New England Patriots

The Patriots 41-28 AFC Divisional Round victory over the L.A. Chargers at Gillette Stadium. Image source: www.patriots.com/photos

From Foxborough, Massachusetts the New England Patriots, former Boston Patriots is a prominent and most successful American football franchise awarded to Boston Billy Sullivan that plays in the top flight of American professional football, NFL, from East division of American Football Conference (AFC). The current home ground and headquarter is the Gillette Stadium in the Foxborough city of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, 22 miles southwest of Boston. Before settling in its current home, the Patriots floated around on many grounds around the city, in Nickerson Field from 1960 to 1962), Fenway Park (1963 to 1968), Alumni Stadium (1969), Harvard Stadium (1970) and Prior to 2002, the Patriots played in Foxboro Stadium (1971-2001).

The colors of the team are Navy blue, silver, red and white. Their current uniform, since 1993, comprised of the jersey, helmet, and pant. Jersey for home is made of royal blue and for away white color, with Flying Elvis logo their helmet was made of a silver color with no striping and for both away and home, silver pants are used.

As one of the most successful football teams the Patriots, including the current title of 2019 won six Super Bowl titles (2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017), won 11 AFC championships and 20 divisional (AFC East) titles. Patriots tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl win of six times and held the record for most Super Bowl reached, 9 times and for most Super Bowl losses, 5 times. According to Forbes, the New England Patriots estimated to be worth about $3.8 billion.

Current Team Roster

New England Patriots current owner and CEO is Robert Kraft (since 1994) and their current head coach is Bill Belichick, appointed on January 27, 2000.

Quarterbacks: Tom Brady (12), Danny Etling (5), Brian Hoyer (2)

Running backs: Brandon Bolden (38), Rex Burkhead (34), James Develin (46, FB), Sony Michel (26), James White (28).

Wide receivers: Braxton Berrios (14), Phillip Dorsett (13), Julian Edelman (11), Bruce Ellington, Maurice Harris, Damoun Patterson (17), Matthew Slater (18)

Tight ends: Stephen Anderson (80), Rob Gronkows (87), Jacob Hollister (47), Ryan Izzo (85), Matt LaCosse

Offensive linemen: David Andrews (60, C), Marcus Cannon (61, T), Cole Croston (74, T), Jake Eldrenkamp (C), James Ferentz (66), Ted Karras (75, G), Shaq Mason (69, G), Ryker Mathews, Brian Schwenk (63, G), Dan Skipper (72, T), Joe Thuney (62, G), Isaiah Wynn (76, T)

Defensive linemen: Michael Bennett (DE), Adam Butler (70, DT), Keionta Davis (58, DE), Lawrence Guy (93, DT), Trent Harris (45, DE), Frank Herron (92, DT), Ufomba Kamalu (97, DT), David Parry (DT), Mike Pennel (DT), Derek Rivers (95, DE), John Simon (55, DE), Deatrich Wise Jr. (91, DE)

Linebackers: Ja’Whaun Bentley (51,MLB), Dont’a Hightower (54, OLB), Brandon King (36, OLB), Calvin Munson (48, OLB), Elandon Roberts (52, MLB), Christian Sam (44, MLB), Kyle Van Noy (53, OLB)

Defensive backs: Terrence Brook (FS), Patrick Chung (23, S), Keion Crossen (35, CB), Duke Dawson (29, C), Nate Ebner (43, FS), Stephon Gilmo (24, CB), Duron Harmon (21, SS), A. J. Howard (39, F), J. C. Jackson (27, C), Devin McCourt (32, FS), Jason McCour (30, CB), Obi Melifonwu (22, CB)

Unrestricted free agents: Ryan Allen (6, P), Stephen Gostkowski (3, K), Jeremy Hill (33, RB), Chris Hogan (15,WR) Cody Hollister (81, WR) Ramon Humber (50, OLB) Ulrick John (67, T) Albert McClellan (59, MLB) Danny Shelton (71, DT)

Summary of History

On November 22, 1959, Billy Sullivan secured the 8th and final American football franchise of the AFL which incorporated as a team of the Eastern division upon its inception in 1960. In 1960 chosen from the public contest that officiated by a panel of sportswriters, the nickname ‘Patriots’ was chosen and as the obvious choice the referring to their home, ‘Boston’ was added to it, resulting the name being ‘Boston Patriots’. That year Lou Saban was appointed as the Patriots first head coach and their first home ground was Nickerson Field of the Boston University Field, though during the 60s, until 1971 before Foxborough stadium, they didn’t have any regular home ground as they played in many grounds in and around the city.

With nine losses and five wins, the Patriots were placed last in the AFL’s Eastern Division and the AFL’s inaugural season. On July 30, in their first ever AFL pre-season game they defeated the Buffalo Bills 28-7. In the presence of eleven thousand fans the Patriots played their first ever home game, losing to the Dallas Texans 24-14 and in their opening AFL regular season game, they were defeated by 13-10 to the Denver Broncos. Their leading rusher was Alan Miller, the defensive back was Gino Cappelletti and leading passer was Butch Songin. The Patriots waited up until their 4th for their initial divisional title but lost to the Chargers, 51-10, in their AFL championship game. During the 60s the standing out players were wide receiver Gino Cappelletti, linebacker Nick Buoniconti, and quarterback Vito “Babe” Parilli. In 1966 the Patriots finished second in the division and the rest of the 60s remained unfruitful, as they had 7 successive losing seasons.

Upon the AFL- NFL merger the Patriots were placed in the East division. The following year the Patriots replaced ‘Boston’ by ‘New England’ in their name and relocated to the Foxborough Stadium.

In a relatively better 70s, the Patriots had occasional successes. The Patriots finished 11-3 in 1976 and lost in their first-round playoff game to Oakland Raiders. Again in 1978 lost in their first-round playoff game after winning the AFC East divisional championship. In 1984 Raymond Berry was appointed as the head coach, at the helm he guided the team to an 11-5 record in the AFC East Division and earned a berth to the playoffs. The Patriots eventually advanced to the Super Bowl XX in 1986, their first ever, but was humiliated by the Chicago Bears 46-10.

The Patriots made to the playoffs in the following season in 1986 but lost in the first round, which was their last playoffs for the next eight years and last Super Bowl for 11 years and also the last season for the legendary John Hannah, one of the greatest lineman of all time and inducted to be the first ever in the hall of fame in 1991. Along with John Hannah, quarterback Steve Grogan (1975–1990) and cornerback Mike Haynes (1976–1982) was the few standing out players of the late 70s and 80s, brought many hard-earned successes for their team. In 1988 Victor Kiam bought The Patriots from the Sullivan family and between 1988 and 1994 it changed hands three times, then in 1992 to James Orthwein and finally to its current owner Robert Kraft in 1994.

In 1993 Orthwein hired Bill Parcells as the head coach of the Patriots, who guided the Patriots along with their quarterback Drew Bledsoe to a 1996 AFC Championship but lost in their second Super Bowl appearance to Green Bay Packers by 35–21. Parcells was succeeded by Pete Carroll, who guided the team to two successive playoffs in 1997 and 1998, but later was dismissed in 1999.

Prior to the 90s, the meaning of the Patriots successes was merely winning the divisional titles, and an occasional berth to the playoffs, which during their 70s and 80s were struggling to do so. But the late-90s and post-nineties that changed, they targeted much more, as they already played a couple of times in the Super Bowl, by then their success meant the ultimate, passing through the playoffs through to the Super Bowl and claiming the title.

Contemplating high during the 90s their owner appointed new coaches and implemented many marketing policies ensued a few playoffs victory and a Super Bowl appearance, but those efforts didn’t transform to their ultimate goal, the Super Bowl title. So on the 27th Jan 2000 former N.Y. Jets assistant head coach Bill Belichick took over as the head coach of the Patriots, pairing with the quarterback Tom Brady they led the Patriots becoming one of the most successful American football teams, within 18 seasons 16 AFC East titles, 126 wins from 2003-2012, undefeated regular season of 2007 and ten at a stretch divisional titles for 2009 to 2018 and delivering the Super Bowl titles, all six of them between 2002 and the current title. So the history of the Patriots from 2000 is really the achievements led by this head coach-quarterback duo.

Championships of New England Patriots

League championships (6)
Super Bowl championships: 2001 (XXXVI), 2003 (XXXVIII), 2004 (XXXIX), 2014 (XLIX), 2016 (LI), 2018 (LIII)

Conference championships (11)
American Football Conference (AFC): 1985, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018

Division championships (21)
American Football League (AFL) East: 1963
American Football Conference (AFC) East: 1978, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Most Notable Players

Over the years many outstanding players played with the New England Patriots, they brought success and fame to their team as well as themselves. Here are some few most outstanding ones:

Name Positions Seasons Games Played (Times)
Tom Brady Quarterback 2000-present 269
John Hannah Offensive guard 1973-1985 183
Rob Gronkowski Tight end 2010-present 115
Ty Law Cornerback 1995-2004 141
Adam Vinatieri Placekicker 1996-2005 160
Tedy Bruschi Linebacker 1996-2008 189
Vince Wilfork Defensive lineman 2004-2014 158
Willie McGinest Linebacker 1994-2005 171
Julian Edelman Wide receiver 2009-present 115
Andre Tippett Linebacker 1982–1988 & 1990–1993 51
Randy Moss Wide receiver 2007–2010 52
Wes Welker Wide receiver 2007–2012 93
Troy Brown Wide receiver, Cornerback, Return specialist, Punt returner 1993–2007 192
Rodney Harrison Safety 2003–2008 63
Stephen Gostkowski Placekicker 2006–2018 200
Richard Seymour Defensive tackle 2001–2008 111
Drew Bledsoe Quarterback 1993–2001 124
Mike Vrabel Linebacker, Tight end 2001–2008 125
Mike Haynes Cornerback 1976–1982 90
Deion Branch Wide receiver 2002–2005 & 2010–2012 89
Name Positions Seasons Games Played (Times)

Sources:
https://www.patriots.com/press-room/history
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_Patriots
https://www.britannica.com/topic/New-England-Patriots