When The Patriots Were The Punch Line - Alternative Title: Be Grateful, You Have No Frigging Idea How Bad They Once Were

jaytftwofive

lurker
Jan 20, 2013
884
Drexel Hill Pa.
Up until the 73 season teams alternated home field, even if the other team had a better record. It was dumb and unfair. From 74 on they changed it to the team with the better record(Or a Div. Titlist vs. the Wild Card). Had the Pats not got ripped off in Oakland in 76, they would have had to travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers in the Title game because they were a Div. winner and the Pats were a WC. The Steelers were missing both Harris and Bleier so the Pats would have had a good chance. In 05 of course had the Pats gotten by the Broncos, they would have hosted the title game. And the Steelers who had the better record were a WC.
But many Steelers of that 76 team say that was their best team. At least defensively. They started out 1-4 and then gave up only 28 points!!! The rest of the year???? Is that nuts?? Went 9-0. Harris and Swann and Lambert and others all say that was their best team. They crushed a good Colts team 40-14., in the playoff game. (That was the infamous game when that small plane crashed into Memorial Stadium after the game. Luckily no fans were there I believe) But like I said maybe those Steelers do give the Pats trouble even without Harris and Bleier. The Pats beat them 30-27 early in the year in Pittsburgh, but that was before they went on that incredible roll. And the game would have been at Three Rivers Stadium.
 

Dick Drago

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 28, 2002
1,259
They called it roughing the passer if I'm not mistaken. And it was a late flag I think.
The officiating the entire game was atrocious-Francis got mugged across the middle on a big 3rd down play - even in those days an obvious call.
 

Dick Drago

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 28, 2002
1,259
The Fairbanks situation was beyond bizarre, aka, typical New England Patriots, fired prior to the final game in Miami, game they lost, then rehired back to coach them in the playoff game vs Houston, they got demolished and Fairbanks was booed off the field at the end of the game.
The ‘74 team was decimated by injuries—Cunningham went down, Stingley broke his leg, and Windsor tore his knee—they had an incredible run against a brutal first half schedule—beating Miami, the Rams, Vikings—lost two really close games to the Bills, who I think got the wild-card.

even after all the injuries they almost beat the Steelers and Miami late in the year. Really exciting team—nobody was as thrilling to watch as Mini-Mac! Such high hopes for ‘75....