Clint's Corner Archive
Clint's Corner Archive
The source for back issues of Clint's Corner. Forget a trade? Were Clint's predictions correct? Here's every edition, verbatim.
For For 1/21/97
Hey, I know the bottom line is winning in this business, but the Pats 20-6 victory just over a week ago now was certainly not one for an NFL films greatest games feature. The defense sparkled, but the offense certainly did all it could to ensure Jacksonville would go to the Super Bowl. Only 3 of the 20 points scored were not in some way aided by either the defense or special teams. That is pretty sad. If you want to look on the bright side here, the offense could not have played worse, and the Pats still won the AFC Championship. Only the best teams in this business are able to win when they're not at 100%. By default, the offense if guaranteed to play better in the Super Bowl.
The final NFL standings show the Pat's defense to be ranked 19th out of the 30 NFL teams. Not to point out the obvious, but that's less than average. That number has GOT to be the most deceiving statistic of Super Bowl XXXI. Since the Denver game on November 24th, the Pats defense has played better than Green Bay's (or anyone else in the NFL for that matter). The Pats D has yielded a total of 4 TD's in those 7 games. Two of them were in garbage time with the game in hand against the Colts and Jets. One was a 60 yard TD bomb by Stan Humphries to Tony Martin, and the other was a 1 yard run by the Giants in the second quarter of the season finally. 4 TD's.
That's it. The D has averaged just over 9 points per game allowed in those 7 games. They held the Jags to two field goals after they had scored 30 points at Buffalo and 30 points at Denver in consecutive playoff upsets. 19th? Please. Green Bay had better be ready.
In it to win it...
I know I'm a bit bias here, but why the Pats are 14 point 'dogs is beyond me. Green Bay is a great team, but they aren't the '78 Steelers, the '86 Bears, or even the '93 or '95 Cowboys for that matter. Looking at both teams, I predict a close Super Bowl.
Like New England, Green Bay was also 5-3 away from home. All three of their losses were by at least a touchdown. The losses included a 21-30 setback to the 9-7 (and still overachieving) Vikings, and back to back losses at Kansas City 20-27 and at Dallas 6-21. Everyone said the Pats were "all done" when they lost at Dallas 6-12, in a very very winnable game. Green Bay was down 18-0 with under 3 minutes to play in that game. Don't talk to me about injured wide receivers. That Pats played their first two games of the season (0-2) with Will Moore and Dietrich Jells each getting a start. Brisby has yet to catch a pass this year.
The Pack did beat San Fran twice, but both times were minus Steve Young. Green Bay was extremely fortunate to hold off Elvis Grbac and the 9ers in OT 23-20 at mid season at home. In the playoff rematch, Desmond Howard and the special teams won that game, not the Packers offense. The 9ers simply aren't the 9ers without Steve Young. Where would the Packers be without Brett Favre? Enough said.
In their victory over the Panthers (who's 12 wins included 5 wins over the likes of Atlanta, New Orleans, and St. Louis), Brett Favre showed he can be rattled and make dumb mistakes. His interception at the 4 yard line set up an easy score for the Panthers. Favre later fumbled the ball while avoiding the rush - when he wasn't even touched. The Pack rebounded for a convincing win, but neutral turf against the Pats will be a different story.
The Packers won the NFC Central. No other team in that division made the playoffs. The closest competitor was the 9-7 Bears. The Pats won the AFC East, which sent two other teams to the playoffs. The 7-9 Dolphins are also no pushover.
Drew is due...
The Pats have won two straight on their way to the Super Bowl despite 6 consecutive sub-par quarters by their Franchise QB. Drew came out a house-on-fire against the Steelers, but has done little since half-time of that game. Curtis Martin won the first game, and the Defense has played a part in both, beating Jacksonville almost single handedly.
We all saw this season that on any given day, Drew can look like an all-world QB. If he has a game like he did against Baltimore, San Diego, Buffalo (part II), Miami (part II), or the second half comebacks against the New York teams, then the Packers are in big trouble. In their 3 losses this season, the Packers faced Warren Moon, Steve Bono, and Troy Aikman.
Look at these NFL standouts who they faced for their 13 wins: Trent Dilfer (2), Rodney Pete, Stan Humphries, Rick Mirer, Dave Krieg (2), Elvis Grbac, Scott Mitchell(2), Tony Banks, Bill Musgrave, and Brad Johnson. The playoff victories were against Elvis Grbac and Kerry Collins. None of the QB's the Packers beat are as good as Bledsoe. Humphries, Mitchell, and Collins are the only one's you could consider to be good NFL quarterbacks. Aikman and Moon (and Bono!!) beat them. Hey Reggie, Drew Bledsoe ain't no Bill Musgrave.
If Drew plays his game, the Pats will bring home the trophy, plain and simple.
OK, OK. Parcells is leaving after the Super Bowl. Who cares? Win or lose, Parcells has accomplished what he came here to do 4 years ago. For whatever reason, there simply isn't enough room for the egos of Bob Kraft and Bill Parcells in the same organization. So be it. The Pats will certainly miss the Tuna, but the team's long term future looks bright either way. A monkey could coach this team into the playoffs next year, as Jerry Jones proved down in Dallas when Jimmy Johnson left town.
If Parcells ends up signing a 3 year deal with the Jets as rumored, I'll be very surprised to even see them reach the playoffs in that stretch. I wish both Bill Parcells and Bob Kraft good luck this Sunday, and in the coming years.
OK folks. Let's sit back, relax (yeah right), and watch the Pats bring it on home this Sunday, the 26th of January, 1997. Super Bowl XXXI is upon us. Jambalaya. There Mike, I said it, now don't ask me again.
P.S. What do you call a bunch of depressed Millionaires sitting down to watch the Super Bowl?
........The Denver Broncos.