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This week in Patriots history

DECEMBER 12-18

Dec. 17, 1961 - The Patriots ended their second season with a 41-0 shutout of San Diego, a win that still stands as the franchise's most lopsided shutout victory.

Dec. 18, 1976 - In an AFC Divisional Playoff game in Oakland, the Patriots lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Raiders, 24-21, in a game remembered for a controversial roughing the passer call against the Patriots that put Oakland in position to score the winning touchdown with 10 seconds left in the game.

Dec. 18, 1977 - Raymond Clayborn recorded the longest play in Patriots history, returning a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown against the Baltimore Colts at Memorial Stadium.

Dec. 12, 1982 - The Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins, 3-0, in the "Snow Plow Game" at Schaefer Stadium. Prior to John Smith's 33-yard field goal -the only points of the game - stadium worker Mark Henderson used a John Deere tractor to brush off a clean kicking surface on the turf.

Dec. 15, 1996 - The Patriots clinched the AFC East title, earning their first division championship since 1985. New England would go on to win their second AFC Championship.

Dec. 13, 1998 - Drew Bledsoe became the Patriots' all-time completions leader, surpassing Steve Grogan's total of 1,876.

Dec. 12, 2004 - The Patriots clinched their third AFC East title in four years with a 35-28 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots would go on to win Super Bowl XXXIX.

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