Clint's Corner Archive

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The source for back issues of Clint's Corner. Forget a trade? Were Clint's predictions correct? Here's every edition, verbatim.

For 10/24/96

A win is a win is a win...

I am sick to death of hearing how the Pats did not deserve to win this game, that they were lucky to be in it, and that the Colts handed them the win. Anyone who follows this league with any interest whatsoever can tell you that sometimes you win games in which you were outplayed, and other times you lose games in which you dominate. If you always won games in which you were the better team, than the Pats would be 5-2 right now instead of 4-3. They would have lost at Indy, but they would have won at Buffalo and at home against Washington. The way I see it, the Pats still need to win one more game they don't deserve to win in order to get to 2-2 in that department.

The Pats lost to Buffalo in week 2 17-10 (on the final play of the game) in a game in which they clearly outplayed the Bills on both sides of the ball. The Pats offense moved the ball up and down the field at will against the Redskins, but lost by 5 points in a game which wasn't decided until the final minute two weeks ago. All we read about after those games was that it didn't matter how well they played, they still lost. What is so wrong with being on the other end of the spectrum this once? Besides last week, when was the last time the Pats won a game in which they were lucky? I can't recall off hand. I can remember numerous games like the Buffalo and Washington games; losses that should not have been. It's about time the shoe was put on the other foot.

Lucky?

I just said that Washington and Buffalo escaped with wins of 5 and 7 points, respectively. The Pats won by 18 points, 27-9. 18 points. How lucky could they have possibly been? Granted the offense sputtered miserably for the first 27:49 of the first half, but the defense did it's job by limiting the Colts to just two field goals despite two turnovers by the offense on their own side of the field. The Colts had 1st and 10 at the Patriots 19 after Martin fumbled on the Pat's first possession. The Colts got nothing. Two possessions later, the Colts took over on the Pat's 42 after a fumbled snap. Again, the Colts got nothing.

In sharp contrast, when the Pats dormant offense was finally given a break following a Willy Clay fumble recovery returned to the 7 yard line, the Pats needed only one play to capitalize as Bledsoe hit Terry Glenn for the TD to give the Pats a surprising and very sudden 7-6 lead with 2:11 left in the half. The Colts got the ball following the kickoff, and guess what, did nothing. They punted with 1:32 left on the clock and the Pats moved into position for a FG to boost their lead to 10-6.

The first half stats showed that the Colts had more yards, more first downs, and double the time of possession. The Colts did not use their 20 minutes of time to their advantage. The Pats needed only the final 2:11 to go into the half with the 10-6 lead.

The second half was all Pats. The offense was able to move the ball, make the big 3rd down plays, turn turnovers into touchdowns, and punch the ball into the endzone with the running game rather than settle for the field goal. The Pats defense was all over Jim Harbaugh. The Colts offense could get nothing going in the second half at all. For the entire day, the Colts did not have any plays go longer than 18 yards. When Paul Justin replaced the injured Harbaugh with just over 7 minutes to play, the Pats had a 27-9 lead. The game was essentially over, and the Pats went into their prevent defense. Justin used that to his advantage to pad his stats with a 10 of 12 for 119 yard performance. That greatly exaggerated the final stats which gave the impression that Indianapolis dominated the game and therefore deserved to win.

Give me a break. Pats 27, Colts 9. Enough said. Go to hell Bob Trumpy!

Spreading it around...

Drew Bledsoe had an unusually low number of passing yards (142), attempts (24) and completions (14). Despite the low passing numbers, 6 different receivers were on the other end of the 14 Bledsoe completions with a high of 5 to Shawn Jefferson. This is a very good sign. In the past, Bledsoe would go 24 for 40, but Coates would have 18 receptions with the rest going to the backs. This years passing offense is very unpredictable, and utilizes the wide receivers a-la the 1994 season when Timpson had over 70 catches. Ben Coates had only 1 catch on Sunday. In the past that would have indicated that the Pats were crushed; not any more. There are 6 guys out there that can hurt you, and hurt you bad.

Adam the great...

Lets give some credit where credit is due here. At the beginning of the season, we all though Parcells was a fool to cut Matt Bahr in favor of the untested 23 year old Adam Vinatieri. Cascades of boos and "We want Matt" rained down on young Adam as he missed a couple of field goals early on in the season. Unlike Scott "Missin'" Sisson, Vinatieri never lost his confidence, and has hit 14 of his last 17 field goals. That's a .823 clip, which would place him among the league leaders. If I'm not mistakin', two of his three misses over that span have hit the crossbar. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Looking ahead...

Buffalo is dead. Period. This Bill's squad is way overrated in my opinion. The Pats should have won in Buffalo in week 2, and the Bills have bearly squeaked by the lowly Jets and Giants. Their other two wins were also very close, both at home over Dallas and Indy. Beating Dallas these days doesn't mean a thing. The Cowboys have lost to Chicago and Indy besides Buffalo, and have struggled at home against the mighty Cardinals and Falcons, but I digress. My point here is that Buffalo has done nothing great yet to impress me. They have yielded more points to date than they have scored, and have struggled on the road outside of the Meadowlands.

Prior to week 2, the Pats had a three game winning streak on the Bills. Look for the Pats to mount a new streak and come out swinging. New England learned their lesson two weeks ago at home against the Redskins. We may have seen our last home loss of the season.

I may be way too optimistic here, but it's hard not to get excited about this team. They stand at 4-3, tied for second place with Miami behind 5-2 Buffalo and Indy. The Pats have 4 home games remaining against the AFC East, and one road trip to face the Jets. They are clearly in a position to make some noise here. Indy is at Washington this week, and Miami will host Dallas. If everything works out, the Pats will be in a three way tie for first at 5-3 with Miami next in line. Can you feel it? The air is ripe for some TNT excitement at Foxboro!

The College game...

The PAT VAN made it's virgin trip into the world of NCAA football when if journeyed to Chestnut Hill to attend the BC Eagles/ Rutgers matchup. B.C. pummeled the Scarlet Knights, but what was really important was the quality of the tailgating. Steve Joyce provided the "Blue Chip" pass enabling us to park right next to the stadium. Kevin "the hammer" Danehy (who defeated #1 Texas in 1977) provided the home made sausage. Even the chicken was cooked through without burning the skin! Amazing! Others provided the beer, etc, while all I did was provide the luxury transportation and the grill. Not a bad swap. The players on the field may not yet be pros, but the tailgaters are seasoned vets. Thanks for a great time guys!

Thank you all once again for visiting. Don't forget to check my picks of the week. I'm coming off a rare winning week last week!