2010 New England Patriots season
|2010 New England Patriots season|
|Head coach||Bill Belichick|
|Home field||Gillette Stadium|
|Division place||1st AFC East|
|Playoff finish||Lost Divisional Playoffs (Jets) 28–21|
QB Tom Brady|
G Logan Mankins
T Matt Light
ILB Jerod Mayo
CB Devin McCourty
S Brandon Meriweather
WR Wes Welker
DT Vince Wilfork
QB Tom Brady (1st team)|
G Logan Mankins (1st team)
ILB Jerod Mayo (1st team)
CB Devin McCourty (2nd team)
T Sebastian Vollmer (2nd team)
DT Vince Wilfork (2nd team)
The 2010 New England Patriots season was the 41st season for the team in the National Football League and 51st season overall. The Patriots improved on their 10–6 record from 2009 by finishing with a league-best 14–2 record and clinching the top seed in the AFC, before losing to the New York Jets in the playoffs.
After losing to the Baltimore Ravens at home in the first round of the 2009 playoffs, the Patriots went into the 2010 season without either an offensive or defensive coordinator following the departure of defensive coordinator Dean Pees. An October 6 trade sent All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings, and eventually led to the return of wide receiver Deion Branch from the Seattle Seahawks in a separate deal. After acquiring Branch, the Patriots won 11 of their last 12 games of the season to finish with a 14–2 record and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Quarterback Tom Brady finished the regular season with an NFL-record 335 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, and broke his own 2007 TD to INT ratio record with 9:1 and was named NFL MVP. The Patriots committed an NFL-record low 10 turnovers on the season, setting an NFL record with seven consecutive games without a turnover.
In their Divisional playoff game against the Jets, the Patriots could not recover from a 14–3 halftime deficit, and were held to their lowest scoring total in their last 11 weeks, dropping the contest 28–21 to the underdog Jets.
Statistics site Football Outsiders calculated that the Patriots 2010 offense was not only more efficient, play-for-play, than their record-setting 2007 offense, but was actually the best offense they calculated in their history.
Four days after the Patriots' playoff loss against the Baltimore Ravens, defensive coordinator Dean Pees announced that he would not seek to renew his contract, which expired at the end of the 2009 season. He was named the Ravens' linebackers coach on January 26. The Patriots did not name a formal replacement for defensive coordinator. The team did, however, add former defensive back and Notre Dame defensive coordinator Corwin Brown as a defensive backs coach, which was later clarified to mean Brown would coach the team's safeties, alongside existing defensive backs coach Josh Boyer. Additionally, tight ends coach Shane Waldron left the team following the season and later joined the coaching staff of the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League. No formal replacement was named.
On the eve of the start of the free agent signing period, the Patriots released tight end Chris Baker, who had signed a five-year deal the year before. The team also lost two unrestricted free agents: defensive end Jarvis Green signed with the Denver Broncos, while tight end Benjamin Watson joined the Cleveland Browns. On April 26, the team released veteran linebacker Adalius Thomas after three seasons with the team. Weeks later, the Patriots released veteran cornerback Shawn Springs after one year with the team.
On September 14, after the Patriots' first game of the season, running back Laurence Maroney was traded to the Denver Broncos along with a sixth-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft in exchange for the Broncos' fourth-round pick in 2011.
In the week leading up to the Patriots' 2010 season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, Randy Moss, who was entering the final year of his contract told CBS Sports that he "did not feel wanted" in New England absent a contract extension offer. After the game, Moss told reporters that it would be his final season with the Patriots. The Boston Herald reported weeks later that Moss requested a trade following the game. Two days after the Patriots' Week 4 game against the Miami Dolphins, Moss was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the Vikings' third-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Patriots also sent a 2012 seventh-round selection to the Vikings as part of the trade.
Three days before the deadline for doing so, the Patriots assigned the non-exclusive franchise tag to unrestricted free agent nose tackle Vince Wilfork, while expressing their desire to reach a long-term contract with Wilfork. On March 5, the first day of free agency, the Patriots re-signed Wilfork to a five-year, $40 million contract with $25 million in guaranteed money.
Before the start of free agency, the Patriots signed wide receiver David Patten, who was with the team from 2001–2004 but had spent the 2009 season out of football. They also signed unrestricted free agents linebacker Marques Murrell and tight end Alge Crumpler, as well as defensive linemen Damione Lewis and Gerard Warren, and wide receiver Torry Holt, who were all released by their former teams. The Patriots also signed former Australian Rules Footballer David King as a punter.
The Patriots also re-signed a number of their own unrestricted free agents. Linebacker Tully Banta-Cain was re-signed to a three-year contract, while guard Stephen Neal signed a two-year contract. Cornerback Leigh Bodden, running back Kevin Faulk, and linebacker Derrick Burgess were also re-signed. Restricted free agents Stephen Gostkowski and Pierre Woods were re-signed; Gostkowski was later re-signed to a four-year extension before the season. Restricted free agent running back Chris Taylor was not offered a tender, making him an unrestricted free agent, but he was later re-signed. Exclusive rights free agent linebacker Gary Guyton signed a two-year contract through 2011; while fellow exclusive-rights free agent safety Bret Lockett also re-signed.
Guard Logan Mankins became a restricted free agent under the terms of the NFL-NFLPA collective bargaining agreement, which entered its final, uncapped year; Mankins otherwise would have been an unrestricted free agent in a normal season. The Patriots tendered at the highest possible level for a restricted free agent, $3.26 million, which have required any team signing Mankins in the restricted free agent signing period, which ended on April 15, 2010, to surrender first- and third-round draft selections to the Patriots. On June 15, with Mankins yet to sign his tender, the Patriots were able to lower Mankins' tender amount to 110% of his prior year salary, or $1.54 million. The Patriots did so, and Mankins, who was looking for a long-term contract, reacted by publicly asking for a trade. He did not attend the Patriots' mandatory June minicamp, which he was not required to attend as he was not under contract at the time. Mankins remained unsigned through the team's training camp, preseason, and the start of the regular season. Mankins reported to the Patriots and signed his tender on November 2, in advance of the team's Week 9 game against the Cleveland Browns. He did not have to report until Week 12 in order to be on the roster for the necessary six games to earn his sixth accrued season of free agency credit. The NFL granted the Patriots a two-game roster exemption for Mankins upon his reporting. However, the Patriots activated Mankins on November 6, before using either game of the exemption.
On September 4, the day the team was required to cut down to 53 players, they acquired linebacker Tracy White and a 2012 seventh-round selection from the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2012 sixth-round selection, as well as safety Jarrad Page from the Kansas City Chiefs for an unannounced draft selection.
Nearly a week after a trade sent wide receiver Randy Moss out of New England, the Patriots traded a 2011 fourth-round selection to the Seattle Seahawks for receiver Deion Branch. Branch played for the Patriots from 2002–2005 and was the MVP of the team's Super Bowl XXXIX win.
2010 NFL Draft
The Patriots traded their original fifth-round pick (#153 overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April 2009 in exchange for tight end Alex Smith. In August 2009, the Patriots traded their original third- and fourth-round selections (#85 and No. 119 overall) to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for defensive end Derrick Burgess. The trade was made on the condition that, because the Patriots had already traded their fifth-round selection, the fourth-round selection sent to Oakland would become a fifth-round selection once the Patriots re-acquired one. Later that month, the Patriots traded defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith to the Denver Broncos along with a seventh-round pick (#231) they acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Denver Broncos in exchange for the Broncos' fifth-round pick (#158 overall), which was sent to Oakland for the Patriots' original fourth-round pick (#119 overall). The Patriots then re-acquired the seventh-round pick that had been sent to Denver in the Le Kevin Smith trade in exchange for offensive lineman Russ Hochstein.
The Patriots traded a conditional seventh-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for linebacker Prescott Burgess in September 2009. He was waived by the Patriots six days later. Since the trade was conditioned on Burgess being active for a certain number of games, and since Burgess was inactive in the only game for which he was with the Patriots, the Patriots kept the pick.
|2||42||Rob Gronkowski||Tight end||Arizona|
|3||90||Taylor Price||Wide receiver||Ohio|
|4||113||Aaron Hernandez||Tight end||Florida|
|6||205||Ted Larsen||Center||NC State|
|7||208||Thomas Welch||Offensive tackle||Vanderbilt|
|7||247||Brandon Deaderick||Defensive end||Alabama|
|7||248||Kade Weston||Defensive tackle||Georgia|
|7||250||Zac Robinson||Quarterback||Oklahoma State|
|1||22||to Denver Broncos||Received Denver's first-round pick and fourth-round pick (24 and 113 overall)|
|1||24||to Dallas Cowboys||Received Dallas' first-round pick and third-round pick (27 and 90 overall)|
|2||44||to Oakland Raiders||Received Oakland's second-round pick (42 overall)|
|2||47||to Arizona Cardinals||Received Arizona's second-round pick and third-round pick (58 and 89 overall)|
|2||58||to Houston Texans||Received Houston's second-round pick and fifth-round pick (62 and 150 overall)|
|3||89||to Carolina Panthers||Received Carolina's 2011 second-round pick|
|7||229||to Washington Redskins||Received Washington's seventh-round pick (208 overall)|
|New England Patriots 2010 staff|
| Front Office
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
Opening training camp roster
As of the Patriots' first training camp practice at Gillette Stadium on July 29, they had one fewer than the NFL maximum of 79 players signed to their roster. Restricted free agent Logan Mankins did not count against that limit, as he had yet to sign his tender. Derrick Burgess was placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report list and did not count against the limit.
|Week||Kickoff||Date||Opponent||Result||Record||Game Site||TV||NFL.com Recap|
|1||7:30 pm EDT||August 12, 2010||New Orleans Saints||W 27–24||1–0||Gillette Stadium||WBZ||Recap|
|2||8:00 pm EDT||August 19, 2010||Atlanta Falcons||W 28–10||2–0||Georgia Dome||Fox||Recap|
|3||7:30 pm EDT||August 26, 2010||St. Louis Rams||L 35–36||2–1||Gillette Stadium||WBZ||Recap|
|4||7:00 pm EDT||September 2, 2010||New York Giants||L 17–20||2–2||New Meadowlands Stadium||WBZ||Recap|
|Week||Kickoff||Date||Opponent||Result||Record||Game Site||TV||NFL.com Recap|
|1||1:00 pm EDT||September 12, 2010||Cincinnati Bengals||W 38–24||1–0||Gillette Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|2||4:15 pm EDT||September 19, 2010||at New York Jets||L 14–28||1–1||New Meadowlands Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|3||1:00 pm EDT||September 26, 2010||Buffalo Bills||W 38–30||2–1||Gillette Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|4||8:30 pm EDT||October 4, 2010||at Miami Dolphins||W 41–14||3–1||Sun Life Stadium||ESPN[a]||Recap|
|6||1:00 pm EDT||October 17, 2010||Baltimore Ravens||W 23–20 (OT)||4–1||Gillette Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|7||4:15 pm EDT||October 24, 2010||at San Diego Chargers||W 23–20||5–1||Qualcomm Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|8||4:15 pm EDT||October 31, 2010||Minnesota Vikings||W 28–18||6–1||Gillette Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|9||1:00 pm EST||November 7, 2010||at Cleveland Browns||L 14–34||6–2||Cleveland Browns Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|10||8:20 pm EST||November 14, 2010||at Pittsburgh Steelers||W 39–26||7–2||Heinz Field||NBC||Recap|
|11||4:15 pm EST||November 21, 2010||Indianapolis Colts||W 31–28||8–2||Gillette Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|12||12:30 pm EST||November 25, 2010||at Detroit Lions||W 45–24||9–2||Ford Field||CBS||Recap|
|13||8:30 pm EST||December 6, 2010||New York Jets||W 45–3||10–2||Gillette Stadium||ESPN[a]||Recap|
|14||4:15 pm EST||December 12, 2010||at Chicago Bears||W 36–7||11–2||Soldier Field||CBS||Recap|
|15||8:20 pm EST||December 19, 2010||Green Bay Packers||W 31–27||12–2||Gillette Stadium||NBC||Recap|
|16||1:00 pm EST||December 26, 2010||at Buffalo Bills||W 34–3||13–2||Ralph Wilson Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|17||1:00 pm EST||January 2, 2011||Miami Dolphins||W 38–7||14–2||Gillette Stadium||CBS||Recap|
Week 1 roster
Regular season results
Week 1: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Patriots began their season at home with an AFC duel against the Cincinnati Bengals. In the first quarter the Patriots had the early lead when quarterback Tom Brady got a 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Wes Welker, followed by kicker Stephen Gostkowski hitting a 32-yard field goal. In the second quarter the Patriots' lead increased when Brady completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker, followed by linebacker Gary Guyton returning an interception 59 yards for a touchdown. The Bengals then made their first score of the half when kicker Mike Nugent nailed a 54-yard field goal. In the third quarter the Patriots increased their lead again when wide receiver Brandon Tate returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. The Bengals responded with quarterback Carson Palmer throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham, followed by Palmer completing a 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. In the fourth quarter the Patriots scored again with Brady throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Bengals replied with running back Cedric Benson rushing for a 1-yard touchdown, but couldn't score any further, giving the Patriots a win.
With the win the Patriots began the season at 1–0.
Week 2: at New York Jets
New England went on the road to face division rival New York in the latest meeting between the two teams at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Jets had lost their opener to the Baltimore Ravens the previous week and started slow, accruing no passing yards during the first quarter, as the Patriots went down the field in two long drives taking up most of the time in the first half. In the second quarter, the Patriots took the early lead as quarterback Tom Brady completed a 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Wes Welker, but the Jets replied with quarterback Mark Sanchez completing a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Braylon Edwards. The Patriots scored again with Brady finding wide receiver Randy Moss on a 34-yard touchdown pass. The Pats lead slowly narrowed when kicker Nick Folk nailed a 49-yard field goal, followed by him making a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter. The Patriots fell behind when Sanchez completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (with a successful 2-point conversion), followed in the fourth quarter by Sanchez tossing 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dustin Keller. The Patriots committed 3 turnovers in the game, allowing the Jets to score 18 unanswered points in the second half.
With the loss, the Patriots fell to 1–1.
Week 3: vs. Buffalo Bills
Hoping to rebound from their loss to the Jets, the Patriots returned to home ground for an AFC East match against the Bills. In the first quarter, Bills kicker Rian Lindell nailed a 39-yard field goal for the first score of the game. The Patriots took the lead when quarterback Tom Brady completed a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Randy Moss. The Bills replied in the second quarter with Lindell making another 39-yard field goal, which was followed by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to running back C. J. Spiller. The Patriots responded and took a narrow lead when running back Danny Woodhead blazed away a 22-yard touchdown run. Then they fell behind when Lindell hit a 34-yard field goal. The Patriots got the lead back after kicker Stephen Gostkowski booted a 43-yard field goal. The Patriots rallied in the third quarter when Brady found Moss again on a 35-yard touchdown pass, but Buffalo scored quickly when Spiller returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. The Patriots increased their lead when Brady completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski, followed in the fourth quarter by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis going in on a 7-yard touchdown run. The Bills tried to come back into the game when Fitzptrick made a 37-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Johnson, but the Patriots defense prevented anything else from happening, giving New England the win.
With the win, the Patriots improved to 2–1.
Week 4: at Miami Dolphins
Coming off their divisional home win over the Bills, the Patriots flew to Sun Life Stadium for a Week 4 AFC East duel with the Miami Dolphins on Monday night. New England trailed in the first quarter after Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Davone Bess. The Patriots would cut away at their deficit in the second quarter with kicker Stephen Gostkowski making 23-yard and 30-yard field goals.
New England took the lead in the third quarter when wide receiver Brandon Tate returned the second half's opening kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown, followed by a 12-yard touchdown run by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Miami tried to catch up as Henne connected with running back Ricky Williams on a 28-yard touchdown pass, but the Patriots came right back when quarterback Tom Brady threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to running back Danny Woodhead. New England would add onto their lead in the fourth quarter as cornerback Kyle Arrington returned a blocked field goal 35 yards for a touchdown, followed by safety Patrick Chung returning an interception 51 yards for a touchdown.
With the win, not only did the Patriots head into their bye week at 3–1, but Brady picked up his 100th win in the fewest career starts (131) in NFL history.
New England became the first team in NFL history to have a rushing, passing, interception return, kickoff return, and blocked field goal return for a touchdown in the same game.
Week 6: vs. Baltimore Ravens
at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
- Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
- Game weather: 57 °F (14 °C), sunny
- Game attendance: 68,756
- Referee: Bill Leavy
- TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (color commentator)
Coming off their bye week the Patriots played on home ground for an AFC duel with the Ravens. In the first quarter the Patriots trailed early as kicker Billy Cundiff hit a 26-yard field goal, but took the lead when running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a 2-yard touchdown run. The Ravens got the lead back when quarterback Joe Flacco threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Todd Heap, followed in the third quarter by Flacco finding wide receiver Anquan Boldin on a 25-yard touchdown pass. The Patriots replied with kicker Stephen Gostkowski hitting a 38-yard field goal, but the Ravens responded with Cundiff making a 25-yard field goal. The Patriots then rallied with quarterback Tom Brady throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deion Branch. This was followed by Gostkowski making a 24-yard field goal. The Patriots got the ball back and took it to Baltimore's 44-yard line but, instead of trying a 61-yard field goal, Tom Brady tried a Hail Mary which was intercepted by Ken Hamlin with no time left on the clock. Then, a 35-yard field goal in overtime gave the Patriots a win.
With the win, New England improved to 4–1.
Week 7: at San Diego Chargers
Hoping to extend their winning streak the Patriots flew to Qualcomm Stadium for an AFC duel with the Chargers. In the first quarter the Patriots trailed early as Chargers kicker Kris Brown made a 32-yard field goal, but they rallied to when quarterback Tom Brady threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski; followed in the second quarter by kicker Stephen Gostkowski making a 40 and a 35-yard field goal. In the third quarter running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Patriots up 20–3. In the fourth quarter the Chargers replied with Brown hitting a 28-yard field goal, but the Patriots continued to score with a 35-yard field goal from Gostkowski. The Patriots' lead was narrowed with Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antonio Gates, and with fullback Mike Tolbert running for a 1-yard touchdown, but a missed field Kris Brown 50-yard field goal that bounced off the right post late in the fourth quarter sealed a victory for the Patriots.
With the win, the Patriots improved to 5–1.
Week 8: vs. Minnesota Vikings
at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Hoping to extend their winning streak, the Patriots played on home ground for a game with the Vikings, who came to Foxboro with former Patriot Randy Moss. In the second quarter, the Patriots trailed early as Vikings running back Adrian Peterson ran for a 1-yard touchdown run, but the Patriots later responded when running back Danny Woodhead scored on a 3-yard touchdown run. The Vikings attempted to punch in a touchdown from the Patriots' 1-yard line on fourth down late in the first half but were stopped. Minnesota re-took the lead midway through the third quarter, with a 24-yard field goal from kicker Ryan Longwell, but the Patriots grabbed the lead when quarterback Tom Brady threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Tate, followed by a 13-yard touchdown run from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. In the fourth quarter Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was injured after a hit by Myron Pryor, but backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson subsequently threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to fullback Naufahu Tahi (with a two-point conversion to Percy Harvin). However, the Patriots responded with a 2-yard touchdown run from Green-Ellis, sealing the victory for the Patriots.
With the win, the Patriots improved to 6–1.
Week 9: at Cleveland Browns
Hoping to increase their winning streak the Patriots flew to Cleveland Browns Stadium for an AFC duel with the Browns. In the first quarter the Patriots trailed early as kicker Phil Dawson nailed a 38-yard field goal, followed by a 2-yard Peyton Hillis touchdown run. The Patriots responded in the second quarter with quarterback Tom Brady completing a 2-yard pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez, but they fell further behind when Chansi Stuckey took an end-around for an 11-yard touchdown run. This was followed in the third quarter by Browns quarterback Colt McCoy scrambling 16 yards to the end zone for a touchdown. Dawson then made a 37-yard field goal to put the Browns up 27–7. The Patriots replied when Brady found Hernandez on another 1-yard touchdown pass, but their opportunity for a comeback ended when Hillis added a 35-yard touchdown run.
With the loss, the Patriots fell to 6–2.
Week 10: at Pittsburgh Steelers
Hoping to rebound from their loss to the Browns, the Patriots flew to Heinz Field to face the Steelers. The Patriots took the early lead. After the Steelers went 3-and-out, the Patriots drove 70 yards in 9 plays, ending with quarterback Tom Brady throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski. After another Steelers punt, the Patriots moved 40 yards taking 5:26 off the clock, but at the Pittsburgh 12, Green-Ellis was penalized for a chop block, moving the ball back to the 27 and they could only settle for a 31-yard field goal by kicker Shayne Graham. Both teams punted on their next possession. However, the Steelers finally scored late in the 2nd quarter, driving 76 yards to the Patriots 4-yard line, but also, could only settle for a field goal with kicker Jeff Reed nailing a 22-yard field goal, cutting the lead to 10–3. The remainder of the half was mostly punts, but the Patriots continued their scoring barrage in the third quarter. On the opening possession of the 3rd quarter, the Patriots marched 78 yards in a perfectly balanced (5 passes, 5 runs) 10 play drive that ended with Brady throwing a 9-yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski. After both teams punted, the Steelers drove 59 (aided by a 38-yard pass interference call on Brandon Meriweather)yards to the Patriots 8-yard line, but Reed missed a 26-yard field goal. This was followed by the Patriots driving 55 yards with Brady scrambling 3 yards to the end zone for a touchdown; however, Graham missed the extra point wide right keeping the score 23–3. The Steelers scored first in the fourth quarter when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed a 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, finishing a 71-yard drive. The Steelers forced a punt, but their comeback came to a halt on the next drive as a Roethlisberger pass was intercepted by safety James Sanders and returned 32 yards for a touchdown, with a failed two-point conversion, making the score 29-10. The Steelers stormed 53 yards in just 5 plays with Roethlisberger connecting with Mike Wallace for a 15-yard touchdown pass(with a successful 2pt conversion), trimming the lead to 29–18 with 6:44 left. The Steelers attempted an onside kick, but it was unsuccessful, giving the Patriots excellent field position at Pittsburgh's 41 yard-line. Brady made them pay, marching effortlessly downfield, and throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski, giving the Patriots an insurmountable 36-18 lead with 4:23 remaining. Ben Roethlisberger completed three of five passes to Mike Wallace on the next drive, including a 33-yard touchdown pass. The successful 2 point conversion made it 36-26, but the Patriots' Alge Crumpler recovered the onside kick and gained 7 yards to Pittsburgh's 33-yard line. With 1:58 remaining, Graham hit a 36-yard field goal to close the scoring. Pittsburgh drove to New England's 15 with a few seconds left, but couldn't score.
Tom Brady finished 30/43 for 350 yards, 3 TDs 0 INTs against the top ranked defense in the NFL. Rob Gronkowski caught all three TDs en route to a 5 catch, 72 yard night. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 387 yards in defeat.
With the win, New England improve to 7–2.
Week 11: vs. Indianapolis Colts
at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
- Game time: 4:15 pm EST
- Game weather: 37 °F (3 °C), sunny and cold
- Game attendance: 68,756
- Referee: Gene Steratore
- TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (color commentator)
Coming off their win over the Steelers the Patriots played on home ground against the Colts for the first time in four seasons. The Colts took the opening kick and Peyton Manning led them to the Patriots 46-yard line. However, on 3rd-and-6 Peyton Manning was intercepted by Brandon Meriweather who returned it to the Colts 32. Four plays later, the Patriots took the lead when quarterback Tom Brady threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Wes Welker. After a Colts punt Brady marched the Patriots on a 15 play, 87 yard drive culminating with Brady throwing an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez with 13:15 left in the 1st half. The Colts, led by Peyton Manning, marched 69 yards with Peyton passing for 62 on the drive, including a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Gijon Robinson.Unfortunately, the Patriots responded with a balanced, 65-yard drive, ending with a 5-yard touchdown run by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The lead was narrowed again after Manning led a 69-yard, 12 play drive before finding wide receiver Reggie Wayne(who made a fantastic catch) on an 11-yard touchdown pass with 0:08 left in the first half. After both teams punted on their initial second half possession, the Patriots increased their lead in the third quarter by storming 79 yards in 9 plays with running back Danny Woodhead running for a 36-yard touchdown, the only score of the third quarter. Manning was intercepted on the next possession. A 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter by kicker Shayne Graham seemingly ended the game with just 10:23 remaining. Immediately, Peyton and Co. stormed 73 yards with Peyton throwing for 66 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to Blair White. After forcing a quick three-and-out, with help from an unnecessary roughness penalty on Tully Banta-Cain, went 58 yards as Peyton threw his 4th touchdown of the night, again to White, trimming a 31-14 lead to 31-28 in less than 6 minutes. The Colts forced another quick punt and got the ball at their own 26- yard line with 2:25 remaining, giving Manning a chance to pull off a miracle comeback against the Patriots for a second year in a row. Manning drove the Colts all the way to the Patriots 24-yard line, but his next pass attempt was intercepted by Patriots safety James Sanders at the 6-yard line with 0:37 remaining, giving the Patriots the win.
Peyton Manning shredded the Patriots 32nd ranked pass defense going 38/52 for a fantastic 396 yards and 4 touchdowns, but also threw 3 interceptions (2 in Patriots territory) . Brady was 19/25 for just 186 yards, but didn't turn the ball over. Green-Ellis and Woodhead were huge in the run game as the Patriots ran for 134 yards as a team.
With the win, the Patriots improved to 8–2.
Week 12: at Detroit Lions
Coming off their win over the Colts, the Patriots flew to Ford Field, donned their throwback uniforms, and played a Week 12 Thanksgiving game with the Detroit Lions. After the first three possessions of the game ended in punts, Brady drove the Patriots 41 yards, completing all except one pass, but could only muster a 19-yard field goal by kicker Shayne Graham. The Lions, though, answered, driving 71 yards in 11 plays, eating 5:00 off the clock. The drive ended with quarterback Shaun Hill completing a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Detroit added onto their lead in the second quarter. Another long Lions drive, going 63 yards in 13 plays, taking 6:24 off the clock, ended when running back Maurice Morris punched through a 1-yard touchdown run. Yet the Patriots responded, storming 83 yards in 10 plays, concluding with a 15-yard touchdown run from running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Lions appeared to have stopped the Patriots after Brady threw an incomplete pass on 3rd-and-6, but DeAndre Levy was called for pass interference, giving the Patriots a 1st down. The Lions closed out the half with kicker Dave Rayner making a 44-yard field goal.
After forcing a Patriots punt, the Lions took over at their own 11. After a 17-yard run by Morris, Hill was intercepted at the 49 by Devin McCourty who returned it 23 yards to Detroit's 26. Five. plays later, New England tied the game as quarterback Tom Brady found wide receiver Wes Welker on a 5-yard touchdown pass. However, the Patriots weak defense couldn't catch a break as Shaun Hill marched the Lions 58 yards in 9 plays, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run from Morris. The Patriots soon struck again as Brady connected with wide receiver Deion Branch on a 79-yard touchdown pass on a drive that went 87 yards on a mere 3 plays, tying the game at 24. This was the Patriots' longest play from scrimmage of their 2010 season. The Lions missed a field goal on their next drive. New England regained the lead in the fourth quarter as Brady went 3/3 for 59 yards on the drive finding Branch again on a 22-yard touchdown pass. Brady capped off a 7 play, 84 yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Welker, extending the lead to 38-24. Shaun Hill was intercepted by McCourty on the Lions next possession. Afterwards, the Patriots pulled away with a 1-yard touchdown run from Green-Ellis to win 45–24. During the extra point and afterwards, the Lions were called for three personal fouls, including one on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. This allowed the Patriots to kick off from the Lions' 40-yard line, and Graham was able to put the ball through the uprights, to a storm of boos from the Ford Field crowd.
With the win, New England improved to 9–2.
Week 13: vs. New York Jets
at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
- Game time: 8:30 pm EST
- Game weather: 27 °F (−3 °C), cloudy, cold, windy with snow flurries
- Game attendance: 68,756
- Referee: Scott Green
- TV announcers (ESPN): Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden (color commentators), Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber (sideline reporters)
Coming off their win over the Lions on Thanksgiving, the Patriots returned home for a highly anticipated Monday Night Football game with the New York Jets whom were also 9–2, and with the outright lead in the AFC East on the line. The Patriots took the opening kickoff and marched 52 yards in 9 plays, with Shayne Graham draining a 41-yard field goal for the early lead. The Jets appeared to strike back, but a long drive ended with Folk missing a 53-yard field goal. The Patriots responded by driving to the Jets 37-yard line. On 2nd-and-7, Tom Brady was incomplete looking for Gronkowski, but was called for pass interference moving the ball at the 1-yard line, two plays later Benjarvus Green-Ellis punched it in, making the score 10-0. After another Jets three-and-out, the Patriots went 32 yards in just 4 plays, taking a commanding 17-0 lead. The Jets finally got on the board in the second quarter moving 46 yards and scoring with a 39-yard field goal from kicker Nick Folk, in what would be the Jets' only score of the game. The Patriots replied on their very next drive, storming 67 yards in 7 plays spanning just under 4 minutes with Brady throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Tate. The Patriots continued their offensive onslaught in the third quarter. The Jets actually drove 64 yards to the Patriots 9-yard line, but Mark Sanchez was intercepted by Brandon Spikes. The Patriots responded immediately driving 93 yards eating up 4:35 with Brady throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Wes Welker, increasing the lead to 31-3. Mark Sanchez threw his second straight interception late in the third quarter. Tom Brady marched the Patriots 94 yards in 3:53 with Brady throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez on the first play of the fourth quarter. Sanchez threw an interception on a third straight drive this one to James Sanders and the Patriots marched 28 with a 5-yard touchdown run from Green-Ellis making the score 45-3 with 9:20 remaining in the game.
With the win, the Patriots improved to 10–2, and took sole possession of first place in the AFC East which they would not relinquish. The Patriots out-gained the Jets 405-301 and forced the Jets into three turnovers which the Patriots converted into 21 points.
Tom Brady was 21/29, 326 yards, four touchdowns, and a 148.8 passer rating, extending his streak of 228 passes without an interception (7 consecutive games, setting a franchise record of most starts without an interception). Additionally, Brady won his 26th consecutive home game as a starting quarterback, dating back to 2006, breaking Brett Favre's previous record of 25 games (1995–1998).
Week 14: at Chicago Bears
Coming off their 45–3 win over the Jets, the Patriots flew to Soldier Field for a snowy game with the Bears. The Patriots took the early lead in the first quarter, with quarterback Tom Brady throwing a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski. In the second quarter, running back Danny Woodhead ran for a 3-yard touchdown, followed by linebacker Gary Guyton returning a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown. The Patriots extended their lead on field goals of 30 and 25 yards by placekicker Shayne Graham, and a 59-yard touchdown pass from Brady to wide receiver Deion Branch (with a missed extra point). The Patriots defense also held the Bears' offense to 33 net yards, two first downs, and zero points in the first half. In the third quarter, Graham added a 29-yard field goal, followed by the Bears getting on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Chester Taylor. The points ended up being the last of the game, with both teams held scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Brady extended his streak of pass attempts without an interception to 268 passes, while marking his sixth straight game with at least two touchdowns without an interception, tying Don Meredith's record set in 1965–1966. The Patriots also became the first team in NFL history to have five consecutive games with zero turnovers and at least 30 points in every game.
With the win, the Patriots not only improved to 11–2, but also became the first team in the league to clinch a playoff berth.
Week 15: vs. Green Bay Packers
at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
- Game time: 8:20 pm EST
- Game weather: 32 °F (0 °C), cloudy and cold
- Game attendance: 68,756
- Referee: Ed Hochuli
- TV announcers (NBC): Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color commentator), and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter)
Coming off their road win over the Bears, the Patriots returned home for a game with the Green Bay Packers. The Patriots trailed early after Green Bay recovered their own opening kick-off onside kick and eventually scored on a 31-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. New England grabbed the lead with a 33-yard touchdown run by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. On the first play of the second quarter, the Packers re-took the lead after quarterback Matt Flynn, starting in place of an injured Aaron Rodgers, threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver James Jones, and extended the lead to 17–7 following a 1-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Jennings. After a 71-yard kickoff return by offensive lineman Dan Connolly to 3 yard line, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez to close the half. In the third quarter, the Patriots re-established the lead (21–17) when cornerback Kyle Arrington returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown. The Packers took over at their own 41 and drove 59 yards in 13 plays, taking 6:56 off the clock. The drive ended with Flynn then threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to fullback John Kuhn, followed in the fourth quarter by a 19-yard field goal by Crosby, giving the Packers a 27–21 lead. The Patriots responded, with a 38-yard field goal by kicker Shayne Graham. After a Packer punt the Patriots took over with 9:38 remaining. They stormed 63 yards in six plays, taking the lead, 31–27, with Brady throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Hernandez. The Packers took over with 4:22 remaining. Flynn drove them to the but, the Patriots' defense thwarted the Packers' final drive with a sack by linebacker Dane Fletcher causing Green Bay to use its final timeout, and ended the Green Bay drive and the game with a fourth-and-1 sack with seconds left on a Tully Banta-Cain strip-sack of Flynn.
With the win, the Patriots improved to 12–2. It was Brady's seventh consecutive game with at least two touchdowns without an interception, breaking Don Meredith's 1965–1966 record of six such games. Brady attempted 24 passes and his streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception was extended to 292–3rd longest all-time, behind only Bernie Kosar's 308 (1990–91), and Bart Starr's 294 (1964–65). Brady did break the single season record also held by Kosar. Upon defeating the Packers on Sunday Night, every NFC team has now accumulated at least one loss at Gillette Stadium during its first nine years of existence.
Week 16: at Buffalo Bills
The Patriots' fifteenth game was an AFC East rivalry rematch against the Bills. In the first quarter the Patriots trailed early after Bills kicker Rian Lindell hit a 26-yard field goal, but commanded the rest of the game with Danny Woodhead running for a 29-yard touchdown, followed by quarterback Tom Brady completing an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski, then with kicker Shayne Graham nailing a 34-yard field goal. The Patriots added to their lead with Brady completing 4-yard and 8-yard touchdown passes to tight end Alge Crumpler and to Gronkowski respectively. Their lead was expanded when Graham kicked a 26-yard field goal.
With the win, New England improved to 13–2, clinched the AFC East along with the number one seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
Brady had his ninth consecutive game without an interception, and in the process broke Bernie Kosar's record of pass attempts without an interception (308, from 1991–1992). It was also his eighth consecutive game with at least two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Week 17: vs. Miami Dolphins
at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
- Game time: 1:00 pm EST
- Game weather: 47 °F (8 °C), cloudy and occasional rain
- Game attendance: 68,756
- Referee: Terry McAulay
- TV announcers (CBS): Bill Macatee (play-by-play) and Rich Gannon (color commentator)
The Patriots' final regular season game was an AFC East rematch against the Dolphins. The Patriots took the lead in the first quarter when quarterback Tom Brady threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski, followed by BenJarvus Green-Ellis running for a 1-yard touchdown. They extended their lead on a 28-yard Shayne Graham field goal and a 94-yard Julian Edelman punt return for a touchdown. Brady then threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alge Crumpler, followed by backup quarterback Brian Hoyer completing a 42-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Tate. The Dolphins had their only score of the game with quarterback Tyler Thigpen throwing a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Davone Bess in the fourth quarter.
It was Brady's tenth consecutive game without an interception and ninth consecutive game with no interceptions and two touchdowns. With the win, the Patriots ended their regular season with a 14–2 record.
|(1) New England Patriots||14||2||0||.875||5–1||10–2||518||313||W8|
|(6) New York Jets||11||5||0||.688||4–2||9–3||367||304||W1|
|AFC East Opponents||5||1||0||.833||210||85|
|By Stadium Type|
|Week||Kickoff||Date||Opponent||Result||Record||Game Site||TV||NFL.com Recap|
|Divisional||4:30 pm EST||January 16, 2011||New York Jets (6)||L 21–28||0–1||Gillette Stadium||CBS||Recap|
Divisional Round vs. New York Jets
Mark Sanchez completed 16 of 25 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Jets to victory, avenging a 45–3 loss to New England in December.
On the Patriots first drive, Tom Brady threw his first interception since week five of the regular season, which linebacker David Harris picked off and returned 58 yards before tight end Alge Crumpler made a touchdown saving tackle at the 12-yard line. But New York could not get any points off the turnover, as they were unable to get a first down and Nick Folk missed a 30-yard field goal attempt. Several plays into New England's next drive, Brady completed a 28-yard pass to Crumpler at the Jets 12-yard line. But after a 5-yard run by Danny Woodhead, Crumpler dropped a pass in the end zone and then Brady was sacked by Shaun Ellis, forcing them to settle for Shayne Graham's 34-yard field goal to give them a 3–0 lead.
In the second quarter, a third down sack of Brady by Drew Coleman forced New England to punt from their own 16, and Jerricho Cotchery returned the ball 5 yards to the Patriots 49-yard line. A few plays later, Sanchez' 37-yard completion to Braylon Edwards set up his 7-yard touchdown pass to LaDainian Tomlinson. Later on, New England attempted a fake punt with a direct snap to safety Patrick Chung on fourth down and four. But Chung fumbled the snap and was tackled on his own 25-yard line, and the Jets converted the turnover with Sanchez' 15-yard touchdown pass to Edwards with 33 seconds left in the half, making the score 14–3.
Late in the third quarter, New England drove 80 yards in 11 plays, with Brady completing a 37-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski and two passes Deion Branch for 28 yards on the way to a 2-yard touchdown pass to Crumpler. Then Sammy Morris scored a 2-point conversion run, cutting their deficit to 14–11. But the Jets quickly countered, with Sanchez throwing short pass to Cotchery, who took it 58 yards to the Partriots 13-yard line. Two plays later, Sanchez threw a high pass for Santonio Holmes, who managed to catch the ball and land his in the end zone while falling out of bounds, giving New York a 10-point lead two minutes into the fourth quarter.
After the kickoff, New England drove to the Jets 34-yard line with an 8-minute drive, but then faced fourth down and 13. Rather than risk a 52-yard field goal attempt, they attempted to get the first down, but Branch dropped a pass from Brady and the Patriots turned the ball over. New England's defense then made a key defensive stand, forcing a quick three-and-out, and Julian Edelman returned Steve Weatherford's punt 41 yards to the New York 43-yard line before being tackled by Weatherford himself. Brady then led New England to the 17-yard line where Graham made his second field goal to cut their deficit to 7 points. However, Jets defensive back Antonio Cromartie recovered Graham's onside kick attempt and returned it 23 yards to the Patriots 20-yard line. Then Shonn Greene scored with a 20-yard run on the next play, making the score 28–14 with 1:12 left in the game.
Brandon Tate returned the ensuing kickoff 23 yards to the 41-yard line, sparking a 59-yard scoring drive that ended with Brady's 13-yard touchdown pass to Branch with 24 seconds left. But Graham's second attempt at an onside kick also failed, ending any chance of a miracle comeback.
Brady finished the game 29 of 45 for 299 yards and two touchdowns, with 1 interception. Cotchery had 5 receptions for 96 yards Harris had 9 tackles, 3 assists, and an interception, while Ellis added 5 tackles and two sacks. With this win, the Jets advanced to their second consecutive AFC championship game in Sanchez' first two years as a starter.
|2010 New England Patriots final roster|
| Offensive linemen
| Reserve lists
Awards and honors
|Bill Belichick||2010 Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year|
|Tom Brady|| Week 12: AFC Offensive Player of the Week|
Week 13: AFC Offensive Player of the Week
Week 14: FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week
December: AFC Offensive Player of the Month
2010 Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year
2010 Associated Press NFL MVP
|Dan Connolly||Week 15: AFC Special Teams Player of the Week|
|Rob Gronkowski|| Week 14: Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week|
Week 17: Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week
|Aaron Hernandez||Week 15: Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week|
|James Sanders||Week 10: AFC Defensive Player of the Week|
|Wes Welker||2010 New England Patriots Ed Block Courage Award|
|Vince Wilfork||2010 New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award|
Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections
Six Patriots were elected to the 2011 Pro Bowl. Quarterback Tom Brady, guard Logan Mankins, and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork were named as starters, while cornerback Devin McCourty, linebacker Jerod Mayo, and safety Brandon Meriweather were named as a reserves. Offensive tackle Matt Light and wide receiver Wes Welker were later named to the game as injury replacements. Brady later pulled out of the game due to surgery for a stress fracture in his right foot.
Notes and references
- Football Outsiders: Final 2010 DVOA Ratings from 1992–2010
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- Reiss, Mike (January 29, 2010). "More on Corwin Brown hire". ESPNBoston.com. Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- Reiss, Mike (July 19, 2010). "Clarifying Corwin Brown's role on staff". ESPNBoston.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
- Reiss, Mike (January 29, 2010). "Shane Waldron follow-up". ESPNBoston.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
- Doyle, Paul (March 19, 2010). "UFL's Hartford Colonials Announce Assistant Coaches". The Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on March 22, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
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- Reiss, Mike (March 4, 2010). "Patriots release TE Baker". ESPNBoston.com. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
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- The Patriots traded a first-round selection (#24 overall) and a fourth-round selection (#119 overall) to the Dallas Cowboys for the Cowboys' first-round pick (#27 overall) and third-round pick (#90 overall). The Patriots received the No. 24 overall pick with a 2010 fourth-round pick (#113 overall) in a trade with the Denver Broncos for the Patriots' 2010 first-round pick (#22 overall). ESPNBoston.com summary
- The Patriots traded a second-round selection (#44 overall) and a sixth-round selection (#190 overall) to the Oakland Raiders for the Raiders' second-round pick (#42 overall). The Patriots received the No. 44 overall pick with a 2009 seventh-round pick (#232 overall) in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the Jaguars' third-round selection (#73 overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft. The Patriots received the No. 73 overall pick with a 2009 third-round pick (#83 overall) and a second-round pick (#41 overall) in a trade with the Green Bay Packers for the Patriots' 2009 first- and fifth-round picks (#26 and No. 162 overall). (The Patriots received the first- and fifth-round picks (#26 and No. 162 overall) in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens for the Patriots' 2009 first-round selection (#23 overall). ESPNBoston.com summary
- The Patriots traded a second-round selection (#58 overall) to the Houston Texans for the Texans' second-round pick (#62 overall) and fifth-round pick (#150 overall). The Patriots received the No. 58 overall pick with a third-round pick (#89 overall) in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals for the Patriots' second-round pick (#47 overall). (The Patriots received the No. 47 overall pick in a trade with the Tennessee Titans for the Titans' third-round pick (#89 overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft.) ESPNBoston.com summary
- The Patriots traded two seventh-round selections (#229 and No. 231 overall) to the Washington Redskins for the Redskins' seventh-round selection (#208 overall). (The Patriots received the No. 231 overall pick with wide receiver Greg Lewis in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for the Eagles' fifth-round pick (#159 overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft.) ESPNBoston.com summary
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- Reiss, Mike (December 22, 2010). "Connolly AFC special teams player of week". ESPNBoston.com. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- "Patriots TE Gronkowski voted Pepsi Rookie of the Week". Patriots.com. December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
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