I apologize for the troubles I had with the brand new computer tonight -- for some reason, I had to reboot it frequently -- but it finally works, so I can present you with the hots and nots from the print edition and the game notes from the Patriots' media relations department after today's rousing 36-33 triumph over the Houston Texans.
First, the hots and nots:
BRANDIN COOKS: Five catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns (as well as a conversion catch) equals a breakout game.
ROB GRONKOWSKI: Eight catches for 89 yards and a score for a guy whose injured groin didn’t slow him down.
TOM BRADY: His latest comeback win bumped him up from the “lukewarm” category. He completed 25 of 35 passes for 378 yards and five touchdowns. But he was sacked five times, and among his three fumbles was one that went for a touchdown … and there was that time when he tripped over his own legs. Ugh.
DANNY AMENDOLA: After taking a hard hit in the chest earlier in the final march, he caught a clutch 27-yard pass to get the Patriots down to the Houston 25.
KYLE VAN NOY: Amassed a game-high 11 tackles with Dont'a Hightower sidelined.
NATE SOLDER, CAMERON FLEMING and LaADRIAN WADDLE: With Marcus Cannon out and Solder still subpar for undisclosed reasons (he has yet to show up on an injury report), Tom Brady was an easy target for a very good set of pass-rushers and he was dropped five times, fumbling on three of them.
THE SECONDARY: Too many big plays. Stephon Gilmore and Duron Harmon came away with interceptions, but rookie Deshaun Watson finished with 301 passing yards.
DAVID ANDREWS: The Patriots’ center was called for holding on the team’s final possession, negating a 19-yard catch by Brandin Cooks, but he also recovered a fumble on a 4-yard sack of Tom Brady that the game-winning march alive.
3: Fumbles by Tom Brady
5: Touchdown passes by Brady, and also the number of times he was sacked.
31: Houston’s streak of consecutive games without allowing an opposing team to throw for more than 300 yards, which was stopped Sunday.
52: Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers that stayed in their locker room Sunday during the playing of the national anthem during Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Also the number of come-from-behind victories engineered by Brady.
84: Game-time temperature at Gillette Stadium.
185: Tom Brady’s regular-season wins, just one shy of the record co-held by Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.
It seems as if the Patriots got out of the game in one piece, although it appeared that Nate Solder struggled for much of it after reports circulated beforehand that he wouldn’t play at all. The reason is undisclosed.
During the playing of the national anthem, 16 Patriots knelt in a row near the bench, while another 15 locked arms as they stood (in two separate groups). Tom Brady was one of the standing players that locked arms with a teammate.
And the game notes:
PATRIOTS HOME DOMINANCE
Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002, the Patriots own the NFL’s best record at home overall. The Patriots own an overall record of 102-20 (.836) at home in regular season games and a 118-23 (.837) record including playoffs. The Patriots are an NFL-best 162-47 at home since 1994 when Robert Kraft purchased the team.
BEST HOME RECORDS SINCE 2002
Team W L T Pct.
New England 118 23 0 .837
Seattle 96 36 0 .727
Indianapolis 94 38 0 .712
Pittsburgh 94 36 1 .721
PATRIOTS GAIN 300 YARDS PASSING AGAINST HOUSTON;
TEXANS HAD GONE 31 STRAIGHT (INCLUDING POSTSEASON)
The Patriots ended Houston’s streak of 31 straight games (including the postseason) without allowing a 300-yard passer after throwing for 378 yards against the Texans. It was the first against Houston since the Jaguars had 331 yards at Jacksonville on Oct. 18, 2015.
BRADY INCHING CLOSER TO BECOMING REGULAR SEASON WINNER
While Brady is the all-time overall NFL leader with 210 career wins as a starting quarterback, Brady is one of three NFL quarterbacks with at least 180 regular season career wins, earning his 185th win against Houston. He is two regular season wins from tying Brett Favre and Peyton Manning and three wins away from becoming the all-time leader.
(Regular season only)
RK NAME W L T PCT.
1t. Brett Favre 186 112 0 .624
1t. Peyton Manning 186 79 0 .702
3. Tom Brady 185 53 0 .777
4. John Elway 148 82 0 .643
Most Games Over .500 (including playoffs)
Games Over .500 Quarterback W L T
148 Tom Brady 210 62 0
108 Peyton Manning 200 92 0
TOM BRADY THROWS FINAL MINUTE TD FOR EIGHTH TIME
Tom Brady now has eight career games in which he threw a game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute to turn a Patriots deficit into a Patriots win. He now has 52 career victories after facing a fourth quarter deficit.
BRADY’S FINAL-MINUTE, GAME-WINNING TOUCHDOWN PASSES
11/10/02 at Chicago* W 33-30
The Patriots trailed 30-25 when Brady threw a 20-yard touchdown to David Patten with 21 seconds left to give the Patriots a 33-30 win.
11/3/03 at Denver W 30-26
The Patriots trailed 26-23 when Brady threw an 18-yard touchdown to David Givens with 30 seconds left to give the Patriots a 30-26 win.
12/3/07 at Baltimore W 27-24
The Patriots trailed 24-20 when Brady threw an 8-yard touchdown to Jabar Gaffney with 44 seconds left to give the Patriots a 27-24 win.
9/14/09 vs. Buffalo W 25-24
The Patriots trailed 24-19 when Brady threw a 16-yard touchdown to Ben Watson with 50 seconds left to give the Patriots a 25-24 win.
10/16/11 vs. Dallas W 20-16
The Patriots trailed 16-13 when Brady threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez with 22 seconds left to give the Patriots a 20-16 win.
10/13/13 vs. New Orleans W 30-27
The Patriots trailed 27-23 when Brady threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thomkins with 5 seconds left to give the Patriots a 30-27 win.
12/08/13 vs. Cleveland W 37-26
The Patriots trailed 26-14when Brady threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 31 seconds left to give the Patriots a 27-16 win.
09/24/17 vs. Houston W 36-33
The Patriots trailed 33-28 with 2:24 to play when Brady threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to WR Brandin Cooks with 29 seconds to play give the Patriots the lead and then added a two-point play to Cooks for a 36-33 victory.
BRADY NEARING THE TOP FOR WINS OVERALL
Tom Brady has the most wins by an NFL quarterback with 210 overall career wins. His 210 wins are tied with Gary Anderson for the fourth most among all players.
Most Wins by an NFL Player (including postseason games)
Adam Vinatieri 222
George Blanda 218
Jerry Rice 211
Tom Brady 210
Gary Anderson 210
Peyton Manning 201
Brett Favre 201
Morten Andersen 194
BRADY THROWS FOR OVER FOUR TOUCHDOWNS – 27TH TIME;
SETS NFL MARK FOR MOST GAMES WITH WITH FOUR-PLUS-TDS AND NO INTS.
Tom Brady threw for five touchdowns in a game for the 27th time in team history, the third-most four-touchdown games in NFL history. He set an NFL record with his 22nd game with four or more touchdowns and no interceptions. It is Brady’s sixth game with five or more touchdowns, tied with Dan Marino for the third-most all-time. It is his sixth game with five or more touchdowns and no interceptions, second to Drew Brees (7).
Most Games with 4+ Touchdown Passes
Player 4+ TD Games
Peyton Manning 35
Drew Brees 31
Tom Brady 27
Brett Favre 23
Most Games with 4+ Touchdown Passes and No Interceptions
Player 4+ TD Games
Tom Brady 22
Drew Brees 21
Peyton Manning 18
BRADY HAS THROWN TOUCHDOWN PASSES TO 67 DIFFERENT PLAYERS;
SECOND PLACE FOR TD TARGETS BY A QB
Tom Brady connected with WR Brandin Cooks on a 42-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Brady has thrown a touchdown pass to 67 different players in the regular season, behind Vinny Testaverde who had 70.
Most Touchdown Targets by an NFL Quarterback
QUARTERBACK TD TARGETS
Vinny Testaverde 70
Tom Brady 67
Steve DeBerg 62
Brett Favre 61
BRADY FOLLOWS 400 WITH 300
Tom Brady followed a 447-yard effort the week before at New Orleans with a 378-yard effort against Houston. He has now followed a 400-yard game with a 300-yard game six times. (2002, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016).
BRADY HAS 825 YARDS PASSING IN THE LAST TWO GAMES
Brady had 447 yards at New Orleans and 378 yards against Houston for 825 yards in the last two weeks. It is the second-most yards in team history in a two-week span. Brady had 940 yards (517 and 423) to start the 2011 season with 517 at Miami on Sept. 12, 2011, followed by 423 yards vs. San Diego on Sept. 18 2011. Brady’s 940 yards ranks second all-time in consecutive games to Phil Simms, who holds the record with 945 yards (432 yards and 513 yards).
BRADY HAS SIXTH STRAIGHT REGULAR SEASON GAME WITHOUT AN INT.
Tom Brady had his sixth straight game with no interceptions. He now has a streak of 215 straight pass attempts without an interception.
BRADY’S MOST CONSECUTIVE STARTS WITHOUT AN INT.
11 Tom Brady (10/24/10-01/02/11)
6 Tom Brady (12/18/16-present)
Brady Consecutive passes without an interception
358* (NFL Record)
WR BRANDIN COOKS GOES OVER 100 YARDS
WR Brandin Cooks had his first 100-yard game as a member of the Patriots, finishing with five receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns. It is his eighth career 100-yard game.
WR BRANDIN COOKS SCORES FIRST PATS TD ON A 42-YARD TD;
SCORES GAME-WINNER ON A 25-YARDER
WR Brandin Cooks scored his first touchdown with the Patriots on a 42-yard reception in the third quarter. Cooks scored the game-winning touchdown on a 25-yarder from Tom Brady with 29 seconds to play. It marked his fifth career two-touchdown game.
COOKS HAS TWO 40-YARD PASSES
Cooks finished with two 40-yard receptions. He had a 44-yard reception in the first quarter to set up the Patriots first touchdown and then caught a 42-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Cooks now has three receptions of over 40 yards. He caught a 54-yard pass in the season-opener vs. Kansas City in the third quarter.
BRADY TO GRONKOWSKI FOR THE 69TH TIME
TE Rob Gronkowsksi and QB Tom Brady connected for a five-yard touchdown in the first quarter for the 69th time the two of connected for a touchdown, second among connections between a quarterback and a tight end and the 6th most all-time.
THE MOST TD CONNECTIONS BETWEEN A QB AND A TE IN NFL HISTORY
Quarterback Tight End Team TD Connections
Philip Rivers Antonio Gates San Diego 85
Tom Brady Rob Gronkowski New England 69
Drew Brees Jimmy Graham New Orleans 51
Drew Bledsoe Ben Coates New England 45
Peyton Manning Dallas Clark Indianapolis 44
Sonny Jurgensen Jerry Smith Washington 43
Dan Fouts Kellen Winslow San Diego 41
John Elway Shannon Sharpe Denver 41
Ben Roethlisberger Heath Miller Pittsburgh 41
BRADY TO GRONK - 6TH PLACE ALL-TIME
Quarterback Receiver Touchdown Connections
Peyton Manning Marvin Harrison 112
Steve Young Jerry Rice 85
Philip Rivers Antonio Gates 85
Dan Marino Mark Clayton 79
Drew Brees Marques Colston 72
Tom Brady Rob Gronkowski 69
Peyton Manning Reggie Wayne 67
Jim Kelly Andre Reed 65
Johnny Unitas Raymond Berry 63
Aaron Rogers Jordy Nelson 60
Brett Favre Antonio Freeman 57
GRONKOWSKI FASTEST TIGHT END TO 70 TOUCHDOWNS RECEPTIONS
Rob Gronkowski scored his 70th career touchdown reception on a five-yard pass from QB Tom Brady in the first quarter and became the fastest tight end to reach 70 career touchdown receptions, doing so in his 91st career game.
FEWEST GAMES TO REACH 70 TD RECEPTIONS AMONG ALL NFL TIGHT ENDS
Rob Gronkowski 91
Antonio Gates 122
Tony Gonzalez 183
FEWEST GAMES TO REACH 70 TD RECEPTIONS OVERALL
Lance Alworth 80
Jerry Rice 81
Don Hutson 85
Randy Moss 89
Rob Gronkowski 91
Marvin Harrison 102
GRONK JOINS ELITE GROUP TO REACH 70 TD RECEPTIONS IN FIRST 100 GAMES
Gronkowski joins and elite group that reached 70 touchdown receptions in their first 100 games.
PLAYER RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS THROUGH 100 GAMES
Jerry Rice 87
Don Hutson 86
Randy Moss 84
Lance Alworth 78
Rob Gronkowski 70 (91 games)
Dez Bryant 68 (Sunday will be his 100th game
GRONK CLOSE TO HAVING MOST RECEIVING YARDS FROM BRADY
Rob Gronkowski has 6,258 receiving yards from Tom Brady and needs 43 more yards to move past Wes Welker (6,300) for the most receiving yards from Brady.
Wes Welker 6,300
Rob Gronkowski 6,258
WR CHRIS HOGAN HAS FIRST TWO-TD GAME IN THE REGULAR SEASON
WR Chris Hogan scored on a seven-yard touchdown and a 47-yarder in the second quarter for his first career two-touchdown game in the regular season. He has his first ever two-touchdown game in the 2016 AFC Championship Game vs. Pittsburgh on Jan. 22, 2017.
WR DANNY AMENDOLA HAS 33-YARD PUNT RETURN
WR Danny Amendola returned to action after missing the second game of the season and had a 33-yard punt return to help set up the Patriots first touchdown. It marks his 10th career punt return of 30 or more yards and his third punt return of 30 or more yards as a member of the Patriots.
CB STEPHON GILMORE HAS FIRST PICK AS A PAT
CB Stephon Gilmore has his first interception as a member of the Patriots in the second quarter that he returned to the Houston 12-yard line to set up a Patriots touchdown.
HARMON HAS THIRD PICK IN THE END ZONE TO SECURE A WIN
S Duron Harmon picked off Houston QB Deshaun Watson in the end zone as time expired to secure the in. It is the third time that he has picked off a pass in the end zone to secure a win. He picked off Miami QB Ryan Tannehill in the end zone with nine seconds to play to secure the Patriots 31-24 win on Sept. 18, 2016, and Harmon intercepted a Joe Flacco pass in the end zone with 1:39 left to preserve the Patriots 35-31 lead in an AFC Divisional win vs. Baltimore on Jan. 10, 2015.
LAADRIAN WADDLE MAKES FIRST START FOR PATRIOTS
LaAdrian Waddle made his first start as a member of the Patriots when he started at right tackle in place of Marcus Cannon, who was inactive due to an injury. It was his 25th NFL start at right tackle. He started eight games at right tackle in 2013, 10 in 2014 and six in 2015, all while with the Detroit Lions.
CAMERON FLEMING STARTS AT LEFT TACKLE FOR MARCUS CANNON
Cameron Fleming started at left tackle in place with Nate Solder moving to the tackle-eligible tight end spot. It marked his 15th NFL start and his third at left tackle. He started at left tackle at Miami (1/3/16) and at Arizona (9/11/16).
GENEO GRISSOM MAKES 2017 DEBUT
DL Geneo Grissom made his 2017 debut after being signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on the Friday before the game.
CASSIUS MARSH MAKES FIRST STARTS WITH THE PATRIOTS
Cassius Marsh made his second NFL start and his first as a member of the Patriots. He recorded his first sack on a 7-yard drop in the third quarter.
S NATE EBNER MAKES 2017 DEBUT
S Nate Ebner made his 2017 season debut after missing the first two games due to injury. He had a solo tackle and an assist on special teams.
LB MARQUIS FLOWERS SEES FIRST ACTION ON DEFENSE
LB Marquis Flowers, who was acquired on Aug. 29 in a trade with Cincinnati, saw his first action on defense against Houston.