Clint's Corner Archive

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 10/22/97

Uh ohhhh...

What has happened to our 4-0 heroes? The team which looked invincible at the beginning of the season has gone 1-2 since, with the only win over a QB who was cut (and not claimed) two days later. Bledsoe has gone from throwing 35 yard TD's on 3rd and 2 to throwing 4 yard completion's to the outlet receiver on 3rd and 14. The O-line has gone from the pass blocking equivalent of the old Berlin Wall to affording as much protection as a factory car alarm in the Bronx. The D has gone from ferocious attackers who cannot be scored upon to a unit to run practice drills against after halftime. I would dare to say that even the worst Patriot defenses, and I do mean those of the dreaded late 80's and early 90's, would not make Glenn Foley look that good. Glenn Foley? That kills me. I would rather have the Pats lose to Denver for another 100 years than listen to how "great" a QB Foley was against the Pats. Sickening.

Things are certainly not looking up with a rested Packer team coming to town anxious to show a National TV audience that they still deserve the title of "Defending Champs". Not good. Follow that up with a three week road tour to Minnesota, Buffalo (sans Hobert), and Tampa Bay. Even the Miami game at home the following week looks scary after losing to the Jets. Buffalo and Miami took care of business at Giants Stadium. The Pats could not.

I laughed to myself when a naysayer in the Boston Herald picked the Jets to win the game, and dared to say the Pats were a 5-1 team on their way to 8-8. What last Saturday seemed laughable, today seems quite plausible.

The good thing...

... about the NFL is that every week you get a chance to go out and redeem yourself. Should the Pats beat the Packers at home on Monday Night, the above page will become nothing more than words to get your late October fire going with. Granted a loss to the Jets will be very hard to put aside, but consider that the Pats are still 5-2, and we Pats fans are not alone in our concern over our favorite team.

Imagine what Packer fans are thinking? The "champs" are 1-2 on the road, with losses at Philly and Detroit. The Giants and Bucs won at Detroit, and Philly has not impressed anyone all year. Even Arizona took the Eagles to OT at the vet without their starting QB. The Packs sole road win was by 1 point over the winless Bears, in part because Chicago went for 2 and didn't get it at the end of the game.

The Jags were also 4-0, and looking like a well oiled machine when Brunell came back. They were never in the game at Washington, and allowed the previously impotent Dallas Cowboys to put up 26 points in their 2nd loss in 3 games. The Jags have also slipped to 5-2. The Cowboys at 4-3 would LOVE to be in the Pats shoes, so lets not get too too down just yet.

In Carroll's corner...

Last season it took the Pats just 2 weeks to get 2 losses. This year it took 7 weeks, so I guess that makes Pete Carroll a better coach than Bill Parcells. Last year the Pats lost by 26 points to Denver in Foxboro. This year they lost by just 21 in Denver. I guess Bob Kraft did the right thing in getting rid of the Tuna. The '97 Pats are 3-1 in the AFC East. Last years Pats started out 0-2 in the division. Thank God for Pete Carroll. Coming off a playoff year into a tough schedule in '95, Tuna led the Pats to a 6-10 record. Coming off the playoffs this year, the Pats need just 1 more win after 7 weeks to equal that total. I guess Pete Carroll is better at keeping the team focused and motivated than Duane Charles.

Last years Pats team needed a blown call by the refs late in the game to beat Rich Kotite and the Jets in the Meadowlands. This years Pats team had two crucial calls go the other way, against a better Jets team, with a gridiron "God" at the helm. I guess since the Jets came out on top this year, it proves the Pats need Parcells back. If you believe the latter, then why can't you believe the former?

All the talk radio callers are ready to lynch Pete Carroll. How did Bill Parcells all of a sudden become some hero, who if he were still here would have the Pats at 7-0? Are people forgetting the 6-10 campaign of 1995? It's not like Tuna was still rebuilding, that was his third year!! In his 4 years as head coach of the Pats, Parcells was NEVER 5-2. Why would he now be 7-0? I don't get it. The Pats needed every one of those 11 wins last season to get the #2 seed in the playoffs. Had the ball taken a couple of bounces the other way at the Meadowlands last year, Parcells' Pats would have been 9-7 with losses to the Jets, who were up 21-0, and the Giants, who were up 22-0. A blown spot by the refs in the 1st game and a Meggett punt return for a TD coupled with a 4th down Bledsoe TD pass to Coates in the 2nd were the difference, NOT the head coach, between 9-7 and 11-5. Trust me.

I am sick and tired of all this praise Parcells gets and all the criticism Carroll gets. Even if the Pats lose all the rest of their games to finish 5-11, I honestly doubt Parcells could have made a difference. If so, then how do you explain the 1995 debacle and the 0-2 start the following year? People around here have a very short memory, and are very quick to place blame.

The Pats lost to the Jets because they were outplayed. Period.

Part of the game...

There is no question that the Pats were on the short end of the stick on two calls late in the 4th quarter. Both calls came on 4th down, and the last one ended the game. On 4th and 7 from around the 35, Bledsoe threw over the middle to Brisby, who turned around to catch the pass in the endzone. The DB made significant contact, and NEVER looked back for the ball. No interference was called. Lawyer Milloy and Willie Clay were each flagged for interference earlier in the game, and in both of those cases there was less contact than this play. The correct call would have given the Pats 1st and goal at the 1, down 5, with just over 5 minutes to play.

The second call was more talked about because it ended the game. On 4th and 18, Drew avoided the rush (poor protection) and fired a pass to Jefferson who made a great catch past the 1st down marker. I don't care if the ref had a "tough" call to make. Jefferson caught it, and the replay showed it. What's worse is that a second ref came in to back up the call. How can two guys see a ball hit the turf which didn't? Jerry Seaman are you out there? The Pats would have had a 1st down at around the Jet 40 with just under two minutes to play and 1 timeout left. Instead the game was over.

Had either or both of those plays gone the Pats way, the Jets may still have won the game. They were thoroughly outplaying the Pats in the 2nd half, so it's hard to say definitely that those calls were the difference. Bad calls are part of the game, and they should not be used as an excuse for losing. As often times as not, those calls go your way and against your opponent. Last years Patriots victory over the Jets was no exception. If the Pats want to beat Green Bay next week, they had better do more than simply hope the refs call a perfect game.

On or off?

Stop whining everybody! I'm as disappointed in the loss to the Jets as anyone. I was in Giants Stadium, and leaving to the jeers of the Jets fans did not make matters any more bearable. No one is more sick over the play of the team since the 4-0 start than I. Sure I'm down. Sure I'm worried that 4-0 could become 8-8. Sure I'm worried that the Dolphins are in 1st place. I am NOT, however, off the bandwagon. If you want to jump off after a 5-2 start, still the best after 7 games in God-knows-how-many years, then go ahead. Please do us a favor and stay off.

At 5-2, even with an uphill climb ahead of them, the Pats could still very well end up 11-5 or 12-4 and win the division. Who in the AFC is THAT much better than the Pats? Denver showed they were human in being run over and around to the tune of 250 yards by Oakland. The 2-4 Raiders made the 6-0 Bronco defense look very average. Elway looked a lot worse than (gasp) Glenn Foley. Anything is possible. I've been through much tougher times than this as a fan, so I'm not panicking yet. Concerned? You bet.

A win over the Pack would be good medicine. Hey boss, I'll be in a little late next Tuesday.

See you next week.