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Shaky Kick Makes Patriot Hearts Flutter : Interconference: Bahr's wobbly field goal with four seconds left barely clears crossbar and gives New England 17-16 victory over Green Bay.

October 03, 1994|From Associated Press

FOXBORO, Mass. — The ball fluttered awkwardly, barely clearing the crossbar in a fitting climax to a kicking comedy.

Matt Bahr's 33-yard field goal with four seconds left gave the New England Patriots a 17-16 victory Sunday over the Green Bay Packers and ended a tough day for two of the NFL's best kickers.

The Patriots (3-2) overcame a 10-0 halftime deficit for their third consecutive victory. The Packers (2-3) rallied from Drew Bledsoe's two touchdown passes to Vincent Brisby to retake the lead on Reggie Cobb's one-yard run with 1:14 left.

Bahr missed his other two field goal attempts Sunday, from 48 and 32 yards. And Chris Jacke bungled a kickoff after a botched extra-point attempt left Green Bay ahead, 16-14, after Cobb scored.

"Sometimes ugly looks pretty good," Bahr said of his winning kick. "I didn't hit one ball good today."

But he had the chance to be a hero because of Packer mistakes on consecutive plays.

After Cobb's touchdown, Craig Hentrich couldn't handle Frank Winters' low snap and Jacke didn't even get a chance to kick the extra point, although his streak of 127 successful extra points remained intact.

Then Jacke, who made his only field goal attempt from 27 yards, put the ensuing kickoff out of bounds at the New England 40-yard line, giving the Patriots excellent field position.

"I tried to make the type of kick that you want to wobble," Jacke said. "It was something we had been practicing to hit a line drive. I just mis-hit it."

Bledsoe took advantage, moving the Patriots to the Green Bay 15.

A field goal seemed a cinch. Bahr had the wind at his back. He entered the game having made all 12 of his field-goal attempts and all 23 extra points since he became a Patriot late last season.

"There's no such thing as a chip shot, but it wasn't the ugliest game-winner, either," Bahr said. "I didn't even see it. I can't see over the line of scrimmage."

"It wasn't artistic," New England Coach Bill Parcells said of the victory.

But the ball went over the bar, moving Bahr, 38, into 12th place on the NFL's career scoring list with 1,248 points, passing Cincinnati's Jim Breech.

Bledsoe completed 29 of 53 passes for 334 yards, the fourth time he surpassed 300 yards this season. His 10-yard pass to Ray Crittenden put the ball at the 15.

"I've always felt comfortable in the two-minute offense because you can get into a rhythm," Bledsoe said. "There's an attitude on the team now that hasn't been there before. We expect to win."

Fourteen of their last 15 games have been decided by six or fewer points. And they have won six of those last eight close calls.

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