Patriots' Win Last Week vs. Bills Averts 3-Game Losing Streak...Again!

Jerry Tapp@@StatsonTappSenior Analyst IIIOctober 4, 2012

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30:  Stevan Ridley #22 of the New England Patriots runs against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York.New England won 52-28.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

After a loss to Arizona in Week 2 and a defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, the New England Patriots went into their game last week with Buffalo hoping to avoid a 1-3 start.

But there was another reason the Pats needed a win over their division rivals: They were looking to avoid a three-game losing streak, something that has not happened to the franchise since 2002.

The last time New England lost three consecutive games in a season was in 2002 when it lost four straight games to San Diego, Miami, Green Bay and Denver. The Patriots then defeated Buffalo on November 3, 2002 to end the streak. Since then, they have lost two straight on five occasions, but have not lost a third.

In those five two-game losing streaks since midseason in 2002, the Patriots have won the following game in convincing fashion in three of the five instances. In 2002, the Patriots beat Miami 27-24 in overtime in the last game of the season. In the other four games after a two-game losing streak, New England won 35-0 over Green Bay (2006), 20-10 over Carolina (2009), 37-16 over the Jets (2011) and 52-28 over Buffalo (2012).

Even though we are only four weeks into the 2012 season, four teams have already lost three straight games this season: Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

Two teams, Miami and Carolina, enter play this weekend with two-game losing streaks and will be looking to avoid joining the Browns, Lions, Saints and Bucs with three-game losing streaks.

Following is a look at the last time each of the 32 NFL teams lost three consecutive games in a season.

2002: New England

2007: Atlanta

2008: Green Bay

2009: Baltimore, Pittsburgh

2010: Cincinnati, Dallas, San Francisco, Tennessee

2011: Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington

2012: Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Tampa Bay


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