1993 New England Patriots season
|1993 New England Patriots season|
|Head coach||Bill Parcells|
|Home field||Foxboro Stadium|
|Division place||4th AFC East|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
Amid year-long rumors that the team would move to St. Louis and become the Stallions (even to the point of a team logo being unveiled and hats being printed), the Patriots ran through the year, the first for coach Bill Parcells, who'd been a linebackers coach in Foxboro in 1980 under Ron Erhardt. The Patriots drafted Drew Bledsoe as the #1 pick and he was named starter.
Sweeping changes had been made in the organization before the season. All coaches from the 1992 season with the exception of Dante Scarnecchia and Bobby Grier were fired and replaced with new ones. Scarnecchia would become a special assistant while Grier would move to the front office. The roster had undergone substantial changes; among the holdovers from the 1992 season were Marv Cook, Ben Coates, Kevin Turner, Michael Timpson, Sam Gash, Greg McMurtry, Vincent Brown, Maurice Hurst, Leonard Russell, Bruce Armstrong, Mike Arthur, and Pat Harlow. The 1993 season was also the first season the current Patriots logo and font was used (though the current variation would undergo a color change in 2000).
The Patriots lost their first four games, even after forcing overtime against the Lions and seeing a last-minute field goal attempt against Seattle bounce off the crossbar. In Week 5 Bledsoe was injured, Scott Secules was named the starting quarterback, and won the game with two passing touchdowns passing and one rushing score in the team's 23–21 win over the Cardinals. Scott Secules was then benched after a 28–14 loss to the Oilers. Bledsoe started for the Patriots then lost seven straight before eking out a 7–2 win against the Bengals (it was the last occurrence until the 2013 Jaguars of a team scoring only a safety in a game). This win led to a 20–17 win over the Cleveland Browns coached by Parcells' longtime assistant Bill Belichick and a 38–0 massacre of the Indianapolis Colts in brutal windchill.
The season ended on January 2, 1994 with many in the sellout crowd at Foxboro Stadium believing it would be the final ever game for the New England Patriots before moving to St. Louis; unknown to most, though, was that stadium owner Robert Kraft was working to force the selling of the team to him, and his control of the team's lease ensured no move could take place until 2002 at the earliest.
The season finale itself became one of the most dramatic games in the club's history. The Patriots were hosting the Dolphins, who'd fallen to 9–6 with starter Dan Marino out for the year after Week Five and needing a win to make the playoffs. The Patriots led 10–7 at halftime and twice stopped the Dolphins on downs, but early in the third a Bledsoe fumble led to a Dolphins field goal. A blocked punt by the Dolphins' Darrell Malone led to a touchdown by Scott Mitchell to Mark Ingram. The game lead tied or changed five times in the fourth quarter. In the fourth the Dolphins completed a drive ending in a Terry Kirby touchdown run, this despite Andre Tippett's sack of Mitchell for a ten-yard loss – it was the 100th career sack for the future Hall Of Fame linebacker.
In the final 3:40 Bledsoe drove the Patriots down to a Ben Coates touchdown catch, but the Dolphins forced overtime on a Pete Stoyanovich field goal. In the overtime the Dolphins punted after Chris Slade forced a fumble, then Bledsoe was picked off by J.B. Brown before the Dolphins had to punt again. Vincent Brisby caught a ten-yard pass but fumbled; teammate Leonard Russell recovered the ball and ran 22 yards; Bledsoe then absorbed a Dolphins blitz and launched a 36-yard touchdown to Michael Timpson, ending a wild 33–27 Patriots win and finishing their season at 5–11, but with four straight wins to close it out.
|1993 New England Patriots staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1993 New England Patriots roster|
|1||September 5, 1993||at Buffalo Bills||L 38–14||
|2||September 12, 1993||Detroit Lions||L 19–16 (OT)||
|3||September 19, 1993||Seattle Seahawks||L 17–14||
|4||September 26, 1993||at New York Jets||L 45–7||
|6||October 10, 1993||at Phoenix Cardinals||W 23–21||
|7||October 17, 1993||Houston Oilers||L 28–14||
|8||October 24, 1993||at Seattle Seahawks||L 10–9||
|9||October 31, 1993||at Indianapolis Colts||L 9–6||
|10||November 7, 1993||Buffalo Bills||L 13–10||
|12||November 21, 1993||at Miami Dolphins||L 17–13||
|13||November 28, 1993||New York Jets||L 6–0||
|14||December 5, 1993||at Pittsburgh Steelers||L 17–14||
|15||December 12, 1993||Cincinnati Bengals||W 7–2||
|16||December 19, 1993||at Cleveland Browns||W 20–17||
|17||December 26, 1993||Indianapolis Colts||W 38–0||
|18||January 2, 1994||Miami Dolphins||W 33–27 (OT)||
|(1) Buffalo Bills||12||4||0||.750||329||242||W4|
|New York Jets||8||8||0||.500||270||247||L3|
|New England Patriots||5||11||0||.313||238||286||W4|