Official website of the New England Patriots

Foxboro Stadium History - 1999

The best news to come out of 1999 for the Patriots was Owner Bob Kraft's announcement that the Patriots would be staying in Foxborough.

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            Unfortunately the news on the field was not as pleasant for the Patriots. A shadow was cast over the club even before they had taken the field in 1999. Rookie sensation Robert Edwards suffered what was diagnosed as a career ending knee injury in Hawaii playing in a special beach football game for NFL rookies before the Pro Bowl. New England attempted to fill the void created by Edwards' devastating injury by signing running back Terry Allen, an eight-year veteran with two surgically repaired knees. Allen had rushed for nearly 7,000 yards in his career and hoped to provide a competent running back for the Patriots offense.  

Quarterback Drew Bledsoe showed no ill effects from his hand injury from the previous season, throwing for 340 yards on 21 completions in the Patriots 30-28 win over the archrival Jets in the season opener at the Meadowlands. While Bledsoe dismantled Bill Parcells' defense, Pete Carroll's aggressive unit forced four Jets turnovers, including an interception of reserve quarterback Rick Mirer that helped set up an Adam Vinatieri game-winning 33-yard field goal.

The following week in the Patriots home opener at Foxboro Stadium, New England quickly fell behind to Payton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, 21-0, and faced a daunting 28-7 halftime deficit. But Bledsoe was magnificent, completing 27-of-45 passes for 299 yards and four touchdowns in leading a furious and dramatic comeback with 24 unanswered New England points. The Patriots defense rose to the occasion, shutting out the Colts in the second half and forcing four Indianapolis turnovers. For the second straight week Adam Vinatieri booted a last second, game-ending field goal for the exciting 31-28 victory. Two more wins followed in succession, giving the Patriots a 4-0 start for only the fourth time in team history (making Pete Carroll the Patriots only head coach to accomplish the feat twice).

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            The four-game winning streak was snapped in Kansas City the following week in a 16-14 loss to the Chiefs. Despite the loss, Bledsoe shined again, racking up his ninth 300-plus-yard passing game of his career. Vinatieri had an opportunity for another game-winning field goal, but failed this time when his 33-yard attempt struck the right upright in the final seconds. New England returned to Foxborough the following week and suffered a heartbreaking 31-30 loss to the Miami Dolphins after blowing a 14-0 lead.  

It appeared the team had solved its problems when it rolled up two straight victories over Denver and Arizona. But three straight losses to divisional opponents dropped the Patriots to a dismal 6-5 record and all but sealed Patriots head coach Pete Carroll's fate.

A 24-17 loss to the Jets on "Monday Night Football" in Week Nine seemed to drain the life from this Patriots squad. With the loss to their archrivals the Patriots offense suddenly went into a funk that offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese could not remedy.

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            A gutsy 13-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Foxborough in Week 12 and a 20-3 win over Baltimore in the season finale earned the Patriots a disappointing 8-8 record.  

Carroll was summarily dismissed at season's end, becoming the fourth New England head coach to be fired despite having a career winning record. Carroll's successor would inherit a team with an offensive line that allowed 55 sacks and finished 23rd in the NFL in rushing offense.

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