Notes: Patriots with rare consecutive losses


Notes: Patriots with rare consecutive losses

The following is a collection of Patriots notes from their 24-20 loss to the Giants. Notes are courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff.

The Patriots have lost back-to-back games for just the third time since the beginning of the 2003 season. Over that span, the Patriots are now 26-3 (.897) in games following a regular season loss. Over the last nine seasons (2003-11), the only other times the Patriots lost back-to-back games was once in 2006 and once in 2009.

The Patriots concluded a 20-game home winning streak. Prior to tonight, the last time the Patriots lost a regular-season game at Gillette Stadium was on Nov. 30, 2008, when New England fell 33-10 to Pittsburgh.

Rob Gronkowski had eight catches for 101 yards, including a grab for a 14-yard touchdown with 1:36 remaining that gave the Patriots a 20-17 lead. Gronkowski now has six touchdowns this season and has 16 touchdowns since the start of the 2010 season, the most among any tight end in the NFL over that span. Jason Witten is second with 13 touchdowns from 2010-present. Through eight games this season, Gronkowski has 44 receptions for 596 yards and six touchdowns. His 44 receptions and 596 yards have eclipsed his totals as a rookie last season (42 receptions for 546 yards).

Rob Gronkowski had eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Gronkowskis eight grabs set a new career high, topping his previous mark of seven catches in a game. The 101 yards marked Gronkowskis third career 100-yard game. He now has three straight games with seven or more receptions. He has four games in 2011 with seven or more receptions.

Tom Brady concluded a 31-game winning streak as a starter in home games. Bradys streak of 31 straight home victories was the longest such streak for any starting quarterback in NFL history, besting Brett Favres string of 25 straight home wins from 1995-98. Prior to tonight, the last time the Patriots lost a game at Gillette Stadium in which Brady had started was on Nov. 12, 2006 against the New York Jets. Following that game against the Jets, the Patriots installed an artificial playing surface at Gillette Stadium. Prior to todays game, Brady had been 31-0 in the regular season as a starter on the artificial turf at Gillette Stadium.

At the midway point of the season, Wes Welker has 66 receptions for 960 yards. He is on pace to total 132 receptions for 1,920 yards. The all-time NFL record for most receptions in a season is 143 (Marvin Harrison, 2002), and the record for most receiving yards in a campaign is 1,848 (Jerry Rice, 1995).

Following his 9-catch, 136-yard performance against the Giants, Wes Welker has now caught 498 passes for 5,496 yards in his four-and-a-half seasons with the Patriots (2007-present). Today, Welker passed Ben Coates (490 catches) for third place on the Patriots all-time receptions list. Welker also passed Coates (5,471 yards) for fourth place on the Patriots all-time receiving yardage list. Welkers 25-yard reception in the first quarter was his 490th reception with the Patriots and moved him into a third place tie with Ben Coates (490) on the Patriots all-time list. His 4-yard reception in the second quarter moved him past Coates into sole possession of third place. Troy Brown (557) is in first place on the Patriots all-time receptions list followed by Stanley Morgan (534). Welker trails Stanley Morgan (10,352), Troy Brown (6,366) and Irving Fryar (5,726).

Kyle Arrington registered his fifth interception of the season when he picked off Eli Manning in the end zone in the third quarter. He is tied with Eric Weddle (Seattle) and Charles Woodson (Green Bay) for the NFL lead. The Last Patriot player to lead the NFL in interceptions was Asante Samuel with 10 in 2006.

The Patriots were held scoreless in the first half for the first time since a 21-0 loss at Miami on Dec. 10, 2006. The Patriots and the Giants did not score in the first half. It is the first time since a 14-0 loss at the LA Rams on Sept. 13, 1992 that the Patriots played a 0-0 first half.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans roll to 36-22 victory over Jaguars


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans roll to 36-22 victory over Jaguars

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - There's nothing like a visit from the Jacksonville Jaguars to make the Tennessee Titans remember how to protect their home field.

Marcus Mariota threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns to end his home struggles and the Titans had their highest point total of the season in a 36-22 victory over the Jaguars on Thursday night.

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Develin stays on top of tight end techniques in case he's next man up


Develin stays on top of tight end techniques in case he's next man up

FOXBORO -- Once the Patriots traded AJ Derby to the Broncos for a fifth-round pick earlier this week, they were left with just two tight ends on their roster. While those two tight ends -- Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett -- have played as two of the best tight ends in football this season, it's a position group that has been considerably thinned. 

Until coach Bill Belichick adds another player at that spot, James Develin would be the logical "next man up." A position group unto himself as the team's lone active fullback -- the other fullback in the locker room is practice-squad player Glenn Gronkowski -- Develin meets with Patriots tight ends and coach Brian Daboll on a daily basis because the fullback and tight-end responsibilities in the Patriots offense are similar, particularly in the run game.

As much time as he spends with that group, Develin tries to absorb what he can when it comes to the nuances of the position. 

"I always kind of try to prepare, obviously, for my fullback role, but then in any other role that I might be called upon for," Develin said on Thursday. "A couple years ago, we had a bunch of injuries during the offseason program, during OTAs, and I filled in a little bit at tight end. I try to keep myself familiar with all those techniques and that tight end role so if the day were to come where I needed to go out there and do it, I'd be able to go out there and do it."

When the Patriots began the season relying more on the run, Develin was called upon to play a relatively significant role in the offense. He averaged 21.3 snaps per game through the first three games of the season, but that number has fallen to 13.6 since Tom Brady's return from a four-game suspension. Still, his role can be a critical one. 

The Patriots' running game faltered last season after both Blount and Dion Lewis went down with season-ending injuries. Having Develin in the mix as an extra blocker would not have guaranteed a more efficient attack, but it may have helped the team's running-game woes late in the year. 

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels now has the luxury of bringing Develin onto the field when he wants some added muscle for his blocking schemes, and should the Patriots need a tight end in a pinch, Develin could do that too.

"A lot of times, especially in the blocking game, really the only difference [between fullback and tight end] is that I'm five yards off the ball in the backfield and they're up on the line," Develin said. "The angles are a little bit different. But a lot of times the assignment is typcially the same thing. It's just the technique of getting there and the angles that you take.

"Then in the passing game, as a tight end, there's just a lot more routes and stuff like that. I try to work on that to help me as a fullback to be a little bit better in space . . . It's a sybiotic relationship." 

As it is, Develin will line up occasionally outside. Though not a threat as a receiver in that spot in the same way that Gronkowski or Bennett would be, he understands some of the different looks tight ends have to be comfortable with.

If an emergency arose and he was asked to fill that role, he wouldn't hesitate.

"There's a little bit of carry-over depending on what we're doing or whatever play we have called where I'll line up on the line," he said. "But that's kind of what a fullback has to do. You kind of have to be able to be thrown into whatever position on the field that you gotta do and you gotta just do your job."