1970 Boston Patriots season

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1970 Boston Patriots season
OwnerBilly Sullivan
Head coachClive Rush (quit, medical reasons)
John Mazur (interim)
General managerGeorge Sauer
Home fieldHarvard Stadium
Division place5th AFC East
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro BowlersC Jon Morris
AP All-ProsNone

The 1970 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's first season in the National Football League and eleventh overall. They ended the season with a record of two wins and twelve losses, fifth (last) in the AFC East Division.

This was the final season as the “Boston” Patriots, as they moved southwest to Foxborough, Massachusetts the next season and became the “New England” Patriots. Their final season as Boston did not go as planned, as the Patriots struggled all season and finished 2–12, the worst record in the NFL. Home games in 1970 were played at Harvard Stadium.

After taking the season opener at home from the Miami Dolphins, Boston lost nine in a row before beating the Buffalo Bills on the road. The season concluded with an embarrassing 45–7 loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati. Head coach Clive Rush quit midway through the season because of medical reasons.[1][2] His replacement, offensive backfield coach John Mazur, did not do much better of a job, but he continued as head coach the next season. The Patriots scored the fewest points in the league in 1970 with 149, and allowed 361; they missed the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

Despite being a Super Bowl quarterback, no NFL team made contact with 32-year-old Joe Kapp until after the start of the regular season.[3] Prior to the 1969 season, the Minnesota Vikings had exercised the option clause of his contract, so Kapp had played the entire season without a new contract. It was unusual for teams to use the team's option and not to offer a new contract prior to a season. This dispute made him a free agent for the 1970 season, by the NFL's own rules. The Patriots signed him on October 2 to a four-year contract,[4][5][6] making him the highest paid player in the league. The Patriots had to give up strong safety John Charles and a first-round draft pick in 1972 (used to select Stanford linebacker Jeff Siemon).[7] Kapp's first appearance was on October 11 at Kansas City, relieving starter Mike Taliaferro in the third quarter of a 23–10 loss.[8][9]

The Vikings paid Kapp back in full in week 13, rolling to a 35-14 victory in the Patriots' final game at Harvard and in Boston prior to the move to Foxborough.

The Patriots' poor record gave them the first overall selection in the 1971 NFL Draft. They took quarterback Jim Plunkett, the Heisman Trophy winner from Stanford, upset winner of the Rose Bowl.


NFL Draft[edit]

1970 Boston Patriots draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 4 Phil Olsen  DT Utah State
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career


Boston Patriots 1970 staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches



1970 Boston Patriots roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics


Regular season[edit]


Week Date Opponent Result Record Attendance
1 September 20 Miami Dolphins W 27–14 1–0
2 September 27 New York Jets L 21–31 1–1
3 October 4 Baltimore Colts L 6–14 1–2
4 October 11 at Kansas City Chiefs L 10–23 1–3
5 October 18 New York Giants L 0–16 1–4
6 October 25 at Baltimore Colts L 3–27 1–5
7 November 1 Buffalo Bills L 10–45 1–6
8 November 8 at St. Louis Cardinals L 0–31 1–7
9 November 15 San Diego Chargers L 14–16 1–8
10 November 22 at New York Jets L 3–17 1–9
11 November 29 at Buffalo Bills W 14–10 2–9
12 December 6 at Miami Dolphins L 20–37 2–10
13 December 13 Minnesota Vikings L 14–35 2–11
14 December 20 at Cincinnati Bengals L 7–45 2–12


AFC East
Baltimore Colts 11 2 1 .846 6–1–1 8–2–1 321 234 W4
Miami Dolphins 10 4 0 .714 6–2 8–3 297 228 W6
New York Jets 4 10 0 .286 2–6 2–9 255 286 L3
Buffalo Bills 3 10 1 .231 3–4–1 3–7–1 204 337 L5
Boston Patriots 2 12 0 .143 2–6 2–9 149 361 L3

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.


  1. ^ "Patriots select Mazur". Nashua Telegraph. (New Hampshire). Associated Press. November 4, 1970. p. 38.
  2. ^ "Coach clarifies release; hands team resignation". The Bulletin. (Bend, Oregon). UPI. November 4, 1970. p. 11.
  3. ^ "Ex-player sees move to cool off Joe Kapp". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. October 1, 1970. p. 19.
  4. ^ "Patriots obtain Joe Kapp; terms being worked out". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. October 2, 1970. p. 3B.
  5. ^ "Patriots sign Kapp". The Bulletin. (Bend, Oregon). UPI. October 2, 1970. p. 7.
  6. ^ "Kapp says 'We'll be a winner' after signing with Patriots". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. October 3, 1970. p. 10.
  7. ^ "Kapp predicts Patriots are going to be winners". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. October 3, 1970. p. 20.
  8. ^ "Chiefs still bother Kapp; Patriots shattered, 23-10". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. October 12, 1970. p. 15.
  9. ^ "Kansas City stops Boston Pats, 23-10". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. October 12, 1970. p. 8.