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.

Ratto: Kaepernick controversy touches on hot-button issues in an ugly political year

Ratto: Kaepernick controversy touches on hot-button issues in an ugly political year

Ray Ratto joins Chevrolet SportsNet Central to discuss Colin Kaepernick's decision to not stand during the national anthem before the San Francisco 49ers preseason game.

Belichick says all three QBs could use more game reps

Belichick says all three QBs could use more game reps

Bill Belichick was expansive Saturday when asked on a conference call how he'll split the quarterback reps for the Patriots final preseason game Thursday in New York.

"I think that’s a good question, it’s a fair question, it’s one that we really have to give some good consideration to," Belichick began. "As I said before, I think whatever we do will benefit whoever does it. We want to get Jimmy [Garoppolo] ready for the Arizona game. Tom [Brady] isn’t going to be playing for a while, so it’s kind of his last chance to play until he comes back after a few weeks. Jacoby [Brissett] certainly could use all the playing time that he can get. I think that whichever players we play will benefit from it and it will be valuable to them. We could play all three quarterbacks a lot next week and they’d all benefit from that and it would all be good, but we can’t."

Since they can't, Belichick said there will be situational work done with whoever isn't going to get the game reps.

"We only have one game and so many snaps, so we’ll have to, between practice and the game, put them in some situations that are somewhat controllable like a two-minute situation or things like that that you know are going to kind of come up one way or another," said Belichick. "You can sort of control those in how you want those broken down, what’s best, what does each guy need and how can we get the best we need for each guy. I need to let them get the reps that they need, but it’s how do we get the team ready for what they need to be ready for. They all need to get ready for different things.

What Jimmy’s role is in a couple weeks is going to be a lot different than what Tom’s is, and it’s going to be a lot different than what Jacoby’s is. At some point later on, those roles are going to change again. So again, there’s no perfect solution to it. We’ll just do the best we can to try to have our individual players and our team as well prepared as possible at whatever point that is that we have to deal with, and whenever those situations come up."

As I wrote earlier today, this is the sticky and uncomfortable situation arising from Deflategate. It's not a Tom Brady penalty. It's a team penalty when one considers the ripple effects. And there's no handbook to consult.


Report: Patriots sign LB Jonathan Freeny to two-year extension


Report: Patriots sign LB Jonathan Freeny to two-year extension

The Patriots have signed backup linebacker and special teamer Jonathan Freeny to a two-year contract extension through 2018, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported.

Freeney, 27, was originally signed by the Patriots to a one-year free-agent deal in March 2015 after spending the first four years of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins. He then earned a one-year extension last September and played 13 games, seven starts, with 50 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. 

"Jonathan is a very dependable player," Bill Belichick said on a conference call Saturday. "He is able to do a lot of different roles for us. He can play inside, outside, on the line of scrimmage and off the ball defensively. He has been a very valuable player for us in the kicking game, obviously with some size, a four-phase special teams player.

"He is one of our overall top workers in terms of the offseason program, preparation, training. He always does things right. He works hard, doesn't really say a lot, but is very dependable and consistent. I think everybody in the organization looks up to him."