Another new record

The Patriots have just announced that on their most recent drive, they notched their 32nd first down of the game, tying a franchise record that was set on Dec. 11, 2005 against Buffalo.

Maroney and Seymour

Accoridng to our very unscientific data, New England running back Laurence Maroney played 17 snaps in the first half, carrying the ball 10 times for 54 yards. New England defensive lineman Richard Seymour played 10 snaps in the first half. We will continue to monitor the play of these two as they continue to work their way back to full strength.

New personal high

With Tom Brady’s six-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss with 17 seconds left in the first half (which made it 24-0), the Patriots’ quarterback set a new career-high for TD passes in a season with 29.

Brady ties career-high

With Tom Brady’s two-yard touchdown pass to Mike Vrabel with 8:08 left in the second quarter, Brady tied his career-high for touchdowns in a season with 28. (He also had 28 TD passes in 2002 and 2004.)

Injury Update

The Redskins have just announced that cornerback Carlos Rogers has suffered a knee injury, and will not return.

First series on Seymour, Maroney

•We’re going to be tracking the participation of defensive lineman Richard Seymour and running back Laurence Maroney this week, as both continue to work their way back from injury. Through the Patriots’ first defensive series, Seymour did not play a single down, while offensively, Maroney was in for 9 of the Patriots’ first 14 plays from scrimmage.
•The Patriots’ first quarter touchdown–a three-yard run from Tom Brady to make it 7-0–marked the eighth consecutive game this season that New England scored on its’ first drive of the game.

We’re at Gillette

Hey everyone … we’re here in seat No. 202 at Gillette (after spending some quality time with Zip, Mrs. B and SoCal Bong at their pregame tailgate … shhh, don’t tell our editors) and set to blog our way through this afternoon’s Patriots-Redskins game. I won’t pretend like you don’t already know the inactives–Eugene Wilson being out is a bit of a surprise–but I can set the scene for you here in the press box:

•There is an awful lot of national media here for today’s game. There are two writers here from the New York Times, including the esteemed columnist William Rhoden, as well as two reporters from USA Today. In addition, there are writers from the Los Angeles Times, and (our man Tom Curran) also in the house.
•It’s an absolutely perfect day for football. Bright and clear, with temps expected to dip into the 50s as the afternoon goes on. There is a considerable breeze–could play a big role in the state of the passing game on both sides of the football.
•Saw Redskins owner Daniel Snyder–he was stepping out of the press box elevator as I was stepping in. A lot shorter than I thought he would be … and he was wearing sunglasses indoors, the true sign of someone who wants desparately to be recognized.
•And before we get started with the game, want to thank everyone who came out for the book signing yesterday at Barnes and Noble in Walpole. It was a blast talking football for a couple of hours with some Pats fans on a rainy Saturday afternoon. If you haven’t picked up a copy of my book yet, check it out here.

Friday Injury Report

Here’s today’s injury report:

RB Sammy Morris (chest)

LR Eric Alexander, DNP (knee)
S Mel Mitchell, DNP (groin)
TE Ben Watson, DNP (ankle)
S Eugene Wilson, DNP (ankle)

QB Tom Brady, LP (right shoulder)
*DNP denotes Did Not Participate in practice
*LP denotes Limited Participation in practice

Thursday Injury Report

The Patriots have just announced that there are no changes to yesterday’s injury report. It remains as follows:

Did Not Participate in Practice
LB Eric Alexander (knee)
S Mel Mitchell (groin)
RB Sammy Morris (chest)
TE Benjamin Watson (ankle)
S Eugene Wilson (ankle)

Limited Participation in Practice
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)

Junior Seau Q&A, 10/25

Linebacker Junior Seau met the media this morning at Gillette Stadium and discussed a number of topics, including Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell, playing offense and the fires that are ravaging his Southern California home:

On facing a quarterback for the first time–Jason Campbell is the fifth new quarterback the Patriots have faced this year…
What we try to do is obviously try to put a lot of pressure on any quarterback we do face. He has a special talent, which is running the ball, and he’s doing a great job of that. He has a great rapport with his receivers. He brings a new dimension to the quarterback position.

What impresses you the most about him?
Scrambling, improvising, doing the things that he does out of the pocket, which we really can’t practice against, the athlete that he is. He’s not afraid to throw the ball into tight coverage. We look forward to putting some pressure on him and getting him into a position where he’s uncomfortable.

Bill said he spoke you to first at the Pro Bowl in 1998 about playing fullback on the goal line. Do you remember that?
Yeah, I remember that. That was when I was young. I remember him allowing me to play tight end at the Pro Bowl. It was definitely fun then and fun now. We’re back to where we were nine years ago. … It’s full circle. It really is. It definitely happens, and being a part of the game … obviously, if you’re around the game for a long period of time, it does come full circle. And that’s exactly what that was.

How did that conversation come about on playing fullback and tight end?
I was goofing around with [John] Elway and the boys on the offensive side, and he said, ‘Do you really want to play some tight end?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ So we took it on. I was open in the game and Elway didn’t throw it to me. [laughter]

Have you played it any place besides here?
I played tight end in San Diego. Caught two passes. I got killed on one of them, and then we hung it up. So that was it.

On what’s going on back home in San Diego…
Our prayers go out to San Diego. It’s tough, to be able to come in here and game plan and get prepared for Washington and know that evacuations are going on in San Diego, especially with family members and friends and co-workers. But it’s something that will not go anywhere. It’ll take a lot of leadership in San Diego and a lot of effort from outside of San Diego to put it together. My heart goes out to them. They’re definitely on my mind.

Do you still have a house there?
I think it’s still standing. Yeah, it’s there. We evacuated some of my family members to our beach home, so … I think they are lifting some of the evacuations now, as we speak, so I’m on it every minute of the day and just wondering where they are. Mom and Dad are there, and my brothers and sisters are there, my kids are there. School is out right now … you come here, and you don’t get the true feel. You hear the stories from back home, and it’s just sad. It really is.

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