NFL.com wire reports
FOXBORO, Mass. (Dec. 14, 2003) -- The Patriots
gave up a touchdown at home for the first time in five games. Their
unbeaten streak is still going strong.
New England beat Jacksonville 27-13 on a snowy
Sunday for its 10th consecutive win, even though the Jaguars became the
first visitor to reach the end zone in Foxboro in more than two months.
"We are a very prideful defensive unit," Patriots linebacker
Ted Johnson said. "We may not be perfect, but we're pretty good."
The Patriots (12-2) are 7-0 at home and extended their club record for
consecutive victories overall. They also pushed their streak to 19
quarters without giving up a touchdown in Foxboro before
Byron Leftwich threw a 27-yard scoring pass to
Kevin Johnson with 3:22 left.
That throw in the snow merely reduced the Patriots' 21-point lead and
kept them from becoming the first team since the 1932 champion Chicago
Bears to play five straight home games without allowing a touchdown.
They'll have to settle for tying the four-game streak of the 1938 New
York Giants, who also won the championship.
"They just don't make mistakes and that's why they have the record they
do," said Fred Taylor, who managed
just 57 yards on 16 carries for Jacksonville.
Steve McNair scored on a 1-yard run with 4:10 left in New
England's 38-30 win over Tennessee on Oct. 5, the last touchdown the
Patriots yielded at home before Sunday.
New England entered the game as the AFC East champion. Jacksonville
(4-10) had rebounded well from a 1-7 start and had allowed just 33
points in its previous four games. But it fell to 0-7 on the road.
For the second straight week, an opponent from Florida saw snow in
Foxboro. A week earlier, the Patriots clinched the division title with a
12-0 win over Miami after 28 inches of snow had fallen in the area. It
stopped midway through the second quarter.
On Sunday, the snow began early in the third quarter and covered the
field by the end of the game.
"We had the lead when it really started getting bad and it makes it
tougher to throw the ball and hang on to the ball," Patriots quarterback
Tom Brady said.
It took the Patriots less than six minutes to go ahead, on a 27-yard
reception by Daniel Graham, one of
Brady's two scoring passes. Brady completed all six passes on that
66-yard series, the first of the game.
Jacksonville got inside the New England 10-yard line on its first two
possessions, but managed just two field goals by
Seth Marler, covering 24 and 23 yards.
|Tom Brady (right) and Daniel Graham celebrate the Patriots' first-half touchdown. || |
"When you play a team as good as they are, you're not going to get many
opportunities," Leftwich said, "so you better take advantage of the ones
Two interceptions by Tyrone Poole led to
fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Patriots: a 10-yard pass from Brady to
Troy Brown and a 1-yard run by Antowain Smith.
"I was so happy and excited," said Brown, who led New England in catches
last year but missed the last four games with a leg injury. "It felt
like forever since I caught a ball in a game."
The Jaguars' first offensive play was a 67-yard completion to the
Patriots 9 from Leftwich to Jimmy Smith.
"That was just one play," Jimmy Smith said. "You make your statement
over the course of the ballgame."
On their next series, Leftwich completed all four passes for 47 yards.
But New England stopped Jacksonville at the 5 both times before Marler's
"In the red zone, there's a sense of urgency," Patriots linebacker
Tedy Bruschi said. "Maybe it's because we feel we're running out of
room, so we need to focus that much harder."
Adam Vinatieri kicked field goals of 22 and 31 yards as the Patriots led
13-6 at halftime.
The Patriots had won their previous two home games, against Dallas and
Miami, 12-0, and had 10 straight shutout quarters before Marler's field
goal with 7:41 gone in the first quarter.
Brady completed 22 of 34 passes for 228 yards and Leftwich went
21-for-40 for 288 yards.
NOTES: Brady completed 12 of his first 13 passes. ... Smith's
67-yard catch made him the 18th player in NFL history to gain more than
10,000 yards receiving. That boosted his total to 10,037 and he finished
the game with 10,043. ... Mike Peterson
's 14 tackles gave him a team-leading 142 for Jacksonville, an average
of more than 10 per game. ... For the first time this season, New
England scored on its opening possession.
The Associated Press News Service
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