This Freezing, Snowy New England Patriots Game is One of the Lowest Scoring in the NFL Ever
Long before Tom Brady and Bill Belichick led the New England Patriots to near infinite success, the team's most memorable game wasn't a Super Bowl. It wasn't even a playoff game. Hell, the Patriots were actually under .500 at the time of this infamous game. And I do not use the term "infamous" lightly.
This wild game had it all. Snow, freezing temperatures, a hated rival as an opponent, a snowplow, and one heck of a controversial finish. Yes, I am talking about the "Snowplow Game."
This game had everything...except a touchdown. There wasn't one of those. In fact, this game between the Patriots and hated rivals, the Miami Dolphins, would go down as tying for the lowest score in the NFL since 1943.
The Patriots were just 2-3 when they hosted the 4-1 Dolphins on December 12, 1982. The season had been a rocky one, considering cancellation of numerous weeks due to a player's strike earlier in the year.
The weather was absolutely miserable. According to the National Weather Service, severe thunderstorms rolled through Foxborough the night before the game. The rain would freeze overnight, making the terrible turf field even worse. On top of that, heavy snow from a nor'easter fell on game day.
As bad as the field conditions were, the temperatures weren't much better. According to the National Weather Service, the game time temp was 26 degrees, with a windchill of 14. It was a sloppy mess. It was a perfect recipe for bad football.
The Patriots and Dolphins battled to a stalemate that lasted late into the game. And that is when the game truly turned infamous.
New England drove the ball into Miami's territory late in the 4th quarter. The Patriots were in a position to kick a 33-yard field goal for the win. During a timeout, New England's head coach at the time, Ron Meyer, called for a snowplow to come out and clear a spot for the ball to be held for the kick. Before the Dolphins even had a chance to react, the teams were lined up, the ball was snapped, and the kick was good.
That would be the lone score of the game, as the Patriots escaped with a 3-0 win. The Pats were joyous, Miami was pissed, and snowplow driver Mark Henderson became a household name in New England. The ex-convict even got the game ball from Coach Meyer, making the story that much sweeter...and controversial.
Miami tried to get the game's result overturned, but to no avail. According to Football Zebras, snowplows were banned the following year, and non-players clearing an area were completely banned in 2018.
Who thought a 3-0 game could be so exciting and infamous?