Notes: Patriots with rare consecutive losses


Notes: Patriots with rare consecutive losses

The following is a collection of Patriots notes from their 24-20 loss to the Giants. Notes are courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff.

The Patriots have lost back-to-back games for just the third time since the beginning of the 2003 season. Over that span, the Patriots are now 26-3 (.897) in games following a regular season loss. Over the last nine seasons (2003-11), the only other times the Patriots lost back-to-back games was once in 2006 and once in 2009.

The Patriots concluded a 20-game home winning streak. Prior to tonight, the last time the Patriots lost a regular-season game at Gillette Stadium was on Nov. 30, 2008, when New England fell 33-10 to Pittsburgh.

Rob Gronkowski had eight catches for 101 yards, including a grab for a 14-yard touchdown with 1:36 remaining that gave the Patriots a 20-17 lead. Gronkowski now has six touchdowns this season and has 16 touchdowns since the start of the 2010 season, the most among any tight end in the NFL over that span. Jason Witten is second with 13 touchdowns from 2010-present. Through eight games this season, Gronkowski has 44 receptions for 596 yards and six touchdowns. His 44 receptions and 596 yards have eclipsed his totals as a rookie last season (42 receptions for 546 yards).

Rob Gronkowski had eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Gronkowskis eight grabs set a new career high, topping his previous mark of seven catches in a game. The 101 yards marked Gronkowskis third career 100-yard game. He now has three straight games with seven or more receptions. He has four games in 2011 with seven or more receptions.

Tom Brady concluded a 31-game winning streak as a starter in home games. Bradys streak of 31 straight home victories was the longest such streak for any starting quarterback in NFL history, besting Brett Favres string of 25 straight home wins from 1995-98. Prior to tonight, the last time the Patriots lost a game at Gillette Stadium in which Brady had started was on Nov. 12, 2006 against the New York Jets. Following that game against the Jets, the Patriots installed an artificial playing surface at Gillette Stadium. Prior to todays game, Brady had been 31-0 in the regular season as a starter on the artificial turf at Gillette Stadium.

At the midway point of the season, Wes Welker has 66 receptions for 960 yards. He is on pace to total 132 receptions for 1,920 yards. The all-time NFL record for most receptions in a season is 143 (Marvin Harrison, 2002), and the record for most receiving yards in a campaign is 1,848 (Jerry Rice, 1995).

Following his 9-catch, 136-yard performance against the Giants, Wes Welker has now caught 498 passes for 5,496 yards in his four-and-a-half seasons with the Patriots (2007-present). Today, Welker passed Ben Coates (490 catches) for third place on the Patriots all-time receptions list. Welker also passed Coates (5,471 yards) for fourth place on the Patriots all-time receiving yardage list. Welkers 25-yard reception in the first quarter was his 490th reception with the Patriots and moved him into a third place tie with Ben Coates (490) on the Patriots all-time list. His 4-yard reception in the second quarter moved him past Coates into sole possession of third place. Troy Brown (557) is in first place on the Patriots all-time receptions list followed by Stanley Morgan (534). Welker trails Stanley Morgan (10,352), Troy Brown (6,366) and Irving Fryar (5,726).

Kyle Arrington registered his fifth interception of the season when he picked off Eli Manning in the end zone in the third quarter. He is tied with Eric Weddle (Seattle) and Charles Woodson (Green Bay) for the NFL lead. The Last Patriot player to lead the NFL in interceptions was Asante Samuel with 10 in 2006.

The Patriots were held scoreless in the first half for the first time since a 21-0 loss at Miami on Dec. 10, 2006. The Patriots and the Giants did not score in the first half. It is the first time since a 14-0 loss at the LA Rams on Sept. 13, 1992 that the Patriots played a 0-0 first half.

Speed to burn: Cooks, Brady team up to form most productive deep-ball combo


Speed to burn: Cooks, Brady team up to form most productive deep-ball combo

The first came in the second quarter, when Brandin Cooks turned on afterburners to beat a Raiders double team and glide underneath a Tom Brady heave for 52 yards. The second came in the third quarter, on the third play from scrimmage of the second half, when Cooks faked an out-route, jetted past rookie corner Obi Melifonwu, and sped into the end zone to make the score 24-0. 

Both deep completions in New England's 33-8 win over Oakland just added to cumulative effect that Cooks has had on the Patriots offense since arriving before the season to become their top deep threat. 

Paired with Brady, Cooks has actually become the most productive deep threat in the NFL. 


According to Pro Football Focus, Cooks leads all receivers with 431 yards on deep passes (throws that travel 20 yards or more down the field). In second place is Houston's DeAndre Hopkins with 313 yards. 

And Brady, who has long been more effective in the short-to-intermediate range than he has been deep, is now among the league leaders in creating explosive plays from the quarterback position. The Patriots are third in the NFL with 41 pass plays of 20 yards or more, and they are tied for second with nine plays of 40 yards or more. 

"You're always trying to work on that," Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show of his team's deep passing game. "It's not one particular year [you work on it]. I think that's been a concerted effort by our entire offense, trying to make more explosive plays in the pass game. 

"Sometimes your offense is built differently. We actually have some guys now that can really get down the field so that becomes more of a point of emphasis. The way Brandin runs, the way that Chris Hogan runs, the way that Phillip Dorsett runs, they're very fast. You need to be able to take advantage of their skill set . . . 

"When we had David Patten we were throwing it deep. I mean, but David Patten didn't run a lot of short routes. I would say Brandin Cooks, in general, he doesn't run a lot of short routes. Everyone has a different role. If we can get by you, I think that's a good place to throw the ball. if we can't, we gotta figure out ways to throw it underneath and different weeks are going to call for different things based on the strengths of the defenses we're playing, too."

A week before beating the Raiders, against the Broncos and their talented corners, the Patriots had less luck pushing the ball down the field -- though they tried to hit Cooks deep multiple times. In Mexico City, Cooks matched up with a weaker secondary, and he wasn't at all slowed by the altitude, catching six passes in all for 149 yards and a score. 

Per PFF, Cooks has seen almost one third of his targets (30 percent) come on deep passes, which is the ninth-highest rate in the league. He's caught all 11 of his catchable deep passes, three of them accounting for scores.

"Obviously when you're throwing the ball 50-60 yards down the field," Brady said, "your chances of completion go down, but if you hit it, it ends up being a very explosive plays and you can change a lot of field position and get a defense really on their heels if they have to defend every blade of grass on the field." 


Belichick remembers Glenn: 'A good person with good intentions'

Belichick remembers Glenn: 'A good person with good intentions'

Terry Glenn, the Patriots' top draft pick in 1996, died early Monday morning in a one-car accident in Irving, Texas. He was 43. 

Bill Belichick coached Glenn as an assistant with the Patriots during Glenn's rookie season. He was later Glenn's head coach in 2000 and 2001. Belichick traded Glenn to the Packers before the 2002 season after a tumultuous run in New England that involved legal trouble, injuries and clashes with the coaching staff.

During a conference call with reporters soon after the news of Glenn's death was published, Belichick remembered Glenn for his natural physical ability and "a good heart."

"I was pretty close with Terry," Belichick said, "and his rookie season was my first year here in '96, and so I had a lot of interaction with him and other people that were involved in his life and his upbringing separate from the Patriots. Terry's a very smart individual. Had a lot of, obviously, a lot of physical skill and talent. Could do a lot of things on the football field very naturally. And I think he was deep down inside a good person with good intentions and, you know, a good heart. Obviously it's very unfortunate. Very unfortunate passing. I mean, it's a sad day. Sad news."

According to reports, Glenn was with his fiancee at the time of the accident. She's being treated at a local hospital for unspecified injuries.