The Pythagorean NFL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Garrett Garlits, Mar 27, 2018.

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  1. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now let's look at 1991 in the NFC. We begin in the East:

    Washington Redskins: 14-2 (0)
    Philadelphia Eagles: 10-6 (0)
    Dallas Cowboys: 9-7 (-2)
    New York Giants: 8-8 (0)
    Phoenix Cardinals: 4-12 (0)

    The only movement in the division come from the Boys, who drop two games and fall into third place, but still improve by six games over 1989. Both of last year's Super Bowl participants finish with the same record, as the G-Men can only manage 8-8 under first-year coach Ray Handley.

    Now let's go to the Central:

    Detroit Lions: 9-7 (-3)
    Chicago Bears: 9-7 (-2)
    Minnesota Vikings: 8-8 (0)
    Green Bay Packers: 7-9 (+3)
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-13 (0)

    The Lions drop three games and the Bears drop a pair to force a tie at the top of the division. The Vikes stand firm and finish third, and the Bucs are still rooted in the basement, which spells the end for coach Richard Williamson. Sam Wyche, recently fired by the Bengals, will replace him for 1992. We haven't forgotten the Pack, but their three-game Lambeau Leap does nothing for them; they still finish fourth and still lose coach Lindy Infante. Niners offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren will take over as soon as the Niners' playoff run is finished.

    We go to the expected wins tiebreaker to determine the division champion, and the Lions outpoint the Bears 9.3 to 9.0.

    Finally, the West:

    San Francisco 49ers: 12-4 (+2)
    New Orleans Saints: 12-4 (+1)
    Atlanta Falcons: 9-7 (-1)
    Los Angeles Rams: 4-12 (+1)

    How do you improve by a game and go from outright division champs to a tie? If you're the Saints and the Niners improve by two, that's how. In other news, the Falcons drop a game and finish third, while the last-place Rams add a game but lose a coach, as John Robinson has been fired. Nothing about his replacement has been confirmed yet, but the early favorite is current Seahawks and former Rams head man Chuck Knox.

    Wo go to the expected win tiebreakers to settle the division title, and the Niners edge the Saints 12.2 to 12.1.

    Now we have to settle a three-way tie for the third wild card among the Bears, Cowboys, and Falcons. The Bears take it with 9.0 expected wins, while the Boys finish with 8.9 and the Falcons with 8.6.

    Seeds:

    1. Redskins (NFC East champs): 14-2
    2. 49ers (NFC West champs): 12-4
    3. Lions (NFC Central champs): 9-7
    4. Saints (NFC West second place): 12-4
    5. Eagles (NFC East second place): 10-6
    6. Bears (NFC Central second place; won tiebreaker with Cowboys and Falcons): 9-7

    Here's the Wild Card Weekend schedule for the NFC:

    Saturday, December 28:

    Eagles-Saints, 4, ABC, Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Tim Brant (sideline reporter)

    Sunday, December 29:

    Bears-Lions, 12:30, CBS- Pat Summerall, John Madden

    Note: All times listed are Eastern.

    Next: We begin the AFC playoffs as the Seahawks meet the Broncos.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  2. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the second AFC Wild Card Game from Mile High Stadium in Denver. Game time temperature is 44 degrees, with mostly cloudy skies and an east wind at 2 MPH.

    There was only one score in the first half, and it came in the final two minutes of the second quarter. The Seahawks got the ball at their own thirty-four after Broncos kicker David Treadwell missed wide left from forty-four yards out, and the big play of the drive was quarterback Dave Krieg's twenty-yard pass to reserve wideout Jeff Chadwick. The drive stalled at the Denver eight-yard line, but kicker John Kasay connected on a twenty-five yard attempt to give the visitors a 3-0 halftime lead.

    The Hawks added to their lead midway through the third quarter after free safety Eugene Robinson picked off a John Elway pass and returned it to the Denver thirty-one. The highlight of the drive was Krieg's eighteen-yard pass to wide receiver Tommy Kane, and the touchdown came from fourteen yards out on a screen pass out of the backfield to running back John L. Williams, who caught the ball at the ten and broke two tackles on his way to paydirt. Kasay's extra point extended the Hawks' lead to 10-0 with 6:39 to play in the third quarter.

    The Broncos got back into the game with a touchdown near the end of the quarter. Elway completed passes of fourteen and fifteen yards to wide receiver Mike Young, then found running back Steve Sewell for fourteen yards and wide receiver Mark Jackson for eighteen. He topped things off by scoring the touchdown himself from six yards out. Treadwell added the extra point, and after three quarters it was Seattle 10, Denver 7.

    The visitors added to their lead early in the final quarter thanks to another Denver turnover. Robinson smacked Broncos running back Gaston Green and knocked the ball loose. Linebacker Rufus Porter recovered for the Hawks at the Denver forty, and running back Derrick Fenner put them in the red zone with a ten-yard gain on a sweep to the left. On first and goal from the eight, Krieg rolled to his right and hit wide-open receiver Brian Blades in the end zone for the touchdown. Kasay's extra point made it 17-7 Seahawks with a little less than twelve minutes remaining in the game.

    The Hawks put the game away with one last touchdown on their next possession. Chris Warren's punt return set up the offense at the Broncos' forty-four, and after a first-down sack put the Hawks back in their own territory, Williams popped through a giant hole on the left side of the Broncos' defense and turned on the jets. He was eventually pushed out of bounds at the Denver eight after a forty-four yard gain. On the next play, Krieg and Blades connected for their second touchdown of the day, and Kasay's extra point established the final score: Seahawks 24, Broncos 7.

    Williams was named MVP by NBC. He was both the Seahawks leading rusher and receiver, gaining eighty-five yards on fifteen carries and catching four passes for thirty-nine yards and a touchdown. Krieg finished thirteen of twenty-one for 141 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Elway had another subpar postseason performance: twelve of eighteen for 161 yards with an interception. Young was his leading receiver with four catches for fifty-nine yards. The Seattle defense held Green to just forty-eight yards on twenty-one carries.

    The Seahawks will now take their act to the Astrodome in Houston next Saturday, where they'll take on the top-seeded Oilers. Kickoff is at 4PM Eastern on NBC, with Charlie Jones and Todd Christensen set to call the action. This means that the winner of yesterday's game between the Jets and the Chiefs will head to Buffalo to take on the Bills next Sunday at Rich Stadium. Kickoff has already been established at 12:30 Eastern on NBC, with Dick Enberg and Bill Walsh on the call.

    Next: We switch to the NFC, as the Bears meet the Lions at the Silverdome.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  3. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the second 1991 NFC Wild Card Game from the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan:

    The Bears scored first on their opening possession. Quarterback Jim Harbaugh completed a sixteen-yard screen pass to running back Neal Anderson for a first down at their own thirty-four, then tight end James Thornton turned a simple pass over the middle into a fifty-seven yard gain with an epic run after the catch in which he knocked over no less then three Detroit defenders. That gave the Bears a first and goal at the Detroit nine, but they could gain only three more yards, so kicker Kevin Butler was called on for a twenty-three yard field goal attempt, which he converted to give the visitors a 3-0 lead after one quarter.

    The Bears added a touchdown late in the second quarter. Harbaugh again made excellent use of his backs in the passing game, hitting Anderson for eleven yards and fullback Tom Waddle for twenty-one. An eighteen-yard hookup with wideout Wendel Davis gave Chicago a first and ten at the Lions' fifteen, and from there Anderson took a pitchout around right end and scampered into the end zone untouched. Butler added the extra point, and the Bears had a 10-0 over the Lions at the half.

    The Bears added to their lead early in the third quarter. Harbaugh was on target again throughout the drive, with his biggest passes being a ten-yarder to Anderson and a twenty-five yard catch-and-runner to Thornton. The Bears reached the Detroit twenty-four before the offense bogged down, leaving Butler to bail them out from forty-one yards away. He did, and with 11:11 left in the third period the Bears now led 13-0.

    The Lions finally hit the scoreboard before the third quarter ended. Anderson was popped by linebacker Chris Spielman and lost the ball, which was promptly recovered by strong safety William White at the Chicago twenty-seven. The touchdown came from seven yards out, as quarterback Erik Kramer found wideout Willie Green for the score. Kicker Eddie Murray added the extra point, and after three quarters the Bears' lead was down to six at 13-7.

    The Bears answered with a touchdown of their own in the opening moments of the final quarter. Starting at his own six after an illegal motion penalty, Harbaugh completed passes of sixteen yards to Waddle and twenty yards to fullback Brad Muster to give his team some breathing room. Then came the big play, as Anderson tore through the middle of the Detroit defense for forty-five and a first down at the Detroit twelve. After a dive play gained a touch yard, Harbaugh threw short to Waddle, who pancaked a defender at the five and chugged into the end zone for the Bears touchdown. Butler added the extra point, and with about twelve minutes left in regulation the Bears now led 20-7.

    Regular starter Rodney Peete came into the game at that point nursing an injured ankle that he'd sustained in Friday's practice. Unfortunately, his first throw was way off target and intercepted by reserve defensive back John Mangum, who returned the ball all the way to the Lions' forty-seven. A sixteen-yard gain on a draw play by Anderson and a twelve-yard pass to Muster put the Bears back in range for Butler, who eventually converted from twenty-two yards out to give the Bears a 23-7 advantage with 4:02 left in regulation.

    The Lions scored on their next possession to make the final score a bit closer. Peete completed an eleven-yard pass to wideout Robert Clark, and Barry Sanders gained ten more yards on a sweep to the left. Then it was time for Barry to show off another talent. Here's how Pat Summerall called it:

    "First and ten from the Detroit forty-eight. Time running out on the Lions, 2:30 to play. Peete hands off to Sanders, who will throw...…..CAUGHT BY GREEN, AND HE'LL SCORE FOR THE LIONS!...…..What a throw by Barry Sanders, and they have life with 2:23 left to play down 23-13 with the extra point coming up."

    John Madden: "Peete can't throw, Pat. He can't get anything on his passes, so Barry Sanders was the best option, and he showed some great form, putting it right on Willie Green's numbers. The only problem is, he can't quarterback this team for the last 2:23. That's gotta be either Kramer or Peete, and neither looks like a great choice for (Lions coach) Wayne Fontes."

    Murray added the extra point, and the Lions had closed their deficit to 23-14. Unfortunately, their onside kick attempt failed, and the Bears were able to run out the clock. They'll now move on to the nation's capital next Saturday afternoon, where they'll face the top-seeded Washington Redskins in an NFC Divisional Playoff. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 PM Eastern on CBS, with Verne Lundquist and Dan Fouts on hand to describe the action.

    Harbaugh and Anderson shared the MVP award given by CBS. Anderson gained 103 yards on twenty-one carries with a touchdown, while Harbaugh finished sixteen of twenty-nine for 270 yards with a touchdown and an interception. A lot of that came from the backfield, as Waddle, Anderson, and Muster combined to catch ten passes for 131 yards and a score. Thornton gained eighty-two yards on just two catches to lead the receivers statistically. Meanwhile, the defense held Sanders to just sixty-four yards on twenty carries. Green was the Lions' leading receiver with three catches for seventy-nine yards and two touchdowns, but despite his and Sanders' best efforts, the passing game was anemic, as it finished thirteen of twenty-five for 209 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Kramer was responsible for both interceptions and was hit on almost every play, though the Bears only registered two sacks.

    Next: To be determined.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  4. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the first 1991 NFC Wild Card Game from the Superdome in New Orleans:

    The Eagles opened the scoring by converting a Saints turnover into a field goal. Free safety Wes Hopkins picked off a Steve Walsh pass and returned it to the Saints' thirty-four. Three plays later, Roger Ruzek kicked a forty-eight yard field goal to give the visitors a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

    The Eagles added to their lead with another field goal in the second quarter. Quarterback Jim McMahon hot wide receiver Fred Barnett for a twelve-yard gain, and reserve running back James Joseph sped through a big hole on a drew play for thirty-five yards and a first down at the New Orleans thirty-one. The Eagles could only gain one more yard, but Ruzek nailed a forty-seven yarder to increase the Philly lead to 6-0 at halftime.

    The Saints took the lead with a touchdown toward the end of the third quarter. The two biggest plays of the drive were a pair of Walsh completions to tight ends: a seventeen-yarder to John Tice and a ten-yarder to Hoby Brenner. The touchdown came from nineteen yards out, as running back Fred McAfee stormed up the middle on a draw play and into the end zone. Morten Andersen added the extra point, and after three quarters the Saints had taken a 7-6 lead.

    The home squad put the game away midway through the final quarter. A McMahon pass intended for Barnett was intercepted by cornerback Toi Cook, who returned the ball to the Eagles' forty-six. Walsh found wide receiver Eric Martin for twelve yards and a first down, and McAfee broke another draw for thirteen yards to put the Saints in field goal range. Andersen was good from thirty-four yards out, and the Saints moved out to the 10-6 lead that they would keep for the rest of the game.

    McAfee was named Player of the Game by ABC without even being the leading rusher on his own team. He gained fifty yards on fifteen carries and scored the go-ahead touchdown, but Dalton Hilliard was the Saints' leading rusher with fifty-three yards on just five carries. Walsh finished fourteen of twenty-nine for 134 yards with an interception, and Martin was New Orleans' leading receiver with four catches for forty-five yards.

    Joseph led the Eagles' ground attack with fifty yards on eight carries, but the rest of the ground attack totaled just twenty-nine yards on nineteen carries. McMahon didn't even break a hundred yards through the air, finishing ten of twenty-one for only ninety-nine yards with an interception. Tight end Keith Jackson was Philly's leading receiver with four catches for forty-nine yards. On defense, the Eagles sacked Walsh four times, with future Hall of Famer Reggie White notching a pair.

    The Saints will now face their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, next Sunday at Candlestick Park in an NFC Divisional Playoff. Kickoff is at 4PM Eastern on CBS, with Pat Summerall and John Madden on hand to call the action.

    Next: The other AFC Wild Card Game, as the Jets travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Chiefs.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  5. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the first 1991 AFC Wild Card Game from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Game time temperature is 39 degrees, with cloudy skies and an east-northeast wind at 3 MPH.

    The Jets scored first after taking the opening kickoff. Terance Mathis' punt return set up the offense at its own forty-two, and kicker Raul Allegre paid off the drive by converting a forty-six yard field goal attempt to give the Jets a 3-0 lead with 7:56 to play in the opening quarter.

    After the Chiefs went three-and-out, Mathis returned the ensuing punt all the way to the Kansas City twenty-seven yard line. A play later, running back Blair Thomas took advantage of a huge hole on the left side of the Chiefs' defense to race untouched into the end zone from twenty-five yards out. Allegre added the extra point, and after one quarter the Jets had a 10-0 lead.

    The Jets were in prime position to add to their lead once more when the first quarter expired. Running back Freeman McNeil found a crack in the middle of the KC defense and stormed through it for eighteen yards, and quarterback Kenny O'Brien found wide receiver Al Toon over the middle for twenty-one more. Two plays into the second quarter O'Brien and Toon connected once more, this time from twenty-four yards out for the touchdown. Allegre added another extra point, and at halftime the Jets were whitewashing the homestanding Chiefs 17-0.

    The Jets added to their lead for the final time late in the third period. The biggest play of the drive was turned in by running back Johnny Hector, who took a sweep around left end and sped for fifty-four yards and a first down at the Chiefs thirty-one. Later in the drive, Thomas ran the same play for ten yards and a first down. Thomas also caught a screen pass out of the backfield for fourteen yards. On first and goal from the two, O'Brien flipped the ball to a wide-open Mathis for the easy touchdown. Allegre's extra point extended the Jets' lead to 24-0 after three quarters.

    A pair of fourth-quarter interceptions from O'Brien allowed the Chiefs back into the game. The first one was pilfered by cornerback Albert Lewis, who returned his prize to the New York thirty-nine. Quarterback Steve DeBerg put his team in field goal range with a thirteen-yard pass to wide receiver Emile Harry, and kicker Nick Lowery eventually connected from forty yards out to cut the Jets' lead to 24-3 with 11:55 remaining in regulation.

    The second O'Brien interception was grabbed by reserve defensive back Charles Washington, who returned the ball to the Jets' thirty-two. Running back Barry Word gained fifteen yards and a first down on a pitch to the right side, and from the fifteen DeBerg found wide receiver Tim Barnett for the touchdown. Lowery kicked the extra point to get the Chiefs back within 24-10 with seven minutes remaining, but they could creep no further. The Jets had upset the Chiefs by the final score of 24-10.

    ABC's MVP award went to Jets defensive end Jeff Lageman, who registered eight tackles on the day and sacked DeBerg twice. No one on the offensive side of the ball for either team was worthy of consideration; Hector led all rushers with seventy-seven yards on just six carries, but fifty-four of those yards came on one play. Thomas managed fifty-two yards on fourteen carries with a score. O'Brien finished ten of seventeen with two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions and managed just 126 yards.

    DeBerg managed to outpass O'Brien, going thirteen of twenty-five for 134 yards and a touchdown. Jets wideout Rob Moore led all receivers with four catches for fifty-eight yards, and Toon added four more catches for fifty-two yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Robb Thomas led the Chiefs with four catches for forty-three yards, and Word was their leading rusher with thirty-eight yards on eleven carries. Feature back Christian Okoye was held to sixteen yards on fifteen carries. On the plus side for the Chiefs, the defense registered four sacks against O'Brien.

    The Jets' next stop is Buffalo, where they'll take on their AFC East rivals the Bills in the second AFC Divisional Playoff Game next Sunday at Rich Stadium. As was mentioned earlier, kickoff is set for 12:30 PM Eastern on NBC, with Dick Enberg and Bill Walsh set to call the action.

    Next: To be determined.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  6. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the first 1991 NFC Divisional Playoff from RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Game time temperature is 49 degrees, with cloudy skies and north-northeast winds gusting to 37 MPH:

    The Bears scored first after taking the opening kickoff. Johnny Bailey's return set them up at their own forty, and the key plays of the drive were a thirteen-yard gain on a draw play by Neal Anderson and a twenty-three yard catch-and-run on a screen pass by Brad Muster. The Bears reached the Washington sixteen before they were stopped, and Kevin Butler converted a thirty-three yard field goal attempt to put the visitors up 3-0 with 9:32 left in the opening quarter.

    The Skins answered with a touchdown before the end of the period. They relentless targeted the middle of the Chicago defense with draws, and gained big yardage with almost every one of them. Running back Earnest Byner gained fifteen yards on one play and thirteen on the next, and even busted plays turned out well, such as when running back Ricky Ervins' fumble of a handoff bounced right back into his arms. Ervins took advantage of his second chance and picked up twenty yards. The touchdown came on a six-yard pass from quarterback Mark Rypien to future Hall of Famer Art Monk. Kicker Chip Lohmiller added the extra point, and at the end of the first quarter the Skins led the Bears 7-3.

    The home squad added to its lead with a field goal midway through the second quarter after Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh was sandwiched by two Redskins while he was in the act of throwing. The ball ended up in the arms of Skins defensive end Fred Stokes, who was promptly tackled at the Chicago forty-three. Rypien's twenty-three yard pass to Monk put the Skins in Lohmiller's range, and when the drive died at the four Chip was good from twenty-one yards out to extend Washington's lead to 10-3 with 7:13 left in the first half.

    The Bears answered with three points of their own just before halftime. The big play of the drive was Harbaugh's forty-three yard pass to reserve wide receiver Anthony Morgan. Butler was eventually called on from forty-two yards out, and his kick was good to make our halftime score Washington 10, Chicago 6.

    The Redskins added another field goal late in the third quarter. Harbaugh was intercepted by future Hall of Famer Darrell Green, who returned the ball to the Bears' twenty-seven. Ervins' ten-yard gain on a pitchout to the right put the Skins back in field goal range, and Lohmiller's thirty-three yarder put the Skins up 13-6 with one quarter still to play

    The Skins added one last field goal midway through the final quarter. Byner's fourteen-yard gain on a sweep to the left put the ball at midfield, and from there Rypien went to work with his short passing game, connecting with Monk for thirteen yards, wide receiver Gary Clark for twelve, and wide receiver Ricky Sanders for ten. The drive reached the Bears' three-yard line before stalling, and Lohmiller's twenty-yard chip shot (no pun intended) gave us our final score: Redskins 16, Bears 6. The Skins will host either the New Orleans Saints or the San Francisco 49ers in next Sunday's NFC Championship Game. Kickoff time has yet to be determined, but the game will be televised by CBS, and Pat Summerall and John Madden will call the action.

    Rypien was named Player of the Game by CBS. He completed fifteen of twenty-seven passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. Clark was his leading receiver with six catches for ninety-six yards and a touchdown, and Monk added five catches for fifty-five yards. Byner led the ground game with sixty-seven yards on nineteen carries. Meanwhile, the defense made Harbaugh miserable from start to finish, limiting him to ten of twenty-one passing for 140 yards and intercepting him three times. Wide receiver Wendell Davis was his leading receiver, catching four passes for fifty yards, and Muster was the Bears' leading rusher with fifty-six yards on eight carries, The Skins' defense held Anderson to just fifty-one yards on thirteen carries.

    Next: The Niners host the Saints in the second NFC Divisional Playoff.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  7. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the second NFC Divisional Playoff from Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Game time temperature is 55 degrees with mostly cloudy skies and a west wind at 8 MPH.

    The first quarter ended up scoreless, but the Niners were threatening as it ended. Quarterback Steve Young hit running back Dexter Carter out of the backfield for twelve yards, then found the incomparable Jerry Rice over the middle for twenty more. His ten-yard scramble gave the Niners a first down at the Saints' thirty-five as the teams changed ends. On the fourth play of the second quarter, he scrambled to his right to buy time, then spotted John Taylor between two New Orleans defenders and hit him right between the numbers for the touchdown. Kicker Mike Cofer added the extra point, and with a minute and a half gone in the second quarter the Niners led 7-0.

    The Saints answered with a touchdown of their own just before the half. Fred McAfee took a sweep around left end and gained fifteen yards, and fellow running back Gil Fenerty provided the biggest play of the drive when he found a hole off left tackle and popped through it for a thirty-four yard gain. Quarterback Steve Walsh connected with tight end Hoby Brenner over the middle for sixteen yards and a first and goal at the Frisco six, which stopped the clock with six seconds left in the first half. Morten Andersen was ready to try a twenty-three yard chip shot field goal, but coach Jim Mora decided to go for the tying touchdown. He got it when Walsh flipped the ball to running back Dalton Hilliard, who flattened a defender just outside the goal line and went in for the score. Andersen's extra point knotted the game at seven as the teams went to their respective locker rooms at the half.

    The Saints claimed the lead midway through the third quarter. Vince Buck's punt return set up the offense at its own forty-eight, and Fenerty's fifteen-yard gain on a draw play brought the ball across midfield. Later in the drive, Fanerty picked up fifteen more yards on a catch-and run, and Walsh found wide receiver Quinn Early for ten yards and a first and goal at the Niners' seven. The Niners' defense didn't allow another yard, but Andersen punched through a twenty-four yard field goal to give the visitors a 10-7 lead with 8:17 left in the third period.

    The Niners came back with a field goal of their own on their next possession. Young's arm was their main vehicle, as he hit Taylor for twelve yards, Rice for nineteen, and fellow wide receiver Mike Sherrard for fifteen more. The drive broke down at the New Orleans seventeen, but Cofer hit a thirty-four yard field goal that tied the game at ten after three quarters.

    The Niners took the lead with another field goal early in the fourth quarter. Walsh's pass intended for Early over the middle was picked off by reserve defensive back Johnnie Jackson, whose return gave the Niners a first down at the Saints' twenty-four. Three plays later, Cofer was good from thirty-six yards out to give the home squad a 13-10 lead with 12:11 left in regulation time.

    The Saints tied the game midway through the final quarter. Walsh's fifteen-yard pass to Early brought the ball into Niners; territory, and later in the drive Walsh hit wideout Floyd Turner for fourteen yards and another first down. Running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward's thirteen-yard gain on a draw play gave the Saints a first down at the Niners' seventeen, and three plays later Andersen connected from thirty-four yards out to tie the game at thirteen with 5:31 to play.

    The Saints got the ball back one last time with a little under two minutes left. after another fabulous punt return by Buck. The key play of the drive was Walsh's twenty-one yard pass to wide receiver Eric Martin, which placed the ball at the Niners' thirty-two with just three seconds left. That was just enough time for Andersen to win the game from forty-nine yards out. His first attempt was wide left by at least five yards, but it was waved off because Niners coach George Seifert had called timeout prior to the snap. Would the future Hall of Famer take advantage of his second chance? Here's the call from Pat Summerall:

    "No more timeouts for either team. Andersen has now missed twice from forty-nine wide to the left, but only one of them counted. So here we go again...…….RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE! THE SAINTS HAVE WON IT, AND THEIY'RE GOING TO WASHINGTON!...…...Seifert's gamble failed miserably."

    John Madden: "That's an understatement, Pat. Icing a veteran like Morten Andersen really doesn't work; it's just giving him more chances to figure out what he's doing wrong, and this was a case in point. The first two from this distance were wide left, but this one was dead center and would have been good from fifty-nine."

    Final score: New Orleans 16, San Francisco 13.

    Andersen was named the game's MVP for his three field goals, including the game-winner. He was ably assisted by Fenerty, who gained seventy-two yards on twelve carries, and Walsh, who finished fourteen of twenty for 167 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Martin was his leading receiver with four catches for fifty-three yards. For the Niners, Young finished eleven of twenty-one for 145 yards and a touchdown. He also led the team in rushing with thirty-three yards on six carries. Taylor was his top target with four catches for fifty-three yards and a touchdown.

    The Saints will now head to RFK Stadium to take on the Washington Redskins in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday, their second appearance in that game in the last three seasons.

    Next: The first AFC Divisional Playoff, as the Seahawks head to the Astrodome to face the Oilers.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  8. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the first 1991 AFC Divisional Playoff from the Astrodome in Houston:

    The Seahawks scored first. The big play of the drive was John L. Williams' forty-one yard catch and run that gave the visitors a first down at the Oilers' twenty-three. A third-down sack pushed them back a little further, but John Kasay connected on a forty-four yard field goal attempt to put the Hawks up 3-0 with 6:39 remaining in the opening period.

    The Oilers answered with a touchdown before the end of the period. Quarterback Warren Moon hit wide receiver Ernest Givins for fifteen yards and a first down, This was soon followed by a twelve-yard gain from running back Allen Pinkett on a draw play an a sixteen-yard slash off left tackle by fellow running back Lorenzo White. The Hawks further hurt their cause later when linebacker Rufus Porter was penalized fifteen yards for tackling White by his facemask after White had been held to a short gain. On first and goal from the Seattle eight, Moon hit wide receiver Curtis Duncan in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Kicker Al Del Greco added the extra point, and after one quarter the Oilers had a 7-3 lead.

    The Hawks cut the Oilers' lead to one early in the second quarter. Chris Warren's kickoff return set up the Seattle offense at its own forty, and on the first play from scrimmage Williams bolted off right tackle for thirty-two yards and a first down at the Oilers' twenty-eight. Later in the drive, Williams caught a fourteen-yard screen pass from quarterback Dave Krieg to set up Kasay's successful thirty-one yard attempt. With 11:16 left in the first half the Hawks had cut their deficit to 7-6.

    The Oilers got those three points back just before halftime. Pat Coleman returned a Rick Tuten punt all the way to the Seattle thirty-nine. The Oilers found the offensive going sluggish, but still managed to get to the twenty-one before the drive bogged down. Del Greco's thirty-eight yard field goal extended the Houston lead to 10-6 at the half.

    After a scoreless third quarter, the Oilers put the game away with a touchdown in the final two minutes. Pinkett gained twelve yards on a draw play, and Moon found wide receiver Drew Hill with a pair of key passes that gained fifteen and twenty yards respectively. Pinkett fought his way into the end zone from two yards out with 1:41 left, and after Del Greco's extra point the issue was decided. The Oilers had beaten the Seahawks 17-6, and they'll host either the New York Jets or the Buffalo Bills in next Sunday's AFC Championship Game. Kickoff has been set for 4PM Eastern on NBC, with Dick Enberg and Bill Walsh set to call the action and O.J. Simpson and Will McDonough serving as the sideline reporters.

    In a rare move, a player on the losing side was picked by NBC as the game's Most Valuable Player. Williams led all rushers with eighty-three yards on twelve carries and a touchdown, plus two catches for fifty-five yards, both of which set up field goals. Krieg's day was a mixed bag, he completed only thirteen of his thirty-four passes and threw two interceptions while being sacked four times, but he outpassed Moon by over two to one, finishing with 248 yards while Moon was held to a scarcely-believable 109 while throwing a touchdown and an interception and completing just eleven of his twenty-four passes. Wide receiver Brian Blades led all receivers with four catches for ninety-six yards, while Drew Hill was Houston's leading receiver with forty-seven yards on four catches. Pinkett led the ground game for Luv Ya Blue with sixty-nine yards on twenty carries plus a touchdown. The Hawks outgained the Oilers 358-221 for the day.

    Next; The Jets face the Bills in the second AFC Divisional Playoff.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  9. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the second 1991 AFC Divisional Playoff from Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. Game time temperature is 39 degrees, with mostly cloudy skies and a north-northwest wind at 10 MPH.

    After a scoreless first half, the Jets took the second half kickoff and moved down the field for the game's first points. Running back Brad Baxter took a pitchout on the first play from scrimmage and rambled for twenty yards and a first down. Later in the drive, quarterback Kenny O'Brien hit running back Blair Thomas out of the backfield for fifteen more. As we pick up the call from Dick Enberg, the Jets face a second and two at the Buffalo thirty-six:

    "Thomas behind O'Brien in the backfield, and four wide receivers for O'Brien on second and two..... a lot of time, he's got (Al) Toon wide open...…….HITS HIM IN STRIDE, AND HE'LL GO IN FOR THE TOUCHDOWN!...…..Thirty-six yards on the strike, and the Jets are first on the board early in the third quarter."

    Bill Walsh: "That was (Number) 37, Nate Odomes, the right cornerback, who Toon absolutely undressed. He's beaten by at least five yards before the ball's even in the air, and all Toon has to do is catch it on the run, which is harder than you might think. When it happens like it does here, it's a thing of beauty."

    Raul Allegre added the extra point, and the Jets were on top 7-0 with 12:02 left in the third quarter.

    The Jets scored again almost immediately, as on the first play of the ensuing Bills drive running back Thurman Thomas had the ball stripped by linebacker Mo Lewis immediately after catching a screen pass. After a prolonged scrum, Lewis recovered the ball himself at the Buffalo thirty-three. O'Brien immediately threw the ball deep, and wide receiver Rob Moore came down with the ball at the eight. The touchdown came two plays later, when on third and goal from the four O'Brien flipped the ball to Thomas, who walked in for the score. Allegre added the extra point, and with 9:53 left in the third the Jets now led 14-0.

    The Bills answered with a touchdown of their own on their next possession. The key plays were a pair of fifteen-yard passes by Jim Kelly. One went to Andre Reed, the other to fellow wide receiver Don Beebe. Running back Kenneth Davis eventually scored the touchdown from three yards out, and Scott Norwood added the extra point to cut the Jets' lead to 14-7 with 2:57 to play in the third.

    The Bills added seven more points before the third quarter was over. Al Edwards' punt return set up the offense at its own forty-six, and Kelly completed passes of twenty-five yards to Beebe and thirteen yards to James Lofton. The touchdown came from four yards out, as Thurman Thomas picked his way up the middle and into the end zone. Norwood added the extra point, and after three quarters the game was tied at fourteen.

    The Bills completed their comeback with a touchdown in the game's final two minutes. Thomas picked up twenty-five yards on a draw play, and Kelly completed an eleven-yard pass to wide receiver Keith McKeller. Then came the biggest play of the drive: a thirty-one yard catch-and-run by Lofton all the way to the Jets' five. From there, Kelly and Reed connected for the eventual game-winning touchdown with 1:27 remaining. Norwood's extra point put the Bills up 21-14, and the Jets' last drive ended at their own forty. The Bills are now going to the Astrodome in Houston for next Sunday's AFC Championship Game, their third appearance in that contest over the last four years.

    The two best players on the field in this game were running backs named Thomas. New York's Blair totaled ninety-seven yards on fourteen carries, while Buffalo's Thurman was the Player of the Game after gaining 125 yards on twenty-one carries with a touchdown. Neither passing game was up to par; Kelly finished twelve of eighteen for 151 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while O'Brien ended up ten of eighteen for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Moore led all receivers with four catches for seventy-two yards.

    Next: To be determined.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  10. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the 1991 NFC Championship Game from RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Game time temperature is 46 degrees, with partly cloudy skies and a south wind at 9 MPH.

    The Skins scored first after Brian Mitchell's return of the opening kickoff set up their offense at its own forty-two. A pair of draw plays were the biggest gainers on the drive, as running back Gerald Riggs barged through one hole for twenty-two yards and Earnest Byner exploited another for sixteen. The drive bogged down at the Saints' fifteen, but Chip Lohmiller hit a thirty-two yard field goal to give the homestanders a 3-0 lead with 11:47 left in the opening quarter.

    The Saints evened the score with a field goal of their own on their next possession. Fred McAfee burst off left tackle for a twenty-five yard gain, and quarterback Steve Walsh connected with tight end John Tice for a twelve-yard gain. The drive stalled at the Washington twenty-eight, but Morten Andersen was good from forty-five yards out to tie the game at three with 7:45 left in the opening quarter.

    The Saints took the lead with a touchdown in the closing seconds of the period. Walsh found wide receiver Quinn Early for an eighteen-yard gain, then found Tice for another. An eleven-yard hookup with wideout Floyd Turner gave the Saints a first and goal at the Skins' four-yard line, and a play later from the two Walsh flipped the ball to backup wideout Wesley Carroll for the touchdown. Andersen added the extra point, and after one quarter the Saints had a 10-3 lead.

    The Saints added another field goal early in the second quarter, as a Mark Rypien pass was picked off by reserve defensive back Vencie Glenn, who returned the ball to the Redskins' twenty-eight. An eleven-yard screen pass to running back Dalton Hilliard got the Saints in range for Andersen, but they waited until they were at the three before calling on him for a twenty-yard chip shot, which he converted to put the visitors up 13-3 with 11:44 left in the second quarter.

    The Skins used their passing game to get back into the contest. Rypien connected with Art Monk for seventeen yards, then watched as his short pass to Gary Clark turned into a thirty-two yard gain thanks to Clark's bruising broken-field run. The touchdown came from nineteen yards out, as Rypien hit a wide-open Monk in the end zone for the score. Lohmiller added the extra point, and the Skins were back within 13-10 with 5:09 to play in the first half.

    The Saints added another touchdown just before the half. This one happened almost entirely on the ground, as McAfee and Craig "Ironhead" Heyward gouged the middle of the Skins' defense on consecutive draw plays for thirteen and twelve yards respectively. Then, on first and ten from the Washington twenty-five, McAfee took a handoff, cut back to the right, and, finding nothing but green ahead of him, marched into the end zone for the touchdown. Andersen added the extra point, and the Saints took a 20-10 lead into the locker room at halftime.

    The Skins cut into the Saints' lead with a touchdown midway through the third quarter. The biggest plays of the drive were a sixteen-yard pass to Sanders and a twenty-five yard dash around right end by Byner. As we pick up Pat Summerall's call, it's first and ten from the Saints' twenty-seven:

    "Byner remains in as the lone setback for Rypien on first and ten. Gets the call again, and look at the hole right up the middle! He will score untouched!...……….Redskins have cut the Saints' lead to four with the extra point from Lohmiller coming up."

    John Madden: "The middle of the Saints' defense has been vulnerable all day, and that's not like them. That's (linebacker) Rickey Jackson being blown off the ball by (right guard) Mark Schlereth, and that opens the hole for Byner, who's really starting to look like the star he was for the Browns a few years ago."

    Lohmiller's extra point cut the New Orleans lead to 20-17 after three quarters.

    The Skins took the lead for good midway through the final quarter after free safety Brad Edwards picked off a pass from Walsh and returned it to the Saints' forty-three. Rypien immediately connected with Clark for nineteen yards and a first down, and he later hit Sanders over the middle for fourteen yards and a first and goal at the four. Running back Ricky Ervins took it into the end zone off the right side from there, and Lohmiller added the extra point to give the Skins a 24-20 lead with 12:53 left in regulation time.

    The Skins put the game away with one last touchdown with less than three minutes left. Rypien's fifteen-yard pass to Clark set things up. We pick up Pat's call on second and two from the Saints' thirty-six:

    "Second and two for the Redskins, as the clock ticks toward three minutes remaining. Handoff to Byner, who has another hole up the middle! He's through it, and down to the twenty, fifteen, ten, and on to Minneapolis! TOUCHDOWN, WASHINGTON REDSKINS!...……….The Redskins will try for the sixth time to win a Super Bowl trophy two weeks from today thanks in large part to Earnest Byner, John."

    Madden: "Another big hole up the middle blasted open by this year's version of the Hogs. They've manhandled the Saints' defensive linemen and linebackers all day long, and I don't think anyone expected that. If they can do this again to either the Oilers or the Bills in two weeks, they'll finally have a Super Bowl here in Washington."

    Summerall: "Sixth time might be the charm."

    Lohmiller's extra point established our final score: Redskins 31, Saints 20. The Skins will represent the NFC in Super Bowl XXVI two weeks from today at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for 6PM Eastern on CBS, with Pat and John once again on the call.

    Byner was named Player of the Game by CBS. He finished with 141 yards on twenty carries with two touchdowns. McAfee led the Saints on the ground with eighty-three yards on fourteen carries and a score; no one else on either side could manage more than twenty-nine yards. Walsh finished sixteen of twenty-one, but only threw for 163 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Turner was his leading receiver with dour catches for fifty-two yards. Rypien was intercepted three times, but connected on ten of seventeen for 190 yards and a touchdown. Clark led all receivers with four catches for eighty-six yards, while Monk added three for fifty-six yards and a score. Sanders caught the other three for forty-eight yards.

    Next: The AFC Championship Game.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  11. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the 1991 AFC Championship Game from the Astrodome in Houston:

    The Bills got their only score of the first quarter after taking the opening kickoff. Jim Kelly completed passes of nineteen yards to James Lofton, fourteen yards to Keith McKeller, and fourteen yards to wide receiver Al Edwards. As for the running game, Thirman Thomas survived a scare when he fumbled without being hit, then recovered his own fumble for a ten-yard gain and a first down. The Bills drove all the way to the Oilers' five-yard line before settling for a twenty-two yard chip shot from Scott Norwood that gave them a 3-0 lead after one quarter.

    The Oilers evened the game with three points of their own midway through the second quarter. Warren Moon completed passes of eleven and ten yards to Ernest Givins, and running back Lorenzo White provided the drive's big play when he cut around left end and found a hole, then zipped through said hole for a thirty-five yard gain and a first and goal at the Bills' ten. Three plays later, Al Del Greco connected from twenty-four yards out to tie the game at three with 8:36 remaining in the first half.

    The Oilers took the lead in the final minute of the first half. Moon put them in prime scoring position by completing a forty-five yard bomb to Drew Hill, and later in the drive he went back to Hill for seventeen yards and a first down. An eleven-yard pass to wideout Haywood Jeffires set up a first and goal at the Buffalo two, and from there Allen Pinkett snaked his way off left tackle and into the end zone. Del Greco converted the extra point, and at halftime the Oilers led 10-3.

    The Bills cut into their deficit on their first possession of the second half. Edwards' punt return set them up at their own forty-six, and the key play of the drive was Thomas' twenty-three yard catch-and run. The Bills got as far as the Houston twenty, and Norwood was good from thirty-seven yards out to cut the Oilers' lead to 10-6 with 7:13 to play in the third quarter.

    The Oilers answered with a touchdown of their own in the waning seconds of the third quarter. Moon completed key passes to Hill for eighteen yards and wideout Curtis Duncan for fourteen. On second and none from the Bills twenty-three, running back Gary Brown spied a hole off left tackle and darted through it, then continued into the end zone for the touchdown. Del Greco added the extra point, and after three quarters the Oilers now led 17-6.

    The Bills got back on the board midway through the final quarter. Kelly completed passes of ten yards to Thomas, nineteen yards to Reed, and twenty-four yards to Lofton, the latter of which put them in field goal range. The drive got as far as the Oilers' four-yard line before Kelly was sacked for a four-yard loss by defensive end Sean Jones. The Bills had to settle for Norwood's twenty-five yard field goal, which meant that the Oilers still led by two scores and eight points at 17-9 with 6:50 to play in the game.

    The Bills scored for the final time with less than a minute left in regulation. Thomas picked up ten yards and a first down on a draw play, and Kelly found Thomas out of the backfield for fifteen yards, Lofton for seventeen, and Reed for twenty-four and a first and goal at the Houston five. Kelly's first-down pass to Reed went through Andre's hands, but his second-down pass to Reed was complete for the touchdown.

    Then came what might be the most infamous extra point in history. It was good and cut the Houston lead to 17-16 with thirty-six seconds left, but NBC analyst Bill Walsh lamented on the air that it was a "crying shame" that the NFL didn't have a two-point conversion rule that would have allowed the Bills to try and tie the game and send it into overtime. "Kelly against Moon in a sudeen death overtime. What could be batter than that?" he asked partner Dick Enberg and everyone watching. That question was one of the driving forces behind the NFL eventually adopting the two-point conversion in 1994. Unfortunately, back in 1991 the Bills' only option was an onside kick, which was recovered by Pinkett. The Oilers had survived 17-16, and they will take on the NFC champion Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI two weeks from today at the Metrodome.

    The Houston defense as a group took home Player of the Game honors; they pressured Kelly all day long and sacked him five times. Despite this, Kelly finished seventeen of twenty-five for 259 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Lofton led all receivers with five catches for 101 yards, and Reed added five more for seventy-three yards and a touchdown. Thomas caught four out of the backfield for fifty-four yards, but was held to forty-nine yards rushing on twenty carries. Strong safety Leonard Smith was a defensive bright spot, as he sacked Moon twice. Speaking of Warren, he finished fourteen of twenty for 186 yards. Hill caught four of his oases for eighty-five yards to lead the air attack, while White was the leading ground gainer with sixty-nine yards on ten carries.

    Super Bowl XXVI will be simmed at a later date.

    Next: The standings for 1992.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  12. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    10 miles north of 10 miles south
    Love is the use of the replay to bring the extra points into focus since it is known what will happen.
     
  13. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Your post is worded a bit strangely, DTF. I'm assuming you meant to say that you liked me using Walsh's comments to foreshadow the eventual adoption of the two-point conversion. If I'm right, thank you very much; it kind of came to me on the spur of the moment, considering who the quarterbacks were and what the game situation was. If I'm wrong, could you please try your question or comment again so I can respond to it properly?
     
  14. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    10 miles north of 10 miles south
    Yes, that is what I meant. My brain doesn't always get things out correctly.

    One other thought I had, Ithe Redskins don't have much more of a window before they go into years of mediocrity. If Warren Moon beats them here, not only will there be the same sort of stories we saw with Doug WIlliams OTL as far as a black QB finally winning the big one, you would also have some speculate, after a few years of that mediocrity, that the Redskins might have a curse on them because of former owner George Presston Marshall's racism. Although, maybe talk of curses is more for baseball teams. (I have heard fans of Cleveland talk of a Curse of Paul Brown, though.)

    What would really be wild is if they finally do win their first Super Bowl the one year RGIII was so good. (And, since that injury was due to a sloppy field, if they don't play at home in that game would you have to figure on him starting all the way through the playoffs? I know, it's 20 years away, but it does show how differently thigns can go in football especially.)
     
  15. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Thanks for mentioning that Moon would be the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl in this universe. The Curse of George Preston Marshall, eh? If I can work it into Pat's game call without forcing it, I will. I'll definitely mention it during the game story.

    RGIII's a little too far in the future to think about right now. I'll keep it in mind, though.

    Don't sweat the occasional brainlock. It happens to all of us, especially me!
     
  16. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    This is a list of the Super Bowls I have to sim through the nineties, mostly for my own reference:

    XXV (Tampa): Dolphins vs. Giants (Hostetler)
    XXVI (Minneapolis): Redskins vs. Oilers

    More will be added if and when necessary.
     
  17. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now let's look at the standings for 1992. For a change, let's begin in the NFC East:

    Dallas Cowboys: 12-4 (-1)
    Philadelphia Eagles: 11-5 (0)
    Washington Redskins: 10-6 (+1)
    New York Giants: 6-10 (0)
    Phoenix Cardinals: 5-11 (+1)

    Jimmy Johnson's rebuild of the Cowboys is complete, as they're back on top of the East despite dropping a game. The Eagles stay where they are and finish a strong second, while the Skins avoid a Super Bowl hangover for the most part and earn double-digit wins. On the flip side, the Giants suffer double-digit losses and say goodbye to coach Ray Handley, while the Cardinals finish last despite a one-game improvement.

    Next, to the Central:

    Minnesota Vikings: 12-4 (+1)
    Green Bay Packers: 7-9 (-2)
    Chicago Bears: 6-10 (+1)
    Detroit Lions: 6-10 (+1)
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5-11 (0)

    The Vikes, like the Cowboys, announce their return to the top of the Central with a five-game romp over the Pack, who drop a pair of games and finish under .500 in the first year of the Holmgren-Favre era. The Bears and Lions each gain a game and finish tied for third, while the Bucs remain where they are and end up the odd man out in the real-life tie for third and in last place.

    We go to the expected wins tiebreaker to settle the deadlock for third, and the Lions edge the Bears 6.2 to 6.1. This means that the Bears finish fourth in Mike Ditka's final season on the sidelines.

    Finally, a look at the West:

    San Francisco 49ers: 13-3 (-1)
    New Orleans Saints: 12-4 (0)
    Atlanta Falcons: 6-10 (0)
    Los Angeles Rams: 6-10 (0)

    The only movement comes from the division champions, who drop a game but still beat the Saints by one. The Falcons and Rams finish tied for third, as Chuck Knox "celebrates" his return to the sidelines in Los Angeles. (Okay, Anaheim, but who's counting?)

    We turn to the expected wins tiebreaker to settle the tie for third, and the Rams prevail, 6.1 to 5.8.

    Seeds:

    1. 49ers (NFC West champs): 13-3
    2. Cowboys (NFC East champs): 12-4
    3. Vikings (NFC Central champs): 12-4
    4. Saints (NFC West second place): 12-4
    5. Eagles (NFC East second place): 11-5
    6. Redskins (NFC East third place): 10-6

    The Cowboys hold the expected wins tiebreaker over the Vikings for the two seed, 12.4 to 11.6.

    The playoffs happened exactly as they did in real life. On January 2 at the Metrodome, the Skins overcame a 7-3 deficit with three straight touchdowns to shock the Vikes 24-7. Brian Mitchell and Earnest Byner scored rushing touchdowns, and Gary Clark caught a touchdown pass from Mark Rypien. Mitchell gained 109 yards on sixteen carries, and Clark caught six passes for ninety-one yards. The action shifted to the Superdome the next day for a rematch from last year's wild card round between the Eagles and the Saints. This chapter went to the Eagles, 36-20. Randall Cunningham threw a pair of touchdown passes to wide receiver Fred Barnett, and running back Heath Sherman gained 105 yards on twenty-one carries and scored another touchdown.

    The divisional round began on January 8 at Candlestick Park, where the Niners defeated the Redskins 20-13. Steve Young threw touchdown passes to John Taylor and Brent Jones, and the defense intercepted Rypien twice and sacked him five times while holding the Skins to seventy-three yards rushing. It was no better for the Eagles the next day at Texas Stadium, as the Cowboys thumped them 34-10. Quarterback Troy Alkman threw for a pair of touchdowns, and running back Emmitt Smith rushed for 114 yards on twenty-five carries with a touchdown. Meanwhile, the Eagles could only rush for sixty-three yards, and Cunningham was sacked five times.

    The Niners and Boys faced off for the NFC championship on January 17 at Candlestick, and Aikman overcame four Niner sacks to throw for two more scores, while Smith rushed twenty-four times for 114 yards and another score. Wide receiver Alvin Harper caught three passes for 117 yards and future Hall of Famer Michael Irvin added six catches for eighty-six yards, while Jerry Rice caught eight passes for 123 yards in a losing cause. Final score: Cowboys 30, Niners 20. The Boys will represent the NFC in Super Bowl XXVII at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 31.

    Next: We look at the AFC.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  18. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now let's look at the AFC in 1992. We begin in the East:

    Buffalo Bills: 11-5 (0)
    Miami Dolphins: 10-6 (-1)
    Indianapolis Colts: 5-11 (-4)
    New York Jets: 5-11 (+1)
    New England Patriots: 3-13 (+1)

    The real-life tie at the top is broken when the Fins drop a game. More shocking is the four-game drop by the Colts, which lands them in a tie for third with the Jets, who add a game. The Pats also add a game, but still finish in the basement, eight games out of first.

    We go to the expected wins tiebreaker to settle the tie for third, and the Colts outpoint the Jets 5.0 to 4.8.

    Now to the Central:

    Houston Oilers: 11-5 (+1)
    Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5 (0)
    Cleveland Browns: 8-8 (+1)
    Cincinnati Bengals: 5-11 (0)

    The Oilers add a game to force a tie for the division crown with the Steelers, who remain where they are. The Browns add a game to finish 8-8 for the second straight year under Bill Belichick, while the Bengals freeze where they are and stay in the basement in the first year of David Shula's tenure as head coach.

    We go to the expected wins tiebreaker to settle the division title, and the Oilers prevail, 10.8 to 10.6.

    Finally, we examine the West:

    San Diego Chargers: 11-5 (0)
    Kansas City Chiefs: 10-6 (0)
    Los Angeles Raiders: 7-9 (0)
    Denver Broncos: 6-10 (-2)
    Seattle Seahawks: 2-14 (0)

    The only movement in the division comes from the Broncos, who drop a pair and fall to fourth place. That's enough to get coach Dan Reeves fired; he's headed for New Jersey to coach the Giants. In other news, the Seahawks go from winning a playoff game under former coach Chuck Knox to the worst record in football under new head coach Tom Flores.

    Seeds:

    1. Chargers (AFC West champs): 11-5
    2. Oilers (AFC Central champs): 11-5
    3. Bills (AFC East champs): 11-5
    4. Steelers (AFC Central second place): 11-5
    5. Chiefs (AFC West second place): 10-6
    6. Dolphins (AFC East second place): 10-6

    The Chiefs hold the expected wins tiebreaker for the second wild card over the Dolphins, 10.0 to 9.8.

    We had a three-way tie for the top seed. Using the expected wins tiebreaker, the Chargers take the top spot with 11.0 wins, followed by the Oilers with 10.8 and the Bills with 10.7.

    On January 3 at Rich Stadium, the Bills advanced to the divisional round with a 29-10 win over the Dolphs. Danny Marino threw for 368 yards but was sacked four times, and the visitors only managed eleven rushing attempts for thirty-three yards. Meanwhile, Thurman Thomas carried twenty times for ninety-six yards and caught five passes for seventy yards and a touchdown.

    That set up a rematch of last year's AFC title game on January 10 at the Astrodome, and the home crowd roared as their Oilers raced out to a 35-3 lead. To say they were shocked by what happened after that is the understatement to end all others in NFL history, as the Bills scored thirty-eight of the next forty-one points to claim a 41-38 overtime victory in the greatest comeback ever in an NFL game. To make matters worse, it wasn't Jim Kelly who led the comeback, but rather backup quarterback Frank Reich, who started in Kelly's place and completed twenty-one of his thirty-four passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns. three of them to Andre Reed, who ended up with eight catches for 136 yards.

    In the other Wild Card Game, the Steelers will host the Chiefs on January 2 at Three Rivers Stadium. Kickoff has been set for 12:30 PM Eastern on ABC, with Brent Musburger and Dick Vermeil calling the action and Lynn Swann serving as the sideline reporter.

    Next: The Chiefs meet the Steelers.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  19. Garrett Garlits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Now it's time for the first 1992 AFC Wild Card Game from Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. Game time temperature is 31 degrees, with cloudy skies and an east-northeast wind at 3 MPH.

    The Chiefs struck first. As we pick up the call from Brent Musburger, it's midway through the opening period, and Dale Carter's punt return has set up the Chiefs at their own forty-eight. Dave Krieg is the Kansas City quarterback:

    "First and ten for the Chiefs from their own forty-eight, clock just past five and a half minutes remaining in the first quarter, we're scoreless at Three Rivers. Krieg with (Barry) Word behind him in the backfield, but he'll put it up on first down. Fires it deep, has a man...….CAUGHT BY HARGAIN! He's at the fifteen, the ten, the five, and he's got a touchdown! I wanna tell ya, folks, he beat Rod Woodson, the All-Pro corner, by at least five yards downfield. And Three Rivers Stadium is stunned."

    Dick Vermeil: "Hargain took the place of J.J. Birden on this play for some reason, Brent, and maybe that's part of the reason why Woodson was beaten so easily. That just doesn't happen to someone like him otherwise, especially when Tony Hargain has caught just seventeen passes this year."

    Eddie Murray added the extra point, and the Chiefs led 7-0 with 5:13 to play in the opening quarter.

    The Steelers answered with a touchdown of their own toward the end of the quarter. The Chiefs had just picked off quarterback Neil O'Donnell, only for Krieg to turn the ball right back over with an interception of his own by linebacker Jerrol Williams. Given a second chance at the Kansas City thirty-six, O'Donnell went to work, connecting with running back Merril Hoge out of the backfield for a ten-yard gain. Fellow running back Barry Foster picked up ten more yards off left tackle later in the drive, and O'Donnell delivered the payoff when he connected with wide receiver Jeff Graham for the touchdown from eight yards out. Gary Anderson's extra point tied the game at seven after one quarter of play.

    The Chiefs took advantage of another O'Donnell interception to retake the lead in the second quarter. His pass over the middle intended for tight end Eric Green was intercepted by future Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, whose return gave the Chiefs great field possession at the Pittsburgh forty-two. Running back Christian Okoye gained fifteen yards up the middle on the first play, and from the twenty-seven another back got his turn. Here's Brent:

    "I formation again, with Word as the lone setback. He'll get the call, and there's another huge hole. Fifteen, ten, he won't be touched! Another touchdown for the Chiefs, who are blowing the Steelers right off the ball so far, Coach."

    Vermeil: "The Steelers have to put their hardhats on, Brent, maybe draw some inspiration from Joe Greene and L.C. Greenwood along that defensive front, because right now the Chiefs are doing just what they want to do. Maybe the playoff stage is just a bit too big for them so far, and Coach (Bill) Cowher's gotta fire 'em up and get them back in this game."

    Murray added the extra point, and the Chiefs led 14-7 with 7:18 left in the first half.

    The Chiefs added a field goal on their next possession. The big plays were a fourteen-yard gain on yet another draw play by running back Todd McNair and a seventeen-yard pass from Krieg to Birden. The drive stalled at the Pittsburgh twenty-six, but Murray converted a forty-three yard field goal attempt to extend the KC lead to 17-7 with 2:50 left until the half.

    The Steelers cut into their deficit with a field goal just before halftime. O'Donnell got his club into field goal range with the help of a seventeen-yard hookup with tight end Adrian Cooper and a thirteen-yard catch-and-run by Foster. On the final play of the half, Anderson converted from thirty-six yards out to cut the Chiefs' halftime lead to 17-10.

    The Chiefs put three more points on the board late in the third quarter. Krieg found Borden over the middle for twenty-two yards and a first down, and Word's eleven-yard burst up the middle put the Chiefs in Murray's field goal range. His attempt came from forty-six yards out, and it started out wide left, then went back through the uprights to widen the Kansas City lead to 20-10 after three quarters.

    The Steelers engineered a fourth-quarter comeback thanks mostly to Woodson's skills as a punt returner. His first big return set up the Steelers at the Kansas City forty-four. The key play of the ensuing drive was Foster's fourteen-yard gain on a sweep to the left that gave the Black and Gold a first and goal at the ten. On the next play, O'Donnell dumped the ball off to Foster, who broke a tackle at the five and charged into the end zone for the touchdown. Anderson made the extra point, and with 3:58 to play in regulation our score read Kansas City 20, Pittsburgh 17.

    After the Steelers' defense forced a three-and-out, another great punt return by Woodson set the Steelers up at their own forty-eight just before the two-minute warning. Foster picked up ten yards on a draw, then got out of bounds at the Chiefs' twenty-six with three seconds left. That brought on Anderson, who was on target from forty-three yards out as time expired. We were headed for overtime tied at twenty.

    The Chiefs got the ball first in the extra period, but had to punt from just inside Pittsburgh territory. The Steelers were pinned back at their own eleven after the punt, butthat one 'Donnell got them out of trouble with a fourteen-yard pass to wide receiver Dwight Stone. Later in the drive, Foster blasted his way through a hole in the tiring Chiefs' defense for forty-six yards right up the middle. He was finally brought down at the Kansas City twenty-one, and Cowher wasted no time in calling on Anderson, who hit the game-winning field goal from thirty-eight yards out. Our final in overtime: Steelers 23, Chiefs 20.

    Foster was the runaway choice for ABC's Player of the Game award; he gained 176 yards on thirty carries, plus caught three passes for thirty yards and a touchdown. O'Donnell was adequate, completing nineteen of his thirty-eight passes for 202 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Stone was his leading receiver with four catches for fifty-two yards, and Green was held without a catch all day. The Chiefs sacked O'Donnell four times, with future Hall of Famer Neil Smith notching a pair. Krieg finished his day twelve of twenty-one for 142 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Hargain's fifty-two touchdown catch made him the Chiefs' leading receiver, but that one play was his only action of the day. Word led the ground game with sixty-six yards on fourteen carries and a touchdown.

    The Steelers will now face the top-seeded San Diego Chargers in the second AFC Divisional Playoff next Sunday at Jack Murphy Stadium. The winner will take on the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game on January 16; if the Chargers win, they'lll host the Bills, but if the Steelers win, they'll go to Buffalo. Kickoff from San Diego next Sunday is 4PM Eastern on NBC, with Dick Enberg and Bob Trumpy set to call the action.

    Next: The Steelers face the Chargers.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  20. AltSptHst Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    I don't think the Bills come back if it's on the road.
     
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