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Patriots vs. Jets: Game Notes

PATRIOTS vs. NEW YORK JETSWeek 13 - December 4, 2005

VINATIERI BECOMES PATRIOTS ALL-TIME LEADING SCORERAdam Vinatieri has become the Patriots' all-time leading scorer, passing Gino Cappelletti's previous record with a 34-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half. That kick gave Vinatieri 1,131 career points, passing Cappelletti's mark of 1,130 points. That mark had stood as the franchise record for 34 years and 349 days (533.5 games) since Cappelletti - one of the original Boston Patriots - retired following the 1970 season. With his three field goals and one extra point (10 total points) today, Vinatieri has now scored 1,135 career 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 260 career successful field goals.

NO RUSHING ZONENew England allowed the Jets to rush for just 41 total yards, the fewest by any Patriots opponent since Sept. 15, 2002, when the Patriots allowed the Jets to run for just 32 yards in a 44-7 victory at the Meadowlands. Prior to today's game, the fewest rushing yards the Patriots had allowed this season was 77, against Miami on Nov. 13. Last season, the lowest rushing total for a Patriots opponent was 46 yards (at Cleveland on Dec. 5 and at N.Y. Jets on Dec. 26). New England's performance on run defense was part of a complete defensive effort that allowed just three points and 164 total net yards, the fewest total net yardage allowed this season and the fewest since allowing 125 total net yards to the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 14, 2004.

RUSHING CONTRASTBoth the Patriots rushing offense and rushing defense turned in season-best performances in today's game. The Patriots gained 146 yards on 35 carries (4.2 avg), setting a season-high for team rushing and recording their highest rushing total since gaining 174 yards in the 2004 regular-season finale against San Francisco (01/02/05). Additionally, New England allowed the Jets to run for just 46 yards on 16 carries (2.6 avg), the fewest by a Patriots opponent this season and the fewest allowed since Week Two of the 2002 season, when the Jets gained 32 yards on the ground. New England's victories in the running game on both sides of the ball were keys to a time-of-possession advantage (38:10 to 21:50) that helped to secure the victory.

ELLIS HOBBSRookie cornerback Ellis Hobbs recorded his second career interception, picking off Brooks Bollinger in the fourth quarter. Hobbs, who made his fourth career start today, recorded his first career interception in his first career start, at Miami on Nov. 13. Hobbs' two interceptions tie him with Mike Vrabel for the team lead.

NEON DEIONDeion Branch recorded his 200th career reception today, reaching the milestone on a 10-yard reception from Brady on third-and-six in the third quarter, his fifth catch of the day. Branch's 200 catches ranks 14th on the Patriots' all-time list, just ahead of Art Graham (199 receptions from 1963-68) and behind Russ Francis (207 catches from 1975-80 and 1987-88).

DOMINATING DIVISIONAL DThe Patriots defense allowed just three points today, the lowest scoring output for an opponent this season. The three lowest opponent scoring outputs in 2005 have all come in divisional games. Prior to today's game, the lowest number of points scored by an opponent was 16, against Buffalo on Oct. 30 and at Miami on Nov. 13. All three games began with a first-quarter shutout. The last time the Patriots allowed only three points in a game was against Baltimore on Nov. 28, 2004.

COREY SCORESCorey Dillon scored his team-leading eighth touchdown of the season on a 1-yard plunge with 4:12 left in the third quarter, giving the Patriots a 13-3 lead. The touchdown gives Dillon 65 career rushing touchdowns and 20 rushing scores since joining the Patriots prior to the 2004 season. Including one receiving touchdown last season, Dillon has now scored 21 touchdowns in 24 regular-season games with the Patriots. Dillon has scored 128 points as a Patriot, and his latest touchdown moved him ahead of Mosi Tatupu (126 points) for 24th place on the Patriots' all-time leading scorers list.

TOM TERRIFIC BOUNCES BACKWith toady's victory, Tom Brady now boasts a 4-0 career record in the games following his four-interception outings. In those games he has not thrown a single interception and has had passer ratings over 100.0 three of the four times. In today's game, Brady amassed a 93.4 passer rating and completed 27 of 37 passes with no interceptions. In games following games in which he has thrown four interceptions, Brady has completed 99 of 144 passes (68.75 percent completion rate) for 1,040 yards, 8 touchdowns and no interceptions. The following is a breakdown of Brady's four-interception games and the games that followed:

MILESTONE MANWith his 25-yard completion to Benjamin Watson in the first quarter, Tom Brady passed the 17,000-yard mark for his career, becoming only the third passer in Patriots history to achieve the feat. Brady joins Drew Bledsoe (29,657) and Steve Grogan (26,886) as the only passers to reach the milestone for the Patriots. Brady ranks third on the Patriots' all-time passing yardage list. Vito "Babe" Parilli ranks fourth in team history with 16,747 career yards.

SCORELESS IN FIRST QUARTERThe Patriots and Jets both did not score in the first quarter today, marking the third time in three division games that the Patriots have ended the first quarter in a scoreless tie. New England was also scoreless following the first quarter in their two previous division games this season, winning both games (against Buffalo on Oct. 30; at Miami on Nov. 13).

QUICK HITS* The Patriots shut out the Jets in the second half of today's game, recording their first second-half shutout of the season.
* Jarvis Green sacked Brooks Bollinger for a 4-yard loss in the fourth quarter. The sack raised Green's season total to 2.5 sacks and brought his career total to 11.0 sacks.
* Rosevelt Colvin tackled Jets running back Curtis Martin for no gain on a reception in the flat on New York's first offensive play of the game.
* Benjamin Watson grabbed a 25-yard pass from Tom Brady in the first quarter. The catch was the eighth grab of 20 yards or longer for Watson this season.
* Running back Kevin Faulk returned to the Patriots lineup today, seeing action for the first time since Sept. 25 at Pittsburgh. Faulk missed eight games with a foot injury.
* Ty Warren and Rosevelt Colvin tackled Curtis Martin for a 1-yard loss on the final play of the first quarter.

COLVIN'S SACK ATTACKRosevelt Colvin raced up the middle to sack New York's Brooks Bollinger for an 8-yard loss on third-and-nine in the second quarter, forcing a Jets punt. The sack gave Colvin a team-leading 4.5 sacks on the season and raised his career total to 37.5 sacks. Since joining the Patriots prior to the 2003 season, Colvin has now recorded 11.5 sacks. Colvin's total of 37.5 career sacks ranks seventh among all active NFL linebackers. Now in his seventh NFL season, Colvin's career sack total trails only Pittsburgh's Joey Porter (47.5 sacks) among active linebackers who entered the NFL in 1998 or later.

HOT WHEN IT'S COLDWith today's win, the Patriots hold a 23-2 (.920) record since 1993 when the kickoff temperature is 35 degrees or colder. The temperature at kickoff today was 26 degrees. New England has won 14 consecutive games when the temperature has been 35 or less, including four such victories last season. The last time the Patriots lost a game in temperatures of 35 degrees or below was on Dec. 24, 2000, when they dropped a 27-24 decision to Miami on a 31-degree day at Foxboro Stadium. Also since 1993, the Patriots are 18-1 when the temperature is 34 degrees or colder, and 12-0 when it's 30 degrees or colder.

THE GREATEST SHOW IN SNOWThe Patriots are 9-0 all-time in snowy games in Foxborough, including today's 16-3 victory over the Jets. Three of the Patriots' last four home playoff games have involved frozen precipitation, with all three contests ending in memorable victories. In 2003, New England played in three games under snowy conditions, including a 24-14 victory over Indianapolis in the AFC Championship Game.

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