Look back on every postseason game the Patriots’ franchise has participated in. (Note: the Patriots’ first two playoff games were in the old American Football League, which later merged with the NFL.)
Dec. 28, 1963, at Buffalo, AFL divisional playoff, Boston 26, Buffalo 8: The defense stole the show as the Patriots dominated the Bills in front of a War Memorial Stadium crowd of 33,044. Boston allowed only 7 yards rushing while forcing three fumbles and making four interceptions. Quarterback Babe Parilli connected with fullback Larry Garron on two touchdown passes and Gino Cappelletti kicked four ﬁeld goals.
Jan. 5, 1964, at San Diego, AFL Championship, San Diego 51, Boston 10: One week after stufﬁng the Bills, the Patriots could not stop the Chargers’ ground attack. San Diego’s Keith Lincoln amassed 206 yards on 13 carries (15.8-yard average) and the Chargers put up 610 total yards.
Dec. 18, 1976, at Oakland, AFC divisional playoff, Oakland 24, New England 21: The Patriots appeared to have the game in the bag with a 21-17 lead late in the fourth quarter when a Ken Stabler pass on third and 18 fell incomplete. However, referee Ben Dreith made a controversial roughing-the-passer call on Ray Hamilton that gave the Raiders a new set of downs on the 13-yard line. Stabler eventually ran in for the go-ahead touchdown.
Dec. 31, 1978, at Foxborough. AFC divisional playoff, Houston 31, New England 14: Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter, and that was enough to defeat the Patriots in their ﬁrst home playoff game.
Jan. 8, 1983, at Miami, first round, Miami 28, New England 13: Dolphins quarterback David Woodley completed 16 of 19 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Andra Franklin rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown as Miami beat the Patriots in the ﬁrst round of the strike-shortened season’s “Super Bowl Tournament.”
Dec. 28, 1985, at East Rutherford, N.J., AFC wild card, New England 26, NY Jets 14: Defensive end Garin Veris recorded three sacks and an interception to help the Patriots to their ﬁrst playoff win in 22 years. Tony Franklin tied the team playoff record with four ﬁeld goals.
Jan. 5, 1986, at Los Angeles, AFC divisional playoff, New England 27, LA Raiders 20: The defense shined in front of a Coliseum crowd of 88,936, as the Patriots forced three fumbles and intercepted quarterback Marc Wilson three times. The Patriots scored 20 of their 27 points following turnovers. The victory was marred by a postgame fracas involving Patriots general manager Patrick Sullivan and Raiders linebacker Matt Millen.
Jan. 12, 1986, at Miami, AFC Championship, New England 31, Miami 14: The Patriots continued to roll on the road as they picked off Dan Marino three times and forced ﬁve Miami fumbles. Tony Eason threw for only 71 yards but completed 10 of 12 attempts and connected on three touchdown passes. The Patriots became the ﬁrst team to reach the Super Bowl by winning three road games.
Jan. 26, 1986, at New Orleans, Super Bowl XX, Chicago 46, New England 10: New England scored the quickest points in Super Bowl history — a Franklin 36-yard ﬁeld goal 1:19 into the game. But that was all the Patriots would have to say until the fourth quarter, when Irving Fryar caught a touchdown pass with the game well out of hand. The Bears forced three fumbles (recovering two) and made two interceptions, holding the Patriots to a dismal 123 yards of total offense. Chicago’s Jim McMahon threw for 256 yards, and eight Bears — including William “Refrigerator” Perry — combined to rush for 167 yards and four touchdowns.
Jan. 4, 1987, at Denver, AFC divisional playoff, Denver 22, New England 17: John Elway was not sharp, but Denver relied on its aggressive defense and tireless running game to beat the Patriots in front of a home crowd of 76,105. Denver sacked Eason six times and ran the ball with authority, amassing 188 yards on the ground.
Jan. 1, 1995, at Cleveland, AFC wild card, Cleveland 20, New England 13: The Browns survived a fourth-quarter scare to win before a home crowd of 77,452. When a 63-yard Patriot drive ﬁzzled on the Browns’ 15-yard line, Matt Bahr cut the Cleveland lead to 20-13 with 1:33 left. The Patriots recovered the ensuing onside kick and picked up a ﬁrst down before second-year quarterback Drew Bledsoe capped off a 21-for-50 performance with four consecutive incompletions.
Jan. 5, 1997, at Foxborough, AFC divisional playoff, New England 28, Pittsburgh 3:
Curtis Martin ran for a Patriots playoff-record 166 yards against the lifeless Steelers. The defense picked off Mike Tomczak twice, holding him to 110 yards passing. New England also held Jerome Bettis to a meager 43 yards on the ground in recording the ﬁrst home playoff win in team history.Continued...