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Season review

2011 Patriots season tracker

Keep track of the Patriots’ progress throughout the 2011 season here with full coverage from the Boston Globe:

GAME 1: PATRIOTS 38, DOLPHINS 24

Tom Brady passed for a career-high 517 yards and threw for four touchdown passes as the Patriots opened the season with a win over an AFC East foe. The highlight was a 99-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Wes Welker in the fourth quarter.

Tom Brady connected with Wes Welker on a 99-yard touchdown pass in the opener.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Tom Brady connected with Wes Welker on a 99-yard touchdown pass in the opener.

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Game story: Tom Brady reaches rare air as Patriots torch Dolphins

Photos: Highlights from Miami

Bob Ryan: Tom Brady proves he has no peer

Notebook: Brandon Spikes was a surprise scratch

On Football: Patriots defense better than score showed

Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez light up Miami

Patriots offense fell in line after Dan Koppen’s injury

Despite loss, Miami sees measured gains

GAME 2: PATRIOTS 35, CHARGERS 21

The Patriots’ offense topped 30 points for the 10th straight regular-season game as New England moved to 2-0. Brady passed for 423 yards and three touchdowns. The defense surrendered 470 yards of total offense, but took the ball away from the Chargers four times.

Game story: Patriots sharp again, outlast Chargers in home opener

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Bob Ryan: Great win, but can Patriots continue to win shootouts?

On Football: Win comes with plenty of worry

Notebook: Deion Branch still a safety net for Patriots

Tom Brady in total control of game, Patriots

Patriots’ early goal-line stand had huge impact

Interception extra sweet for Vince Wilfork

GAME 3: BILLS 34, PATRIOTS 31

New England blew a 21-0 lead after Tom Brady threw four interceptions. Buffalo snapped a 15-game losing streak to the Patriots that dated back to 2003 and improved to 3-0.

Chad Ochocinco dropped what appeared to be a sure touchdown in the Week 3 loss at Buffalo.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Chad Ochocinco dropped what appeared to be a sure touchdown in the Week 3 loss at Buffalo.

Game story: Patriots are shocked by Bills

Photos: Highlights from Buffalo

Dan Shaughnessy: Even the Bills beat up on the Patriots

On Football: Pressure is on the Patriots -- to improve their defense

Notebook: A big miss for Chad Ochocinco

Wes Welker sets record in losing cause

Tom Brady (4 INTs) vows to improve after uneven game

Winning ways come back for Bills

GAME 4: PATRIOTS 31, RAIDERS 19

New England surrendered 504 yards of total offense, but capitalized with two key interceptions off Jason Campbell. The running game emerged with 183 yards rushing to support Tom Brady’s 226 yards passing. Linebacker Jerod Mayo suffered a knee injury during the game.

Game story: Run game powers Patriots’ win against Raiders

Photos: Highlights from Oakland

Christopher L. Gasper: Same old Patriots yet to prove they’ve improved

On Football: Without Mayo, defense now must hold it together

Notebook: Brady passes Joe Montana with 2 TD throws

Brady-Wes Welker connection is thriving

Patriots offense finds balance in running game

Raiders revert to costly ways in loss

GAME 5: PATRIOTS 30, JETS 21

The Patriots rode BenJarvus Green-Ellis for 136 yards on the ground as they beat up on their archrivals. Green-Ellis also scored two touchdowns, and the Patriots’ defense had its best performance of the year in yielding just 255 yards.

The Patriots donned their throwback uniforms in beating the Jets on Oct. 9.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Patriots donned their throwback uniforms in beating the Jets on Oct. 9.

Game story: Tom Brady, Patriots cool off the Jets

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Dan Shaughnessy: Beating the Jets means a lot to Bill Belichick

Bob Ryan: On balance, a poor effort by Rex Ryan’s Jets

On Football: Patriots kept their ear to the ground

Notebook: James Ihedigbo rises to occasion against old teammates

Jets couldn’t solve Wes Welker riddle

Aaron Hernandez made health contribution

Big plays were costly for Jets

GAME 6: PATRIOTS 20, COWBOYS 16

Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan ended the Patriots’ 13-game streak of scoring at least 30 points. But Dallas couldn’t hold a 16-13 fourth-quarter lead.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys left Foxborough disappointed after Tom Brady orchestrated a final-minute, game-winning touchdown drive.

Adam Hunger/REUTERS

Tony Romo and the Cowboys left Foxborough disappointed after Tom Brady orchestrated a final-minute, game-winning touchdown drive.

Tom Brady engineered an 80-yard, game-winning drive that ended in a TD pass with 22 seconds left.

Game story: Tom Brady rides to Patriots’ rescue

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Bob Ryan: It’s old hat for Brady, but it’s still thrilling

On Football: Tom Brady scores two in a row vs. Ryan brothers

Notebook: Chad Ochocinco still missing the action

Defense was key for Patriots’ comeback

Aaron Hernandez bounced back from ugly fumble

Conservative play-calling costly for Cowboys

GAME 7: STEELERS 25, PATRIOTS 17

Pittsburgh locked up the Patriots’ offense and ran wild in its passing game as the Steelers ran away from the Patriots. Ben Roethlisberger connected on 36 of 50 passes, while the Patriots managed just 213 yards of total offense.

Game story: Patriots falter in loss to Steelers

Photos: Highlights from Pittsburgh

Dan Shaughnessy: Patriots don’t scare anyone with broken defense

On Football: Humbling by Steelers shows Patriots aren’t NFL elite

Notebook: Kevin Faulk is right back into the groove

Steelers earn reversal of fortune

Patriots offensive line struggles

Steelers pass Patriots test with ease

GAME 8: GIANTS 24, PATRIOTS 20

In a game hauntingly similar to Super Bowl XLII, Eli Manning led the Giants to a win after a seesaw battle in the fourth quarter.

Eli Manning again beat the Patriots with a touchdown pass in the final minute when the Giants came to town in Week 8.

Elsa/Getty Images

Eli Manning again beat the Patriots with a touchdown pass in the final minute when the Giants came to town in Week 8.

His touchdown pass to Jake Ballard with 15 seconds left sealed the victory.

Game story: Patriots foiled again by Eli Manning, Giants

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Dan Shaughnessy:Patriots’ loss eerily similar to Super Bowl XLII

On Football: This time, Patriots offense is to blame

Notebook: Patriots’ top receivers in rhythm with Tom Brady

Wes Welker’s big day wasted in loss

Patriots defense wilted down the stretch

Victor Cruz proves too much for Patriots

GAME 9: PATRIOTS 37, JETS 16

New England dodged the Jets’ vaunted defense and snapped its two-game losing streak in dramatic fashion.

The Patriots snapped their losing streak by routing the Jets to complete a season sweep in Week 9.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Patriots snapped their losing streak by routing the Jets to complete a season sweep in Week 9.

With Patrick Chung out and Devin McCourty sidelined in the first half, the Patriots’ unheralded defense came up strong. Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes.

Game story: Patriots dominate the Jets

Photos: Highlights from the Meadowlands

Bob Ryan: Sweet victory silences Rex Ryan, Jets fans

On Football: With win, Patriots prove they control AFC East

Notebook: Devin McCourty shelved with shoulder injury

Patriots’ no-name defense makes a name for itself

At the half, Tom Brady threw it into overdrive

More miscues doomed Jets

GAME 10: PATRIOTS 34, CHIEFS 3

New England started slow, but rebounded with a second half in which it outscored Kansas City 24-0. The Patriots intercepted Chiefs QB Tyler Palko -- subbing for the injured Matt Cassel -- three times.

Game story: Patriots roll over the Chiefs

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Bob Ryan: It’s a high point for Rob Gronkowski

On Football: Andre Carter, Patriots defense looking much better

Notebook: Tip of the cap: Kyle Arrington in the right place

Ground delivery suited Patriots

Julian Edelman stepped in -- and up for New England

After struggling early, Tom Brady recovered

GAME 11: PATRIOTS 38, EAGLES 20

Down 10-0 in the first quarter, the Patriots responded with an offensive explosion. They went on a 38-3 run behind three touchdown passes and 361 yards passing by Tom Brady.

Game story: Patriots soar against the Eagles

Photos: Highlights from Philadelphia

Bob Ryan: Tom Brady proves he’s best in class

On Football: Patriots defense better than one could’ve dreamed

Notebook: Comeback route run by Deion Branch

Julian Edelman wraps up another task

Eagles’ lead, playoff hopes gone in a flash

GAME 12: PATRIOTS 31, COLTS 24

The Patriots jumped out to a 31-3 lead over the Peyton Manning-less Colts by early in the fourth quarter.

An injured Peyton Manning was on the sideline when the Patriots beat the Colts in Week 12.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

An injured Peyton Manning was on the sideline when the Patriots beat the Colts in Week 12.

But they suffered a defensive breakdown in the final few minutes, and the winless Colts narrowed the gap to just a touchdown.

Game story: Patriots beat Colts, but allow late comeback

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Bob Ryan: Bill Belichick right to be dour about Patriots

On Football: Rob Gronkowski on track to be one of NFL’s greatest

Notebook: Grab bag of numbers for Wes Welker

Matthew Slater shines for Patriots’ defense

Patriots’ Nick McDonald at home on center stage

GAME 13: PATRIOTS 34, REDSKINS 27

The Patriots struggled at times against the Redskins, but Jerod Mayo clinched the win with an interception in the red zone in the final minute. Vince Wilfork hopped on a fumble in the end zone to add a score early in the game. The game was marked by a heated sideline argument between Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

Game story: Patriots hold off the Redskins

Photos: Highlights from Landover, Md.

Dan Shaughnessy: By a neck, Rob Gronkowski the best

On Football: Tom Brady’s sideline tiff revealed his frustration

Notebook: Vince Wilfork didn’t let his big chance slip

Patriots’ defense shows up when it counts

Two ex-Patriots catch fire for Redskins

GAME 14: PATRIOTS 41, BRONCOS 23

The Patriots’ defense was exposed early as they fell behind 16-7. But Tom Brady rallied the offense to a season-high 41 points and the defense recovered three Broncos turnovers to help power the win.

Mark Anderson (right) and the defense helped the Patriots rally from a 16-7 deficit for a win in Denver in Week 14.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Mark Anderson (right) and the defense helped the Patriots rally from a 16-7 deficit for a win in Denver in Week 14.

Game story: Patriots control red-hot Tim Tebow, Broncos

Photos: Highlights from Denver

Dan Shaughnessy: Tim Tebow runs out of miracles vs. Patriots

On Football: After change, Patriots defense was money

Notebook: Andre Carter’s quad injury will require surgery

Aaron Hernandez enjoys career day

Tim Tebow, Broncos fall from grace

GAME 15: PATRIOTS 27, DOLPHINS 24

The Patriots fell behind 17-0 in the first half before adjusting to the Dolphins’ aggressive pass rush after halftime. Tom Brady withstood injuries to Matt Light and Logan Mankins and rallied his team to a win that clinched a bye in the AFC playoffs.

Tom Brady scored two rushing touchdowns as the Patriots rallied from a 17-0 deficit on Christmas Eve.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Tom Brady scored two rushing touchdowns as the Patriots rallied from a 17-0 deficit on Christmas Eve.

Game story: Patriots reel in Dolphins and bye

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Bob Ryan:Vince Wilfork, Patriots make quite a recovery

On Football: Patriots eventually handled pressure of Dolphins

Notebook: Offensive line got job done without Light, Mankins

Stephen Gostkowski’s tackle aided comeback

Interception highlights Devin McCourty’s erratic day

Dolphins got it only half right against Patriots

GAME 16: PATRIOTS 49, BILLS 21

The Patriots fell behind 21-0 in the first half, but responded with 49 unanswered points to clinch the No. 1 playoff seed in the AFC with a 13-3 record.

Game story: Patriots beat bills to earn top seed in AFC

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Dan Shaughnessy:The way I see it, Patriots are a mirage

On Football:Patriots’ switch to man coverage was a good decision

Notebook: Reports: Penn State courting Patriots’ Bill O’Brien

Tom Brady crosses 5,000-yard threshold

Last catch snags record for Rob Gronkowski

Aaron Hernandez helps get Patriots’ offense clicking

GAME 17: PATRIOTS 45, BRONCOS 10

New England rolled into the AFC Championship game after its first playoff win in almost four years. Tom Brady tied a postseason record with six touchdown passes, and the defense overmatched Tim Tebow and the Broncos’ offense.

Tom Brady and Deion Branch stopped the franchise’s three-game playoff losing streak by beating the Broncos in the divisional playoffs.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Tom Brady and Deion Branch stopped the franchise’s three-game playoff losing streak by beating the Broncos in the divisional playoffs.

Game story: Patriots rout overmatched Broncos

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Dan Shaughnessy: Patriots showing they may be best in NFL

Bob Ryan: Hard to judge Patriots’ defense vs. inept Broncos

On Football: This time, Patriots defense was a hit, too

Notebook: Deion Branch got pushy on his touchdown play

Tim Tebow takes lumps, but his faith not bruised

Patriots’ tight ends were puzzle to Broncos

These Patriots get a kick out of the cold

Patriots’ bitter playoff losses a distant memory

GAME 18: Patriots 23, Ravens 20 (AFC Championship)

The Patriots earned a Super Bowl berth by overcoming two interceptions by Tom Brady when Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal attempt with 11 seconds left. Brady scored the game-winning touchdown when he leapt head first over the line of scrimmage on fourth down early in the final period.

Team owner Robert Kraft hoisted the trophy after the Patriots defeated the Ravens for the AFC championship.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Team owner Robert Kraft hoisted the trophy after the Patriots defeated the Ravens for the AFC championship.

Game story:Patriots win Super Bowl berth on missed field goal

Photos: Highlights from Foxborough

Dan Shaughnessy:Patriots earn Super Bowl rematch with the Giants

Bob Ryan:Patriots won it in old, grind-it-out style

On Football:Vince Wilfork the difference-maker in Patriots’ win

Notebook: Sterling Moore’s late play helps save the game

Despite off day, win still sweet for Tom Brady

Aaron Hernandez shows off versatility once again

Hard running effort from BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Failed kick left the Ravens at a loss

Joe Flacco silences critics with solid effort

GAME 19: Giants 21, Patriots 17 (Super Bowl XLVI)

For the second time in five seasons, the Giants came from behind with a final-minute touchdown to deny the Patriots of a title. Eli Manning led a game-winning drive to win the MVP award. The Patriots, hurt by a key drop by Wes Welker late in the game, tried a last-second Hail Mary pass that fell out of the reach of Rob Gronkowski in the end zone.

Tom Brady walked off a Super Bowl field as a loser for the second time in his career.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Tom Brady walked off a Super Bowl field as a loser for the second time in his career.

Game story: Giants again break hearts of the Patriots

Photos: Highlights from Indianapolis

Dan Shaughnessy: For Patriots, history repeats

Bob Ryan:Ultimately, Patriots couldn’t get Giants off field

On Football:Patriots’ offense, not defense, was the problem

Notebook: Patriots’ deferral paid off in Super Bowl

Wes Welker crushed by critical drop

Rob Gronkowski plays just a small role

Eli Manning proves he’s ‘elite’

Eli Manning saves his best for last again

Tom Coughlin steps onto new level

Ahmad Bradshaw is Giants’ reluctant hero

Belichick noncommittal about Bradshaw TD play

Mario Manningham’s catch put Giants over top

Four years later, another huge letdown for fans

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