Tonight's game was the 200th game of the Kraft Family's ownership of the Patriots, including regular season and playoff games. Since Robert Kraft purchased the team on Jan. 21, 1994, the Patriots have compiled a 123-77 record (.615 winning percentage), the third highest win total in the NFL over that span. Since Kraft bought the team, the Patriots have won more Super Bowls (3), more conference championships (4), and more playoff games (12) than any other NFL team.
BROWN MOVES UP LISTS
Troy Brown moved into second place on the Patriots' all-time receiving yardage list with a 4-yard reception in the first quarter. The catch gave Brown 5,728 career receiving yards, moving him past Irving Fryar's total of 5,724 receiving yards. Stanley Morgan is the franchise's all-time leader with 10,352 receiving yards. Brown also ranks second among all Patriots receivers in total receptions, having caught 496 passes in his 12-year Patriots career. Morgan leads all New England receivers with 534 career catches.
100.0 PASSER RATINGTom Brady finished tonight's game with a 121.4 passer rating, marking the first time in his career he has suffered a loss while registering a passer rating of over 100.0. Brady is now 29-1 all time in regular-season and postseason play when he registers a passer rating of at least 100.0. Brady also now has a 33-6 record at home, and a 61-17 all-time record as a starter including the postseason. Although Brady and the Patriots started the month of November off with a loss tonight, Brady still owns a 39-6 all-time record after November 1.
Backup quarterback Doug Flutie saw his first regular-season action in 2005, taking over for Brady in the closing minute of the game. Flutie completed three of seven passes for 20 yards in his 2005 Patriots regular-season debut. The last time Flutie played in a regular-season contest for the Patriots was nearly 16 years ago, on Dec. 3, 1989, when he appeared in a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Sullivan Stadium in Foxborough.
Troy Brown caught his first touchdown of the season on a 19-yard pass from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter, making the score 34-21. It was Brown's first touchdown catch from Tom Brady since he caught a 19-yard touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 27, 2003. Brown's only touchdown catch last season came on a 4-yard pass from Adam Vinatieri on a fake field goal at St. Louis on Nov. 7, 2004. The touchdown was the 26th of Brown's career, moving him into sole possession of seventh place on the team's all-time receiving touchdowns list. Larry Garron now ranks eighth with 25 career touchdown catches, while Russ Francis ranks sixth with 28 career scoring grabs.
Deion Branch caught his third touchdown of the season on a 16-yard toss from Tom Brady to end the Patriots' first offensive possession. The Super Bowl XXXIX MVP scored for the second consecutive week. Including tonight's touchdown, each of Branch's three scores this season have been the Patriots' first touchdown of the game. Dating back to last season's AFC Championship Game, each of Branch's last four scores have been his team's first touchdown of the contest.
SPREADING IT OUT
Tom Brady's first five completions all went to different receivers as he went 6-for-6 for 60 yards and a touchdown on the Patriots' opening drive. Deion Branch, David Givens, Troy Brown, Daniel Graham and Corey Dillon all hauled in passes on New England's first drive. Branch broke the string when he caught Brady's sixth pass of the evening for a 16-yard touchdown.
Daniel Graham caught a 31-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to cut the Colts lead to 28-14. The score was Graham's third of the season and the 15th of the former 2002 first-round draft choice's career. The touchdown was the sixth scoring pass of 30 yards or more by the Patriots this season. Graham also hauled in a 45-yard touchdown at Atlanta on Oct. 9.
Mike Vrabel recorded his second interception of the season and the seventh interception of his career when he picked off Peyton Manning at the Patriots' 48-yard line on third-and-11 in the second quarter. Vrabel's other interception this season came against Carolina in Week Two, when he returned a pick 24 yards for a touchdown. With Vrabel's interception, the Patriots have now recorded seven interceptions in their last three games against the Colts in Foxborough. New England recorded four picks in the 2003 AFC Championship Game and one interception in each of the two games against the Colts in Foxborough in 2004.
Tom Brady completed his first 10 passes of the game tonight, beginning a game against the Colts with a strong surge for the sixth consecutive time. Brady began the 2004 AFC Divisional playoff game on a 10-for-11 streak; he started 9-for-11 in the 2004 regular-season opener; he was 7-for-9 to begin the 2003 AFC Championship Game; he was 12-for-12 to begin a regular-season game at Indianapolis on Nov. 30, 2003; and he completed his first seven passes of the game at Indianapolis on Oct. 21, 2001.
GAY GETS THE STARTRandall Gay started at safety for the second time in his career. Last season, he began the game at safety against the New York Jets in a 13-7 Patriots win in Foxborough on Oct. 24, 2004.
STOPS FOR LOSSES
The Patriots dropped Edgerrin James in the backfield four times in the first half. Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel combined to stop James for a 3-yard loss on the first offensive play of the game. Willie McGinest and Jarvis Green combined to stop James for another 3-yard loss with 4:03 left in the first quarter. Rosevelt Colvin dropped James for a third 3-yard loss with nine minutes left in the first half, then Colvin and Vrabel dropped James for a 2-yard loss with seven minutes left in the first half.
The Patriots made quick use of their entire 45-man active roster tonight, as every available Patriot saw action in the game. Within the first 9:07 of the first quarter, when the Patriots kicked their extra point following Deion Branch's touchdown to end New England's first offensive possession, the whole team except for backup quarterback Doug Flutie had seen action on offense, defense or special teams. Flutie entered the game with 1:03 left in the fourth quarter, becoming the 45th and final player on the active roster to see action.
- The Patriots converted a fourth down on their opening drive, as Tom Brady hit David Givens on fourth-and-one in the first quarter to continue the Patriots touchdown drive.
- David Givens grabbed a season-long 35-yard reception on third-and-23 in the second quarter.
RARE 300-YARD PERFORMANCE
With his 321 passing yards, Peyton Manning become the first opposing quarterback to pass for over 300 yards since the last time the Patriots played on Monday Night Football, on Nov. 22, 2004. It was the first time in 13 regular-season contests that an opposing quarterback hit the 300-yard passing mark. The last time the Patriots defense allowed a 300-yard passing game was on Nov. 22, 2004 at Kansas City, when Trent Green threw for 381 yards in the Patriots' 27-19 victory. In 2004, the Patriots allowed just two regular-season 300-yard passing performances, with the other coming against Seattle on Oct. 17, 2004 when Matt Hasselbeck threw for 349 yards in the Patriots' 30-20 win.
SELLOUT STREAK AT 121; LOCAL TV STREAK AT 251Tonight's game is the 121st consecutive home sellout for the Patriots, including regular-season, preseason and playoff games. The sellout streak dates back to the 1994 season opener and is now in its 12th season. The streak began on Sept. 11, 1994 - Robert Kraft's first regular-season game as owner of the Patriots. Additionally, today's game is the 251st straight Patriots game to be televised locally. New England fans have not been faced with a blacked-out game since Dec. 26, 1993 against Indianapolis at Foxboro Stadium.
PATRIOTS IN THE COMMUNITY
TEAM TO AWARD $100,000 IN SCHOLARSHIP MONEY TO LOCAL STUDENTS
The Patriots recently announced that the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will be awarding $100,000 in college scholarship money to local students this season. Each week through "Totally Patriots", the team's new show aimed at younger fans, five students aged 13-18 years-old will be awarded scholarships ranging from $500-$2500 during the "Write On" segment of the show. To apply, students must write an essay of between 100 words and 500 words on the Patriots' previous game. Each week, a first place winner will receive a $2,500 college scholarship, second place will receive $1,000, and three third place winners will each receive $500 in scholarship money. All first place winners will also be eligible to win a $15,000 grand prize scholarship or a $10,000 runner-up scholarship at the conclusion of the season. Essays can be submitted online at www.totallypatriots.com or mailed to Kraft Sports Productions, Attn: "Write On" Contest, Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA 02035. For more information, students should tune in to "Totally Patriots" each Sunday at 11:00 a.m. on WCVB-TV Channel 5.