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Vinatieri, Brady and Branch reach milestones in 16-3 win over Jets

Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Deion Branch all reached career milestones in New England's 16-3 win over the Jets.


Adam Vinatieri became 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 against the Jets. The 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. Vinatieri ended the day with 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.


With 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.


Deion Branch recorded his 200th career reception, reaching the milestone on a 10-yard reception from Brady on third-and-six in the third quarter, his fifth and final 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).

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