Quick Hits: Awards, Injury Concerns, & More

News and Notes from Wednesday and Thursday for the New England Patriots as they prepare for their week 9 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.

Tom Terrific

For the second month in a row Tom Brady's remarkable performances on the field have translated into recognition of his abilities by the league. Brady was named the AFC Player of the Month for October. It is his second such career honor in his eight seasons.

Brady's performance in October set new franchise and league records. His 20 touchdown passes helped the Patriots to a 5-0 record for the month, 8-0 overall. He lead the leagin in passing yardage and the touchdowns were the most of any quarterback in league history in a given month. Brady completed 128 of 179 passes (71.5 percent) for 1,544 yards with 22 touchdowns (20 passing, 2 rushing) and a 132.5 passer rating.

Other October winners were; Jared Allen of the Kansas City Chiefs for Defense and Rob Bironas of the Tennessee Titans for Special Teams.

Vrabel's Honor

Patriots outside linebacker Mike Vrabel was awarded the AFC Defensive Player of the Week honor for Week 8. The 11th-year veteran defender had 13 tackles (11 solo), three sacks, three forced fumbles and a touchdown against the Redskins on Sunday. His three forced fumbles translated into 17 points for the Patriots in their 52-7 rout of the Redskins.

The honor was Vrabel's first Player of the Week Award.


--Since coming to New England, Bill Belichick is 7-4 against the Colts and 9-6 overall as a head coach.

--The Patriots have met the Colts in both the regular season and playoffs in three of the last four seasons (2003, 2004, 2006).

--New England has scored at least 34 points in all of Tom Brady's three starts in Indianapolis. The Patriots scored 34 points last year and 38 points the two other times.

--This marks the latest in the regular season that two undefeated teams have met in the Super Bowl era. The Patriots are 8-0, while the Colts are 7-0 because they had their bye week already.

--The Patriots have scored a total of 149 points in their last three games. That marks the highest three-game point total of any team in the NFL since 1950.

--The Patriots have become just the second team in NFL history to score at least 34 points in each of their first eight games of a season, joining the 2000 St. Louis Rams. The Patriots have scored 38, 38, 38, 34, 34, 48, 49 and 52 points in their eight games this season, for a total of 331 points. The 2000 Rams scored 41, 37, 41, 41, 57, 45, 34 and 34 points in their first eight games, for a total of 330 points.

--The Patriots gained 34 first downs Sunday against the Redskins, setting a franchise record for most first downs in a single game. The previous single-game team record was 32 first downs, achieved on Dec. 11, 2005, in a 35-7 win at Buffalo. In their 52-7 win over Washington, the Patriots gained 13 first downs rushing and 21 first downs passing.

They Said It:

--"I hope it's a blowout, actually (laughs). I'm sure nobody else would like that. They're a great football team. And I think we've proven over the last eight weeks that we can play at a pretty high level ourselves. Two undefeated teams and obviously with the history of these teams, it makes for a great matchup." -- QB Tom Brady, on if the Patriots-Colts game is worthy of all the hype.

"It's been a long road, but every year is different and I understand that. You just have to be able to play this game." -- LB Richard Seymour on returning to action with the Patriots. Seymour had preseason knee surgery.

Player News:

--TE Benjamin Watson, who has missed the last two games with a left ankle injury, was present for the media-access portion of Wednesday's and Thursday's practices. The sighting of Watson is a good thing for the Patirots who have missed having their big threat down the middle without him in the lineup the past two weeks.

--DB Brandon Meriweather, S Rashad Baker, LB Larry Izzo, OLB Pierre Woods, DL Le Kevin Smith, DL Kareem Brown, CB Tim Mixon, CB Antwain Spann, S Ray Ventrone and CB Eddie Jackson were all wearing black jerseys at practice on Wednesday, signifying they were practice players of the week.

--CB Asante Samuel (team decision) didn't participate in Wednesday's practice (team decision). Samuel was dressed in street clothes in the Patriots locker room and left Gillette Stadium before practice started. According to his agent, Samuel was granted permission to take care of a personal matter. Samuel returned to practice on Thursday.

--WR Randy Moss (team decision) had limited participation in practice on Wednesday. He was not listed on Thursday's report. Moss is expected to start this Sunday against the Colts.

--LB Adalius Thomas (ankle) had limited participation in practice on Wednesday, but was not listed on Thursday's report. Thomas hurt his ankle against the Cowboys, remains in the starting lineup.

--LB Mike Vrabel (shoulder) had limited participation in practice Wednesday and Thursday. Vrabel is expected to be in the starting lineup on Sunday.

-- TE Kyle Brady was injured in the first half of Sunday's win over the Washington Redskins and did not return to the action. The undisclosed injury is reportedly not a long-term issue, but with Brady and Benjamin Watson banged up and David Thomas already on IR, New England is down to veteran Marcellus Rivers as its only healthy tight end. Brady was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday (team decision).

Material from wire reports, league and team sources and scout.com was used in this report.


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