Patriots offense on record-setting pace

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Patriots offense on record-setting pace

Here are some notes from today's game between the Patriots and the Rams, courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff.

PATRIOTS SET NFL RECORD FOR MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 350 OR MORE YARDS
The Patriots gained a total of 473 yards of offense against the Rams, and have now gained at least 350 total yards in 17 consecutive games to set an NFL record. The Patriots entered the game tied with the St. Louis Rams -- who set the record in 1999-2000 -- with a streak of 16 games.

PATRIOTS ON PACE TO BREAK FRANCHISE RECORD FOR MOST NET YARDS
The Patriots have 3,526 net yards through the first eight games in 2012 and are on pace to finish with 7,052 yards, a total which would rank third in NFL history. The Patriots finished the 2011 season with 6,848 total net yards, setting a new franchise record for most total net yards in a season. That total is fourth all-time in NFL history.

GRONKOWSKI NOW HAS 35 CAREER TOUCHDOWNS
Since he entered the NFL in 2010, Gronkowski has 34 career touchdown receptions and 35 total touchdowns. The NFL record for most overall touchdowns in a players first three NFL seasons is 47 by Barry Sanders and the record for most touchdown receptions in a players first three NFL seasons is 43 by Randy Moss. Gronkowski (10 touchdowns in 2010 and 18 in 2011) can become the first tight end in NFL history with three straight 10-plus touchdown seasons. Gronkowski and Antonio Gates (13 in 2004 and 10 in 2005) are the only tight ends to have back-to-back 10-plus touchdown seasons.

WELKER RECEPTION PACE
Wes Welker has 60 receptions through eight games this season and is on pace to total 120 catches in 2012. If Wes Welker reaches 100 receptions in 2012, he will become the first player in NFL history with five 100-catch seasons. Welkers four seasons with 100 or more receptions ties Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice for the NFL record.

CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE TOUCHDOWN PASS CONTINUES FOR BRADY
Tom Brady has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 40 straight regular season games following a 19-yard touchdown pass to WR Brandon Lloyd in the first quarter. It is the third longest streak, behind Drew Brees at 49 (current) and Johnny Unitas (47) (1956-60). Bradys current streak started when he threw a touchdown pass in all 16 games in 2010 and 2011 and now the first five games of 2012. The old team record was 19 games, also set by Brady.

WILSON HAD THREE NFL INTERCEPTIONS TO MATCH HIS CAREER TOTAL IN COLLEGE
Rookie Tavon Wilson intercepted a fourth quarter pass and returned it 45 yards for his third interception of the season. Wilson had three interceptions during his college career at Illinois.

Gronkowski returns to practice; Mason, Branch still missing

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Gronkowski returns to practice; Mason, Branch still missing

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had a welcome face back on the practice field on Wednesday, as tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to action after missing the team's previous five practices as he dealt with an injury. 

Gronkowski participated in the warmup period of practice and then remained with the majority of his teammates for drills. 

The last time Gronkowski was spotted on the field was last Monday, which was the first of three joint practices between the Patriots and the Bears. He pulled up after pursuing a Tom Brady pass, walked along the sideline, met with head trainer Jim Whalen, and then left practice early. He did not suit up for Thursday's game against Chicago. 

Gronkowski has not participated in a preseason game since 2012. 

Patriots not spotted at Wednesday's practice were Shaq Mason, Jonathan Cooper, Sebastian Vollmer (on the physically unable to perform list) and Dion Lewis (also on PUP). Alan Branch, who has been suspended by the team before last week's preseason game, was also missing. 

Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich, Malcolm Mitchell, Shea McClellin, Tre' Jackson (PUP) and Danny Amendola (PUP) were present for warmups but went to a lower field for conditioning. Amendola and Jackson were not in pads for the short-and-shells session. 

Jon Bon Jovi was taking in the session alongside Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. 

Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Ramirez gets night off

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Ramirez gets night off

Hanley Ramirez is getting a night off as the Red Sox look for their third straight win against the Rays tonight at Tropicana Field.

Travis Shaw will play first base, with Brock Holt at third.

Tonight's lineups:

RED SOX:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Andrew Benintendi LF
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Rick Porcello P

RAYS:
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller SH
Matt Duffy SS
Logan Morrison 1B
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Corey Dickerson LF
Bobby Wilson C
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Matt Andriese P