1971 New England Patriots Season
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1971 New England Patriots Season

1971 New England Patriots season
OwnerBilly Sullivan
Head coachJohn Mazur
General managerUpton Bell
Home fieldSchaefer Stadium
Division placeT-3rd AFC East
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro BowlersNone
AP All-ProsNone

The 1971 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 2nd season in the National Football League and 12th overall. The 1971 season was the first that the team played as the New England Patriots, changing their name from the Boston Patriots, briefly to the Bay State Patriots before changing it again to the New England Patriots, in an effort to regionalize the franchise's equal distance from Boston and Providence.[1]

The Patriots finished with six wins and eight losses, third place in the AFC East Division. It was the first season the Patriots played in the new Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts,[2][3] after playing in three different stadiums the previous three seasons in Boston.

During training camp, the Dallas Cowboys traded disgruntled running back Duane Thomas to the Patriots for Carl Garrett and Halvor Hagen on July 31.[4] Thomas became embroiled in a conflict with head coach John Mazur,[5] prompting Patriots general manager Upton Bell to request that Commissioner Pete Rozelle void the trade three days after it had been made. Rozelle granted Bell's request, and the traded players returned to where they had been prior to the deal.[6]


NFL Draft

1971 New England Patriots draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 1 Jim Plunkett  QB Stanford
      Made roster    +   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career



Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Recap
1 September 19 Oakland Raiders W 20-6 1-0 Schaeffer Stadium Recap
2 September 26 Detroit Lions L 7-34 1-1 Schaeffer Stadium Recap
3 October 3 Baltimore Colts L 3-23 1-2 Schaeffer Stadium Recap
4 October 10 New York Jets W 20-0 2-2 Schaeffer Stadium Reacp
5 October 17 at Miami Dolphins L 3-41 2-3 Miami Orange Bowl Recap
6 October 24 at Dallas Cowboys L 21-44 2-4 Texas Stadium Recap
7 October 31 at San Francisco 49ers L 10-27 2-5 Candlestick Park Recap
8 November 7 Houston Oilers W 28-20 3-5 Schaeffer Stadium Recap
9 November 14 Buffalo Bills W 38-33 4-5 Schaeffer Stadium Recap
10 November 21 at Cleveland Browns L 7 -27 4-6 Cleveland Stadium Recap
11 November 28 at Buffalo Bills L 20-27 4-7 War Memorial Stadium Recap
12 December 5 Miami Dolphins W 34-13 5-7 Schaeffer Stadium Recap
13 December 12 at New York Jets L 6-13 5-8 Shea Stadium Recap
14 December 19 at Baltimore Colts W 21-17 6-8 Memorial Stadium Recap


AFC East
Miami Dolphins 10 3 1 .769 5-3 7-3-1 315 174 W1
Baltimore Colts 10 4 0 .714 6-2 8-3 313 140 L1
New England Patriots 6 8 0 .429 4-4 6-5 238 325 W1
New York Jets 6 8 0 .429 4-4 6-5 212 299 W2
Buffalo Bills 1 13 0 .071 1-7 1-10 184 394 L3

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.



  1. ^ New England Is Their Third Name
  2. ^ "New England opens park with victory". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. August 16, 1971. p. 6B.
  3. ^ "Traffic situation 'hard to forget'". The Telegraph. (Nashua, New Hampshire). Associated Press. August 16, 1971. p. 18.
  4. ^ "Cowboys unload Thomas, obtain Garret from Pats". Victoria Advocate. (Texas). Associated Press. August 1, 1971. p. 4B.
  5. ^ "Thomas packs bags, exits Patriot camp". Victoria Advocate. (Texas). Associated Press. August 4, 1971. p. 2B.
  6. ^ "Thomas trade called off". Victoria Advocate. (Texas). Associated Press. August 5, 1971. p. 2B.
  7. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 297

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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