Team Spirit author Mark Stewart talks about the OVERTIME web page.

Mark picks his favorite Patriots

What’s new with the New England Patriots? That’s what this page is all about.

The Team Spirit OVERTIME website begins where the Team Spirit books end.

That’s because football never stands still … And I can never squeeze everything I want into 48 pages!

Scroll down for team updates, player profiles, and stats you won’t find in the book. Click on the videos to the left to hear me talk about Team Spirit OVERTIME as well as my favorite players. And take a look below at some of the Patriots collectibles I have in my home—pretty cool, right?

Enjoy this site, check back whenever you like, and contact me with any questions or comments.

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2022 Season

2022 Season Roundup: There were a lot of new faces in the New England lineup in 2022, which is rarely a problem for coach Bill Belichick. However, unlike in years past, he was unable to mold the Patriots into a playoff team. A 2–5 record after a 6–4 start left them with a losing record. Quarterback Mac Jones battled injuries during the season and won only six of the games he started. Rhamondre Stevenson topped 1,000 yards in his first year as a starter, but was not a difference-maker on offense. Had the Pats been able to put a few more points on the scoreboard, they might have made the playoffs. The defense: led by Marcus Jones, Matt Judon, Josh Uche, and Devin McCourty: allowed only 20 points a game.

December 24, 2022: Marcus Jones returned an interception for a touchdown in a game against the Bengals. That made him the last 45 years to score on a defensive play, offensive play (TD catch) and special teams (punt return TD) in the same season.

2022 Season Preview: A young quarterback needs a strong running game to keep defenses guessing. Mac Jones has the talent to lead the Patriots to the top of the AFC East, but he will need his blockers and running backs to play well for that to happen. A defense that was demolished by the Bills in the playoffs last year will have to get better. Veteran safety Jabril Peppers joins a pass defense with the talent to make the big improvement New England needs.

2021 Season

2021 Season Roundup: New England’s second season without Tom Brady ended better than its first—with 10 wins and a trip to the playoffs. Rookie passer Mac Jones looked very good and was named to the Pro Bowl, while Damien Harris scored 15 touchdowns in his second year as a starter. The Pats’ defense was excellent, giving up only 303 points. Matt Judon, JC Jackson, Ja’Whaun Bentley, and Kyle Duggar were the stars on D.

November 14, 2021: With a 45–7 victory over the Browns, Bill Belichick won his 250th game as Patriots coach. He joined George Halas (Bears), Tom Landry (Cowboys), and Don Shula (Dolphins) as the only coaches to win 250 games with one team.

2021 Season Preview: The Pats are handing the quarterback job to rookie Mac Jones hoping to rebound from their first losing record since 2000. New England has always been clever about signing free agents to plug holes and they did just that in the off-season. Three talented new receivers are in the starting lineup and if Jones can’t work smoothly with them, veteran Cam Newton is ready to step back into the starting role.

2020 Season

2020 Season Roundup: Cam Newton tried to fill his shoes, but simply didn’t have the weapons on offense to do better than a 7–9 record. Special teams and defense stepped up for New England, with Stephon Gilmore, Gunner Olszewski, and Jake enjoying good years.

2020 Season Preview: The Pats will be without Tom Brady for the first time in a long time, but coach Bill Belichick has Cam Newton under center with some good runners and receivers on his side. The defensive line has some question marks, but the rest of the D is solid, led by linebacker Dont’a Hightower and cornerback Stephone Gilmore. If Newton can stay healthy, New England fans can expect another trip to the playoffs.

2019 Season

February 1, 2020: Cornerback Stephone Gilmore was named 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

2019 Season Roundup: The Patriots looked like they were headed to another AFC Championship game, but a late-season slump and a loss in the Wild Card game ended their season early. Tom Brady was sensational at age 42, but looked tired by playoff time. He connected with Julian Edelman 100 times during the regular season and also had success throwing to running back James White. The Pats won many games with their defense, which starred defensive backs Stephone Gilmore and Devin McCourty, and middle linebacker Don’t’a Hightower. Most fans would be happy with a 12–4 season, but New England fans were left hungry for more.

October 27, 2019: Bill Belichick won the 300th game of his career (including postseason games). He joined George Halas and Don Shula as the only members of football’s “300 Club.”

2019 Season Preview: Fans outside of Massachusetts should be celebrating the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, a favorite target of Tom Brady’s for multiple championships. Opponents are also hoping it takes the Pats a month or two to settle on an every-down running back. New England loaded up on runners and receivers in the off-season, so Brady may not miss a beat. The defense is still solid, even after pass rusher Trey Flowers left as a free agent.

2018 Season

2018 Season Roundup: The Patriots won the AFC East and beat the Chiefs on the road in a wild conference championship game 37–31 in overtime. Two weeks later, New England won its sixth Super Bowl, defeating the Rams 13–3 in a defensive struggle. Julian Edelman caught 10 passes and was named Super Bowl MVP. Tom Brady, the NFL MVP, threw 29 touchdown passes and running backs Sony Michel and James White did a great job carrying and catching the football for the Pats. The defense did not feature any superstars, but made big stops when it had to.

2018 Season Preview: The Pats used the long ball as a major weapon last season and quarterback Tom Brady put up an MVP season. In 2018, Brady will be using more quick, short passes to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, which should keep his 41-year-old body safe from big hits. The New England defense won’t scare anyone, but as usual it will find away to keep points off the board in close games.

2017 Season

2017 Season Roundup: The Patriots won the AFC East for the ninth year in a row and defeated the Titans and Jaguars in the playoffs to earn a return trip to the Super Bowl. The Pats lost 41–33 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Tom Brady threw for 4.577 yards and 32 TDs during the season and was named NFL MVP. Rob Gronkowski led the team with 69 receptions and 1,084 yards.

October 15, 2017: Tom Brady guided the Pats to victory for the 187th time. No quarterback has won more games. Peyton Manning and Brett Favre were tied for 186 wins.

2017 Season Preview: The Pats have a challenging schedule in 2017, and receiver Julian Edelman is out for the season. However, if Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski stay healthy, New England should win 12 to 14 games and be a favorite to reach the Super Bowl. If the defense steps up, a perfect 16–0 season is not out of the question!

2016 Season

2016 Season Roundup: The Patriots were sensational from start to finish in 2016. They had the league’s best defense and only threw two interceptions all season. The Pats won 14 games and finished atop the AFC East for the eighth year in a row. They defeated the Texans and Steelers in the playoffs to reach the Super Bowl. After falling behind the Falcons 28–3, the Pats staged a historic comeback and won the game 34–28 in overtime. It was the 208th win of Tome Brady’s career—the most ever by a starting quarterback.

2016 Season Preview: The Patriots should be able to survive their first four games without Tom Brady. When he returns from his league suspension, look out—he has lots of weapons on offense. The running game is good and could get better; the New England receivers, led by Rob Gronkowski, are the best in the AFC. The defense isn’t great, but it’s good enough to get the Pats back to the Super Bowl.

2015 Season

December 27, 2015: Tom Brady threw his 36th touchdown pass, which led the NFL for the fourth time in his career.

September 9, 2015: Tom Brady beat the Steelers for the 161st win of his career. He broke Brett Favre’s record for most wins by a quarterback for one team.

2015 Season Preview: New England fans can look forward to a stronger defensive line, but may have to worry about a weaker pass defense. There’s nothing to worry about on offense, where Tom Brady leads the team into battle against an easier-than-usual schedule of opponents.

2014 Season

February 2, 2015: Rookie Malcolm Butler intercepted a pass at the goal line to preserve a 28–24 victory for the Patriots. It was Tom Brady’s fourth championship and third Super Bowl MVP award. The Seattle Seahawks appeared to have the game won until this last-minute turnover.

September 14, 2014: With New England’s victory over the Vikings, Bill Belichick became the sixth coach in NFL history with 200 wins.

September 2, 2014: New England came very close to winning an AFC championship last season, and in 2014 they are even better. The Pats will be tough to pass against thanks to a deep and talented defense led by newcomer Darrelle Revis. If receiver Rob Gronkowski returns to form after surgery, Tom Brady should have all the weapons he needs to make a run at the Super Bowl.

2013 Season

December 29, 2013: Kicker Stephen Gotkowski broke a 49-year-old team record with 158 points for the season. The old record was held by Gino Cappelletti. Cappelletti was a kicker and pass receiver.

September 4, 2013: Tom Brady begins the 2013 season without his usual strong group of receivers. He and coach Bill Belichick will find a clever way to solve this problem. In the meantime, the team’s defense is young and athletic, so Brady won’t have to put 30 points on the scoreboard every week.

2012 Roundup

February 2, 2013: The New England offense was magnificent in 2012, leading the club to 12 victories. Tom Brady passed for 4,827 yards and 34 touchdowns, Wes Welker made 118 catches, and Stevan Ridley rushed for over 1,200 yards in his second NFL season. In the AFC title game, the Pats built a 13–7 halftime lead against the Ravens, but could not score in the second half.

December 30, 2012: The Patriots made 28 first downs in a game against the Miami Dolphins. That gave them 444 for the season—the most in NFL history.

Summer, 2012: Tom Brady leads a high-powered offense into battle hoping to return to the Super Bowl. If the defense can hold its own in close games, the Patriots should make it back to the playoffs. From there—as New England knows all too well—anything can happen.

More Go-To Guys

Babe Parilli was the backup quarterback for the New York Jets when I was a kid. I had not idea what a big star he’d been with the Patriots. (Author’s Collection)

Mike Haynes was as good a defensive back as there was in the NFL during the late 1970s and early 1980s. (Topps, Inc.)

When the Patriots won the AFC title in 1985, Andre Tippett was a huge reason why. (Author’s Collecti

This is my new favorite signed photo. Gronk rules! (Author’s Collection)

  • Babe Parilli — Quarterback
    Born: 5/7/1930
    Played for Team: 1961 to 1967
    Babe Parilli was already an experienced NFL player when he joined the team in 1961. He led the Patriots to four winning seasons in a row. In 1964, he threw for 3,465 yards and 31 touchdowns—more than anyone else in football that seaso

  • Sam Cunningham — Running Back
    Born: 8/15/1950
    Played for Team: 1973 to 1982
    Sam “Bam” Cunningham never turned down an opportunity to run over an opponent. He was bigger than many of the defenders who tried to tackle him. In 1974, Cunningham had the NFL’s longest run when he went 75 yards for a touchdown.

  • Mike Haynes — Defensive Back
    Born: 7/1/1953
    Played for Team: 1976 to 1982
    No one guarded pass receivers closer than Mike Haynes. He was big, fast, and very physical. Haynes loved the challenge of covering his man one-on-one, and was one of the best ever at it.

  • Stanley Morgan — Receiver
    Born: 2/17/1955
    Played for Team: 1977 to 1989
    Stanley Morgan had blazing speed. The Patriots loved to throw long passes his way. Morgan averaged more than 20 yards per catch in his first six seasons with New England. He retired with the team records for receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

  • Ben Coates — Tight End
    Born: 8/16/1969
    Played for Team: 1991 to 1999
    In his first few seasons with the Patriots, Ben Coates was used mostly as a blocker. Once Coates became a target in the passing game, he developed into a star. Coates was an All-Pro twice. His best season came in 1994 when he caught 96 passes for 1,174 yards.

  • Andre Tippett — Linebacker
    Born: 12/27/1959
    Played for Team: 1982 to 1993
    Andre Tippett was an awesome combination of speed and power. He was the first defender that opposing quarterbacks looked for when they played the Patriots. From 1984 to 1988, Tippett had 72.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl six times.

  • Willie McGinest — Defensive Lineman
    Born: 12/11/1971
    Played for Team: 1994–2005
    When Willie McGinest rushed the quarterback, it almost always took two blockers to stop him. He exploded off the line and often ran completely around the man blocking him. McGinest made the New England defense one of the NFL’s most feared.

  • Tedy Bruschi — Linebacker
    Born: 6/9/1973
    Played for Team: 1996 to 2008
    The Patriots built a championship defense led by Tedy Bruschi, a great tackler who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Fans were shocked when he suffered a stroke after the 2004 season, then amazed when he returned to the lineup in 2005.

  • Rob Gronkowski — Tight End
    Born: 4/14/1989
    First Year with Team: 2010
    Rob Gronkowski continued the Patriots’ tradition of great tight ends. “Gronk” played with passion and power. In 2011, he set an NFL record for tight ends with 17 touchdown catches and was named All-Pro.

More Fun Facts

Craig James went from a dying league to the Super Bowl in two years. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. (Topps, Inc.)

    Most NFL teams carry three quarterbacks—a starter, a backup, and a young player whose job is to sit, watch, and learn. In 2000, the Patriots made the unusual decision to carry four passers. It was a good thing they did. The fourth quarterback was a little-known rookie named Tom Brady.

    During the 1970s and 1980s, no one in the NFL was better at racing down the field for long catches than Stanley Morgan. In 1979, 1980, and 1981, he led all players in yards per catch. Morgan averaged 20 or more yards per catch in each of his first six seasons.

    In 1984, Craig James suffered the luckiest knee injury in history. James signed with the Washington Federals of the United States Football League after graduating from college. The Federals were not very good and James regretted having picked the USFL over the NFL. When James hurt his knee, Washington released him. They could not afford to pay a player who was unable to play. James recovered after a few months and joined the Patriots at their training camp. One season later he was playing in the Super Bowl.

League Leaders

This Drew Bledsoe card was meant to look like a 1930s or 1940s style card. I’m not sure they got the final result they were hoping for. (Fleer Corp.)

Steve Grogan was a dentist in the off-season. So he was drilling passes in the fall and drilling teeth in the spring. (Author’s Collection)

Gino Cappelletti was practically the whole Patriots team for a few seasons in the early 1960s. (Fleer Corp.)

    1966 — Jim Nance — 1,458 (AFL)
    1967 — Jim Nance — 1,216 (AFL)

    No Patriot has led the league in receiving yards.

    1964 — Babe Parilli — 3,465 (AFL)
    1994 — Drew Bledsoe — 4,555
    2005 — Tom Brady — 4,110
    2007 — Tom Brady — 5,806
    2017 — Tom Brady — 4,577

    1966 — Jim Nance — 11 (AFL)
    2016 — LeGarrette Blount — 18

    1979 — Stanley Morgan — 12
    2007 — Randy Moss — 23
    2009 — Randy Moss — 13
    2011 — Rob Gronkowski — 17

    1964 — Babe Parilli — 31 (AFL)
    1979 — Steve Grogan — 28
    2002 — Tom Brady — 28
    2007 — Tom Brady — 50
    2010 — Tom Brady — 36
    2015 — Tom Brady — 36

    1961 — Gino Cappelletti — 147 (AFL)
    1963 — Gino Cappelletti — 113 (AFL)
    1964 — Gino Cappelletti — 155 (AFL)
    1965 — Gino Cappelletti — 132 (AFL)
    1966 — Gino Cappelletti — 119 (AFL)
    1979 — John Smith — 115
    1980 — John Smith — 129
    1986 — Tony Franklin — 140
    2004 — Adam Vinatieri — 141
    2008 — Stephen Gostkowski — 148
    2012 — Stephen Gostkowski — 153
    2013— Stephen Gostkowski — 158
    2014 — Stephen Gostkowski — 156
    2015 — Stephen Gostkowski — 151

    1998 — Ty Law — 9
    2006 — Asanta Samuel — 10 (tied for NFL lead)
    2011 — Kyle Arrington — 7 (tied for NFL lead)
    2019 — Stephone Gilmore — 6

    No Patriot has led the league in sacks.

Playing for the Championship

1963* AFL Championship San Diego Chargers Lost 51–10
1985 AFC Championship Miami Dolphins Won 31–14
1985 Super Bowl XX Chicago Bears Lost 46–10
1996 AFC Championship Jacksonville Jaguars Won 20–6
1996 Super Bowl XXXI Green Bay Packers Lost 35–21
2001 AFC Championship Pittsburgh Steelers Won 24–17
2001 Super Bowl XXXVI St. Louis Rams Won 20–17
2003 AFC Championship Indianapolis Colts Won 24–14
2003 Super Bowl XXXVIII Carolina Panthers Won 32–29
2004 AFC Championship Pittsburgh Steelers Won 41–27
2004 Super Bowl XXXIX Philadelphia Eagles Won 24–21
2006 AFC Championship Indianapolis Colts Lost 38–34
2007 AFC Championship San Diego Chargers Won 21–12
2007 Super Bowl XLII New York Giants Lost 17–14
2011 AFC Championship Baltimore Ravens Won 23–20
2011 Super Bowl XLVI New York Giants Lost 21–17
2012 AFC Championship Baltimore Ravens Lost 28–13
2013 AFC Championship Denver Broncos Lost 26–16
2014 AFC Championship Indianapolis Colts Won 45–7
2014 Super Bowl XLXI Seattle Seahawks Won 28–24
2015 AFC Championship Denver Broncos Lost 20–18
2016 AFC Championship Pittsburgh Steelers Won 36–17
2016 Super Bowl LI Atlanta Falcons Won 34–28
2017 AFC Championship Jacksonville Jaguars Won 24–20
2017 Super Bowl LII Philadelphia Eagles Lost 41–33
2018 AFC Championship Kansas City Chiefs Won 37–31
2018 Super Bowl LIII Los Angeles Rams Won 13–3

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