Box Score Bank: Long Live Marion Butts!

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Box Score Bank: Long Live Marion Butts!

Tuesday's a quiet day around the NFL. Every day's a quiet day for the Red Sox. Hockey's taking a nap. The NBA still a few weeks out. And here on Standing Room Only, that means three words: Box. Score. Bank.

I wanted to go with a Pats game today, so I started looking back through the years hoping to find a September 18th date that was worthy of some press. Here's what I found:

The last time the Pats played on 918 was way back in 2011, when they beat the Chargers in Week 2. (Think we'll skip that for now.) The last time before that? September 18, 2005 when the defending champs were upset by Stephen Davis and the Panthers. (No thanks.)

And the last time before that?

September 18, 1994.

Yes.

So let's set the Box Score Bank for 18 years ago today . . .

The Lion King was the top movie at the box office, narrowly edging Forrest Gump and not narrowly edging House Party 3. "I'll Make Love To You" by Boyz II Men was in the midst of its 14-week run atop the Billboard charts. A month earlier, Major League Ball called it quits on the '94 season. Two months later, the Jacksonville Jaguars were announced as the NFL's 30th franchise. Bill Parcells was in his second year as coach of the Patriots. Aaron Hernandez was four years old.

And over in Cincinnati, the Pats were riding high on the back of big 'ol Marion Butts.

Final Score: Patriots 31, Bengals 28

Butts probably shouldn't get all the credit. After all, Drew Bledsoe had a solid game, completing 30 of 50 passes for 350 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and patting the ball in the pocket an NFL record 117 times. The great Michael Timpson had a nice game with 10 catches for 125 yards and a TD. Not to be outdone, the Pats D picked up seven sacks on David Klinger. But mostly because his name is Marion Butts, I'm giving the game ball to Marion Butts, who ran for two touchdowns (including the clincher in the fourth) in the Pats big Week 3 win.

It was a season of streaks for the Pats back in '94. This win over Cincy broke a two-game drought. After that, they ran off three straight wins. That was followed by four straight losses. And finally, a seven-game winning streak that powered New England to a 10-6 record and their first playoff appearance since 1986.

There, they met the Cleveland Browns and a 42-year-old named Bill Belichick, in the first playoff game on head coaching career.

The Pats dropped that one, 20-13. Not so coincidentally? Marion Butts spent the entire game on the bench.

"Don't take any signals," Parcells said afterwards. "I was just doing what I thought for that particular game. It has nothing to do with Marion Butts."

Butts was gone the next year.

But he'll always have Cincinnati.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rams hold off 49ers for wild 41-39 win

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rams hold off 49ers for wild 41-39 win

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Coach Sean McVay walked into the postgame news conference and immediately asked, "Anyone have a beer?"

He probably wasn't the only person who wanted a drink after watching a surprisingly thrilling Thursday night shootout between his Rams and the San Francisco 49ers that wasn't decided until Los Angeles prevented a potential game-tying 2-point try and then delivered a rare defensive stop after blowing the onside kick in a 41-39 victory.

"We talk about mentally tough, be your best regardless of the circumstance," McVay said. "I thought the players did that. They found a way in spite of some of the ups and the downs to come away with the win."

While the defense came up big late, it was the offense that carried the day for the Rams (2-1), who have gone from the lowest-scoring team in the NFL a year ago to a dynamic one through three games under McVay.

Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns, Todd Gurley ran for 113 yards and scored three TDs and Robert Woods (108) and Sammy Watkins (106) each topped the 100-yard mark receiving in Los Angeles' second 40-point performance of the season. The Rams have 107 points in all so far, the second-most in franchise history after three games to the 119 by "The Greatest Show on Turf" squad in 2000.

"Since I've been here we haven't been able to do that," Gurley said. "Hopefully we can keep putting points together, keep working together and keep learning from this. I think we left a lot more points off the board."

This win didn't come easy as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion on a deflection by Troy Hill and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.

The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown.

"I just rushed it, I missed it, I made a mistake," Gould said. "Obviously, I wish I didn't do that, or we'd probably be playing in overtime right now.""

This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.

The Rams were 8 for 12 on third down, including all three of Goff's touchdown passes.

The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.

QUICK START: The Rams took just 12 seconds to get on the board as Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Hoyer on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the 3-yard line. Gurley ran it in on the next play to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.

"I just told him to start over," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Got to go back to work. We didn't change anything, went right on with the script. But it was a tough way to start out."

DROUGHT BUSTER: The 49ers came into the game without a touchdown on the season but broke through in the first quarter with some help from the Rams. After Blake Countess jumped offside on a punt, the Niners took advantage of the second opportunity and drove to score on Hoyer's 9-yard run 126:43 into the season. That was the longest it took a team to score its first TD since 2006 when both Tampa Bay (143:03) and Oakland (127:10) took more time.

FOURTH DOWN CALLS: Both teams drove to the opposing 1 on their opening drives of the second half with help from a Willie Mays-style basket catch by Watkins and a perfect toe drag on the sideline by San Francisco's Pierre Garcon. But the Rams opted to kick a short field goal, while the 49ers went for it and converted on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run that cut Los Angeles' lead to 27-20. Hyde added a second 1-yard run on fourth down in the fourth quarter.

INJURIES: Rams S Lamarcus Joyner left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. ... Los Angeles C John Sullivan injured his groin in the second half and Watkins and Tavon Austin left with concussions. ... 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt (concussion), FB Kyle Juszczyk (neck), DL Tank Carradine (ankle) and LB Brock Coyle (concussion) all left with injuries in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Rams travel to Dallas on Oct. 1. The 49ers visit Arizona.

Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

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Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.

0:41 - Tom E. Curran breaks down the ‘blueprint’ to beat the Patriots and if the Texans have the talent to do it.

5:27 - Michael Holley and Kayce Smith discuss Kyrie Irving’s comments that he made on Early Edition about going back to Cleveland for the opening game. 

9:52 - We take a listen to what Malcolm Butler had to say about his role on the team and discuss how the cornerback keeps saying all the right things. 

15:18 - Michael McCann, Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated joins BST to talk about Aaron Hernandez’s brain found to have CTE and his family now suing the NFL and the Patriots.