And on Sunday they paid a similar price.
Brady Passing Against 5+ Rushers
This Season vs Texans
Brady was 12-for-19 for 208 yards and two touchdowns against five or more pass rushers, as part of a 344-yard, three-touchdown day. As you can see in the chart on the right, it mimicked his performance in Week 14.
Brady passed Joe Montana for most postseason starts won with his 17th.
He’ll tie Montana for the most conference championship game starts when he faces the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship next Sunday. He also joined Montana and Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks with at least 40 postseason touchdown passes.
Brady wasn’t the only one to have a huge game in the Patriots' 41-28 win. Let’s take a look at some of the other statistical highlights.
Vereen leads ground game
Patriot running backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen combined for 219 total yards (48 percent of the Patriots offense) and four touchdowns, showcasing an inside running game the Patriots haven’t had in recent postseason appearances.
Nearly all (113) of their 123 rushing yards came inside the tackles, an average of more than six per rush. In the previous three postseasons, Patriots running backs averaged only 3.5 yards when running inside the tackles.
Most Appearances in AFC/NFC Championship By Head Coach
The Elias Sports Bureau noted that Vereen became the third player in NFL postseason history with two touchdown receptions and a touchdown run in a postseason game. He joins Roger Craig (1984 San Francisco 49ers) and Ricky Watters (1994 49ers), each of whom did so in a Super Bowl.
Vereen collected 58 receiving yards and two receptions and a touchdown when lined up wide, only the third touchdown for a running back lined up wide this season, and the most such receiving yards for a RB in a game over the last three seasons in any game.
Welker comes up big
Wes Welker’s 131 receiving yards were a career-high, surpassing his previous best of 103
in Super Bowl XLII against the Giants.
Welker entered the game with a league-high 669 yards after the catch. He had 62 in this game.
With eight catches Welker also broke the Patriots postseason record for career receptions, his 61 surpassing Troy Brown’s record of 58.
Stat of the Weekend
With 276 points scored, the 2012 Divisional Playoffs are the highest scoring round of the postseason in NFL history.
All eight teams scored at least 28 points in the Divisional Round. No team scored more than 24 points in the Wild Card games.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will face the Patriots in Foxborough for the seventh time. He’s 0-4 against them in the regular season, 1-1 in the postseason.