Link|Comments (0) By Mike Reiss, Globe Staff December 16, 2007 06:21 PM
Post-game notes, courtesy of the Patriots' media relations department:
PATRIOTS CLINCH TOP SEED IN AFC PLAYOFFS
With their victory today, the Patriots have clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs for the second time, joining the 2003 team as the only squads in team history to accomplish the feat. New England has won the 2007 AFC East division championship and has also clinched a first-round playoff bye. They have won their division for the fifth straight year and have earned a first-round bye for the fifth time since the current playoff format was adopted in 1990. The Patriots also earned first-round byes in 1996, 2001, 2003 and 2004. New England will host a divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on the weekend of Jan. 12-13.
PATRIOTS TIE NFLíS LONGEST WINNING STREAK TO BEGIN A SEASON
The Patriots have begun the 2007 season with 14 consecutive victories, becoming just the second team in the NFLís 88-year history to open a season with 14 straight wins. New England joins the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who finished their season 14-0. The NFL went from a 14-game regular season to a 16-game regular season in 1978. The Patriots are the third team in league history to win 14 straight games within a single season, joining the 1972 Dolphins and the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers, who won their final 14 games of the year to finish 15-1.
PATRIOTS TIE FRANCHISE RECORD FOR REGULAR-SEASON WINS
With 14 victories in 2007, the Patriots have tied the franchiseís single-season record for regular-season wins. The Patriots also won 14 games during the 2003 and 2004 campaigns, finishing with a 14-2 record in both seasons. The 2007 Patriots are the 24th team in NFL history to win 14 or more regular-season games.
PATRIOTS TIE SECOND-LONGEST REGULAR-SEASON WINNING STREAK IN NFL HISTORY
The Patriots have won 17 consecutive regular-season games dating back to last season, tying the second longest regular-season winning streak in the NFLís 88-year history. New Englandís winning streak ties the 17 straight wins by the 1933-34 Chicago Bears for the second longest streak, trailing only the Patriotsí NFL-record 18 consecutive regular-season wins from 2003-04.
MOSS BREAKS 12,000 RECEIVING YARD MARK FOR CAREER
On his final catch of the game - a 46-yard reception from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter - Randy Moss exceeded 12,000 receiving yards for his career, becoming the 15th player in NFL history to accomplish the feat. Moss ended the game with 12,043 career receiving yards on 763 career receptions.
MOSS BREAKS 1,300 RECEIVING YARD MARK FOR SEASON
On his 46-yard reception in the fourth quarter, Randy Moss exceeded 1,000 receiving yards for the season, becoming the second player in Patriots history to achieve the feat. Stanley Morgan is the only other player in team history to break the 1,300-receiving yard mark, gaining a franchise-record 1,491 receiving yards in 1986. Moss ended the game with 1,343 receiving yards on 87 receptions in 2007. His 1,343 receiving yards are the second highest single-season total in Patriots history, trailing only Morganís 1986 total.
WILSON AND THOMAS TEAM UP TO CREATE TURNOVER
Adalius Thomas forced New Yorkís Chris Baker to fumble following a third-quarter completion and Eugene Wilson scooped up the loose ball to give the Patriots possession at their own 14-yard line. The forced fumble was Thomasís first of the season and was the 16th forced fumble of his eight-year NFL career. For Wilson, the play was his fourth career fumble recovery and his first of the season.