In Windows 7's Resource Monitor, in the TCP Connections graph at the top right -- how are those connections being counted? Does a "listening" state count, for example? Does it matter what state a connection is in to be counted?
I'm unsure whether the total number of those graphed TCP connections correlate directly with the number of connections listed under the TCP Connection subsection, which shows connections and their associated program.
A friend called me for help, asking about their computer that had lost internet 45 minutes ago due to an ISP-side outage (per modem lights). Out of curiosity, I asked them to check the TCP connection count in Resource Monitor. Strangely, it was showing 160 TCP connections in the graph, despite the computer being internet-less for nearly an hour. I found this strange that there would be so many connections, having been internet-less for an hour.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to diagnose any potential running programs they may have had, especially ones showing TCP connections.