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Today in Patriots History Thread

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    The Unconscious Catch

    Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 1:00
    Week 14, Game 14 at The Ralph
    Patriots 12, Bills 9 in OT
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Gregg Williams
    QBs: Tom Brady, Alex Van Pelt
    Odds: New England favored by 4

    Pats improve to 9-5, a half game behind 9-4 Miami
    Buffalo drops to 2-11, 5th in AFC East

    Ruling on David Patten fumble helps Patriots beat Bills | Boston Globe

    David Patten was unconscious, lying on the cold Ralph Wilson Stadium turf, his head out of bounds, the rest of his body inbounds. The ball was beneath his legs after safety Keion Carpenter had blasted him following a 13-yard reception from Tom Brady.

    It was 9-9 in overtime in a divisional game that meant everything to the Patriots, and much less to the Bills, but Buffalo jerseys came flying out of nowhere toward the loose ball, and Nate Clements grabbed it.

    It appeared Patten had fumbled after making a catch at the Buffalo 41. Patten was unconscious for approximately 10 seconds, and when he finally came to, the officials were running around, and the Bills were claiming they'd recovered a fumble.

    When the replay official reviewed the play, he invoked Rule 3, Section 20, Article 2, Paragraph C of the rule book.

    Referee Mike Carey said, "On the play, there is a reception by the receiver. He fumbled. The ball was loose in the field of play and while in contact with the receiver's calf, his head hit out of bounds. By rule, that's a loose ball. If a loose ball touches anything that is out of bounds, it is itself out of bounds and it would be in possession of the receiver."​

    On the next play Antowain Smith took the handoff and appeared to have nowhere to go, about to be stopped for no gain or a short loss. He backed up a step went wide, breaking three tackles and racing 38 yards down the sideline to the Buffalo three yard line. Tom Brady took the ensuing snap for no gain, moving the ball closer to the center of the field. Adam Vinatieri - who entered the game with just five field goals made in twelve attempts in Buffalo - then connected on a 23-yard attempt to win the game. His four field goals accounted for all twelve of the Patriot points, future Patriot kicker Shayne Graham had the only points for Buffalo as well.

    NFL Week 14: Video Replay is the Star In Overtime for Patriots | New York Times

    The Patriots (9-5) have won four straight for the first time in two years. The Bills (2-11) lost for the seventh time in eight home games.

    It was the fourth game in their last five meetings decided in overtime. The game turned on a video ruling during the Patriots' first possession, five minutes into overtime.

    David Patten caught Tom Brady's pass at the Bills' 41, where he was hit hard by Buffalo's Keion Carpenter. The ball popped loose and was recovered by Buffalo's Nate Clements.

    Initially ruled a fumble, Referee Mike Carey reversed the call, determining by a video review that Patten's head was out of bounds while the ball remained loose under his leg. Patten could not comment on the call. Carpenter's hit knocked him unconscious.

    ''I didn't know where I was; I could have been in Czechoslovakia,'' Patten said. ''I thought I let the team down, but the replay was one thing that went our way.''​
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Dec 16 Games, Part 2

    Sun Dec 16, 2018 at 4:25
    Week 15, Game 14 at Heinz Field
    Steelers 17, Patriots 10
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin
    QBs: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger
    Odds: New England favored by 2½

    Pats drop to 9-5, two-game lead in AFC East
    Pittsburgh improves to 8-5-1, half game lead over Ravens

    Antonio Brown's 17-yard touchdown reception with 12:01 left in the first half gave Pittsburgh a lead they never relinquished. Jaylen Samuels got the start at running back due to an ankle injury to James Conner, and the rookie ran for 142 yards on 19 carries (7.5 ypc). As of this date Samuels has run for a total of 424 yards in his career.

    The Patriots shot themselves in the foot with 14 penalties for 106 yards, yet still kept the game close. The Pats had a 2nd-and-5 on the Steeler 11 with 37 seconds to play when their final penalty pushed them back ten yards. Brady then threw two incomplete passes to Gronk (who was limited to two catches) and then his 4th down pass for Julian Edelman was knocked away.

    Chris Hogan scored the only Patriot touchdown on a 63-yard pass from Brady in the first quarter to tie the game at seven. The victory ended a three-game losing streak for Pittsburgh as well as a five game streak against the Patriots. The loss meant the Patriots finished with a 3-5 road record, their first losing season away from Foxboro since 2009. It was also a missed opportunity to clinch the AFC East, and put the Pats one game behind Houston in the playoff race for a first round bye.


    Full Game:

    Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 8:30
    Week 15, Game 14 at Gillette
    Forty Niners 41, Patriots 34
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Jim Harbaugh
    QBs: Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick
    Odds: New England favored by 5

    Pats drop to 10-4, #3 seed in AFC
    San Fran improves to 10-3-1, 1½ game lead over Seattle

    Down 31-3, the Patriots rallied to tie the score on four long second half drives. The Niners responded with their third one-play touchdown drive to retake the lead, and held on for the victory. Colin Kaepernick threw four touchdown passes for San Francisco while Tom Brady went 36-65 for 443 yards, Brandon Lloyd had ten receptions for 190 yards, and Aaron Hernandez had ten catches for 90 yards and a TD.

    ESPN Recap

    AFC East champion New England (10-4), which had won seven in a row, trailed 31-3 in the third quarter and lost for the first time at home in December in 21 games. The Patriots also had won 21 in a row in the second half of the schedule before San Francisco somehow regrouped late in a game it seemingly had clinched long before.

    San Francisco forced four turnovers, matching the number of giveaways New England had at home all season.

    Welker now has 100 catches this season, the fifth time he has reached that number, an NFL record. ... New England has 506 points, the fourth time it has reached 500, also a league mark. ... San Francisco had allowed only 184 points going into the game, lowest in the league. ... Brady's 65 throws are a career high.​

    Full Game YouTube Video


    Sun Dec 16, 2007 at 1:00
    Week 15, Game 14 at Gillette
    Patriots 20, Jets 10
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Eric Mangini
    QBs: Tom Brady, Chad Pennington
    Odds: New England favored by 20½

    Pats improve to 14-0
    Jets drop to 3-11

    This time BB shook Freudo's hand and even gave him a small hug. It was the first game between the two teams since the Jets called the NFL league offices in an event that would dominate the sports headlines for months, to become known as spygate.

    Laurence Maroney ran for 104 yards and a touchdown on a cold and windy day that began with snow, which turned to sleet, and eventually freezing cold rain. Randy Moss had five catches for 79 yards but Tom Brady seemed to force the ball to Moss in this game, targeting him 13 times in the 27 passes he threw.

    ESPN Recap

    Eugene Wilson is the 21st Patriot to score a touchdown this season, tying the NFL record set by the Los Angeles Rams in 1987 and Denver Broncos in 2000. ... Brad Smith threw his first pass in his two pro seasons. ... Brady remained five touchdown passes short of breaking Peyton Manning's record of 49. Randy Moss still needs four scoring catches to break Jerry Rice's mark of 22.​


    Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 9:00
    Week 15, Game 14 at The Coliseum
    Titans 24, Patriots 7
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Jeff Fisher
    QBs: Tom Brady, Steve McNair
    Odds: Tennessee favored by 2½

    Pats drop to 8-6, one game behind Miami
    Titans improve to 9-5, T-1st with Colts

    The Patriots had their worst game of the year, setting season-lows for points scored (7), total yardage (176) and time of possession (18:30). With the loss the Pats dropped into second place, one game behind Miami. Prior to this game the Patriots had won three straight and five of their last six, overcoming an early season slump when they lost four in a row.

    Sun Dec 16, 2001 at 1:00
    Week 14, Game 14 at The Ralph
    Patriots 12, Bills 9 in OT
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Gregg Williams
    QBs: Tom Brady, Alex Van Pelt
    Odds: New England favored by 4

    Pats improve to 9-5, a half game behind 9-4 Miami
    Buffalo drops to 2-11, 5th in AFC East

    See the previous post for more on this game.

    Sat Dec 16, 1995 at 12:30
    Week 16, Game 15 at Three Rivers Stadium
    Steelers 41, Patriots 27
    Head Coaches: Bill Parcells, Bill Cowher
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Neil O'Donnell
    Odds: Pittsburgh favored by 9½

    Pats drop to 6-9, four games behind Buffalo
    Steelers improve to 11-4, five game lead in AFC Central

    In an attempt to thwart Pittsburgh's five-wide spread offense, Bill Parcells made every defensive back on the roster active for this game. The Steeler offense included rookie Kordell Stewart, who completed a 32-yard pass and ran for a 22-yard touchdown.

    Late in the first half the Patriots were unable to get into the red zone after having a first and goal at the nine, settling for a 22-yard Matt Bahr field goal. That gave the Pats a 6-3 lead with 2:15 left in the half, then things would turn dramatically. Neil O'Donnell completed a 28-yard pass to Ernie Mills, then on 3rd and ten hit Yancey Thigpen for a 14 yard TD.

    The Patriots got the ball back 1:13 to go, and three complete passes moved the Pats past midfield. On the next play Drew Bledsoe was sacked and fumbled, with Pittsburgh recovering and running the ball in for a 46 yard touchdown. In a span of sixty seconds the Steelers scored 14 points to head into halftime with an 11-point lead rather than a 3-point deficit.

    The Patriots battled back in the fourth quarter. Ben Coates caught his second touchdown of the game, and Curtis Martin (who ran for 120 yards, averaging 6.0 ypc) scored on a 22-yard pass from Bledsoe. Dave Meggett's catch on the extra point tied the game at 27.

    After a pair of three-and-outs, Pittsburgh began its drive on their own 32 with 2:51 left to play in regulation. Then on 2nd-and-4 O'Donnell connected with Ernie Mills for a 62 yard touchdown, and the lead. After the kickoff Bledsoe hit Coates for a short gain but he was stripped of the ball. Chris Oldham picked up the fumble and ran it in 23 yards for the score to seal a Pittsburgh victory.

  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Dec 16 Games, Part 3: 1960's-1980's

    Mon Dec 16, 1985 at 9:00
    Week 15, Game 15 at the Orange Bowl
    Dolphins 30, Patriots 27
    Head Coaches: Raymond Berry, Don Shula
    QBs: Tony Eason, Dan Marino
    Odds: Miami favored by 5

    Pats drop to 10-5, T-2 with the Jets
    Dolphins improve to 11-4, 1st place in AFC East

    The Patriots had an opportunity to clinch the AFC East, had not won in their last 17 games in Miami - a streak going back to 1966. While Miami came away victorious on a 47 yard Fuad Reveiz field goal late, that streak would come to a crashing halt two weeks later in the famous Squish the Fish Game. The winning points came on a 47 yard field goal by Fuad Reveiz with 4:27 remaining to play after the Patriots opted to force a 4th down, rather take a 5-yard penalty and give Dan Marino another chance at a first down or more.

    The fourth quarter was a wild back-and-forth affair, with a total of 27 points being scored. The Patriots were down by 14 but rallied with a one-yard TD run by Mosi Tatupu, followed by a 15-yard fumble recovery and return on the kickoff by Cedric Jones to tie the score at 27.

    Glenn Blackwood picked off an overthrown pass intended for Derrick Ramsey on a questionable decision - he had open receivers underneath - with 54 seconds remaining to end the final drive. It was Blackwood's second pick for Miami, and Eason's third interception of the game. It came one play after Eason was fortunate to come away with an incomplete pass after throwing into triple coverage, and the Pats already on the cusp of Tony Franklin's range for a game tying field goal.

    Dolphins Kick Away The Patriots | Chicago Tribune

    Full Game Video below, called by Frank Gifford, Joe Namath and OJ Simpson:

    Sun Dec 16, 1984 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 16 at Sullivan Stadium
    Patriots 16, Colts 10
    Head Coaches: Raymond Berry, Hal Hunter
    QBs: Tony Eason, Art Schlichter
    Odds: New England favored by 11

    Pats finish 9-7, second place behind Miami
    Indy goes 4-12; 4th place, two games ahead of Buffalo

    On a miserable day (rainy, 32 degrees, wind chill 25) in a meaningless game, Craig James ran for 138 yards to lead the Pats to a win. Tony Eason went 11-17 for 123 yards and a touchdown, but was also sacked seven times for a loss of 63 yards. Tony Franklin kicked three field goals, with Lin Dawson scoring the only Patriots touchdown on a 3-yard reception from Eason in the first half. The Patriots played keepaway in this game, controlling the ball for 38:49 while running 73 offensive plays, to just 52 for the Colts.

    This game featured two head coaches that were in-season replacements. Hunter was the offensive line coach who filled in for one game. He replaced Frank Kush, who had compiled an 11-28-1 record in three seasons. Berry had taken over in mid-season in a mildly controversial move, replacing a coach with a winning record, Ron Meyer, who was 5-3 at that time. It turned out to be the right choice of course, with the Patriots winning their first post-merger conference championship the next year.

    Sun Dec 16, 1979 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 16 at Schaefer Stadium
    Patriots 27, Vikings 23
    Head Coaches: Ron Erhardt, Bud Grant
    QBs: Steve Grogan, Tommy Kramer
    Odds: New England favored by 5

    Pats finish 9-7, one game behind Miami
    Minnesota goes 7-9, third in NFC Central

    The Patriots had already been eliminated from the playoffs the previous week, but ended Ron Erhardt's first season as head coach on a high note - with Harold Jackson the star of the day.

    Minnesota led 16-7 entering the fourth quarter. At that point the only Patriot score came back in the first quarter on a 5-yard pass from Steve Grogan to Horace Ivory. Don Calhoun scored on a 1-yard run, then the Pats took the lead on a 40-yard pass from Grogan to Jackson. The five time Pro Bowl wide receiver from Jackson State finished the game with 147 yards receiving in addition to that crucial touchdown.

    After a 42-yard John Smith field goal the Vikings scored on a 13-yard TD pass by Tommy Kramer. Bud Grant opted to kick the extra point rather than go for two, and the Pats led by one point. Smith then kicked another field goal for the fifth score of the fourth quarter, giving the Patriots a four point lead for the final score.

    The game is most memorable for being one in which Harold Jackson and Stanley Morgan combined for a Patriot franchise milestone. They became the first and second players to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in team history, doing so in the same game. Jackson finished the 1979 season with 1,013 yards receiving, and Morgan finished with 1,002.

    Two years later Morgan topped that with a 1,029 yard season. In 1986 he set a new franchise record that would stand for 21 years, with 1,491 yards. Today that still ranks third most in team history, behind only Randy Moss (1,493 in 2007) and Wes Welker (1,569 in 2,011).

    Sun Dec 16, 1973 at 1:00
    Week 14, Game 14 at Memorial Stadium
    Colts 18, Patriots 13
    Head Coaches: Chuck Fairbanks, Howard Schnellenberger
    QBs: Jim Plunkett, Marty Domres

    Pats drop to 5-9, 3rd place in AFC East
    Baltimore improves to 4-10, T-4th with the Jets

    On a rainy day with a wind chill of 23, neither team was able to do much passing the ball. Baltimore was far superior on the ground though, rushing for 211 yards on 50 carries - while holding the Pats to 50 yards rushing. The Colts controlled the ball most of the game with Lydell Mitchell gaining 142 yards, 5th most in his career. Baltimore was able to run 71 offensive plays to just 48 for the Pats, with a 19-10 advantage in first downs.

    Despite the disparity the Patriots were still in it late. Jim Plunkett threw touchdown passes to Randy Vataha and Mack Herron to give the Patriots a 13-9 lead entering the 4th quarter, but Marty Domres led the Colts to a come from behind win.

    Mack Herron gained 210 all-purpose yards for the Pats, including 95 yards on eight receptions. The Colts completely neutralized Sam Cunningham, limiting him to 17 yards on nine carries. In a major oddity in the modern football era there were four touchdowns in this game - but only one successful extra point.

    Sun Dec 16, 1962 at 4:00
    Week 15, Game 14 at Frank Youell Field
    Raiders 20, Patriots 0
    Head Coaches: Mike Holovak, Red Conkright
    QBs: Tom Yewcic, Cotton Davidson

    Pats finish 9-4-1; 2nd in AFL East, 1½ games behind 11-3 Houston
    Raiders finish 1-13, 4th place in AFL West

    The previous day the Houston Oilers had demolished the 5-win Titans of New York 44-10 at the Polo Ground to clinch the AFL East. In so doing the Patriots were eliminated from the playoffs; at that time the postseason consisted of a single championship game, East versus West.

    With nothing to play for on a rainy day, the adrenaline was low and it showed on the field of play. Babe Parilli was unable to play due to injury for the second straight week, so Tom Yewcic took over at quarterback in addition to his punting duties. The Pats turned the ball over five times, did not gain a first down until the second half, and averaged just 2.9 yards per play against the worst team in the league. Gino Cappelletti went 0-4 on field goal attempts and Oakland avoided the ignominy of a winless season with the first shutout in Patriot franchise history, ending a 19-game losing streak.

    In the offseason the Raiders would hire their fourth head coach in four seasons, a 33 year old offensive assistant with the Chargers from Brockton, Massachusetts: Al Davis. The turnaround was instantaneous: the Raiders improved from 1-13 to 10-4 in 1963.

    1962: Raiders Defeat Patriots in Season Finale to End 19-Game Losing Streak

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  4. Actual Pats Fan

    Actual Pats Fan Supporter Supporter

    May 26, 2016
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    Today, December 18, marks the 43rd anniversary of one of the trio of the saddest days in Patriots history, which like countless others in team history remain critical in importance due to profound ignorance and dishonor of the people, players and fans who contributed and sacrificed for team success and, beyond being unrecognized, are often baselessly denigrated.

    1976–77 NFL playoffs - Wikipedia

    Divisional playoffs[edit source]
    December 18, 1976[edit source]
    AFC: Oakland Raiders 24, New England Patriots 21[edit source]
    Game summary
    2 3 4 Total
    Patriots 7 0 14 0 21
    3 7 0 14 24
    at Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California

    The Raiders stormed into the 1976 playoffs in dominant form, with an NFL-best 13-1 record. However, their only loss of the season was to New England, a brutal 48-17 thrashing in week 4. New England finished the year with an 11-3 record, a spectacular turnaround after going 3-11 the previous season, to make their first playoff appearance since 1963.

    The Raiders overcame an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to win on quarterback Ken Stabler's 1-yard touchdown run with 14 seconds left in the game.

    Raiders return man Neal Colzie gave his team an early scoring opportunity by returning a New England punt 24 yards to the Pats 46-yard line. Oakland was unable to move the ball, and despite a solid Ray Guy punt that pinned the Patriots back at their own 14-yard line, their defense could not stop them from driving 86 yards in 10 plays to take a 7-0 lead on Andy Johnson's 1-yard rushing touchdown. The key plays of the drive were a spectacular one-handed 48-yard catch by tight end Russ Francis on 3rd down and 7 from the Patriots 33-yard line, and a 24-yard 3rd down reception by receiver Darryl Stingley. On Oakland's next possession, Stabler's completions to Fred Biletnikoff and Cliff Branch for gains of 22 and 17 yards set up Errol Mann's 40-yard field goal, making the score 7-3 with 1:14 left in the first quarter.

    The score would not change until near the end of the second quarter, after Oakland defensive back Skip Thomas made a clutch interception in his own red zone from Steve Grogan and returned it 18 yards to the Raiders 24. Oakland subsequently drove 76 yards in 8 plays to score on Stabler's 31-yard touchdown pass to Biletnikoff with 45 seconds left in the half, giving the Raiders a 10-7 halftime lead.

    New England regrouped in the second half. After forcing Oakland to punt on their opening drive, Grogan led the Patriots 80 yards in 9 plays to score on his 26-yard touchdown completion to Francis. The Raiders had to punt again on their next possession, and New England got the ball with good field position on their own 45, where they drove 55 yards in 10 plays (aided by an offsides penalty on linebacker Ted Hendricks that allowed them to keep possession after a punt play) to go up 21-10 on Jess Phillips' 3-yard rushing touchdown with 1:13 left in the third period.

    Oakland responded by driving 70 yards in 8 plays. Stabler was a perfect 5/5 passing on the drive, including a 17-yard completion to Biletnikoff on the last play of the third quarter, as the team cut their deficit to 21-17 on running back Mark Van Eeghen's 1-yard touchdown run. After an exchange of punts, New England got the ball on their own 48 with a huge chance to increase their lead or run out the clock to win the game. After driving to the Raiders 28, Grogan appeared to pick up a first down on a QB sneak, but it was nullified by an offsides penalty against fullback Sam Cunningham. Cunningham was then stuffed on a draw during the next play. Now on 4th down, the Patriots decided to gamble on a 50-yard field goal attempt by John Smith, but his kick was no good, giving the ball back to Oakland with good field position and 4:12 left on the clock.

    Stabler then led the Raiders 68 yards for the game-winning score. Several key completions, including a 12-yard catch by Branch and a 21-yard reception by tight end Dave Casper, gave the team a first down on the Patriots 28-yard line. But on the next play, Stabler was sacked for an 8-yard loss by DT Mel Lunsford. After an incompletion, Oakland faced 3rd and 18 on the 36-yard line. Stabler threw an incomplete pass on the next play, but it was eliminated by a controversial roughing the passer penalty called by referee Ben Dreith on nose tackle Ray "Sugar Bear" Hamilton, giving Oakland a first down on the Pats 13 with 57 seconds remaining. Following a 5-yard catch by Casper and a 4-yard run by Clarence Davis, a personal foul penalty on safety Prentice McCray brought up first and goal at the 1-yard line. Now with time running out, Stabler faked a handoff to running back Pete Banaszak, who was stuffed at the line of scrimmage, and rolled to the left. Led by guard Gene Upshaw, Stabler dove into the end zone with 14 seconds left to give the Raiders a 24-21 lead. Linebacker Monte Johnson then sealed the win with an interception on the last play of the game.[1]

    Biletnikoff finished the game with 9 receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown. Francis had 4 catches for 96 yards and a score. Stabler completed 19/32 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions, and scored a rushing touchdown as well.

    Penalties played a huge role in the game. New England had 10 penalties, while the Raiders had 11. "That was one of the worst-called games I have ever seen in my life," said an angry Patriots DE Julius Adams. "I just hope they were right", Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks said about the roughing the passer call against Ray Hamilton on Oakland's game-winning drive. "It looked to me like Ray Hamilton hit the ball first. If he did deflect the ball, it was an incorrect call." Later on, he added "I’m proud of my team and the way we played today. We’re going home knowing we played our hearts out."

    "That's what you say," said Raiders Coach John Madden when the Pats' complaints were brought to his attention by a writer. "If you could sit there for 60 minutes and say the officials turned that game around with penalties at the end, you were wasting your time. You were eating a hot dog somewhere instead of watching what was going on. There was some great football out there."[2]


    That last quote is by far the biggest pile of horse manure that ever came out of John Madden's mouth.

    The other two unfortunate days referred to above are August 12, 1978, and March 31, 1993.

    The tragic near-death and paralysis of Darryl Stingley, which, especially in retrospect, you could see coming a mile away looking at Tatum's and the Raiders' play and behavior particularly against the Patriots in the previous two seasons; and the murder of our logo and uniforms which a packed Schaefer Stadium crowd unanimously and vehemently voted against.
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  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    The Dan Connolly Kickoff Return

    Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 8:30
    Week 15, Game 14 at Gillette
    Patriots 31, Packers 27
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Mike McCarthy
    QBs: Tom Brady, Matt Flynn
    Odds: New England favored by 14½

    Pats improve to 12-2
    Green Bay drops to 8-6

    The Dan Connolly kickoff return set up a short touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Aaron Hernandez just before halftime, pulling the Pats within three. Kyle Arrington's 36 yard interception return gave the Pats a 21-17 lead early in the third quarter, but Green Bay came back and regained the lead 27-21 early in the fourth quarter.

    After a Shayne Graham field goal the Pats took the lead for good on a six-play drive that included a 16-yard pass to Deion Branch and four Danny Woodhead plays that gained 37 yards. The drive culminated with a second touchdown pass to AH, this one for ten yards.

    Green Bay began the final possession of the game at their 43 with 4:22 remaining. A Brandon Meriweather interception was negated by an illegal use of the hands penalty on Tully Banta-Cain, and the Packers advanced to the 15 yard line with five seconds to play. TBC redeemed himself with a sack on Flynn, causing a fumble that was recovered by Vince Wilfork to end the game.

    This is also known as the Matt Flynn Game, when the unknown 7th round draft pick made his first NFL start as a sub for Aaron Rodgers. Flynn threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns, completing 65% of his passes and nearly pulling off a huge upset.

    Flynn had another good game in his second NFL start a year later, and based on those two outings was able to sign a 3-year $26 million contract with $10 million guaranteed with Seattle in 2012. Flynn was expected to start for the Seahawks but rookie Russell Wilson outperformed him in training camp - and the rest is history, with the career paths of those two going in polar opposite directions.

    Sun Dec 19, 1999 at 1:00
    Week 15, Game 14 at Veterans Stadium
    Eagles 24, Patriots 9
    Head Coaches: Pete Carroll, Andy Reid
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Koy Detmer
    Odds: New England favored by 3½

    Pats drop to 7-7, 4th in AFC East
    Philadelphia improves to 4-11, 5th in NFC East

    Tony Simmons fumbled away the opening kickoff, foreshadowing how this game was going to be played out. When it was all over the Pats had turned the ball over seven times (including four interceptions by Drew Bledsoe), fumbled the ball five times, allowed six sacks. The weather (14 mph wind, wind chill of zero) had something to do with it, but scoring opportunities were constantly blown and four possessions lasted for two or fewer plays.

    The uninspired loss, combined with wins by Miami over San Diego and Buffalo over Arizona put the Patriots two games behind the Dolphins and Bills with two games to go in the wild card race. The lackluster performance may have been nail in the coffin for Pete Carroll, who was fired two weeks later on January 3. The last half of the 1999 season was an underwhelming, with the Patriots finishing with just two wins in their last eight games after a promising 6-2 start.

    Sun Dec 19, 1993 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 14 at Municipal Stadium
    Patriots 20, Browns 17
    Head Coaches: Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Vinny Testaverde
    Odds: Cleveland favored by 3½

    Pats improve to 3-11, 5th in AFC East
    Browns drop to 6-8, 3rd in AFC Central

    The 1993 season was one of turmoil for the Browns. Belichick benched fan and media favorite Bernie Kosar and replaced him with Testaverde, later inserted Kosar back into the starting role when Vinny was injured, then eventually released Kosar before the season was over.

    As for the game, Bledsoe threw 28 incomplete passes and an interception, yet the Pats still managed to win. Cleveland led 14-3 early on a pair of touchdown passes from Testaverde to Keenan McCardell, but the Browns ended up turning the ball over three times. The winning points came on a four yard run by Leonard Russell in the fourth quarter to give the Pats a narrow victory.

    Sun Dec 19, 1982 at 4:00
    Week 15, Game 7 at the Seattle Kingdome
    Patriots 16, Seahawks 0
    Head Coaches: Ron Meyer, Mike McCormack
    QBs: Steve Grogan, Jim Zorn
    Odds: Seattle favored by 4

    Pats improve to 4-3, one game behind Dolphins and Jets
    Seahawks drop to 3-4, 3rd place in AFC West

    The Patriot defense dominated this game, limiting Seattle to 53 yards rushing and just 171 total yards of offense, while forcing six turnovers. While the Pats found the end zone just once, they held more than a two-to-one advantage in first downs (25-12) and total yards (393-171). The Patriots ran over the Seattle defense to the tune of 249 yards, led by Tony Collins (103 yards) and Mark Van Eeghen (12 carries for 82 yards and a 5-yard touchdown catch).

    Sun Dec 19, 1971 at 1:00
    Week 14, Game 14 at Memorial Stadium
    Patriots 21, Colts 17
    Head Coaches: John Mazur, Don McCafferty
    QBs: Jim Plunkett, Johnny Unitas

    Pats improve to 6-8, 3rd in AFC East
    Baltimore drops to 10-4, a half game behind Miami

    The Patriots shocked Baltimore on the final game of the 1971 regular season, relegating the Colts to a wild card team going on the road rather than staying at home for the first round of the playoffs. The victory marked the first time the Patriots defeated an original NFL/non-AFL team in the regular season in franchise history.

    John Outlaw intercepted a Johnny Unitas pass and took it back 60 yards for a score, giving the Pats a 14-3 halftime lead. Then in the fourth quarter Jim Plunkett hit Randy Vataha for their second touchdown of the game, an 88-yard bomb that left Baltimore fans speechless. Eddie Hinton caught his second touchdown of the day from Untas to narrow the gap but the Patriots held on for a four-point upset victory.

    The 1971 Patriots were a glimmer of hope for Patriot fans, with three fantastic upset victories over the Raiders, Dolphins and Colts. Jim Plunkett would be named Rookie of the Year, and he and Randy Vataha had become fan favorites. The Pats would take a step backwards the following year, though the departure of John Mazur did create an opening to hire Chuck Fairbanks - and some very good teams a few years later.

  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Bob Windsor
    and other Dec 19 Birthdays

    Happy 77th birthday to Bob Windsor
    Born Dec 19, 1942 in Washington, DC
    Patriot TE, 1972-1975; uniform #86
    Acquired July 31, 1972 from 49ers for a 1974 first round pick (Wilbur Jackson)

    The name Bob Windsor will always bring a smile to old time fans of the Patriots. The tight end scored a touchdown on what may have been the greatest play by a Patriot in the 20th century.

    On This Day: Bob Windsor lays his career on the line for the game-winning score |

    “[Vikings safety] Paul Krause came up from safety and hit me, and I knew immediately my right leg was done, so I kept it in the air, spun and pushed off with my left leg and used my last breath to throw myself into the end zone, hoping I could get there.

    “Windsor was not only hit, but he was twisting and dragging the guy and fighting to get to the goal line,” Hobson said.

    “He gave it everything he had on that one play. You don’t see that kind of play very often.”

    “None of us expected to have anybody at the airport, but when we walked through the terminal, there were hundreds, maybe even a thousand people waiting for us, cheering. It was just an explosion of emotion, especially when Bob Windsor was wheeled out. This guy had just made one of the great plays in New England Patriots history.”

    The Minnesota victory gave the Patriots a level of credibility – internal and external – they had lacked to that point in their history.

    “I think that win instilled in that core group of players the belief that we could beat anybody, any place, any time,” Vataha said.​

    Windsor's Special Team | Washington Post

    In a 1974 game against the Minnesota Vikings, Windsor was responsible for one of the most famous plays in Patriots history. A Boston Globe columnist called it one of the most memorable plays in his 35 years of covering sports in New England.

    It was also one of the last plays of Windsor's career. New England trailed Minnesota, 14-10, with eight seconds left in the game and had the ball at the Vikings 10-yard line. Windsor caught a pass from Jim Plunkett at the Vikings 2, where he was hit by Hall of Fame safety Paul Krause and another player. Windsor managed to score -- dragging Krause into the end zone with him -- as time expired to give the Patriots a 17-14 victory.

    But Krause's hit tore the ligaments in Windsor's knee. His season was over. He never recovered from the injury and retired after the following season. ​

    Bob Windsor's All-Pro Sports

    Fast forward to about 4:45

    Happy 71st birthday to Dennis Coleman
    Born Dec 19, 1948 in Aberdeen, Mississippi
    Patriot LB, 1971; uniform #53
    Claimed off waivers from Miami on Sept 1, 1971

    Dennis Coleman was a sixth round draft pick by the Dolphins in '71, from Ole Miss. He played in nine games for the Patriots that year, and the rest of the season on the taxi squad. The Pats cut him early in the 1972 training camp.He re-signed with Miami and was later with the Colts, but never appeared in another NFL game.

    Happy 39th birthday to Eddie Jackson
    Born Dec 19, 1980 in Americus, Georgia
    Patriot safety in 2007; uniform #29
    Signed as a veteran free agent on March 19, 2007

    Jackson began the 2007 season the PUP list due to a knee injury he had suffered the previous year with Miami. He was activated on November 7 and played in three games with three tackles, before being released on December 19. Eddie played in 42 NFL games over four seasons, with 41 tackles, five pass deflections and two fumble recoveries.

    Eddie Jackson goes from NFL to 'Food Network Star' winner | Sporting News

    Jackson was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Panthers in 2004. He spent 2005 and 2006 in Miami, but tore his ACL near the end of the '06 season and wasn't re-signed. The Patriots inked him to a two-year deal in 2007, but he broke his wrist. New England, too, chose to not bring Jackson back. He tried a comeback with the Redskins in 2008, but Jackson said he was never the same after the knee injury.

    At 28, his NFL career was over. It marked the end of his life as a professional athlete -- and the beginning of his life as a cook.

    Jackson eventually discovered where he could shine. He owns the Caribbean Grill food truck in Houston, focusing on island barbecue, and also has a private gym.​

    Jackson has appeared on television for The Food Network since 2015.
    Eddie Jackson
    22 Things You Didn't Know About Eddie Jackson
    Eddie Jackson Bio

    Happy 61st birthday to Dino Mangiero
    Born Dec 19, 1958 in New York City
    Patriot NT in 1987; uniform #96

    Dino was credited for playing in two games for the Pats, with a sack registered in a 14-7 victory over the Bills. Mangiero was in the NFL from 1980-87, mostly with the Chiefs; he caught on with the Pats at the tail end of his career. He later became a high school football head coach in New Jersey.

    Other pro football players with ties to New England born on this date:

    Alex Sidorik (1919-1980)
    Born and raised in Hartford, went to Weaver HS in Hartford
    After playing collegiately at Mississippi State, Sidorik spent three seasons in the NFL. After the war the tackle was drafted by the Boston Yanks; he played in Boston for one year, two more with Baltimore before calling it quits at the age of 30.
    Alex Sidorik

    Sean Jones, 57 (1962)
    Sean played on the offensive line his first two years at Northeastern, and then on he defensive line as a junior and senior. Jones also played basketball and lacrosse for the Huskies. He was drafted in the second round, 51st overall by the Raiders in 1984. Jones spent 13 seasons in the NFL, appearing in 201 games. He was a Pro Bowl DE for the Houston Oilers in 1993, and won a Super Bowl ring following the 1996 season with the Packers versus the Patriots. Jones had been working with a sports talk radio station in Houston until last year.

    John Johnson, 24 (1995)
    Boston College
    A third round draft pick in 2017, Johnson is a safety for the Los Angeles Rams.

    Some other notable pro football players sharing this birth date include:

    Bobby Layne
    Reggie White
    Randall McDaniel
    Warren Sapp
    Michael Bates
    Jake Plummer

    Elsewhere in the NFL on this date:

  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Patriot D, backup RBs beat Tennessee
    Dolphins Shock Pats in Miami
    Joe Namath wants to kiss Suzy Kolber

    Sun Dec 20, 2015 at 1:00
    Week 15, Game 14 at Gillette
    Patriots 33, Titans 16
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Mike Mularkey
    QBs: Tom Brady; Zach Mettenberger, Marcus Mariota
    Odds: New England favored by 14

    Pats improve to 12-2, 3 games ahead of Jets
    Tennessee drops to 3-11, 1 game behind Baltimore

    The Patriots clinched a first round bye with the victory over Tennessee coupled with Denver's loss at Pittsburgh. The Pats can clinch the number one seed with a victory in either of their final two games, or with a Cincinnati (11-3) loss.

    The Pats won the coin toss and deferred, then forced a 3-and-out. With Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount on IR due to knee injuries, James White, Brandon Bolden and Joey Iosefa split snaps at running back. Bolden handled the ball on six of the first nine plays, and Tom Brady also found Brandon LaFell for gains on ten yards and 29 yards. Brady then hit Gronk for 13 yards, and three plays later for a five yard touchdown.

    After a pair of punts Tennessee was attempting to avoid their second three-and-out. Chandler Jones (2 sacks, 1 QB Hit, 1 TFL) sacked rookie Marcus Mariota, forcing a fumble. The ball bounced backwards to the end zone where Akiem Hicks recovered for a TD. Hicks also had a timely sack on the previous drive that led to Tennessee having to punt.

    Jabaal Sheard stopped Tennessee on 3rd-and-1 to force another Titans punt, but Danny Amendola fumbled the ball away. On third down Jamie Collins sacked Mariota, sidelining the quarterback for the remainder of the game with a knee strain. Collins would finish the game tied with Patrick Chung with seven tackles, and also have a QB hit and pass deflection.

    Tennessee was able to get on the board with a field goal, but Keshawn Martin ran the ensuing kickoff back 75 yards. Two plays later Brady found James White for a 30 yard catch and run for the third New England touchdown of the game. Stephen Gostkowski connected on the first of his four field goals later to put the Patriots up 24-3 at halftime.

    The Patriot offense bogged down in the second half, and after a 57 yard touchdown pass from Zach Mettenberger to Delanie Walker the score was 27-16 midway through the fourth quarter. On the next drive Brady connected with LaFell for a 31 yard gain to set up a 42 yard field goal, giving the Pats a 14-point lead. Mettenberger connected for a couple first downs and then Jamie Collins picked off a pass intended for Walker, returning it 51 yards to the Tennessee 16 yard line. Joey Iosefa got the ball on three straight runs to wind the clock down, and Gostkowski connected on a 32 yard field goal for the final score.

    Patriots hold top spot in AFC with 33-16 win over Titans | Sports Illustrated

    4:05 Highlights:

    Full Game:

    Sun Dec 20, 2009 at 1:00
    Week 15, Game 14 at Ralph Wilson Stadium
    Patriots 17, Bills 10
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Perry Fewell
    QBs: Tom Brady, Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Odds: New England favored by 7

    Pats improve to 9-5
    Buffalo drops to 5-9

    The Patriot defense led the way to victory on a cold (wind chill 22) day in Orchard Park. Tully Banta-Cain had six tackles (three for a loss), three quarterback hits and three of the six sacks on Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jerod Mayo led the team with nine tackles, Leigh Bodden had two passes defensed and a forced fumble, and Jonathan Wilhite had an interception and pass deflection. The Patriots limited Buffalo to two just third down conversions in the game and kept the Bills out of the end zone until just over three minutes remaining.

    Offensively Randy Moss had five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown, Laurence Maroney rushed for 81 yards and a TD, and Wes Welker had a key 8-yard reception to seal the win.

    Things did get too close for comfort late. The Patriots had first down at the Buffalo 13, but gained only one yard on three plays, settling for a 30-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal and a 17-3 lead with 4:43 to go in the third quarter.

    The Pats went three and out on their next two drives, with Buffalo taking over on their 46 yard line after a 26 yard Chris Hanson punt. Fitzpatrick hit Josh Reed for 29 yards and the Bills had first down at the Patriot 12 yard line. After an incomplete pass to Lee Evans, Mayo and Banta-Cain stopped Marshawn Lynch to set up 3rd-and-nine. Bodden knocked away a pass intended for Evans, and the Pats took over after a 4th down pass to Reed was incomplete.

    Sam Aiken was called for holding on a first down run, backing the Pats up to their 8-yard line. Maroney gained two yards, and Buffalo called their second timeout with 4:02 to play. Brady threw two incomplete passes and the Pats had to punt again, having used up just 32 seconds off the clock.

    This punt was not much better than the last one, traveling 38 yards - and then returned 20 yards by Roscoe Parrish to the Patriot 28 yard line. Fitzpatrick connected with Reed on the right for 17 yards and Evans to the left for 11, and the two-play scoring drive brought Buffalo within seven points with 3:02 to play.

    Buffalo recovered the onside kick but Aaron Maybin was flagged for being offsides. The Bills then kicked off downfield, with New England taking over at the 28 with 2:55 remaining. The Bills used their final timeout between two runs by Maroney, setting up a 3rd-and-6. Brady found Wes Welker for eight yards and a first down, setting up three kneel downs to end the game.

    Moss, Banta-Cain Lead Pats to 17-10 Win Over Bills | WBUR

    So much for all those accusing Randy Moss of quitting. Same thing for anyone wondering whether the New England Patriots are vulnerable this season.

    A week after being accused of giving up by Carolina Panthers defenders, Moss bounced back with five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown in a 17-10 win Sunday. And Tully Banta-Cain anchored a banged-up defense with a three sacks in a victory that lacked style points, but accomplished what's most important by inching the AFC East-leading Patriots (9-5) closer to clinching a playoff berth. ...

    Actually, the Bills played a big role in beating themselves. Buffalo was undone by 11 penalties for 124 yards, including a pair of pass-interference calls that set up New England's first two TDs.

    Whitner was flagged for interfering with Moss at the Bills 3. That set up Brady hitting Moss for a 13-yard touchdown for a 7-3 lead. Laurence Maroney scored on a 1-yard run, a touchdown set up after Buffalo's Reggie Corner was flagged for interfering with Wes Welker on a deep pass into the end zone.

    Buffalo's 104 yards in penalties in the first half were the most by an NFL team in an opening half this season.​

    Patriots Down Bills 17-10 With Sturdy Defense, Balanced Attack | NESN

    Key Moment: Up 7-3 with just over three minutes to go in the second quarter, Jonathan Wilhite picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick's intended pass for Josh Reed at the New England 36-yard line. Brady and the offense built off that play and marched 64 yards downfield to score their second — and eventual game-winning — touchdown of the quarter and make it 14-3 at the half.​

    3:34 Highlights:

    Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 9:00
    Week 15, Game 14 at Pro Player Stadium
    Dolphins 29, Patriots 28
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Jim Bates
    QBs: Tom Brady, A.J. Feeley
    Odds: New England favored by 10

    Pats drop to 12-2; 1 game behind Pitt for #1 seed; 2 ahead of Jets in AFCE
    Miami improves to 3-11

    The 2-11 Dolphins shocked the 12-1 Pats, who were favored by 10, on Monday Night Football. The loss put the Patriots one game behind 13-1 Pittsburgh in the AFC playoff race. It was just the second loss in the last 29 games for New England. It was also the first time in 32 games that the Patriots lost after leading at halftime.

    The Pats were up 28-17 with 3:59 left to play after Tom Brady's 2-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Graham. Miami came back with a quick 68-yard scoring drive, making it 28-24 with 2:01 to play. Jason Taylor pressured Brady on third down, and TB12 threw an ill-advised pass as Taylor hit his arm rather than take the sack. Brendon Ayanbadejo picked the pass off, and Miami had the ball at the Patriot 21 yard line. On 4th and 10 with 1:23 to go, A.J. Feeley connected with Derrius Thompson, who was being covered by Troy Brown, for the winning score.

    Brady finished with four interceptions and no touchdowns. The only other time that has ever happened in his career was the 2003 'They Hate Their Coach Game'. In both instances Brady and the Patriots recovered, going on to win the Super Bowl.

    On a side note, Bill Belichick saw more of a certain Miami player that he would make a point of acquiring. Wes Welker returned a punt 71 yards to the 2-yard line to set up Miami's first touchdown. Welker had 226 return yards on the day (averaged 27.8 yards on five kickoffs, and two punt returns for 87 yards). Earlier in the season Welker stepped in to take over kicking duties (3 kickoffs, 1-1 PAT, 1-1 FG) against the Patriots when Olindo Mare was injured, in addition to returning five kickoffs and five punts.

    Patriots Upset by the Dolphins, 29-28 | Los Angeles Times

    Their running back quit, their coach resigned and their season is a shambles. But for some reason the Miami Dolphins kept trying against the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, even when they trailed by 11 points with three minutes left.

    And so the Dolphins staged a stunning comeback Monday night. With Tom Brady’s ugly interception providing an opening, Miami scored two touchdowns in the final 2 minutes 7 seconds to beat the Patriots, 29-28.

    Much-maligned A.J. Feeley threw for the game-winning score, a 21-yard pass to Derrius Thompson on fourth and 10 with 1:23 left.

    The Patriots appeared to clinch the win when Brady threw his third touchdown pass, a two-yarder to Daniel Graham for a 28-17 lead with 3:59 left.​

    Woeful Dolphins Stun Defending Champions | New York Times

    New England (12-2), which has already clinched the AFC East, lost ground to Pittsburgh (13-1) in the race for a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage. The defeat was just the second in 29 games for the defending Super Bowl champions.

    Brady's fourth interception, a desperation throw picked off by Arturo Freeman with 58 seconds left, sealed the upset. The takeaways offset a 121-yard rushing performance by New England's Corey Dillon.

    New England lost after leading at halftime for the first time in 32 games.

    The game was one of the coldest ever at Pro Player Stadium, with the temperature 52 degrees at kickoff and then falling into the 40s. But the Patriots were raring to go, as usual, scoring first in their 19th consecutive game to extend an NFL record.

    Brady threw two touchdown passes after they fell behind 17-14 midway through the third quarter. The Patriots needed only five minutes to regain the lead, with Brady directing a 71-yard march capped by a 2-yard scoring pass to Dillon.

    Miami's first four possessions through the first 23 minutes netted minus 2 yards. But Wes Welker's 71-yard punt return to the 2 set up a touchdown dive by Morris on the next play for a 7-all tie.

    New England regained the lead midway through the second quarter on Dillon's 3-yard touchdown run to cap a 50-yard drive.​

    23:18 Highlight Video (Al Michaels, John Madden):

    Sat Dec 20, 2003 at 8:30
    Week 16, Game 15 at Giants Stadium
    Patriots 21, Jets 16
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Herm Edwards
    QBs: Tom Brady, Chad Pennington
    Odds: New England favored by 3

    Pats improve to 13-2; one game over KC for #1 seed
    Jets drop to 6-9; tied with Bills, three behind Miami

    David Givens caught two touchdown passes and Willie McGinest intercepted Chad Pennington for a 16-yard pick-six to down the Jets at Exit 44W. It was the 200th Sunday Night Football game in ESPN history. Their very first televised NFL game was also at the Meadowlands in 1987, between the Giants and Patriots.

    The outcome of the game took a back seat to the halftime festivities. The Jets had planned a halftime ceremony to acknowledge the newly elected all-time players in franchise history. Joe Namath had apparently been imbibing before the game more than raucous tailgaters that arrive in the parking lot three hours before kickoff in preparation for the honor. Suzy Kolber attempted to interview Joe Namath, who was only interested in kissing the sideline reporter. Aside from the infamous 'I want to kiss you' (twice), there were a couple of other classic lines that I had forgotten about:

    Suzy Kolber: What do you think about the Jets struggling?
    Joe Namath: I couldn't care less.

    Joe Theismann: Joe's just a happy guy.
    Paul Maguire: Oh boy is he happy.​

    An Interview of Namath Takes a Strange Twist | New York Times

  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Dec 20 Games, 1960-1999

    Games played on December 20 range from forgettable performances at quarterback by Joe Kapp and Jeff Carlson, to Scott Zolak upsetting Steve Young, Jerry Rice and the 49ers, to an historic American Football League season finale.

    Sun Dec 20, 1998 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Foxboro Stadium
    Patriots 24, Forty Niners 21
    Head Coaches: Pete Carroll, Steve Mariucci
    QBs: Scott Zolak, Steve Young
    Odds: San Francisco favored by 7

    Pats improve to 9-6, tied for third
    Forty Niners drop to 11-4

    Scott Zolak's third and final victory of his NFL career was a memorable one, defeating a San Francisco team that included Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, and had set an NFL record with 16 consecutive seasons of double-digit wins. Zo was starting his first game since 1995 after Drew Bledsoe had broken his index finger.

    Young completed five passes to set up a 42 yard field goal attempt on the final play of the half. Holder and backup QB Ty Detmer couldn't handle the snap but picked the ball up, buying time as he rolled to his left, and eventually threw a 25 yard touchdown as time expired to give San Francisco a 21-14 lead.

    The Patriot defense came up with big plays in the second half. On the first Niner drive Chris Canty stood up Rice on third down, a yard short of the sticks. The Pats took over on downs on the next play after Greg Spires stopped Garrison Hearst for a loss of four. Then on the next drive Chris Carter sacked Young on third down, taking the Niners out of field goal range to force a punt.

    The next San Francisco drive was once again stifled by the defense. This time it was Willie Clay intercepting a pass thrown to Owens, and the Patriots had the ball at the 49. Zolak hit Tony Simmons on pass plays good for 20 yards and 13 yards, then threw a 5-yard touchdown to Robert Edwards. A game that San Francisco seemed to be controlling was now tied at 21 midway through the fourth quarter.

    Steve Israel sacked Young again for a loss of ten, forcing a 3-and-out on the next drive. After the Pats drive stalled it was deja vu. This time it was Greg Spires that sacked Young for a loss of then and another 3-and-out; it was the fifth sack of the game for the Patriot defense, with all leading to a punt.

    That sack pushed the Niners back to their own ten yard line, and Troy Brown returned the punt 14 yards to the San Francisco 41. Robert Edwards ran the ball four straight times, and with seven seconds remaining Adam Vinatieri kicked a 35 yard game winning field goal.

    With the victory the Patriots clinched a playoff spot. Combined with Buffalo's home loss to the Jets, the Pats tied the Bills for third place in a very competitive and crowded AFC East playoff race. The Jets remained in first place, one game ahead of Miami (who beat Denver) and two games in front of the Patriots and Bills.

    Sun Dec 20, 1992 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Riverfront Stadium
    Bengals 20, Patriots 10
    Head Coaches: David Shula, Dick MacPherson
    QBs: Jeff Carlson, David Klingler
    Odds: Cincinnati favored by 4½

    Pats drop to 2-13; tied with Seattle for worst in AFC
    Bengals improve to 5-10; fourth in AFC Central

    The two teams entered the game with a combined record of 6-22. Jeff Carlson inadvertently did his part to insure that the Patriots would get the number one pick in the 1993 draft. The lefty from Weber State went 7-20 for 60 yards (3.0 yards per attempt), no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 4.2 passer rating.

    Jon Vaughan provided the lone Patriot highlight of the afternoon with a 100-yard kickoff return for the Pats only touchdown after the Bengals had taken a 14-0 lead.

    This was actually the seventh game of the season to be coached by special teams and tight ends coach Dante Scarnecchia. Scar had taken over after MacPherson began the year 0-8 (blaming Hurricane Andrew as part of the reason for the bad start) and was hospitalized with acute diverticulitis. It required surgery that kept him from his job until the final game. MacPherson was fired in the offseason, two years into his five year contract.

    Sun Dec 20, 1987 at 1:00
    Week 15, Game 14 at Rich Stadium
    Patriots 13, Bills 7
    Head Coaches: Raymond Berry, Marv Levy
    QBs: Steve Grogan, Jim Kelly
    Odds: Buffalo favored by 4

    Pats improve to 7-7, one game behind the Colts and Dolphins
    Buffalo drops to 7-7, one game ahead of the Jets

    On a rainy day with 22 mph winds the Patriots stuck to the ground even more than they usually did in this era, patiently eeking out a six-point win.

    Steve Grogan tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Jones in the 1st quarter and Reggie Dupard ripped a 36-yard run for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter. After that the Pats defense did the rest, limiting Buffalo to just 148 total yards of offense. Garin Veris, Andre Tippett, Toby Williams and Brent Williams combined for five sacks, and Fred Marion had an interception to keep the Pats playoff hopes alive.

    The only Buffalo points came on a fumble returned 14 yards for a TD.

    After this game the AFC East entered the final two games of the 1987 season in a very unusual situation: just two games separated first place (8-6 Indy, Miami) and fifth place (6-8 Jets).

    Sun Dec 20, 1981 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 16 at Memorial Stadium
    Colts 23, Patriots 21
    Head Coaches: Ron Erhardt, Mike McCormack
    QBs: Tom Owen, Matt Cavanaugh; Bert Jones
    Odds: New England favored by 6

    Both teams finish 2-14

    If their seasons weren't bad enough, these two had to play in a wind chill of nine degrees before they could pack their bags and go home.

    The Pats 'won' by losing lost their ninth consecutive game, earning the first overall pick in the upcoming draft over the Colts. Of course they used that pick on Kenneth Sims rather than someone like Chip Banks or Mike Munchak so it wasn’t that big of a victory; at least they nailed it when they grabbed Andre Tippett in the second round. The Colts one-upped the squandering of early draft picks in '82, selecting Johnie Cooks second and Art Schlichter fourth overall.

    Bert Jones threw three touchdown passes as the Colts matched the Patriots with a final record of 2-14. Tom Owen got the start at QB in what would turn out to be his final NFL game, and threw a touchdown pass to Don Westbrook. Westbrook also caught a TD pass from Matt Cavanaugh. Those two scoring plays represent 67% of the touchdowns of Westbrook's NFL career.

    This was Ron Erhardt's final game as head coach of the Patriots. 'Fargo' (he was born in North Dakota) would go on to have 13 successful seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Giants and Steelers. He was mocked for having said the 1981 Pats were the best two-win team ever, or words to that effect, but he actually had a point. The '81 Pats had a point differential of just -48; the Colts, with the same record, were -274. Seven teams with worse point differentials had much better records. Erhardt won two college championships and two super bowls as the OC with New York. The Erhardt-Perkins offensive philosophy has stood the test of time, one of three offenses still used by the NFL today.

    Sun Dec 20, 1970 at 1:00
    Week 14, Game 14 at Riverfront Stadium
    Bengals 45, Patriots 7
    Head Coaches: John Mazur, Paul Brown
    QBs: Joe Kapp, Sam Wyche

    Patriots finish 2-12
    Bengals improve to 8-6

    On a miserable day a miserable season ended with a miserable game. The Joe Kapp Era mercifully came to an end in the Queen City on this day. Kapp went 7-for-21-for 101 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. For the Bengals Sam Wyche was 7-for-14 for just 91 yards, but he threw two touchdowns and no picks. The future head coach of the Bengals and Bucs also rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown.

    The Bengals simply annihilated the Pats, holding a 23-8 edge in first downs, a 65-47 advantage in offensive plays, and an incredible 424-149 difference in total yards. The only Patriot points came on a 12 yard pass from Kapp to Ron Sellers in the fourth quarter to avert a shutout after Cincinnati had taken a 45-0 lead.

    The Pats finished the season with a 2-12 record, worst in the league. John Mazur went 1-6 as head coach in the second half, the same as his predecessor, Clive Rush. Kapp may have set a record as the worst starting quarterback in modern NFL history. He went 1-9, throwing just three touchdowns versus an atrocious 17 interceptions in his one and only season with the Patriots. The Pats finished 26th (last) in points scored, points allowed, offensive yardage, and 23rd in yards allowed.

    Sun Dec 20, 1964 at 1:00
    Week 15, Game 14 at Fenway Park
    Bills 24, Patriots 14
    Head Coaches: Mike Holovak, Lou Saban
    QBs: Babe Parilli, Jack Kemp

    Pats finish 10-3-1
    Buffalo improves to 12-2

    This was for all intents and purposes the league championship game; the best team in the West was San Diego, who won only eight games. Buffalo would indeed go on to defeat the Chargers six days later 20-7, controlling the game throughout.

    The Patriots had defeated the Bills in a playoff tiebreaker to win the AFL East in 1963, and had also won at Buffalo 36-28 on November 15. The largest home crowd in franchise history at that time (38,021) jammed into Fenway Park in a game that was delayed for 35 minutes while crews cleared the field of snow.

    Buffalo's 6'3 251 pound fullback Cookie Gilchrist made an immediate statement, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

    On the first play from scrimmage, Gilchrist set the tone with a 9-yard run off tackle.

    "We ran a slide play," Bills back Wray Carlton told The News in 1997. "Cookie broke it to the outside, and he ran straight at Patriots cornerback Chuck Shonta. Cookie ran right over him and knocked him out cold. Shonta was laying on the field, and Cookie walked back to the huddle and said to the Patriots standing around him, 'OK, which one of you [so-and-sos] is next?'"​

    Note: for more on the great Cookie Gilchrist, how he was waived and re-signed the prior week, and why he is not more well known - or in the Hall of Fame - check out this column.

    In the first quarter Tony Romeo caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Babe Parilli. Although the Pats did not convert the extra point they were down by only one point, 7-6. In the second quarter Jack Kemp – who had earlier thrown a 57-yard touchdown pass to Elbert Dubenion – scored from one yard out, and Pete Gogolak’s 12-yard field goal made it 17-6 Bills at the half.

    In the 4th quarter Kemp scored on another one-yard run, putting the Patriots down by 18. Parilli hit Romeo again on a 15-yard touchdown and the Pats converted the 2-point conversion to close the gap to ten points. Buffalo held on to win the game, and then defeated San Diego by the score of 20-7 for their first AFL title.

    The Bills limited the Patriots to just 33 yards rushing on 11 attempts, so the Pats had to air it out. Parilli went 19-for-39 for 294 yards, with 2 touchdowns and also two picks. Jim Colclough averaged 22.3 yards per catch, with six receptions for 134 yards. The Pats picked Kemp off three times (twice by Ron Hall, once by Don Webb), but Buffalo burned time off the clock with a methodical running game (94 yards on 41 carries) once they had the lead.

    Bills too strong for Patriots, take division title | Boston Globe

    This was not an inept game for the Patriots by any means. Babe Parilli had one of his good days. He operated out of the Buffalo Gun formation (two split ends and two tight ends) and even from the shotgun, a formation Boston rarely has used in five years of play. Ordinarily, the team would have pulled this one out, only Kemp and his great offense couldn't be handled by the Patriots defense.

    An example of Boston's ability to move came right after Buffalo's first score and this was a Parilli production. He started it by hitting Artie Graham beyond midfield and he even had Larry Gannon pass on the fullback option. But it was his own ability to get loose when it looked as though he'd be creamed that made the touchdown possible.

    It was a strange season at that. Boston wound up 10-3-1 for its best record ever. But the Patriots had to settle for second to Buffalo's 12-2 because of Kemp's great day. He was 12 for 24 for 286 yards and he ran his team perfectly.

    He was the big weapon for Saban, who finally got his revenge for being fired in 1961.

    Gino Cappelletti was named the AP and UPI Player of the Year, and also earned his third (of five) trips to the AFL All-Star Game. Cappelletti led the league with 155 points scored in 1964. To this day it ranks the 16th most points scored by a player in a single season. All but one of those ranked ahead of him played a 16-game season rather than the 14-game season that was played back then. It was the third time in four years he led the AFL in scoring; the one other time he finished second. In 1964 Gino led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and shared the lead for most touchdown receptions. He was the American Football League MVP in '64.

    Parilli was a first-team All Pro and All Star, and led the league in passing yardage (3,465), touchdown passes (31), game-winning drives (3), and comebacks (3).

    Larry Garron made his third All Star game, amassing 935 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns. Garron led the Pats in rushing attempts, rushing yardage, and shared the lead for touchdown receptions.
  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Gino sets AFL record with 155 points
    Pats blunder on Rich Gannon

    December 20, 1960:
    Clemson QB Harvey White becomes the first player to sign a Boston Patriots contract.


    If there is any doubt that the rule changes has altered the game of football dramatically, note line above about the "amazing 50.4 completion percentage".

    Dec 20, 1964:
    Gino Cappelletti sets a league single season record with 155 points scored. To this day that ranks as the 16th most points scored by a player in a single season. More impressive is the fact that all but one of those ranked ahead of him played a 16-game season, rather than the 14-game season that was played back then.

    It was the third time in four years he led the AFL in scoring; the one other time he finished second. He was the American Football League MVP in 1964.

    In '64 Gino led the Patriots in receptions, receiving yards, and shared the lead for most touchdown receptions. Cappelletti would be named the Player of the Year by both the AP and UPI, and also earned his third (of five) trips to the AFL All-Star Game.

    Happy 27th birthday to Woodrow Hamilton
    Born Dec 20, 1992 in Raleigh, Mississippi
    Patriot DT, 2016; uniform #74
    Signed as an undrafted rookie from Ole Miss on May 6, 2016

    The 6'3, 319 pounder played in 47 games with 25 starts at nose tackle for Mississippi, with 83 total tackles and three sacks. He spent the first four weeks on the practice squad, then was promoted to the active roster when Jacoby Brissett went on IR with a thumb injury and Vincent Valentine was dealing with a back injury. On Dec 21 Hamilton was waived and re-signed to the practice squad when Brissett came off IR.

    Why DT Woodrow Hamilton was promoted from the Practice Squad | espn, Mike Reiss

    For the season Hamilton played in two games with one start, on the field for 42 defensive snaps and five special team snaps. He spent eight games plus the postseason on the practice squad, and was inactive in the other games, earning a ring for the Super Bowl LI 28-3 game.

    On Sept 2, 2017 Hamilton was waived/injured with a leg injury, then released with an injury settlement two days later. He is now with the Carolina Panthers.

    Happy 48th birthday to Jerry Ellison
    Born Dec 20, 1971 in Augusta, Georgia
    Patriot RB, 1999; uniform #35
    Signed as a veteran free agent on September 29, 1999

    Jerry Ellison was originally signed by Tampa Bay as an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 1994. After one season on the practice squad he played four years with the Bucs as a backup running back and special teamer. Ellison made one of the longest plays in Buccaneer history, a 75-yard run against the Lions in the 1995 season finale.

    Ellison played twelve games for the Pats - mostly on special teams, where he made ten tackles. He only touched the football six times, with three for first downs: 5.0 yards per carry on two runs, and four catches on four targets for 50 yards. The next year Tampa re-signed him as a free agent but he suffered a leg injury and was released, ending his NFL career.

    Jerry Ellison among 2019 UTC Hall of Fame Inductees

    Ellison was the Mocs 1993 captain and team MVP, as well as the leading rusher in 1992 and 1993. His 6.2 career yards-per-carry is third all-time at UTC. He is one of only two Mocs with multiple 200-yard rushing games, including 231 yards at Boise State on Sept. 5, 1992. That is the second-highest total in school history and includes a 95-yard run, which is also the second longest at UTC. He holds the school record with three kick-off returns for touchdowns. He went on to play in 76 games over five years in the NFL with Tampa Bay (1995-98) and New England (1999).​

    Happy 53rd birthday to Tim Hauck
    Born Dec 20, 1966 in Butte, Montana
    Patriot safety, 1990; uniform #40
    Signed as an undrafted rookie on May 1, 1990 from the University of Montana

    Tim Hauck was cut near the end of the 1990 training camp, then signed to the practice squad on October 3. He was promoted to the active roster on October 27, playing in the final ten games without being able to experience a victory for that terrible team of turmoil. When the opportunity arose to sign a free agent contract with Green Bay, he jumped at the opportunity.

    Hauck went on to play 183 games over 13 seasons as a nickel back and special teams ace. Since then he has been a successful secondary coach at the college level as well as in the NFL.

    Tim Hauck Bio | University of Nevada at Las Vegas

    Happy 53rd birthday to Eric Naposki
    Born Dec 20, 1966 in the Bronx
    Patriot LB, 1988-1989; uniform #91
    Signed as an undrafted rookie from UConn on July 8, 1988

    Naposki played in three games over one and a half seasons with the Pats. He also spent one season with the Colts and four with the Barcelona Dragons of the World Football League. Naposki is most well known for murdering his wealthy lover's live-in boyfriend in 1994, so that she could collect his life insurance. Both were convicted of murder after the cold case was reopened 15 years later; he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.

    Eric Naposki: Ex-LB led violent life, maintains innocence | Sports Illustrated

    Happy 53rd birthday to David Pool
    Born Dec 20, 1966 in Cincinnati
    Patriot CB, 1991-1992; uniform #27
    Claimed off waivers from Buffalo, Aug 27, 1991

    David Pool played in all but one game over two seasons with the Patriots. Over that time he had two interceptions, including a 41 yard pick-six off Jeff George in a 37-34 victory at Indianapolis. Pool also spent parts of two seasons in Buffalo, one with Miami, and one with Orlando in the Arena League.

    Happy 54th birthday to Rich Gannon
    Born Dec 20, 1965 in Philadelphia
    Pats 4th round (98th overall) selection of the 1987 draft, from Delaware

    The Patriots wanted to convert the ECAC and Yankee Conference QB to running back, defensive back or wide receiver, but Gannon wanted no part of that. He forced a trade and went on to become a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, passing for 28,743 yards and 180 touchdowns. The 2002 MVP has worked as an in-booth analyst on NFL games with CBS since 2005.

    Oct 17, 1991: Vikings' Gannon Not Passed Over | Hartford Courant

    "I knew the quarterback situation in New England and at the time it was a pretty good one with Grogan and [Tom] Ramsey and [Tony] Eason," Gannon said. "I didn't really see where I fit in. And New England was one of the only teams that didn't work me out. I was sort of confused as to why I was drafted." It became clear when Dick Steinberg, now vice president of player operations for the Jets, the Patriots' draft expert at the time, got on the phone.

    "[Steinberg] called and said `We're excited about having you, we think you're a great athlete,' " Gannon said. "I started hearing that "athlete" word and I put two and two together. [Former Patriots coach] Raymond Berry got on the phone and he said they were going to try to find the best position for me. I wasn't real pleased. If they were going to draft me as a versatile player or utility player, they should have made that known to me before they drafted me. It wasn't anyone's fault. It was just a misunderstanding." The Patriots have gone through Eason, Ramsey, Marc Wilson and Doug Flutie and are trying Hugh Millen and Tommy Hodson in search of a replacement for Grogan. Millen will start Sunday.​

    Happy 56th birthday to Tom Gibson
    Born Dec 20, 1963 in San Fernando, California
    Patriot DE, 1987-1988
    Pats 5th round (116th overall) selection of the 1987 draft, from Northern Arizona

    6'7, 257 pound Tom Gibson was with the Patriots for two years, but never played a single down. He was placed on IR due to groin and hamstring injuries on Sept 8, 1987, missing his rookie season. Then on Aug 29, 1988 Gibson again went on IR with a groin injury. The Browns picked him up as a free agent the following March. Gibson played in 28 games for Cleveland over two seasons and finished his NFL career in 1991 with the Rams.

    Happy birthday to Odell Lawson (1948-2008)
    Born Dec 20, 1948 in Ponca City, Oklahoma
    Patriot KR/RB, 1970-1971; uniform #32
    Pats 7th round (160th overall) selection of the 1970 draft, from Langston

    The 6'2, 218 pound back from NAIA division Langston (Oklahoma) played in 16 games with three starts for the Patriots. He averaged 22.0 yards on 27 kickoff returns, and added another 238 yards from scrimmage as a backup running back. He later spent time with the 49ers and Saints, moving to New Orleans. In his post-NFL life Lawson co-founded a two-man body guard service, which eventually became a security company with over 200 employees.


    Odell Lawson Foundation | Bio

    Happy birthday to Alfreddie Sykes (1947-1974)
    Born Dec 20, 1947 in Tallahassee, Florida
    Patriot WR, 1971-1972; uniform #13
    Pats 14th round (339th overall) selection of the 1971 draft, from Florida A&M

    Like Lawson, Sykes was a player from a small HBCU. He played in four games with one start in '71, making one catch for 15 yards. Sykes began the '72 season on the taxi squad before being cut for good on Sept 13.

    Others born on this date with a New England connection include:

    Christian Wilkins, 24 (1995)
    Framingham MA and Springfield MA; Framingham High School and Suffield Academy
    After winning two college championships with Clemson the defensive tackle was the 13th overall pick of the 2019 draft by Miami. Wilkins caught a touchdown after lining up at fullback on Dec 22 against the Jets, and called playing at Gillette Stadium a week later 'a dream come true'.

    Henry Zehrer (1905-1955)
    Born and raised in New Britain CT; New Britain HS
    Fullback and wingback for the 1926 Hartford Blues.

    Some other notable pro football players born on December 20:

    Bob Hayes (1942-2002)
    After winning three gold medals at the 1964 Olympics, the world's fastest human being was not drafted until the 7th round. Hayes became a Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver with Dallas, the only athlete to ever win an Olympic Gold Medal and a Super Bowl ring. In his first seven seasons he scored 69 touchdowns and averaged 20.6 yards per catch, gaining 6,617 yards receiving.

    Jack Christiansen (1928-1986)
    The Hall of Fame safety and punt returner was named to six consecutive All-NFL teams and won three championships with the Detroit Lions. Opponent's standard rule was 'don't pass in his area, don't throw to him'. He twice led the NFL with 10-plus interception seasons, and returned eight punts for touchdowns.

    Nate Newton, 58 (1961)
    "The Kitchen" went to six Pro Bowls as left guard for Dallas, winning three Super Bowls with the Cowboys from 1986-1998.
  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Better luck next year Buffalo
    Pats overcome 22-point deficit to beat Giants, win division
    Patriots demolish Arizona in the snow 47-7

    Sat Dec 21, 2019 at 4:30
    Week 16, Game 15 at Gillette
    Patriots 24, Bills 17
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Sean McDermott
    QBs: Tom Brady, Josh Allen
    Odds: New England favored by 6½

    Pats improve to 12-3, #2 seed in AFC
    Bills drop to 10-5, #5 seed

    The Patriots rallied in the fourth quarter to come from behind to defeat Buffalo and clinch the AFC East.

    Good in-depth drive-by-drive summary by Mike Dussault here:
    Game Observations: Patriots find offensive stride, outlast Bills to win AFC East |

    From Tom Curran:
    Patriots vs. Bills: Best & Worst from New England's 24-17 Win | NBC Sports Boston

    From Mike Reiss:
    Patriots clinch AFC East again as Tom Brady leads comeback in 4th | espn

    Edelman's return in the fourth quarter was one of the top storylines of the game. He had missed almost a full quarter when he returned to the huddle with 9:01 remaining in the fourth, and Brady connected with him on a 30-yard pass over the middle on the first play.

    That started a seven-play, 59-yard touchdown drive, and then Edelman hauled in a 2-point conversion toss from Brady.

    Patriots captain Matthew Slater jokingly compared Edelman to the biblical character Lazarus because he was "back from the dead."

    Brady, who finished 26-of-33 for 271 yards and one touchdown, improved to 32-3 all-time against the Bills. He completed 79% of his passes, his best completion percentage since Week 11 of the 2017 season. Brady hadn't reached 56% in his previous five games.

    Meanwhile, the Patriots improved to 12-3 and maintained their position as the No. 2 seed in the AFC postseason chase. If they beat the Miami Dolphins at home next weekend, they would earn a first-round playoff bye.

    The Patriots have won 12 games 12 times since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, and the franchise tied San Francisco for the most 12-win seasons over that span.​

    From NYC:
    The Patriots Beat the Bills (Again) Behind Julian Edelman | New York Times

    12-minute Highlight Video:

    Sun Dec 21, 2014 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at MetLife Stadium
    Patriots 17, Jets 16
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Rex Ryan
    QBs: Tom Brady, Geno Smith
    Odds: New England favored by 10

    Pats improve to 12-3
    Jets drop to 3-12

    This was a defensive battle that began with a scoreless first quarter. Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski on a 3-yard TD to open up scoring, but the Jets held a 10-7 lead at the half.

    Near the end of the third quarter Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 24-yard field goal after a Patriot drive stalled in the red zone, to cut the Jet lead to 13-10. Two plays later Jamie Collins intercepted an underthrown Geno Smith pass. That gave the Pats the ball back at the Jet 38 yard line. A pair of passes to Brandon LaFell and an 11-yard run by Brady set up a one-yard touchdown run by Jonas Gray.

    After a Nick Folk field goal cut the lead to one, a Brady pass intended for LaFell was picked off. That gave the Jets the ball at the New England 30 yard line, with 7:18 to play. On 3rd & 4 Dont'a Hightower sacked Smith for a loss of ten yards, and then Vince Wilfork blocked Folk's 52-yard field goal attempt. The Patriots chewed up the final 5:16 on passes to Danny Amendola (8 catches, 63 yards) and runs by Brandon Bolden (5 carries for 29 yards on the final drive).

    With the win Bill Belichick broke a tie with Curly Lambeau for fourth place in overall career NFL victories by a head coach with 230. The win was also the 250th in 368 total games for Robert Kraft, tying him with Chicago legend George Halas for the fastest an owner has reached that milestone.

    Full Game Video:

    Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Gillette
    Patriots 47, Cardinals 7
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Ken Whisenhunt
    QBs: Matt Cassel; Kurt Warner, Matt Leinart
    Odds: New England favored by 8

    Pats improve to 10-5
    Arizona drops to 8-7

    The Patriots crushed the Cardinals on a snowy field, making them wish they had never left the warmth and comfort of Arizona. The New England defense harassed Kurt Warner, limiting him to 6-18 and 30 yards passing in what was arguably his worst game ever. The Pats held Arizona - who entered the game as the NFL's second highest scoring offense - to 186 yards, and 3-13 on third down. Their only score came late in the fourth quarter after the Patriots were up 47-0.

    New England's offense was equally dominant, piling up 514 yards and scoring on nine of their first ten possessions. Matt Cassel went 20-36 for 345 yards and three touchdowns. In a bit of irony Cassel started and got the win while the player he backed up in college, Matt Leinart, came off the bench to relieve Warner when the game was out of hand. Leinart went 6-14 for 138 yards with one TD and one pick.

    Running backs Sammy Morris (15 carries for 88 yards, 45 yards receiving) and LaMont Jordan (78 yards rushing, 2 TD) got plenty of work, with New England running the ball 42 times for 183 yards. Jabar Gaffney had five receptions for 90 yards, Randy Moss had a 76 yard TD to open up the 2nd half, and Stephen Gostkowski kicked four field goals.

    The Pats improved to 10-5 with the win to keep their slim playoff hope alive. Miami's win over the Jets left New England tied with the Dolphins, but Miami would hold the tiebreaker. As for a wild card, Baltimore defeated Jacksonville and the Ravens also held an edge in the tiebreaker for that number six seed.

    Arizona had already clinched the NFC West in what was a down year for that division. The only effect of the loss was to make the Cardinals the number four seed, one game behind either Minnesota or Chicago from the NFC North.

    Sat Dec 21, 1996 at 12:30
    Week 17, Game 16 at Giants Stadium
    Patriots 23, Giants 22
    Head Coaches: Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Dave Brown
    Odds: New England favored by 8½

    Pats go 11-5; one game ahead of Buffalo, two ahead of Indy
    Giants drop to 5-11, 5th in NFC East

    The Patriots scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to erase a 22-0 deficit and beat the Giants in East Rutherford. The victory gave the Pats the AFC East division title by one game over Buffalo. New England would go on to defeat the Steelers and Jaguars in the playoffs, before losing to Green Bay in New Orleans in Super Bowl 31.

    The Giants owned the first half, scoring on a safety, a one yard run, two field goals and a Jason Sehorn 23-yard pick-six. Bill Parcells' first return to the Meadowlands did not start well. Drew Bledsoe was just 12-20 for 64 yards and two interceptions in the first half, and was called for intentional grounding in the end zone for the safety.

    The Patriots finally put points on the board in the third quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri. That drive began at the 4-yard line and included 31 and 29 yard pass completions to Terry Glenn. The wide receiver set an NFL record in this game for most receptions by a rookie in a season with 90 (later broken by Anquan Boldin in 2003).

    In the fourth quarter Bledsoe hit Glenn (8 receptions, 124 yards) for a 26 yard score to make it 22-10. Then Dave Meggett ran a punt back 60 yards for a TD and the Pats were down by only five. With time winding down Troy Brown (7 receptions on 7 targets for 75 yards) caught a third-and-13 pass while on his back to give the Patriots a first down at the 29. Then on 4th and 7 Bledsoe connected with Ben Coates for a 13-yard game winning TD with 1:23 left to play.

    Sun Dec 12, 1980 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 16 at the Louisiana Superdome
    Patriots 38, Saints 27
    Head Coaches: Ron Erhardt, Dick Stanfel
    QBs: Matt Cavanaugh, Archie Manning
    Odds: New England favored by 9

    Pats improve to 10-6, one game behind Buffalo
    Saints drop to 1-15, 3 games worse than any other NFL team

    The Patriots averaged over six yards per carry, rushing for 240 yards and two touchdowns to down the Saints. Don Calhoun (16 carries, 113 yards) and Vagas Ferguson (15-82) ran for most of that yardage, with Calhoun and Mosi Tatupu scoring on touchdown runs. Matt Cavanaugh threw three touchdown passes (one to Russ Francis and two to Andy Johnson), and Stanley Morgan had four receptions for 63 yards.

    Cavanaugh threw second quarter touchdowns to Francis (39 yards) and Johnson (11 yards) to overcome an early 10-0 deficit, and head into halftime with a 17-13 lead. Archie Manning's 23-yard touchdown pass to Wes Chandler put New Orleans up early in the fourth quarter though. The Patriots responded with a 22-yard touchdown run by Calhoun to retake the lead, and then Tatupu's 4-yard score sealed the victory. The Patriot offense was dominant, with 473 yards of total offense and having to punt only three times.

    The victory gave the Patriots a 10-6 record, but they missed the playoffs by one game. The Bills clinched the AFC East with an 18-13 win at Candlestick Park (over a 49er team with a second year coach on the hot seat, Bill Walsh). Five teams in each conference made the playoffs at that time (3 division winners, 2 wild cards). Five AFC teams had 11-5 records that season, including AFC East champions Buffalo. The Raiders were an 11-5 wild card team, and led by former Patriot Jim Plunkett. They went on to become the first NFL wild card team to win the Super Bowl, defeating the Eagles 27-10.

    Sun Dec 21, 1975 at 1:00
    Week 14, Game 14 at Memorial Stadium
    Colts 34, Patriots 21
    Head Coaches: Chuck Fairbanks, Ted Marchibroda
    QBs: Steve Grogan, Bert Jones

    Pats finish 3-11, tied with Jets for 4th place
    Baltimore goes 10-4, wins tiebreaker over Miami

    The Pats finished a rough season on a sour note, losing to the AFC East champions by 13 in Baltimore. Allen Carter took the opening kickoff back 99 yards for a touchdown, and a 7-yard pass from rookie Steve Grogan to Sam Cunningham gave New England a 14-10 lead.

    The Patriots were overmatched by Bill Belichick mentor Ted Marchibroda's Colt team in the second half. The Baltimore defense intercepted five Grogan passes, including a 30-yard pick six for the final score. Andy Johnson had 147 yards from scrimmage and 103 yards receiving for the Patriots, both of which were career highs.

    On a side note, it was with this 1975 Baltimore Colt team that Belichick began his NFL career. He worked as a 'special assistant': a low paying entry level position breaking down film.

    For more on the 1975 Patriots, check out Foxboro Stadium History - 1975.

    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Happy Beer Birthday

    Happy 75th birthday to Tom Beer
    Born Dec 21, 1944 in Detroit
    Patriot TE/G, 1970-72; uniform #82, #68
    Acquired from Broncos in trade for Jim Whalen on April 14, 1970

    Tom Beer played in all 42 games over his three seasons with the Patriots. The tight end had 25 receptions for 381 yards and three touchdowns. The Pats acquired Beer when they traded Jim Whalen in a typical SMH-trade by the Patriots of that era. In an even more typical of that era decision, the Pats decided to convert him to guard ... and then after putting on 30 pounds for that switch to the offensive line, the team decided to then convert him back to tight end.

    Prior to joining the Pats, Beer had played with Denver for three seasons. Those two teams were at the bottom of the barrel among the worst pro football clubs at that time. Beer went on to write his memoirs of playing for a pair of losing franchises in his book, Sunday's Fools: Stomped, Tromped, Kicked and Chewed in the NFL. Understandable condolences to any player that had to play for Clive Rush and John Mazur.


    Happy 24th birthday to Ryan Izzo
    Born Dec 21, 1995 in Highland Lakes, New Jersey
    Patriot TE, 2018- present; uniform #85
    Pats 7th round (250th overall) selection of the 2018 draft, from Florida State

    The Patriots placed Izzo on injured reserve on Sept 2, 2018, resulting in the tight end missing his entire rookie season.

    In 2019 Izzo has averaged 19.0 yards per catch, with six receptions for 114 yards, one touchdown and four first downs. He played in the first six games before missing time due to a concussion. Izzo has been a healthy scratch recently, and has still not seen the field since his fourth start of the season in a week six 35-14 victory over the Giants. He was on the field for 98% of the snaps in that game.

    Happy 28th birthday to Kony Ealy
    Born Dec 21, 1991 in New Madrid, Missouri
    Patriot DE, 2017 offseason; uniform #94

    On March 10, 2017 the Patriots traded up eight spots to acquire Ealy. The Pats sent their #64 draft pick to Carolina in exchange for Ealy and the #72 pick. The Pats then traded that #72 (WR Taywan Taylor) down for #83 (DE Derek Rivers) and pick #124. That last pick was then traded back up for the unfortunate and unhealthy saga of OT Antonio Garcia.

    So what happens when you don't buy in to the Patriot Way? You get banished and have to play for the Jets, and then the Raiders. The good news is that this failed attempt at improving the roster only cost the Pats a handful of spots in the 2018 draft (from 64th to 72nd overall).

    Post-Foxboro Ealy played 15 games with four starts, never replicating the 2015 playoff success that had at one time made him a hot commodity.

    Others born on December 21 with a New England connection include:

    O'Brien Alston, 54 (1965)
    Born in New Haven CT
    The 10th round draft pick by Indy in 1988 started 15 games for the Colts. He surpassed the number two pick of the 1982 draft, Johnie Cooks, as starter in his rookie season. The following year Freeman McNeil took out his knees with a low hit that was so atrocious that McNeil purposely played poorly for the rest of the game, overcome with guilt. Alston never played in the NFL again after the injury.

    Fred Sheehan (1902-1984)
    Abington High School
    Born and raised in Abington, Mass, Fred was a lineman for the Providence Steam Roller.

    Steve Pritko (1921-2015)
    Boston Yanks, 1948
    The DE/End caught 13 touchdown passes over his eight year career, and won a championship with the 1945 Cleveland Rams.

    Lou Mark (1914-1961)
    The center played pro football from 1938-1945 minus four years for WWII, with his final season being with the Boston Yanks.

    Some semi-notable pro football players born December 21:
    1930: Johnny Olszewski, RB 1953-1962
    1947: Nate Wright, Viking CB 1969-1980
    1969: Leon Searcy, Pitt/Jax RT 1992-1999
    1969: Chuck Smith, Falcon DE 1992-2000
    1973: Mike Alstott, Bucs FB 1996-2006
    1976: R.W. McQuarters, PR/CB 1998-2008
    1989: Mark Ingram, Saints RB 2011-present
    1990: Michael Brockers, Rams DT 2012-present
    1992: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, GB/Wash/Chi S 2014-present
  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Pats clinch playoffs in 'shocking' win

    Sun Dec 22, 1985 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 16 at Sullivan Stadium
    Patriots 34, Bengals 23
    Head Coaches: Raymond Berry, Sam Wyche
    QBs: Tony Eason, Boomer Esiason
    Odds: New England favored by 7

    Pats finish 11-5, one game behind Miami
    Cincinnati goes 7-9, one game behind Browns

    - Three AFC teams finish 11-5; in the tiebreaker the Broncos miss the playoffs, the Pats are #5, and travel the following week to face the #4 Jets. The Patriots entered the game knowing that they were in the playoffs with a win, most likely out with a loss. After a 2-3 start the Pats won eight of the next nine games, but a loss at Miami the previous week left a playoff spot up in the air.
    - The Bengals were already eliminated, and finish one game behind the 8-8 Browns - who lost their week 16 (no byes then) game to the Jets. Cincy was up and down all season; they pounded favored Dallas 50-24 two weeks prior, then lost the previous week in a must-win game against Washington.

    The Patriots led 20-6 at halftime on a chilly 24 degree day on a 50-yard touchdown from Tony Eason (8-15-145-1-1) to Stanley Morgan (4 catches for 121 yards), a nine-yard run by Tony Collins (10 carries, 57 yards), and two Tony Franklin field goals. Cincy closed the gap to four points on a 33-yard touchdown from Boomer Esiason (18-39, 270, 2 TD, 1 INT) to Eddie Brown, and the third field goal of the day by Jim Breech. Craig James (25 carries for 142 yards) scored on an 11-yard run, but Esiason responded with an eight-yard TD pass to Cris Collinsworth. Robert Weathers then scored on a 42-yard run to seal the victory for the Patriots. On defense Ronnie Lippett began what would be a stellar playoff run with a 58 yard interception return.

    Check out this article written by the son of Robert Weathers:
    Dec 22, 1985's game against the Bengals |

    New England's journey to the playoffs was nothing short of rocky. The Pats suffered a huge loss to a Miami Dolphins team that left them in a must win situation. Sullivan Stadium was packed to the gills as the Patriot faithful hoped to cheer their team into the playoffs. Before things even kicked off, the Pats honored Julius Adams, who was playing in his last regular season game for New England. For those that remember Julius Adams, he always knew how to get his team going. It seems like the combination of the crowd and Adams was exactly what the team needed to get pumped up.

    It was the 4th quarter and the clock was very close to reaching the two minute warning. The Patriots had possession of the ball facing a 4th and 1. This dream scenario is what every kid envisions in his head. However, it is this same scenario that can make or break a coach's career. With his team leading, 27-24, Coach Raymond Berry was left with a difficult decision of going for it on 4th down or punting away to a red hot Boomer Esiason. Feeling very lucky, Berry decided to call upon the services of employee #24 aka Robert Weathers.

    As a four year old (at the time), you have no vivid memories of what really happened. However, I remember hearing my dad tell the story to me like it was yesterday:​

    The play called was an inside run. Coach said to break it outside if it was there. Sure enough thanks to blocks from Daws (Lin Dawson) & Hawthorne (Greg Hawthorne), I was able to break a tackle and saw the daylight I needed. Next thing I know I am taking it to the house as I celebrated before thousands of fans! Most people don't know that the night before the game, I had a dream about scoring on that same exact play.

    The fans almost got shocked when a piece of the goalpost broke off and hit a nearby power line. After hearing this news, I quickly realized how much it meant to the fans that we clinched a playoff spot.

    Dec. 22, 1985: New England Patriots fans gave their team a spirited send-off into the playoffs. Brian Holloway fought his way to the dressing room at Sullivan Stadium after the 34-23 win over the Cincinnati Bengals put the Pats into the playoffs.

    Dec. 22, 1985: Following a crucial 34-23 Patriots victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, which assured the Patriots of a playoff berth, thousands of fans spilled onto the field, pushed over the goal posts and carried them away.

    The game is most notable in Patriot history for what happened outside the stadium after the clock reached all zeros.

    Fans recuperating from electric shock thru goal post

    Thousands of fans poured onto the field and tore down the goal posts Sunday, carrying part of one of them out of Sullivan Stadium.

    The celebrants took the post through an exit tunnel behind the north end zone, across a parking lot to nearby Route 1 where 600 marched down the highway tying up traffic in both directions.

    When police arrived, shortly before 4:30 p.m., the fans moved from the northbound lanes to the southbound lanes, where they stuck the goal post in a steel barrel.

    The barrel tipped over and the metal post struck a power line carrying 20,000 volts along the side of the road, police said.

    Two fans were thrown through the air and landed on the opposite side of Route 1, said state trooper David Rea. Two other people fell to the ground and a fifth was thrown into the middle of the street, Rea said.

    'It was just mass confusion,' said Rea. 'There were bodies all over the place and several hundred drunk people trying to tell state troopers what to do.'​

    The Patriots would go on to defeat the Jets, Raiders and Dolphins to become the first NFL team to make it to the Super Bowl winning three playoff games on the road. They were the first team in franchise history to win an AFC Championship and first to compete for the Lombardi Trophy. That may not sound like anything special now given all the success the team has had this century, but it was a very special, magical time for Patriot fans at that time back then.

    The 1985 Patriots' historic journey to the franchise's first ever Super Bowl |

    Six days later, the Patriots rode their rushing game in a must-win regular season finale against Cincinnati at Sullivan Stadium. The offense pounded out 281 yards on the ground on their way to a 34-23 victory. An AFC wild-card berth and a matchup with the Jets was secured when Robert Weathers broke free through the right side of the line on a fourth-and-one play for a 42-yard touchdown run after the two-minute warning. New England finished the season 11-5 and claimed the AFC's final wild card berth over Denver because of the "common opponents" tiebreaker.

    The 1985 Patriots truly had weathered the storm. "We came away from that Miami game feeling if we played them again, we'd beat them," said Nelson. "We had a short week, then beat Cincinnati to get in the playoffs. From there, we just took off."​

    Patriots Win For Playoff Berth | New York Times/AP

    Craig James rushed for a career-high 142 yards and tiptoed along the sideline for an 11-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown, as the New England Patriots captured an American Conference wild-card playoff berth today with a 34-23 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

    The Patriots (11-5) earned the playoff spot as they tied a club record for victories in a season.

    The Patriots appeared in control with a 20-6 halftime lead, but the Bengals quickly got closer.

    Esiason threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Brown on the fifth play of the third quarter and Jim Breech kicked his third field goal, a 30-yarder with 11:17 left in the game, to make the score 20-16.

    Tony Eason, who had thrown a 50-yard touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan in the first quarter, hooked up with him for a 48-yard completion on the second play after the kickoff to bring the ball to the Cincinnati 17-yard line.

    James, the A.F.C.'s third-ranked rusher going into the game, ran twice for 6 yards, then took a lateral from Eason, cut up the right side and barely stayed inbounds as he went into the end zone.​
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History:
    Rare win at Orange Bowl gives Pats division title

    Monday Dec 22, 1986 at 9:00
    Week 16, Game 16 at the Orange Bowl
    Patriots 34, Dolphins 27
    Head Coaches: Raymond Berry, Don Shula
    QBs: Tony Eason, Steve Grogan; Dan Marino
    Odds: Miami favored by 3½

    Pats improve to 11-5, win the AFC East
    Miami drops to 8-8, 3rd in the AFC East

    The Patriots had won seven in a row en route to a 10-3 record, but then lost home games to Cincinnati and San Francisco. The previous day the 10-5 Jets were at 9-6 Cincinnati; the Bengals outscored the Jets 35-0 in the second half to win 52-21. A win would give the Patriots the AFC East title and a first round bye, and a loss would eliminate them from the playoffs.

    Steve Grogan replaced an injured Tony Eason in the second quarter and threw two fourth quarter touchdowns for the comeback victory. Grogan had also scored a third quarter touchdown on a seven yard run to tie the score at 20.

    For Miami it was their final game to be played in the Orange Bowl. At that time it was only the third non-winning season for Don Shula in 24 years as a head coach. Dan Marino broke his own NFL record for completions in a season with 378 in this game.

    Patriots Upset Dolphins, Making Jets Wild Card

    In a stunning finish that affected the playoff fortunes of three teams, the New England Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins tonight, 34-27, in the final game of the National Football League regular season.

    The triumph gave the Patriots their first Eastern Division title in eight years, forced the Jets into the American Conference wild-card game next Sunday and eliminated the Cincinnati Bengals from playoff contention.

    The margin of victory was a 30-yard touchdown pass from Steve Grogan, an unlikely hero, to Stanley Morgan with 44 seconds remaining.

    That pass ended the race between the Jets, who had finished the season Sunday with a fifth straight loss, and the Patriots, who would have been eliminated had they lost to the Dolphins in the Orange Bowl, where New England has lost so many other games over the years.

    Sun Dec 22, 1991 at 1:00
    Week 17, Game 16 at Riverfront Stadium
    Bengals 29, Patriots 7
    Head Coaches: Dick MacPherson, Sam Wyche
    QBs: Hugh Millen, Boomer Esiason
    Odds: New England favored by 2

    Pats finish 6-10, a five-game improvement from 1990
    Bengals go 3-13, winning two of their last four games

    The Pats grabbed an early lead on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Hugh Millen to Michael Timpson (7 receptions for 150 yards). Cincy scored the final 29 points, fittingly culminating when Millen was sacked in the end zone for a safety.

    Mon Dec 22, 1997 at 9:00
    Week 17, Game 16 at Pro Player Stadium
    Patriots 14, Dolphins 12
    Head Coaches: Pete Carroll, Jimmy Johnson
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Dan Marino
    Odds: Miami favored by 2

    Pats win AFC East with a 10-6 record
    Dolphins go 9-7, make playoffs as a wildcard

    This game is an interesting historical artifact, considering what happened later (Miami's enhanced audio tapes, which was followed by 'spygate').

    This Loss May Signal Change for Dolphins

    Forty-six was the special signal barked by Marino before a third-quarter snap in the Miami Dolphins' 17-3 NFL wild-card playoff loss to the New England Patriots.

    Forty-six was an audible informing his teammates he was changing the play to a slant pass.

    Forty-six was a secret number that was no secret.

    The Patriots had long since deciphered it, understood it, even practiced against it.

    Linebacker Todd Collins heard it, motioned to his team, repositioned himself to make the interception, and did.

    "Threw it right to me," Collins explained.

    Collins carried the interception 40 yards for a touchdown, giving the Patriots an insurmountable 14-0 lead in a football game that was more like a Cold War.

    The Patriots were the spies. The Dolphins were the suckers.

    "We kind of knew what Marino was doing on that play," Patriot safety Willie Clay said. "But then, a lot of times we knew what they were doing."

    The frequent Patriot blitzing led to frequent Marino audibles, most of which the Patriots understood thanks to teammate Keith Byars.

    A former Dolphin.

    "Just doing my duty," Byars said with a smile that could not hide his distaste for Dolphin Coach Jimmy Johnson, who released him last season. "Hey, we didn't know everything. They did occasionally huddle, didn't they?"

    Johnson was not humored.

    "It was so bad out there, they were laughing at our players," he said. "They knew every signal, every audible . . . everything we were doing."​

    Sat Dec 22, 2001 at 1:30
    Week 15, Game 15 at Foxboro Stadium
    Patriots 20, Dolphins 13
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Dave Wannstedt
    QBs: Tom Brady, Jay Fiedler
    Odds: New England favored by 3

    Patriots improve to 10-5, first in AFC East
    Dolphins drop to 9-5, tied with Jets for 2nd

    This is the game when Kevin Faulk threw a 23 yard pass on 3rd and one to Tom Brady.

    The Patriots had taken possession on a fumble near the end first quarter on a big hit by Tebucky Jones that forced a fumble. After the Faulk pass to Brady Antowain Smith took over, rushing for an 18 yard gain and then a two-yard touchdown for the first score of the game.

    The Patriots were able to play keepaway, holding the ball for over 36 minutes. Smith gained 156 yards on 26 carries and the defense forced three turnovers. The Pats built a 20-0 lead in the first half and kept Miami out of the end zone until there was just 90 seconds left to play. Freddie Coleman recovered the onside kick to seal the victory.

    Patriots roll past Dolphins to brink of playoffs - The Boston Globe

    An early turnover by the Dolphins changed the flow of the game in New England’s favor.

    After stopping the Patriots on their second possession, the Dolphins set up shop at their 33. Fiedler found Jed Weaver for a 19-yard gain but Weaver lost the ball when Jones delivered a tremendous hit. Otis Smith recovered the fumble - Miami’s 33d turnover of the season. The Dolphins challenged the ruling but to no avail.

    On the ensuing drive, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis thought it was time to “go in for the kill” as he likes to say. In a season of trick plays, Weis saved the best for the Dolphins.

    Kevin Faulk, a former high school quarterback, took a direct snap, rolled right, and spotted a wide-open Brady on the left. The ball floated for what seemed like an eternity, but the Dolphins could do nothing but watch. Brady hauled it in and tiptoed out of bounds at the 20 after a 23-yard gain.​

    Sun Dec 22, 2002 at 8:30
    Week 16, Game 15 at Gillette
    Jets 30, Patriots 17
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Herm Edwards
    QBs: Tom Brady, Chad Pennington
    Odds: New England favored by 3½

    Pats drop to 8-7
    Jets improve to 8-7

    Kevin Faulk scored on an 87 yard kickoff return in the first quarter to the the score at seven, and Christian Fauria's 6 yard pass knotted the score at 17 midway through the third. Chad Pennington then hits Wayne Chrebet on a 15-yard 4th quarter TD as the Jets score the final 13 points to win.

    Jets vs. Patriots - Game Summary - December 22, 2002 - ESPN

    Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 4:30
    Week 16, Game 15 at M&T Bank Stadium
    Patriots 41, Ravens 7
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh
    QBs: Tom Brady, Joe Flacco
    Odds: Baltimore favored by 1½

    Pats improve to 11-4, 2nd in AFC
    Ravens drop to 8-7, two games behind Cincinnati

    LeGarrette Blount rushed for 76 yards and two touchdowns and Julian Edelman caught seven passes for 77 yards to lead the offense. The defense sacked Flacco four times and forced four turnovers, including two interceptions by Logan Ryan, a 74 yard pick six by Tavon Wilson and a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown by Chandler Jones. With the victory the Pats clinched the AFC East title.


    Full Game:

    Happy 62nd birthday to Keith Lee
    Born Dec 22, 1957 in San Antonio, Texas
    Patriot CB, 1981-1984; uniform #22
    Signed as a free agent in the 1981 offseason

    Keith Lee was a fifth round draft pick by the Bills in 1980, from Colorado State. He played in 54 games with eight starts for the Patriots, with one interception and two fumble recoveries.

    Lee has had an interesting post-NFL career:

    Keith L. Lee - Keith's Journey

    Even though Keith retired from the football relative healthy, his drive to play the game left him. Yet his love of the game itself did not leave him. Coaching is in his blood. He has coached on every level of competition, including Minor League Professional Football. ​

    Keith Lee - College of Business | University of Central Florida

    Keith L. Lee currently serves as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the The Institute for Sport and Social Justice (ISSJ), formerly the National Consortium for Academics and Sports. He has been instrumental in the development of the ISSJ; a nationwide network of over 280 colleges and universities that implements educational, community service and support programs for student-athletes, coaches and administrators.

    The ISSJ has provided opportunities for over 33,000 former student athletes to return to college and has graduated over 15,000 students. Under his leadership, student-athletes representing the ISSJ institutional members have worked with more than 19.6 million children in various community service programs and have donated 30.5 million hours of service to children in need.​

    From Facebook:

    Keith was born in San Antonio, TX but spent most of his developmental years in Los Angeles, California. Though his first love was baseball, he eventually made football the center of his attention. He attended Gardena High School where he excelled and gather numerous awards including being voted All-City as 1st Team quarterback. His collegiate football career began in 1976 at Santa Monica Community College where he established numerous records as a quarterback and became a junior college All-American. As a student-athlete at Colorado State University from 1978-80, he quarterbacked the CSU football team and received All-WAC honors. As a senior, Keith was elected student-body vice-president, thereby becoming the first black student to hold a student government position at CSU.

    As a young athlete with diverse skills, Keith was often asked to switch his position from QB to wide receiver or defensive back. He felt his skills as good or better than his competitors. After his senior year in 1979, Keith thought his football career was over and was preparing to start his coaching career. But 1980, he had to make a major decision. Should he go to the Canadian Football League and play QB or pursue his dream of playing in the NFL. He decided to stay in the US when was he drafted in the 5th round as a defensive back by the Buffalo Bills. Keith left the Bills in 1981 and spent the majority of has football career with the New England Patriots and ended his career with the Indianapolis Colts. Keith's professional football career spanned six years, ending in 1986. For more of the story,

    Happy 57th birthday to George Adams
    Born Dec 22, 1962 in Lexington, Kentucky
    Patriot FB, 1990-1991; uniform #33
    Acquired as a Plan B free agent in the 1990 offseason

    George Adams was originally a first round draft pick out of Kentucky by the Giants in 1985. He suffered a hip injury that caused him to miss the entire 1986 season, perhaps a cause of his never living up to his draft status. Adams played in 18 games with eight starts for the Patriots, gaining 260 yards from scrimmage and scoring one touchdown.


    Other pro football players with a New England connection:

    John Mahoney (Dec 22, 1900 - Nov 28, 1971)
    Holyoke native was a back and end for the 1923 Buffalo All-Americans.

    Jamie Kurisko: Dec 22, 1963
    TE for the 1987 Jets went to Southern Connecticut State.

    Tyler 'Dirty Red' Matakevich: Dec 22, 1992
    ILB for the Steelers has missed only one game over four seasons; he went to St Joseph's High School in Trumbull CT.

    Some notable pro football players born on this date include:

    Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy
    DE Everson Griffen
    WR Dennis Northcutt
    CB Jerry Holmes
  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Pats win 10th straight AFC East title

    Sun Dec 23, 2018 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Gillette
    New England Patriots 24, Buffalo Bills 12
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Sean McDermott
    QBs: Tom Brady, Josh Allen
    Odds: New England favored by 13½

    Pats improve to 10-5, one game behind KC in AFC
    Buffalo drops to 5-10, two games behind Miami

    Sony Michel ran for 116 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots snapped a two game losing streak and clinched their tenth straight division title. Combined with a Houston loss to Philadelphia, the Pats moved up to the #2 seed in the AFC standings. It was the first time in NFL history that a team would make the playoffs in ten consecutive seasons.

    Despite an off day, Tom Brady (13-24, 126 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions) became the the fourth player with ten or more seasons of 4,000-plus yards passing, joining Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers for that distinction. Brady's arm wasn't needed, with the Pats running for 217 yards on 41 carries. It was Michel's fourth 100 yard rushing game of his rookie season.

    Credit the defense for this victory. Buffalo's first half possessions consisted of three straight 3-and-outs, a missed field goal after a turnover in New England territory, another three and out, an interception on the first play of the next drive, and a turnover on downs. The Bills finally reached the end zone with 1:08 left to play, with the final score making the game appear to be closer than it really was.

    Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at EverBank Field
    New England Patriots 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 16
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Mike Mularkey
    QBs: Tom Brady, Chad Henne
    Odds: New England favored by 14½

    Pats improve to 11-4, one game behind Denver and Houston in AFC
    Jaguars drop to 2-13, tied with Chiefs for worst record in NFL

    This game had the largest spread of the week, but the Jaguars had people thinking upset early on. A week after falling behind 31-3 against the Niners, the Patriots once again came out flat. Tom Brady threw two first quarter interceptions and Jacksonville led 10-0 less than ten minutes into the game. The inability of Jacksonville to capitalize on scoring opportunities cost them what would have been a huge upset. Over the course of the game the Jags had the ball inside the Pats 25 yard line seven times - but Jacksonville was able to come away with only one touchdown and three field goals.

    Just before the half the Pats put together a nice drive to tie the score at 13. Brady was 7-8 on the drive with four consecutive completions to Wes Welker, then a 14 yard TD to Danny Woodhead. The defense came through in the second half with a critical third down sack by Dont'a Hightower; that was followed on 4th down with Chandler Jones tipping a Henne pass that was picked off by Patrick Chung. Marquice Cole also had an interception to thwart a Jacksonville drive.

    - Welker had ten receptions for 88 yards. That gave him the NFL record for most games with double-digit receptions in NFL history (18), breaking a tie with Jerry Rice and Andre Johnson.
    - Brady threw a touchdown pass in a game for the 47th consecutive time, tying Johnny Unitas for second on the all-time list. Drew Brees held the record at that time with 54.
    - Jacksonville outgained the Patriots in total yardage, 436-349 - but lost the ball three times on turnovers, once on downs, and once on a missed field goal.
    - Stevan Ridley was the game's leading rusher with 84 yards on 18 carries.

    Full Game Video

    Sunday Dec 23, 2007 at 4:15
    Week 16, Game 15 at Gillette
    New England Patriots 28, Miami Dolphins 7
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Cam Cameron
    QBs: Tom Brady, Cleo Lemon
    Odds: New England favored by 22½

    Pats improve to 15-0
    Miami drops to 1-14

    The Pats became the first team to ever go 15-0 in the regular season, a week after Miami won their first game of the year. Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes, including two to Randy Moss. The Pats tied their own NFL record of 18 consecutive regular season wins, set in 2003-04. The team also broke the NFL record of 70 touchdowns in one season by the 1984 Dolphins, reaching 71 to go up 28-0 in the second quarter.

    Laurence Maroney had a career high 156 yards on 14 carries; that came just a week after Maroney had a season high 104 yards in the 20-10 win over the Jets. Maroney's 59 yard run made the score 21-0 with 10:04 to go in the second quarter, and Jabar Gaffney's 48 yard touchdown reception with 3:33 left in the half made the score 28-0.

    Saturday Dec 23, 1995 at 8:00
    Week 17, Game 16 at the RCA Dome
    Indianapolis Colts 10, New England Patriots 7
    Head Coaches: Bill Parcells, Ted Marchibroda
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Jim Harbaugh
    Odds: Indianapolis by 6

    Pats go 6-10, but hey, it's three more wins than the Jets
    Indy finishes 9-7, tied with Miami and one game behind Buffalo

    The Colts swept the series thanks to some horrible fourth quarter plays by Bledsoe. After Indy missed a field goal with 10:22 to play, the Pats gave the ball right back on a 3-and-out (two incomplete passes and a Curtis Martin run for no gain). The Colts got the ball back near midfield, and aided by a 15-yard Chris Slade facemask penalty, drove to the 12 yard line. Cary Blanchard kicked a chip shot field goal to give Indy the lead, but there was still 5:51 left to play.

    The Patriots drove to the 15 yard line but on 3rd and ten Bledsoe was sacked, and fumbled the ball. The Pats recovered but lost 17 critical yards on the play, and Matt Bahr's 50 yard field goal attempt was no good.

    On the ensuing drive LaMont Warren broke free for a 42 yard run, giving Indy a first down on the New England 10. The game appeared to be over, but on the very next play Warren fumbled, and Myron Guyton recovered to give the Pats some hope with 59 seconds remaining. On second down Bledsoe threw an interception - but somehow the game was still not yet over. The Patriots used all three of their timeouts on the ensuing Indy drive to save time on the clock. After a Colts punt into the endzone, the Patriots had the ball with twenty seconds to play - and on the first play Bledsoe immediately threw his third interception on the day.

    Sunday Dec 23, 1990 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Giants Stadium
    New York Jets 42, New England Patriots 14
    Head Coaches: Rod Rust, Bruce Coslet
    QBs: Tommy Hodson, Marc Wilson; Ken O'Brien
    Odds: New York favored by 7

    Pats drop to 1-14
    Jets improve to 5-10

    On a rainy day in front of just 32,250 (46,641 ticket holders stayed away), the Jets breezed to an easy win. The Pats could not stop the run as four Jets each averaged over five yards per carry; on the day NYJ rushed for 239 yards. The Patriot pass defense was no better, allowing 15 of the 16 pass attempts to be completed.

    Hodson departed early with an ankle injury, and Wilson finished that drive with a 24-yard TD pass to Irving Fryar, to tie the score 7-7. The Patriot defense then gave up scoring drives of 73 and 76 yards just 3:46 apart, and the rout was on.

    With the win the Jets broke a five game losing streak, while the Patriots lost their 13th straight in what was the franchise's worst season ever.

    'It's depressing, it's demoralizing,' Patriots running back John Stephens said. 'The best thing that can happen is for the season to end. It can't get any worse than it is.'

    New England's newly named Director of Football Operations, Sam Jankovich, said of his new charges: 'What they have to do is get their season over with.

    'Evidently, it's a team that's demoralized,' Jankovich said. 'One of the most important things this team has to deal with now is attitude. It's bleak.'

    Read more: Jets 42, Patriots 7

  15. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Derrick Ramsey, Alge Crumpler, Kevin Kasper

    Before we get to the December 23 birthdays, let us celebrate the 40th anniversary of this unforgettable Boston Bruins event:

    Per NESN:

    On this date, members of the Boston Bruins went into the stands at Madison Square Garden during a donnybrook with the New York Rangers. What happened after that will go down as one of the strangest moments in Boston sports history.

    As the story goes, a fight unfolded when Boston’s Al Secord offered the Rangers’ Ulf Nilsson a little payback from a previous altercation with a sucker punch after the buzzer had sounded.

    While the two parties exchanged shoves and unkind words by the glass, Rangers fan John Kaptain reached over glass, smacked the B’s Stan Jonathan with a rolled-up program and took off with his stick. After Terry O’Reilly led the B’s into the stands, Kaptain shortly found himself on the receiving end of his own shoe thanks to Mike Milbury, who was then a five-year veteran defenseman out of nearby Brighton, Mass.​

    The video below is longer (6 minutes) but not quite as good a quality. It shows Gerry Cheevers stopping Phil Esposito on a breakaway at the very end of the game, and the aftermath that led to the altercation. Ironic that announcer Fred Cusick prematurely uses the phrase "you would not believe that finish".

    Happy 63rd birthday to Derrick Ramsey
    Born Dec 23, 1956 in Hastings, Florida
    Patriot tight end, 1983-1985; uniform #88
    Acquired in trade for TE Don Hasselbeck on Sept 13, 1983

    In '83 Ramsey played in 14 games with seven starts for the Pats, catching 24 passes - six for touchdowns. He had a much more prominent role the following season after Raymond Berry replaced Ron Meyer, starting 13 games with 66 receptions for 792 yards and seven touchdowns. In '85 the Pats most commonly used a 21 formation (2 RB, 1 TE) with Lin Dawson getting most of the snaps en route to the Squish the Fish Game. Ramsey's numbers dwindled to 28 catches for 285 yards and one touchdown.

    While in college Ramsey was the first African American quarterback at the University of Kentucky. He accomplished the nearly impossible feat of leading the Wildcats to a 10-1 record in the SEC, and later won two super bowl rings with the Raiders. Ramsey finished his NFL career with 188 receptions and 21 touchdowns after the 1987 season.


    Check the links below for a biography on the magnificent post-NFL career Derrick Ramsey has had; he now works as the secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

    Derrick Ramsey | Board of Trustees, University of Kentucky

    Former UK star Derrick Ramsey appointed Kentucky education secretary

    Sept 6, 1983 Rumor:

    Coach Ron Meyer of the New England Patriots confirmed yesterday that his club and the Los Angeles Raiders had all but completed the paperwork on a trade that will send Shelby Jordan , the Patriots' recalcitrant offensive tackle, and the tight end Don Hasselbeck to Los Angeles in exchange for Derrick Ramsey , a reserve tight end, and a fourth-round draft choice in 1985. The key player in the deal would appear to be Jordan, who is expected to lend significant help to a somewhat troubled Los Angeles offensive line.

    Jordan was about to begin his eighth season with the Patriots when unhappiness over his contract led this summer to a training-camp holdout. He returned at the end of the exhibition season, but, having started 45 consecutive games at right tackle for New England, he saw his streak broken Sunday in a loss to Baltimore. Ramsey, a former starter for the Raiders, had asked for a trade after being beaten out for the job in training camp by Todd Christensen.​

    Happy 42nd birthday to Alge Crumpler
    Born Dec 23, 1977 in Wilmington, North Carolina
    Patriot tight end, 2010; uniform #82
    Signed as a veteran free agent on March 24, 2010

    The 275 pound tight end went to four consecutive Pro Bowls with Atlanta, finishing his ten-year NFL career in 2010 for the Patriots. He had 373 receptions and 39 touchdowns during that time, but is mostly remembered by Patriot fans for an end zone drop that caused him to go overnight from fan favorite and team captain, to fan forum scapegoat in a 28-21 divisional round loss to the Jets.

    Happy 42nd birthday to Kevin Kasper
    Born Dec 23, 1977 in Hinsdale, Illinois
    Patriot wide receiver, 2004; uniform #10
    Signed as a veteran free agent on Oct 6, 2004

    Kasper was a late round draft pick by Denver in 2001, bouncing around with several teams as a kick returner and backup receiver. He was on and off the Patriot roster in 2004, appearing in eight games with three kick returns and zero receptions on three targets. Over six NFL seasons Kasper averaged 24.3 yards on 77 kickoff returns, and caught three touchdown passes.


    Happy 46th birthday to Anthony Ladd
    Born Dec 23, 1973 in Homestead, Florida
    Patriot wide receiver, 1998; uniform #18
    Promoted from the practice squad on Oct 23, 1998

    Ladd made it on the field for three games with the Pats in '98, and played wide receiver and linebacker in the Arena league from 2001-2004.


    Happy 31st birthday to Tommie Draheim
    Born Dec 23, 1988 in Kennewick, Washington
    Patriot center, 2012 practice squad
    Signed as a rookie free agent on Dec 4, 2012

    The San Diego State alum spent time with the Packers, Seahawks, Patriots, Jaguars and Chiefs from 2012-2014. Since 2015 he has been playing in the Canadian Football League.


    Other Dec 23 birthdays with a New England connection include:

    Josh Samuda, 31 (1988)
    The offensive lineman from Hollywood Hills (Florida) via Birmingham (England) was with the Dolphins in 2012.

    P.J. Alexander, 41 (1978)
    Springfield, Mass
    Syracuse grad played guard for the Broncos and Falcons from 2004-2007.

    Bill Pritchard (1901-1978)
    Fullback and kicker from Penn State with the 1927 Providence Steam Roller.

    Waddy MacPhee (1899-1980)
    Princeton halfback from Brooklyn played for the 1926 Providence Steam Roller.

    And some notable NFL players born on this date:

    Paul Hornung, 84 (1935)
    Heisman Trophy winner and Packer Hall of Famer scored 176 points in a 12-game season in 1960, a record that stood for 46 years until broken in a 16-game season by LaDainian Tomlinson. His 19 points in the 1961 NFL championship game remained untouched for 56 years until James White scored 20 in the 28-3 comeback against Atlanta.

    Willie Wood, 83 (1936)
    Another Packer in the Hall of Fame, Wood was a safety and punt returner on five championship teams, with 48 career interceptions while being named to eight Pro Bowls.

    Jack Ham, 71 (1948)
    Hall of Fame linebacker was a leader on the Steel Curtain defense that won four Super Bowls, and was named to eight Pro Bowl squads.

    Jim Harbaugh, 56 (1963)
    'Captain Comeback' was a fan favorite for his fantastic finishes for the Colts in 1995, but in reality his 66-74 record as a starting quarterback says he was a bit of a bust as a first round pick. Since then this Harbaugh has been head coach for Stanford, the 49ers and Michigan.

    Joe Jurevicius, 45 (1974)
    The wide receiver got the last laugh over vile Philadelphia fans, with a 71-yard catch and run in the 2002 NFCCG en route to the Bucs super bowl win against Oakland.

    Bernard Pollard, 35 (1984)
    In retrospect the Patriots should have drafted Pollard and signed him to a ten year contract, then placed him on IR each and every year in order to avoid the annual injuries he inflicted.
  16. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    December 24 Games

    It took awhile for the Patriots to play a game on December 24. That is because 14-game football seasons ended mid-December until the mid-seventies, and playoffs were limited to two or four teams. In addition there was no Sunday December 24th from 1978 (when the Pats had a bye and the lone AFC wild card game was Oilers at Dolphins) until 1989.

    Similarly the NFL has avoided playing games on December 25. For a while they would play a wild card game on Saturday the 24th and Monday the 26th if 12/25 was a Sunday. More recently the league will play their games on Saturday, with one Sunday night game on the 25th.

    It a bit of an oddity the Patriots have faced two different coaches twice on those dates - with that head coach being with a different team the second time around in both instances.

    Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Gillette
    Patriots 37, Bills 16
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Sean McDermott
    QBs: Tom Brady, Tyrod Taylor
    Odds: New England favored by 11

    Pats improve to 12-3, tied with Steelers for best record in AFC
    Bills drop to 8-7, 2nd place in AFC East

    Tom Brady's 17-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski was the 75th time the two connected for a score; it was at that time the fifth-most all-time between a quarterback and a receiver.

    With eye on playoffs, Brady, Lewis lead Pats by Bills 37-16 | Boston Globe/AP

    Tom Brady passed for a pair of touchdowns and the New England Patriots stayed on track to claim home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a 37-16 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

    Dion Lewis caught a touchdown pass and rushed for a 4-yard score. He carried 24 times for career-high 129 yards. It was just his second-career 100-yard game. Mike Gillislee, active for the first time in six games, added a 1-yard rushing touchdown

    New England (12-3) can lock up first-round bye with either a Pittsburgh or Jacksonville loss. If both of those teams lose, the Patriots will secure home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The Jaguars play at San Francisco Sunday. The Steelers play at Houston Monday.

    Even with the loss, the Bills (8-7) remain in contention to break their 17-year playoff drought. It is longest active streak in North America’s four major professional sports. It is the longest postseason absence since NFL merger in 1970.

    New England has won at least 12 games in eight straight seasons — an NFL record.

    Buffalo stayed close throughout and went into halftime locked in a 13-13 tie.

    But the Bills managed just three points in the final 30 minutes, after a touchdown at the end of the first half was taken away.​

    Kelvin Benjamin’s overturned TD in Bills-Patriots game sparks anger, confusion | WaPo

    Another week, another touchdown overturned by NFL officials, sparking more outrage and confusion over the league’s catch r ules and its in-game replay reviews. Oh, and the Patriots were involved again, which didn’t help matters much.

    The latest scoring play to be nullified in controversial fashion came shortly before halftime of New England’s home game Sunday against the Bills. Buffalo’s Kelvin Benjamin was ruled on the field to have caught a pass in the corner of the end zone, but upon review, the league’s officiating department decided the wide receiver’s left foot came off the ground before he attained full “control” of the football.

    Bills fans weren’t the only ones who took issue with the league’s ruling. A former NFL executive in charge of officiating, Mike Pereira, said on Twitter, “Don’t see how the Buffalo TD was overturned. Not clear and obvious the toe didn’t drag. There is a line behind the toe when he drags it. Am I missing something?”

    It did not go unnoticed that the Patriots again benefited from a touchdown being overturned. A turning point in last week’s New England win came when the Steelers’ Jesse James was ruled to have lost control of the ball as he hit the ground following a catch, negating a last-minute touchdown that almost certainly would have given Pittsburgh a crucial victory. Earlier in the season, many were surprised when the Jets’ Austin Seferian-Jenkins had a touchdown overturned in what turned into a comeback win by the Patriots.​

    Sat Dec 24, 2016 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Gillette
    Patriots 41, Jets 3
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Todd Bowles
    QBs: Tom Brady, Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Odds: New England favored by 17

    Pats improve to 13-2, one game ahead of Oakland for best record in AFC
    Jets drop to 4-11

    Sat Dec 24, 2011 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Gillette
    Patriots 27, Dolphins 24
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Todd Bowles
    QBs: Tom Brady, Matt Moore
    Odds: New England favored by 7½

    Pats improve to 12-3; one game lead over Ravens and Steelers in AFC
    Miami drops to 5-10; 4th place, three behind Jets and one behind Buffalo

    Patriots trail 17-0 at halftime; come back to win 27-24.

    The win was the largest comeback by the Pats from a 2nd half deficit since 2002, when they beat the Chicago Bears 33-30 after falling behind 27-6. Wes Welker set a single season franchise record with 1,518 receiving yards. Wes broke the mark of 1,493 yards set by Randy Moss in 2007.

    espn recap

    Rallying from their worst half of the season, the Patriots scored on their next five possessions and clinched a playoff bye with a 27-24 win over the Miami Dolphins on Saturday.

    New England (12-3) won its seventh straight game. After the Houston Texans lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night, the Patriots needed a win or a tie to lock up one of the top two spots in the AFC.

    The AFC East champions trailed 17-0 at halftime but made the necessary adjustments and went to their no-huddle offense more, keeping the Dolphins from making defensive substitutions. And Brady was on target after a first half in which heavy defensive pressure against a makeshift offensive line affected his accuracy. He completed just 7 of 19 passes for 87 yards and was sacked three times in the half.

    But in the second half, he completed 20 of 27 passes for 217 yards, finishing at 27 for 46 for 304 yards and leading one scoring drive after another -- a 45-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski, the scoring pass to Branch, his own sneak that tied the game, Gostkowski's 42-yard go-ahead kick after Devin McCourty's first interception of the year, and the other sneak with 2:56 to go, making it 27-17.​

    Sun Dec 24, 2006 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Alltel Stadium
    Patriots 24, Jaguars 21
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Jack Del Rio
    QBs: Tom Brady, David Garrard
    Odds: Jacksonville favored by 3

    Pats improve to 11-4; two behind SD, one behind Ravens in AFC
    Jaguars drop to 8-7; tied with Titans, three behind Colts

    Pats KO Jags, clinch fourth straight AFC East title | espn/AP

    Tom Brady directed three long touchdown drives, capped one of them with a perfect touch pass to David Thomas, and helped the Patriots clinch their fourth consecutive AFC East crown with a 24-21 victory against the Jaguars on a rainy Sunday.

    They did it on the same field they won their last Super Bowl, in January 2005.

    Brady finished 28-of-39 for 249 yards and a touchdown, completing passes to 10 receivers and picking apart the NFL's second-ranked defense mostly with short and quick throws. He also ran 10 times for 31 yards, getting several first downs on sneaks and scrambling for yards to avoid sacks.

    Laurence Maroney, who missed the last two games with torn rib cartilage, had a 27-yard touchdown run with 4:36 remaining to put the Patriots ahead 24-14.

    But Jacksonville answered when David Garrard hooked up with Matt Jones for a 33-yard score about a minute later. The defense then forced its first three-and-out, giving the offense the ball near midfield with 1:55 to play. Garrard, though, scrambled out of the pocket and fumbled after getting hit by Jarvis Green.

    Rodney Harrison, back after missing six weeks with a broken shoulder blade, recovered to seal the victory.​

    Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 1:00
    Week 17, Game 16 at Foxboro Stadium
    Dolphins 27, Patriots 24
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Dave Wannstedt
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Jay Fiedler
    Odds: Miami favored by 4

    Pats drop to 5-11, fifth in the division
    Dolphins go 11-5, win AFC East by one game over Colts

    The game started well, with the Pats taking a second quarter lead on a 52-yard toss and catch and run from Drew Bledsoe to Kevin Faulk to put the Patriots up 14-3. Miami came back with two touchdowns, then Drew Bledsoe drove the Pats in the final two minutes of the half for 16 yard TD pass to Terry Glenn, giving the Patriots a 21-17 lead.

    Late in the fourth quarter Jay Fiedler completed seven straight passes, leading to a one yard touchdown run and a Miami 24-21 lead. On the first play from scrimmage after the kickoff Bledsoe hit Troy Brown for 22 yards, out to the Miami 38. On the next play linebacker Zach Thomas intercepted Bledsoe, and Fiedler completed six passes on the ensuing drive to set up the game winning field goal.

    Sat Dec 24, 1994 at 1:00
    Week 17, Game 16 at Soldier Field
    Patriots 13, Bears 3
    Head Coaches: Bill Parcells, Dave Wannstedt
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Steve Walsh
    Odds: New England favored by 1

    Pats finish 10-6; Miami wins division on tiebreaker
    Bears finish 9-7; 3-way tie for 2nd behind Vikings

    During a rainy and windy day Vincent Brisby caught six passes for 115 yards, and Willie McGinest sacked Steve Walsh on a late drive to seal a victory for the Patriots.

    Sun Dec 24, 1989 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 16 at Foxboro Stadium
    Rams 24, Patriots 20
    Head Coaches: Raymond Berry, John Robinson
    QBs: Steve Grogan, Jim Everett
    Odds: Los Angeles favored by 6½

    Pats finish 5-11, four games behind Buffalo
    Rams go 11-5, 2nd in NFC West

    On a cold (wind chill minus-4) day Grge Bell ran for 210 yards, one of three 200+ yard rushing games he would have in his career. The Patriots of 1989 were nowhere near as effective running the ball as they had been in previous seasons, averaging 3.6 yards per carry (23rd in the NFL). The Rams needed a victory in this game to make the playoffs in a tight wild card race that would leave two ten-win teams out.

    36 year old Steve Grogan was one of four quarterbacks (Grogan, Tony Eason, Marc Wilson, Doug Flutie) to start for the '89 Pats, and was under center for this game. He threw three first half interceptions, but with the exception of a 27-yard pick-six the Rams failed to capitalize. In the third quarter Los Angeles scored on a short touchdown pass to lead 17-3, then the Pats rallied.

    Grogan found Irving Fryar on a deep pass on the right seam for a 47-yard score, then in the fourth quarter John Stephens scooted around the left end for another touchdown. Jason Staurovsky kicked a 48 yard field goal and the Pats led, 20-17.

    On second and 10 from the Rams 20 Jim Everett found Henry Ellard on a deep cross at the 42. Ellard put on the brakes to juke a defender and raced down the right side to the Patriot 26 for a first down, and the Rams had life. Bell scored on a 3 yard run up the middle, and the Rams regained the lead.

    Grogan led the Pats on one last drive, and with ten seconds remaining connected with Eric Sievers, who was tackled at the four yard line. With one second left on the clock Grogan searched but everyone was covered, and his final pass attempt before the pass rush closed in was just a bit too high. Hart Lee Dykes finished with eight receptions for 108 yards, and Irving Fryar had six catches for 99 yards.

    The Rams would go on the road to defeat Buddy Ryan and the Eagles in the wild card and then Bill Parcells and the Giants in overtime, before losing to San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game.

    4:26 Highlight Video, with commentary by LA coach John Robinson:

    Full Game YouTube Video
  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Boston University Pipeline

    Before college football became a behemoth corporate empire with revenue and profit expectations just like any Fortune 500 company, schools like Boston University and Northeastern had football teams. 21 BU players were drafted, including notable players like Bruce Taylor, Butch Byrd, Reggie Rucker, Bill Brooks and Pat Hughes.

    Two Boston University Terrier football players that were born on December 24 made it to the NFL.

    Brad Costello, 45 (1974)
    Fairfield Prep (CT); Boston University
    Costello is one of the three last Terriers to play in the NFL, before BU ceased playing football. The punter was named to the 1998 All-Rookie Team in 1998 while with the Bengals.

    Paul Farren, 59 (1960)
    Born at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth
    Cohasset High School; Boston University

    Farren was selected by Cleveland in the 1983 NFL Draft. He played 132 games at tackle for the Browns from 1983 to 1991.

    Other December 24 birth dates with a New England connection:

    Bob Sullivan (1924-1992)
    Born in Attleboro; Springfield Cathedral HS; Holy Cross
    Halfback from the late forties was a 1947 draft pick by the Boston Yanks

    Mario Gianelli (1920-2003)
    Born in Everett; Everett High School; Boston College
    Guard/Middle Guard/Linebacker played in 44 games for the Eagles from 1948-1951; originally drafted by the Boston Yanks in 1945.

    Gibby Welch (1904-1984)
    Back scored 14 touchdowns in two seasons, one with the 1929 Providence Steam Roller.

    Also worth noting for this birth date is Bill Dudley (1921-2010).
    The Hall of Fame tailback led the NFL in rushing as well as punt return yardage in both 1942 and 1946, while also kicking 33 field goals, 193 punts, intercepting 23 passes (leading the NFL with ten in '46), recovering 17 fumbles and throwing six touchdown passes.
  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Christmas Babies

    Happy 26th birthday to Austin Carr
    Born Dec 25, 1993 in Benicia, California
    Patriot WR, 2017 offseason; uniform #84
    Signed as an undrafted rookie from Northwestern on April 30, 2017

    Austin Carr led the Big Ten in receptions (90), yards (1,247) and touchdowns (12), but went undrafted. The slot receiver was a training camp fan favorite and led the Pats with 153 yards and two touchdowns in preseason. With Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola being roster locks, the coaching staff was unable to squeeze Carr on to the 53-man roster. A day later the New Orleans Saints claimed Carr off waivers. He played in six games with three starts from week 3-8, but went on injured reserve with an ankle injury that required surgery.

    Happy 26th birthday to Cole Croston
    Born Dec 25, 1993 in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa
    Patriot OT/G, 2017-2018; uniform #74
    Signed as an undrafted rookie from Iowa on May 5, 2017

    Croston was inactive for the first nine games of his career, before getting on the field for three games in 2017. He split time between the practice squad and the 53-man roster in 2018, appearing in two more games. Croston was waived on July 30, 2019 to make room for Martez Ivey. The Pats re-signed Croston two weeks later when CB D'Angelo Ross was waived, then cut Croston once again on August 31 as part of final roster cuts. He has not re-signed with any team since then.

    Cole Croston explains how he went from a college walk-on to the NFL

    Happy 32nd birthday to Demaryius Thomas
    Born Dec 25, 1987 in Montrose, Georgia
    Patriot WR, 2019 offseason; uniform #88
    Signed as a veteran free agent on April 16, 2019

    The Patriots signed Thomas to a one-year contract with a $1.2 million base and $150,000 signing bonus, one month into free agency. The Texans had traded for him in midseason in 2018, then released him in the offseason after suffering a torn achilles. From 2012-2015 Thomas averaged 1,447 yards receiving from 2012-2015 and had scored 62 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons, almost all with Denver.

    Thomas began training camp on PUP, then missed practices and preseason games with a bad hamstring. The Pats cut Thomas on August 31, then re-signed him two days later when N'Keal Harry went on IR. Thomas was inactive for week one due to the hamstring injury, then traded to the Jets on September 10 for a seventh round draft pick. He has 36 catches for 433 yards and one touchdown in 2019.

    Every Demaryius Thomas catch from HUGE Preseason Week 4 game | Video

    Happy 57th birthday to Greg Robinson
    Born Dec 25, 1962 in Sacramento, California
    Patriot OT, 1986 & 1987; uniform #61
    Pats 5th round (137th overall) selection of the 1986 draft, from Sacramento State

    The 6'5, 280 pound tackle was waived by the Pats on August 26, 1986 after his rookie training camp. Robinson played in three games for Tampa Bay in '86, then returned to the Patriots and made three starts with the Pats in '87. He was inducted into the Sacramento State Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

    Happy birthday to Harry Jagielski (1931-1993)
    Born Dec 25, 1931 in Pittsburgh
    Patriot DT/OT, 1960-1961; uniform #73

    Harry played in all 14 games for the 1960 Patriots, with 13 starts at defensive tackle next to Bob Dee. He was a seventh round draft pick (80th overall) by Washington in 1954, and also spent some time with the Chicago Cardinals. In 1961 the University of Indiana alum started five games for the Pats, then finished the season (and his career) with the Raiders.


    Others born on Xmas with a New England connection include:

    Harry Flaherty, 58 (1961)
    Holy Cross
    Linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, 1987 (replacement player games).

    Jeff Rohrer, 61 (1958)
    2nd round draft pick from Yale, 1982
    Linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys from 1982-1987.

    Roland Lakes (1939-2012)
    Pats ninth round (66th overall) selection of the 1961 AFL draft, from Wichita State
    Lakes chose the NFL and started 154 games from 1961-71, all but the last with the 49ers.

    Dick Barwegen (1922-1966)
    Sixth round (44th overall) selection by the Boston Yanks in 1945, from Purdue
    Four-time All Pro guard for the Bears and Colts played eight seasons in the NFL.

    Milt Crain (1921-2000)
    Fullback from Baylor played ten games with the Boston Yanks in 1944.

    Frank Walton (1911-1953)
    Starting left guard for the 1934 Boston Yanks. His son Joe was a tight end for Washington and the Giants, and later became head coach for the Jets from 1983-89.

    Notable pro football players born on this date include:

    Chris Naeole, 45 (1974)
    The 10th overall pick of the 1997 draft has played 157 games at guard for the Saints and Jaguars.

    Hanford Dixon, 61 (1958)
    Three-time Pro Bowl corner for the Browns in the eighties.

    William Andrews, 64 (1955)
    The FB made four Pro Bowls and scored 41 touchdowns in five seasons before a knee injury prematurely ended his career. Andrews led the NFL with 2,036 yards from scrimmage in 1981, then topped that with 2,176 yards in 1983.

    Norm Bulaich, 73 (1946)
    Pro Bowl FB scored 41 touchdowns from 1970-79 with the Colts, Eagles and Dolphins.

    Larry Csonka, 73 (1946)
    Hall of Fame RB was named to five straight Pro Bowls in the early 70s and won two Super Bowls with Miami, and scored 68 touchdowns from 1968-79.

    Ken Stabler (1945-2015)
    "Snake" led the NFL in touchdown passes and was the league's MVP in 1974. Two years later he ranked first in completion percentage, touchdowns, touchdown percentage, yards per attempt, yards per game, longest pass play, passer rating, 4th quarter comebacks and game winning drives. That same season Stabler was the beneficiary in the Ben Dreith Game, en route to winning Super Bowl XI.
  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Mike Vrabel's two-touchdown game beats Jets

    Sun Dec 26, 2010 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Ralph Wilson Stadium
    Patriots 34, Bills 3
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Chan Gailey
    QBs: Tom Brady, Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Odds: New England favored by 9

    Pats improve to 13-2, clinch #1 seed in AFC
    Buffalo drops to 4-11, 4th in AFC East

    Buffalo scored a field goal on the opening drive but the Patriot defense was invincible after that, forcing seven turnovers plus making two fourth down stops. The game marked the third time in eight years the Pats had the best record in the AFC, and was their eighth division title in ten seasons. The victory was the seventh in a row for New England, and the seventh consecutive time they scored 31 or more points.

    Benjarvus Green-Ellis (19 carries for 194 yards) and Danny Woodhead (13-93, one TD) were both very effective running the ball, as the Pats converted eight of 17 third downs. Tom Brady (15-27, 140 yards) threw two touchdown passes to Rob Gronkowski, and another to Alge Crumpler in the final minute of the first half to give the Patriots a 24-3 lead. Bray threw no interceptions for the tenth straight game, and broke an NFL record set by Bernie Kosar in 1990 by throwing his 319th pass attempt without an interception. Highlight Video

    Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 9:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Giants Stadium
    Patriots 31, Jets 21
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Herm Edwards
    QBs: Tom Brady; Brooks Bollinger, Vinny Testaverde
    Odds: New England favored by 4

    Pats improve to 10-5, maintain two-game lead over Miami
    Jets drop to 3-12, second worst record in AFC

    Mike Vrabel became the first player in NFL history to catch two touchdown passes and record a sack in a single game as the Pats rolled to an easy win. Two Jet fourth quarter touchdowns resulted in the final score being closer than the game really was. The Pats outgained New York 321 yards to 171 and held a 26-10 advantage in first downs, resulting in their controlling the ball for a ridiculous 43:21 (to 16:39 for the Jets). The Patriots had already clinched the AFC East the previous week.

    After 35 years this was the final primetime game on ABC, with Monday Night Football scheduled to move to ESPN the following year. Sunday Night Football on NBC had replaced MNF as a showcase game of the week, thanks in part to the ability to flex a better game in and a bad game out on Sunday night as the season progressed - something that was not possible to do with Monday night games.

    For Vrabel it was the seventh and eighth reception of his career, with all going for touchdowns. It was also his third TD catch of the season, which was tied for second most on the team for the year. Corey Dillon rushed for two touchdowns and Asante Samuel had two pass deflections and an interception. Former Patriot Ty Law had a 74-yard pick-six that briefly tied the game at seven in the first quarter. Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and went over 4,000 yards passing in a single season for the first time. Late in the game Vinny Testaverde threw a touchdown pass, setting an NFL for most consecutive seasons with a TD pass at 19. Vinny (42) and Doug Flutie (43) were both at quarterback at end of the game, making it the first time in NFL history that two quarterbacks over the age of 40 completed a pass in the same game.

    One last bit of trivia for this game: no beer was sold.

    Attending Jets-Patriots Game Will Be a Sobering Experience | New York Times

    A Jets spokesman, Ron Colangelo, said Tuesday that the Jets had been approached by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which oversees operations at Giants Stadium, about banning alcohol sales for the game.

    "We went along with the suggestion, based on the calendar, the fact it's the end of a holiday weekend, and that there was an incident the last time the Jets played here at night," Colangelo said.

    The last night game for the Jets was against the Saints on a Sunday, Nov. 27. Of the more than 78,000 who had tickets, only about 50,000 fans showed up to see a struggling Jets team. Two fans were stabbed in a restroom, a police officer sustained a broken leg in a scuffle, and several fights broke out in the stands. Nine people were arrested.

    Many of the fans at that game were not season-ticket holders, a situation likely to be repeated Monday night, said Bernard Spigner, the authority's director of communications and external affairs.

    Another 78,000 tickets have been sold for the New England game, but with the Jets 3-11, the number of no-shows is likely to be in the tens of thousands.​

    Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 4:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Giants Stadium
    Patriots 23, Jets 7
    Head Coaches: Bill Belichick, Herm Edwards
    QBs: Tom Brady, Chad Pennington
    Odds: Pick

    Pats improve to 13-2, one game behind Steelers in AFC
    Jets drop to 10-5, one game ahead of Buffalo in AFC East

    The Patriots rebounded from a loss to Miami the previous week, blowing out the Jets to clinch a first round bye. A motivated Tom Brady went 21-32 for 264 yards, silencing critics after throwing four picks in the 29-28 loss to the Dolphins. The Jets missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot, losing for the second time in three weeks.

    Despite being without starting cornerbacks Ty Law and Randall Gay the Patriots forced three Chad Pennington turnovers, and shut the Jets out for the first 50:28. Corey Dillon set a franchise single season record with 1,519 rushing yards, eclipsing the old mark of 1,487 set by Curtis Martin in 1995. Martin also set a single season rushing yard record for the Jets in this game (1,544), but the Patriot defense limited him to 2.5 yards per carry, a mere 33 yards on 13 rushes.

    Sun Dec 26, 1999 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 15 at Foxboro Stadium
    Bills 13, Patriots 10 in OT
    Head Coaches: Pete Carroll, Wade Phillips
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Doug Flutie
    Odds: Buffalo favored by 3

    Pats drop to 7-8; tied with Jets for 4th place
    Bills improve to 10-5; 3 games behind Colts

    The Patriots lost their third straight and sixth in seven games since their bye, falling below.500 and guaranteeing their first non-winning season since 1995. If there was any doubt it also guaranteed an end to the Pete Carroll era. Terry Allen (126 yards on 27 carries) put the Pats up 10-3 early in the fourth quarter on a 14 yard run, one play after Chad Eaton forced a fumble and returned it 30 yards.

    Buffalo tied it midway through the quarter, then Troy Brown ran the ensuing kickoff back 42 yards to midfield. the Pats were unable to score, but Lee Johnson's punt went out of bounds at the 12 yard line. The Patriots forced a three-and-out, and after Troy returned this punt 17 yards the Pats had the ball at the Buffalo 42 with 1:19 left in regulation.

    Drew Bledsoe scrambled down the left sideline on first down for a gain of 25. With the ball on the 17 the Pats worked the clock down to six seconds - but Adam Vinatieri's 33 yard field goal was no good. On the first possession of overtime Vinatieri missed again, this time from 44 yards. Buffalo took over and was driving within field goal range, but Tony George forced a fumble that Tedy Bruschi recovered at the Patriot 21 to thwart the Bills.

    Terry Allen gained 20 yards on first down but the Pats went backwards after that and were forced to punt. Lee Johnson shanked the kick and Buffalo took over on their 42. Doug Flutie went 5-5 to drive the Bills to the six yard line, and Steve Christie's 23 yard field goal attempt with 1:51 left was good to end the game.

    Flutie (22-35, 212 yards) outperformed Bledsoe (10-21, 101 yards, six sacks). Adding in the yardage lost on the sacks, Buffalo outgained the Pats in passing yards 206-67, and in total yards 374-225. The Bills ran 18 more offensive plays and held the ball for nearly 12 minutes longer than the Pats. That was due largely to their success on third down (9-17, compared to 2-12 for the Pats), which led to Buffalo having a 23-14 edge in first downs. The only reason the game stayed close was three fumbles, and two failed fourth down attempts.

    Buffalo would go on to make the playoffs as a wild card, losing in astonishing fashion to Tennessee in the Music City Miracle. It was their eighth playoff appearance in the 90s; they would not make the postseason again until 2017. It would be twenty years before the Bills would win ten or more games in a season.

    Sun Dec 26, 1993 at 1:00
    Week 17, Game 15 at Foxboro Stadium
    Patriots 38, Colts 0
    Head Coaches: Bill Parcells, Ted Marchibroda
    QBs: Drew Bledsoe, Jeff George
    Odds: New England favored by 6

    Pats improve to 4-11, tied with Colts for 4th place in AFC East
    Indianapolis drops to 4-11

    On a cold (wind chill 9) day with 23 mph wind the Patriots thoroughly dominated the Colts. The Patriots held the ball for nearly 17 more minutes (38:28), running 24 more offensive plays (69-45), gaining 17 more first downs (24-7) while holding a whopping 400-136 advantage in total yards. Leonard Russell ran for two touchdowns, Drew Bledsoe threw TDs to Marv Cook and Michael Timpson, and Mike Saxon was called upon to punt just twice. Corey Croom even got in the act with career highs in rushing yards (93) and attempts (21), scoring his only NFL touchdown.

    For the Patriots this was the third of what would become a four-game winning streak to finish the season, after a 1-11 start. 1993 was the first with Bill Parcells as head coach and Drew Bledsoe at quarterback, a season where rumors about the team moving to St. Louis were a larger topic of conversation than how the Patriots were performing.

    Patriots Shut Out Colts, 38-0 | LA Times

    It was New England’s biggest margin of victory since a 56-3 victory over the New York Jets on Sept. 9, 1979. The Patriots (4-11) have won only 13 games in the 1990s, and five have come against the Colts (4-11).

    “I have never been associated with a club that played as bad as we played today,” Colt Coach Ted Marchibroda said. “We can’t bring anything positive out of this one at all. It was just a total breakdown all the way through.”

    Leonard Russell rushed for two touchdowns and Drew Bledsoe passed for two more as the Patriots had their biggest scoring game since a 42-20 defeat of the Jets in December 1987. Corey Croom added a late touchdown run, and Matt Bahr kicked a field goal.

    Russell ran for 97 yards in the first quarter and 138 yards overall. Croom added 93 yards in 21 carries. Bledsoe completed nine of 11 passes for 143 yards.​

    2:15 Highlight Video:

    1993 was also the year that Pat Patriot was replaced by Flying Elvis.


    Sun Dec 26, 1982 at 1:00
    Week 16, Game 8 at Three Rivers Stadium
    Steelers 37, Patriots 14
    Head Coaches: Ron Meyer, Chuck Noll
    QBs: Terry Bradshaw; Steve Grogan, Matt Cavanaugh
    Odds: Pittsburgh favored by 7

    Pats drop to 4-4, two games behind Dolphins and Jets
    Steelers improve to 5-3, one behind Cincinnati in AFC Central

    Pittsburgh led 20-0 at the half, and an ineffective Steve Grogan (7-19, 74 yards) was replaced by Matt Cavanaugh. The former Pitt Panther may have had some extra adrenaline flowing given the chance to play at Three Rivers, rallying the Pats on 11-16 passing for 227 yards. A 23 yard TD to Lin Dawson and a 75 yard strike to Stanley Morgan (4 catches, 127 yards) cut the deficit to 23-14 in the fourth quarter, but that was as close as the Patriots would get.

    There was also one game that did not happen on this date, in 1964:


    The Patriots lost to Buffalo in the final game of the '64 season the previous week, resulting in the Bills becoming the AFL East champions. It was pure revenge for the Bills, who had lost badly to the Patriots a year earlier in a tiebreaker playoff game after Boston and Buffalo finished the 1963 season tied for first place.

    The loss also resulted in a missed opportunity for retribution for the Patriots. San Diego was once again the AFL West champion, and had soundly defeated the Patriots in the 1963 championship game. The Chargers were nowhere near as good in '64; the AFL East winner was almost certain to defeat 8-5-1 San Diego this time around. Buffalo methodically accomplished that task for the first of two consecutive AFL championships (and the only league titles in their franchise history).
  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Shawn Crable

    Happy 35th birthday to Shawn Crable
    Born Dec 26, 1984 in Massillon, Ohio
    Patriot OLB/DE, 2008-2010; uniform #95
    Pats 3rd round (78th overall) selection of the 2008 draft, from Michigan


    Shawn Crable was one of the least productive draft picks in the Bill Belichick era, appearing in just six games over three seasons. His career stat line consisted of four tackles (two solo), one quarterback hit and a half sack, getting some playing time only when the Patriots were desperate and woefully inadequate at linebacker.

    Sept 26, 2010: Patriots re-sign Shawn Crable | Erik Frenz, Bleacher Report

    The New England Patriots announced on Saturday that they re-signed former third-round pick Shawn Crable to the 53-man roster. This comes less than two months after his sudden release from the team back in the summer.

    Despite huge concerns about the Patriots depth at outside linebacker, the organization released him on July 28 for a failed physical, but Bill Belichick left the door open to bringing him back. Sure enough, the team re-signed him on September 6th, and he was called up to the 53-man group after Kevin Faulk was placed on season-ending IR.

    The Patriots haven't gotten as much production out of the outside linebackers as they'd like. But really, what were they expecting?

    Drafting Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham in the second round may be a promising move for the future, but what's to be expected of him as he transitions to outside linebacker in a complex scheme?

    Releasing Derrick Burgess on cut day obviously didn't do much to bolster the spot, either. He didn't show enough signs of improvement in the 3-4 defense, and still rushed with his hand in the ground even this preseason.

    (Re-)enter Shawn Crable, who was regarded as a stellar pass rusher coming out of Michigan in 2008. He was considered a great pass-rusher with a high motor, registering 17 sacks in his collegiate career, with only two seasons as a starter.

    One injury after another has kept him sidelined, and even though the team did little to address its gaping hole at outside linebacker, Crable was considered "on the bubble" for much of the offseason.​

    Nov 16, 2010: Patriots release LB Shawn Crable |

    Crable, 6-5, 250 pounds, was originally drafted by the Patriots in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Michigan. He was inactive for the first eight game of the 2008 season before finishing the year on injured reserve. He was injured during the preseason last year and spent the season on injured reserve. Crable was released by New England on July 28, 2010 and signed to the practice squad on September 6. He was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Sept. 25.​

    Oct 25, 2011: Where are they now? - Shawn Crable | Ian Logue, Pats Fans

    The reason for the brief mention of the former Patriots linebacker is because the last time New England battled the Steelers, Crable had his best regular season performance as a Patriot after combining for two tackles along with 0.5 a sack during New England's 39-26 win over Pittsburgh.

    However, he was let go just days after the win, after the coaching staff must have seen something they weren't pleased with.

    It was a tough two week stretch in his final days as a Patriot, as the week before the linebacker had 30 or so family members present out in Cleveland in a 34-14 loss for New England. In that game Crable made his presence known early, pressuring Browns rookie QB Colt McCoy for a throwaway late in the first quarter, but was quiet from there and finished that game assisting on one tackle.

    After his release he landed on the Jets' practice squad days later - two weeks before New York was set to visit New England. The information they got from him must not have been too helpful, because the Patriots throttled them 45-3.

    Now the former linebacker is playing in the UFL for the Sacramento Mountain Lions, and was active for the team's 25-19 win last Friday night after finishing with 1.5 tackles.​

    Happy 47th birthday to Derrick Cullors
    Born Dec 26, 1972 in Dallas
    Patriot RB/KR, 1997-1999; uniform #29
    Signed as a free agent after being waived by the Ravens on Aug 25, 1996

    Derrick Cullors played in 31 games for the Patriots, gaining 303 yards on a combination of 40 rushes and 30 receptions. He also averaged 24.5 yards on 60 kickoff returns. Cullors also played in three playoff games, with 102 yards from scrimmage.

    In the 1997 divisional playoff win over Miami he had seven carries for 42 yards in a third quarter drive, while subbing for Curtis Martin. That led to a field goal that gave the Pats a 17-0 lead; he ended up leading the Pats with 86 yards on 22 rushes for the game.


    May 16, 2000: Patriots release RB/KR Derrick Cullors |

    The New England Patriots withdrew their qualifying offer from running back/kickoff returner Derrick Cullors, making the three-year veteran a free agent.

    Cullors, 27, was placed on the Patriots injured reserve list with an injured right knee on Aug. 27 and missed the entire 1999 season. In his first two years with the Patriots (1997-98), he was utilized as a third-down back and kick returner. In that role, he rushed for 149 yards on 40 carries, caught 16 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown and returned 60 kickoffs for 1,471 yards, a 24.5 yard average.

    The 6-foot, 195-pound running back/kickoff returner led the team in 1998 with 45 kickoff returns for 1,085 yards (24.1 avg.), including a season-long of 68 yards at Denver (8/31/98).​

    Happy 36th birthday to P.K. Sam
    Born Dec 26, 1983 in Denver
    Patriot WR, 2004; uniform #14
    Pats 5th round (164th overall) selection of the 2004 draft, from Florida State

    Sam played in only two games for the Patriots, but did have a college highlight catch.


    PK Sam, Bobby Bowden and the prez

    Other pro football players born on Dec 26 with a New England connection:

    Chris Gronkowski, 33 (1986)
    Brother of former Patriots Rob, Glenn and Dan Gronkowski
    Fullback appeared in 35 games with the Cowboys, Colts, Broncos and Chargers from 2010-2013.

    Scott Curtis, 52 (1964)
    Born in Burlington VT; Lynnfield High School; UNH
    The linebacker played in 41 games with the Eagles and Broncos from 1998-1990; he is one of two Wildcats to play in a Super Bowl.

    Joe Osmanski (1917-1993)
    Born and raised in Providence; Central High School; Holy Cross
    Played fullback for the Chicago Bears in the forties.

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