Patriots Game Notes

Posted on September 7, 2008 
Filed Under Uncategorized

Here are a few postgame notes from the Patriots’ PR staff: 

TWENTY IN A ROW ?The Patriots won their 20th consecutive regular-season game this afternoon, improving on their all-time NFL record for consecutive regular season wins. The Patriots have not lost in the regular season since Dec. 20, 2006, when they fell to the Dolphins in Miami. Since then, they won the final three games of the 2006 regular season, won all 16 games in the 2007 regular season and have won the first game of the 2008 campaign. New England also holds the second longest regular-season winning streak in NFL history, claiming victory in 18 straight regular season games from Oct. 5, 2003 to Oct. 24, 2004. The 1933-34 Chicago Bears rank third with 17 straight wins.

WHITE JERSEYS AT HOME ?The Patriots wore white jerseys at home for the first time since Oct. 2, 1994, according to John Hendry, the team’s stats crew chief. Hendry is in his 29th season as a member of the Patriots’ gameday stats crew and is in his 23rd year as crew chief. On Oct. 2, 1994 against the Green Bay Packers, the Patriots donned their white throwback jerseys in a 17-16 win at Foxboro Stadium. New England wore throwbacks in that game as part of a league-wide initiative in recognition of the NFL’s 75th anniversary season.

RED ZONE STOP IN FINAL MINUTE ?The Patriots defense clinched the 17-10 win by keeping Kansas City out of the end zone after the Chiefs had gained a first-and-goal from the 5-yard line with 53 seconds left in the game. The Patriots did not allow the Chiefs to even gain a yard. The Patriots forced an incompletion on first down, Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel combined to stop Larry Johnson for no gain on second down, and then New England forced two straight Kansas City incompletions on third and fourth downs.

CASSEL LEADS 98-YARD DRIVE ?In his first drive at quarterback in the first quarter, Matt Cassel directed a 10-play, 98-yard drive that ended in a 10-yard scoring strike to Randy Moss and a 7-0 Patriots lead. The drive was the longest for the Patriots since Sept. 23, 2007, when they also embarked on a 10-play, 98-yard drive against Buffalo at Gillette Stadium.

MOSS SCORES 126th CAREER TOUCHDOWN ?Randy Moss caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel in the second quarter, recording his 126th career overall touchdown and his 125th career receiving touchdown. His 126 total touchdowns (125 receiving, 1 via punt return) tying him with Jim Brown (106 rushing, 20 receiving) for eighth on the NFL’s all-time touchdowns list. LaDainian Tomlinson ranks seventh with 129 total touchdowns. Moss’s 125 receiving touchdowns rank fourth on the league’s all-time list.

MOSS BREAKS 100-YARD MARK IN FIRST QUARTER ?Randy Moss had 101 yards on four receptions in the first quarter, marking the third time in his career that he has broken the 100-yard receiving mark in the first quarter. The last time he achieved the feat was on Oct. 3, 1999, while playing for Minnesota in a game against Tampa Bay. Last season, Moss had 100 or more receiving yards in a quarter on one occasion — in the second quarter at Miami on Oct. 21, 2007, when he had 104 yards on three receptions.

MOSS TOPS 100 RECEIVING YARDS FOR 56th TIME ?Randy Moss recorded his 56th career 100-yard receiving game today. That total ranks third in NFL history, trailing only Jerry Rice (76) and Marvin Harrison (59). Last season, Moss had nine 100-yard receiving games and broke the mark in each of the first four games in 2007.

PATRIOTS DEBUTS ?Nine players made their Patriots debuts this afternoon: LB Gary Guyton, T Mark LeVoir, RB LaMont Jordan, LB Jerod Mayo, CB Deltha O’Neal, CB Lewis Sanders, WR Matthew Slater, CB Terrence Wheatley and CB Jonathan Wilhite

HOBBS INTERCEPTION ?Ellis Hobbs intercepted a Damon Huard pass at the Kansas City 41-yard line with 7:21 remaining in the game and the Patriots holding a 14-10 lead. Hobbs pounced on the pass intended for Dwayne Bowe and returned the ball to the 38-yard line. The interception was the seventh of Hobbs’s regular-season career. He also has two career postseason interceptions. Including the 2007 playoffs, Hobbs has four interceptions in his last five games — he had one in the 2007 regular season finale and added two in three playoff games last season before opening the 2008 regular season with a pick today.

MORRIS SCORES ?Sammy Morris gave the Patriots a 14-3 lead on a 5-yard scoring run with 3:01 left in the third quarter. The touchdown was the 19th of Morris’s career (18 rushing, one receiving). Last season, Morris played in six games with two starts and totaled 384 yards on 85 rushes (4.5 avg.) before being placed on injured reserve with a chest injury on Nov. 2, 2007.

GOSTKOWSKI FG ?Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 37-yard field goal with 2:26 remaining in the game to extend the Patriots’ lead to 17-10. In his regular season and playoff career, Gostkoswki has hit 51-of-61 field goals, and his 83.6 percent career accuracy rate is the highest in Patriots history.

CASSEL-TO-MOSS ?Matt Cassel’s 51-yard completion to Randy Moss on the final play of the first quarter was the longest completion of his career, topping his 36-yard completion to Andre Davis in the 2005 regular-season finale against Miami on Jan. 1, 2006.

BIG BOOT FOR HANSON ?Chris Hanson’s 70-yard punt in the second quarter was the longest punt by a Patriot since 2001 and was his longest boot since 2005. The play pinned the Chiefs at their own 9-yard line following no return. The last time a Patriots player had a punt of 70 yards or longer was on Sept. 9, 2001, when Lee Johnson had a 76-yard boot in the season opener at Cincinnati.

BRUSCHI ENTERS 13th SEASON ?Tedy Bruschi played in his 177th game as a Patriot today and is in his 13th season with New England since being selected in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft. Bruschi’s 13 seasons as a Patriot tie Raymond Clayborn, John Hannah, Stanley Morgan and Mosi Tatupu for sixth on the team’s all-time list. Bruschi’s 177 games played rank eighth on the club’s all-time list.

CAPTAINS ELECTED ?The following players were elected as Patriots captains by their teammates this week — Offense: QB Tom Brady, T Matt Light, WR Randy Moss; Defense: LB Tedy Bruschi, S Rodney Harrison, LB Mike Vrabel, NT Vince Wilfork; Special Teams: LB Larry Izzo.

QUICK HITS

•Today’s game was the 152nd straight home sellout for the Patriots. The streak is now in its 15th season and includes every Patriots preseason, regular-season and playoff game since the 1994 regular-season opener.

•The Patriots won their fifth straight regular season opener, and won their first game of the season for the sixth time in the last seven years. New England won for the fifth straight time when opening the regular season at home, including wins in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008.

•The Patriots have won 15 straight home games (including regular season and playoff contests) dating back to a 17-13 win against Chicago at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 26, 2003. That game was the first game played on FieldTurf at Gillette Stadium — the Patriots have won all 15 of their games since the turf was installed.

•The Patriots have allowed an average of 10.0 points per game in their last four regular-season home games. Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots lead the league in allowing just 15.25 points per game at home (854 points in 56 games).

DEFENSIVE NOTES

?•Richard Seymour provided pressure on Kansas City’s Brodie Croyle on third down in the first quarter, forcing an incompletion and a punt to end Kansas City’s first offensive possession of the game.

•James Sanders broke up a Brodie Croyle pass in the end zone intended for Dwayne Dowe on third down in the second quarter, forcing the Chiefs to settle for a field goal on the next play.

•Adalius Thomas sacked Brodie Croyle for a 10-yard loss on third down in the third quarter, forcing a punt on the next play.

•Mike Vrabel sacked Damon Huard for a 2-yard loss on the final play of the third quarter. Last season, Vrabel led the Patriots with a career-high 12.5 sacks — the most by a New England player in 20 years.

•Ellis Hobbs had a 51-yard kickoff return in the third quarter, tying his third longest career kick return, also achieved on Dec. 10, 2006 at Miami. Hobbs’s two longer kickoff returns came on his NFL-record 108-yard touchdown return in the 2007 regular season opener against the N.Y. Jets and a 93-yard scoring return against Houston on Dec. 17, 2007.

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