FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — After losing three of their final five games of the regular season, the New England Patriots head into the playoffs with a 12-4 record and as the 3-seed in the AFC. They’ll host the 6-seed Tennessee Titans on Saturday night in their first wild-card game since 2010.
Here’s a recap of the Patriots’ 2019 season:
- Week 1: Thursday, Aug. 8: Patriots 31 – Lions 3
- Week 2: Saturday, Aug. 17: Patriots 22 – Titans 17
- Week 3: Thursday, Aug. 22: Patriots 10 – Panthers 3
- Week 4: Thursday, Aug. 29: Patriots 29 – Giants 31
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8
Patriots 33 – Steelers 3
Tom Brady improved to 12-3 against Pittsburgh in his career as New England cruised to victory after hanging Super Bowl banner #6 at Gillette Stadium. Fun Fact: It was the third Banner Night the Steelers attended in Foxboro since 1980 — one more than they hosted themselves during that time period.
Brady completed 24 of 36 passing for 341 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were brought in by WR Phillip Dorsett. WR Julian Edelman also contributed to the passing game through a trick play to RB James White than netted 32 yards and set up the team’s first touchdown of the season, a 20-yard pass to now-former Patriots WR Josh Gordon.
The Patriots defense picked up where they left off in the Super Bowl, keeping Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers out of the end zone and holding them to a lone field goal, much like they did against the Los Angeles Rams the previous February.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15
Patriots 43 – Dolphins 0
As noted above, the Patriots haven’t had much luck in Miami during the Brady-Belichick era. Not the case in Week 2 as the team rolled to a 43-0 win.
Newly acquired WR Antonio Brown picked up 56 yards and a touchdown in his one game in a Patriots uniform. (The team would cut him several days later after new allegations of sexual misconduct arose.)
It was another dominant performance from the defense, who not only held the Dolphins scoreless but also pulled in four interceptions.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22
Patriots 30 – Jets 14
Next up was the second of three straight divisional matchups. By the third quarter, the Patriots had built up a 30-0 lead over the Jets which was more than enough to secure a win.
While New York reached the end zone twice late in the game, both came off New England turnovers meaning the defense’s touchdown-less streak was extended to four games. The D held rookie QB Luke Falk to just 98 yards passing on 12 completions and reeled in its sixth interception of the season.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29
Patriots 16 – Bills 10
Both the Patriots and Bills were 3-0 going into Week 4’s showdown at New Era Field. It wasn’t a strong outing for the offense but the defense and special teams picked up the slack, with Matthew Slater hitting paydirt after a blocked punt by J.C. Jackson.
While the Patriots D would give up its first touchdown of the season in the form of a one-yard touchdown run to QB Josh Allen, the unit was able to hang on and help the team take control of the AFC East.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6
Patriots 33 – Redskins 7
Before the Patriots traveled to Washington to take on the winless Redskins, they placed longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski on season-ending injured reserve due to a hip injury. After working out several replacements, the team signed veteran Mike Nugent.
The Skins drew first blood with a 65-yard touchdown run by WR Steven Sims Jr. but from then on it was all Patriots, who scored 33 unanswered points. Tom Brady finished the day with 348 passing yards, putting him ahead of Brett Favre and just 17 yards shy of Peyton Manning on the list of all-time leaders.
Week 6: Thursday, Oct. 10
Patriots 35 – Giants 14
The Patriots defense allowed their first passing touchdown of the season in Week 6 but would score two touchdowns of their own. (DE Chase Winovich returned a blocked punt in the first quarter and LB Kyle Van Noy picked up a Giants fumble in the fourth quarter.)
Daniel Jones threw three interceptions and became another rookie quarterback to fall victim to Belichick’s Patriots in Foxboro. Veteran QB Eli Manning watched from the sideline as Tom Brady surpassed his brother Peyton for second place on the league’s all-time passing yards list.
With the 35-14 win, New England was now 6-0 on the season.
Week 7: Monday, Oct. 21
Patriots 33 – Jets 0
The Patriots traveled to the Meadowlands for their second meeting with the Jets which turned out to be less of a challenge than the first despite the return of QB Sam Darnold. The defense picked off Darnold four times and improved their already league-leading points-per-game and yards-per-game averages.
RB Sony Michel rushed for three TDs and WR Phillip Dorsett caught one in his return to the lineup after missing two games due to injury.
The Patriots improved to 7-0 for the third time in franchise history and swept the two-game series against the rival Jets for the fourth straight year.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 27
Patriots 27 – Browns 13
Bill Belichick’s first head-coaching job was for the Cleveland Browns from 1991-1995 so it was only fitting that he earned his 300th career win against his former team. He’s now third all-time behind Don Shula and George Halas.
The Patriots put together a 17-point lead in the first quarter behind a Dont’a Hightower fumble return, Julian Edelman receiving touchdown and a Mike Nugent field goal and never looked back.
Edelman would later score a second time as New England finished the first half of the season with a perfect record.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3
Patriots 20 – Ravens 37
The Patriots faced their first real test of the season in Lamar Jackson and the 5-2 Ravens, who were coming off a bye week. Much like New England the previous week, Baltimore quickly got up 17-0 and never relinquished the lead.
The Patriots defense had no answer for Jackson, who would add to his MVP résumé by completing 17 of 23 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 61 yards and two touchdowns.
Newly acquired WR Mohamed Sanu reeled in his first TD for the Patriots and Nick Folk added two field goals in his first game with New England. (The team released Nugent following the Browns game.)
Week 10: Bye
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17
Patriots 17 – Eagles 10
Following the bye, the Patriots returned to action in Week 11 with a rematch of Super Bowl LII. After getting down 10-0, the Patriots got back to within one point through a trio of Nick Folk field goals in the second quarter.
A Julian Edelman touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett coupled with a James White two-point conversion put New England up 17-10 in the third quarter — and that would do it as far as scoring goes. It was the first time in Brady’s career that he had fewer TD passes than a teammate after playing a full game.
The victory guaranteed a winning season for the Patriots — for the 19th year in a row.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24
Patriots 13 – Cowboys 9
Another week, another NFC East matchup. This time, the league’s #1 defense was up against the league’s #1 offense in Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots D proved their mettle by holding the Boys to just three field goals and keeping them out of the end zone for the first time this season.
WR N’Keal Harry, the Patriots’ first-round pick in the 2019 draft, hauled in the first touchdown of his career as the team improved to 10-1 with a 13-9 win over Dallas.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1
Patriots 22 – Texans 28
The Patriots suffered their second loss of the season in Week 13 against old pal Bill O’Brien and the Houston Texans. James White put together a strong performance with 177 all-purpose yards and two receiving touchdowns but late scores from him and Julian Edelman proved to be too little, too late, and O’Brien earned his first win over Belichick.
Also of note – New England was forced to employ its fourth placekicker of the season in Kai Forbath after Nick Folk had an emergency appendectomy on Thanksgiving.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8
Patriots 16 – Chiefs 23
The Patriots’ woes rolled into the following week as they hosted the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of last year’s AFC title game. While New England would score early with a 37-yard TD reception by Julian Edelman, KC responded with 23 unanswered points.
The Patriots would pull back to within a touchdown but ultimately fell to 10-3 on the season with their second-straight loss.
The game marked the return of K Nick Folk, who was brought back after recovering from his surgery.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15
Patriots 34 – Bengals 13
After a handful of tough matchups, the Patriots traveled to Cincinnati in Week 15 to take on the hapless, one-win Bengals.
Tom Brady’s two touchdown passes brought him to within one of the all-time record and the defense nabbed another four interceptions, including a pick-six from CB Stephon Gilmore. New England went on to win 34-13 and clinch a playoff spot for the 11th consecutive season.
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 21
Patriots 24 – Bills 17
The Patriots finished the season with two divisional games. The first was against the 11-3 Bills who were fighting for not only a playoff spot but also a chance to win the AFC East.
While Buffalo put up a valiant effort, the New England defense made a red zone stand in the game’s final minute to secure a 24-17 win and the Patriots’ 11th straight division title.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29
Patriots 24 – Dolphins 27
The Dolphins, led by former Patriots assistant coach Brian Flores, paid a visit to Foxboro in the season finale as New England sought to lock up the second seed in the AFC and a first-round bye in the postseason.
Much like the Miami Miracle last December, the Dolphins once again played spoiler and stunned the Patriots by a score of 27-24, which was capped off by Ryan Fitzpatrick’s TD pass to tight end Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds remaining.
The Patriots have never made it to the Super Bowl in a year they’ve had to play in the wild-card round but they have a chance to change that in January.
Wild Card Weekend: Saturday, Jan. 4
With the loss to Miami, the Patriots fell to the AFC’s 3-seed and will host the Titans Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m.
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