Patriots-Rams game notes: Brady on verge on setting QB record

Patriots-Rams game notes: Brady on verge on setting QB record

A quick look at the information you need to know about today's Patriots-Rams game:


TEAM RECORDS: Patriots 9-2, Rams 4-7



TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch and Pam Oliver


NATIONAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Larry Kahn, Hank Bauer and Troy West

LOCAL RADIO NETWORK: Anchored by WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)

LOCAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Bob Socci and Scott Zolak


LAST MEETING: Patriots 45, Rams 7 on Oct. 28, 2012 at Wembley Stadium, London

* * * *
-- This will be the Patriots' first game against the Los Angeles Rams since a 14-0 loss at Anaheim Stadium on Sept. 13, 1992. The Rams moved to St. Louis after the 1994 season and were there for 21 seasons before moving back to L.A. this year. The Pats were 3-2 against the St. Louis Rams, including a 20-17 victory in Super Bowl XXXVI.

-- The Patriots' victory last Sunday over the Jets was the 500th in franchise history, against 402 losses. They are the first of the original American Football League teams to reach the 500-victory plateau. The Broncos are second with 486 wins.

-- Last Sunday's victory over the Jets ensured that the Patriots will not be swept by a division opponent for the 16th consecutive season. The last time they were swept by a division foe was in 2000, when they lost both games against both the Jets and the Bills.

-- The Patriots are 54-10 (.844) in December since 2001, best in the NFL. The Steelers (46-19, .708) are second.

-- The Patriots are 47-12 (.797) against NFC teams since realignment in 2002, the best interconference record in the NFL. The Steelers (38-19-1, .669) are second.

-- The Patriots have scored on their opening offensive possession in 6 of their 11 games this year.

* * * *
-- A victory today would allow Tom Brady to pass Peyton Manning for most quarterback wins in NFL history, with 201. (Brady has 178 regular-season victories and 22 in the postseason; Manning has 186 in the regular season and 14 in the postseason.) Brady reached the 200-victory mark in 261 career starts, 31 fewer than the 292 by Manning.

-- A victory today would give the Patriots 14 straight seasons of 10 or more wins and enable Bill Belichick to extend his NFL record of consecutive 10-win seasons as a head coach. Ex-49ers coach George Seifert is second, with eight.

-- LeGarrette Blount has 12 rushing touchdowns this season. He needs one to tie BenJarvus Green-Ellis (2010) and Corey Dillon (2006) for third place on the franchise list of rushing TDs in a season -- they both had 13 -- and two to tie Curtis Martin, who rushed for 14 in both 1995 and 1996, for the franchise record.

* * * *
-- REFEREE: Jerome Boger. UMPIRE: Rich Hall. HEAD LINESMAN: Ed Camp. LINE JUDGE: Dana McKenzie. FIELD JUDGE: Jon Lucivansky. SIDE JUDGE: Walt Coleman IV. BACK JUDGE: Tony Steratore. REPLAY OFFICIAL: Carl Madsen.

What are the Patriots getting in Cordarrelle Patterson?

What are the Patriots getting in Cordarrelle Patterson?

The Patriots have made a trade with the Raiders to acquire receiver and special teamer Cordarrelle Patterson, according to a source. The deal, first reported by Pardon My Take, is an interesting one because it lands Patterson with the team that passed on the opportunity to draft him back in 2013. 


Bill Belichick dealt the No. 29 overall pick to the Vikings that year in exchange for four selections, including a second-rounder and a third-rounder. The second-rounder became Jamie Collins, and the third became Logan Ryan. The Patriots also took Josh Boyce with a fourth they received in the trade, and the fourth pick (a seventh) was traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for LeGarrette Blount. The Vikings took Patterson. 

Patterson's career to this point has been a mixed bag. One of the top athletes in the 2013 draft, the Tennessee product never quite panned out as a go-to No. 1 receiver. He has not missed a game in five seasons, but he has never cracked 600 offensive snaps in a single season. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has turned himself into more of a gadget receiver as well as one of the game's best special teamers. 

Here's what the Patriots are getting in Patterson . . . 

TOP-TIER SPECIAL TEAMER: Patterson has solidified himself as one of the NFL's best kick-returners. In five seasons, he's ranked as the top returner in terms of average yards per return three times. He's never been outside of the top 10 in the league in that category. Last year he was sixth in the NFL with a 28.3 yards per return average. Patterson has also become a highly-effective gunner on punt units, a role he thrived in once he embraced it, and he has kick coverage experience. Patterson has not been a punt-returner. He has just one punt return under his belt compared to 153 kick returns. Patterson has been named a First-Team All-Pro twice for his work in the kicking game. 

INCONSISTENT RECEIVER: Patterson has never been able to take his explosiveness and translate that into consistent production offensively. He's not thought of as a precise route-runner, and he has a reputation as a "body-catcher." Yet, because he's so dynamic with the ball in his hands, offenses in Oakland and Minnesota have found ways to get the ball in his hands. He'll align in the backfield, take reverses and catch screens just to try to get him the ball in space where he can let his natural abilities take over. If he gets a crease, he can create a chunk play in a blink. 

THE COST: Patterson is in the second year of a two-year deal he signed with the Raiders last offseason. He has a base salary of $3 million and a cap hit of $3.25 million. The Patriots will be sending a fifth-rounder to the Raiders and getting a sixth-rounder back. (As an aside . . . The Patriots have used one fifth-round pick in the last six drafts. It was spent on long-snapper Joe Cardona. Why are they constantly dealing fifths away? Inside the Pylon's Dave Archibald did an interesting piece on that topic about a year and a half ago. The gist is that a) there's a significant drop-off in your chances of finding a star in the fifth compared to the fourth, and b) the talent in the fifth round, by some metrics, hasn't proven to be all that different from the sixth or seventh rounds.) 

THE FIT: Patterson is a relatively low-risk acquisition because of his cap hit (which on the Patriots slots him in between Shea McClellin and Chris Hogan) and because of the draft capital required to nab him. Trading for a player like Patterson as opposed to signing another team's free agent has the added benefit of not impacting the compensatory-pick formula. Patterson also fills a few needs. His abilities as a kick-returner will be more than suitable with last year's primary kick returner for the Patriots, Dion Lewis, out of the mix. What Patterson can do as a gunner and in kick coverage will also be useful with Johnson Bademosi now elsewhere. There's also a chance Matthew Slater plays in a different city in 2017, in which case Patterson's contributions as a gunner and in kick coverage could be critical. With Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman and Hogan all established in the Patriots offense, Patterson won't be expected to take on a heavy role in the Patriots offense. However, if he can pick up a new system, perhaps he could take on a role as a No. 4 or 5 wideout who benefits from plays designed to get him touches in space. Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt -- now alongside Patterson -- will all be competing for time in New England's offense. Former Patriots coaching assistant Mike Lombardi seems to believe it's unlikely Patterson contributes offensively


Patriots acquire WR Cordarrelle Patterson in trade with Raiders

Patriots acquire WR Cordarrelle Patterson in trade with Raiders

The Patriots have acquired wide receiver and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson in a trade with the Raiders, NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry confirms.

Pardon My Take, a podcast by Barstool Sports, first reported the news.

Ian Rapaport of NFL Network reports the Patriots sent a fifth-round pick to Oakland and received a Raiders' sixth-rounder along with Patterson.

More to come...