|1971 New England Patriots season|
|Head coach||John Mazur|
|General manager||Upton Bell|
|Home field||Schaefer Stadium|
|Division place||T-3rd AFC East|
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
The 1971 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 2nd season in the National Football League and 12th overall. 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 with six wins and eight losses, third place in the AFC East Division. It was the first season the Patriots played in the new Schaefer 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 on July 31. Thomas became embroiled in a conflict with head 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 draft|
|Pro Football Hall of Fame Made at least one Pro Bowl during careerMade roster|
|New England Patriots 1971 staff|
|1||September 19||Oakland Raiders||20||6||W||Schaeffer Stadium||1–0||55,405|
|2||September 26||Detroit Lions||7||34||L||Schaeffer Stadium||1–1||61,057|
|3||October 3||Baltimore Colts||3||23||L||Schaeffer Stadium||1–2||61,232|
|4||October 10||New York Jets||20||0||W||Schaeffer Stadium||2–2||61,357|
|5||October 17||at Miami Dolphins||3||41||L||Miami Orange Bowl||2–3||58,822|
|6||October 24||at Dallas Cowboys||21||44||L||Texas Stadium||2–4||65,708|
|7||October 31||at San Francisco 49ers||10||27||L||Candlestick Park||2–5||45,092|
|8||November 7||Houston Oilers||28||20||W||Schaeffer Stadium||3–5||53,155|
|9||November 14||Buffalo Bills||38||33||W||Schaeffer Stadium||4–5||57,446|
|10||November 21||at Cleveland Browns||7||27||L||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||4–6||65,238|
|11||November 28||at Buffalo Bills||20||27||L||War Memorial Stadium||4–7||27,166|
|12||December 5||Miami Dolphins||34||13||W||Schaeffer Stadium||5–7||61,457|
|13||December 12||at New York Jets||6||13||L||Shea Stadium||5–8||63,175|
|14||December 19||at Baltimore Colts||21||17||W||Memorial Stadium||6–8||57,942|
|New England Patriots||6||8||0||.429||4–4||6–5||238||325||W1|
|New York Jets||6||8||0||.429||4–4||6–5||212||299||W2|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972. 
- New England Is Their Third Name
- "New England opens park with victory". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. August 16, 1971. p. 6B.
- "Traffic situation 'hard to forget'". The Telegraph. (Nashua, New Hampshire). Associated Press. August 16, 1971. p. 18.
- "Cowboys unload Thomas, obtain Garret from Pats". Victoria Advocate. (Texas). Associated Press. August 1, 1971. p. 4B.
- "Thomas packs bags, exits Patriot camp". Victoria Advocate. (Texas). Associated Press. August 4, 1971. p. 2B.
- "Thomas trade called off". Victoria Advocate. (Texas). Associated Press. August 5, 1971. p. 2B.
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 297
- Pro Football Reference – 1971 New England Patriots
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