did not qualify
| T-3rd AFC East|
| 1960 Boston Patriots s, 1970 Boston Patriots s, 1965 Boston Patriots s, 1971 New Orleans Saints se, 1972 New England Patriots s|
The 1971 season New England Patriots season was the team's twelfth, and second in the National Football League. The 1971 season was the first that the team played as the New England Patriots, changing their name from the Boston Patriots, briefly to the Bay State Patriots before changing it again to the New England Patriots, in an effort to regionalize the franchise's equal distance from Boston and Providence.
The Patriots finished the season with a record of six wins and eight losses, and finished third in the AFC East Division. It was the first season the Patriots played in Schaeffer Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts after playing in three different stadiums the previous three seasons in Boston.
During training camp, the Dallas Cowboys traded disgruntled running back Duane Thomas to the Patriots for Carl Garrett and Halvor Hagen. Thomas became embroiled in a conflict with coach John Mazur, prompting Patriots general manager Upton Bell to request that Commissioner Pete Rozelle void the trade three days after it had been made. Rozelle granted Bell's request, and the traded players returned to where they had been prior to the deal.
1971 New England Patriots season Wikipedia
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
All of the following players appeared in at least one game for the 1971 New England Patriots.