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.

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”