Who remembers the bizarre final few weeks of the 1977 season, another year when the Patriots were in a tight 3-way battle for the division titles and tiebreakers were the dominant discussion. This was the year following the amazing 1976 season and going into it the Patriots fans and the media were gushing about a possible Super Bowl season. It was marred by a holdout by Leon Gray and John Hannah to start the season and the Patriots stumbled out to a disappointing 5-4 start. But finally they caught their stride and won 3 straight. With 2 weeks remaining, the standings were: Baltimore 9-3 Miami 9-3 New England 8-4 The Patriots seemed to have their destiny in their own hands. Their final 2 games would home to Miami and at Baltimore. The Colts were playing at home on Week 13 to the weak Detroit Lions and the Dolphins were playing a weak Buffalo team at home Week 14. If the Patriots won their 2 games against their rivals it seemed assured the 3 teams would all finish 10-4 and the Patriots would win the AFC East on tiebreakers. It all started perfectly. The Patriots scored on their first 2 possessions and rode those touchdowns to a 14-10 victory at Foxboro over Miami. Patriot fans were ecstatic about the chance to go to Baltimore and win the division the next week. Then, the news APPEARED to get even better. In the last minutes of play, the Lions blocked a Colts punt and ran it in for the score that upset Baltimore!! This was great, right?? It was now a 3 way tie at 9-4. But wait a minute.........after tiebreakers were pondered it was realized that this was disatrous for New England. Now if the Patriots beat the Colts, and Miami won as expected against the Bills on Saturday, Miami and New England would both finish 10-4. In a 2 way tie with Miami, MIAMI would beat New England on tiebreakers. If the Colts had created a 3-way tie, The Patriots would have won. Incredibly, The Patriots were virtually eliminated because Baltimore LOST!!!! as us oldtimers would often say, this could only happen to the Patriots. The next Saturday the Patriots were officially eliminated when the Dolphins crushed the Bills. Then on sunday, to rub salt in the wound, the Patriots were screwed when a Bert Jones fumble was called not a fumble and the Colts won the AFC East. Ironically, the team that was really screwed by the blown call was Miami, who would have won the division with a Patriots victory. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Hopefully this season will end better!!!!!