vince Wilfork combined to tackle Chiefs running back Larry Johnson for a loss of two yards on the final play of the first quarter.
  • Ty Warren nailed Johnson in the backfield for a loss of three yards on third-and-goal from the 4-yard line in the first minute of the second quarter.

QUICK HITS
* Tom Brady's 15-yard run in the third quarter tied his career long, also achieved on Dec. 22, 2002 against the N.Y. Jets at Gillette Stadium.

  • Ty Warren notched his first sack of the season, dropping Trent Green for an 8-yard loss on the Chiefs' first possession of the second half. Warren also recovered a fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter, kick-starting a Patriots touchdown drive.
  • Rosevelt Colvin recorded a 7-yard sack of Trent Green in the fourth quarter, giving him 3.5 sacks this season and tying him with Willie McGinest for the team lead. Colvin also tackled Larry Johnson for a 3-yard loss on a reception in the fourth quarter.
  • Richard Seymour tackled wide receiver Eddie Kennison for a loss of five yards on a rushing play in the fourth quarter. Seymour also forced running back Larry Johnson to fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter and Ty Warren recovered the loose ball to kick-start a Patriots touchdown drive.

POST-THANKSGIVING SUCCESS
The Patriots played their first post-Thanksgiving game of the season today, and despite the loss, have had significant success after Turkey Day over the last few seasons. Here are some post-Thanksgiving numbers including today's game:

27-4: Tom Brady's career record in games played on Thanksgiving or later in the NFL season (.871 winning percentage), including playoff games.

31-14: Brady's touchdown (31) to interception (14) numbers in the 18 post-Thanksgiving games he has started in the last two seasons. The Patriots own a 16-2 record in those games.

17: The number of victories the Patriots have earned in their last 19 post-Thanksgiving games, including playoff games, dating back to the 2002 season finale.

5-1: The Patriots' record under head coach Bill Belichick in their first game after Thanksgiving Day (not including two games played on Thanksgiving).

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