Older AFCE

New England Patriots Team Notes to End the Year

Older AFCE

Miami Dolphins Fan through and through, but football fan all around.

New England Patriots Team Notes to End the Year
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As the clock strikes midnight on Sunday and the calendar starts anew, the Patriots will look to ring in the New Year on a high note and close out the 2016 regular season with a win. New England was able to do just that the last time they played a game on January 1. On the first day of the year 2012, the Pats handed a 49-21 loss to Buffalo at home. The team has only played on New Year’s Day three times in its history with the first instance coming during a 20-13 loss to Cleveland in the Wild Card round of the 1994 playoffs before a Jan. 1, 2006 regular season loss to Miami. There’s no question New England will have its sights set on the task at hand when 2017 arrives this weekend, but with the 2016 postseason still fast-approaching, there is one New Year’s resolu- tion sure to atop the Patriots’ list.
 
DECADE OF DOMINANCE
 
The Patriots regular-season record of 147-44 (.770) over the past 10 seasons is the best in the NFL. Over the past 10 years, only five NFL teams have posted a winning percentage of .600 or better. The Patriots are the only team over .700.
 

 
DIVISIONAL DOMINANCE
 
The New England Patriots own a 75-22 (.773) record in regular-season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season, compiling the best in- tra-division record of any team in the NFL.
 

 
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES
 
Since 2001, the New England Patriots own the NFL’s best record (including postseason) in games decided by three points or fewer. The Patriots are the only team with a winning percentage above .700 in those games. New England is 7-2 in those close games in the playoffs, the only defeats are a 17-14 loss to the N.Y. Giants in Super Bowl XLII and a 20-18 loss in the 2015 AFC Championship game at Denver.
 

 
1ST AFL TEAM TO REACH 500
 
The Patriots have the most overall wins among the original eight AFL teams. They are the first original AFL team to reach 500 victories.
 

 
A DOZEN W’S
 
The Patriots have won at least 12 games 11 times in team history, including seven straight from 2010-16. San Francisco owns the NFL record with thir- teen 12-win seasons since the NFL merger.
 

 
11-WIN SEASONS
 
The Patriots have at least 13 games in 2016. It is the 18th time in team history that the team has won at least 11 games in a season and the seventh straight season with at least 11 wins. The Patriots have had 11 or more wins 14 times in Robert Kraft’s 23 seasons of ownership after having only four 11- win seasons prior to Kraft purchasing the team (1976, 1978, 1985, 1986).
 

 
NFL PRO BOWL SQUAD
 
Four members of the New England Patriots have been selected to the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl. Quarterback Tom Brady, LB Dont’a Hightower, DB Devin McCourty and WR Matthew Slater (special
teams) have been selected to represent the New England Patriots in the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl on Sun., Jan. 29, 2017, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. All four players that have been selected are team captains. The Patriots have now had at least four players selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the last eight seasons – (2009-5, 2010-8, 2011-8, 2012-7, 2013-5, 2014-7, 2015-7 and 2016-5).
 
Brady was named to the Pro Bowl for a franchise record 12th time in his 17-year career and this is Brady’s eighth consecutive selection to the all-star game. He was voted to the Pro Bowl after each of the following seasons: 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and now, 2016. He has tied G John Hannah (1978-85) for most consecutive Pro Bowl selections in franchise history. Brady heads into this week with 25 touchdown passes, a quarterback rating of 110.7, highest in the AFC and second in the NFL and has thrown a league-low two interceptions among starting quarterbacks. Brady became the NFL’s all-time winningest quarterback in 2016 and is the fifth quarterback in NFL history to reach 60,000 passing yards. He also guided the Patriots to their 14th division title of his career, the most by a quarterback in NFL history, including eight straight, also an NFL record.
 
Hightower was named to his first Pro Bowl. A first-round draft pick out of Alabama in 2012, Hightower has started 63-of-66 games in his five-year career and was selected by his teammates as a captain for the first time in 2016. He is fourth on the team with 64 total tackles, has 21⁄2 sacks, one forced fumble and two passes defensed despite missing three games due to injury.
 
McCourty is headed to his third career Pro Bowl. The seven-year veteran defensive back has started all 15 games at safety this season and is currently third on the team with 71 tackles. He leads all current Patriots with 19 career interceptions. McCourty has earned Pro Bowl honors as a cornerback as a rookie in 2010 and as a safety in 2014.
 
Slater earned his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl selection as a special teams player. The former fifth-round draft pick out of UCLA earned a roster position with the Patriots as a rookie in 2008 with his contributions on special teams. Entering the 2011 season, teammates elected him as their special teams captain. That year, he was also selected to his first Pro Bowl. Since then, he has earned special teams captain honors to start each season and been voted to the Pro Bowl at season’s end. He has led the Patriots in special teams tackles for five of his first eight seasons and enters this week with five special teams tackles.
 
 

Older AFCE

Miami Dolphins Fan through and through, but football fan all around.

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