1990 New England Patriots season

1990 New England Patriots season
Head coach Rod Rust
General manager Patrick Sullivan
Owner Victor Kiam
Home field Foxboro Stadium
Record 1–15
Division place 5th AFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers T Bruce Armstrong
AP All-Pros none

The 1990 New England Patriots season was the team's 31st, and 21st in the National Football League. It was the first and only season for head coach Rod Rust.

The Patriots finished the season with a record of 1–15, the worst record in franchise history. They finished last in the AFC East Division and dead last in the NFL. Notably, they lost a nationally-televised game to the Washington Redskins in which they were down 9–0 before the Redskins even ran an offensive play. The Redskins' two first-quarter scores came on a Kurt Gouveia fumble return for a touchdown, and the Patriots snapping the ball out of the end zone for a safety.[1] The announced crowd for the game, played in a driving rain, was 22,286.

The Patriots’ final game of the season, against the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants, drew a sellout crowd to Foxboro, but over 40,000 fans were rooting for the visitors, as tickets to Giants home games were nearly impossible to come by for non-season-ticket holders.

The Patriots’ negative-265 point-differential (181 points scored, 446 points surrendered) was the worst total of the 1990s.[2] It is notable that like the previous season's Dallas Cowboys, the Patriots played only three teams with non-winning records – divisional rivals the Colts and Jets plus one game against the Phoenix Cardinals – all season.[3]

The 1990 Patriots and 1981 Baltimore Colts are the only NFL teams since 1940 to have eleven losses during which they never led in one season.[4]

The 1990 Patriots became the third team to end a season at 1-15, and would be matched by the 1991 Colts the next year.

Lisa Olson controversy

The day after the Patriots' only victory of the season, tight end Zeke Mowatt, running back Robert Perryman and wide receiver Michael Timpson allegedly stood in front of Boston Herald reporter Lisa Olson semi-naked and sexually harassed her in the Patriots locker room at Foxboro Stadium.[5] The incident proved a major embarrassment for the franchise, and the team lost its final 14 games, and was accused in the media of quitting in most of the losses.



1990 New England Patriots staff
Front office

Head coaches

  • Head coach – Rod Rust
  • Special Assistant to the Head Coach – John Polonchek

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Steve Crosby

Strength and conditioning

Regular season


Week Opponent Result Stadium Record Attendance
1 Miami Dolphins L 24–27 Foxboro Stadium 0–1
2 at Indianapolis Colts W 16–14 Hoosier Dome 1–1
3 at Cincinnati Bengals L 7–41 Riverfront Stadium 1–2
4 New York Jets L 13–37 Foxboro Stadium 1–3
5 Seattle Seahawks L 20–33 Foxboro Stadium 1–4
6 Bye
7 at Miami Dolphins L 10–17 Joe Robbie Stadium 1–5
8 Buffalo Bills L 10–27 Foxboro Stadium 1–6
9 at Philadelphia Eagles L 20–48 Veterans Stadium 1–7
10 Indianapolis Colts L 10–13 Foxboro Stadium 1–8
11 at Buffalo Bills L 0–14 Rich Stadium 1–9
12 at Phoenix Cardinals L 14–34 Sun Devil Stadium 1–10
13 Kansas City Chiefs L 7–37 Foxboro Stadium 1–11
14 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 3–24 Three Rivers Stadium 1–12
15 Washington Redskins L 10–25 Foxboro Stadium 1–13
16 at New York Jets L 7–42 The Meadowlands 1–14
17 New York Giants L 10–13 Foxboro Stadium 1–15


AFC East
(1) Buffalo Bills 13 3 0 .813 7–1 10–2 428 263 L1
(4) Miami Dolphins 12 4 0 .750 7–1 10–2 336 242 W1
Indianapolis Colts 7 9 0 .438 3–5 5–7 281 353 L1
New York Jets 6 10 0 .375 2–6 4–10 295 345 W2
New England Patriots 1 15 0 .063 1–7 1–11 181 446 L14

See also

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