New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens – October 4, 2009
PATRIOTS OFF TO A HOT START ONCE AGAIN
The Patriots have started the season with at least three wins in their first four games for the fourth straight season and are the only NFL team to begin each of the last four seasons with a record of 3-1 or better through their first four games.
PATRIOTS DEFENSE POSTS STRONG EFFORT
The Patriots held the Ravens to 21 total points this afternoon (and just 14 points on offense) after the Ravens came into the game ranked second in the NFL averaging 34.3 points per game. In its first three games, Baltimore had totaled 38, 31, and 34 points. The Patriots defense entered today’s game ranked sixth in the NFL and third in the AFC in terms of yards allowed. The Patriots defense has not allowed more than 19 points in a game so far in 2009, limiting Buffalo to 17 offensive points, the New York Jets to 19 points, Atlanta to 10 points and Baltimore to 14 offensive points.
TWO RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS AGAINST BALTIMORE
QB Tom Brady’s 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and RB Sammy Morris’ 12-yard touchdown run in the second quarter are the first two rushing touchdowns given up by Baltimore in 2009. Baltimore allowed only four rushing touchdowns all of last season, including two in in a loss to the New York Giants (11/16/08).
BRADY TAKES IT IN
QB Tom Brady’s one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the sixth rushing score of his career. It was his first rushing touchdown since he had two rushing touchdowns in a win over the Washington Redskins on October 28, 2007.
LEIGH BODDEN RECORDS FIRST PATRIOTS INTERCEPTION OF 2009
Leigh Bodden intercepted a Joe Flacco pass at the New England 9-yard line with 1:11 left to play in the first half to preserve a 17-7 halftime lead. Bodden’s interception was the 14th of his career, his first as a member of the Patriots, and the first interception for New England in 2009.
MOSS MOVES PAST MARSHALL FAULK FOR SIXTH ALL-TIME WITH 137 CAREER TOUCHDOWNS
WR Randy Moss caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from QB Tom Brady in the third quarter for his first touchdown reception of the 2009 season. Moss moved out of a tie with Marshall Faulk into sole possession of sixth place on the NFL’s all-time touchdowns list with a total of 137 touchdowns (136 receiving touchdowns and one punt returned for a touchdown). Moss is third on the all-time list for receiving touchdowns with 136, behind Terrell Owens (140) and Jerry Rice (197).
BELICHICK NOW HAS THIRD BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE AMONG COACHES WITH 150 CAREER WINS
With the Patriots’ victory today, Bill Belichick improved his career winning percentage as a head coach to
.6316 (156-91-0), moving past Curly Lambeau and into third place all-time among NFL head coaches with at least 150 career wins. Lambeau recorded a winning percentage of .6309 (229-134-22) as a head coach from 1921-53. Belichick’s career winning now percentage trails only George Halas (.682) and Don Shula (.666) among all NFL head coaches with at least 150 career victories. Since becoming head coach of the Patriots in 2000, Belichick has recorded a 119-46 (.721) record, and his 119 wins with New England are more than any other NFL head coach in his first 10 years with a team.
BRADY GOES LONG TO WATSON
QB Tom Brady’s 34-yard pas to TE Benjamin Watson in the second quarter was the second longest Patriots completion of the season, trailing only to the 36-yard touchdown pass Brady had to TE Chris Baker vs. Atlanta (9/27/09). The reception is tied for the seventh-longest in Watson’s career and is his longest reception since a 35-yard reception vs. Cleveland (10/7/07).
NEW ENGLAND WENT 622 PLAYS (SEVEN GAMES) WITHOUT FUMBLING
The Patriots went 622 total plays without a fumble (seven games), and then fumbled on back-to-back plays in the third quarter. Prior to today, the last Patriots fumble was by RB LaMont Jordan at Seattle (12/7/08) in the second quarter.The last time New England lost a fumble before today was November 30, 2008 vs. Pittsburgh in the third quarter.
MIKE WRIGHT HAS FIRST CAREER TWO-SACK GAME
Mike Wright registered his first career two-sack game, dropping Joe Flacco twice for total losses of 17 yards. His two sacks pushed his 2009 total to 3.0, a single-season career high. He had 2.5 sacks last season.
• Darius Butler hit Derrick Mason to help break up a pass on third-and-four in the final minute, forcing Baltimore into a last-try fourth-down situation that they did not convert
• Ty Warren stopped Ray Rice for no gain on third-and-1 at the Baltimore 45-yard line with the Patriots holding on to a 6-point lead with 5:35 left in the game. Gary Guyton and Vince Wilfork combined to stop Willis McGahee for no gain on the next play and force a turnover on downs.
• On separate plays on the same second-quarter defensive series, Darius Butler and Brandon Meriweather each broke up a Joe Flacco pass in the end zone that was intended for Derrick Mason, disrupting what could have been a 38-yard touchdown pass and keeping the Ravens off the scoreboard.
• Brandon Meriweather broke up a Flacco pass intended for Kelley Washington in the third quarter.
• Jarvis Green tackled Willis McGahee in the backfield for a 2-yard loss in the first quarter.
• The Patriots improved to 5-0 all-time against the Ravens since the Baltimore franchise was founded in 1996.
• The Patriots improved to 12-2 against the AFC North since the division was formed during the NFL’s 2002 realignment.
• The Patriots improved to 23-4 in the month of October since the beginning of the 2003 season. The Patriots have won 14 of their last 15 October games.
• The Patriots won the turnover battle today, recording two takeaways and one giveaway. Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the Patriots are 53-0 when winning the turnover battle.
• The Patriots won the opening coin toss today and have now won 18 straight games when winning the opening coin toss. The last time the Patriots won the opening coin toss and lost the game was on Dec. 10, 2006, at Miami.
PATRIOTS HOME SELLOUT STREAK IS IN 16th YEAR
Today’s game was the 164th consecutive home sellout for the Patriots. Every Patriots home game has been sold out since the 1994 regular-season opener. The streak includes all preseason, regular-season and playoff games in the last 15-plus years.
PATRIOTS FORCE TWO TURNOVERS
The Patriots have forced at least one turnover in 12 straight games, tying the second longest current streak in the NFL. The Patriots forced two turnovers against Baltimore, with a forced fumble on the opening kickoff and an interception prior to the end of the first half. The Patriots entered today’s game tied for the NFL lead with 7 forced fumbles and tied for third in the NFL with three fumble recoveries
OPENING WITH A TURNOVER
Eric Alexander forced Baltimore kick returner Chris Carr to fumble on the game’s opening kickoff and Brandon McGowan recovered the loose ball to give the Patriots possession at the Ravens’ 12-yard line. New England converted the opportunity into a field goal and a 3-0 lead. The fumble was the fourth opponent fumble that the Patriots have recovered through four games this season, and the Patriots have scored following all four of their opponent fumble recoveries so far in 2009. The forced fumble and recovery was the second for the Patriots on kickoff coverage this season, having also forced and recovered a fumble by Buffalo’s Leodis McKelvin in the fourth quarter of the season opener on Sept. 14.
Stephen Gostkowski hit both of his field goal attempts this afternoon against the Ravens and has been successful on 11 straight attempts dating back to the season opener on Sept. 14. The success streak ties the second longest streak of the 2008 Pro Bowler’s career (he also had streaks of 11 straight field goals in 2006 and 2007). He hit a career-best 17 straight field goals spanning the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The Patriots record for consecutive field goals is 25, achieved by Adam Vinatieri from 1996-97.
BRADY RECORDS UPDATE
• Tom Brady has won 18 straight starts at home (including playoffs), a streak that began following a 17-14 loss to the New York Jets on Nov. 12, 2006.
• Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Tom Brady has a 12-0 regular-season record at home and has completed 289 of 434 passes (66.6 pct.) for 3,284 yards with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions for a passer rating of 103.5.
• Tom Brady improved his career regular-season record to 70-3 when leading at halftime and 73-1 when leading after three quarters.
• Brady improved to 44-3 in his career as a starter in games played on artificial turf (including playoffs), and is a perfect 18-0 as a starter (including playoffs) in games played at Gillette Stadium since the venue’s artificial turf was installed in November 2006.
• Brady improved his career record to 104-28 (.788) as a starter, including playoff games.
• In games in which both Tom Brady and Randy Moss have played, the Patriots are 21-2 (.913), including playoffs.
• Baltimore scored on a fumble that was recovered in the end zone in the third quarter. It was the first fumble recovered in the end zone against New England since Leonard Little scored at St. Louis (11-7-04).
• Baltimore RB Ray Rice’s 50-yard run in the third quartyer is the sixth longest against New England this decade (since the 2000 season).