Patriots Notebook: Midweek Quick Hits

News and notes from week 17. What happened, who broke records and how the Top performers fared in the Patriots season finale.

--The 2006 Patriots allowed 237 points in the regular season, a total that stands as the fewest in franchise history for a 16-game season. The previous mark was 238, set in 2003. The Patriots allowed an average of 14.81 points per game, a mark that also sets a franchise record. The previous record was 14.88 points by the 2003 squad.

--CB Asante Samuel recorded two interceptions in the fourth quarter against the Titans, raising his season total to 10. That's the second-highest single-season total in Patriots history, trailing only Ron Hall's team-record 11 interceptions for the Boston Patriots in 1964. Samuel finished tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with the Broncos' Champ Bailey.

"I worked hard in the offseason with the Nerf ball," Samuel said. "I dropped a lot of picks in the past, and I needed to focus on the ball more. Me and my son were playing catch in the house one day with a Nerf ball, and I said I should take this onto the field with me to help me focus on the ball more."

--With a 7-yard run in the fourth quarter, RB Corey Dillon passed O.J. Simpson to move into 14th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list. Following that run, Dillon had totaled 11,238 yards, 2 better than Simpson's career total of 11,236 yards. Following the game, Dillon's career total stood at 11,241 yards on 2,618 career carries.

"Corey ran hard, like he always does," coach Bill Belichick said. "He ran hard, broke some tackles, was effective in a lot of different phases of the game. Blitz pickup. Running. Catching. He had a solid game, no question about it. I thought our backs ran well, Heath (Evans) blocked well. Again, we were able to move the ball. We had some balance in our attack, both running and passing. I'm pleased with that."

--QB Vinny Testaverde threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Troy Brown in the fourth quarter, marking his 20th consecutive season with a touchdown pass -- adding to his NFL record total. Last season, Testaverde became the first player in league history to throw for a touchdown in 19 straight seasons when he connected on a 27-yard scoring pass to Laveranues Coles while playing for the Jets in a game against the Patriots on Dec. 26, 2005. "I was excited to go in and run some plays, but to throw a touchdown pass was very exciting," Testaverde said. "The guys were really excited for me. The first thing I did when I came off the field was find Coach Belichick and thank him for the opportunity. He's been great."

--S Rodney Harrison injured his knee in the second quarter Sunday when Titans WR Bobby Wade blocked him low. The block was legal but caused some friction between the teams. LB Tedy Bruschi went over and started woofing at the Titans sideline. The extent of Harrison's injury won't be known until later in the week, but early indications are New England could be without the leader of its secondary for the first-round playoff game against the Jets.

"I don't know. I'm sure no one likes to see a team leader, a captain, someone like Rodney to go down," QB Tom Brady said about the injury. "I didn't see the play. I know everyone was pretty mad about it. ... You keep your poise and you try to let your play do the talking. We stooped down to the level that we were playing against. We've got to find ways to overcome that kind of play. It was a physical game. Both teams wanted to win."

--WR Reche Caldwell set a single-game career high with 134 receiving yards on four catches, achieving a high in that category for the second time this month. He hauled in 112 yards worth of passes in New England's 28-21 victory over Detroit on Dec. 3. Caldwell's touchdown catch in the third quarter was his fourth of the season, a mark that sets a single-season career high, topping his totals of three touchdown catches in 2002 and 2004 for San Diego.

--DL Jarvis Green strip-sacked Tennessee's Vince Young in the first quarter, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Rosevelt Colvin at the Titans 25-yard line. Green's strip-sack was his third of the season and his second in as many weeks, having sacked Jacksonville's David Garrard late in the fourth quarter on Dec. 24, coming up with a play that sealed New England's 24-21 division-clinching win. Green also strip-sacked Cincinnati's Carson Palmer in New England's 38-13 win on Oct. 1 as part of a three-sack performance that earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Sunday's strip-sack gave Green 7.5 sacks for the season, a career-high total.


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