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Patriots Actually Win This Week

Column by Bo Light
Sports Columnist

Hello and welcome back from the long weekend. I spent my weekend cursing at a computer; I hope everyone else found more productive ways to spend their time.

Speaking of cursing at computers, though, a slight technical problem caused the entire college portion of this week's article to be deleted, so all we can bring you today is the NFL results. I apologize to my readers and promise to save my work more often in the future. Anyway, on to the games.

The games

Guess what? The Patriots scored over 30 points for the third week in a row.

Guess what else? They actually won this time. That's right, the Pet Rocks actually found a team worse than they are, as they beat the Bengals 3128. Drew Bledsoe had his typical, solid-but-not-outstanding day: 30 completions in 50 attempts, 365 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions (all right, so he was outstanding).

The offensive and defensive lines had an excellent game; not only did the defense sack Cincinnati quarterback David Klingler seven times, their highest total since 1985, but the offensive line did not allow a sack, which was very good for Bledsoe. The win was downplayed in the papers, though; the Globe, obviously not wanting to get our hopes up, limited their coverage to six pages.

Going into Sunday, the entire NFC Central was tied for first place (last place if you're a pessimist) at 11. This week, everyone could very possibly have been tied at 12, except fortunately there was one divisional game.

Pending the result of the Detroit-Dallas Monday night game (gee, I wonder who will win?), Minnesota spends the next week in first place after a 4214 dismantling of Da Bears. The purple-headed warriors had no trouble penetrating the Chicago defense, as Warren Moon (2229, 236 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) picked apart the secondary and running back Terry Allen (159 yards on 22 carries) found every possible hole in the defensive line. Probably the best testimony to Minnesota's offensive dominance in this game is that the Vikings did not punt once.

The Giants continued their winning ways, beating the Redskins 3123 to stay undefeated for the season. Washington's bid for a comeback ended when John Friesz was intercepted in the end zone with no time left. Almost no one saw the play, though, as most of America had been lulled to sleep by the commentators' in-depth analysis of the situation. With six seconds left, we were told that the 'Skins had to try for the end zone (no kidding?), and would "probably go for two" (oh really?). Excellent grasp of the obvious, guys.

The big story for the Giants was Dave Meggett, who almost single-handedly led them to victory. Meggett, inserted at running back in place of the injured Rodney Hampton, rushed 26 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns, caught four passes for 52 yards, and threw a 16-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.

The other New York team didn't fare so well. The Jets ran into the red-hot Miami Dolphins and came away with a 2814 loss, their first of the season. New York was completely dominated by Miami's ability to control the ball, as the Dolphins kept the ball for over 20 minutes in the first half. Dan Marino, who missed last season with a torn Achilles' tendon, continued an impressive comeback by passing for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Dolphins running back Terry Kirby also had his first 100-yard rushing day ever, carrying only 15 times to reach the century mark.

Ahh, Buddyball, what a wonderful concept. Maybe someday the concept will work, but for now, Buddy Ryan's Cardinals are 03 after being crushed by the Browns, 320. Just how bad are the Cards? Cleveland hadn't shut out a team at home since 1983. Steve Beuerlein, Arizona's starting quarterback for the previous two games, was benched (and in fact not even activated) in favor of the eternal journeyman, Jim McMahon, who was intercepted twice and eventually replaced by Jay Schroeder. Sounds like the makings of a quarterback controversy.

San Francisco and Steve Young shook off last week's loss to KC and whipped the Rams, 3419. Then again, who couldn't shake off a loss if you've got to play the Rams the next week? Young threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns, and ran quarterback sneaks for two more. Young also had only eight incompletions, two of which were clear drops by the receivers. Jerome Bettis rushed for 104 yards on 21 carries and scored a touchdown for Los Angeles.

Joe Montana proves every week he is the best quarterback of all time. This week's victim was Atlanta, and Montana lit up the field for 361 passing yards in a 3010 Kansas City victory. It was an ugly game, marred by turnovers (10 total) and penalties (24 penalties for 176 yards). The Chiefs defense was in top form, forcing six turnovers, including two interceptions of Jeff George, who had not been picked off in 277 attempts going into the game (his streak ended at 279).

In two of the most boring games of the week, Buffalo beat Houston and New Orleans topped Tampa Bay by scores of 157 and 97, respectively. That's right, folks, the game of "march the ball into field goal range and kick it" are not gone yet. The Saints-Bucs game was particularly painful, as all of the scoring was done in the first half. Dick Butkus might be awed by the beauty of good defensive football, but it tends to make most people change the channel. Besides, these games were more indicative of bad offensive football.

Trivia Question

I'm quite disappointed - no one answered last week's trivia question It has been suggested to me that no one cared, but I'll hold off on the answer until Friday in case anyone does happen to know it. What is Tim Biakabutuka's real first name?

This week's question was sent in by Aaron Day '95,in honor of the NFL's 75th anniversary celebration. Who won the first NFL championship? (Hint: It was NOT the Green Bay Packers.) Send answers and funny things that "NFL" could stand for to sports@the-tech.