NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES

Rodney Harrison and Chris Akins status for Saturday's game against the Buffalo Bills is in question.

S Rodney Harrison injured his left ankle in Saturday's game, but said he was OK afterward. He finished the game, but his status for Saturday is uncertain.

S Chris Akins will remain questionable with a calf injury.

QB Tom Brady has completed eight passes of more than 40 yards after hitting two such passes all of last season. The Patriots drafted Bethel Johnson in the second round to add a receiver capable of stretching the field, but Johnson has been the recipient of only one of those passes. Brady has hit long passes to five different receivers with Troy Brown hauling in touchdown throws of 82 and 58 yards, Deion Branch grabbing a 66-yard score and a 46-yard completion while David Givens has caught passes of 57 and 48 yards and David Patten one for 42.

RB Antowain Smith's 121-yard performance Saturday in New York was the 13th 100-yard game of his career and sixth as a Patriot. His teams are 12-1 when he rushes for 100 yards, including 6-0 in New England. He had four runs of 10 yards or more in the game and the Patriots have had 34 such runs this season. Two of the top four -- a 23-yarder and a 30-yarder -- came against the Jets.

WR Deion Branch leads the Patriots with 51 receptions, well below the pace of the leading receiver in each of the last three seasons. Troy Brown caught 97 passes last year, 101 in 2001 and 83 in 2000. The last time the Patriots leading receiver failed to catch at least 60 passes in a season was back in 1993 when tight end Ben Coates led the team with 53 receptions. The last time a wide receiver led the team with less than 60 receptions was 1992 when Irving Fryar caught 55 passes.

But the Patriots could have as many six different players catch 30 passes. Branch (51), Kevin Faulk (48), Daniel Graham (37) and Brown (35) have already reached that mark while Givens and tight end Christian Fauria have 27 each. The last time the Patriots had six different receivers with as many as 30 catches was 1996 when Terry Glenn (90), Coates (62), Shawn Jefferson (50), Curtis Martin (46), David Meggett (33) and Sam Gash (33) all did it. Keith Byars caught 33 passes that season as well, but only 27 as a member of the Patriots.

DT Richard Seymour and CB Ty Law were the Patriots only Pro Bowl selections while the Chiefs and Ravens had eight selections each. Head coach Bill Belichick had this to say on that matter: "I think Ty and Richard have had real good seasons and deserve what recognition they're getting. We have a lot of other good players on our team and I'd be surprised if all the other guys who got that recognition played better than some of our guys played. I don't know how those guys played, but I know how our guys played. Maybe they were better, but I'd be surprised."

The Patriots will have Christmas day off, but don't have a short week because they play back-to-back Saturday games.

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"What can you say? We have a bunch of great veterans who always prepare and work hard, are very consistent and headstrong. We pull together in critical situations and we're able to overcome obstacles." -- Safety Rodney Harrison


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