American Football Database
1997 New England Patriots season
Head Coach Pete Carroll
Home Field Foxboro Stadium
Record 10–6
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
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

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
  • Chairman/CEO – Robert Kraft
  • Vice President – Jonathan Kraft
  • Vice President of Business Operations – Andy Wasynczuk
  • Vice President of Player Personnel – Bobby Grier
  • Director of College Scouting – Larry Cook
  • Director of Pro Scouting – Dave Uyrus

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning


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

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

Practice Squad

data incomplete


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wilner, Barry (December 2000). "Take That!". Football Digest. Retrieved 2007-12-16.[dead link]
  2. Vecsey, George (1997-02-01). "Parcells Seeking New Kitchen". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Patriots received third- and fourth-round picks in 1997, a second-round pick in 1998, and a first-round pick in 1999 from the New York Jets as compensation for the Jets' 1997 signing of Bill Parcells as head coach. summary

External links

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1997 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XXXII