The Boston Patriots played the first regular-season game in AFL history on Sept. 9, 1960 against the Denver Broncos at Boston University Field before 20,000 fans. The Patriots scored first on a 34-yard Gino Cappelletti field goal. Denver scored 13 unanswered points courtesy of a 59-yard catch-and-run for a score by Al Carmichael and a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown by Gene Mingo. Patriots defensive back Chuck Shonta returned an interception 60 yards to the Denver 10, which set up a Butch Songin-to-Jim Colclough touchdown pass to make it 13-10. The Patriots appeared poised to take the lead in the fourth quarter until Songin was intercepted at the Denver 2-yard-line. Boston never regained possession and despite beating Denver, 43-6, in the preseason, it dropped the opener to fall to 0-1 on its way to a 5-9 inaugural season. It was rumored that Denver head coach Frank Filchock, while on a walk from his team hotel the day before the opener, walked into the stadium to watch the Patriots practice and knew his opponent’s game plan. The Hall has a ticket stub and game program from the inaugural game on display along with the score sheet kept by Bill McDonough, later known by Will McDonough of the Boston Globe.
60 years ago today, our Boston @Patriots kicked off their inaugural season! pic.twitter.com/fGxtomkZZN
— The Hall presented by Raytheon Technologies (@TheHall) September 9, 2020
For an in-depth look at the Patriots 1960 season, including the team media guide and official game summaries, please click HERE.