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(Sunday, December 13th)
Final Score: New England 20, Carolina 10
Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass and Kevin Faulk added another score on the ground, as the New England Patriots put the brakes on a two-game losing streak with a 20-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium.
Brady started despite multiple ailments that forced the three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback to miss two practice sessions. He was a limited participant Friday with shoulder, finger and rib injuries. On Sunday, he completed 19-of-32 passes for a season-low 192 yards and one interception.
"It was certainly nice to win out there today," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. "We overcame a few turnovers, offensive, gave up a big play on defense but overall, I thought there were a lot of positive things, a long drive to take the lead. Steve (Gostkowski) had a couple of great kicks and we were able to run out the game in the fourth quarter. Not perfect but good solid effort, one we can build on."
Wes Welker had 105 yards on 10 receptions for the Patriots (8-5), who remain unbeaten in seven home games this season and maintained a one-game lead in the AFC East standings. Miami and the New York Jets both won on Sunday to improve to 7-6.
Laurence Maroney rushed 22 times for 94 yards for New England, which hasn't lost three straight since a four-game slide from September 29-October 27, 2002.
New England linebacker Adalius Thomas was inactive for the game after voicing his displeasure about being sent home for arriving late to a team meeting earlier in the week.
Matt Moore made his second consecutive start in place of injured Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme, who is sidelined with a broken finger on his throwing hand. Moore was 15-of-30 for 197 yards with one touchdown for the Panthers (5-8), who have dropped three of four.
"There were some ups and downs. I think we gave away some opportunities," said Moore. "We didn't take advantage of some opportunities offensively."
DeAngelo Williams had 82 yards on 13 carries in the loss. He missed last Sunday's win over Tampa Bay with an ankle problem.
Sammy Morris fumbled on New England's opening possession of the second half, but the home team broke a 7-7 tie on their next series.
The Patriots began at their own four-yard line following a punt. Brady then led his troops on an epic 13-play drive that consumed over seven minutes of the clock. Brady completed all six pass attempts, with the lone toss to a player not named Welker landing in the hands of Benjamin Watson for a five- yard score with 1:06 to play in the third quarter.
John Kasay kicked a 36-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter for Carolina, then Stephen Gostkowski drilled a 48-yarder with 7:20 remaining for a 17-10 New England advantage. After the Panthers went three-and-out, Gostkowski converted a 47-yard attempt to cement the win with just under four minutes to go.
New England turned the ball over on downs on its first series of the game. Facing a 4th-and-1 from the Carolina 40, the Patriots tried an inside handoff to Morris, but he was wrapped for a one-yard loss.
Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble picked off Brady later in the first quarter, and the visitors capitalized on the turnover when Moore hooked up with Steve Smith on a 41-yard touchdown with 2:43 remaining.
The offensive miscues continued for the Patriots. On the first play of the second quarter, Brady completed a toss over the middle to Randy Moss, but the veteran wideout fumbled at the Carolina 21. It turned out to be his only catch of the game.
After Kasay's 53-yard bid came up short for the Panthers, New England tied the game on a three-yard touchdown run by Faulk with 68 seconds to go in the first half.
Welker surpassed 100 catches for the third consecutive season...Faulk had 58 yards rushing and caught three passes for 17 yards...Smith made two catches for 83 yards...The Panthers last played at New England on October 29, 1995, in a game which the expansion franchise won 20-17 in overtime.
12/13 18:22:59 ET