Notes: Pats win franchise-best 19 straight at home

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Notes: Pats win franchise-best 19 straight at home

The following are notes from the Patriots - Jets game courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff:

PATRIOTS SHARP AT GILLETTE
The Patriots have now won 19 straight regular season home games dating back to a 47-7 win over Arizona on Dec. 21, 2008. New Englands 19 straight regular-season home wins establishes a new franchise record, topping the teams previous record of 18 straight regular-season home victories from Dec. 29, 2002 through Sept. 8, 2005. The Patriots own an overall record of 62-12 (.838) at Gillette Stadium in regular season games. Since their state-of-the-art facility opened at the beginning of the 2002 season, the Patriots own the NFLs best record at home all-time.

13 STRAIGHT GAMES WITH 30 OR MORE POINTS RANKS SECOND IN NFL HISTORY
The Patriots scored 30 points, marking their 13th straight game with 30 or more points. The Patriots current streak of 13 straight games with 30 or more points is second in NFL history to the 14 straight games by the St. Louis Rams (1999-2000).

PATRIOTS-JETS SERIES TIED, 52-52-1
Following Sundays Patriots victory, the all-time series between the Patriots and Jets is tied, 52-52-1 (including a 2-1 Patriots advantage in playoff games).

GREEN-ELLIS SETS SINGLE-GAME CAREER HIGH WITH 136 RUSHING YARDS
BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a career-best 136 rushing yards on 27 carries (5.0 avg.), two of which were touchdown runs. Green-Elliss 136 rushing yards are the most for a Patriots player since Oct. 20, 2008, when Sammy Morris had 138 rushing yards in a 41-7 Patriots victory over the Denver Broncos.

GREEN-ELLIS HAS MORE RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS SINCE 2010 THAN ANY OTHER PLAYER
Since the beginning of the 2010 season, Green-Ellis has 18 touchdown runs. Green-Elliss total of 18 touchdowns since the beginning of 2010 is the most in the NFL. Houstons Arian Foster is second with 17. With two touchdowns against the Jets, Green-Ellis now has five touchdowns in 2011. He had a career-high 13 last season.

BRADY HAS STREAK OF 2 TDs SNAPPED AT 13 GAMES
Tom Brady threw for one touchdown today against the Jets, snapping his streak of 13 straight games with two or more touchdown passes. Bradys streak of 13 straight games with two or more TDs is tied with Peyton Mannings 2004 total for the longest such streak in NFL history.

WELKER SETS NFL RECORD FOR MOST RECEIVING YARDS IN FIRST FIVE GAMES
Wes Welker had five receptions for 124 yards and now has 45 receptions for 740 yards through five games this season. Welkers 740 receiving yards are the most in NFL history for any player through the first five games of the season. Welker is on pace for 2,368 receiving yards this year. The NFL record for most yards gained in a season is 1,848 by Jerry Rice in 1995. The Patriots team record is 1,493 yards by Randy Moss in 2007. Welkers career-high is 1,348 yards in 2009. Welkers 45 receptions through five games are the second highest total in NFL history for the first five games of the season, trailing only Cincinnatis TJ Houshmandzadehs 47 receptions through the first five games of the 2007 season.

BRADY THROWS FIRST CAREER INTERCEPTION IN THE RED ZONE AT HOME
Tom Brady entered the day with 91 red zone touchdowns and no interceptions in home regular season game prior his second quarter interception. Brady began his career with 327 attempts (including two Sunday) without an interception at home in the red zone.

PATS D STANDS TALL
The New England defense forced the Jets offense into seven three-and-outs in 12 possessions.

Belichick explains matching in the secondary

Belichick explains matching in the secondary

FOXBORO – Here’s a leftover from last week I’m dredging up because it’s really instructive in giving insight to something we all flap our arms about: how the Pats decide whether to play zone, man-to-man or match receivers with their secondary.

The jumping off-point was asking about Trumaine Johnson -- a long-tall corner for the Rams. As Belichick about Johnson and the difficulties he poses, at 6-foot-2, it brought to mind the team’s acquisition earlier this season of Eric Rowe. The 6-2 corner they got from the Eagles filled a need in that the Patriots other corners are not very tall, headlined by 5-9 Malcolm Butler.

So I asked Belichick if the team strives to have different sized players in the secondary.

“That’s if you move them around,” he explained, meaning size only matters if you intend to put size-on-size. “If you don’t move them around, if you play a guy at one positon and he plays on the right side or the left side, you cover the guy that’s over there, which I’d say is more the situation than not. There are some teams or some situations where you’ve got him, he’s got the next guy, you’ve got somebody else, but I’d say that’s by far the lower percentage of the plays, by far. Generally, you see a corner play – some games are different. We’ll match to this guy and somebody else matches to that guy. Teams will do that. There’s some of that, but by and large, most teams play at one position and whoever is in that spot, that’s who they cover.”

With matching receivers being the exception rather than the rule, the next logical question is why? Why would you let a little guy cover a big guy if you also have a big guy who could cover?

Because offenses make it complicated, Belichick answered.

“The easiest thing in the world is for one player to match another,” he explained. “‘OK, you go cover this guy.’ Alright, great. But what do the other 10 guys do? That’s the problem. It’s easy to matchup one guy. That’s simple. What do the other 10 guys do? What if he’s here? What if he’s there? What if he goes in motion? What if he’s in the backfield? What if it’s this personnel? What if it’s that personnel in the game? Then how does all the rest of it matchup? That’s where it gets tricky.  You can be spending all day, literally, on that. OK yeah, you take this guy but what are you going to do with the other 10?”

Belichick also delved into other options including a coverage concept the Pats used when Darrelle Revis was here. Giving Revis the opponent’s so-called No. 2 receiver and doubling the No. 1.

“You can matchup and put your best guy on their best guy, or you can matchup and put your best guy on let’s call it their second best guy and put your second best guy on their best guy and double him,” Belichick said. “If you’re going to put your best guy on their best guy and double him anyway then you kind of lessen the matchups down the line. It’s like setting a tennis ladder, or whatever. If you put your bad guy at one and you win two through seven, great. If you put your best guy at one and he gets beat by their one and then your two versus their two, you know. That’s what you’re doing. You have a three to four-man ladder there with the receivers and your DB’s [defensive backs], except we don’t have to match them that way. You can match them however you want.”

It’s a fascinating discussion and it comes into play the next two weeks as the Patriots will see a true test with receivers like the Ravens Steve Smith and Denver with Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.

The Patriots will have decisions to make. Chances are they’ll use a little bit of everything. But these are some of the the things they weight when doing so.

Call-up coming? Belichick likes what he's seen from p-squad receivers

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Call-up coming? Belichick likes what he's seen from p-squad receivers

The Patriots find themselves in a difficult spot following Sunday's win over the Rams: They are a team that likes to lean on three-receiver sets, yet they have only three healthy receivers.

Danny Amendola suffered an ankle injury during a punt return over the weekend that further thinned an already thin position group. The healthy receivers left on the depth chart are Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and rookie Malcolm Mitchell.

The Patriots will in all likelihood make an addition to their 53-man roster at some point in order to bolster their depleted receiving group, and in a way, they've been preparing for this.

The team has been adding and subtracting receivers on their practice squad for much of the year. They began the season with rookie seventh-round pick Devin Lucien and fourth-year wideout Devin Street on the p-squad. On Sept. 14, they added DeAndrew White as a third receiver on the 10-man unit, a relatively unusual amount of practice-squad depth at one spot. 

After Street was signed away by the Colts, the Patriots have also given practice-squad shots to Da'Ron Brown and Shaquelle Evans. Neither of those players stuck, but Lucien and White have, showing that the Patriots have been encouraged by their contributions.

"I think they’ve made good progress . . . They both have been consistent," Bill Belichick said during a conference call on Tuesday. "They’ve been out there every day. They work hard. They’ve made plays for us in practice on the scout team against our defense, so overall our guys on the practice squad do a good job.

"They certainly help us get ready for the games by simulating our opponent’s schemes and playing styles and at the same time they’ve improved with their individual skills and techniques. Both of those guys – they’ve done a good job for us."

ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss reported on Sunday that the Patriots voluntarily increased the salary of White (from the minimum of $6,900 per week to $10,000 per week), perhaps making him the favorite as a potential call-up to the 53-man roster.

White is in his second pro season out of Alabama, and he was signed by San Francisco last year as an undrafted free agent. He played in four games as a rookie, catching two passes for 18 yards. He also returned six kicks and returned one punt for the 49ers. During his collegiate career, he returned five kicks and two punts.

Should the Patriots feel as though they would be straining to add a receiver to the 53-man roster, they could find some help with the depth they have at running back. Dion Lewis, James White and DJ Foster are all capable pass-catchers who have the ability to line up wide or in the slot. Foster, who was a college teammate of Lucien's for one season, played receiver as a senior at Arizona State.