|1994 New England Patriots season|
|Head Coach||Bill Parcells|
|Home Field||Foxboro Stadium|
|Place||2nd AFC East|
|Playoff Finish||Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Browns) 20–13|
|Pro Bowlers|| T Bruce Armstrong|
QB Drew Bledsoe
TE Ben Coates
|Previous season||Next season|
The team's 35th season in football, 1994 marked the debut of Robert Kraft as team owner. A long-time season-ticket holder, Kraft has steadily built up a business empire to where in the late 1980s he was able to purchase the land around Sullivan Stadium and then the stadium itself – which he renamed "Foxboro Stadium" – and thus got control of the lease the team held with the stadium. This gave him a level of control over the team that new owners Victor Kiam and James Orthwein underestimated, to where in January 1994 Orthwein sold the team to Kraft, for nearly $200 million.
The selling of the team to Kraft led to an explosion of ticket sales, to where all home games were sold out well before the season began, a string of home sellouts that continued into 2011.
The team responded to new ownership by rallying from a 3–6 record to finish 10–6 and make the playoffs for the first time since 1986 and only the seventh time in the team's history. The game that started the run was a 26–20 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings.
As part of the NFL's 75th anniversary celebration the Patriots wore throwback uniforms in games against the Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, and New York Jets; the uniforms dated to the team's AFL days and marked the return of the Pat Patriot logo in the second season the team sported the more streamlined "Flying Elvis" look.
|New England Patriots 1994 staff|
| Front Office
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
|1||at Miami Dolphins||35–39||Loss||0–1|| |
|2||Buffalo Bills||35–38||Loss||0–2|| |
|3||at Cincinnati Bengals||31–28||Win||1–2|| |
|4||at Detroit Lions||23–17||Win||2–2|| |
|5||Green Bay Packers||17–16||Win||3–2|| |
|6||Los Angeles Raiders||17–21||Loss||3–3|| |
|7||at New York Jets||17–24||Loss||3–4|| |
|9||Miami Dolphins||3–23||Loss||3–5|| |
|10||at Cleveland Browns||6–13||Loss||3–6|| |
|11||Minnesota Vikings||26–20||Win||4–6|| |
|12||San Diego Chargers||23–17||Win||5–6|| |
|13||at Indianapolis Colts||12–10||Win||6–6|| |
|14||New York Jets||24–13||Win||7–6|| |
|15||Indianapolis Colts||28–13||Win||8–6|| |
|16||at Buffalo Bills||41–17||Win||9–6|| |
|17||at Chicago Bears||13–3||Win||10–6|| |
|Wildcard||at Cleveland Browns||13-20||Loss||10-7|| |
|New England Patriots||10||6||0||.625||351||312||W7|
|New York Jets||6||10||0||.375||264||320||L5|
- September 4 at Miami Dolphins:
The debut game of Robert Kraft as team owner. Drew Bledsoe and Dan Marino put on a passing clinic, combining for 894 passing yards and nine touchdowns (two caught by Ben Coates of the Patriots and three snared by Irving Fryar of the Dolphins). The game was Marino's first game back from a ruptured Achilles tendon. The Dolphins won 39–35 after the Patriots failed to convert a touchdown in the Dolphins red zone in the final minute; Ben Coates nearly fumbled the ball to the Dolphins on the drive.
- September 11 vs. Buffalo Bills:
The debut home game under Kraft's ownership, the Patriots rallied from down 35–21 in the fourth quarter as a Michael Timpson touchdown catch and Marion Butts rushing score tied the game, but Steve Christie's 32-yard field goal won the game for Buffalo 38–35.
- September 18 at Cincinnati Bengals:
The Patriots debuted their throwback uniforms and helmets, returning the Pat Patriot logo after it was retired following the 1992 season. David Klingler of the Bengals threw two touchdowns to Carl Pickens and Steve Broussard ran in two scores for the Bengals, but Klingler was sacked seven times and the Patriots behind Drew Bledsoe's 365 passing yards to Michael Timpson (233 yards with a 34-yard touchdown catch) and Ben Coates, two Marion Butts touchdown runs, and four Matt Bahr field goals overcame the Bengals for a 31–28 win, the Patriots' first under Robert Kraft ownership.
- October 2 vs. Green Bay Packers:
Both teams sported throwback uniforms, with the Packers in yellow and brown and the Patriots wearing the white road version of their AFL-era uniforms with Pat Patriot logo. The Packers stormed to a 10–0 halftime lead but two Vincent Brisby touchdown catches and a last-minute Matt Bahr field goal rallied the Patriots to a 17–16 win.
- October 9 vs. Los Angeles Raiders:
Drew Bledsoe threw two touchdowns in the second quarter for a 17–7 Patriots lead but the Raiders rallied behind three Bledsoe INTs (the first run back for a score by Terry McDaniel) and two Jeff Hostetler touchdowns (one on the ground) to win 21–17.
- November 6 @ Cleveland Browns:
In what tuned out to be a playoff preview, Bill Parcells faced his former defensive assistant Bill Belichick and the 6–2 Browns. Belichick's defense harassed Drew Bledsoe all game, forcing four interceptions and limiting the Patriots to just two Matt Bahr field goals while Leroy Hoard rushed for 123 yards and caught a one-yard Mark Rypien touchdown pass. The 13–6 loss dropped the Patriots to 3–6.
- November 13 vs. Minnesota Vikings:
Former Oilers quarterback Warren Moon led the Vikings to a 20–3 halftime lead, but in the third Bill Parcells abandoned his gameplan and went to a no-huddle attack. Drew Bledsoe threw touchdowns to Ray Crittenden and Leroy Thompson, the Patriots defense shut down the Vikings, and Matt Bahr kicked the tying field goal with 14 seconds left in regulation. On the coin toss for overtime Patriots captain Vincent Brown protested the Vikings team captain's call because he called after the coin landed on the ground. The Patriots won the re-toss and Bledsoe led the Patriots down field and lobbed a 32-yard touchdown toss to Kevin Turner. The 26–20 win ended a four-game losing streak. Moon threw for 349 yards while Bledsoe (426 yards) set NFL single-game records with 70 throws and 45 completions.
- November 20 vs. San Diego Chargers:
The rejuvenated Patriots raced to a 13–3 second-quarter lead as Leroy Thompson caught a 27-yard touchdown from Drew Bledsoe in the first quarter to go with two Matt Bahr field goals, but the Chargers scored after Bahr's second field goal as Andre Coleman ran back the ensuing kick 80 yards for a touchdown. The Patriots finally put the game away in the fourth on a one-yard Marion Butts score and another Bahr field goal, offsetting a Tony Martin touchdown catch from Stan Humphries.
- December 4 vs. New York Jets:
One week after the epic "Fake Spike" meltdown against the Miami Dolphins the Jets' season-ending losing streak continued while the Patriots ended a three-game losing streak to the Jets with a 24–13 win in Foxboro Stadium. The Jets led 13–10 in the third quarter but the Patriots pinned Boomer Esiason at his own goalline, then Ricky Reynolds ran back an interception for a touchdown. A Leroy Thompson touchdown in the fourth quarter finished off the Jets as Esiason ended with just 16 completions for 40 throws. The loss was Jets coach Pete Carroll's last trip to Foxboro until he became Patriots head coach in 1997.
- December 18 at Buffalo Bills:
The Patriots fell behind 17–3 in the second quarter, then scored 38 unanswered points for a 41–17 rout. The win knocked the Bills out of the playoffs after four straight Super Bowl trips.
- December 24 at Chicago Bears:
Needing a win to make the playoffs, the Patriots overtook the Bears 13–3, for their seventh consecutive win and ending their regular season at 10–6. It was their first playoff appearance since 1986 and first double-digit win season since that year as well.
- AFC Wildcard Playoffs, January 1 at Cleveland Browns:
After seven dramatic victories in a row, the Patriots fell flat in a 20–13 loss in their first playoff game since 1986. Drew Bledsoe was picked off three times despite a game-tying rally in the second quarter; he threw the ball 50 times but completed just 22 passes. Leroy Hoard and Earnest Byner totalled 96 rushing yards, outrushing the entire Patriots offensive backfield (57 yards). The win was the first in a playoff game for Browns head coach Bill Belichick who would become the Patriots head coach in 2000.
- ↑ (PDF) 2010 NFL Record and Fact Book. National Football League. p. 378. http://www.nfl.info/download/2010%20NFL%20Record%20and%20Fact%20Book.pdf. Retrieved August 7, 2011.