December 9, 2007
Wes Welker, Wide Receiver
(On guarantees from the opposing team)
Yeah. We just went out there and executed and just did our thing out there. I don't think that it played too much, I think that we just went out there and executed our plays. We are not going to pay attention to what anyone says or does out there, we are just going to go out and execute out there and do what we do out there.
(On if a win against a team like the Steelers is more satisfying)
Yes. They are a really good football team, so anytime you can get a win against a team like that it's a good deal.
(On the Moss to Brady to Gaffney touchdown pass)
It was really impressive and I didn't realize that Tom could throw that far. He really threw the ball down there and made a nice play.
Jabar Gaffney, Wide Receiver
(On the touchdown play from Moss to Brady to Gaffney for 56 yards)
The play was called the Ravens Special. We had it in for last week but we never got to use it. I knew it was going to be a touchdown.
(On what his touchdown catch did to the game.)
I think it put it out there a little bit and got us excited and got the crowd into it and I think we just rolled from there.
(On if Tom Brady took a while to throw it)
I think that he wanted to make sure that he could throw it that far and he just threw it all the way to the end zone. When I took off everyone bit up and I knew that if it made it back to Tom, it would be a touchdown. It took like forever for the ball to come down. I looked back and it was still in Tom's hand and I was like "come on, lets throw it".
Tedy Bruschi, Linebacker
(On the win)
The theme of the week was to go back to being a smart and tough football team. We have been doing some things the past couple weeks that we wanted to fix. We talked about fixing these things with just being a smart team because that's what you have to be to beat a team like this.
(On if the Patriots were trying to make a statement with their level of play tonight)
I don't care about statements and what people say, I just care about what the scoreboard says. We came away with a victory and that was all this week was geared for. We weren't focused on who was saying what, but more on us just doing our job.
(On the dominating 2nd half of play by the Patriots)
We had a couple of key series where we went three-and-out and got the ball in the offense's hands and they were able to do things with it. On defense we put them on a few three-and-outs and that's how we got them scrambling a bit.
(On what the team did well)
TB: Red zone, red zone defense, winning on third down, things like that, things that Baltimore had success with, Philly had success with. You may win games but you're constantly trying to still learn how you can get better. Number one we wanted to do better versus the run, we wanted to do better in the red area. I think we did that tonight and have a better percentage on third down. Those are things we'll continually harp even after this game going on later in the year and into the playoffs.
(On how the defense improved)
TB: I think we made progress. I think we made progress. It feels good when you talk about things during the week and then you go out and execute them. You set a goal of, let's get better in the red area, lets get better on third down and you go out there and your supposed to perform you have one chance a week. When you go out there and you do that, it feels good.
Rodney Harrison, Safety
(On the defense's success in the red zone)
It's an area that we struggled at this entire season, the goal line. We're not very proud of it. The only thing we can try to do is get better. We're probably the worst team in the league in the red area. Nowhere else to go but up.
(On how the Patriots did their talking on the field Sunday, not through the media)
A win is a win. They have a very good team. It's just, we don't get caught up in that cat and mouse game. The games aren't won or lost through the media. They're won or lost on Sunday and that's what we focus on. When I was a young player like that, I barely opened my mouth. You have to go out there and play football and not worry about the other crap that's going on.
(On if he's surprised that another opponent had to re-learn that lesson)
That's not my problem, that's their problem. Our team is focused on the 53 guys in this locker room and what we have to do and what we stand for and what we're trying to get accomplished, and that's to win one game at a time.
(On making the goal line stop on Hines Ward on fourth down)
I've seen that play over the course of my career maybe four or five times, when the wide receiver lines up wide and comes across on motion and they hand it off to him. Once he started motioning in - Hines is a big, physical receiver who likes to run the ball, [an] ex-quarterback - I figured they were going to run that play and I was able to come and make the play, along with all the other guys blowing up things to get myself, as well as someone else free to make that tackle.
(On the play of the defense Sunday)
We played Patriot football and this is what I'm used to playing since I've been here for [the last] five years -- going out here, not taking any crap, standing up to a big, physical team like Pittsburgh and doing what we do best. That's playing sound, fundamental football very physical and that's what we proved today.
Ellis Hobbs, Cornerback
(On the Patriots doing their talking on the field Sunday)
The game should speak for itself. You shouldn't have to do the extra talking. The really great players and great teams don't have to say all that. Play speaks for itself.
(On whether he has said anything he has really regretted afterwards - referring to Anthony Smith's guarantee)
Yeah, I've said some things, but nothing to that degree. Personally, when I said the things I regretted, [they were] more about my character, how I want to be portrayed, things like that, but nothing where you have the whole east coast waiting for you to come over here so they can slap you around. Nothing to that degree.
(On if the Patriots' offense was picking on Smith with the two long touchdown passes)
I have no clue what they were doing over there. I know he was back there and didn't make the plays. I don't know if they were picking on him, if it just happened like that, but whatever the offense did, keep doing it.
(On whether God has a sense of humor when things come around on people for something they say)
My God does, me being a Christian believer and everything. "Lower yourself so that he may be exalted." There's nothing wrong with confidence, don't get me wrong. You have to have a swagger out on the field. But there's a fine line and he definitely crossed it. He was definitely knocked down when he crossed it today. It is what it is. I wish the best for him, but not tonight.
(On what he expects in terms of motivation this week for the Jets game)
I expect us to go out there and continue to play. We've played, to this point, 12 games since [the first match-up between the teams] and we've done just fine. We're not worried about what happened then, definitely not worried about what's going to happen in the future. I just want to enjoy this win and let's move onto the Jets on Wednesday.
(On teams continually giving the Patriots bulletin board material)
EH: I think, maybe it's a defense mechanism. They see it as a weakness or as an approach of 'we're going to show you that we're not scared and we got all the confidence in the world.' Which is fine if that's how they feel, whatever, but we're going to continue being the same team. That's what keeps us driving, what motivates us, knowing that when we come in here, all of us, you're going to get 53 players plus who ever else is in here of guys that are dedicated to winning the right way. Doing the job in practice, not talking about it, going out there and doing the job and letting it show on Sunday.
Logan Mankins, Offensive Lineman
(On how the team responded and was more physical than last week)
LM: Oh, I think we did great. If you look at the scores someone was more physical than the other one.
(On whether or not the team got bullied in Baltimore and how they bounced back)
LM: At certain times your guy's going to beat you. That's how it goes, they give it and we give it. It's going to go back and fourth but I think tonight we won the majority of the battles.
(On the team coming out with more energy tonight)
LM: I think so. It felt like the first series was not that great but after that it felt like the momentum picked up our way and we were playing fast and playing physical. I think we played a lot better tonight.
Vince Wilfork, Nose Tackle
(On his sack)
VW: I knew the block that was given [because] they were giving it to me all game. I basically gambled on that play. He [Ben Roethlisberger] made a check at the line and I heard the same check earlier in the game and it was [a] pass so I knew right then and there what I was going to do. [Alan] Faneca came down and it was a double team but it was a pass play and I spun out of it and I was back there before he could even fake the ball. I think I kind of surprised him because once he turned around he tried to curl up. I stole a play. Preparation, I still do preparation on the field, during game time. Like I said that was something I picked up early in the game and I carried it over. I heard it again and I knew exactly what they were doing, so a win for me.
(On the teams' physicality)
VW: Of course, I mean you have to be to physical to beat this Pittsburgh Steelers team, to do what we wanted to do. There was a lot of talk leading to this game but we knew they could play some football. We knew that they could back up what they say so we had to match it and I think tonight we matched it. The outcome was in our favor, which we kind of wanted it to be. We are very happy with that win, very happy.
(On the difference between tonight's game and Monday night)
VW: It might sound funny but I think we played with more emotion tonight. I think we really did. I could see guys running to the football, guys having fun on the field and I think [Richard] Seymour or [Mike] Vrabel, one of them turned to me and he was like 'you know the problem is we having fun' and we always play good when we're having fun. I think last week we lacked that. Today we didn't lack it today.
Richard Seymour, Defensive End
(On how the win feels)
RS: Well it's always good when you beat a good football team and we classify them, those guys that we played today as a good football team. They're well coached and they play tough smart and physical, that's the way we try to play. We can go out and get a win against a quality opponent and every team we've played so far has been a quality opponent. It was a big night for us, one step closer to the ultimate goal.
(On how they felt about stopping the run in the past couple weeks)
RS: Yeah, I thought they just ran the ball but I didn't feel like they were effective. I thought they ran the ball and we stopped them when we needed to. I think throughout the game when you need to make stops and you need to score offensively and you can do that I think ultimately it helps our football team out a lot. I think going down the stretch we are definitely going to need everybody but it was a big win today.
(On how he is feeling, and if he is at 100% yet)
RS: Not quite 100 yet, but moving in the right direction. It's just good to get a win at this point. 13-and-0, one step closer and it's a quality opponent. That's always good. This is the time of year when you want to play your best football.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 10:01 PM | Permalink
PATRIOTS CLINCH FIRST-ROUND PLAYOFF BYE
By virtue of their victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers today, the Patriots have clinched a first-round playoff bye for the fifth time since the current NFL playoff format was implemented in 1990. New England has earned first-round byes in 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007. If the Indianapolis Colts lose to Baltimore tonight, the Patriots would also clinch the top seed in the AFC and homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. If the Colts defeat Baltimore, the Patriots can clinch homefield advantage with a victory over the New York Jets next week.
500 POINTS FOR THE SEASON
With Tom Brady's 2-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker in the third quarter, the Patriots' season point total stood at exactly 500 points scored, marking the first time an NFL team has broken the 500-point mark since the 2004 Indianapolis Colts scored 522 points. New England finished the game with 503 total points this season. The 2007 Patriots are the 11th team in the 88-year history of the NFL to break the 500-point mark. The 1998 Minnesota Vikings hold the NFL record with 556 points scored.
PATRIOTS RAISE SEASON TD TOTAL TO 65
Following four touchdowns today, the Patriots have scored 65 touchdowns this season, a total that ranks seventh in NFL history. The 1984 Miami Dolphins hold the all-time record with 70 touchdowns, following by the 2000 St. Louis Rams (67). Four teams have scored 66 touchdowns in a season, most recently the 2004 Indianapolis Colts.
BRADY'S 45 TOUCHDOWN PASSES ARE THIRD HIGHEST NFL SINGLE-SEASON TOTAL
Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes to raise his season total to 45 touchdown passes. Brady's 45 touchdown passes are the third-highest single-season total in NFL history, trailing only Peyton Manning's NFL-record 49 touchdown passes in 2004 and Marino's 48 scoring throws in 1984 Brady's 45 touchdown passes have eclipsed the Patriots' old single-season mark of 31, set by Vito "Babe" Parilli in 1964. Brady has thrown 45 touchdowns and just five interceptions so far in 2007.
NFL SINGLE-SEASON TOUCHDOWN PASS LEADERS
Player Team Year TD
Peyton Manning IND 2004 49
Dan Marino MIA 1984 48
Tom Brady NE 2007 45
Dan Marino MIA 1986 44
Kurt Warner STL 1999 41
BELICHICK RECORDS 100th VICTORY AS PATRIOTS HEAD COACH
Bill Belichick recorded his 100th overall victory as Patriots head coach today. Since being hired by the Patriots prior to the 2000 season, Belichick has now recorded 88 regular-season victories and 12 playoff wins for a total of 100 victories. He is one of four current NFL head coaches to win 100 or more overall games with their current team, joining Washington's Joe Gibbs (168 wins), Denver's Mike Shanahan (130) and Tennessee's Jeff Fisher (117). Belichick has an overall coaching record of 137-84 (.620), including a 124-81 regular-season mark and a 13-3 playoff record.
MOSS'S 19 TOUCHDOWN CATCHES ARE SECOND HIGHEST NFL SINGLE-SEASON TOTAL
With two touchdown receptions in the first half, Randy Moss caught his 18th and 19th touchdown passes of the season, recording the second highest single-season receiving touchdown total in NFL history. Moss's 19 touchdown catches this season trail only Jerry Rice's NFL record total of 22 in 1987. The 19 touchdown receptions set a new career high for Moss, topping his 17 scoring catches in 1998 and 2003 while with the Minnesota Vikings.
NFL SINGLE-SEASON RECEIVING TD LEADERS
Player Team Year TD
Jerry Rice SF 1987 22
Randy Moss NE 2007 19
Sterling Sharpe GB 1994 18
Mark Clayton MIA 1984 18
Randy Moss MIN 2003 17
Randy Moss MIN 1998 17*
(Six others tied with 17 touchdown receptions)
*-NFL Rookie Record
BRADY RECORDS FIFTH GAME WITH FOUR OR MORE TOUCHDOWN PASSES IN 2007
Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes, marking his fifth game of the season with four or more scoring throws. Brady's five games with four or more touchdowns tie the third highest total in NFL history, trailing only the six games with four or more touchdown passes by Peyton Manning in 2004 and by Dan Marino in 1984. Brady's five games with four or more scoring passes tie Donovan McNabb's 2004 total, Marino's 1986 total and Brett Favre's 1996 total.
MOSS SETS TEAM RECORD FOR MOST OVERALL TOUCHDOWNS IN A SEASON
With his first touchdown catch of the day, a 4-yard reception from Tom Brady, Randy Moss set a new Patriots record with his 18th overall touchdown of the season, topping Curtis Martin's previous record of 17 touchdowns in 1996. Moss added a 63-yard scoring grab in the second quarter to raise his season total to 19 touchdowns. All 18 of Moss's touchdowns have come via receptions. In 1996, Martin had 14 touchdowns via rushes and three via receptions.
PATRIOTS SINGLE-SEASON OVERALL TD LEADERS
Player Year TDs Rush Rec. Ret.
Randy Moss 2007 19 0 19 0
Curtis Martin 1996 17 14 3 0
Curtis Martin 1995 15 14 1 0
Corey Dillon 2006 13 13 0 0
(Five others tied with 13 overall touchdowns)
GAFFNEY HAS CAREER HIGH YARDAGE
Jabar Gaffney set a career high with 122 receiving yards on seven catches, including a 56-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Gaffney's previous career high was 109 receiving yards, achieved while playing for the Houston Texans against Chicago on Dec. 19, 2004. The 100-yard receiving game was the second of Gaffney's regular-season career. He also has two 100-yard games in three career playoff contests, all with the Patriots in 2006.
BRADY HAS SECOND HIGHEST YARDAGE TOTAL OF CAREER
Tom Brady totaled 399 passing yards against Pittsburgh, completing 32-of-46 passes (69.6 percent) with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 125.2 passer rating. The 399 passing yards are the second highest of Brady's career, trailing only his 410 passing yards in a 41-38 overtime win over Kansas City on Sept. 22, 2002. Brady's 399 yards are his highest career total in a non-overtime game. Including today's yardage total, four of Brady's top five career single-game yardage totals have come this season. Against Pittsburgh, Brady recorded his sixth 300-yard passing game of the season and the 21st 300-yard game of his career.
BRADY PASSES 4,000-YARD MARK
With a 4-yard completion to Wes Welker in the third quarter, Tom Brady exceeded 4,000 passing yards for the season, marking the fourth 4,000-yard passing season in Patriots history. Following that completion, Brady had 4,001 yards on the season. He finished the game with 4,095 passing yards, a total that ranks third in team history. Brady has accomplished the feat for the second time in his career, having also exceeded the milestone in 2005 (4,110 yards). Drew Bledsoe also exceeded 4,000 passing yards two times in a Patriots uniform (4,555 yards in 1994 and 4,086 yards in 1996).
TWO COMPLETIONS OF 50 YARDS OR LONGER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2001
The Patriots completed two touchdown passes of longer than 50 yards, marking the first time since 2001 that the Patriots have had two completions of 50 yards or more in the same game. Against Pittsburgh, Tom Brady hit Randy Moss for a 63-yard touchdown in the second quarter and later completed a 56-yard touchdown toss to Jabar Gaffney in the third quarter. The last time New England completed two passes of 50 yards or longer in the same game was on Oct. 21, 2001 at Indianapolis, when Brady threw a 91-yard touchdown pass to David Patten and Patten threw a 60-yard scoring pas to Troy Brown.
WELKER BREAKS 90-CATCH MARK
With an 11-yard reception in the fourth quarter - his 90th catch of the season - Wes Welker recorded the fifth 90-reception season in Patriots history. He joins Troy Brown (101 receptions in 2001 and 97 receptions in 2002), Ben Coates (96 catches in 1994) and Terry Glenn (90 receptions in 1996) as the only players in Patriots history to achieve the feat. Welker finished the game with 93 receptions this season, a total that ranks fourth in team history.
MOSS PASSES 1,200-YARD MARK
On his 63-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter, Randy Moss passed the 1,200-yard receiving mark for the season, becoming the second player in Patriots history to achieve the 1,200-yard receiving plateau. Following that catch, Moss had 1,212 yards on 78 catches in 2007. Moss joins Stanley Morgan (1,491 yards in 1986) as the only players in franchise history to achieve the feat. Moss has exceeded the 1,200-yard receiving mark for the seventh time in his 10 NFL seasons and has achieved the milestone for the first time since gaining a career-high 1,632 receiving yards in 2003 with Minnesota.
MOSS RECORDS 54th CAREER 100-YARD RECEIVING GAME
With 135 yards on seven catches, Randy Moss has recorded his eighth 100-yard receiving game of the season and the 54th 100-yard receiving game of his career. Moss's 54 career 100-yard receiving games rank third all-time, trailing only Jerry Rice (76) and Marvin Harrison (59). Stanley Morgan holds the Patriots single-season record with nine 100-yard receiving games in 1986. Moss's 135 receiving yards are his third highest total of the season, trailing only his 183 yards against the New York Jets on Sept. 9 and his 145 yards against Indianapolis on Nov. 4.
MOSS CATCHES 63-YARD TOUCHDOWN PASS
Randy Moss hauled in a 63-yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady in the second quarter to give the Patriots a 14-3 lead. The reception was Moss's longest of the season, topping a 55-yard grab at Indianapolis on Nov. 4. It was also Moss's fourth catch of 50 yards or longer this season and was the 33rd reception of 50 yards or longer in his career. The 63-yard touchdown was Moss's 11th touchdown catch of 60 yards or longer in his career. It was the second longest reception of the season for the Patriots, trailing only a 69-yard scoring pass from Brady to Donte Stallworth at Dallas on Oct. 14.
PATRIOTS HELD ON OPENING POSSESSION
New England did not score on its opening possession for just the second time in 13 games this season. The only other game this season in which the Patriots did not put points on the board on its first offensive possession of the game was at Indianapolis on Nov. 4. On their 13 game-opening possessions this season, the Patriots have scored eight touchdowns, three field goals and have punted twice.
STEELERS BECOME FIRST PATRIOTS OPPONENT TO SCORE ON OPENING POSSESSION
The Patriots allowed the Steelers to convert a 23-yard field goal on Pittsburgh's first offensive possession of the game. The points were the first of the season that New England has allowed on an opponents' opening possession of the game. Entering this week's game, the Patriots were the only NFL team not to allow an opponent score on their opening possession. Jacksonville entered the week ranked second by allowing nine points on opponents first drives.
-Vince Wilfork stuffed Willie Parker in the backfield for a 2-yard loss in the first quarter.
-Chad Jackson returned a kickoff 39 yards in the first quarter, marking the fifth kickoff return of 35 yards or more by the Patriots this season.
-Jarvis Green sacked Ben Roethlisberger for a 9-yard sack in the first quarter. The sack was Green's fifth of the season, a total that ranks second on the team.
-Vince Wilfork sacked Roethlisberger for an 8-yard sack in the third quarter. The sack was Wilfork's first of the season.
-Adalius Thomas sacked Ben Roethlisberger for a 2-yard loss in the fourth quarter. The sack was Thomas's fourth of the season.
-James Sanders recovered a Steelers fumble on a punt in the second quarter. Sanders pounced on the ball after it his Pittsburgh's William Gay, giving the Patriots possession at the Steelers' 34-yard line.
-Rodney Harrison batted away a pass intended for Santonio Holmes in the end zone on third down in the fourth quarter. On the next play, Harrison combined with Richard Seymour to stuff Hines Ward for no gain and keep the Steelers out of the end zone.
HOT WHEN IT'S COLDThe Patriots have enjoyed tremendous recent success in cold weather and are 21-3 since 1993 when the kickoff temperature is 34 degrees or less. Today's kickoff temperature was 34 degrees. New England has won 16 of its last 18 games when the kickoff temperature has been 34 degrees or colder. Tom Brady is 23-2 as a starter when the temperature is less than 40 degrees.
PATRIOTS GAMES 34 DEGREES OR COLDER SINCE 1993 (21-3)
Sorted by Temperature
Date Opp. Temp Notes W/L Score
01/10/04 TEN* 4 Wind Chill -10 W 17-14
01/23/05 at PIT* 11 Wind Chill -1 W 41-27
12/26/93 IND 19 Wind Chill -1 W 38-0
01/07/06 JAX* 24 Clear and Calm W 28-3
12/21/96 at NYG 24 Wind Chill 17 W 23-22
01/01/06 MIA 25 Wind Chill 20 L 26-28
01/16/05 IND* 25 Snow W 20-3
12/14/03 JAX 25 Wind Chill 16 W 27-13
01/19/02 OAK* 25 Snow W 16-13 ot
12/05/05 NYJ 26 Light Snow W 16-3
12/10/95 NYJ 26 Wind Chill 12 W 31-28
01/12/97 JAX* 27 Wind Chill 11 W 20-6
12/07/03 MIA 28 Wind Chill 17 W 12-0
12/11/05 at BUF 30 Light Snow W 35-7
12/26/04 at NYJ 30 Wind Chill 21 W 23-7
12/20/03 at NYJ 30 Wind Chill 20 W 21-16
11/05/06 IND 31 Clear and Calm L 20-27
12/24/00 MIA 31 Wind Chill 22 L 24-27
01/02/05 SF 32 Wind Chill 27 W 21-7
01/18/04 IND* 32 Light Snow W 24-14
11/16/03 DAL 33 Cloudy and Calm W 12-0
11/26/95 at BUF 33 Flurries W 35-25
12/09/07 PIT 34 Cloudy and Cold W 34-13
12/16/01 at BUF 34 Wind Chill 25 W 12-9 ot
12/12/93 CIN 34 Wind Chill 23 W 7-2
Posted by Mike McDermott at 9:53 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2007
FOXBORO – Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth had extra motivation for beating the Eagles last night, as both had been dismissed by the team.
Gaffney signed with Philadelphia as a free agent before last season, only to be released at the start of the regular season. Five weeks later, he was signed by New England, which was thin at the position.
After playing the role of fourth fiddle for much of the season in the Patriots’ revamped offense, Gaffney had a big game last night, with six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s always good to beat the team that you were with, being able to catch a touchdown and make some key grabs,” Gaffney said.
“He played well,” said Stallworth, whose trade from New Orleans to Philly during training camp last year may have played a role in Gaffney’s release. “He wanted to play well too because he was there with me for a bit last year.”
Stallworth finished with four receptions for 54 yards.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 2:03 AM | Permalink
FOXBORO – Asante Samuel got things off to a rousing start for the Patriots last night, intercepting the Eagles’ A.J. Feeley on the third play of the game and returning the pick 40 yards for a touchdown.
The interception was the 21st of Samuel’s five-year career, tying him for 10th in New England history with Don Webb. Ty Law and Raymond Clayborn are tied for the franchise lead with 36 each.
Samuel now has six interception returns for touchdowns in his career, including an NFL record-tying three in the postseason. His three regular-season return TDs are third-best in team annals.
Tom Brady’s season-long streak of games with three or more touchdown passes came to an end last night, as he threw just one against the Eagles, but the quarterback still found a way to get into the record books this week.
By throwing for 380 yards, Brady passed 25,000 yards for his career, making him just the third quarterback in Patriots’ history to do so, after Drew Bledsoe (29,657) and Steve Grogan (26,886).
With 39 touchdowns this season, Brady is still on pace to throw 57 for the season.
- Led New England to a fourth-quarter comeback win for the 26th time in his career;
- Upped his record to 28-5 in games where the margin of victory is seven points or less and 19-4 when the margin is four points or less;
- Is 21-3 when throwing for more than 300 yards;
- Is 33-2 on artificial turf;
- And is 41-8 on Thanksgiving or later
By scoring 31 points last night, New England now has 442 points for the season, setting a new single-season franchise record.
The previous team record of 441 points was established in the 1980 season, when the Pats went 10-6.
Randy Moss’ 11-yard reception in the second quarter was the 744th catch of his 10-year career, putting him 25th all time in NFL history.
Moss passed Andre Rison (743 receptions) to move into the top 25. Jerry Rice had a record 1,549 catches in his 20 year career.
Wes Welker’s 13 receptions tie the franchise record for catches in a non-overtime game. Both Deion Branch (at San Diego, Sept. 29, 2002) and Terry Glenn (at Cleveland, Oct. 3, 1999) had 13-catch games with New England.
The single-game team record is Troy Brown’s 16 receptions on Sept. 22, 2002 in an overtime win against Kansas City.
Patriots’ receiver Jabar Gaffney and Eagles’ cornerback Lito Sheppard are cousins, and spent most of their early football years as teammates.
Gaffney and Sheppard both attended Raines High School in Jacksonville, Fla., winning a state title in their first season together, and both played at the University of Florida.
Gaffney’s father, Derrick, also attended Florida, and played in the NFL with the Jets.
With a touchdown on its first possession of the game, New England has scored points on its opening drive in 10 of 11 games this season.
It was only against the Colts that the Patriots did not score on their first possession.
New England boasts the best home record in the NFL since 2002 (the year Gillette Stadium opened) as well as the best home defense in the league.
The Patriots are 41-9 at Gillette, just ahead of the 40-10 mark Indianapolis has at the RCA Dome over the last five-plus seasons.
They also allow just 15.64 points per game to the opposition over those 50 games, ahead of the 16.26 points Baltimore gives up to visitors to M&T Bank Stadium.
First-time visitors to the Stadium are 4-23, with New England winning 19 of the last 20.
The Patriots are now 26-4 against NFC teams since 2001, a run that includes their three Super Bowl wins.
It also includes a current streak of 10 straight which began on Oct. 9, 2005 against Atlanta. New England’s last loss to an NFC team was in the second game of the 2005 season, 27-17 in Carolina.
Last night was the first time New England has hosted Philadelphia in a regular-season game at Gillette Stadium, and the first time the Eagles have traveled to Foxboro since Nov. 29, 1987, a 34-31 overtime win for Philly.
The teams’ last three regular-season meetings were in the City of Brotherly Love, in the 1990, 1999 and 2003 seasons.
With the Eagles’ near 20-year streak without a Foxboro visit now ended, the Carolina Panthers now have the longest period of not playing in New England, at 12 years. The Panthers will visit Gillette in 2009.
Carolina, Arizona, Atlanta and St. Louis are the four remaining teams who have not visited Gillette Stadium since it opened in 2002.
The inactive players for the Patriots were: Matt Gutierrez (third quarterback), receiver Chad Jackson, safeties Mel Mitchell and Eugene Wilson, guards Wesley Britt and Billy Yates, and defensive linemen Le Kevin Smith and Kareem Brown.
For the Eagles: quarterback Donovan McNabb, safety Quintin Mikell, running back Tony Hunt, guards Max Jean-Gilles and Scott Young, and defensive linemen Kimo von Oelhoffen, Victor Abiamiri and Montae Reagor.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 1:49 AM | Permalink
By ROBERT LEE
JOURNAL SPORTS WRITER
FOXBORO – After last season’s explosive performances in the playoffs where he led New England in receptions and receiving yards (21 catches, 244 yards, two touchdowns), becoming the only player in NFL history to record back-to-back playoff games with eight or more catches for 100 or more yards in the same postseason, Jabar Gaffney figured this would be his breakout season.
Unfortunately for him, the Patriots signed five-time Pro Bowler Randy Moss, and talented receivers Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth in the offseason, and Gaffney has gotten lost in the shuffle as the Patriots fourth receiver.
Last night it became clear that Tom Brady has not lost confidence in him.
Gaffney caught a season-high six passes for 87 yards and a touchdown to help the Patriots defeat the Eagles, 31-28.
“It always feels good to beat the team that you were with and being able to catch a touchdown and make some key grabs felt real good,” said Gaffney, who was signed by the Eagles in March of 2006 before being released by them in September of 2006.
Gaffney grabbed five of his catches in the first half for 71 yards and a touchdown. He hauled-in a 32-yard grab on the Patriots first possession of the game which helped set up a one-yard Heath Evans touchdown run.
“We needed a few yards and I just went down the middle and [Brady] put it up there and I was able to go up and grab it,” Gaffney said. “It was a nice ball, real nice.”
Gaffney’s 32-yard catch was his longest of the season and his second-longest since joining the Patriots in 2006, trailing only a 33-yard catch against the New York Jets on Dec. 12, 2006.
Gaffney’s final catch of the first half was a 19-yard reception in the back of the end zone that helped give New England a 24-21 lead with eight seconds in the half.
The reception shifted the momentum of the game into New England’s favor and it was his 10th career touchdown catch. It was his first touchdown since scoring against Buffalo on Sept. 23. Gaffney now has nine catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in his last two games.
Gaffney’s father Derrick played in 100 games over eight seasons as a wide receiver for the Jets (1978-84, 1987).
Posted by Rob Lee at 1:16 AM | Permalink
November 25, 2007
FOXBORO -- Asante Samuel became the 20th -- that's right, 20th -- New England player to score a touchdown this season when he returned an interception 40 yards for a score in the opening minutes against the Eagles.
He joins Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Benjamin Watson, Sammy Morris, Donte Stallworth, Kyle Brady, Tom Brady, Kyle Eckel, Ellis Hobbs, Mike Vrabel, Willie Andrews, Matt Cassel, Rosevelt Colvin, Heath Evans, Kevin Faulk, Jabar Gaffney, Randall Gay, Laurence Maroney, and Adalius Thomas in getting into the end zone for the Patriots.
The NFL record for most players scoring in a season is 21, shared by the 2000 Denver Broncos and the 1987 Los Angeles Rams.
-- JIM DONALDSON
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 10:06 PM | Permalink
FOXBORO -- Finally getting on the field with 6:38 to play in the first quarter, the New England offense proceeded to score on its first possession for the 10th time in 11 games, driving 78 yards in 10 plays, culminating in a 1-yard touchdown run by Heath Evans.
The Patriots now have scored a league-high 58 points the first time they've had the football through 11 games this season.
Coming on after the Eagles had tied the score with a 14-play, 77-yard drive that consumed 7 minutes, the Patriots went without a huddle -- and a running back -- on their opening drive, until they brought in Evans at the goal line.
Keeping Laurence Maroney, injured last Sunday night in Buffalo, on the bench on their opening drive, the Pats instead went with five receivers -- primarily Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker, Jabar Gaffney and Kevin Faulk.
-- JIM DONALDSON
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 8:50 PM | Permalink
November 18, 2007
These are provided by the Patriots' PR department:
BRADY SETS FRANCHISE CAREER TOUCHDOWN PASS MARK
Tom Brady has passed Steve Grogan to become the Patriots’ career touchdown pass leader. With a 6-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss in the second quarter – Brady’s third of the night and the 183rd of his career – Brady passed Grogan’s old career record of 182 touchdown passes. With four touchdown passes tonight (as of halftime) Brady has 184 touchdown passes in 106 career games (104 starts), while Grogan totaled his 182 scoring passes in 149 career games (131 starts). Brady’s 37 touchdowns in 2007 (as of halftime) are a Patriots single-season record (Babe Parilli, 31, 1964).
MOSS SETS FRANCHISE SINGLE-SEASON TOUCHDOWN RECEPTION RECORD
Randy Moss set a new Patriots single-season record with his 13th touchdown reception of the season and his first touchdown of the night, a 43-yard scoring catch in the first quarter to give the Patriots a 14-0 lead. With three more touchdowns in the second quarter, Moss raised his season total to 16 touchdowns (as of halftime). Moss eclipsed the previous team record of 12 touchdown receptions, achieved by Stanley Morgan in 1979. Moss’s 16 touchdown catches (as of halftime) are the third highest single-season total of his career, trailing only his career-high 17 scoring receptions in 1998 and 2003.
MOSS SETS FRANCHISE SINGLE-GAME TOUCHDOWN RECEPTION RECORD
With four touchdown receptions (as of halftime), Randy Moss has set the franchise’s single-game touchdown reception record, recording the first four-touchdown catch game in team history. Moss’s four scoring catches set a new single-game career high, topping his previous mark of three, achieved three previous times, most recently while playing for the Minnesota Vikings against San Francisco on Sept. 28, 2003. Moss is the first Patriot to catch at least three touchdown passes in a game since Ben Coates had three scoring grabs on Nov. 26, 1995. Coates’s performance also came in a game against the Bills in Buffalo.
MOSS BREAKS 1,000-YARD MARK FOR THE SEASON
With a 5-yard reception with 2:27 remaining in the second quarter, Randy Moss eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the year, becoming the first Patriots player to record 1,000 or more receiving yards since Troy Brown had 1,199 receiving yards in 2001. Moss’s 1,000-yard season is the 10th 1,000-yard receiving season in Patriots history and he joins Troy Brown (1), Terry Glenn (2), Ben Coates (1), Stanley Morgan (3), Irving Fryar (1) and Harold Jackson (1) as the only players in team history to achieve the feat. Morgan holds the team’s single-season record with 1,491 receiving yards in 1986. For Moss, the 1,000-yard season is the eighth of his 10-year career and his first since 2005, when he had 1,005 yards for the Oakland Raiders.
MARONEY REACHES END ZONE
Laurence Maroney scored his first touchdown of the season on a 6-yard run in the first quarter to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead. The touchdown was Maroney’s first since Dec. 31, 2006, when he scored on a 1-yard run at Tennessee in the 2006 regular-season finale. His touchdown against the Bills was the eighth touchdown of Maroney’s career (7 rush, 1 rec.).
MARONEY BECOMES 19th PATRIOT TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN IN 2007
Laurence Maroney became the 19th player to score a touchdown for the Patriots this season, scoring on a 6-yard run in the first quarter to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead. The NFL record for most players scoring a touchdown in a single season is 21, achieved by the 2000 Denver Broncos and the 1987 Los Angeles Rams.
Ø Tonight’s kickoff temperature was 36 degrees, making this the Patriots’ coldest game since Nov. 5, 2006, when the temperature was 31 degrees for a Sunday night game against Indianapolis at Gillette Stadium.
Ø Jabar Gaffney caught a 31-yard pass from Tom Brady in the catch was Gaffney’s second longest since joining the Patriots in 2006, trailing only his 33-yard catch against the New York Jets on Nov. 12, 2006.
100-YARD GAME FOR MOSS
With 112 receiving yards on eight catches (as of halftime), Randy Moss has recorded his seventh 100-yard receiving game of the season and the 53rd 100-yard receiving game of his career. Moss’s 53 career 100-yard receiving games rank third all-time, trailing only Jerry Rice (76) and Marvin Harrison (59). Stanley Morgan holds the Patriots single-season record with nine 100-yard receiving games in 1986.
RANDALL GAY RECORDS THIRD INTERCEPTION OF THE SEASON
Randall Gay recorded his third interception of the season when he picked off a J.P. Losman pass on the Bills’ fourth offensive play of the game and returned it 21 yards to Buffalo’s 13-yard line. The interception set up a two-play touchdown drive that ended in a 6-yard scoring run by Laurence Maroney and a 7-0 Patriots lead. Gay’s three interceptions tie Junior Seau for the second highest total on the team, trailing only Asante Samuel’s team-high four interceptions. Gay’s three interceptions establish a new career high, topping his two interceptions as a rookie in 2004. Gay’s interception against Buffalo raised his career total to five interceptions.
VRABEL RAISES SEASON TOTAL TO 9.5 SACKS
Mike Vrabel was credited with a zero-yard sack of J.P. Losman in the first quarter. The sack raised Vrabel’s team-high season total to 9.5 sacks, tying his single-season career high, also achieved in 2003. Vrabel’s 9.5 sacks tie the highest total by a Patriots player since Willie McGinest had 11.0 sacks in 1995. Since then, a Patriot has totaled 9.5 sacks four times: Vrabel (2003, 2007), McGinest (1996, 2004).
THOMAS SETS SINGLE-GAME CAREER HIGH WITH 2.5 SACKS
Adalius Thomas recorded 2.5 sacks in the first half against the Bills, setting a new single-game career high and recording his fourth career game with at least two sacks. Thomas sacked J.P. Losman for a 9-yard loss in the first quarter and later dropped Losman for a 6-yard loss in the second quarter. He then teamed with Tedy Bruschi to drop Losman for a 7-yard loss in the second quarter. The sacks raised Thomas’s season total to 3.0 sacks and his career total to 41.5 sacks. Thomas is the fifth player to record 2.0 or more sacks in a game for the Patriots this season, joining Mike Vrabel (twice), Rosevelt Colvin, Tedy Bruschi and Jarvis Green.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 10:15 PM | Permalink
September 23, 2007
On scoring 38 points in each of the last three games
We got off to a sluggish start today, but then we picked it up. We need to work on starting faster. We work hard in practice and it translates into the games. We didn’t start as fast as we would have liked to, but we then picked it up and it felt good.
On if what Randy Moss can do surprises him
He is amazing. He goes out and works hard in practice and then he comes out here and works hard in the game and then he does a great job for us.
On if Randy Moss cleared it out for him on his touchdown
Yes. I turned out and Randy ran an in-route, and the defense went with him, which allowed me to break wide open.
Posted by Art Martone at 7:29 PM | Permalink