Patriots

Patriots match mark of 2006 team for notable benchmark on offense

Patriots

The New England Patriots aren't just beating teams lately, they're beating them big.

Over the course of the team's current six-game win streak, the Patriots are pummeling opponents by more than 24 points per contest, including three straight wins of more than 20 points -- helping Mac Jones match a rookie record in the process.

One thing New England hasn't done during its winning streak -- or all season, for that matter -- is have a player top 100 yards receiving for a game, as Jones spreads the ball around to perfection.

Via Rich Hill of PatsPulpit, it's been 15 years since the Patriots went this deep into a season without having a receiver eclipse the 100 yards mark in a single game.

The late Reche Caldwell finally broke the streak for New England in 2006, when he caught eight passes for 112 yards in a 28-21 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 13. Caldwell would top the century mark again in Week 17, when he caught four passes for 134 yards, and Jabar Gaffney went north of 100 yards in each of the team's first two playoff games before the lack of talent at the position caught up with the Patriots in an AFC Championship Game loss to the Indianapolis Colts, 38-34.

NFL Playoff Picture: Patriots' position greatly improves with win over Titans

The 2006 team notably left Tom Brady with Caldwell and a 35-year-old Troy Brown at receiver, shuffling through several other retreads before finding the solid Gaffney for some added depth later on in the year. New England had allowed David Givens to depart as a free agent following the 2005 season and traded Deion Branch to the Seattle Seahawks amid a contract dispute shortly after the regular season began.

 

As a result, the Patriots added Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Donte' Stallworth for the historic 2007 season.

New England's play at receiver in 2021 hasn't been nearly as concerning as 15 years ago, with Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne both on pace to surpass Caldwell's team-leading 760 yards, with Nelson Agholor and tight end Hunter Henry figuring prominently in the passing game at times as well. The team added to its corps of receivers this offseason by signing Bourne and Agholor rather than subtracting, Julian Edelman's retirement notwithstanding.

These Patriots have come close to producing a 100-yard receiving, including Meyers against the Tennessee Titans Sunday with 98 yards. Bourne has topped 90 twice.

In 2020, four New England receivers surpassed 100 yards through the air -- Meyers twice, as well as Edelman and Damiere Byrd. Edelman had 179 yards receiving in Week 2, a career-high.