In-game notes courtesy of the Patriots media relations department (as of halftime):
BRADY SETS NEW CAREER HIGH WITH 29th TOUCHDOWN PASS OF THE SEASON
Tom Brady threw his 29th touchdown pass of the season - a 6-yard strike to Randy Moss - to set a new single-season career high, topping his 28 scoring passes in 2002 and 2004. Bradyís 29 touchdown passes (as of halftime) are the second-highest single-season total in Patriots history, trailing only Vito ďBabeĒ Parilliís total of 31 touchdowns in 1964.
VRABEL SCORES EIGHTH CAREER REGULAR-SEASON TOUCHDOWN
Linebacker Mike Vrabel caught his eighth regular-season touchdown pass and his 10th overall touchdown pass (including two in the playoffs) on a 2-yard scoring catch from Tom Brady in the second quarter that gave the Patriots a 14-0 lead. Vrabel also caught a touchdown pass on Oct. 1 at Cincinnati, and has tied his single-season career high with two touchdown catches this season. He also had a pair of scoring grabs in 2005. Each of Vrabelís 10 career receptions have been for touchdowns - including one in Super Bowl XXXVIII and one in Super Bowl XXXIX. Including his one career interception return for a touchdown, Vrabel now has totaled nine career regular-season touchdowns - the fifth-highest total in a New England uniform by a current Patriot (trailing only Troy Brown, Kevin Faulk, Randy Moss and Benjamin Watson).
VRABEL: TWO STRIP-SACKS
Mike Vrabel recorded two strip-sacks in the second quarter, with both fumbles being recovered by Ty Warren to give the Patriots possession. Vrabelís two strip-sacks give him three for the season, with his other strip-sack coming in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets on Sept. 9. Since joining the Patriots prior to the 2001 season, Vrabel has recorded 11 regular-season strip-sacks (four in 2003, one in 2005, three in 2006 and three in 2007) and three playoff strip-sacks (one in 2003, one in 2004 and one in 2006). Vrabel tied for the team lead with three strip-sacks in the 2006 regular-season and added one more in the 2006 divisional playoffs against San Diego. With his two strip-sacks against the Redskins, Vrabel raised his season total to 6.5 sacks, a tally that leads the team and stands as the second highest total of his career, trailing only his team-high 9.5 sacks in 2003. Vrabelís two strip-sacks against Washington set up 10 points off turnovers, with his first strip-sack setting up a field goal that gave the Patriots a 17-0 lead and his second setting up a touchdown that gave the Patriots a 24-0 lead.
SAMUEL RECORDS 20th CAREER INTERCEPTION
Asante Samuel intercepted a Jason Campbell pass in the second quarter, recording his team-high fourth interception of the season and the 20th pick of his regular season career. He also has four career interceptions in the playoffs. Samuelís 20 career interceptions rank 11th on the Patriotsí all-time list and lead all active Patriots. Samuel has recorded 13 interceptions in his last 17 regular-season and playoff games. Last season, he led the NFL with 10 regular-season interceptions.
MOSS: 11th TOUCHDOWN CATCH OF THE SEASON
Randy Moss caught his 11th touchdown pass of the season, a 6-yard grab in the second quarter that gave the Patriots a 24-0 lead. Mossís 11 touchdown receptions stand as the second highest single-season total in Patriots history, trailing only Stanley Morganís franchise-record 12 touchdown receptions in 1986. Mossís 11 touchdown catches tie the fourth highest total of his 10-year career, trailing only his 17 touchdown catches in with Minnesota 1998 and 2003 and his 13 touchdown receptions for the Vikings in 2004. He also had 11 touchdown receptions for the Vikings in 1999.
FAULK MOVES INTO SIXTH ON PATRIOTSí ALL-TIME RECEPTIONS LIST
With a seven-yard reception in the first quarter - the 293rd catch of his career and his second of the game - Kevin Faulk passed Gino Cappelletti (292 catches) to move into sixth place on the Patriotsí all-time career receptions list. Faulk is the Patriotsí all-time leader in receptions by a running back. Cappelletti was once the Patriotsí all-time leading receiver, holding the record until Stanley Morgan passed him with his 293rd career catch on Nov. 11, 1984. Troy Brown is the Patriotsí all-time leading receiver with 557 career receptions.
BRADY SCORES FOURTH CAREER RUSHING TOUCHDOWN
Tom Brady scored his fourth career rushing touchdown - and his first since Dec. 11, 2005 - on a 3-yard run in the first quarter to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead. Brady has never scored more than two rushing touchdowns in a single regular season, achieving a career-high of one in 2002, 2003, 2005 and now 2007. Bradyís last touchdown run came against Buffalo on Dec. 11, 2005 and like today was on a 3-yard run in the first quarter.
The Patriots scored first, taking a 7-0 lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by Tom Brady in the first quarter. New England has scored on its opening drive in each game this season, totaling five touchdowns and three field goals. New England has scored first in each of its eight games this season and has achieved the feat in 11 straight regular season and playoff games dating back to Jan. 7, 2007.
BRUSCHI MAKE A WISH VISIT
Tedy Bruschi will meet with 15-year old Jared LaCombe after todayís game as a part of the Make A Wish Foundation of Massachusettsí wish granting program. LaCombe, who hails from Winter Springs, FL is undergoing treatment for leukemia. Prior to the game LaCombe watched warm-ups from the field and then stood in the tunnel as the Patriots entered the field. Last year, Bruschi was honored by the Make A Wish Foundation of Massachusetts for his contributions and commitment to the organization.