1997 New England Patriots season

1997 New England Patriots season

1997 New England Patriots season
Head coach Pete Carroll
Owner Robert Kraft
Home field Foxboro Stadium
Record 10–6
Division place 1st AFC East
Playoff finish Won Wild Card Playoffs (Dolphins) 17–3
Lost Divisional Playoffs (Steelers) 7–6
Pro Bowlers T Bruce Armstrong
QB Drew Bledsoe
TE Ben Coates
LB Chris Slade
SpT Larry Whigham
AP All-Pros LB Chris Slade (2nd team)
Previous season      Next season
< 1996      1998 >

The 1997 New England Patriots season was the 28th season for the team in the National Football League and 38th season overall. They finished the season with a 10–6 record and a division title but lost in the playoffs to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In January, when the Patriots were preparing to face the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI, it was suspected head coach Bill Parcells was looking to move to another team after the game where he would have more say over personnel matters.[1] In the 1996 NFL Draft, Parcells' relationship with owner Robert Kraft soured when Kraft selected wide receiver Terry Glenn against Parcells' wishes.[1] After the Patriots' loss in Super Bowl XXXI, Parcells resigned from the Patriots, using the phrase "If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries."[2] Due to an earlier renegotiation that had eliminated the 1997 season from Parcells' contract, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue ruled Parcells could not be a head coach for another team in 1997.[1] Parcells instead moved to the New York Jets as a "consultant," taking assistant head coach Bill Belichick with him to be the Jets' head coach; Kraft called this a "transparent farce" and accused the Jets of tampering with Parcells.[1] The NFL ruled in the Patriots' favor and the Patriots received third and fourth-round picks in the 1997 NFL Draft, a second-round pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, and a first-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft in compensation for allowing Parcells to become the Jets' head coach.[1]

Taking Parcells' place with the Patriots was Pete Carroll, who had coincidentally been the Jets' head coach in 1994. The Patriots began the season 5–1 but featured a 6–5 record later in the season. The Patriots managed to finish 10–6 and first in the AFC East for the second straight season. With the third seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card Playoffs but were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 7–6, on the road the next week.

1997 NFL Draft

Main article: 1997 NFL Draft
1997 New England Patriots Draft Selections
Round Overall Player Position College
1 29 Chris Canty Cornerback Kansas State
2 59 Brandon Mitchell Defensive tackle Texas A&M
3[3] 61 Sedrick Shaw Running back Iowa
3 89 Chris Carter Safety Texas
4[3] 97 Damon Denson Offensive guard Michigan
4 125 Ed Ellis Offensive tackle Buffalo
5 159 Vernon Crawford Linebacker Florida State
6 192 Tony Gaiter Wide receiver Miami (FL)
7 230 Scott Rehberg Offensive guard Central Michigan


New England Patriots 1997 staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Johnny Parker


Week Date Location Opponent Result Record TV Time Attendance
1 August 31, 1997 Foxboro Stadium San Diego Chargers W 41–7 1–0 NBC 1:00 pm
2 September 7, 1997 RCA Dome Indianapolis Colts W 31–6 2–0 NBC 1:00 pm
3 September 14, 1997 Foxboro Stadium New York Jets W 27–24 (OT) 3–0 TNT 8:00 pm
4 September 21, 1997 Foxboro Stadium Chicago Bears W 31–3 4–0 FOX 1:00 pm
5 Bye
6 October 6, 1997 Mile High Stadium Denver Broncos L 13–34 4–1 ABC 9:00 pm
7 October 12, 1997 Foxboro Stadium Buffalo Bills W 33–6 5–1 NBC 1:00 pm
8 October 19, 1997 The Meadowlands New York Jets L 19–24 5–2 NBC 1:00 pm
9 October 27, 1997 Foxboro Stadium Green Bay Packers L 10–28 5–3 ABC 9:00 pm
10 November 2, 1997 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Minnesota Vikings L 18–23 5–4 NBC 1:00 pm
11 November 9, 1997 Rich Stadium Buffalo Bills W 31–10 6–4 NBC 4:00 pm
12 November 16, 1997 Houlihan's Stadium Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 7–27 6–5 NBC 1:00 pm
13 November 23, 1997 Foxboro Stadium Miami Dolphins W 27–24 7–5 NBC 1:00 pm
14 November 30, 1997 Foxboro Stadium Indianapolis Colts W 20–17 8–5 NBC 4:00 pm
15 December 7, 1997 Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Jacksonville Jaguars W 26–20 9–5 NBC 1:00 pm
16 December 13, 1997 Foxboro Stadium Pittsburgh Steelers L 21–24 (OT) 9–6 NBC 4:00 pm
17 December 22, 1997 Joe Robbie Stadium Miami Dolphins W 14–12 10–6 ABC 9:00 pm
AFC Wildcard Playoff December 28, 1997 Foxboro Stadium Miami Dolphins W 17–3 1–0 NBC 12:30 pm
AFC Divisional Playoff January 3, 1998 Three Rivers Stadium Pittsburgh Steelers L 6–7 1–1 NBC 12:30 pm


AFC East
New England Patriots 10 6 0 .625 369 289 W-1
Miami Dolphins 9 7 0 .563 339 327 L-2
New York Jets 9 7 0 .563 348 287 L-1
Buffalo Bills 6 10 0 .375 255 367 L-3
Indianapolis Colts 3 13 0 .188 313 401 L-1

Notable games

The Pete Carroll era of the Patriots started with a bang as Drew Bledsoe threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-7 runaway. Stan Humphries managed a touchdown throw but was pulled in the fourth quarter for Jim Everett; Everett was intercepted and nWillie Clay ran back a 53-yard touchdown.

The first game against former Patriots coach Bill Parcells came on Sunday Night Football with the Patriots 2–0 and the Jets 1–1. The game became a grinder in which the lead tied or changed seven times. Drew Bledsoe threw touchdowns to Ben Coates and Lovett Purnell but threw two picks (one returned by Mo Lewis for a touchdown) and was limited to just 162 passing yards. His Jets counterpart Neil O'Donnell ran in one touchdown and threw another to Keyshawn Johnson that tied the game in the fourth, but was sacked seven times; the Jets also coughed up three fumbles. Curtis Martin's running game erupted to 199 yards and a touchdown, but the Patriots faced Jets kicker John Hall in the final sixteen seconds with the game tied at 24. Hall's field goal try was blocked and in overtime the Patriots drove down field and Adam Vinatieri nailed a 34-yard field goal for the 27–24 Patriots win.

The first game between the last two unbeaten NFL teams since 1973[4] after the Buccaneers lost on Sunday, the Broncos won for the tenth straight time over the Patriots, 34-13. Despite throwing two interceptions and being limited to just 192 passing yards, John Elway ran in a touchdown and Terrell Davis rushed for 171 yards and two scores.

The 5-1 Patriots fell to Parcells' Jets 24-19 as the Jets outscored the Patriots 21-14 in the second half. Neil O'Donnell was flagged for intentional grounding in the endzone for a Patriots safety, then was pulled for Glenn Foley; Foley threw for 200 yards and a touchdown.

Final roster

New England Patriots 1997 final roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
data possibly incomplete
  • 86
  • 92
  • 38

Practice Squad

data incomplete


Notes and references

External links

  • Season page on Pro Football Reference

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