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slides: The Patriots History Playing in Houston

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Deion Branch makes a big catch in the Super Bowl

The New England Patriots are headed to Houston to face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51. 


Since the Patriots began play in 1960 as the Boston Patriots, they hold a 9-10 all-time record when playing in Houston, with four of those wins coming during the Brady/Belichick era. 

New England's last win in Houston came during the 2015 regular season when they defeated the Houston Texans 27-6.  

Where They Have Played 

In their history of playing in Houston, the Patriots have played games in four different stadiums. 

Jeppesen Stadium 

From 1960 to 1964, the Patriots played the Houston Oilers at Jeppesen Stadium.

The stadium has been home to major concerts like Black Sabbath, The Beach Boys, The Eagles, Allman Brothers and more. 

Jeppesen Stadium underwent a major renovation in 2006 and is now home to college football’s Houston Cougars and Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo. 

Rice Stadium 

From 1965 to 1967, the Patriots and Oilers played games at Rice Stadium, home of the Rice University Owls football team. 

In 1974, six years after the Oilers left, Rice Stadium would host the first ever Super Bowl played in Houston. The game saw the Miami Dolphins beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-7. The Super Bowl would not return to Houston for another 30 years. 

Besides sporting events, Rice Stadium hosted the 1962 speech by President John F. Kennedy in which he challenged Americans to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade.  

Houston Astrodome

From 1968 to 1988, the Patriots and Oilers played in the Houston Astrodome. 

Opened in 1965, the Astrodome was the home to the Oilers, Houston Astros and the part-time home to the NBA’s Houston Rockets. 

The first sports game ever played there was a Houston Astros game against the New York Yankees in April of 1965. In the game, Mickey Mantle got both the first hit and home run in the stadium, but the Astros beat New York 2-1. 

{image_2}In December of that year, Judy Garland, of Wizard of Oz fame, played the first concert at the Astrodome. Garland played for 40 minutes, closing her show with “Over the Rainbow.” 

The Astrodome closed in 2008 due to multiple code violations. Plans to demolish it have been rejected on numerous occasions. 

Reliant/ NRG Stadium 

From 2003 to present, the Patriots played the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium, now known as NRG Stadium. NRG Stadium will be home to Super Bowl 51 between the Patriots and Falcons. 

This will be the second Super Bowl played in the stadium, and only the third one ever played in the city of Houston.  

NRG Stadium previously hosted the 2004 Super Bowl between the Patriots and Carolina Panthers, which saw the Patriots win their second Super Bowl in three years.

The stadium has also hosted international soccer matches and Wrestlemania in 2009. 



Related Slideshow: The Patriots History of Playing in Houston

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December 18, 1960

Regular Season Week 15 - Jeppesen Stadium 

Houston Oilers 37, Boston Patriots 21 

The Patriots trailed 13-0 in the third quarter before coming back to take a 21-20 lead on a touchdown pass from quarterback Butch Songin to Jim Colclough. 

From there, the Oilers would score the next 17 points and go on to win 37-21. 

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Novembe 12, 1961

Regular Season Week 10 - Jeppesen Stadium 

Houston Oilers 27, Boston Patriots 15 

Houston's Doug Cline recovered a Patriots fumble and ran it 12 yards to the endzone to give the Oilers a 20-0 lead. 

The Patriots would climb back into the game on a Babe Parilli one yard rush to cut their deficit to 20-15, however they would get no closer. 

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November 18, 1962

Regular Season Week 11 - Jeppesen Stadium 

Houston Oilers 21, Boston Patriots 17 

The Patriots led 7-0 in the first quarter before the Oilers scored 21 of the next 24 points to take a 21-10 lead in the third quarter. 

Patriots quarterback Tom Yewcic threw a 69-yard pass to Ron Burton to pull the Patriots to within 21-17, but they would get no closer. There would be no scoring in the fourth quarter as Houston would get the win. 

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December 8, 1963

Regular Season Week 14 - Jeppesen Stadium 

Boston Patriots 46, Houston Oilers 28 

The Patriots trailed 14-10 before quarterback Babe Parilli found Jim Colclough in the endzone to give Boston a 17-14 lead. 

The Patriots would add to the lead on the defensive side of the ball when Nick Buoniconti would return a fumble 7 yards for a touchdown. 

The Patriots would roll to a 46-28 win. 

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November 29, 1964

Regular Season Week 12 - Jeppesen Stadium 

Boston Patriots 34, Houston Oilers 17 

Trailing 10-7 early in the second quarter, the Patriots scored 17 straight points to take a 24-10 lead after a Babe Parilli pass to Art Graham. 

The Oilers would pull to within 24-17 but would get no closer. 

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September 19, 1965

Regular Season Week 2 - Rice Stadium 

Houston Oilers 31, Boston Patriots 10 

Jim Nance rushed one yard into the endzone to give the Patriots a 10-7 lead in the second quarter before the Oilers would score the next 24 points to win the game 31-7. 

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December 11, 1966

Regular Season Week 15 - Rice Stadium 

Boston Patriots 38, Houston Oilers 14 

Trailing 7-3 entering the second quarter, Patriots quarterback Babe Parilli threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter to put the Patriots up 24-7. 

In the second half, Boston would get rushing touchdowns from Jim Nance and Bob Cappadona and cruise to the 38-14 win. 

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November 26, 1967

Regular Season Week 13 - Rice Stadium 

Houston Oilers 27, Boston Patriots 6

Kicker Geno Cappelletti converted two field goals to pull the Patriots within four, 10-6 entering the fourth quarter. 

From there the Oilers would score 17 straight fourth quarter points to run away with the win. 

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December 15, 1968

Playoffs - Houston Astrodome 

Houston Oilers 45, Boston Patriots 17 

Trailing 21-10, Patriots quarterback Tom Sherman threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jim Whalen to cut Houston's lead to 21-17. 

However, the Oilers would score the next 24 points and cruise to the easy win, holding Boston scoreless the rest of the way. 

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December 14, 1969

Regular Season Week 14 - Houston Astrodome

Houston Oilers 27, Boston Patriots 23 

After a rushing touchdown by Carl Garrett, kicker Geno Cappelletti converted three straight field goals to give the Patriots a 16-0 lead in the second quarter. 

The Oilers would outscore the Patriots 27-6 the rest of the way, their winning score coming on a 13-yard pass from quarterback Pete Beathard to Jim Beirne.


Photo: Patriots.com

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November 25, 1973

Regular Season Week 11 - Houston Astrodome

Patriots 32, Houston Oilers 0 

Patriots quarterback Jim Plunkett threw touchdown passes to Bob Windsor and Reggie Rucker while the Patriots defense forced a fourth-quarter safety. 

The Patriots improved to 4-7 with the win. 

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November 10, 1980

Regular Season Week 10 - Houston Astrodome

Houston Oilers 38, Patriots 34 

The Oilers held a commanding 24-6 lead entering the third quarter before the Patriots would rally. 

New England got a rushing touchdown from Don Calhoun in the third quarter before quarterback Steve Grogan threw three touchdown passes in the half, his last one to Russ Francis to get the Patriots within four, 38-34. 

However, the Oilers would hold on for the win. 

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October 18, 1987

Regular Season Week 6 - Houston Astrodome 

Patriots 21, Houston Oilers 7

Under the lights of the Houston Astrodome, quarterback Doug Flutie led the Patriots to 21 first half points to give them a 21-7 halftime lead.

Both team's defenses would pitch a shutout in the second half and the Patriots would hold get the 21-7 win.

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September 25, 1988

Regular Season Week 4 - Houston Astrodome

Houston Oilers 31, Patriots 6 

Leading 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, the Oilers held the Patriots scoreless for the rest of the game while scoring 24 straight points, including ten in the fourth quarter, to get the 31-6 win. 

The Patriots finished that season 9-7 overall. 

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November 23, 2003

Regular Season Week 11 -  Reliant Stadium 

Patriots 23, Texans 20

In their second season as a franchise, the Houston Texans gave the Patriots a run in an early November game. 

The Texans held a 20-13 lead in the fourth quarter before the Patriots tied it with 40 seconds left on the clock on a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Daniel Graham. 

In the overtime period, the game remained scoreless until Adam Vinatieri kicked a 28-yard field goal with 41 seconds left to give the Patriots a win. 

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February 1, 2004

Super Bowl XXXVIII - Reliant Stadium 

Patriots 32, Panthers 29 

In a high scoring affair, 37 points total in the 4th quarter, it was Adam Vinatieri who gave the Patriots a 32-29 win on a 41-yard field goal with 4 seconds left. 

The Patriots bounced back from missing the playoffs the season before to win their second Super Bowl in franchise history and the second in three years. 

Tom Brady was named Super Bowl MVP. 

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January 3, 2010

Regular Season Week 17 - Reliant Stadium 

Houston 34, Patriots 27 

When the Patriots lost to the Texans, they lost a lot more than the game. 

Wide receiver Wes Welker tore his ACL in the game when he went down untouched after catching a pass over the middle from Tom Brady. 

After the game head coach Bill Belichick blamed the terrible turf for causing the injury. 

“The turf down there is terrible. It’s terrible. It’s just inconsistent. It’s all the little trays of grass and some of them are soft and some of them are firm and they don’t all fit well together those seams . . . some of it feels like a sponge, some of it feels real firm and hard like the Miami surface. One step you’re on one, the other step you’re on another. I really think it’s one of the worst fields I’ve seen," Belichick said. 

The Patriots would go on to get pounded in the wild card round at home against the Baltimore Ravens. 

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December 1, 2013

Regular Season Week 13 - Reliant Stadium 

Patriots 34, Houston 31

After trailing 17-7 in the second quarter, the Patriots rallied to take a 28-24 lead on a seven-yard run by LeGarrette Blount with 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter. 

Houston would get a touchdown from Ben Tate to take the lead back 31-28 with 11 minutes to play. 

The Patriots would escape with the win after Stephen Gostkowski kicked back-to-back field goals to give the Patriots a 34-31 win. 

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December 13, 2015

Regular Season Week 14 - NRG Stadium

Patriots 27, Houston 6 

After the Texans had cut the Patriots lead to10-6 on a Nick Novak field goal, the Patriots scored 17 straight points to cruise to a 27-6 win. 

Keshawn Martin and Rob Gronkowski each caught touchdown passes in the game while James White added a rushing touchdown. 


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