NOTEBOOK: Patriots Trending Upwards

Wes Welker

The Patriots have been improving each week as they get more comfortable with the new faces around the roster. They'll need to continue that momentum this week as the games get tougher. Here are some stats and trends to keep an eye on.

Familiar Foes
--In the last six seasons, the Colts and Patriots have met twice in the AFC Championship Game, with the Patriots grabbing a 24-14 win in 2003 and the Colts striking back with a come-from-behind 38-34 win in 2006.

The week's game will also mark the fifth consecutive year these two teams have played one another during the first two weeks of November.

Best Of The Decade?
--The Patriots and the Colts both are moving near the top of the regular-season victory total for any team in any NFL decade.

Consider this: San Francisco won 113 regular-season games during the 1990s. The Colts and Patriots are both at 109 for this decade with eight more regular-season games left on each of their schedules.

More than likely, both teams will surpass the 49ers' record and claim the top two spots on the NFL's all-time list by the end of the season.

Good Kicks
--Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski tied a career-high with four field goals in Sunday's win over Miami. He also had four against the Falcons on Sept. 27 and did it twice last year against the Jets and Arizona.

For his efforts, Gostkowski was named the AFC's special teams player of the week.

Moss Moving Up
--WR Randy Moss passed Henry Ellard and former teammate Cris Carter on Sunday, moving into seventh place on the NFL's all-time receiving yards list with 13,913 yards. Moss now trails James Lofton (14,004) for sixth place on the list. He also tied Terrell Owens for second place on the all-time career touchdown list with 140. Moss is just the third player in NFL history to catch 140 or more touchdown passes.

Another 300-yarder
--QB Tom Brady also climbed the ladder against Miami, registering his 27th career 300-yard passing game, moving him past Drew Bledsoe as the franchise's all-time leader in that category. Brady's 332-yard effort Sunday was his third consecutive game with 300 yards or more, which he hadn't done since his record-setting 2007 season.

He's Steaking
--WR Wes Welker caught nine passes Sunday, making him the sixth player in team history with three consecutive seasons of 50 or more receptions. Welker caught 112 passes in 2007 and 111 last year. He is on pace to surpass 100 catches for a third straight season.


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