New England Patriots
Brown made his debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers and recorded his first NFL sack when he tackled wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was part of an attempted double pass by the Steelers. He would finish his rookie season with 48 tackles (9th on the team) and 3.0 sacks (6th on the team).
For the Patriots 1976 season, Grogan led the Patriots to an 11-3 record and the franchise’s first playoff berth since 1963. The eleven wins were the most Patriots wins in a season since the club’s inception. Along the way the Patriots defeated the defending Super Bowl champion, Pittsburgh Steelers (30-27). They also handed the Oakland Raiders their only regular season loss that year by defeating them 48-17. However,they lost the divisional playoffs (24-21) to the Raiders. Grogan scored 12 rushing touchdowns in 1976, breaking a record of 11 previously held by Tobin Rote and Johnny Lujack. His record would stand for 35 years until broken by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s 14 in 2011.
In the Patriots 1978 season, Grogan led the Pats to an 11-5 record, a division title and the organization’s first ever home playoff game, a 31-14 loss to the Houston Oilers. The Pats set the all-time single season team rushing record with 3,156 yards (Grogan rushing for 539 yards and 5 touchdowns himself). That record still stands as the most productive rushing team ever in the history of the NFL. It is also the only season an NFL team has had 4 players rush for over 500 yards apiece.
Following a difficult 1995 season, Bledsoe turned it around in 1996 ranking among the top passers in the league with the help of wide receiver Terry Glenn, thus pushing the Patriots to reach the playoffs again and winning the AFC championship against the Jacksonville Jaguars, 20–6. This led to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXI, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers by the score of 35–21. Bledsoe completed 25 of 48 passes for 253 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions in the loss. He was also named a starter for the Pro Bowl that season, the second of his career.
Bledsoe in 2001, during his tenure with the Patriots.
During the 1997 season, Bledsoe helped the Patriots win five of their final seven games to once again qualify for the playoffs, the fourth time in eight years as a Patriots starter he would lead the team to a postseason appearance. The Patriots lost in the second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers, however Bledsoe built a career-high 87.7 passer rating, passed for 3706 yards, tossed 28 Touchdowns, and earned his third Pro Bowl invitation.
The following year, he became the first NFL quarterback to complete game-winning touchdown passes in the final 30 seconds of two consecutive games. In doing so, he propelled New England into the postseason for the third straight year. He completed these come-from-behind efforts while playing with a broken index finger on his throwing hand, an injury that would later sideline him for the postseason.