Patriots-Dolphins notes: Eighth Pats shutout for Belichick

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Patriots-Dolphins notes: Eighth Pats shutout for Belichick

A collection of notes courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff after the Patriots 28-0 win over the Dolphins:

THE PATRIOTS HAVE EIGHTH SHUTOUT IN THE BILL BELICHICK ERA
The Patriots shut out Miami 28-0, recording their first shutout of the season and their first since downing the Tennessee Titans 59-0 on Oct. 18, 2009. The shutout is the eighth for the Patriots since Bill Belichick became head coach in 2000. New England had three shutouts in 2003, one in 2005, one in 2006, in 2008 and 2009. It is the 25th shutout in team history.

PATRIOTS FINISH UNDEFEATED IN AFC EAST
With the victory over the Dolphins, the Patriots finish their slate of divisional games without a loss for the second time in team history. The Patriots were a perfect 6-0 in AFC East play in 2007. New England had just one loss in division play in 1986, 1997, 2003, 2004 and 2005, 2010 and 2011.

BRADY MOVES PAST JOHNNY UNITAS WITH THE SECOND LONGEST TOUCHDOWN STREAK
Brady has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 48 straight regular season games after his 9-yard touchdown pass to WR Wes Welker in the first quarter to move past Johnny Unitas (47) for the second longest touchdown streak in NFL history, behind Drew Brees (54).

PATRIOTS BREAK NFL RECORD FOR MOST FIRST DOWNS IN A SEASON
The Patriots set a new NFL record for most first downs in a season after gaining 28 first downs against Miami to give them a total of 444 in 2012.
444 New England in 2012
416 New Orleans in 2011
399 New England in 2011
398 Kansas City in 2004

STEVE GREGORY SETS CAREER HIGH WITH HIS THIRD INTERCEPTION OF THE SEASON
Steve Gregory set a single-season career high when he intercepted Miami QB Ryan Tannehill in the first quarter for his third on the season. The pick helped set up a 9-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker. Gregorys previous single season high was two interceptions in 2010 when he played for San Diego.

ROOKIE JUSTIN FRANCIS RECORDS FIRST THREE NFL SACKS
Rookie DL Justin Francis dropped Miami QB Ryan Tannehill for a 4-yard loss in the first quarter, a 1-yard loss in the third quarter and a 3-yard loss in the fourth quarter for his first three NFL sacks. Francis three sacks in a game are tied for seventh all time in franchise history with 30 others. The last three-plus sack game was Andre Carter, who had four at the Jets on November 13, 2011.

WELKER FINISHES WITH 1,354 RECEIVING YARDS
Wes Welker finished the season with 1,354 receiving yards, the fourth highest in franchise history and the second highest total of his career. He had a franchise record 1,569 in 2011.

PATRIOTS FINISH FIRST IN THE NFL WITH 557 TOTAL POINTS
The Patriots finished first in the NFL with 557 points in 2012, which is second in team history to the NFL record of 589 points set by the 2007 team and third in NFL history. The Patriots finished with an average of 34.8 points per game in 2012.

PATRIOTS TWO YARDS SHY OF TEAM MARK IN TOTAL YARDS
The Patriots finished the season with 6,846 net yards through, the second highest in team history and the fifth highest in NFL history.
MOST TOTAL NET YARDSSEASON PATRIOTS
6,848 in 2011
6,846 in 2012
6,580 in 2007
6,357 in 2009
MOST TOTAL NET YARDS NFL
7,474 New Orleans in 2011
7,075 St. Louis in 2000
6,936 Miami in 1984
6,848 Patriots in 2011
6,846 Patriots in 2012

BRADY THROWS AT LEAST ONE TD PASS IN ALL 16 GAMES FOR THIRD STRAIGHT SEASON
Since the NFL went to a 16-game season in 1978, Tom Brady is the only quarterback to have thrown for at least one touchdown pass in each game for three consecutive seasons. Since the NFL went to a 16-game season in 1978, only eight quarterbacks have thrown for at least one touchdown in each game. Brady and Peyton Manning are the only quarterbacks to do so in 2012.

BRADY MOVES PAST DREW BLEDSOE INTO 9TH PLACE ON THE ALL-TIME PASSING LIST
Brady (44,806) moved past Drew Bledsoe(44,611) into ninth place in NFL passing yards, Drew Brees is in 8th place with 45,523 passing yards entering todays games.

STEVAN RIDLEY BECOMES FIFTH PATRIOTS RUNNING BACK TO REACH 1200 YARDS
Stevan Ridley has a total of 1,263 rushing yards after gaining 74 against Miami. Ridley is the fifth Patriots player to reach 1,200 yards and his 1,263 is fourth in franchise history.
MOST YARDS RUSHINGSINGLE SEASON
Player Season Yds
Corey Dillon 2004 1,635
Curtis Martin 1995 1,487
Jim Nance 1966 1,458
Stevan Ridley 2012 1,263
Craig James 1985 1,227

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

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Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.

Benintendi's MRI inconclusive; will undergo more tests Friday in Boston

Benintendi's MRI inconclusive; will undergo more tests Friday in Boston

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Andrew Benintendi saga will continue for at least one more day, as an MRI taken here Thursday morning was, in the words of John Farrell, "inconclusive" and the rookie left fielder will undergo more tests Friday in Boston.

"Our doctors want to get him back to a full exam with (team orthopedist) Dr. [Peter] Asnis," Farrell said after the 2-1 loss to the Rays, which concluded the team's 11-game road trip. "Hopefully, when I speak to you all [Friday] afternoon (at Fenway Park, prior to the team's game against Royals), there will be a little more information on this."

Farrell said Friday's tests "will include some other imaging".

The Sox placed Benintendi on the 15-day disabled list after he injured his left night while running the bases Wednesday night. 

"We're going to do some more tests tomorrow and take it day-by-day," he said. "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully the tests come back clean.''
 
Benintendi found one sliver of hope:
 
"The more I walk on it, the better it feels. I'm going to stay as positive as I can.'' 

Branch reinstated by Patriots after week-long suspension

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Branch reinstated by Patriots after week-long suspension

Alan Branch has been reinstated by the Patriots after the team suspended him prior to last week's preseason game with the Bears, according to Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran. 

When Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Branch's absence last week, he replied, "It's a club matter."

What got Branch suspended by the team is still unknown, but he is expected to be a contributing player on the interior of the Patriots defensive line in 2016. He started in 17 games last season, including both playoff games, often lining up alongside fellow defensive tackle Malcom Brown. 

Through training camp the Patriots have also used Terrance Knighton, Vincent Valentine, Anthony Johnson and Joe Vellano on the interior of their defensive front. Branch, however, has consistently been used with the team's first defensive grouping. It's unclear how a week away from the team might impact his spot on the depth chart. 

Field Yates of ESPN was the first to report the news that Branch had been reinstated.