Courtesy of the New England PR staff, here are some notes after the Pats’ 23-20 victory:
PATRIOTS OFF TO A HOT START ONCE AGAIN
The Patriots have started the season with at least five wins in their first six games for the fourth time under head coach Bill Belichick after improving to a 5-1 record with the win over San Diego. The Patriots best records through six games under Belichick are 6-0 in 2004, 5-1 in 2006 and 6-0 in 2007.
PATRIOTS GOOD IN OCTOBER
With the win today against San Diego, the Patriots improved to a 28-5 in the month of October since the 2003 season. The Patriots have won 19 of their last 21 games in October.
MAYO HAS THIRD STRAIGHT GAME WITH 10-PLUS TACKLES
LB Jerod Mayo had his third-straight game with 10-plus tackles after finishing with 11 against San Diego to become the first Patriots player to go three consecutive games with 10-plus tackles since Teddy Bruschi went three straight games with 10-plus tackles in 2006. Mayo had 17 at Miami (10/4) and 19 vs. Baltimore (10/17). It is his fourth game in 2010 with 10-plus tackles. He had 11 in the opener vs. Cincinnati (9/12).
MAYO ON HIGH TACKLE PACE
Mayo has 76 total tackles in 2010 and is on pace for a career high 203 total tackles. That number will be the highest since LB Steve Nelson had 207 tackles in 1984. Mayo had 139 tackles as a rookie in 2008 and 114 in 2009. If he reaches 100 tackles in 2010, he will be the first Patriots player to have three consecutive 100-tackle seasons since Lawyer Milloy registered five straight 100-tackle seasons from 1997 through 2001.
PATS FORCE FOUR FIRST HALF TURNOVERS WITH 3 FUMBLE RECOVERIES AND 1 INTERCEPTIONThe Patriots forced four first half turnovers with a fumble recovery in the first quarter, two fumble recoveries and an interception in the second quarter.
*Jerod Mayo recovered a Chargers fumble forced by LB Brandon Spikes at the San Diego 22-yard line in the first quarter. It is the second career fumble recovery for Mayo and the first career forced fumble by Spikes. That play helped set up a 1-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to TE Rob Gronkowski for a 7-0 lead.
*S James Sanders recovered a San Diego fumble when the WR Richard Goodman thought he was down by contact in the second quarter and returned the ball 25 yards.
*LB Rob Ninkovich picked up the ball on a backward pass in the second quarter that resulted in a fumble that was returned 63 yards to the San Diego 8-yard line to set up a 40-yard field goal by K Stephen Gostkowski.
*Rookie CB Devin McCourty registered his first NFL interception in the second quarter.
*Last season, the Patriots had two games with five turnovers: 10/18 vs. Tennessee and 11/22 vs. NY Jets.
NINKOVICH’S 63-YARD FUMBLE RETURN IS SECOND LONGEST IN TEAM HISTORY
Rob Ninkovich returned a second quarter fumble 63 yards. It is the second longest fumble return in team history to the 68-yard touchdown return by Richard Seymour at Buffalo on Oct. 3, 2004.
WELKER EXTENDS STREAK
Wes Welker extended his streak to 69 straight regular-season games with at least one reception. He has caught at least one pass in each of his 55 games with the Patriots, including three postseason games. The last time that Welker did not catch a pass in a game was December 24, 2005 when he was with the Dolphins.
EDELMAN HAS A LONG RETURN
Julian Edelman’s 34-yard punt return in the second quarter is second to the 35-yard return he had vs. Tennessee on Oct. 18, 2009.
GOSTKOWSKI ON THE TOUHCBACK
K Stephen Gostkowski has 14 kickoffs that have gone for touchbacks. Last season he set a career-high of 21 when he tied a Patriots record with 21 touchbacks. Justin Canale had 21 kickoffs in 1966 for the Patriots.
BRADY MOVES UP ALL-TIME TOUCHDOWN LIST
Brady entered the San Diego game in 19th place on the NFL’s all-time touchdown list with 235.He moved into a tie for 18th place with George Blanda with a 1-yard touchdown pass to TE Rob Gronkowski in the first quarter. Jim Kelly is in 17th place with 237 touchdown passes.
QB TOM BRADY TID BITS
Brady has a 45-21 (.682) career record as a starter on the road. Including the postseason, it was his 4th consecutive win against San Diego.
PATRIOTS HIGH POINT TOTAL
The Patriots lead the NFL with 29.5 points per game in 2010 and are on pace to finish the season with 472 points, which would be second in team history to the NFL record 589 points the Patriots scored in 2007.
MOST POINTS SCORED IN A SEASON BY THE PATRIOTS
589 in 2007
441 in 1980
437 in 2004
427 in 2009
MIKE WRIGHT HAS THREE STRAIGHT GAMES WITH A SACK
Mike Wright was credited with a 5-yard sack in the fourth quarter for his third straight game with a sack. The last Patriots player to go at least three consecutive games with a sack was in 2008 when Richard Seymour had 3.5 sacks in a four-game stretch.
HERNAMDEZ MAKES BIG PLAYS
Rookie TE Aaron Hernandez leads the Patriots 355 receiving yards. He has had a reception of 20 or more yards in five of six games in 2010 after being on the receiving end of a 24-yard reception from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter. .
BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS SCORES FOR THE FOURTH STRAIGHT GAME
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored on a 1-yard touchdown run for his fourth consecutive game with a rushing touchdown. He had a stretch of four straight games with a rushing touchdown as a rookie in 2008. The Patriots record for most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown is seven by Curtis Martin in 1996. Ellis converted a key fourth-and-one situation on the scoring drive to keep the 17-play, 79-yard drive alive.
BRANDON DEADERICK MAKES SECOND CONSEUTIVE START AND HAS A SACK IN EACH GAME
Rookie DL Brandon Deaderick made his second consecutive start and had his second straight game with a sack. He was credited with a 6-yard sack of QB Philip Rivers at the end of the third quarter to force San Diego into a third-and-long situation.
SERGIO BROWN SEES FIRST NFL ACTION
Sergio Brown was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Saturday and played in his first NFL game as a reserve at safety and on special teams.
QUINN OJINNAKA MAKES PATRIOTS DEBUT
T Quinn Ojinnaka played in his first game as a member of the Patriots, seeing action on special teams.