2011 New England Patriots season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
2011 New England Patriots season
Head coach Bill Belichick
Owner Robert Kraft
Home field Gillette Stadium
Results
Record 13–3
Division place 1st AFC East
Playoff finish

Won Divisional Playoffs (Broncos) 45–10

Won Conference Championship Playoffs (Ravens) 23–20

Lost Super Bowl XLVI (Giants) 21–17
Pro Bowlers

Tom Brady, QB Wes Welker, WR

Matthew Slater, WR

Rob Gronkowski, TE

Logan Mankins, G

Brian Waters, G

Andre Carter, DE

Vince Wilfork, DT
Uniform
AFCE-Uniform-NE2.png
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 2010 2012 >

The 2011 New England Patriots season was the 42nd season for the team in the National Football League and 52nd season overall. The Patriots finished the regular season at 13–3, and represented the AFC in Super Bowl XLVI. It was the seventh Super Bowl trip in franchise history, and the fifth for head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

The Patriots dedicated their 2011 season to the memory of Myra Kraft, the wife of owner Robert Kraft, who died on July 20, 2011 after a long fight against cancer.[1] At both home and away games, the Patriots wore patches bearing Kraft's initials, MHK, on their uniforms.[2] The Patriots elected to wear their Super Bowl patches on the right side of their uniforms, so that they could keep the MHK patch on the left as it had been all season.[3] They were defeated by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, becoming the fourth team to lose 4 Super Bowls (after the Minnesota Vikings, the Denver Broncos, and the Buffalo Bills).

The Patriots were the only 2011 division winner that won their division the previous season.[4]

Offseason[edit]

2011 NFL Draft[edit]

The Patriots traded their original seventh-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka in August 2010.[5] The Patriots also acquired the Denver Broncos' fourth-round selection in exchange for a sixth-round selection and running back Laurence Maroney.[6] The Patriots acquired the sixth-round selection from the New Orleans Saints in a September 2009 trade for tight end David Thomas.[7] The team later agreed to trade the higher of its two fourth-round selections – the pick acquired from the Broncos – to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for wide receiver Deion Branch.[8]

2011 New England Patriots Draft Selections
Round Overall Player Position College
1[9] 17 Nate Solder T Colorado
2[10] 33 Ras-I Dowling CB Virginia
2[11] 56 Shane Vereen RB California
3 73 Stevan Ridley RB LSU
3[12] 74 Ryan Mallett QB Arkansas
5 138 Marcus Cannon G TCU
5 159 Lee Smith TE Marshall
6 194 Markell Carter OLB Central Arkansas
7 219 Malcolm Williams CB TCU
2011 New England Patriots Draft Day Trades
Round Overall Team Received
1 28 to New Orleans Saints Received New Orleans' second-round pick (56 overall) in 2011 and first-round pick in 2012
2 60 to Houston Texans Received Houston's third-round and fifth-round picks (73 and 138 overall)
3 92 to Oakland Raiders Received Oakland's seventh-round pick in 2011 (219 overall) and second-round pick in 2012
4 125
6 193 to Philadelphia Eagles Received Philadelphia's sixth-round pick (194 overall)

Staff[edit]

New England Patriots 2011 staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

Final roster[edit]

2011 New England Patriots roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad


Rookies in italics
53 Active, 13 Inactive, 8 Practice squad

Schedule[edit]

Preseason[edit]

Week Kickoff Date Opponent Result Record Game Site TV NFL.com Recap
1 7:30 PM EDT August 11, 2011 Jacksonville Jaguars W 47–12 1–0 Gillette Stadium WBZ Recap
2 7:30 PM EDT August 18, 2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 31–14 2–0 Raymond James Stadium WBZ Recap
3 8:00 PM EDT August 27, 2011 Detroit Lions L 10–34 2–1 Ford Field CBS Recap
4 7:30 PM EDT September 1, 2011 New York Giants L 17–18 2–2 Gillette Stadium WBZ Recap

Regular season[edit]

Week Kickoff Date Opponent Result Record Game Site TV NFL.com Recap
1 7:00 PM EDT September 12, 2011 Miami Dolphins W 38–24 1–0 Sun Life Stadium ESPN[a] Recap
2 4:15 PM EDT September 18, 2011 San Diego Chargers W 35–21 2–0 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
3 1:00 PM EDT September 25, 2011 Buffalo Bills L 31–34 2–1 Ralph Wilson Stadium CBS Recap
4 4:15 PM EDT October 2, 2011 Oakland Raiders W 31–19 3–1 O.co Coliseum CBS Recap
5 4:15 PM EDT October 9, 2011 New York Jets W 30–21 4–1 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
6 4:15 PM EDT October 16, 2011 Dallas Cowboys W 20–16 5–1 Gillette Stadium Fox Recap
7 Bye
8 4:15 PM EDT October 30, 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers L 17–25 5–2 Heinz Field CBS Recap
9 4:15 PM EST November 6, 2011 New York Giants L 20–24 5–3 Gillette Stadium Fox Recap
10 8:20 PM EST November 13, 2011 New York Jets W 37–16 6–3 MetLife Stadium NBC Recap
11 8:30 PM EST November 21, 2011 Kansas City Chiefs W 34–3 7–3 Gillette Stadium ESPN[a] Recap
12 4:15 PM EST November 27, 2011 Philadelphia Eagles W 38–20 8–3 Lincoln Financial Field CBS Recap
13 1:00 PM EST[b] December 4, 2011 Indianapolis Colts W 31–24 9–3 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
14 1:00 PM EST December 11, 2011 Washington Redskins W 34–27 10–3 FedEx Field CBS Recap
15 4:15 PM EST December 18, 2011 Denver Broncos W 41–23 11–3 Sports Authority Field at Mile High CBS Recap
16 1:00 PM EST December 24, 2011 Miami Dolphins W 27–24 12–3 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
17 1:00 PM EST January 1, 2012 Buffalo Bills W 49–21 13–3 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
a Simulcast on WCVB-TV and WMUR-TV.
b Under the NFL's flexible scheduling policy, this game was moved from 8:20 EST to 1:00 EST.[13] It was the first Patriots-Colts game broadcast at 1:00 PM since 2003.

Standings[edit]

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(1) New England Patriots 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 513 342 W8
New York Jets 8 8 0 .500 3–3 6–6 394 382 L3
Miami Dolphins 6 10 0 .375 3–3 5–7 348 330 W1
Buffalo Bills 6 10 0 .375 1–5 4–8 372 434 L1


Regular season results[edit]

Week 1: at Miami Dolphins[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 7 7 14 10 38
Dolphins 7 0 10 7 24

at Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

The Patriots began their 2011 campaign at Sun Life Stadium, for a Week 1 AFC East duel with the Miami Dolphins in the first game of Monday Night Football's doubleheader. New England trailed early in the first quarter as Dolphins' quarterback Chad Henne scrambled for 9-yard touchdown. The Patriots answered, with a 4-yard touchdown run from running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. New England took the lead in the second quarter, with quarterback Tom Brady finding tight end Rob Gronkowski on a 10-yard touchdown pass. Miami tied the game in third quarter, as Henne completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brian Hartline, yet the Patriots regained the lead, with Brady hooking up with wide receiver Wes Welker on a 2-yard touchdown pass. The Dolphins would reply, with a 20-yard field goal by placekicker Dan Carpenter. Afterwards, New England closed out the third quarter, with Brady connecting with tight end Aaron Hernandez on a 1-yard touchdown pass. The Patriots added onto their lead in the fourth quarter, with a 20-yard field goal from placekicker Stephen Gostkowski, followed by Brady finding Welker on a 99-yard touchdown pass. Miami would close out the game with Henne completing a 2-yard touchdown pass to running back Reggie Bush.

With the win, New England began their season at 1–0. Tom Brady also became the 11th quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 500 yards in a game with 517 yards.

Week 2: vs. San Diego Chargers[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Chargers 7 0 0 14 21
Patriots 7 13 0 15 35

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 63 °F (17 °C), Wind
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Walt Anderson
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (color commentator)

Following their Monday Night at Miami, the Patriots returned to Foxborough for their home opener against the San Diego Chargers. In the first quarter, Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez, but the Chargers responded, with a 10-yard touchdown run by running back Ryan Mathews. The Patriots scored 13 unanswered points in the second quarter, with a 22-yard field goal by placekicker Stephen Gostkowski, a 10-yard touchdown pass from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski, followed by a 47-yard field goal by Gostkowski just before halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, the Chargers cut into the Patriots lead, with a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Philip Rivers to wide receiver Vincent Jackson. The Patriots responded, with Brady throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski (and a two-point conversion run by running back Danny Woodhead). The Chargers tried to rally, with Rivers throwing a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jackson, but a 16-yard touchdown run by Patriots' running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis just after the two-minute warning sealed the win for New England.

With the win, the Patriots improved to 2–0.

Week 3: at Buffalo Bills[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 14 7 3 7 31
Bills 0 10 7 17 34

at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 78 °F (26 °C), Mix of sun and clouds
  • Game attendance: 68,174
  • Referee: Carl Cheffers
  • TV announcers (CBS): Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Rich Gannon (color commentator)

Following their win over the Chargers, the Patriots flew to Orchard Park, New York for an AFC East duel with the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots grabbed the lead in the first quarter, with quarterback Tom Brady throwing two touchdown passes – a 14-yarder to wide receiver Wes Welker and a 1-yarder to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots added to their lead in the second quarter, with Brady connecting with Rob Gronkowski on a 26-yard touchdown pass. The Bills responded, with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Johnson, followed by a 42-yard field goal by placekicker Ryan Lindell. The Bills narrowed the Patriots' lead in the third quarter, with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to tight end Scott Chandler. The Patriots increased their lead, with a 23-yard field goal by placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. The Bills tied the game in the fourth quarter, with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Fred Jackson, then grabbed a 31–24 lead when cornerback Drayton Florence returned a Brady interception 27 yards for a touchdown. The Patriots tied the game, with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Welker. However, the Bills got the last possession, as Lindell nailed a 28-yard field goal as time expired, snapping the Patriots' 15-game winning streak against the Bills.

With the loss, the Patriots dropped to 2–1.

Week 4: at Oakland Raiders[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 7 10 7 7 31
Raiders 3 7 3 6 19

at O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California

  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EDT/1:15 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: 71 °F (22 °C), Sunny
  • Game attendance: 62,572
  • Referee: Tony Corrente
  • TV announcers (CBS): Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Solomon Wilcots (color commentator)

Hoping to avenge their Week 3 loss at Buffalo, the Patriots flew across the country to face the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders grabbed the lead in the first quarter, with a 28-yard field goal by placekicker Sebastian Janikowski. The Patriots responded, with quarterback Tom Brady throwing a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Wes Welker. The Raiders re-claimed the lead in the second quarter, with a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Michael Bush. The Patriots answered, with a 1-yard touchdown run from running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, followed by a 44-yard field goal by placekicker Stephen Gostkowski just before halftime. The Patriots added to their lead in the third quarter, with a 33-yard TD-run by running back Stevan Ridley. The Raiders narrowed the lead, with a 26-yard field goal by Janikowski, but the Patriots increased it in the fourth quarter, with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Brady to wide receiver Deion Branch. The Raiders scored a late touchdown, with quarterback Jason Campbell throwing a 6-yard pass to wide receiver Denarius Moore (with a failed two-point conversion attempt), but the Patriots ran out the clock, sealing the win.

With the win, the Patriots improved to 3–1; it was also the franchise's 200th win (regular season and playoff) under Robert Kraft's ownership.

Week 5: vs. New York Jets[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Jets 0 7 7 7 21
Patriots 7 3 14 6 30

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 82 °F (28 °C), sunny and warm
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Jerome Boger
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (color commentator)

Coming off their win at Oakland, the Patriots returned home for an AFC East duel with the New York Jets. The Patriots grabbed the early lead in the first quarter, with a 3-yard touchdown run by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, followed in the second quarter by a 44-yard field goal by placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. The Jets got on the board, with a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Shonn Greene. The Patriots extended their lead in the third quarter, with quarterback Tom Brady throwing a 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deion Branch. The Jets responded, with quarterback Mark Sanchez throwing a 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. The Patriots added to their lead, with a 3-yard touchdown run by Green-Ellis, followed in the fourth quarter with a 24-yard field goal by Gostkowski. The Jets tried to rally, with wide receiver Santonio Holmes receiving a 21-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez, but a late 28-yard field goal by Gostkowski sealed the win for the Patriots.

With the win, the Patriots improved to 4–1.

Week 6: vs. Dallas Cowboys[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 3 7 3 3 16
Patriots 3 10 0 7 20

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

Coming off their win over the Jets, the Patriots remained on home turf for an interconference duel with the Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots, wearing their white jerseys as to force the Cowboys to don their "unlucky" blue jerseys, took the early lead in the first quarter, with a 31-yard field goal by placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. The Cowboys countered, with a 48-yard field goal by placekicker Dan Bailey. The Patriots responded in the second quarter, with a 26-yard field goal by Gostkowski, followed by a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady to wide receiver Wes Welker. The Cowboys narrowed the Patriots' lead just before halftime, with a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tony Romo to tight end Jason Witten. The Cowboys tied the game at 13–13 in the third quarter, with a 22-yard field goal by Bailey, then grabbed the lead in the fourth quarter with another field goal by Bailey, this time from 26 yards. With 2:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, Brady engineered a comeback, culminating with an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez with 22 seconds remaining. The Cowboys tried to rally, but Romo's last-second desperation hail-mary pass toward the end zone was unsuccessful, sealing the win for the Patriots.

With the win, the Patriots improved to 5–1, entering their bye week.

Week 8: at Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 0 10 0 7 17
Steelers 7 10 3 5 25

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 40 °F (4 °C), cloudy
  • Game attendance: 64,424
  • Referee: Mike Carey
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (color commentator)

Coming off their bye week, the Patriots flew to Heinz Field for a Week 8 duel with the Pittsburgh Steelers. New England trailed early in the first quarter, as Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to running back Mewelde Moore. Pittsburgh would add to their lead in the second quarter, as placekicker Shaun Suisham nailed a 33-yard field goal. The Patriots answered, with quarterback Tom Brady finding wide receiver Deion Branch on a 2-yard touchdown pass, but the Steelers came right back, with Roethlisberger completing a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Antonio Brown. New England would close out the half with a 46-yard field goal from placekicker Stephen Gostkowski.

Pittsburgh began the third quarter with Suisham making a 21-yard field goal, followed by a 23-yard field goal in the fourth. The Patriots tried to rally, as Brady connected with tight end Aaron Hernandez on a 1-yard touchdown pass, but the Steelers' defense would prevail, with safety Troy Polamalu forcing a New England fumble out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

With the loss, the Patriots fell to 5–2, being the first defeat by Steelers with Tom Brady starting at quarterback in the previous seven seasons.

Week 9: vs. New York Giants[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Giants 0 0 10 14 24
Patriots 0 0 3 17 20

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 54 °F (12 °C), sunny and cool
  • Referee: Pete Morelli
  • TV announcers (Fox): Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color commentator), and Pam Oliver (sideline reporter)

Hoping to rebound from their loss at Pittsburgh, the Patriots returned home for an interconference duel with the New York Giants, the first meeting since Super Bowl XLII where the Giants stopped their chances at going 19–0. After a scoreless first half, The Giants grabbed the lead in the third quarter, with a 22-yard field goal by placekicker Lawrence Tynes, followed by a 10-yard touchdown run by running back Brandon Jacobs. The Patriots got on the board, with a 32-yard field goal by placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. In the fourth quarter, the Patriots tied the game, with a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady to tight end Aaron Hernandez, then took the lead with a 45-yard field goal by Gostkowski. The Giants re-claimed the lead, with a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Mario Manningham with three minutes remaining. The Patriots responded, with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski. However, with a minute and a half remaining in a similar repeat of Super Bowl XLII, Manning led the Giants on a game-winning drive, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jake Ballard.

With the loss, the Patriots dropped to 5–3, and QB Tom Brady's streak of 32 consecutive home wins was snapped. Following the game the Patriots released Albert Haynesworth, who'd reportedly gotten into a sideline confrontation with assistant coach Pepper Johnson. The loss was the third time in nine seasons the Patriots had suffered consecutive losses, and only the second time the team has lost to an NFC team at Gillette Stadium.

The Giants and the Patriots would meet again in Super Bowl XLVI with the Giants winning 21–17.

Week 10: at New York Jets[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 6 7 10 14 37
Jets 0 9 0 7 16

at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

  • Game time: 8:20 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 58 °F (14 °C), clear
  • Game attendance: 79,088
  • Referee: Gene Steratore
  • TV announcers (NBC): Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color commentator), and Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter)

Hoping to rebound from their loss to the Giants, the Patriots flew to MetLife Stadium for an AFC East rematch with the New York Jets. The Patriots grabbed the lead in the first quarter, with field goals of 50 and 36 yards by placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. The Jets got on the board in the second quarter, when Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady was penalized for intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety, followed by Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez scrambling for a 2-yard touchdown. The Patriots re-claimed the lead just before halftime, with Brady connecting with tight end Rob Gronkowski on an 18-yard touchdown pass. The Patriots added to their lead in the third quarter, with a 27-yard field goal by Gostkowski, followed by a 5-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Gronkowski. In the fourth quarter, the Jets cut into the Patriots' lead, with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez to wide receiver Plaxico Burress. The Patriots responded, with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Brady to wide receiver Deion Branch, then pulled away when linebacker Rob Ninkovich returned a Sanchez interception 12 yards for a touchdown.

With the win, the Patriots improved to 6–3 and swept the Jets for the first time since 2007.

Week 11: vs. Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 3 0 0 0 3
Patriots 0 10 17 7 34

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 8:30 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 33 °F (1 °C), clear and cold
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Clete Blakeman
  • TV announcers (ESPN[a]): Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden (color commentators), and Suzy Kolber (sideline reporter)

Coming off their win over the Jets, the Patriots returned home for an AFC duel against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. Kansas City took the lead in the first quarter, with a 26-yard field goal by placekicker Ryan Succop, in what would be the Chiefs' only score of the game. The Patriots grabbed the lead in the second quarter, with a 52-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski, followed by a 21-yard field goal by placekicker Stephen Gostkowski just before halftime. The Patriots added to their lead in the third quarter, with Brady throwing another touchdown pass to Gronkowski – this time from 19 yards, followed by Julian Edelman returning a punt 72 yards for a touchdown, and a 19-yard field goal by Gostkowski at the end of the third quarter. The Patriots added another score near the end of the game, with a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Shane Vereen.

With the win, the Patriots improved to 7–3.

Week 12: at Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 7 17 7 7 38
Eagles 10 3 0 7 20

at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 63 °F (17 °C), cloudy
  • Game attendance: 69,144
  • Referee: Jerome Boger
  • TV announcers (CBS): Greg Gumbel (play-by-play) and Dan Dierdorf (color commentator)

Coming off their win over the Chiefs, the Patriots flew to Lincoln Financial Field for an interconference duel with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles grabbed the early lead in the first quarter, with a 2-yard touchdown run by running back LeSean McCoy, followed by a 43-yard field goal by placekicker Alex Henery. The Patriots then reeled off 21 unanswered points, with two touchdown runs by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis – a 4-yarder followed in the second quarter by a 1-yarder, and a 41-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady to wide receiver Wes Welker. Each team exchanged field goals – a 22-yarder by Henery, and a 45-yarder by Patriots' placekicker Stephen Gostkowski, giving the Patriots a 24–13 halftime lead. The Patriots added to their lead, with Brady throwing a pair of touchdown passes – a 9-yarder to Welker in the third quarter, followed in the fourth quarter by a 24-yarder to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Eagles scored late, with quarterback Vince Young throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jason Avant, but the Patriots' lead was too much for the Eagles to overcome.

With the win, the Patriots improved to 8–3.

Week 13: vs. Indianapolis Colts[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Colts 0 3 0 21 24
Patriots 3 14 14 0 31

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 51 °F (11 °C), cloudy
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Ron Winter
  • TV announcers (CBS): Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Rich Gannon (color commentator)

Coming off their win over the Eagles, the Patriots returned home for an AFC duel with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts took the early lead, with a 39-yard field goal by placekicker and former Patriots Super Bowl hero Adam Vinateri. The Patriots then reeled off 28 unanswered points, starting with quarterback Tom Brady tossing an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski, a 1-yard touchdown run by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis just before halftime, then Brady threw two more touchdown passes to Gronkowski in the third quarter – a 21-yarder followed by a 2-yarder. In the fourth quarter, the Patriots were held scoreless and the Colts reeled off 21 unanswered points – a 5-yard touchdown run by running back Donald Brown, followed by two touchdown passes from Dan Orlovsky to wide receiver Pierre Garçon – a 33-yarder and a 12-yarder – the latter with 36 seconds remaining in regulation. Despite the touchdowns, one of Garçon's catches in the end zone was accompanied with an angry throw at a sign with a target meant for Gronkowski's trademark spike.

A Colts' onside kick attempt near the end of the contest was unsuccessful, sealing the win for the Patriots.

With the win, the Patriots improved to 9–3.

Week 14: at Washington Redskins[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 14 6 14 0 34
Redskins 10 10 7 0 27

at FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland

  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 40 °F (4 °C), sunny
  • Game attendance: 77,825
  • Referee: Jeff Triplette
  • TV announcers (CBS): Greg Gumbel (play-by-play) and Dan Dierdorf (color commentator)

Coming off their close win over the Colts, the Patriots flew to FedEx Field for an interconference duel with the Washington Redskins. The Patriots grabbed the early lead, when defensive tackle Vince Wilfork recovered a fumble off Redskins' quarterback Rex Grossman in the end zone for a touchdown.

The Redskins responded with a 24-yard field goal by placekicker Graham Gano. The Patriots added to their lead, with quarterback Tom Brady throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Redskins countered, with Grossman throwing a 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, then grabbed the lead early in the second quarter, with wide receiver Brandon Banks throwing a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santana Moss.

The Patriots tied the game with a 23-yard field goal by placekicker Stephen Gostkowski. The Redskins countered with a 25-yard field goal by Gano, and a 24-yard field goal by Gostskowski just before halftime tied the game at 20. The Patriots grabbed the lead early in the third quarter, with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Gronkowski, but the Redskins countered again, with Grossman throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver David Anderson.

The final scoring play of the game came from the Patriots, with Brady connecting with wide receiver Wes Welker on a 24-yard touchdown. Both teams were held scoreless in the fourth quarter, which included linebacker Jerod Mayo intercepting Grossman at the Patriots' 5-yard line with 29 seconds remaining.

Brady was intercepted in the Redskins endzone on a pass intended for Tiquan Underwood; Brady's sideline argument with Underwood led to a quick but spirited showdown with assistant coach Bill O'Brien that resulted in intervention by Bill Belichick – all of it caught by CBS Sports cameras.[14]

With the win, the Patriots improved to 10–3.

Week 15: at Denver Broncos[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 7 20 7 7 41
Broncos 13 3 0 7 23

at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

  • Game time: 4:15 p.m. EST/2:15 p.m. MST
  • Game weather: 63 °F (17 °C), mostly sunny
  • Game attendance: 76,556
  • Referee: Mike Carey
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (color commentator)

Denver surged into playoff contention led by second-year quarterback Tim Tebow. Entering this Broncos-Patriots match the Broncos had won seven straight and the dramatic playof Tebow had become a national craze. The game was one of the most highly anticipated games of the 2011 season; CBS aired the game in more markets than any other NFL game they aired in 2011. The game had the highest ratings of any regular-season game on CBS since the Patriots' 2007 victory over the Colts.[15]

Denver got out to an early lead on rushing scores by Tebow and Lance Ball for a 16–7 lead, belying their recent trend of slow starts and late comebacks; However, several fumbles in the second quarter were converted into scores by Tom Brady and a solid 11-point lead at halftime. The Broncos battled back, as Tim Tebow avoided a safety early in the fourth quarter, but a touchdown by BenJarvus Green-Ellis with four minutes left proved to be the game clincher, though the Broncos would get a touchdown back later in the fourth.

The Patriots' win improved them to 11–3 and helped them clinch the AFC East division title for the ninth time in 11 seasons; even if they had lost, they still would have clinched the division with the New York Jets' loss to the Eagles in a game concurrent with New England's matchup in Denver.

Week 16: vs. Miami Dolphins[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 3 14 0 7 24
Patriots 0 0 17 10 27

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 30 °F (−1 °C), sunny and cold
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Alberto Riveron
  • TV announcers (CBS): Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Dan Fouts (color commentator)

Following the national attention from the previous week, the Patriots found themselves playing mainly for home-field advantage in the playoffs against a Dolphins team that had already been eliminated from playoff contention and could gain pride as their only consolation.

Early on, the Dolphins struck first, putting a field goal through the uprights to open scoring. In the second quarter Matt Moore raced the Dolphins downfield and connected on touchdowns to Brandon Marshall and Charles Clay for a 17–0 halftime lead. The Patriots crossed the 50-yard line in the first half only once, but after a Stephen Gostkowski field goal the Patriots forced a Moore fumble, leading to a Deion Branch touchdown catch. Moore was sacked on Miami's next possession and the Dolphins had to punt; the Patriots drove down and Tom Brady ran in a quarterback sneak touchdown that tied the game. Devin McCourty intercepted a deep Moore pass and the Patriots booted a 42-yard field goal for their first lead of the game. A second Brady quarterback sneak score and a late Davone Bess touchdown catch put the score at 27–24, and the Patriots were able to keep the ball the final 1:48 for the win as the team improved to 12–3 and secured them a playoff bye.

Week 17: vs. Buffalo Bills[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bills 21 0 0 0 21
Patriots 0 14 14 21 49

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 51 °F (11 °C), sunny and warm
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Bill Leavy
  • TV announcers (CBS): Don Criqui (play-by-play) and Randy Cross (color commentator)

The Bills raced to a 21–0 lead in the first quarter on two Ryan Fitzpatrick touchdown throws and a Tashard Choice four-yard run. But from the end of the first quarter the Patriots took over the game, led by three Tom Brady touchdown throws, two rushing scores by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and a Sterling Moore interception return score; the Moore touchdown was the fourth interception of the game thrown by Fitzpatrick.

With the win, the Patriots ended their season 13–3.

According to the Pro Football Reference site, in this game the Patriots tied the record for the biggest deficit after one quarter while winning the game, becoming the eighth team to come back from a 21-point deficit after one quarter (no team has ever come back from a greater margin). They also became the first team to overcome such a deficit and win the game by more than 8 points. It was the biggest comeback win by the Patriots since their 1996 comeback win from down 22–0 to the New York Giants.

Postseason schedule[edit]

Week Kickoff Date Opponent Result Record Game Site TV NFL.com Recap
Wild Card Bye
Divisional 8:00 PM EST January 14, 2012 Denver Broncos W 45–10 14–3 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
AFC Championship 3:00 PM EST January 22, 2012 Baltimore Ravens W 23–20 15–3 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
Super Bowl XLVI 6:25 PM EST February 5, 2012 New York Giants L 17–21 15–4 Lucas Oil Stadium NBC Recap

Postseason results[edit]

Divisional Round vs. Denver Broncos[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 0 7 3 0 10
Patriots 14 21 7 3 45

Tom Brady tied an NFL playoff record by throwing six touchdown passes in a playoff game. He tied Daryle Lamonica's six scores in the Oakland Raiders' 1969 Divisional round victory over the Houston Oilers and Steve Young's six scores in Super Bowl XXIX over San Diego; his five touchdowns in the first half tied an NFL playoff record with Sid Luckman, Lamonica, Joe Montana, Kurt Warner, Kerry Collins, and Peyton Manning. Brady also punted the ball on third down late in the fourth quarter which pinned the Broncos inside their own 10-yard line; following the punt a brief brawl erupted between the two teams.[16]

A week after his dramatic overtime victory over the Steelers, Tim Tebow was sacked five times and limited to 136 passing yards and 13 rushing yards; at halftime, Tebow had fewer completions (three) than Brady had touchdowns (five).

With the win, the Patriots improved to 14–3. In addition to Brady's record-tying six touchdowns, Rob Gronkowski set a club record with three touchdown catches in a playoff game, breaking the 1986 record of two by Stanley Morgan; Gronkowski is also only the second tight end with three touchdowns in an NFL postseason game. The win was also the first Patriots playoff win (in three tries) over the Broncos and the first two-game sweep of Denver by the Patriots since their 1964 AFL season.

AFC Championship vs. Baltimore Ravens[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Ravens 0 10 10 0 20
Patriots 3 10 3 7 23

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 3:00 p.m. EST
  • Referee: Alberto Riveron
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play) Phil Simms (color commentator) and Steve Tasker (sideline reporter)

Following two Ravens punts and a Patriots punt the Patriots ground out a 13-play 50-yard drive ending in a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. The Ravens tied the game after a Ladarius Webb interception on Billy Cundiff's 20-yard field goal. A BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushing score, a six-yard Joe Flacco touchdown to Dennis Pitta, and another Gostkowski field goal left the Patriots ahead 13–10 at the half. Following a third Gostkowski field goal the Ravens took a 17–16 lead on a 29-yard Torrey Smith touchdown catch and run straddling the right sideline. Danny Woodhead's fumble of the ensuing kickoff led to another Cundiff field goal, then the Patriots clawed back ahead on a 10-play 67-yard drive ending in a one-yard Tom Brady touchdown leap. Brandon Spikes intercepted Flacco at midfield but Brady was then intercepted in the Ravens endzone one play later by Jimmy Smith. Despite failing on 4th and 6 at the Patriots 33-yard line, the Ravens got the ball back with 1:44 to go in the game. Lee Evans nearly caught a touchdown but the ball was swatted out of his hands in the endzone by Sterling Moore, and with 11 seconds to go Cundiff's 32-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.

The outcome was felt in some Patriots fan circles to be divine intervention in the belief that the FGA was "blown" wide left by the spirit of the late Myra Kraft.

During the second half Rob Gronkowski suffered an ankle injury on a tackle by Bernard Pollard of the Ravens. Pollard had infamously injured Brady in his 2008 season in Kansas City, and also had injured Wes Welker during week 17 of the 2009 season with the Houston Texans. Later in an interview with KILT radio in Houston, Pollard said he was "fine and dandy" with being called a "Patriots killer."[17]

The win was Brady's fifth in six AFC Championship Games and the first Patriots playoff win decided on a missed FGA since the club's 2006 Divisional playoff win against San Diego.

Serving as Patriots co-captains for the opening coin toss were Drew Bledsoe, Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown, and Ty Law, veterans of the franchise's 1996 Super Bowl season.

Super Bowl XLVI vs. New York Giants[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Giants 9 0 6 6 21
Patriots 0 10 7 0 17

at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Game time: 6:25 p.m. EST
  • Referee: John Parry
  • TV announcers (NBC): Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color commentator), Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter)

Awards and honors[edit]

Recipient Award(s)
Tom Brady Week 1: AFC Offensive Player of the Week[18]
Week 1: FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week[19]
Week 2: AFC Offensive Player of the Week[20]
November: AFC Offensive Player of the Month[21]
Week 16: AFC Offensive Player of the Week[22]
December/January: AFC Offensive Player of the Month[23]
Marcus Cannon Ed Block Courage Award[24]
Andre Carter Week 10: AFC Defensive Player of the Week [25]
Julian Edelman Week 11: AFC Special Teams Player of the Week[26]
Rob Gronkowski Week 13: NFL.com Hardest Working Man
Week 14: NFL.com Hardest Working Man
Week 14: AFC Offensive Player of the Week[27]
Sterling Moore Week 17: Pepsi Rookie of the Week [28]
Team Week 6: GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week (game-winning drive)[29]

Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections[edit]

Eight Patriots were named to the initial 2012 Pro Bowl team, all but one as starters (the NFL does not officially count special teams players as starters).[30] Brady, Welker, and Gronkowski were all in the top ten overall in fan voting, and were the top three vote-getters in the AFC.[31]

Position Player Selection Fan votes
(AFC positional rank)[32]
Quarterback Tom Brady 7th 1,454,311 (1st)
Wide receiver Wes Welker 4th 1,133,787 (1st)
Tight end Rob Gronkowski 1st 936,886 (1st)
Offensive guard Logan Mankins 4th 272,702 (1st)
Offensive guard Brian Waters 6th 200,270 (4th)
Defensive end Andre Carter 1st 511,693 (1st)
Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork 4th 290,463 (3rd)
Special teams Matthew Slater 1st 75,922 (3rd)

Four of the Patriots' eight Pro Bowlers were named to the AP's 2011 All-Pro team: Gronkowski and Welker were named to the first team, while Mankins and Wilfork were named to the second team.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.thebostonchannel.com/r/28607509/detail.html
  2. ^ Patriots Dedicate Season To Myra Kraft, Will Wear Jersey Patch
  3. ^ Patriots Will Keep ‘MHK’ Patch on Left Side of Jerseys, Super Bowl Patch Will Be Displayed on Right Side | New England Patriots | NESN.com
  4. ^ Patriots face long odds with Super Bowl loser's curse - NFL.com
  5. ^ "Falcons trade Ojinnaka to Pats for draft pick". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. August 23, 2010. Archived from the original on August 27, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Source: Maroney traded to Denver". ESPNBoston.com. September 14, 2010. Archived from the original on September 17, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  7. ^ Reiss, Mike (May 8, 2010). "Pats get upgraded draft pick". ESPNBoston.com. Archived from the original on May 10, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Sources: Patriots trade for Deion Branch". ESPN.com. October 11, 2010. Archived from the original on October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  9. ^ The Patriots acquired the Oakland Raiders' first-round selection in a 2009 trade for defensive end Richard Seymour. ESPN.com summary
  10. ^ The Patriots acquired the Carolina Panthers' second-round selection in exchange for a 2010 third-round selection. Boston.com summary
  11. ^ The Patriots acquired the New Orleans Saints' second-round selection in the 2011 draft and a first-round selection in the 2012 draft for this first round pick.
  12. ^ The Patriots acquired the Minnesota Vikings' third-round selection in a trade for wide receiver Randy Moss and a 2012 seventh round selection. ESPNBoston.com summary
  13. ^ Reiss, Mike (November 8, 2011). "Patriots-Colts flexed to 1 p.m.". ESPNBoston.com. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Brady INT and sideline argument". Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  15. ^ Finn, Chad. "Big ratings for Patriots-Broncos". The Boston Globe. 
  16. ^ Tom Brady punt and sideline brawl on YouTube
  17. ^ Bernard Pollard discusses Patriots-Giants Super Bowl Rematch
  18. ^ "Brady is AFC Offensive Player of Week". ESPNBoston.com. September 14, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  19. ^ Petraglia, Mike (September 16, 2011). "Tom Brady ‘airs’ it out for FedEx Award". WEEI.com. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  20. ^ Brady again AFC Offensive Player of Week - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston
  21. ^ "Tom Brady Named AFC's Offensive Player of the Month for Performance in November". NESN.com. December 1, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Tom Brady Named AFC's Offensive Player of the Week". WEEI.com. December 28, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Just to finish it off: Tom Brady named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for Dec/Jan". BostonHerald.com. January 5, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Cannon chosen for 'Courage' award". ESPNBoston.com. January 5, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  25. ^ "No surprise: Patriots DE Andre Carter earns AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors". Bostonherald.com. November 16, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Edelman AFC Special Teams Player of the Week". WEEI.com. November 23, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Gronk earns AFC player of week honor". ESPNBoston.com. December 14, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Pats DB Moore named Rookie of the Week". WEEI.com. January 4, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  29. ^ Tom Brady's rally voted Never Say Never Moment of the Week
  30. ^ "Eight Pats earn Pro Bowl berths". ESPNBoston.com. December 27, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  31. ^ www.profootballweekly.com
  32. ^ Pro Bowl final fan results - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston