New England Patriots compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts, which is located 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Boston, Massachusetts and 20 miles (32 km) northeast of downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The Patriots are also headquartered at Gillette Stadium.
An original member of the American Football League (AFL), the Patriots joined the NFL in the 1970 merger of the two leagues. The team changed its name from the original Boston Patriots after relocating to Foxborough in 1971. The Patriots played their home games at Foxboro Stadium from 1971 to 2001, then moved to Gillette Stadium at the start of the 2002 season. The Patriots’ rivalry with the New York Jets is considered one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL.
The Patriots have appeared in the Super Bowl ten times in franchise history, the most of any team, eight of them since the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady in 2000. The Patriots have since become one of the most successful teams in NFL history, winning 15 AFC East titles in 17 seasons since 2001, without a losing season in that period. The franchise has since set numerous notable records, including most wins in a ten-year period (126, in 2003–2012), an undefeated 16-game regular season in 2007, the longest winning streak consisting of regular season and playoff games in NFL history (a 21-game streak from October 2003 to October 2004), and the most consecutive division titles won by a team in NFL history (won nine straight division titles from 2009 to 2017). The team owns the record for most Super Bowls reached (eight) and won (five) by a head coach–quarterback tandem, and most Super Bowl appearances overall (ten). Currently, the team is tied with the 49ers and Cowboys for the second most Super Bowl wins with five, after the Steelers, who have six.