1978 Oilers 26 at Patriots 23
November 12, 1978
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1978 Oilers 26 at Patriots 23

The Oilers overcome a 23-0 first half deficit to defeat the Patriots, who despite scoring the first 5 times they have the ball, bungle their way to a loss thanks to terrible special teams and an offense that fails to gain a single first down in the 2nd half.

Momentum shifts late in the first half when the Pats fumble a punt. The Oilers immediately capitalize on Rob Carpenter's 8-yd TD run to make it 23-7. The Pats miss a FG to end the first half, then miss another FG to start the 3rd quarter. Houston takes advantage with a 17 play, 80-yd drive to narrow the score to 23-14 on another Carpenter TD run.

Following the kickoff, Houston picks off Grogan's first pass and the Oilers grind out another marathon drive, extended by a brilliant fake FG in which Pastorini shovels a trick pass to Carpenter, and capped by a 1-yd Earl Campbell TD lunge. The extra point fails on a bad snap, but Houston now trails only 23-20.

On the ensuing drive, New England surprisingly goes for it on 4th and 1 at the Oiler 41. Even more surprisingly, they call a play action rollout pass and turn the ball over on downs when Grogan fails to get the ball to a WIDE open Russ Francis for a sure TD. The Oilers drive deep into New England territory, and facing a 4th and inches at the 9 in easy FG range to tie the game, Bum Phillips gambles and goes for it. Earl Campbell smashes into the line for a first down, and 2 plays later, Pastorini lofts a sweet touch pass to Rich Caster in the corner of the end zone for the 10-yd game-winner. Game missing significant action, includes some post game material.

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