TOM BRADY SETS ALL-TIME NFL RECORD FOR HIGHEST COMPLETION PERCENTAGE IN REGULAR-SEASON OR PLAYOFF GAME
Tom Brady completed 92.9 percent of his passes (26 completions in 28 attempts) setting an all-time NFL record for the highest completion percentage in a game, including regular-season and playoff games (minimum 20 attempts). Tom Brady completed his first 16 passes of the game. His first incompletion was on a pass intended for Benjamin Watson with 10:25 remaining in the third quarter. Brady completed his first 16 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. The record for highest completion percentage in a regular-season game is 91.3 percent (21-23), achieved by Cleveland's Vinny Testaverde in a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 26, 1993. Bill Belichick was Cleveland's head coach that season. The previous record for highest completion percentage in a playoff game was set by the New York Giants' Phil Simms in Super Bowl XXI, when he completed 88.0 percent of his passes (22-25) in New York's victory over Denver following the 1986 season. Bill Belichick was New York's defensive coordinator that season. The previous Patriots record for highest completion percentage in a regular-season or playoff game was also set by Brady in a 22-for-26 performance (84.6 percent) at Buffalo on Nov. 3, 2002.
MARONEY TOPS CENTURY MARK
Laurence Maroney totaled 122 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, recording his first career 100-yard rushing game in the playoffs and the third highest single-game rushing total in Patriots playoff history. The last 100-yard rushing game by a Patriot in the playoffs came following the 2004 season, when Corey Dillon totaled 144 yards on 23 carries against Indianapolis on Jan. 16, 2005. Maroney's 100-yard rushing effort is the sixth by a Patriots player in the team's 32-game playoff history. Curtis Martin set the team playoff record with 166 rushing yards against Pittsburgh in a divisional round game at Foxboro Stadium on Jan. 5, 1997. Maroney's 122 yards against Jacksonville trail only the aforementioned totals by Martin and Dillon for the third highest in Patriots playoff history.
BENJAMIN WATSON CATCHES TWO TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Benjamin Watson caught two touchdown passes, tying the Patriots playoff record for most touchdown receptions in a game. Watson ties the mark also achieved by Stanley Morgan against Denver on Jan. 4, 1987 and achieved by Larry Garron at Buffalo on Dec. 28, 1963. Watson caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to tie the game at seven in the first quarter and later hauled in a 9-yard scoring grab in the third quarter to give New England a 28-17 advantage. The scoring catches were Watson's second and third career playoff touchdown receptions, with his other scoring grab also coming against Jacksonville in a wild card matchup on Jan. 7, 2006. Watson's previous playoff touchdown came on a 63-yard scoring grab and was the longest touchdown reception in Patriots postseason history. In the 2007 regular season, Watson finished third on the team with six scoring catches.
HARRISON'S SEVEN CAREER PLAYOFF INTERCEPTIONS RANK FIFTH ALL-TIME
Rodney Harrison intercepted a David Garrard pass with 3:46 remaining in the game, recording his seventh interception in seven playoff games since joining the Patriots in 2003. Harrison's seven playoff interceptions are tied for the fifth-highest total in NFL history, trailing only Charlie Waters (9), Bill Simpson (9), Ronnie Lott (9) and Lester Hayes (8). Willie Brown and Dennis Thurman are tied with Harrison's seven career playoff interceptions. He is also the Patriots' all-time playoff interception leader. Asante Samuel and Ty Law (both with four interceptions in 12 games) are tied for second. Against Jacksonville, Harrison played in his first playoff game since Super Bowl XXXIX following the 2004 season, having missed the 2005 and 2006 playoffs on injured reserve. In his 184-game regular-season career, Harrison has totaled 33 interceptions.
BRADY MOVES INTO TIE FOR SEVENTH ON ALL-TIME PLAYOFF TOUCHDOWN PASS LIST WITH THIRD CAREER THREE-TOUCHDOWN GAME IN PLAYOFFS
With three touchdown passes tonight, Tom Brady raised his career playoff total to 23 scoring tosses, tying Troy Aikman for seventh place on the NFL's all-time playoff touchdown pass list. The three-touchdown game was the third of Brady's playoff career, with his other such games coming in a wild card game against Jacksonville following the 2005 season and in Super Bowl XXXVIII following the 2004 season. In the 2007 regular season, Brady set an NFL record with 12 games with three or more touchdown passes. Brady has totaled 23 touchdown passes in 15 career playoff games, while Aikman totaled 23 scoring tosses in 16 career playoff games. Roger Staubach ranks sixth in league history with 24 scoring tosses in 19 career playoff games.
BRADY THROWS TOUCHDOWN IN 13th STRAIGHT PLAYOFF GAME
Tom Brady threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson in the first quarter, marking Brady's 13th consecutive playoff game with a touchdown pass, tying Dan Marino for the second longest such streak in NFL history. Marino also threw a touchdown pass in 13 straight playoff contests from 1983-1995. Brett Favre holds the NFL record, throwing a scoring pass in 17 consecutive games from 1995 to the present. Brady was held without a touchdown pass in the first two playoff games of his career, but has had at least one scoring toss in 13 straight games from Super Bowl XXXVI through tonight.
WELKER CATCHES FIRST CAREER PLAYOFF TOUCHDOWN PASS
Wes Welker caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady with 8:49 remaining in the third quarter to give the Patriots a 21-14 lead. The touchdown reception was the first of Welker's playoff career and came in his first career playoff game. Welker caught a career-best eight touchdowns in the 2007 regular season. Entering this season, Welker had caught one career touchdown pass in 47 career games.
WARREN STRIP-SACK SETS UP TOUCHDOWN
Ty Warren sacked David Garrard and caused him to fumble in the first quarter, giving the Patriots possession at the Jaguars' 29-yard line. Mike Vrabel recovered the loose ball, setting up a seven-play drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown run by Laurence Maroney and a 14-7 Patriots lead. The forced fumble was the first of Warren's 12-game playoff career and the fumble recovery was the second of Vrabel's 17-game playoff career.
MARONEY SCORES FIRST CAREER PLAYOFF TOUCHDOWN
Laurence Maroney gave the Patriots a 14-7 lead with a 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. The touchdown run was the first of Maroney's playoff career and came in his fourth career postseason game. In the 2007 regular season, Maroney led the team with six rushing touchdowns, a total that tied his career high, also set as a rookie last season.
STALLWORTH TIES FIFTH LONGEST CATCH IN TEAM PLAYOFF HISTORY
Donte Stallworth's 53-yard reception in the fourth quarter ties the fifth longest reception in Patriots playoff history. Stallworth's catch equaled the 53-yard catch by Terry Glenn from Drew Bledsoe in the divisional playoffs on Jan. 5, 1997. The longest playoff reception in team history was a 73-yard catch by Deion Branch at Denver on Jan. 14, 2006.
PATRIOTS ALLOW OPENING-DRIVE POINTS IN PLAYOFFS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1998
The Jaguars scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the game, marking the first time the Patriots had allowed their opponents to score points on their opening drive since the 1998 wild card playoffs, when Jacksonville's Mike Hollis converted a 35-yard field goal to give the Jaguars a 3-0 lead over the Patriots on Jan. 3, 1999. Prior to tonight, the Patriots had held their opponents scoreless on opening drives in 14 consecutive playoff contests. In the regular season, the Patriots allowed only one opening-drive touchdown - in the regular-season finale against the New York Giants on Dec. 29.
GOSTKOWSKI IS 9-FOR-10 IN PLAYOFF CAREERFollowing his 35-yard successful field goal in the fourth quarter, Gostkowski was nine-for-10 (90 percent) in his Patriots playoff career. Gostkowski missed a playoff field goal for the first time in his career when he missed a 35-yard attempt in the second quarter. Gostkowski had been a perfect eight-for-eight in his three-game playoff career entering tonight's game.