The New England Patriots finished the National Football League's 1979 season with a record of nine wins and seven losses, and finished second in the AFCEast division. Ron Erhardt was named the Patriots the new coach. In their season opener the Patriots faced the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night as Darryl Stingley returned to Schaffer Stadiums. Patriots fans gave the paralyzed star a long sustained standing ovation. However the emotion did not carry over as the Pats lost 16-13 in overtime. The Pats would find themselves at 8-4, as the team featured a more wide-open offense under Quarterback Steve Grogan. However, a three game losing streak ended their playoff chances ended the Pats playoff hopes, as the team settled for a disappointing 9-7 season.