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On to the Playoffs


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Finished up the season this week in my solitaire league. Division winners are Giants AFC East, Bengals AFC Central, Raiders NFC West, and Saints NFC South. The four wildcard teams are the Redskins and Steelers for the AFC and the Rams and Cowboys for the NFC. Two teams (Cowboys and Redskins) were propelled into the playoffs by Hail-Mary passes on the last play of their respective final regular season games! Seeding is as follows:

AFC                                                      NFC

1   New York Giants 5-0                        1   Oakland Raiders 4-1

2   Cincinnati Bengals 5-0                    2   New Orleans Saints 3-2

3   Washington Redskins 3-2               3   Los Angeles Rams 3-2

4   Pittsburgh Steelers 3-2                   4   Dallas Cowboys 2-3

 

Playoff Game Previews

Dallas at Oakland - With the best record in the NFC the Raiders are peaking at the right time having beat two playoff bound teams in their final two regular season games, the Saints and the Rams. They have one of the top defenses in the league second only to New York and one of the top runners in Mark Van Eagan. The Cowboys, as mentioned above snuck into the playoffs in the final game of the season with a miracle bomb as time ran out. The Cowboys haven't scored more than 7 points in any game this year. They are only the second team in the 13 season history of the league to make the playoffs with a losing record. This game seems like a synch for the Raiders, but...on any given Sunday.....

Los Angeles at New Orleans - Both teams are limping into the playoffs having lost their final two games. The Rams beat the Saints in the divisional round last season in LA. The Rams are the defending NFC Champions and the most successful team in league history having played in 8 Superbowls and winning 5 of them. The Saints history is not quite as glorious. They have played in 4 NFC Championship games over the years and have lost all of them including two to the Rams.  History is on the side of LA, but playing at home in the Superdome may be the motivating factor that launches the Saints to a fifth chance at an NFC title. 

Washington at Cincinnati - The Bengals have a very potent offense second only in scoring to the Steelers and their defense has produced the most turnovers in the league. The Bengals visited DC in week 4 this season and their explosive offense and opportunistic defense was too much for the boys from DC. The Redskins won their playoff spot in Hail Mary fashion Monday night in New England during the final week of the season. Can they pull off another miraculous win?

Pittsburgh at New York - The Steelers won their final two games, but having won only one division game needed help to make the playoffs. They got that help as the Bengals beat the Eagles and the Giants beat the Colts in the final week of the season. Terry Bradshaw threw 5 touchdown passes in the final two games of the season, three to Benny Cunningham in a thrashing of the Cowboys at Three Rivers, and two to Calvin Sweeney during a snow impacted game at Cleveland. The Giants this season did just enough to get out of stadiums with a win. Their week 5 win over the Colts was the only game where they won by multiple scores. The off season blockbuster trade bringing Earl Campbell to New York has had mixed results. Campbell has been solid for sure but hasn't made the impact that the Giants were hoping for. The defense led by rookie Lawrence Taylor has been the silent hero the entire season having only given up 26 points in 5 games. The Giants have been to the last two AFC Championship games and have come up short in both. Will this be the season they finally get back to the Superbowl?

I'd love to hear your predictions!

 

 

 

 

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Divisional Playoff Round Results

Defense was the name of the game as three of the four losing teams were held scoreless and a total of only 42 points were scored in the four games. 

 

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints - The Saints defense held the Rams to -26 yards of total offense, sacked LA QB Doug Williams 4 times and intercepted one pass. Saints QB Bobby Scott threw a TD pass to Wes Chandler late in the third that iced the game.

Saints 10 Rams 0. 

 

Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals - Clarence Harmon fumbled the opening kickoff but recovered it deep in Redskin territory.  A three and out gave the Bengals excellent field position which they converted into a field goal. On the Redskins second possession Joe Theismann threw an interception setting up the Bengals for another potential score. However, the Redskin defense held and Chris Bahr missed a 35 yard field goal to end the first half. Despite having played a horrible first half similar to their season finale in New England, the Redskins were only down 3-0 at the half. But the Bengals quickly changed that as Boobie Clark took the opening kickoff of the second half to the house giving the Bengals a two score lead. The Bengals added a second field goal late in the third and held the Redskins scoreless the entire game. 

Bengals 13 Redskins 0 

 

Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders - The Raiders kicked two field goals and were up 6-0 with less than a minute left in the first half.  Cowboy receiver Robert Steele had a great kickoff return and Cowboy kicker Rafael Septien was able to kick a field goal bringing the Cowboys to within 3 points. But on the ensuing kickoff, Mark Van Eegan also had a great return setting up Errol Mann for a field goal as time ran out in the first half. Both defenses were stout in the second half as neither team was able to score again. 

Raiders 9 Cowboys 3

 

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants - This was a very bizarre game. The Steelers fumbled the opening kickoff and though they did recover the fumble weren't able to generate a first down. The Giants first possession was also a three and out and the punt was blocked by the Steelers. Despite great field position the Steelers weren't able to score as Terry Bradshaw threw an interception quickly ending the drive. On the Giants second drive RB Earl Campbell fumbled the football giving the Steelers great field position once again. On third and 14 Bradshaw was able to connect with Jim Smith for a 37 yard TD giving the Steelers a 7-0 lead. The Giants offense was unable to move the ball, but on forth down punter Dave Jennings was able to throw a pass for 19 yards giving the Giants a first down. It was a bold call by Giants coach Ray Perkins and set up the Giants close to midfield. The Steelers however sacked Giants QB Phil Simms twice and the Giants were forced to punt. The punt was blocked by the Steelers again setting up the Steelers in good field position. But a timely sack by Lawrence Taylor ended the Steeler drive. The score was 7-0 Steelers at the half. Both teams would play stout defense in the second half, generating 5 sacks between them and neither team was able to score again. 

Steelers 7 Giants 0

 

NFC Championship Game - New Orleans Saints at Oakland Raiders

AFC Championship Game - Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

 

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Conference Championship Game Results

 

AFC Championship - Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 

The Steelers got the ball first and came out throwing. QB Terry Bradshaw completed a pass to WR John Stallworth for 27 yards. Another completion to WR Anthony Carter and the Steelers are deep in Bengal territory. But the drive stalls and the Steelers Matt Bahr kicks a 37 yard field goal to open the scoring.

The Bengals also come out throwing. QB Art Schlichter (bonus points for anyone remembering him) completed a 38 yard pass to Isaac Curtis and then another completion to RB Archie Griffin setting up the Bengals with first and goal at the Steeler 4 yard line. After a Boobie Clark run for a 4 yard loss, Archie Griffin took it into the end zone from 8 yards out giving the Bengals the lead. With the extra point it was Bengals 7 Steelers 3.

The Steelers next drive, Bradshaw completed another pass to Anthony Carter getting the Steelers into Bengal territory. On 2nd down, Bradshaw unloads a 43 yard bomb to Benny Cunningham for a touchdown giving the Steelers back the lead. Matt Bahr however misses the extra point. Steelers 9 Bengals 7.

With little time left in the first half the Bengals mount a drive and manage to get to the Steelers 27 yard line. Chris Bahr kicks a 43 yard field goal with time running out to give the Bengals a 10-9 lead at halftime. 

Boobie Clark took the opening kickoff of the second half to the Bengal 40 yard line setting up the Bengal offense nicely. Schlichter completes to Griffin for 23 yards setting up the Bengals in Steeler territory. A run for a loss and a couple of incompletions ends the drive. Chris Bahr then misses a 57 yard field goal wide left and the Steelers are in business at their own 42 yard line.

Several successful running plays by Franco Harris, a jet sweep by Anthony Carter and a Bradshaw pass completion to John Stallworth set up the Steelers at the Bengal 12 yard line. The Bengal defense stiffens and the Steelers settle for a Matt Bahr 27 yard field goal giving them back the lead at 12-10.

The Bengals start their next drive at their own 20 yard line. Schlichter completes two passes, one to TE Don Bass and another to Griffin setting up the Bengals in Steeler Territory. Then Schlichter makes a critical mistake throwing an interception. Mel Blount returns it to the 42 yard line of Pittsburgh. Bradshaw is able to complete a pass to Calvin Sweeney on 3rd and 12 for critical first down. From there it was a couple of runs by Franco Harris to run out the clock and propel the Steelers to their 4th ever Superbowl, the first in 6 years. Final: Steelers 12 Bengals 10.

 

NFC Championship Game

The Saints get first crack on offense. RB Tony Dorsett figures prominently on the first drive with a run of 14 yards and a catch good for 27 yards. TE Henry Childs also caught a pass from QB Bobby Scott on third and long good for 16 yards. The drive stalls but culminates in a 40 yard FG by kicker Morten Andersen.

The Raiders first drive features runs by Mark Van Eegan including a blowout run of 53 yards. The drive stalls but culminates in a 29 yard field goal by Errol Mann tying the game.

Childs sets up the Saints offense with a good kickoff return to the Raider 40 yard line. Andersen kicks a 55 yard field goal to give the Saints a 6-3 lead at the half.

The Raiders get the ball to start the second half and are set back by a Saints sack. WR Fred Biletnikoff catches a Norris Weese pass for 16 yards on third and long keeping the drive going. Van Eegan then busts open a 34 yard run to pay dirt giving the Raiders their first lead of the game. After the extra point the Raiders lead 10-6.

The Saints next drive stalls as Raider LB Ted Hendricks sacs Scott for an 11 yard loss on third down. The Saints are forced to punt. Biletnikoff returns the punt 81 yards to the Saints 19 yard line. The Saints defense halts the Raider drive by sacking Weese for a 22 yard loss. Errol Mann boots a 56 yard field goal increasing the Raider lead to 13-6. The Saints final drive comes to end as Scott is unable to complete a pass on 4th down. The Raiders run out the clock and earn their 2nd Super Bowl appearance in their 6 year history. Final - Raiders 13 Saints 6.

Super Bowl 13 - Steelers vs Raiders

1572863364_SuperBowl13.jpg.92b43ab6734ef526164581d95f46c5e3.jpg

 

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On 4/12/2021 at 10:47 AM, Bob Davis said:

Conference Championship Game Results

 

AFC Championship - Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 

The Steelers got the ball first and came out throwing. QB Terry Bradshaw completed a pass to WR John Stallworth for 27 yards. Another completion to WR Anthony Carter and the Steelers are deep in Bengal territory. But the drive stalls and the Steelers Matt Bahr kicks a 37 yard field goal to open the scoring.

The Bengals also come out throwing. QB Art Schlichter (bonus points for anyone remembering him) completed a 38 yard pass to Isaac Curtis and then another completion to RB Archie Griffin setting up the Bengals with first and goal at the Steeler 4 yard line. After a Boobie Clark run for a 4 yard loss, Archie Griffin took it into the end zone from 8 yards out giving the Bengals the lead. With the extra point it was Bengals 7 Steelers 3.

The Steelers next drive, Bradshaw completed another pass to Anthony Carter getting the Steelers into Bengal territory. On 2nd down, Bradshaw unloads a 43 yard bomb to Benny Cunningham for a touchdown giving the Steelers back the lead. Matt Bahr however misses the extra point. Steelers 9 Bengals 7.

With little time left in the first half the Bengals mount a drive and manage to get to the Steelers 27 yard line. Chris Bahr kicks a 43 yard field goal with time running out to give the Bengals a 10-9 lead at halftime. 

Boobie Clark took the opening kickoff of the second half to the Bengal 40 yard line setting up the Bengal offense nicely. Schlichter completes to Griffin for 23 yards setting up the Bengals in Steeler territory. A run for a loss and a couple of incompletions ends the drive. Chris Bahr then misses a 57 yard field goal wide left and the Steelers are in business at their own 42 yard line.

Several successful running plays by Franco Harris, a jet sweep by Anthony Carter and a Bradshaw pass completion to John Stallworth set up the Steelers at the Bengal 12 yard line. The Bengal defense stiffens and the Steelers settle for a Matt Bahr 27 yard field goal giving them back the lead at 12-10.

The Bengals start their next drive at their own 20 yard line. Schlichter completes two passes, one to TE Don Bass and another to Griffin setting up the Bengals in Steeler Territory. Then Schlichter makes a critical mistake throwing an interception. Mel Blount returns it to the 42 yard line of Pittsburgh. Bradshaw is able to complete a pass to Calvin Sweeney on 3rd and 12 for critical first down. From there it was a couple of runs by Franco Harris to run out the clock and propel the Steelers to their 4th ever Superbowl, the first in 6 years. Final: Steelers 12 Bengals 10.

 

NFC Championship Game

The Saints get first crack on offense. RB Tony Dorsett figures prominently on the first drive with a run of 14 yards and a catch good for 27 yards. TE Henry Childs also caught a pass from QB Bobby Scott on third and long good for 16 yards. The drive stalls but culminates in a 40 yard FG by kicker Morten Andersen.

The Raiders first drive features runs by Mark Van Eegan including a blowout run of 53 yards. The drive stalls but culminates in a 29 yard field goal by Errol Mann tying the game.

Childs sets up the Saints offense with a good kickoff return to the Raider 40 yard line. Andersen kicks a 55 yard field goal to give the Saints a 6-3 lead at the half.

The Raiders get the ball to start the second half and are set back by a Saints sack. WR Fred Biletnikoff catches a Norris Weese pass for 16 yards on third and long keeping the drive going. Van Eegan then busts open a 34 yard run to pay dirt giving the Raiders their first lead of the game. After the extra point the Raiders lead 10-6.

The Saints next drive stalls as Raider LB Ted Hendricks sacs Scott for an 11 yard loss on third down. The Saints are forced to punt. Biletnikoff returns the punt 81 yards to the Saints 19 yard line. The Saints defense halts the Raider drive by sacking Weese for a 22 yard loss. Errol Mann boots a 56 yard field goal increasing the Raider lead to 13-6. The Saints final drive comes to end as Scott is unable to complete a pass on 4th down. The Raiders run out the clock and earn their 2nd Super Bowl appearance in their 6 year history. Final - Raiders 13 Saints 6.

Super Bowl 13 - Steelers vs Raiders

1572863364_SuperBowl13.jpg.92b43ab6734ef526164581d95f46c5e3.jpg

 

Love the write-ups it's excellent that you have the passion for the game keep them coming

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The 13th season is in the books. The league has a new champion. 

Super Bowl 13 - Steelers (AFC Champions)image.jpeg.5aaff9b419132ab652e21c36cd4b2f20.jpegvs Raiders (NFC Champions)Image result for Raiders emoticon

The Steelers won the coin toss and elected to receive. WR Anthony Carter fumbles the KO and the ball goes out of bounds (eventually) at the 4 yard line. The Steelers are backed up so on the first play from scrimmage they give the ball to RB Franco Harris who gains only 2 yards. Harris carries the ball on the next play and this time breaks it open for 62 yards. What a turn of events! The Steelers are set up at the 32 yard line of Oakland. QB Terry Bradshaw proceeds to throw 3 incomplete passes (2 that may have gone for TDs) and the Steelers settle for a Matt Bahr 47 field goal. Raider RB Mark Van Eegan takes the ensuing KO to the Steeler 43 yard line setting up the Raider offense nicely. The Raider offense goes 3 and out and they settle for an Errol Mann 57 yard field goal attempt. He misses wide left. The Steelers go with 4 wide outs and a tight end to start their 2nd drive. Bradshaw completes a sideline pass to WR John Stallworth for 31 yards. On the next play, Bradshaw completes the pass down the middle (just out range of CB Lester Hayes) to WR Jim Smith and he streaks into the end zone for the TD. The extra point gives the Steelers a 10-0 lead. Van Eegan returns the ensuing KO to the Oakland 36 yard line. After a Van Eegan gain of 12 yards, RB Arthur Wittington fumbles the ball on the next play. Fortunately for the Raiders Gene Upshaw recovers the ball for a 4 yard loss. On the next play, QB Norris Weese attempts to throw to TE Raymond Chester but CB Mel Blount intercepts the pass. The Steelers take over at the Raider 44 yard line. Bradshaw completes to Smith for 16 yards getting the Steelers deeper into Raider territory. But the Steelers are unable to get another first down, and with only seconds left in the first half settle for another 47 yard FG by Bahr. This increases the Steelers lead to 13-0.  Van Eegan downs the KO in the end zone and runs the ball for 11 yards on the next play to end the first half. 

The Raiders start their first drive of the second half at their own 36 yard line. After 8 plays, all running plays including a 20 yard run by Wittington the Raiders are facing a 3rd and 4 at the Steelers 42 yard line. Weese is sacked on the next play losing 10 yards. With time now becoming a factor and a field goal still leaving them down by two scores the Raiders go for the 1st down. Weese throws another incomplete pass and the Steelers take over. Harris rumbles for a 16 yard gain getting the Steelers into Raider territory. The Steelers are unable to get another first down as the 3rd quarter comes to an end. Matt Bahr boots a 42 yard field goal to start the final stanza increasing the Steelers lead to 16-0. The Raiders are in big trouble. They now need 2 touchdowns and 2 two point conversions to tie the game. Van Eegan takes the KO to the 31 yard line. On first play from scrimmage Weese can't find anyone open but scrambles for a 16 yard gain. On the next play LB Jack Lambert sacks Weese for a 15 yard loss. 2 incomplete passes brings up a 4th and 15 for the Raiders. Weese once again throws an incomplete pass, and the Steelers can start to celebrate. A 10 yard scramble by Bradshaw and a couple runs by Franco Harris runs out the clock. The Steelers have won a third Super Bowl! This was the lowest scoring Super Bowl in league history and the first time a team was shut out. Super Bowl MVP - QB Terry Bradshaw 4/7/78/1/0, 15yds rushing

League MVP - RB Mark Van Eegan

 

Super Bowl History

Super Bowl 1 - Los Angeles Rams 41, Baltimore Colts 35 in OT

Super Bowl 2 - Los Angeles Rams 21, Pittsburgh Steelers 20

Super Bowl 3 - Los Angeles Rams 21, Baltimore Colts 20

Super Bowl 4 - Los Angeles Rams 31, Philadelphia Eagles 17

Super Bowl 5 - New York Giants 21, Washington Redskins 17

Super Bowl 6 - Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Los Angeles Rams 19

Super Bowl 7 - Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 21

Super Bowl 8 - Washington Redskins 49, Baltimore Colts 35

Super Bowl 9 - Baltimore Colts 35, Oakland Raiders 24

Super Bowl 10 - Los Angeles Rams 16, Cleveland Browns 3

Super Bowl 11 - Dallas Cowboys 35, Cincinnati Bengals 14

Super Bowl 12 - Baltimore Colts 45, Los Angeles Rams 10

Super Bowl 13 - Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Oakland Raiders 0

 

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