In The Red Zone – December 4

In The Red Zone

Stallworth Back

With Julian Edelman hurt, the New England Patriots are a little short at the wide receiver position. So they called on an old friend in Donte' Stallworth. He was cut by the team before the 2012 season started. Apparently they also considered Deion Branch but according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, he's battling a hamstring injury.

Once Again Patriots Depth Helps Team Win

Year after year Patriots head coach Bill Belichick does a solid job in creating a very deep roster by using the cap to his advantage and by refusing to overpay for most of the players on the roster.

Players who come to Foxboro know they will not break the bank but they do know they’ll have a shot at a ring.  Over the years it has brought in many veteran players who weren’t looking for big dollars but a chance at a championship.  It has also given New England a talented roster that goes three and four deep at some spots.

This season is no different.

In the off season the Patriots brought in former Raiders defensive lineman Trevor Scott.  Scott was at one time a solid performer for Oakland but never of the super star variety.  In fact he probably could have gotten more money and more years in other places but the lure of the chance at a Super Bowl championship has brought him much like other veteran’s over the Belichick era.

On Sunday with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones out with an injury and his top backup Jermaine Cunningham suspended by the NFL for violating the drug policy the team turned to DE Brandon Deaderick and Scott.

Deaderick was solid with 3 tackles and a forced fumble but it was Scott who made the most noise.  Scott added 3 tackles of his own, 2 sacks, a QB hit, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble in his first extended action of the year.

It really makes you wonder why other teams can’t do this.  Face it the NFL is a copycat league and Belichick has been doing it 13 years now in Foxboro and has built quite the track record but for some reason other clubs fail to manage the cap the way New England does.

Belichick’s vision and his financial philosophy work, all you need to do is look at the trophy case and the stat sheets.  It’s better for us as fans and the Patriots as a team that other teams have failed to mimic it and guys like Trevor Scott are hanging around waiting to play when you need them.

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News and Notes

For the second time in three days the Patriots have lost a practice squad member to another team when the Philadelphia Eagles signed T Matt Kopa to their 53-man roster.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had his weekly day after conference call with the media on Monday.  (

QB Tom Brady had his weekly Patriots Monday call in. (WEEI)

Patriots and the playoff picture (ESPN Boston)

Offensive snaps by skill players vs. Miami  (ESPN Boston)

Defensive snaps played vs. Dolphins (ESPN Boston)

Trevor Scott brings next man up attitude (ESPN Boston)

Best and Worst Patriots vs. Dolphins (Boston Herald)

The Patriots can’t hold the Mayo (Boston Herald)

Patriots step back in time with running game (Boston Herald)

Patriots defense right on time (Boston Herald)

Patriots not satisfied with winning division (Boston Globe)

Patriots, Broncos and Falcons all clinch their division (Boston Globe)

With the win at Miami the Patriots clinched their 12th consecutive winning season and their 10th AFC East Championship since 2000 and 4th in a row.

This is the franchise’s 15th AFC East title breaking the tie for most division crowns with Miami.

The Dolphins lead the all-time series 50-44. This includes 3 meetings in the playoffs (1982, 1985, 1997) with the Patriots holding a 2-1 post season edge.

The Patriots all-time in Miami are 15-33.

Since 1999 the Patriots have the best record in the NFL at 156-64.

New England now has a 6-game winning streak after starting the season 3-3.

Since 2001 the Patriots are 71-16 in games played on Thanksgiving or later.

Since 2001 New England is 42-5 in December games.

New England is 58-15 vs. the AFC East since 2001 in the regular season. 

The Patriots are now a combined 20-0 in the second half of the season since 2010.  Their last loss in the second half was in 2009 in the season finale at Houston.  Their next opponent is that very same Texans squad.

Belichick’s 201 wins are good for 7th all-time.  He is tied with former Broncos, Giants and Falcons head coach Dan Reeves.

Bill Belichick coached teams are 16-11 vs. Miami. Belichick is 16-9 as Patriots head coach and he was 0-2 as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

Tom Brady is 15-6 vs. the Dolphins. Overall including playoffs he is 149-44.

Brady has 325 TD passes in his career he is now 5th all-time.  Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 4th with 342.

Brady has thrown at least 1 TD pass in 44 consecutive games.

He is the first starting QB in NFL history to have won 10 division titles breaking his tied with Joe Montana.

WR Wes Welker now has catches in 113 consecutive games including playoffs, 96 as a Patriot.  The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.

Welker went over 1,000 receiving yards for the season and now has 1,064.

WR Julian Edelman was seen post game with a walking boot on and crutches.

RB Stevan Ridley leads the team in rushing with 1009 yards on 225 carries.  He is the 12th Patriot to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and first since BenJarvis Green-Ellis in 2010.

LB Jerod Mayo (5 solo) and CB Kyle Arrington (6 solo) each had 6 tackles on Sunday in Miami.  

Mayo continues to lead the team in tackles.  Unofficially he has 149 tackles (94 solo).  The team usually adjusts the counts based on coaches film study so in the Friday game preview we will have Mayo’s official total.  He is on pace for another 200 tackle season.

Mayo (4th), DE Trevor Scott (1st) and DL Brandon Deaderick (2nd) all forced fumbles.

Mayo (3rd) and Scott (1st, 2nd) each had sacks Sunday.

Mayo (3rd), Scott (2nd) and Arrington (1st) all had QB hits.

DT Vince Wilfork had a fumble recovery it was his 4th of the season.

LB Brandon Spikes defensed two passes vs. Miami they were his 6th and 7th passes defensed this season.

WR Matthew Slater made 2 special teams tackles He leads the team with 16 special teams tackles this year.

New England scored 2 TD’s on 12 possessions. They also had 3 punts, a missed FGA, 3 FGs, an INT, end of half clock expired and the end of game clock expired.

Miami had 11 possessions.  1 TD’s, 3 field goals, turn over on downs, fumble and 5 punts.

The Patriots sacked Miami QB Ryan Tannehill 3 times, while Brady was sacked 4 times tying a season high.

New England is PLUS 24 in turnover differential. The offense has given up 4 INT and 5 fumbles, while the defense has 14 INTs and 19 fumble recoveries. 

The Patriots were 2 for 4 (100%) in the red zone.  They had 2 TDs and 2 FGs.

New England was 7 for 15 (47%) on third down conversions and 0 for 0 on 4th down attempts.

Miami head coach Joe Philbin in his 1st season as an NFL head coach; he is 5-7 since taking over.

He is 0-1 against New England in his career.

Ryan Tannehill is 0-1 vs. the Patriots.

Miami has lost the last 5 meetings between the teams.

The Dolphins are 30-42 vs. the AFC East in the regular season since 2001.

Miami was 3 for 13 (23%) on 3rd down conversions and 1 for 2 (50%) on 4th down attempts.

The Dolphins were 1 for 2 (50%) in the red zone.  They had 1 TD and 1 FG.

Miami fumbled the ball four times but only lost one (Tannehill).

Miami is MINUS 10 in turnover differential. The offense has given up 12 INT and 10 fumbles, while the defense has 9 INTs and 3 fumble recoveries. 

Next Week

The Patriots host the Houston Texans next Monday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA.  Kick off is at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII