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Playoffs - Divisional Round Results


Bob Davis
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The Playoffs continued into the Divisional Round. Defense was the name of the game, as there were only 5 offensive touchdowns scored in the 4 games. Four teams punched their ticket to the Conference Championship Games.

 

New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Giants first drive of the game ends with a three and out. Steelers WR Anthony Carter breaks a big punt return but fumbles the ball. Fortunately for the Steelers, LB Jack Lambert recovers the ball at the Steeler's 45 yard line. The Steelers come out with a 4 wide receiver set leaving no doubt as to their offensive strategy. After 2 incomplete passes, QB Terry Bradshaw completes a pass to Carter down the middle. He outruns the Giants secondary taking it into the endzone for the TD. The Giants next drive starts out promising with RB Earl Campbell rushing for 11 yards but ends with a 4th down sack of QB Phil Simms. The Steelers have a golden opportunity to take a 2 score lead into the half, but they ultimately fail as Bradshaw throws an interception. Phil Simms is sacked again to end the half. The Steelers stay with the wide open offense to start the second half as Bradshaw finds WR John Stallworth down the right side line for a 70 yard completion and TD. Down 14-0, the Giants realize they need to open up their offense. And open it up they do as Simms completes to WR Johnny Perkins ultimately gaining 56 yards. Campbell is stuffed for a 1 yard loss and Simms throws 2 straight incompletions to bring up 4th down. Simms is sacked for an 18 yard loss and the Steelers aparently have the game in-hand. However, on the very next play Bradshaw throws an interception that keeps the Giants in the game. The Steelers defense steps up big sacking Simms on 4 consecutive plays ending the Giants hopes of a comeback. The Steelers run down the clock, and Bradshaw takes a knee to end the game. For the second straight year the Steelers shut out the Giants in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

Steelers 14 Giants 0

 

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams

The Broncos first drive of the game ends in a three and out. Rams WR Preston Dennard returns the punt 68 yards setting up the Rams at the Bronco 32 yard line. After a 3 yard run by RB Cullen Bryant, QB Doug Williams throws 2 incomplete passes to bring up 4th down. K Frank Corral misses the 44 yard field goal attempt. The next Bronco drive is another 3 and out as QB Craig Morton is sacked on 3rd down. Dennard gets another outstanding punt return, this time 46 yards setting up the Rams offense with great field position. The drive featured runs of 5 and 9 yards by Bryant, a 20 yard run by RB Wendell Tyler and a Williams completion to TE Charlie Young for 14 yards but ultimately ends with a 3rd down sack of Williams. Corral is able to boot a 35 yard field goal giving the Rams a 3-0 lead at halftime. Dennard fumbles the kick to start the second half, but fortunately for the Rams it rolls out of bounce. Tyler rips a 34 run to start the drive. From there the drive stalls and ends with Williams being sacked once again. WR Rick Upchurch returns the punt 97 yards to the Rams 3 yard line. The Bronco run game is stuffed and Morton is sacked for a 22 yard loss on 3rd down. K Jim Turner boots the 50 yard game tying field goal. Niether team is able to move the ball for the rest of regulation and the game goes into overtime. The Broncos win the toss and get the ball to start the 8 play overtime period. RBs Jim Jensen and Otis Armstrong are both stuffed by the tough Ram defense. Morton completes the 3rd down pass to Upchurch for 38 yards. Once again, Jensen and Armstrong are stuffed on 1st and 2nd down, and this time the Rams sack Morton on 3rd down. With only 2 plays remaining in the overtime period, the Broncos decide to burn another play and go for it on 4th and 24.  Morton completes a pass to Upchurch that goes for 23 yards, just one yard shy of a first down. With only seconds remaining, Williams completes a pass to WR Ron Jessie for 33 yards giving the Rams a chance to attempt a 57 yard field goal. Corral boots the field goal as time runs out giving the Rams the hard-earned victory.  For the third week in a row, Rams kicker Frank Corral kicks a game winning field goal. The Bronco's magical first season comes to an end, but they take the league's number one ranked defense into a promising next season.

Rams 6 Broncos 3

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Colts

The Eagles are coming off a big win in the wildcard game. The Colts are coming off a bi-week but there final game of the regular season was a nail biter against a winless team. QB Bert Jones threw the game winning TD in the last play of the game, but besides that he had a horrible game only completing 1 out of 9 passes with 2 interceptions.

The Eagles first drive is highlighted by a 13 yard run by RB Wilbert Montgomery. The drive stalls after that and the Eagles punt. After a run by RB Rob Carpenter for a 2 yard loss and an Eagles sack, Jones completes a pass to Roger Carr for 28 yards. The next 3 plays results in a 4th and 1. Jones throws a pass intended for Carr that is intercepted by CB Herm Edwards who takes the ball 75 yards for a pick 6. The Memorial Stadium crowd falls silent. This is Jones second pick 6 in as many games and 3rd interception overall. The Colts next drive starts with a Jones scramble for 10 yards. Jones then completes a pass to Carpenter netting 42 yards. Jones is sacked for a twelve yard loss on second down. With time running out in the first half, K Tony Linhart boots a 44 yard field goal to end the half. Eagles 7 Colts 3. The Colts offense starts their first drive of the second half with Bert Jones completing passes to RB Joe Washington for 18 yards and Carr for 52 yards. Edwards makes the touchdown saving tackle preventing Carr from getting a TD. From there, it all falls apart for the Colts as Carpenter fumbles and loses 18 yards, then Jones is sacked for a 15 yard loss. Linhart attempts a 56 yard field goal that sails off to the right. The Eagles are unable to take advantage as their first drive of the second half results in a 3 and out. After a decent punt return by WR John Jefferson, Jones begins the drive with a 15 yard scramble followed by completions to Carpenter for 20 yards and Jefferson for 49 yards and a TD. The Colts have their first lead of the game. A terrible kickoff return backs the Eagles up at their own 5 yard line. The Eagles drive starts with a sack and an incompletion by QB Ron Jaworski. On third down, Jaworski is sacked again this time in the endzone for a safety giving the Colts a 12-7 lead. The Colts recover the kick and from there run out the clock punching their ticket to the AFC Championship Game.

Colts 12 Eagles 7

 

Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints

This was a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game.

The Raiders first drive is seemingly a 3 and out, but P Ray Guy takes the long-snap and completes a pass to TE Raymond Chester for 20 yards and a first down. The drive continues highlighted by a 37 yard completion by QB Norris Weese to RB Mark Van Eaghan. The drive stalls and K Errol Mann boots a 45 yard field goal to open the scoring. Saints RB Tony Galbreath returns the kickoff 62 yards setting up the Saints offense. RB Chuck Muncie follows that up with a 1st down run of 21 yards. The drive stalls after that, and K Nick Mike-Mayer attempts a 41 yard field goal that hooks to the right and no good. The Raider offense takes over and Weese completes passes to Chester (15 yards) and Van Eaghan (34 yards) setting up Mann for another field goal attempt. Mann misses the 41 yard field goal attempt as time runs out in the first half. Raiders 3 Saints 0.

The Saints first drive of the second half is 9 plays long and mix of runs and passes. QB Bobby Scott completed passes to WR Ike Harris for 16 yards and 34 yards setting up Chuck Muncie’s 12 yard run to the endzone. The Saints have the lead at 7-3. WR Fred Belitnikoff returns the ensuing kickoff 85 yards to the Saints 5 yard line. On the next play Van Eaghan runs the ball into the endzone giving the Raiders back the lead at 10-7. The Saints next drive features Scott passes to Galbreath (15 yards), Muncie (12 yards) and TE Henry Childs for 11 yards. With time running out, Mayer boots the game tying 46 yard field goal sending the game into overtime. Raiders 10 Saints 10. The Raiders win the toss and Belitnikoff breaks another return to the Saints 45 yard line. Weese completes a pass to Belitnikoff for 23 yards. The drive stalls and Errol Mann attempts a 36 yard field goal. The kick sails to the right and the Saints take over with 3 plays remaining in the overtime period. Scott completes to Galbreath for 44 yards putting the Saints into field goal range. Chuck Muncie is only able to gain two yards on the next two plays. Mayer boots the game winning 48 yard field goal sending the Saints back to the NFC Championship Game.

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