New England Patriots

Facts and information about the New England Patriots

  • The first player to sack Tom Brady was Brad Scioli of the Indianapolis Colts in 2001. 
  • After 45 touchdown passes thrown to him by Tom Brady, September 29, 2014 would see Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski catch his first TD pass from another quarterback. That came on a 13 yard toss in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Chiefs and it was thrown by Jimmy Garoppolo.
  • Stevan Ridley ran for 1,263 yards as a running back for the Patriots in 2012. This was the 15th 1,000 yard rushing season in team history.
  • Head Coach Bill Belichick was head coach of the New York Jets for one day before resigning to take the Patriots job.
  • At one time, the Patriots were the only team in the league who had a picture of a football as part of their helmet logo.
  • Super Bowl MVP Jim Plunkett (Raiders) was originally drafted in the first round by the New England Patriots.
  • The Patriots were originally a member of the competing American Football League (AFL) before joining the NFL when the leagues merged in 1970.

  • During the 1960’s while in the AFL, and in 1970 their first year in the NFL, the team was known as the Boston Patriots.
  • For a brief period in 1971 the team was officially renamed the Bay State Patriots, but before the season started it was decided they would be the New England Patriots.
  • From 1963 to 1968 the Patriots played in Fenway Park.
  • The first player to play his entire career with the Patriots and make the Hall-of-Fame was Offensive Lineman John Hannah.
  • In Bill Belichick’s first game as Patriots head coach he would see his team fall in defeat by the score of 21-16 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • The first time LeGarrette Blount carried the ball in a New England Patriots uniform he went off left tackle for a five yard gain against the Bills in 2013.
  • 2009 saw the Patriots trade away a 1st and 5th round draft pick away to the Packers for a package of three draft picks. The Packers would use that first round pick on All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews.
  • Chuck Fairbanks was fired as Head Coach in 1978 after it was revealed that he had secretly already taken the job of Head Coach at the University of Colorado.
  • After a successful run as Quarterback at Boston College, a stint in the USFL with the New Jersey Generals, and a couple years with the Chicago Bears; local hero played backup Quarterback for the Patriots.

  • The injury that caused Tom Brady to take over for Drew Bledsoe was caused by a hit by New York Jets Linebacker Mo Lewis.
  • The Patriots have had three Head Coaches who also held the position of Head Coach with the New York Jets; Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll, and Bill Belichick (although Belichick only held the title of New York Jets Head Coach for one day).
  • Through the 2006 season the Patriots have played in nine games that ended in ties. These tie games all came while they were members of the American Football League.
  • Former Patriots Running Back Mosi Tatupu’s son Lofa plays Linebacker in the NFL.
  • TV Announcer Craig James, a graduate of SMU, played Running Back for the Patriots in the mid 1980s.
  • Over two seasons of college football at the University of Arizona, future Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski caught a total of 16 touchdown passes.
  • Three of the first five touchdowns Patriots receiver Julian Edelman scored in the NFL came on punt returns.

  • 1961 saw the New England Patriots use a fifth round draft pick on University of Georgia quarterback Fran Tarkenton. This was in the AFL Draft. Tarkenton would also be picked that year in the NFL Draft by the Vikings, whom he would choose to play for instead.
  • In December of 2005, in a game against the Jets, backup Quarterback Doug Flutie played for the Patriots against backup Quarterback Vinny Testaverde for the New York Jets; this marked the first time ever in the NFL that two Quarterbacks over the age of 40 years old competed in a regular season game against each other.
  • On January 1, 2006 in the regular season finale against the Dolphins, New England Patriots backup Quarterback Doug Flutie successfully drop kicked the ball for an extra point. While still a legal scoring play, the drop kick had not been used in a game since 1941.
  • Former Patriots Running Back Craig James’ brother Chris had a major league baseball career that lasted over 9 seasons.
  • When the New England Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins in the 1985 playoffs, it marked their first win in the Orange Bowl in
    Miami since 1966.
  • The New England Patriots originally drafted future Vikings, Chiefs, and Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon with plans on turning him into a defensive back.
  • When the Patriots drafted Irving Fryar with the number one overall pick in the 1984 NFL Draft, he became the first wide receiver ever drafted number one overall.
  • With his last second field goals to win both Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl XXXVIII, Adam Vinatieri became the first player to be the deciding factor in two different Super Bowl victories.
  • Wes Welker caught five career touchdown passes in the postseason during his NFL career. Four were thrown to him by Tom Brady and one by Peyton Manning.
  • Rob Gronkowski’s first career 100 yard game came in the final game of the regular season in his rookie year when he caught six passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.

  • Prior to Tom Brady taking over the top spot in team history, the career leader for the Patriots in 300 yard passing games was Drew Bledsoe with 26. The record holder before him was Steve Grogan with 12.
  • Former coach Bill Parcells is the first (and as of 2007 only) coach to take four different NFL teams to the playoffs (Giants, Patriots, Jets, and Cowboys).
  • Tom Brady grew up a huge Joe Montana fan and was actually present at the famous 49ers/Cowboys playoff game that featured “The Catch”.
  • Tony Eason, quarterback on the 1985 AFC Champion Patriots, became the first (and through 2006 only) Super Bowl starting quarterback to not complete a pass after he was pulled in favor of backup Steve Grogan.
  • In 1992, the Patriots had games started by four different quarterbacks: Scott Zolak, Tommy Hodson, Hugh Millen, and Jeff Carlson.
  • Kicker Adam Vinatieri is the first kicker to play in five Super Bowls (and also win four).
  • Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri got his start in professional football with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe.

  • In the Super Bowl loss to the 1985 Chicago Bears the Patriots running backs were dominated by the Chicago Defense. Craig James rushed 5 times for 1 yard and had one fumble, while fullback Tony James rushed for 4 yards on 3 carries.
  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was drafted in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Montreal Expos in 1995.
  • Bill Parcells had three different players play for him on three different teams; Pepper Johnson, Jumbo Elliott, and Dave Meggett.
  • At Super Bowl XL following the 2005 season, though the Patriots didn’t play in the game, Tom Brady did participate. He was the official coin tosser.
  • Running back Kevin Faulk is a distant cousin of former Rams and Colts running back Marshall Faulk.

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