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Spotlight: A Glance At This Week In The Nfl : No Offense, But This Season The Defenses Can Never Rest

December 06, 1993|Tim Kawakami

The last time that happened was in 1988, when the 49ers emerged from a 6-5 start (and finished 10-6) to win Super Bowl XXIII over the Cincinnati Bengals.

DREADFUL BLEDSOE

He was stopped at the one-yard line on fourth and goal on the final play of the game in his team's 17-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He threw five interceptions. He fumbled to set up the Steelers' winning score. He threw 11 consecutive incompletions at one point.

All in all, a pretty tough game for Drew Bledsoe, the man the Patriots took with the No. 1 pick in the 1993 draft.

One of Bledsoe's interceptions, with the Patriots about to take the lead or tie it with 2:28 left in the third quarter, prompted New England Coach Bill Parcells to nearly throw down his headset and spew a succession of expletives.

"I think this one falls on the quarterback," Bledsoe said. "There were too many turnovers. Five interceptions and a fumble? That's ridiculous."

FLIP-FLOPPING

Who says Browns Coach Bill Belichick doesn't know how to handle quarterbacks?

He beat the Saints, 17-13, Sunday using Todd Philcox. Then Vinny Testaverde, coming back from a shoulder injury. Then Philcox again.

Philcox started, threw a touchdown, then was benched after throwing an interception. Later, with Testaverde struggling, Philcox was reinserted midway through the fourth quarter and threw an eight-yard completion to Brian Kinchen for a first down that helped Cleveland consume most of the final four minutes.

"I don't know if either one of us can get a feel for the game by doing that," said Testaverde, who came out of the game because his shoulder stiffened up.

The victory was Cleveland's first in four games since longtime starter Bernie Kosar was cut.

BITS AND PIECES

It was not a good day at all to be a quarterback. Houston intercepted an Oiler-record six of Falcon quarterback Bobby Hebert's passes. . . Meanwhile, the Vikings had five interceptions against the Lions, four against starting Lion quarterback Rodney Peete, one off of Andre Ware. . . . Saint quarterback Wade Wilson was sacked nine times by the Browns, which tied the Saints' record for most sacks ever surrendered.

Though the pay is good, and the offense always produces great numbers, this year, there's \o7 never \f7 a good day to be a Dolphin quarterback. Steve DeBerg became the third Dolphin quarterback this year to be knocked out of a game by injury when he departed in the third quarter against the Giants. DeBerg was sandwiched by Corey Miller and Keith Hamilton. DeBerg was slow to get up, and he walked off the field with blood visible in his mouth and on his jersey. He went to the locker room to have a cut on his neck and one on his chin stitched, and was replaced by Doug Pederson with Miami trailing, 17-7. The Dolphins earlier lost Dan Marino for the season and Scott Mitchell for several weeks because of injuries.

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