Here are the print-edition "hots and nots" from the Patriots' 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium, as well as the game notes transmitted to me by the Patriots' media relations department. Read them closely, and maybe you won't think about Rob Gronkowski's injured right knee, which case a pall over the entire comeback thing.
The hots and nots:
TOM BRADY: He finished with 418 passing yards on 32 completions in 52 attempts. He threw two touchdowns and one interception.
SHANE VEREEN: He caught 12 of 17 balls thrown at him for 153 yards, both team records for a running back’s pass receiving.
KYLE ARRINGTON: Gets a “hot” for recovering the onside kick that gave the Patriots the ball back with a minute left to play.
STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI: A perfect onside kick, as well as a 50-yard field goal (his 200th career) that was instrumental in the comeback.
ROB NINKOVICH: Seven tackles and one sack. Not the leading tackler, but he is always reliable and most of his hits aren’t 5 yards down the field.
TOM BRADY: The first-half Tom completed just seven of 19 passes for 95 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception.
THE OFFENSIVE LINE: Brady was sacked four times for 21 yards in losses, and has now been sacked 36 times this year.
EVERYONE ELSE: There were simply too many mediocre performances that caused the Patriots to trail by 16 points at one juncture.
1: The number of times in the Patriots’ history that an onside kick recovery has led to a game-winning score.
11: Consecutive seasons in which the Patriots have posted 10 wins or more.
30: Game-time temperature at Gillette Stadium.
41: Tom Brady-engineered comebacks in the fourth quarter.
47: The Patriots’ wins in December since 2001, against six losses.
104: Stephen Gostkowski’s team-high streak of games with at least one point scored.
200: Career field goals by Gostkowski.
460: Wins by the Patriots since 1960, now the best total among the eight original AFL teams.
1995: The last time (Jan. 1 to be exact) that the Patriots recovered an onside kick.
ALFONZO DENNARD: Walked off with a shoulder injury in the first quarter.
JAMES DEVELIN: Headed to the locker room almost immediately after making a 31-yard reception in the second quarter. Returned later.
ROB GRONKOWSKI: Took a bad hit to his right knee from T.J. Ward on a 21-yard catch with 8:27 left in the third quarter. Carted off the field. Team called it a “leg” injury. He did not return.
The total attendance at the high school Super Bowls on Saturday was 18,106 over the six games, an increase of about 3,500 fans from last year. My guess is that Mansfield and the other area towns had a lot to do with that attendance bump.
And the game notes:
PATRIOTS WIN 10 FOR THE 11TH STRAIGHT SEASON
New England has reached at least 10 regular-season wins for 11 consecutive seasons, joining San Francisco (16) as the only teams to accomplish the feat.
Team Years Consecutive Seasons with 10+ Wins
San Francisco 1983-1998 16
New England 2003-present 11
Indianapolis 2002-2010 9
BELICHICK ADDS TO NFL RECORD WITH HIS 11th STRAIGHT SEASON OF 10 WINS
Bill Belichick has coached the Patriots to 11 straight seasons with 10 or more wins, adding to his NFL record streak. In 2011, Belichick became the first coach in NFL history with nine straight seasons with at least 10 victories. The win over Cleveland extended his record to 11 straight seasons of 10 wins. George Seifert has the second most consecutive 10-win seasons with eight from 1989-1996 for San Francisco.
VEREEN SETS TEAM RECORD FOR REC. AND REC. YARDS BY A RUNNING BACK
Shane Vereen had 12 receptions for 153 yards, setting single-game franchise records for most receptions and most receiving yards by a running back. Vereen’s 153 receiving yards topped the 53-year-old franchise running back record of 124 receiving yards, achieved by Dick Christy against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 4, 1960. Vereen’s 12 receptions topped the previous Patriots running back record of 11 receptions, achieved three times, most recently by Kevin Faulk on Nov. 3, 2000 against Tampa Bay. Vereen’s previous single-game receiving bests were 91 yards receiving at the New York Jets on Nov. 22, 2012, and 8 receptions, achieved twice, most recently against Denver on Nov. 24. The NFL single-game record for most receiving yards by a running back is 213, achieved by Kansas City’s Curtis McClinton on Dec. 19, 1965. The league’s single-game record for most receptions by a running back is 17, achieved by the New York Jets’ Clark Gaines on Sept. 21, 1980.
VEREEN IS THE FOURTH RUNNING BACK TO POST 150 YARDS RECEIVING IN A SINGLE GAME IN THE LAST 10 SEASONS
Brain Westbrook - 156 in 2004
Jahvid Best – 154 in 2010
Shane Vereen – 153 in 2013
Matt Forte – 151 in 2010
PATRIOTS RECOVER FIRST ONSIDE KICK SINCE JAN. 1, 1995
The Patriots’ Kyle Arrington recovered an onside kick with 1:01 left in the game, marking the first time the Patriots recovered an onside kick since January 1, 1995. In that game, a wild-card playoff game at Cleveland, Corwin Brown recovered a Matt Bahr onside kick with 1:28 left in the game and New England trailing the Bill Belichick-led Browns 20-13. Unlike in today’s game, however, in that game the Patriots did not convert their post-onside kick opportunity and lost the game, 20-13.
STRONG IN THE SECOND HALF (PART 1)
Since 2001, the Patriots have done a remarkable job of finishing the season strong, compiling an NFL-best 77-18 (.811) record in games on or after Thanksgiving.
PATRIOTS BEFORE AND AFTER THANKSGIVING SINCE 2001
Season Pre-Thanksgiving Post-Thanksgiving Overall
2001 5-5 (.500) 9-0 (1.000) 14-5*
2002 6-5 (.545) 3-2 (.600)^ 9-7
2003 9-2 (818) 8-0 (1.000) 17-2*
2004 9-1 (.900) 8-1 (.889) 17-2*
2005 6-4 (.600) 5-3 (.625) 11-7*
2006 7-3 (.700) 7-2 (.777) 14-5*
2007 10-0 (1.000) 8-1 (.889) 18-1*
2008 7-4 (.636) 4-1 (.800) 11-5
2009 7-3 (.700) 3-4 (.429) 10-7*
2010 8-2 (.800) 6-1 (.857)^ 14-3*
2011 7-3 (.700) 8-1 (.889) 15-4*
2012 7-3 (.700) 6-2 (.750)^ 13-5
2013 8-3 (.727) 2-0 (1.000) ?????
Totals 96-38 (.716) 77-18 (.811) 164-53
*-Includes playoffs ^Includes games played on Thanksgiving
PATRIOTS STRONG IN SEASON’S SECOND HALF (PART 2)
The Patriots improved to a record of 27-2 in the second half of the season since 2010. In both 2010 and 2011, the Patriots were 8-0 in the second half of the regular season and last year New England was 7-1. The Patriots are now 4-1 in the second half in 2013. Since Bill Belichick became Patriots head coach in 2000, New England is 87-22 in the second half of the season.
PATRIOTS OWN THE NFL’S TOP DECEMBER RECORD SINCE 2001
The Patriots have an NFL-best 47-6 record in the month of December since the 2001 season. New England has now won 17 of its last 18 December games. The Patriots are now 24-2 at home in December since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002.
BEST DECEMBER RECORDS SINCE 2001
Rk Team Record
1 New England Patriots 47-6
2 Philadelphia Eagles 38-16
3 Green Bay Packers 36-17
4 Pittsburgh Steelers 36-18
5 Indianapolis Colts 36-19
*6 San Diego Chargers 34-21
The Patriots have finished undefeated in December seven times since 2001: (2001 - 4-0), (2003 – 4-0), (2005 – 4-0), (2007 – 5-0), (2008 – 4-0), (2010 -4-0) and (4-0-2011).
*not including today’s game.
BELICHICK IS GOOD IN DECEMBER
Bill Belichick is 49-8 (.860) in December with New England, the best record in December among head coaches with one team in NFL history (min. 25 games). George Seifert is second (27-6, .818).
PATRIOTS WIN AT HOME IN DECEMBER
The Patriots improved to 23-2 in the month of December at home at Gillette Stadium since the stadium opened in 2002. .
Team W L T Pct.
New England 23 2 0 .920
Green Bay 22 4 0 .846
Indianapolis 22 6 0 .786
Denver 16 5 0 .762
Philadelphia 16 8 0 .667
PATRIOTS HAVE THE MOST OVERALL WINS AMONG THE ORIGINAL 8 AFL TEAMS
The Patriots have passed Oakland for the most wins overall among the among the original eight AFL teams.
Overall Victory Total of Original AFL Teams
(REGULAR AND POSTSEASON)
Team W L T
New England Patriots 460 389 9
Oakland Raiders 459 390 11
Denver Broncos 446 394 10
BRADY IS FIRST TO BREAK 300 YARDS AGAINST BROWNS IN 2013
Tom Brady’s 418-yard performance is the first time a passer has broken the 300-yard passing mark against Cleveland in 2013.
BRADY IN THE SECOND HALF THE LAST THREE WEEKS
Tom Brady has thrown for over 200 yards in the second half in the last three games now after throwing for 323 yards in the second half against Cleveland. It is the first time in his career that had has had three straight games with at least 200 yards in the second half. Brady put up 263 yards after halftime against both the Broncos and the Texans in the previous two games. Brady was 25-of-33 for 323 yards and two touchdowns in the second half against the Browns. In his last three games, Brady is 67-for-89 (75%) for 849 yards, 6 TDs and 0 interceptions for a 127.5 rating in the second half.
TOM BRADY HAS THE BEST RECORD IN THE FINAL FOUR GAMES OF THE REGULAR SEASON SINCE 1970 (MINUMUM 20 STARTS)
Tom Brady improved to a 41-8 record in the final four games of the regular season.
Quarterback W-L Record WIN PCT.
Tom Brady 41-8 .837
*Philip Rivers 26-6 .813
Roger Staubach 24-6 .800
Joe Montana 35-12 .745
Steve McNair 28-10 .737
*Not including today’s game
SEALVER SILIGA MAKES FIRST NFL START
DT Sealver Siliga made his first NFL start when he lined up at defensive tackle against the Browns.
PATRIOTS HAVE THRE BIG RECEPTIONS FROM RUNNING BACKS
- FB James Develin had a career-best 31-yard reception in the second quarter.
- RB LeGarrette Blount had his first reception as a member of the Patriots that resulted in a 32-yard gain in the third quarter to set up a field goal.
- RB Shane Vereen had a 50-yard reception in the third quarter. The catch was the longest by a Patriots running back this season and was the second longest of Vereen’s career, trailing only his 83-yard touchdown catch at the New York Jets on Thanksgiving 2012.
- Heading into today’s game, the previous longest reception by a Patriots running back in 2013 was a 19-yard reception by Vereen in the season –opener at Buffalo on Sept. 8.
PATRIOTS CONVERT FIRST TWO-POINT PLAY SINCE 2011; FIRST 2-POINT PASS PLAY SINCE 2009
Tom Brady’s 2-point conversion pas to WR Julian Edelman was the team’s first successful 2-point play since converting two in the 2011 season when Danny Woodhead had a 2-point rushing play on Jan. 1, 2012 vs. Buffalo and 2-point rush on Sept. 18, 2011 vs. San Diego. The Brady to Edelman play was the first successful 2-point pass play since WR Randy Moss caught a 2-point play on Nov. 8, 2009 vs. Miami.
GOSTKOWSKI EXTENDS STREAK TO 104 STRAIGHT GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE POINT
K Stephen Gostkowski had two field goals and an extra point and has now scored at least one point in 104 consecutive games to extend a franchise record.
Patriots Record for Most Consecutive Games Scored
104 Stephen Gostkowski (12/17/06- present)
101 Adam Vinatieri (11/24/96-12/29/02)
101 John Smith (09/28/75-10/02/80)
GOSTKOWSKI IS THIRD IN NFL HISTORY FOR MOST CONSECUTIVE EXTRA POINTS
Stephen Gostkowski is third in the NFL for most consecutive extra points in NFL history.
Most Consecutive (Kicking) Points After Touchdown
422 Matt Stover, Baltimore, 1996-2008; Indianapolis, 2009
371 Jason Elam, Denver, 1993-2002
Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis, 1999-2007
351 Stephen Gostkowski, New England, 2006-present
349 Jay Feely, Atlanta, 2002-04; N.Y. Giants, 2005-06; Miami, 2007; N.Y. Jets, 2008-09; Arizona, 2010-present
BRADY RECORDS 58th CAREER 300-YARD GAME
Brady threw for 418 yards for his 58th NFL game with 300 or more yards passing and his fifth of the 2013 season. It was Brady’s third straight 300-yard game and his fourth in the last five weeks. His 300-yard game total ranks third among active NFL quarterbacks, behind NFL-leader Peyton Manning (82) and Drew Brees (75). The Patriots are 48-10 when Brady throws for 300 or more yards.
NFL QUARTERBACK 300-YARD GAMES (*ACTIVE)
Player 300-Yard Games
Peyton Manning* 82
Drew Brees* 75
Dan Marino 63
Brett Favre 62
Tom Brady 58
Kurt Warner 52
Dan Fouts 51
Warren Moon 49
Tony Romo 43
*before today’s games
BRADY THIRD STRAIGHT GAME WITH 300 YARDS PASSING
Tom Brady had his third straight game with 300 or more passing yards, after having thrown for 344 yards against Denver on Nov. 24 and having totaled 371 yards at Houston on Dec. 1. Brady’s personal record for most 300-yard games is five straight in 2009. Brady has thrown for 300 or more yards four times in the last five games, also having totaled 432 yards against Pittsburgh on Nov. 3. In the last five games, the only time Brady did not have 300 or more yards was at Carolina on Nov. 18, when he had 296 yards.
BRADY REACHES 20 TOUCHDOWNS
Tom Brady had a pair of touchdown passes against Cleveland to raise his 2013 total to 21 touchdowns. Brady has thrown 20 or more touchdown passes 11 times in his career.
GOSTKOWSKI HAS 22 STRAIGHT FOURTH QUARTER FIELD GOALS
Stephen Gostkowski has made 22 consecutive fourth-quarter field goals, including a 50-yarder in the fourth quarter today against the Browns.
GOSTKOWSKI 200 FIELD GOALS.
Stephen Gostkowski’s 50-yard field goal in the fourth quarter was his 200th field goal for the Patriots, joining Adam Vinatieri (262) as the only players in Patriots history with 200 or more field goals.
STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI HAS 13 40+ FIELD GOALS IN 2013;
Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 50-yard fourth-quarter field goal and now has 13 field goals of 40 or more yards in 2013 to set a team mark for most field goals of 40 or more yards in a single season. Adam Vinatieri had 11 field goals of 40 or more yards in 2004 and 1998 and Gostkowski had 11 such field goals in 2012.
The Patriots have been scoring fourth quarter points at torrid pace in 2013, putting up 129 fourth-quarter points through the first 13 games, including 16 fourth-quarter points in their comeback against Cleveland.
STRONG PLAY FROM NINKOVICH
Rob Ninkovich sacked Jason Campbell for a 5-yard loss on third down in the fourth quarter on Cleveland’s first possession following the Patriots’ first touchdown, keeping momentum on the Patriots’ side and forcing the Browns to punt holding a 19-11 lead, and setting up a Patriots field goal drive that cut the Cleveland lead to 19-14. Additionally, Ninkovich stopped Chris Ogobonnaya for a 1-yard loss on third-and-1 in the second quarter, forcing a Cleveland punt on the next play, and pressured Campbell on second down in the fourth quarter, forcing Campbell into committing an intentional grounding penalty that set up third-and-17.
PATRIOTS SCORE TWO TOUCHDOWNS IN FINAL 1:01 TO WIN
The Patriots rallied for a 27-26 victory after the Browns took a 26-14 fourth-quarter lead following Jordan Cameron’s 4-yard touchdown reception with 2:39 remaining. Cleveland had previously held a 19-3 lead until Shane Vereen’s 6-yard touchdown run and a subsequent 2-point conversion cut the lead to 19-14 with six seconds left in the third quarter. After the Browns extended the lead to 26-14, the Patriots scored two touchdowns in a 30-second span (sandwiched around an onside kick recovery) to take a 27-26 lead on Julian Edelman’s 2-yard scoring grab with 1:01 remaining and Danny Amendola’s 1-yard scoring catch with 31 seconds left in the game.
TOM BRADY LEADS FIFTH COMEBACK OF 2013, TYING MOST IN HIS CAREER
Tom Brady engineered his 41st career game-winning performance to lead the Patriots to a victory following a fourth-quarter deficit or tie. Brady has achieved the feat five times this season, and has turned the trick in three consecutive weeks. Brady’s five such performances in 2013 tie the most in a regular season in his career, joining the 2003 season. Brady had four regular-season game-winning performances in 2007 and 2005.
BRADY HAS FINAL MINUTE, GAME-WINNING TOUCHDOWN PASS
Tom Brady threw a 1-yard scoring pass to Danny Amendola with 31 seconds left in the game to give the Patriots a 27-26 lead. It is the sixth time in Brady’s career that he has thrown a game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute of the game to turn a Patriots deficit into a Patriots win. Brady also achieved the feat earlier this year in New England’s 30-27 win over New Orleans on Oct. 13, when he threw a touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds left. This season marks the first time in Brady’s career that he has achieved the feat twice in one season.