The New England Patriots participated in the National Football League’s 1996 season, the team’s 37th in football. The Patriots finished with a record of eleven wins and five losses, and finished first in the East division. The team lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Green Bay Packers.
The relationship between team owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Parcells collapsed during the draft, when Parcells wanted to draft a defensive lineman but Kraft overruled him, giving head scout Bobby Grier the choice of a player, and receiver Terry Glenn was selected. Parcells stormed out of the Patriots draft war room after the choice was made and vowed to reporter Will McDonough that he was done with New England after 1996. Despite this, the Patriots rallied from a 0�2 start to finish 11�5, then defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers and the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars to advance to Super Bowl XXXI. The season saw the arrival of former Cleveland Browns coach Bill Belichick as he took over coaching New England’s defensive backs.