Bodden's three 'fair catches'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden tied a franchise record with three interceptions in Sunday's 31-14 triumph over the Jets at Gillette Stadium, returning one 53 yards for the game's first score.

The trio of picks tied a mark accomplished nine times in Patriots history, and last achieved by Asante Samuel against Chicago on Nov. 26, 2006.

But teammates weren't letting Bodden, who has five interceptions on the season, get a big head after his big day.

"I didn't know it was Dec. 25," joked linebacker Adalius Thomas. "I mean, three fair catches."

Added linebacker Pierre Woods: "I think it was a conspiracy or something, with three wide-open fair catches, two were on a knee, one was right there to him and he ran it in for a touchdown."

Bodden took the ribbing in stride, even as safety Brandon Meriweather joked with him as Bodden walked to the podium for a postgame press conference. His teammates were complimentary after their initial joking.

"Leigh had a great day," said Meriweather. "I don't want to take anything away from Leigh. He practiced hard. He watched a lot of film this week and it showed. They say you do what you do in practice. So he had a good week of practice and a good game."

Meriweather got in on the fun with an interception of his own in the second half after Bodden already had collected his three. Bodden did note that he was on a corner blitz on the play, which might have helped Meriweather's cause.

"Once the game starts, I say, 'Let me get one,'" said Meriweather. "So I always want to be the first one to get one. If I'm not, then I want to be the second."

Bodden, who appeared at the podium wearing No. 23, the number of Michael Jordan, said he didn't pick that jersey because of the basketball legend, but said he's a big fan.

Asked if No. 23 had been retired yet -- a proposal LeBron James is trying to circulate around the NBA -- Bodden joked, "Not here, not yet. I have to get a few more three-pick games and then maybe."