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New England Patriots

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  1970-79  1980-89  1990-99  2000-2009
Coaches  Hall of Famers  Retired Numbers

The History of the New England Patriots

 1960: The Boston Patriots owned by Billy Sullivan Jr., a Boston businessman with a strong sports background were one of eight teams in the inaugural season of the renegade American Football League. With a roster full of misfits and NFL castoffs the Patriots were involved in two big firsts for the new league. On July 30th, the Patriots defeated the Buffalo Bills in the first AFL pre-season game. Then, on September 9th a crowd of 21,597 at Nickerson Field, (the stadium formerly known as Braves Field) witnessed the Patriots lose 13-10 to the Denver Broncos in the first official AFL game. The Pats would get their first win a week later in New York against the Titans. They would go on to finish with a 5-9 record that saw them finish last among the four teams in the Eastern Division. 

: In their second season the Patriots got off to another slow start losing three of their first five games, prompting management to fire Coach Lou Saban and replace him with Mike Holovak. The move paid off as the Pats would lose only one more game that season before finishing in second Place with a solid 9-4-1 record.

: In Mike Holovaks first full season as coach the Patriots once again were in contention finishing in second place with an identical 9-4-1 record. A November 18th loss to the Houston Oilers proved to be the Pats undoing as the Oilers went to the AFL Championship Game for the third time in three years.

: In their first season at Fenway Park, the Patriots hovered around the .500 mark all season, fortunately so did the rest of the AFL East, as the Pats had a chance to clinch a spot in the AFL Championship game with a win in their final game. However a 35-3 loss at Kansas City to the Chiefs left them at 7-6-1 forcing them into a tie for the division title with Buffalo Bills. This would set up a divisional playoff with the Bills in Buffalo for a trip to the AFL Championship Game. The Pats would rise to the occasion stunning the Bills in Buffalo 26-8 and earned a trip to San Diego. The AFL Championship was almost over before it even started, as the Pats were thrashed 51-10 by the high-flying Chargers.

: Gino Cappelletti was all everything for the Patriots with his deadly accurate foot, he accounted for 111 points, while scoring seven Touchdown receptions as a Wide Receiver. The Pats were even stronger than the year before and sat at 10-2-1 going into the final game of the season at Fenway Park against the Buffalo Bills, with a trip to the AFL Championship Game on the line. However, despite a sellout crowd of 38,021 the Pats fell 24-14; as the Bills went on to win the AFL Championship.

: The Patriots stumbled out of the gate by going winless in their first seven games, before beating the Chargers in San Diego on Halloween. The Pats would then lose two more games before tying the Kansas City Chiefs as their record sat at 1-8-2 through their first 11 games. However, the Pats would win three straight to escape last place as they finished the season with a disappointing 4-8-2 record.

: After a slow 1-2-1 start the Patriots found their footing as Running Back Jim Nance established an AFL record with 1,458 yards rushing. Sitting at 8-3-2 the Patriots only needed to beat the Jets at New York to earn a trip to the AFL Championship Game. However, the Pats would fall 38-28, and lost a chance to host a game for the right to play in Super Bowl I.

: Forced to play their first five games on the road with the Boston Red Sox using Fenway Park for the World Series, the Patriots found themselves in a 1-3-1 hole they could not climb out of. The Pats would go on to finish in last place with a 3-10-1 record despite another rushing title from Jim Nance.

: The Patriots struggle again finishing in fourth place with a 4-10 record in their final season at Fenway Park. After the season Coach Mike Holovak was fired, he would be replaced by Clive Rush.

: After six seasons at tiny Fenway Park, the Patriots change their address again this time playing their home games at Boston College's Alumni Stadium. Things were not any better for the Patriots as lost their first seven games under new coach Clive Rush, on the way to another disappointing 4-10 season.


   Vito "Babe" Parilli              Gino Cappelletti                         Jim Nance                            Jim Plunkett

 1970 : Now playing their games at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, the Patriots won their first game of the season over the Miami Dolphins 27-14. However, the good news ended right there, as the Patriots would only win once more finishing with the worst record (2-14) in the now merged NFL. The Pats were the worse team on both sides of the ball, while committing 41 turnovers.

: After playing in four different stadiums the first 11 season the Patriots finally found a permanent home in Foxboro. For years the Patriots had requested the city of Boston to build them a stadium but found no support and were forced to settle for Foxboro, a highway community in Massachusetts near the Rhode Island border. With games now being played in Foxboro the Pats decided to drop Boston from their name and became the New England Patriots. A new stadium was not the only reason for excitement that season the Pats had drafted Heisman Trophy winning Quarterback Jim Plunkett out of Stanford. Plunkett had immediate success helping the Pats win their season opener at Schaefer Stadium 20-6 over the heavily favored Oakland Raiders. However the Pats would lose five of their next six games as Plunkett struggled. The Pats would go on to finish with a 6-8 record, along the way stunning the Super Bowl bound Miami Dolphins 34-13.

: After a solid rookie season Quarterback Jim Plunkett endured the Sophomore Jinx. After a 2-1 start the Patriots would go on a nine game losing streak that would cost the jobs of both Coach John Mazur, and General Manager Upton Bell. Interim Head Coach Phil Bengston would win only one of his four games as the Pats finished with a terrible 3-13 record.

: Searching for a new start the Patriots hired Chuck Fairbanks from the University of Oklahoma to breathe new life into the struggle franchise. That season also saw the Pats draft John Hannah to rebuild their depleted offensive line. After a 2-7 start the Pats would final show signs of life by winning their next three games, before finishing the season with a 5-9 record.

: To try improving the porous defense Chuck Fairbanks instituted the schemes he used while coaching Oklahoma. The move seemed to work as the Pats stunned the two time Super Bowl Champion Miami Dolphins in Week 1 at Schaefer Stadium. The Past would go on to win their first five games on their way to a 6-1 start. However, the Pats would struggle in the second half winning only one game before finishing with a 7-7 record.

: With Quarterback Jim Plunkett struggling with injuries, and poor play the Patriots struggled again. This led to the emergence of backup Quarterback Steve Grogan whose hard play impressed both his coach and the fans of New England. The Pats would go on to finish with a 3-13 record, and would trade Jim Plunkett to the San Francisco 49ers following the season. 

: With the draft picks acquired from the 49ers for Jim Plunkett the Patriots drafted Cornerback Mike Haynes, and Safety Tim Fox. The two became instant starters and contributors. After a losing the season opener the Pats won their next three games against the most dominant teams in the AFC during the decade. First victim was the Miami Dolphins who the Pats defeated in the season opener of Schafer Stadium. The following week saw Quarterback Steve Grogan lead a rally from an 11-point deficit to stun the Steelers in Pittsburgh. One week later it was back to Schaefer Stadium where the Pats humiliated the Oakland Raiders 48-17.  After a disappointing loss in Detroit to the Lions the Pats would embarrass the New York Jets 41-7 in front of a Monday Night National Audience. The Pats were indeed for real and would go on to earn a tie for the AFC East title with an 11-3 record, as Mike Haynes captured Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. However the Baltimore Colts would earn the tiebreaker as the Pats were forced to settle for the Wild Card berth. In their first playoff game in 13 years the Patriots traveled to Oakland for a showdown with the Raiders. Despite beating them in Week 4 the Pats were heavy underdogs. Just like the first match up, the Pats controlled the game early, and had a 21-10 lead after three quarters. The Raiders would cut the lead to four by scoring early in the 4th Quarter. The last eight minutes of the game was filled with several controversial plays. Facing a 3rd Down and-inches situation just inside the Oakland 30-yard line, Brock jumped offside, forcing the Patriots out of their short-yardage offense. On the next play Grogan attempted to hit Russ Francis over the middle for a drive-sustaining first down, but Raider Linebacker Phil Villipiano all but tackled Francis before the ball arrived, but no penalty was called. After Kicker John Smith missed a 50-yard Field Goal, Raiders Quarterback Ken Stabler maneuvered his team downfield but faced a desperate 3rd Down and-18 situation at the New England 27-yard line. Stabler's pass to former Patriot Carl Garrett sailed incomplete, but referee Ben Dreith threw a late flag on Ray Hamilton for roughing the passer. The penalty gave the Raiders a First down on the Pats 12. Aided by two more penalties on the Patriots for unsportsmanlike conduct, the Raiders scored the game-winning Touchdown on a one yard run by Stabler with ten seconds remaining.

: After a brilliant season, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the Patriots would return to the playoffs and advance deep into the postseason. However, a bitter holdout by John Hannah and Leon Gray contributed to the team getting off to a 1-2 start. After their two stars returned ran off four straight wins to get back into playoff contention. However, two straight losses to divisional rivals put all hopes for the playoffs in jeopardy as the Pats stood at 5-4 with five games left. The Pats would rebound and win four straight. However, those two losses would make their final game of the season meaningless, as even a win in Baltimore over the Colts would not earn them any of the Division tiebreakers. 

: The Patriots suffered a devastating loss before the regular season even began. During a preseason game in Oakland, star Wide Receiver Darryl Stingley had his spinal cord shattered by a cheap shot from Raiders defender Jack Tatum, leaving Stingley paralyzed for life. After a 1-2 start the Pats returned to the scene of the incident for a Sunday Night game against the Raiders. The game was played during a driving rainstorm the Pats fell behind 14-0 in the 1st Quarter. However the Pats would rally and would win the game when Sam Cunningham dove over the top of the Raiders goal line defense in the final minute. The win would be the springboard to a seven game winning streak that catapulted the Pats to the top of the AFC East. The Pats went into the next to last game of the season with a 10-4 record needing only a win over the Buffalo Bills to win their first division title in 15 years. Close to 60,000 fans braved the elements to watch the Patriots win 26-24 on David Posey's 34-yard Failed Goal with eight seconds left. After the game the long suffering Pats fans stormed Schaefer Stadium's field and tore down the goal posts. Even as the Patriots were celebrating their AFC East title trouble was brewing as rumors about coach Chuck Fairbanks leaving for the University of Colorado turned into fact just hours before the start of the club's season finale in Miami. Fairbanks had grown unhappy with the growing encroachment from the Sullivan family. Enraged, team owner Billy Sullivan suspended Fairbanks on the spot, creating a bizarre situation where assistant coaches Ron Erhardt and Hank Bullough each shared the coaching duties against the Dolphins. The result was a lackluster 23-3 loss made notable only for the knee sprain sustained by Quarterback Steve Grogan in the 2nd quarter. After several days of legal tactics, Fairbanks was re-instated for the Patriots playoff game against the Houston Oilers at Schaefer Stadium. However, the turmoil surrounding their coaching situation swallowed up the Pats and led to a 31-14 trouncing from the Oilers, as the team left the field Chuck Fairbanks was the target of the fans boos.

: The Chuck Fairbanks fiasco dragged on in the courts for months before a settlement was reached on April 2nd, when the University of Colorado agreed to compensate the Patriots for releasing their head coach from his contract, as Ron Erhardt was named the Patriots the new coach. In their season opener the Patriots faced the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night as Darryl Stingley returned to Schaefer Stadiums. Patriot’s fans gave their paralyzed star a long sustained standing ovation. However the emotion did not carry over as the Pats lost 16-13 in overtime. The Pats would find themselves at 8-4, as the team featured a more wide-open offense under Quarterback Steve Grogan. However, a three game losing streak ended their playoff chances ended the Pats playoff hopes, as the team settled for a disappointing 9-7 season.

: With Running Back Sam Cunningham holding out all season the Patriots turned to rookie Vargas Ferguson to carry the bulk of the rushing game. Ferguson responded by breaking the team's rookie rushing record. The Patriots would sit at 6-1 near the midway point and seemed poised for the playoffs. However, the Pats would win just two of their next seven, and would finish with a 10-6 record that saw them fall just short of a Wild Card berth.

: After narrowly missing the playoffs two years in a row the Patriots were favored to win the AFC East, while a perfect 4-0 preseason only increased expectations. However, the Pats would stumble out of the gates losing their first four games, placing them in a cavernous hole. The Pats would win two of their next three games, but would close the season on a nine game losing streak to finish with a 2-14 record, as Coach Ron Erhardt was fired after the season.

: For their new head coach ten Patriots selected another from the college ranks. Ron Meyer, who had built the SMU program, brought his no nonsense style with him to Foxboro, with the hopes of sparking life into a dead franchise. The Pats would split their first two games, as the season was pity on hold for a strike. When the strike ended two months later the Pats were in danger of falling out of the playoff race going into a key showdown at home with Miami Dolphins. The game was scoreless for 55 minutes as both teams struggled in the snow. Kicker John Smith would have help when he attempted what proved to be the game winning Field Goal in the game's final moments. Mark Henderson, a convict on a weekend furlough used his snowplow to clear a spot of the Field Goal attempt that was good, as the Pats were back in the eight team playoff chase. The Pats would finish with a 5-4 record earning them the seventh seed and a rematch with Miami Dolphins. The 1st Round rematch turned into a mismatch as the Dolphins got revenge for the snowplow loss with a 28-13 win at the Orange Bowl.

: With the departure of long-time veterans Mike Haynes and Don Hasselbeck, Coach Ron Meyer fielded the second youngest club in the NFL. The first game of the season at the newly renamed Sullivan Stadium gave fans an indication what they would see all season. The Patriots rushed for more than 200 yards and rolled up more than 400 yards of total offense, but four turnovers, including a costly Tony Collins fumble in overtime, led to a 29-23 loss to the Baltimore Colts. The Patriots played inconsistently all season, but at 8-7 had a chance for a playoff spot with a win in their final game of the season in Seattle. The Patriots would have problems with turnovers as Rookie Quarterback Tony Eason was swallowed up in a 24-6 loss to the Seahawks.

: With the number one draft pick Irving Fryar Patriots fans were optimistic heading into the season, after splitting the first two games on the road the Patriots fell behind the Seattle Seahawks 23-0 in their home opener. However, the Patriots would rally as Tony Eason replaced Steve Grogan at Quarterback, and rallied the Pats to a 38-23 win. The Pats won three of their next four games and entered a Sullivan Stadium showdown with the Miami Dolphins at 5-2. However, trouble was brewing, as the players had gotten tired with Coach Ron Meyer's tactics, and after a 44-24 loss, owner Billy Sullivan decided to fire Meyer and named Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Raymond Berry the team’s new coach. Berry won three of his first four games, but had a hard time learning the offense and the team would lose three straight before finishing the season with a disappointing 9-7 record.

: The Patriots got off to a slow start again losing three of their first five games. After Quarterback Tony Eason struggled again early in a Week 6, Steve Grogan came off the bench and played some of the most inspired football in his long career. With Grogan at the controls New England reeled off six consecutive wins to thrust itself into the thick of the race for the division title. Included in that stretch were home victories over the rival New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. However just as it seemed the Pats were on track for a division title Grogan broke his leg in a 16-13 overtime loss to the Jets. The injury resulted in Tony Eason getting his job back. However unlike earlier in the season Eason was healthy and played well leading the Pats to two straight wins, setting up a Monday Night Showdown in Miami for the division title. However, once again the Pats Orange Bowl jinx struck again in a heartbreaking 30-27 loss that had them on the bubble. Needing a win in the final week the Patriots beat the Cincinnati Bengals 34-23 to earn a Wild Card spot. However their 11-5 record was only good for the fifth seed meaning the Pats would not have a game at home. The Patriots began their playoff journey in the swamps of New Jersey in the wild card game against the New York Jets. Led by four Tony Franklin Field Goals the Patriots would win their first playoff game in 22 years 26-14. One week later the Patriots were on the road again facing the Los Angeles Raiders. In the game the Pats forced six turnovers and stunned the heavily favored Raiders 27-20 to set up an AFC Championship Game showdown against the Miami Dolphins. However, if the Pats were going to beat the Dolphins they needed to end their 19-year losing streak at the Orange Bowl. Turnovers would again play a key role as the Patriots forced six turnovers again and stunned the Dolphins 31-14, behind the running of Craig James to advance to Super Bowl XX. 

Super Bowl XX
: The Patriots were heavy underdogs going into the Super Bowl XX in New Orleans against the 15-1 Chicago Bears. The Patriots defense would rise up early forcing a Walter Payton fumble setting them up deep in Bears territory in the first minute of the game. However, the Pats could not capitalize and settled for a Field Goal and a 3-0 lead. From there it just went downhill fast as the Bears poured on a 46 point onslaught that even saw William "The Refrigerator" Perry score a Touchdown. The Pats would score a cosmetic Touchdown late, but still walked off the field with a humiliating 46-10 loss.

: The Patriots suffered a severe blow before the season got underway when perennial All-Pro guard John Hannah announced his retirement on June 30th. The vaunted Patriots running attack, a staple of New England teams for more than a decade, virtually evaporated without Hannah. As a team, the Patriots averaged only 2.9 yards per rush and ranked dead last in the NFL. The burden of moving the offense fell on Tony Eason's shoulders and he responded with one of the finest seasons ever by a Patriots Quarterback, as the Pats were the second highest scoring team in football with 412 points. After splitting the first six games the Patriots won seven straight games and were in position to win the AFC East. However after consecutive losses to the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers the Pats needed a win in the Monday Night season finale in Miami. In the final game ever at the Orange Bowl the Pats won 34-27 to win the AFC East title. In the Divisional Playoffs against the Denver Broncos the Pats held a 17-15 lead midway through the 4th Quarter at Mile High Stadium. However, a 48-yard John Elway Touchdown pass doomed the Pats chances of return trip to the Super Bowl.

: After the Pats split first two games of the season the NFL went on strike and returned a week later with replacement players. However, several Pats players including Andre Tippet crossed the picket line and the Pats stood at 3-2 when the regular players returned. During the strike the Pats dealt for Quarterback Doug Flutie and he led them to a 23-13 win in Houston over the Oilers in the final replacement game. When the strike ended the following week, the Patriots appeared rusty, as former coach Ron Meyer earned his first victory over his old team when his Indianapolis Colts forced three turnovers en route to a 30-16 win. The following week the Patriots lost three of their starters for the remainder of the season in a costly 26-23 win over the Los Angeles Raiders. The Pats would then lose four of their next five games to fall out of playoff contention. However, the Pats would win their last three games to ensure their fourth straight winning season at 8-7.

: The season started on a high note as the Pats rolled over the New York Jets 28-3 in a rainstorm at Sullivan Stadium. Steve Grogan opened the season at Quarterback and the 14-year veteran responded with a fine afternoon, passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns, both going to Wide Receiver Irving Fryar. However, the Pats would lose their next 3 games. Trailing the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 the Pats turned to Doug Flutie who led the team off the bench to a 21-13 come from behind win. The dramatic win seemed to rally the moribund Patriots, as New England won six of its next eight games with Flutie at the helm, while super rookie Running Back John Stevens was rushing his way to Offensive Rookie of the year honors. However, a costly Week 13 loss in Indianapolis put the Pats on the brink. After a 13-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks, Flutie was benched in favor of Tony Eason who led the way in a 10-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However to make the playoffs the Pats needed a win in Denver against the Broncos. Much to the consternation of the fans watching back home, Flutie remained on the sidelines as Eason and Steve Grogan helped the Patriots roll up more than 300 yards of offense but managed to score only ten points despite six possessions inside the Denver 30-yard line. Shortly after the season in which the Pats posted a 9-7 record, an era came to an end when Billy Sullivan was forced to sell the team to Victor Kiam.

: Any hopes the Patriots harbored for a return to the postseason vanished on September 1st. When in the last exhibition game, the Patriots lost key defensive starters Garin Veris, Andre Tippett and Ronnie Lippett to season-ending injuries. Despite the tremendous setback the Patriots pulled out a 27-24 road victory against the New York Jets in the season opener. However the injuries would catch up to them quickly as the Pats lost seven of their next nine games and sat at 3-7. Throughout the season the Pats kept changing Quarterbacks rotating from Tony Eason to Doug Flutie to Steve Grogan. The Pats would win two of their next three games to improve their record to 5-8, trying to avoid their first losing season since 1981. However, the Pats closed out their season with three straight losses, which cost Coach Raymond Berry his job.

: Under new head coach Rod Rust the season did not get off to a good start as the Miami Dolphins ran over the Patriots all day at newly renamed Foxboro Stadium. A week later the Pats eeked out a 16-14 win in Indianapolis over the Colts. However, when they returned home the Patriots were thrown in the middle of a sexual harassment scandal when Boston Herald reporter Lisa Olson was sexually harassed and verbally assaulted by several Patriots players in the team's locker room. As the NFL investigated the chargers a black cloud hung over the Pats season, which spiraled down out of control. The Pats would not win another game and finished with an embarrassing 1-15 record. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue eventually fined the team $50,000 and fined Patriots tight end Zeke Mowatt $12,500, and wide receiver Michael Timpson and running back Robert Perryman $5,000 each for the Lisa Olson incident. The whole situation resulted in a general shake up of the entire Patriots organization from the front office to the head coach.

: The task of reshaping this disorganized band of players fell to the 60-year-old Dick MacPherson, who was hired after successful ten year tenure as head coach of Syracuse University. Foxboro Stadium had taken on a brand new appearance of its own with the installation of a natural grass-playing surface. In the season opener the Patriots posted an impressive 16-7 road victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the season opener, snapping a franchise-record 14-game losing streak. Over the next two weeks the Pats failed to score a single touchdown, prompting MacPherson to replace starting Quarterback Tommy Hodson with four year veteran Hugh Millen. The move brought immediate results, as Millen hit wide receiver Greg McMurtry with a game-winning 34-yard touchdown pass with only six seconds remaining to give the Patriots a pulsating 24-20 upset victory over the Houston Oilers in Week 4. However the Pats lost five of their next six games and sat at 3-8. The Patriots would win three of their final five games to finish at 6-10, but the late season success gave fans hope for the future.  

: The Patriots stumbled out of the gate losing their first nine games as rumors of a move to St. Louis began to fly when St. Louis businessman James Orthwein had bought out his partners to become sole owner of the franchise. The Pats would finally get their first win of the season in Indianapolis against the Colts with a 37-34 win in overtimes. A week later the Pats would get their second win of the season at home against the New York Jets. However, the Pats would lose their next two games by a combined 40-0 score, and would go on to close out the season on a five game losing streak to finish with a league worse 2-14 record.

: After compiling only a 9-39 record in their last three seasons, the Patriots needed both a fresh start and a savior to deliver them back to respectability, so the reigns of the franchise were handed over to Bill Parcells. His first order of business was to find a franchise player to build around and with first pick in the draft the Patriots selected Quarterback Drew Bledsoe. A new era was set to begin for the Patriots even as rumors of a move to St. Louis were still flying, as the club got a new logo replacing the 30-year old Pat the Patriot image. Drew Bledsoe was given the starting Quarterback job right away and struggled early losing his first four games. In Week 5 Bledsoe would suffer a knee injury as backup Scott Secules led the Pats to their first win of the season. Bledsoe would miss two weeks as the club began a seven game losing streak. At 1-11 it looked as if the Pats were in for the NFL's worst record for the third time in four years. However, Bledsoe began to get comfortable with his NFL surroundings and led the Patriots to a season ending four game winning streak, which was capped by a 33-27 overtime; win at Foxboro over the Miami Dolphins which knocked them out of the playoffs.

: Speculation of a move to St. Louis continued to fly until Robert Kraft at the NFL's urging bought the Patriots from James Orthwein. The sale gave the franchise solid ownership committed to keeping them in the New England region. This led to new records in season ticket sales, as fans anticipated a return to playoff glory. However on November 13th the Pats sat at 3-6 going into a game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Pats would fall behind 20-0, when Bill Parcells decided to scrap his regular offense and employ a no-huddle attack the rest of the game. The results were spectacular, as Drew Bledsoe rallied New England to a 26-20 victory in overtime with the most prolific passing display in NFL history. Bledsoe set NFL records for attempts and completions by hitting on 45-of-70 passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns. Bledsoe's final throw of the game was a 14-yard game-winning scoring toss to Fullback Kevin Turner, a score that sent the sellout crowd at Foxboro Stadium into a frenzy. The pulsating victory turned the Patriots season around, as they ran off 7 straight victories to secure their first playoff berth since 1986, with a 10-6 record. However the season ended on sour note in the Wild Card round in Cleveland, when a rugged Browns defense shut down Bledsoe and the Patriots passing attack in a 20-13 victory.

: The season started on a high note with rookie running back Curtis Martin breaking off a 30-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns, as the Pats got off on the right foot with a 17-14 win. However inconstant play and an injury to Drew Bledsoe led to a four game losing streak. The Patriots would go on to finish with a 6-10 record, but despite the disappointing record there were several positive developments including a strong season from Offensive Rookie of the Year Curtis Martin.

: The season began as the relationship between coach Bill Parcells and owner Robert Kraft began to become more strained. After losing their first two games on the road the Pats came home and demolished the Arizona Cardinals 31-0. It was the start of an eight game stretch where the Pats won seven games. After a humiliating 34-8 loss at home to the Denver Broncos the Pats responded by winning four of their final five games to close the season with an 11-5 record good enough for an AFC East Championship and first round playoff bye. In the Divisional Playoff round the Patriots steam rolled the Pittsburgh Steelers on a foggy afternoon at Foxboro Stadium. A week later in the first AFC Championship Game played at Foxboro Stadium the Pats defense smothered the Jacksonville Jaguars running game all day holding the surprising Jaguars to just six points. The Pats would sew up a trip to the Super Bowl with an Otis Smith 47-yard Fumble return that sealed the 20-6 win.

Super Bowl XXXI
: The Patriots were back in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, and hoped they could improve on their humiliating experience 11 years earlier. Once again the Pats were huge underdogs facing the Green Bay Packers. However, a dark cloud hung around the team for two weeks as Coach Bill Parcels began talks about filling the New York Jets coaching vacancy even as his team prepared to take on the Packers. The Pats would fall behind early 10-0 but rallied for two Touchdowns to take a 14-10 lead after the 1st Quarter. However, the Packers responded by scoring 17 points in the 2nd Quarter to take a 27-14 lead at the half. The Pats would get back in the game with a Touchdown late in the 3rd Quarter, but an ensuing kickoff return by Desmond Howard gave the Packers a 35-21 lead going in to the final quarter. There the Packers defense stiffened and smothered Drew Bledsoe to capture their first Super Bowl Championship in 29 years.

: Just five days after losing Super Bowl XXXI, Bill Parcells resigned to coach the New York Jets. The next month saw the two AFC East rivals fighting over compensation, before the NFL mediated and ruled the Jets owed the Pats draft picks for taking their coach. Under new coach Pete Carroll the Pats got off to a flying start winning their first four games including 27-24 overtime win over the Jets in Bill Parcells return to Foxboro. However the Patriots would lose five of their next seven games and sat on the playoff bubble going into the final five weeks of the season. However the Pats rebounded and won their next three games. After an overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pats needed a win in Miami to repeat as Division Champions, in the Monday Night Season finale. With the Jets losing the day before, the game would serve to decide home field when the two teams met one week later in the Wild Card round. The Pats would shut down the Dolphins offense again and won the AFC East with a 14-12 victory. In the Wild Card match up the Pats defense seemed to know the Dolphins playbook by heart, as they shutdown the Dolphins 17-3 to advance to the Division Round. The Patriots quest to repeat as conference champions ended the following week in Pittsburgh as they fell to the Steelers 7-6. Already forced to play without Curtis Martin and Ben Coates, the Patriots also lost Wide Receiver Terry Glenn to a broken collarbone during the game. However, Drew Bledsoe still managed to complete six of seven passes to drive New England near mid-field in the final two minutes, but Steelers Defensive End Mike Vrabel beat Bruce Armstrong and stripped the ball from Bledsoe, forcing a fumble that the Steelers recovered to end the game.

: The season had taken on ominous overtones long before the first kickoff, as Bills Parcells lured Curtis Martin to the rival New York Jets in the off-season. Rather than match the Jets lucrative free agent offer, the Patriots instead opted to take the compensation package and drafted Running Back Robert Edwards from Georgia with their first round draft pick. After losing the season opener on the road to the Denver Broncos the Pats returned home and began a four game winning streak. However a week later the Pats lost a key Monday Night match up against the Jets. The loss to the Jets was followed up by a 12-9 overtime loss in Miami to the Dolphins. After a win in Indianapolis the Pats lost two more games in a row and sat at 5-5 through the first ten games. With their season on the brink the Pats would win three games in a row before dropping a crucial game in St. Louis to the Rams, during the game the Pats also lost Wide Receiver Terry Glenn and Quarterback Drew Bledsoe for the remained of the season. The Pats would split their last two games and finished at 9-7 but missed the playoffs. At the end of the season the Pats stunned the fans of Foxboro when they announced plans to move to Hartford, Connecticut.

: The plans to move to Hartford would fall apart as voters in Connecticut rejected plans for a new stadium. Meanwhile the city of Foxboro stepped up with promise to build a new stadium, which would open in 2002. However, the news for the Pats team was not as good, as the team found itself without a Running Back when rookie Robert Edwards shredded his knee in a Rookie Beach football game in All-Pro weekend in Hawaii, the injury would put an end Edwards career. Despite the loss of Edwards the Patriots got off to a 4-0 start. However the Pats lost their next two games as the Pats one-dimensional offense caught up to them. The Pats would win their next two games, but after losses in six of their next seven games Pete Carroll's fate was sealed. The Pats would win their final game of the season to finish at 8-8, but the search for a new coach was on.

: In a strange reversal the Patriots would hire Bill Belichick as their new head coach after he abruptly quit one day after being named head coach of the New York Jets replacing his long-time mentor Bill Parcells. The Jets and Pats were fighting over a coach, again, as the Pats sent draft picks to New York for compensation. The Belichick era would get off to a shaky start as the Pats lost their first four games. The Pats first win came in Week 5 in the most unlikely locale, Mile High Stadium in Denver, a place where the Patriots had not managed a win in 32 years, as Drew Bledsoe riddled the suspect Broncos secondary with four Touchdown passes. The Pats would win again at Foxboro Stadium a week later against the Indianapolis Colts, but it was followed by another four straight losses that dropped the team to 2-8. The Pats would split their final six games to finish at 5-11 that landed them in last place in the AFC East.

: Not much was expected out of the New England Patriots going into their final season at Foxboro Stadium. The Pats would drop their first game of the season 23-17 to the Bengals in Cincinnati. Two days later the Pats watched the September 11th terrorist attacks with rest of the world, but Guard Joe Andruzzi had a more personal take as his two fire fighter brothers were among those responding to the call at the World Trade Center. Fortunately for the Andruzzi family both brothers made it out alive, and when the NFL resumed after a week off they were honored as the Pats faced the New York Jets in the home opener at Foxboro. The game would be a defensive struggle, as the Jets knocked the Pats to 0-2. However the worst loss came to Drew Bledsoe who suffered serious internal injuries after being hit by Mo Lewis late in the 4th Quarter. Bledsoe would spend several days in the hospital, and would be out for at least two months. With a poor running game and Drew Bledsoe sidelined, Patriots fans were braced for an awful season as unknown back up Tom Brady took over the reins at quarterback. Brady was impressive in his first game as the Pats stunned the Indianapolis Colts 44-13 at Foxboro Stadium. After a 30-10 loss in Miami to the Dolphins, the Pats would win 4 of their next 5 to climb above .500, as Brady continued to impress at Quarterback. After a home loss to the St. Louis Rams, the Pats sat at 5-5, as Drew Bledsoe was cleared to play. However, Coach Bill Belichick decided to stick with Tom Brady, whom he felt was playing with a hot hand. After a win at home over the New Orleans Saints, the Patriots entered a key showdown with the Jets in the Meadowlands. The Jets would grab an early 13-0. However the Pats would rally and would pull out a stunning 17-16, to get back in the race for the AFC East. The Pats would follow it up with wins in their next two games to set up a showdown with Miami Dolphins in the final regular season game at Foxboro Stadium. Prior to the game the Pats honored past heroes of Foxboro Stadium, including infamous snowplow driver Mark Henderson. The Pats got off quickly as Tom Brady became wide receiver in a key 3rd down play to set up a the first Touchdown, as the Pats jumped out to a 20-0 lead. The Dolphins would score 13 unanswered points but the Pats held them off to gain first place in the AFC East. After a bye week the Pats defeated the Panthers in Carolina to finish the season at 11-5, and by virtue of tiebreaker the Pats would win the division, and would get a playoff bye.

: On a snowy Saturday Night the Patriots faced the Oakland Raiders in Divisional Playoffs, in the final game ever at Foxboro Stadium. The Pats would fall behind early and trailed 13-3 entering the 4th Quarter. The Pats would cut the lead to 13-10, but it looked like their magical season was over when Tom Brady fumbled with 1:43 left in the game on the Raiders 47-yard line. The Pats had no timeouts and the Raiders only needed to run out the clock to advance to the AFC Championship Game. However the play was under review, and referee Walt Coleman revered the call citing the obscure tuck rule. The Pats were given new life, and when Adam Vinatieri nailed a 47-yard Field Goal through the snow the game was sent to overtime. In OT the Pats won the coin toss, and drove the ball down the field for over eight minutes setting up Adam Vinatieri for a 23-yard game winning chip shot. The win was highly controversial as the Pats advanced to face the Steelers in Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship. In the game the Pats got off to a fast start thanks to a 55-yard punt return from Troy Brown. However, The Pats would lose Tom Brady to an ankle sprain in the 2nd Quarter. The injury would allow Drew Bledsoe to get back on the field. Bledsoe who had not made a fuss after losing his job now had a chance to deliver the Pats to the Super Bowl, as he led the Past to a 14-3 halftime lead. The Pats defense was strong all day smothering Kordell Stewart and causing a turnover, which led to a spectacular lateral from Troy Brown to Antwan Harris that, gave the Pats a 21-3 lead. The Steelers would forge a comeback, but it was too late as the Pats held on to a 24-17 win to earn their third trip to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXXVI
: Once again the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, and once again it was in New Orleans and once again they were heavy underdogs facing the St. Louis Rams. However, there was something special about this team, and amid a red, white and blue patriotic pre game gala, the Pats refused to be introduced individually choosing instead to be announced as a team. The Patriots would hold the potent Rams offense to just three points in the 1st Quarter, as Tom Brady struggled with early nerves. The Pats first big play would come on defense when Ty Law returned an interception 47 yards to give the Pats a 7-3 lead. As the half was coming to a close the Pats defense created another turnover, setting up a Tom Brady to David Patten Touchdown pass in the final minute to give the Pats a stunning 14-3 halftime lead. The Pats would add a Field Goal in the 3rd Quarter, and entered the 4th leading 17-3. However the Rams offense would begin to click, and would score their first Touchdown to get back in the game. With two minutes remaining the Pats only needed to stop the Rams one more time to sew up the second biggest upset in Super Bowl history. However the quick strike Rams struck quickly to tie the game with 1:30 left. Most teams would have just settled for Overtime, but with Rams finding their groove Bill Belichick knew he had to go for it now. Tom Brady would have his best series leading the team down the field quickly to set up a 48-yard Field Goal attempt in the final seconds. Once again it was the magical foot of Adam Vinatieri who delivered the shot heard around the world. The kick was good and the Pats were Super Bowl Champions. Tom Brady won MVP honors, but in truth there were several Pats who could have shared it. The Patriots were given a hero’s welcome when they came home, as a shocked sports world compared them to historic upsets of the past.

: Coming off their improbable Super Bowl Championship the Patriots had a brand new sate of the art stadium called Gillette Stadium which they opened on Monday Night beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-14. The Pats would rack up the points in their first three games scoring 115 points as they got off to a 3-0 start. However, the Patriots would struggle in October as they lost four straight game, failing to reach 20 points in all four games. The Patriots would recover winning five of six games to get back into the playoff picture. However, back-to-back losses in primetime to the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets had the Patriots playoff hopes in doubt. Heading into the final week with a 8-7 record the Pats need a win over the Miami Dolphins at home and a Jets loss to win the division and make the playoffs. Despite falling behind early the Pats would rally to win in overtime 27-24 on another clutch field goal by Adam Vinatieri. However, the Jets would win their finale as the Patriots missed the playoffs s with a 9-7 record.

: The Patriots began the season amidst a storm of controversy as Defensive Captain Lawyer Milloy is released at the end of training camp. Milloy would land with the Buffalo Bills right away the Pats opponents in Week 1. The Pats appeared stunned and confused as they were humiliated by the Bills 31-0. The Patriots would rebound to win the next two games before dropping their Week 4 match up with the Washington Redskins. As they entered a Week 5 game with the Tennessee Titans in Foxboro the Pats were banged up with several starters out or playing hurt. Despite the injuries the Pats played valiantly beating the Titans 38-30 in an action packed game that was clinched up by a dramatic 65-yard interception return by Ty Law. The Pats would win again the following week, setting up an early showdown for the AFC East with the Miami Dolphins in Week 7. The Patriots would seemingly duck several bullets all game as the Dolphins missed 2 Field Goals that would have won the game. In Overtime Tom Brady would take over with a dramatic 82-yard game winning Touchdown pass to Troy Brown that put the Pats in first place to stay. In fact close wins would once again become the hallmark of the Patriots as they continued their winning streak with close wins over the Cleveland Browns, and Denver Broncos, which included a shrewd decision by Coach Bill Belichick to take a safety late in the game to gain field position for the last drive, as the Pats had a comeback 30-26 Monday Night victory on the road. As the season wore on the Pats got healthier and no matter what the situation it seemed as if they found away to win, including a dramatic goal line stand against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. A week later the Pats sewed up the division title with a dominate 12-0 win over the Dolphins played in 28 inches of snow which fans at Gillette Stadium threw up in celebration. The Pats would go on to win the remainder of their games bringing their winning streak to 12 games which included a 31-0 win over the Bills at home in the final game of the season giving the Patriots a franchise best 14-2 season, that saw them get home field throughout the playoffs. The Patriots opened their playoffs against the Titans in bitterly cold weather in Foxboro, with temperatures near zero degrees. The cold weather seemed to affect both offenses as each side made several mistakes trying to handle the cold football. With the score tied at 14 Adam Vinatieri nailed a 46-yard Field Goal with five minutes left to give the Pats a lead. From there the Patriots defense took over as the Titans final drive fell short. Facing the Colts in the AFC Championship Game the Pats defense rose to the occasion frustrating NFL MVP Peyton Manning all game by sacking him four times and picking off four passes to send the Patriots on to their second Super Bowl in three years with a 24-14 win.

Super Bowl XXXVIII
: Unlike their Super Bowl appearance two years earlier the Patriots entered Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers in Houston as the prohibitive favorite. After a scoreless first quarter, the Patriots struck first blood as Tom Brady found Deion Brach in the end zone with a short five yard pass. After the Panthers tied the game the Patriots retook the lead in the final seconds of the first half with another short Touchdown pass from Brady to David Givens. The Panthers would score a quick Field Goal as the game went into halftime with the Pats leading 14-10. After both teams went scoreless in the 3rd Quarter, the 4th Quarter turned into a shootout with the Pats extending their lead to 21-10 before the Panthers struck back with two quick touchdowns to take a 22-21 lead. Losing the lead seemed to wake up the Pats, as they drove right back to take a 29-22 lead on a one yard pass to Mike Vrabel, which was followed by a successful two point conversion run by Kevin Faulk. However the Panthers struck right back tying the game at 29 with less the two minutes left. Once again the Pats were in the final minutes of the Super Bowl with the game tied. As he did two years ago Tom Brady who earned Super Bowl MVP honors drove the Pats into Field Goal range where Adam Vinatieri nailed a 36-yard Field Goal as time expired to give the Patriots their second Super Bowl title in three years.

: Coming off two Super Bowl Championships in three years the Patriots appeared even stronger with the addition of All-Pro Running Back Corey Dillon from the Cincinnati Bengals. The Patriots got off to a quick start beating the Indianapolis Colts in a Thursday Night season opener 27-24, as Tom Brady out gunned Peyton Manning with 335 yards passing. The Pats would use that win to get off to a rocket start as they set the NFL record for consecutive wins over a two year stretch at 21 as they topped their 15 wins at the end of 2003 with a 6-0 start. However the streak would come to an end on Halloween as the Patriots allowed 21 points to the Pittsburgh Steelers on the way to a 34-20 loss. The loss would be a mere bump in the road for the Patriots as they won their next six games to easily capture the AFC Eastern Division. However it was not without rough waters as at one point the entire Patriots secondary was injured forcing Wide Receiver Troy Brown to become a two way player. Brown would more then hold his own as the Patriots posted a 14-2 record for the second straight season once again led by one of the top defenses in the NFL. In the playoffs the Pats once again faced the Colts, but with the cold New England winds blowing thru Foxboro the Colts never have a chance as the Patriots defense harassed Manning all day holding the Colts high powered offense to just three points in a solid 20-3 win which earned them a rematch with the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. Returning to one of two places the Patriots lost a game during the season, the Patriots were determined to prove that the Halloween loss to end their winning streak was a mere aberration. They would get off to a fast start leading 24-3 at halftime as Rodney Harrison returned an interception 87 yards for a Touchdown in the waning moments of the first half. The Steelers would make a run at the Pats in the second half but the Patriots would keep them at arm length always coming up with a big play to answer any scoring done by the Steelers as they earned a trip to Super Bowl for the third time in four years with a 41-27 win.

Super Bowl XXXIX
: Facing the Philadelphia Eagles in Jacksonville the Patriots had a chance to official declare themselves a dynasty by winning their third Lombardi Trophy in four years. The Pats and Eagles were evenly matched as neither side could get the upper hand with the score tied after each of the first three quarters. In the 4th Quarter the Patriots championship experience began to take over as Corey Dillon scored from two yards out to give the Patriots a 21-14 lead at the start of the quarter. The Pats defense would hold the Eagles which allowed the Pats to take a 24-14 lead on Adam Vinateiri Field Goal. However, the Eagles would not give up as they scored a long drive to get back within a Field Goal with 1:48 left in the game. After going three and out the Patriots turned to their defense to make sure the lead stood, and wit would as Rodney Harrison interception with nine seconds remaining sealed the 24-21 win, as the Patriots became just the second team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four years. Earning Super Bowl MVP honors would be Wide Receiver Deion Branch who tied a record with 11 receptions several of which were on third down to keep a Patriots drive alive.

: After two straight Super Bowl Championships the Patriots began to see the negative side of success as they lost both coordinators to head coaching jobs as Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel took over the Cleveland Browns, while Offensive Play Caller Charlie Weis left to wake up the echoes in Notre Dame. The defense also took a hit as Ty Law was not re-signed while Ted Johnson retired, as Tedy Bruschi began the season with his career in doubt after suffering a mild stroke in the off-season. Despite all the losses the Patriots had another successful kickoff to their season as they hammered the Oakland Raiders 30-20 in a primetime Thursday kickoff special. However, the following week the Patriots would suffer the first of many early setbacks as they were beaten 27-17 by the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII rematch. After a dramatic 23-20 road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Patriots would see their home winning streak come to a crashing end as they were unable to stop LaDainian Tomlinson who rushed for 134 yards and two Touchdowns in a 41-17 win for the San Diego Chargers. The Patriots would continue to alternate wins and losses over the next four games as they were able to beat the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills, but fell in games against the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, while Tedy Bruschi made a remarkable return to the Patriots defensive unit. In the second half the Patriots schedule would be considerably easier as five of their next 6 games to clinch another division championship. With nothing to play for in the season finale the Patriots would lose to the Miami Dolphins 28-26 as back up Quarterback Matt Cassel saw a bulk of the action. However, it was another Patriots QB that stole the headlines as Doug Flutie playing in his final game came on to drop kick an extra point, becoming the first player to drop kick a PAT in over 60 years. In the playoffs the 10-6 Patriots hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars, being forced to play in Wild Card Weekend for the first time since their championship run began. In the game the Patriots looked every bit the three time Super Bowl Champions as they overwhelmed the young Jaguars, as they turned a 7-3 at halftime into a 28-3 blowout win, as Tom Brady hooked up with Ben Watson on a 63-yard Touchdown pass, while Asante Samuel 73 yard Interception Return sealed the victory. A week later the Patriots traveled to Denver for a rematch with the Broncos who had beaten them in Week 6. The game was a defensive struggle much of the first half as the Patriots scored first on a Adam Vinatieri 40-yard Field Goal late in the 2nd Quarter. However, the Broncos would answer back with Touchdown as a Kevin Faulk fumble on the Patriots 40 yard line gave the struggling Broncos new life, as Asante Samuel was called for pass interference setting up Mike Anderson's 1-yard TD run. On the ensuing kickoff the Patriots would make another error as Ellis Hobbs fumbled allowing the Broncos to take a 10-3 lead into halftime. Despite the misplays the Patriots down 10-6 late in the 3rd Quarter had a chance to take the lead as they drove deep into Broncos territory. However, the Tom Brady had a pass intercepted in the end zone and returned nearly all the way by Champ Bailey, but Ben Watson caught up with Bailey and stripped him of the ball just before he crossed the goaline. However, officials instead of awarding the Pats a Touchback ruled it went out of bounds at the one yard line setting up another one yard TD run by Mike Anderson as the Patriots reign would come to an end with a 27-13 loss.

: After falling short in their quest for a three-peat the Patriots entered the season missing a few key pieces as Adam Vinatieri was to the Indianapolis Colts via Free Agency, while already short at Wide Receiver the Patriots were dealing with the holdout of Deion Branch, as they were forced to trade the Super Bowl XXXVIII to the Seattle Seahawks. Despite their holes the Patriots continued to find ways to win as they got off to a 6-1 start. After two straight losses at home to the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets, the Pats rebounded in dominant fashion shutting out the Green Bay Packers on the road 35-0. A week later the Pats made a statement at home beating the Chicago Bears 17-13, as they blitzed through the NFC North with a perfect 4-0 record, completing the sweep with their third straight win over the Detroit Lions. After a stunning 21-0 loss to the last place Miami Dolphins, the Patriots finished the season on a roll winning three in a row, as they captured their fourth straight division title with a 12-4 record. In the Playoffs the Patriots would face the Jets at Foxboro, hoping to get revenge for a November 12th loss, as former Defensive Coordinator Eric Mangini now Head Coach of the Jets feuded with Bill Belichick. The Patriots would use their playoff experience well as they controlled the game from the start and pulled away at the end for a 37-16 victory. A week later they were the underdogs as they faced the San Diego Chargers who dominated the NFL all season. The Patriots would fall behind early as the Chargers grabbed a 14-3 lead in the 2nd Quarter, the Pats would make it close heading into the half as Tom Brady led a scoring drive which was completed with a six yard Touchdown pass to Jabar Gafney with eight seconds left. After the Pats cut the lead to 14-13 in the 3rd Quarter, the Chargers turned to Ladainian Tomlinson to build a 21-13 lead in the 4th Quarter. However, the Pats would not give up as Brady led a game tying scoring drive and two point conversion with 5:00 left, as the Patriots turned fortune into gold as a Brady's first pass was intercepted but the ball was fumbled during the return. With the game tied despite being outplayed the Pats would get the ball late and would win the game 24-21 on a 32-yard Field Goal by Stephen Gostkowski. In the AFC Championship Game against the Colts, the Patriots quickly quieted the fans in Indianapolis as they jumped out to a 21-3 lead with Asante Samuel delivering the dagger with a 35-yard interception return for a Touchdown early in the 2nd Quarter. The Colts would start to chip away as they scored on a Vinatieri as they first half ended. In the second half the Colts continued to comeback, tying the game at 21. However, the Pats quickly retook the lead. After the Colts tied the game again at 28-28, the Pats appeared to be driving for another Touchdown when Reche Caldwell dropped a pass with nothing but the end zone in front of him. After trading field goals the Pats took a 34-31 lead, as Ellis Hobbs set up another easy scoring drive with this second long kickoff return of the day. After stopping the Colts, on a three and out the Patriots had a chance to clinch the game with 3:22 left. However, a costly penalty at the start of the drive put the Pats in a hole as they were forced to punt the ball away. With 2:17 left the Colts had the ball on their own 20 and would drive the ball up the field and took the lead 38-34 with 1:00 minute left. The Pats would have a chance to answer back as they begun their own drive with 54 seconds left on their own 21. With just three plays Tom Brady would get the ball across midfield as he tried for another magical 4th Quarter playoff drive. However, this time it was not meant to be as he was picked off but Marlin Jackson with 17 second left, as the Colts advanced to the Super Bowl which they would win, though many felt the real championship game had been played against the Patriots.

: After losing in the AFC Championship Game the Patriots entered the season reloaded with the addition of All-Pro Adalius Thomas on defense, and Randy Moss on offense. The fast and tall Moss finally gave the Patriots the deep threat receiver they had been lacking to open up the offense. While the addition acquisition of Wes Welker gave the Brady a third down control receiver that could make the clutch first down. Loaded and ready for bear the Patriots started the season by blitzing the New York Jets on the road 38-14, but the game would take a back seat as the Patriots were caught videotaping the Jets signals from the sideline. Directly warned about spying and stealing signs, the NFL would launch an investigation into the Patriots cheating as the New York Post gave them an asterisk for their win over the Jets. Eventually the team would be fined and would lose a draft pick as a defiant unapologetic Bill Belichick used it as motivation. Instead of being distracted in their home opener the Pats were sharper than ever as they slammed the San Diego Chargers 38-14. The trend would continue over the next few weeks as the Pats were not just winning they were crushing their opponents, at times running up the score as their offense was setting new NFL records left and right. Scoring 34 or more points in their first five games the Patriots did not have a competitive game until they played the Dallas Cowboys on the road in Week 6, as they trailed midway through the third quarter. However, the Pats offense found the after burners and scored 47 points in the game’s final 20 minutes to beat the Cowboys 48-27. At 6-0 people seriously began to talk about the Patriots going 16-0. After destroying the Miami Dolphins 49-28, and humiliating the Washington Redskins 52-7 the Patriots faced the Indianapolis Colts in a battle of unbeatens. Trailing 20-10 the Patriots proved they could come back and beat just as they avenged their loss in the AFC Championship Game with a 24-20 win as Kevin Faulk scored the game winning Touchdown with 3:15 left. After the bye week the Patriots continued to dominate, beating the Buffalo Bills 56-10 to improve to 10-0. The following week would not be as easy, however as they trailed the Philadelphia Eagles who were playing without Donovan McNabb, in the fourth quarter 28-24. However, Brady and the Pats would rally again taking the lead for good on a touchdown by Laurence Maroney as Asante Samuel who earlier returned an interception for a touchdown sealed the victory with a second pick off. At 11-0 the Patriots were being called "The greatest team of all-time" as they were double digit favorites each week, with sometimes colligate like lines in the 20s. A week later on Monday Night the Pats unbeaten record was in serious jeopardy as they trailed the Baltimore Ravens late in the 4th Quarter 24-20. Facing fourth down twice the Pats were given a reprieve by a defensive holding call as they finally took the lead with 44 seconds left on as Tom Brady hit Jabar Gaffney in the end zone. As December rolled on the Pats with the division title safely in hand concentrated on history as they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins at home to go into their final game against the New York Giants at 15-0. With the playoffs locked up for the Giants, many Patriots fans were able to buy tickets to the Meadowlands and drove their way to New Jersey to watch history be made. However, the Giants proved to be a pesky opponent, as they were in the game into the fourth quarter. However, the Pats offense was too much as Tom Brady connected with Randy Moss to set two records on one play as Brady with 50 Touchdown passes and Moss with 23 Touchdown receptions each achieved individual records as the Pats who finished 16-0 set a NFL record with 589 points as they beat the Giants 38-35. For his record Touchdown passes and leading the Patriots 16-0 season Tom Brady received both the offensive player of the year and NFL MVP awards.

2007 Playoffs
: At 16-0 the Patriots became just the second team in the Super Bowl era to finish the season undefeated, but it would all be for naught if they were beaten in the playoffs, as the 1972 Miami Dolphins were front and center reminding everyone that a perfect season had to include a Super Bowl Championship. Facing the Jacksonville Jaguars in their first playoff game the Patriots did not have the same explosiveness that they did in the regular season, but seemed to be playing it safe as they won 31-20 with Tom Brady playing a controlled short passing game, setting a record for best completion percentage in a postseason game 92.9% (26 for 28). Facing the San Diego Chargers the following week the Patriots used their defense to hold off the San Diego Chargers, winning 21-12 as the Pats defense allowed just four field goals, while Wes Welker's fourth quarter Touchdown seemed to put the game out of reach. However, the sharpness was not quite there as the Patriots appeared tight, almost not afraid to make the big mistake. However, their talent was so superior that it almost didn't seem to matter as they became just the second team to head to the Super Bowl unbeaten.

Super Bowl XLII
: As the Patriots landed in Glendale, AZ most expected the Super Bowl to be just a coronation as they faced the New York Giants, whom they had already beaten to go 16-0. Back in Foxboro the Pats had trademark the phrase "19-0", books were about to hit the presses, and the lords of football seemed to be ready to move over for the Patriots who were 12 point favorites. The game was also on the six year anniversary of their first Super Bowl Championship in New Orleans when they stunned the St. Louis Rams who themselves were a 12-point favorite. Of course the spygate scandal that was exposed in Week 1 had not gone completely away as a former Patriots employ claimed that the Patriots taped the Rams walk thru. However, it seemed as if it were a mere annoyance as the Patriots were only focused on perfection, as the 1972 Dolphins were readying in Perfectville for their new neighbors. The Giants would win the coin toss and would show signs early that they wanted to keep the Patriots record breaking offense off the field, as they held the ball for the games first ten minutes. However, the Giants could only manage a Field Goal. The Patriots would get the ball and would drive down the field themselves, only they were able to get it into the end zone as Laurence Maroney punched the ball in on the first play of the second quarter to give the Pats a 7-3 lead. The Giants defense would then stiffen as Tom Brady did not have his usual time in the pocket while the Pats rushing attack was flat out shutdown to 45 yards on the game, as the Patriots continued to appear to be tight almost afraid to make the costly mistake with the pressure squarely on their backs, more than any other team had ever faced before. However, the Patriots defense was up to the task as the 7-3 score stood up until the fourth quarter when the Giants took the lead with 11:05 left. With Wes Welker the control receiver tying the Super Bowl record with 11 receptions the Patriots would drive down the field and take a 14-10 lead with 2:42 left as Tom Brady and Randy Moss connected on the go ahead score from six yards out. Just 2:42 from history it was all on the Patriots defense. On 3rd Down and 10 the Pats appeared to have Eli Manning under wraps. However, the Giants Quarterback managed to escape and hit David Tyree at the Patriots 25 yard line. Tyree, who was guarded by Rodney Harrison, had unbelievably caught the ball by pressing it against his helmet. If perfection was going to happen the Patriots were going to have to battle karma, and the fickle finger of fate called luck. After the Giants completed another third down conversion the Patriots were suddenly battling the clock as well as the Giants seemed to become a team of destiny. One play later with 35 seconds left the Patriots were down as Manning hit Plaxico Burress in the end zone with a 13-yard pass to give the Giants a stunning 17-14 lead. With the ball on their own 20 yard line the Pats needed a miracle to get down the field and tie the game, a task that got even harder when Jay Alford broke up the middle and sacked Tom Brady for an eight yard loss. Desperate Brady threw up two prayers that landed unanswered as the Giants held on to stun the Patriots 17-14, ending the quest for perfection in the most bitter agonizing way possible.

: Coming off their heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl XLII, the Patriots were a considerable favorite to return to the big game, as the focused on winning the Lombardi Trophy, without the distraction and pressure of an unbeaten season. However, in the first quarter of the first game, the Pats hope of returning to the Super Bowl suffered a huge blow, when Quarterback Tom Brady suffered a season ending knee injury after being hit by Safety Bernard Pollard. Backup Matt Cassel would lead the Patriots to a 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. After beating the New York Jets on the road, with Cassel the Patriots home winning streak would come to an end as the Miami Dolphins unveiled the wildcat and had the Patriots off balance all game in a stunning 38-13 win. However, the Pats would recover to win three of their next four games entering a key matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. The two stalwarts who are used to putting up offensive fireworks settled into a defensive struggle, as former Pats kicker Adam Vinatieri delivered the winning score on a 52 yard Field Goal to give the Colts an 18-15 victory. After a win over the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots hosted the New York Jets in a Thursday Night showdown with first place on the line. The game served as a coming out party of Matt Cassel who passed for 400 yards, including a 16 yard Touchdown pass to Randy Moss to tie the game with one second left. However, the Jets would go on to win the game 34-31. A week later the Patriots would avenge their Week 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins with a 48-28 win over the road, but they would continue to thread water as they dropped to 7-5 after a 30-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium. Despite playing three of their final four games on the road the Pats would finish strong winning all four games to post an 11-5 record, as Matt Cassel proved to be a capable NFL Quarterback playing in place of the reigning MVP. However, due to a tiebreaker of better divisional record, the Dolphins won a year earlier posted a 1-15 record won the AFC East ending the Patriots five year stranglehold. Even worse for the Pats, they would lose tiebreakers with the Baltimore Ravens, and would miss the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

2009: The 2009 New England Patriots season was the 40th season for the team in the National Football League and 50th season overall. They finished with a 10–6 record and a division title before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs.

After missing the playoffs in 2008, the Patriots' offseason was marked by a number of front office, coaching, and personnel changes. Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli, who had been head coach Bill Belichick's personnel director since 2000, departed to become the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, while offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was named head coach of the Denver Broncos. Quarterback Matt Cassel, who led the team to 11 wins in 2008 after starter Tom Brady was injured, was traded to the Chiefs along with veteran linebacker Mike Vrabel in March. Defensive starters Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison both retired, while All-Pro defensive end Richard Seymour was traded to the Oakland Raiders for a first round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft days before the start of the regular season.

In the season opener on Monday Night Football, the Patriots celebrated their 50th anniversary season with an American Football League "legacy game" against the Buffalo Bills. Down 11 points late in the fourth quarter, the Patriots would score two touchdowns to secure a victory in Brady's first game back from injury. In November, the 6–2 Patriots traveled to face the undefeated Indianapolis Colts; with a six-point lead late in the fourth quarter, the Patriots tried to convert a 4th and 2 situation inside their own 30-yard line but failed, setting up a Colts touchdown and the Patriots' third loss of the season. After losing another two games of three, the Patriots went on to win their next three games to secure a division title; the team also finished with their fourth perfect regular season record at home in seven years. With the third seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots faced the Baltimore Ravens at home in the Wild Card Playoffs. The Ravens opened a 24–0 lead in the first quarter and the Patriots could not recover, ending their season.

Lou Saban 1960-1961
Mike Holovak 1961-1968
Clive Rush 1969-1970
John Mazur 1970-1972
Phil Bengtson 1972
Chuck Fairbanks 1973-1978  
Ron Erhardt 1979-1981
Ron Meyer 1982-1984
Raymond Berry 1984-1989
Rod Rust 1990 
Dick MacPherson 1991-1992 
Bill Parcells 1993-1996
Pete Carroll 1997-1999
Bill Belichick 2000-Present

 Hall of Famers:  

Nick Buoniconti LB 1962-1968
John Hannah G 1973-1985
Mike Haynes CB 1976-1982
Andre Tippett LB 1982-1993

 Retired Numbers:
20 Gino Cappelletti WR 1960-1970
40 Mike Haynes CB 1976-1982
56 Andre Tippet LB 1982-1993
57 Steve Nelson LB 1974-1987
73 John Hannah G 1973-1985
78 Bruce Armstrong T 1987-2000
79 Jim Hunt DT 1960-1971
89 Bob Dee DE 1960-1967

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