2018 New England Patriots season

2018 New England Patriots season
New England Patriots wordmark.svg
OwnerRobert Kraft
Head coachBill Belichick
General managerBill Belichick
Home fieldGillette Stadium
Division place1st AFC East
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Chargers) 41–28
Won AFC Championship (at Chiefs) 37–31 (OT)
Won Super Bowl LIII (vs. Rams) 13–3
Pro BowlersSelected but did not participate due to participation in Super Bowl LIII:
QB Tom Brady
CB Stephon Gilmore
AP All-ProsCB Stephon Gilmore (1st team)
KR Cordarrelle Patterson (2nd team)
Patriots 16uniforms.png

The 2018 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 49th season in the National Football League, the 59th overall, and the 19th under head coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots entered the season as two-time defending AFC champions.

The Patriots' losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions in Week 2 and 3 marked the franchise's first back-to-back double-digit losses since 2002.[1] After this slow 1–2 start, the Patriots improved to 7–2 after Week 9. Following a notable Week 14 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots could not match their 13–3 record from 2017. A defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15 meant the Patriots had lost five games for the first time since 2009. After a win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 16, the Patriots clinched the AFC East for the tenth consecutive season, surpassing the Dallas Cowboys (1975-1983) and the Indianapolis Colts (2002-2010) for the most consecutive playoff appearances. New England went undefeated at home with a Week 17 win over the New York Jets in which they clinched a first-round bye, and wrapped up the regular season with an 11–5 record that gave them the AFC's 2nd seed in the postseason. Despite their five losses, the team achieved the rare distinction of going unbeaten against teams that qualified for the playoffs.[2][3][4]

The 2018 Patriots became the second team ever in the four major American sports leagues to win at least 10 straight division titles, joining Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves (1991–2005, excluding the strike-shortened 1994 season). The Patriots also secured their 16th-straight 10-win season, tying the San Francisco 49ers' league record streak, set from 1983–98. Notable records set during the season include QB Tom Brady achieving the record for most career passing touchdowns (including playoffs).[5]

In the playoffs, the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in the Divisional round, 41–28, to advance to the AFC Championship game for a record eighth straight season. The Patriots defeated the Chiefs, 37–31 in overtime, to advance to the Super Bowl for a third straight year, becoming only the third team in NFL history to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls (joining the 1971–73 Miami Dolphins and 1990–93 Buffalo Bills). In Super Bowl LIII, they faced the Los Angeles Rams in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI, in which the Patriots defeated the then-St. Louis Rams 20–17. The Patriots won on this occasion by a score of 13–3 to win their sixth Super Bowl, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl championships in NFL history.[6]

  1. ^ "How bad is the Patriots' start? Statistics paint a bleak picture". ESPN.com. September 24, 2018. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Tyler (December 31, 2018). "Patriots went undefeated against playoff teams in 2018". 247 Sports. 247 Sports. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Luciano, Mike. "Patriots Being Undefeated Against Teams in the Playoffs This Year is Kind of a Farce". 12 Up. 12 Up. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Buchmasser, Bernd. "2019 NFL playoffs: Only one team is undefeated against the playoff field this season". Pats Pulpit. Pats Pulpit. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  5. ^ "Brady, Fitzgerald, Gore and Rodgers set NFL records". SI.com. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  6. ^ "Super Bowl 2019: New England Patriots beat Los Angeles Rams 13-3 – as it happened". Guardian. February 3, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.