Patriots

Patriots notes: Brady goes 189 passes without pick

947617.jpg

Patriots notes: Brady goes 189 passes without pick

Here's a list of some of the interesting tidbits to come out of Thursday night's game between the Patriots and Jets, courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff.

BELICHICK BECOMES 8TH NFL COACH WITH 200 WINS
Bill Belichick became the eighth NFL coach with 200 career victories. He is currently in eighth place. Belichick (career record: 200-107-0) now trails Dan Reeves (201-174-2), Marty Schottenheimer (205-139-1), Chuck Noll (209-156-1), Curly Lambeau (229-134-22), Tom Landry (270-178-6), George Halas (324-151-31) and Don Shula (347-173-6) on the all-time list.

THE PATRIOTS EARN THEIR 15TH SERIES SWEEP OVER THE JETS
The Patriots earned their 15th series sweep over the Jets and swept the annual series for the second straight season. The Patriots beat the Jets 29-26 in overtime on Oct. 21 at Gillette Stadium in the first meeting of 2012.

THE PATRIOTS HAVE MOST POINTS IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
With 59 points vs. Indianapolis last week and 49 points tonight against the Jets, the Patriots have scored 108 points in a two week stretch for highest two-week point total in team history. The Patriots previous best was 101 points when they scored 49 points and 52 points in back-to-back weeks in 2007. It is the third most in a two-game span in a single season in NFL History. The 1950 Rams hold the record with 135 points.

BRADY NOW HAS 189 STRAIGHT PASS ATTEMPTS WITHOUT AN INTERCEPTION
Tom Brady has now thrown 189 straight passes without an interception and has totaled just three interceptions through 10 games this season. The last time Brady threw an interception was more than a month ago in the fourth quarter of the Patriots game at Seattle on Oct. 14. He has gone five games without an interception.

BRADY MOVES PAST DAN FOUTS INTO 10TH PLACE ALL-TIME ON THE NFL PASSING LIST
Brady (43,278) moved past Dan Fouts (43,040) into 10th place on the NFLs all-time passing list. He entered the game needing 86 yards to pass Fouts and did so on an 83-yard touchdown pass to RB Shane Drew Brees is in ninth place with 43,808 passing yards.

STEVE GREGORY RECORDS AN INTERCEPTION, RECOVERS A FUMBLE AND SCORES ON A FUMBLE RETURN
Steve Gregory intercepted his second pass of the season when he picked off a QB Mark Sanchez pass in the first quarter. His two interceptions match his season-high mark. He also had two interceptions in 2010. Gregory recovered a RB Shonn Green in the second quarter. Gregory scored his first NFL touchdown when he returned a Sanchez fumble 32 yards for a touchdown. He was also credited with a forced fumble in the third quarter that was recovered by the Jets.

MARCUS CANNON MAKES FIRST CAREER START
Marcus Cannon made his first NFL start when he lined up at right tackle in place of Sebastian Vollmer, who was inactive for the game.

SUSTAINED SUCCESS: PATRIOTS TO FINISH 500 OR BETTER FOR 12th STRAIGHT SEASON
With their eighth win of the 2012 season, the Patriots are guaranteed to finish the season with a record of .500 or better for the 12th consecutive year. At the conclusion of the 2012 season, the Patriots will be the only NFL team to finish with a record of .500 or better in each of the last 12 years (2001-2012). Each of the other 31 NFL teams had at least one losing season between 2001 and 2010.

Energized Patriots defense forces 'critical swings' with turnovers

Energized Patriots defense forces 'critical swings' with turnovers

“We’re a blue-collar team…”

Devin McCourty didn’t hesitate when asked about the Patriots’ identity. Moments prior, McCourty and his teammates had just stomped the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City, 33-8, to run their win streak to a half-dozen games. The Pats are tied for the best record in the AFC with the Steelers

“We played at a high level,” said McCourty. “They made some plays, but I thought we executed our game plan and did exactly what we wanted to do today.”

MORE:

After surrendering a 100-points per game through the first month (ok, it was only 32), the Pats defense has flexed their muscle during this stretch, allowing 12.5 points per game, which would be the best in the NFL were this a season-long thing. We’re not looking at the same unit even though the personnel is largely the same. If anything, from a talent-level, this defense has less skill than it did when the season started. Their best player, Dont'a Hightower, is out for the year, lost during the first win of this 6-game streak. They’ve also survived three-game absences from $31-million cornerback Stephon Gilmore and their most consistent interior defender, tackle Malcom Brown. Yet the defense keeps showing up, keeps improving and its confidence is growing by leaps and bounds.

“We’re just playing together…we’re kind of figuring that out,” said McCourty. “We’re understanding how we need to prepare, how we need to practice, whether it’s a hard, full-padded practice, whether it’s a walkthrough, we know what we need to do on each of those days and when we do that, we give ourselves a chance. You’re seeing that on Sundays. Everyone running around, everyone knows their job and it’s all about execution.”

“I thought our players gave a great effort tonight,” said Bill Belichick. “We came out and performed well early, throughout the game and played really good situational football.”

The Pats were opportunistic, forcing three turnovers, including one in a huge spot, when Marquis Flowers stripped the ball from wideout Seth Roberts as the Raiders were knocking on the door. It was 14-0 at the time, and Oakland had life. Second-year cornerback Jon Jones battled Roberts, Flowers popped the ball free and safety Pat Chung pounced on it. Instead of milking the clock and heading into halftime up two scores, the Pats turned that fumble into points, driving to midfield before Steven Gostkowski kicked a career-long 62 yarder. That further energized a Pats team that was already surging.

“It’s something we talk about every week,” said McCourty. “We’re playing solid defense, executing the game plan, but changing the game with turnovers - you know, even Duron’s interception was a third down so it was kind of like a punt. The energy that brings - when the offense takes the field after we get a turnover - that’s huge. And then with them driving again in the red area before the half is what we talked about, getting that stop.”

“We had some real critical swings with those turnovers,” admired Tom Brady, a chief beneficiary of those change in possessions.

Earlier this week, I asked McCourty if he got a sense that the team was coming together at the tail end of their stay in Colorado Springs. He smiled and joked initially, but you could sense the veteran safety can see and feel what the rest of the league is now a witness to.

“I hope so. I mean, it’d probably be terrible if I say yeah and then we go on a five-game losing streak. I can see the headline: ‘McCourty was wrong.’ So, no, I think we understand how the season starts to pick up. You know, each game means more. We understand that seven wins (now 8) doesn’t mean anything. We have to continue to get better. So, I think why we end up usually improving is because it’s the understanding of there’s no tomorrow.”

The defense ordered that Code Red after losing to Carolina in Week 4, and since then, they have worked harder, worked longer and cleaned up so many of the issues that ailed them that opening month. It’s a credit to the players, “they won’ the game tonight,” said Belichick, and the coaching staff as well. if you’ve followed this team over the years, you know even now, they’re not satisfied. There are “things to work on” added Belichick and they’ll start that work on the flight home from Mexico City to Foxboro. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE