Postgame notes: Patriots vs. Bucs

Postgame notes: Patriots vs. Bucs
September 22, 2013, 5:15 pm
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Courtesy of Patriots' P.R. department

PATRIOTS OFF TO 3-0 START FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2007
The Patriots improved to 3-0 with their 23-3 win over Tampa Bay and are 3-0 for a) the eighth time in team history, b) the fourth time under coach Bill Belichick, and c) the first time since 2007. The Patriots also started 3-0 in 1964 (did not make playoffs), 1974 (did not make playoffs), 1997 (won AFC East title), 1999 (did not make playoffs), 2002 (did not make playoffs), 2004 (won Super Bowl) and 2007 (won AFC championship). Since 1990, 75.4 percent of teams (86 of 114) that started 3-0 have made the playoffs.

DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING
The Patriots have now allowed 10 points or less in three consecutive regular-season home games, dating back to the 2012 finale. Yesterday also marked the first time the Pats allowed three points or less in a September game since 1997. And the team has only allowed 34 points over the first three games, their lowest total after three games since 1979.

150 YARDS RUSHING
The Patriots gained 156 rushing yards on 33 carries (4.7 avg.) against Tampa Bay, the second time in three games this season they've broken the 150-yard rushing mark. They ran for 158 yards in the season opener at Buffalo.

PATRIOTS FORCE A TURNOVER FOR 30th STRAIGHT GAME
Aqib Talib's second-quarter interception means the Patriots have now forced a turnover in 30 straight games, dating back to 2011. The last time the Patriots did not register at least one turnover was on Oct. 9, 2011 against the New York Jets.

PATRIOTS STOP TAMPA BAY ON FOURTH DOWN FOUR TIMES
The New England defense stopped Tampa Bay on fourth down four times in Patriots territory today, holding the Buccaneers to 0-for-4 on fourth downs.

BRADY EXTENDS HIS STREAK TO 51 GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE TOUCHDOWN
Tom Brady extended his streak to 51 straight games with at least one touchdown in the second quarter with his 16-yard touchdown pass to WR Kenbrell Thompkins. It is the second longest touchdown streak in NFL history, behind Drew Brees (54) and the longest active streak. Brady and Brees are the only NFL players with streaks of 50 or more consecutive games with at least one touchdown.

BRANDON BOLDEN MAKES 2013 DEBUT AND MAKES FIRST CAREER START, TOTALS 100 SCRIMMAGE YARDS
RB Brandon Bolden made his 2013 season debut after missing the first two games of the year and made his first NFL start against Tampa Bay. Bolden finished the game with exactly 100 yards from scrimmage (51 rushing, 49 receiving). Bolden’s 100 yards from scrimmage were the second-highest such total of his career, trailing only his 148 scrimmage yards at Buffalo on Sept. 20, 2012 (137 rushing, 11 receiving). He also had a career-long 46-yard run in the third quarter. It was the longest run by a Patriots player since Nov. 18, 2012, when WR Julian Edelman had a 47-yard run, and the longest by a Patriots running back since Sammy Morris had a 55-yard run on Dec. 27, 2009 vs. Jacksonville.

THOMPKINS SCORES FIRST NFL TOUCHDOWNS
Rookie WR Kenbrell Thompkins scored his first two NFL touchdown today, on a 16-yard pass from Brady in the second quarter and a 5-yard reception from Brady with 47 seconds to play in the first half.

BELICHICK ONE WIN AWAY FROM TYING CHUCK NOLL FOR FIFTH PLACE ALL-TIME
Belichick won his 208th career game, bringing him within one win of Chuck Noll for fifth place on the NFL’s all-time wins list.

STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI TIES CAREER HIGH
K Stephen Gostkowski tied a career-high with a 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half. He also had a 53-yard field goal vs. Arizona on Sept. 16, 2012 and at Denver on Oct. 11, 2009. Gostkowski was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals against Tampa Bay.

GOSTKOWSKI TIES PATRIOTS RECORD WITH HIS EIGHTH FIELD GOAL OF 50 OR MORE YARDS
Gostkowski’s 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half was his eighth 50-yard field goal. He is now tied with Adam Vinatieri for the most field goals of 50 or more yards in team history with eight.

TALIB HAS THIRD INTERCEPTION OF 2013
Talib intercepted a Josh Freeman pass at the Tampa Bay 43-yard line with 16 seconds left in the first half to set up a quick Patriots field goal that gave New England a 17-3 halftime lead. Talib’s interception was his third in as many quarters, having had a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions against the Jets last week.

TOM BRADY IMPROVES ON HIS HOME DOMINANCE
Brady now has an 88-16 record at home. It is the best record among starting quarterbacks in home games since the 1970 merger. In all games, Brady is now 35-9 all-time against the NFC as a starter in the regular season.

EDLEMAN SURPASES 2012 RECEIVING TOTALS
Edelman has 27 receptions through three games in 2013, already surpassing his 2012 season total (21). Edelman’s career high for receptions is 37 catches, achieved as a rookie in 2009.

EDELMAN HAS THE HIGHEST PUNT RETURN AVERAGE IN NFL HISTORY
Edelman returned two punts for 29 yards against Tampa Bay and now has returned 83 punts for 1,076 yards during his Patriots’ career and has the highest punt return average in NFL history with a 13.0-yard average.