The New England Patriots are one of the more respected and successful franchises in the National Football League, but it hasn’t always been that way. As a charter member of the rival American Football League, the Patriots were largely unsuccessful during their first two decades in professional football. The team played their first eleven seasons using the name the Boston Patriots before changing it to their current name in 1971. The Patriots have had a number of excellent players over their existence including Julius Adams, Drew Bledsoe, Deion Branch, Troy Brown, Raymond Clayborn, Sam Cunningham, Tony Eason, Irving Fryar, Russ Francis, Andy Johnson, Ted Johnson, Ty Law, Ronnie Lippett, Fred Marion, Curtis Martin, Willie McGinest, Johnny Rembert, Jim Plunkett, Mosi Tatupu, Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Richard Seymour, and Tedy Bruschi. Here is a look at five things you probably don’t know about the New England Patriots.
1. In the Patriots first twelve seasons in professional football, they had five different home stadiums: Nickerson Field (1960-62), Fenway Park (1963-68), Alumni Stadium (1969), Harvard Stadium (1970), and Foxboro Stadium (from 1971 to 2001).
2. The 2007 New England Patriots are the only team to go 18-1 over an entire season (regular season and playoffs), and not win the Super Bowl. The other two 18-1 Super Bowl winning teams were the 1984 San Francisco 49ers and the 1985 Chicago Bears.
3. Offensive lineman John Hannah was the first New England Patriots player to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
4. Super Bowl and league MVP Tom Brady was picked by the New England Patriots with the 199th overall choice in the 2000 NFL Draft. Six quarterbacks were taken ahead of him that year, they were Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger, and Spergon Wynn.
5. New England Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett recorded the highest two season quarterback sack total during the mid-1980s when he racked up 35 sacks in the 1984 and 1985 NFL seasons put together.
The New England Patriots have accomplished some incredible things, mostly since the year 2000. The team has a fascinating history though that extends from the rough years early on when they had trouble securing stability in their roster, the front office, and a home stadium through to the more successful years that the franchise would enjoy later on. The Patriots have endeared themselves to their local fans and have earned a sizeable following and a number of fans from various locations all around the United States. The NFL is a better league because of teams like the New England Patriots.