The Patriots suffered early setbacks in Quebec, Canada, and New York City. In both games, they were defeated by four points -- 24-20 in a snowstorm in Montreal and 7-3 by the New York Giants at Franklin Field in Boston. The Patriots had also lost to their chief rival, the Baltimore Colts, in 1957 and 1958.
These three losses dropped New England out of the top spot in the NFL standings. They still had a chance to make it back to the championship game on account of having better record than Baltimore, but the next week they would lose to the Colts again 23-17 in Foxboro Stadium.
New England played its first two games against Canadian teams, who were then ranked first and second in the league. This was very unusual for those days when most of the time American teams faced each other in regular season games. The Patriots were not used to playing against foreign opponents and didn't have much time to prepare for them. Plus, there was a lack of coordination between the Canadian players who came over here to play football and the American coaches who wanted to see how they functioned on the field. All in all, these factors contributed to the fact that the Patriots had trouble with the Canadians throughout their history.
The Patriots defeated the visiting New York Jets 28-14 to improve their record to 7-9 on the season. In a game that had many highlights, including a 75-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola, it was rookie quarterback Sam Darnold's day as he threw for three touchdowns without an interception. However, it was not enough as New England overcame a 14-7 halftime deficit to win by seven points.
In his first game back after being suspended for four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, Brady led the way with 373 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. He also had a 77-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan in the first quarter. Running back James White added 105 yards on the ground and two scores while Gronk continued to be Gronk with eight catches for 88 yards.
For New York, Darnold went off for three touchdowns in his first career game against his former team. He finished with 425 passing yards and five interceptions. Wide receiver Robby Anderson had nine receptions for 143 yards and a score while running back Isaiah Crowell had 74 rushing yards and a touchdown.
This is the first time since 2007 that the same two teams have started 7-9.
Following their triumph in Super Bowl XXXVI seven months earlier, the Patriots played their first game in the new Gillette Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL's primetime Monday Night Football premiere, which they won. The game was also notable for being the last career touchdown run by running back Antowain Smith.
The stadium has been considered one of the best in football to play in since it opened in 2001. It is located near downtown Foxborough on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Patriots have remained popular throughout Massachusetts and many other parts of the United States despite not having won a title since 2004.
Massachusetts is a common birthplace for professional athletes, with several famous names coming from this state including Tom Brady, Bill Russell, Jackie Robinson, and Larry Bird. In addition, MIT has produced several prominent players including Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Joe Montana, and Mike Vrabel.
The city of Boston has also been home to many major sports events such as the Boston Red Sox baseball team and the Boston Bruins ice hockey team. In 2001, former Boston Celtics star Kevin McHale started the "Boston Massacre" nickname when his team defeated the New York Knicks 97-86 at Madison Square Garden. The following year, the Celtics lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals 4-1.
The series began with a game at Nickerson Field in Boston. The Broncos play in the AFL's Western Division, while the Patriots play in the AFL's Eastern Division. The Patriots were defeated in the AFL Championship game in 1963.
The first game in the series was held on September 20, 1974. Denver won that game 21-7. The Patriots would go on to win the next three games by a combined total of 107 points before the two teams went their separate ways for 10 years.
In 1994, the two teams met for the first time since 1977 with the Patriots returning to Foxboro Stadium. It was also the first game at this location for both teams. New England beat Denver 34-21.
From 1995-2004, the Patriots and Broncos didn't meet annually, but they did meet every year during this period of time in the playoffs. From 1975-1994, there were 14 playoff meetings between these two teams. They have since gone on to meet in the playoffs 11 times from 2005-2015, including last year's AFC Championship game which was won by New England 24-20.
Denver has won five out of the eight previous meetings between these two teams.
The New England Patriots are a professional American football team headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The team's home games are held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, which is located 22 miles (35 kilometers) southwest of downtown Boston. The Patriots have won two Super Bowls - XXXVI and FXX - and have appeared in nine NFL Championships.
The Patriots were founded in 1960 by Robert K. Kraft, who was then a young businessman with no previous association with sports. The team began as the Boston Braves, a member of the original National Football League (NFL). In 1966, the team changed its name to the Boston Patriots after protests by African-Americans against racism within football and across other sports led by Jackie Robinson broke out following the death of Martin Luther King Jr. The team adopted its current name in 1973.
Between 1995 and 2001, the Patriots had an undefeated season every year except for one (they lost 17-16 to Miami in 1996), finishing that period with a perfect 16-0 record. They are the only team in NFL history to accomplish this feat. New England has also been ranked first in several polls to choose the best franchise in football.
Besides football, the Patriots also have a strong presence in other sports.