Originally posted by Gibbs Baby!!!
If both the Colts and the Seahawks have every reason to not duke it out in week 16, will they bench the starters after halftime? This would keep them
fresh enough, but not exhaust them. If so, who has the deeper team?
Oops. I stand corrected. You are right about when that historic game happened. If I weren't so stubborn, I would look this up on the Net, but now
that I think about it, I believe the 1980 Chargers "juggernaut" played Buffalo in the first round, didn't play nearly as well as they should have, and
damn near lost at home to a spirited Bills' defense and QB Joe Ferguson. Then the next week, in the AFC Title Game, they got snuffed by that Raiders
team which jumped way out ahead of them (something like 24-0). held on for dear life, and won the game something like 31-24 when Plunkett killed the
clock with a 7- or 8-minute drive in the second half of the fourth quarter.
Did I get it right this time?
I will NEVER understand how those Chargers teams underachieved so terribly in the playoffs. In 1979, they murdered the Steelers something like 35-7
in the regular season and were rewarded with the #1 seed throughout the playoffs in the AFC. EVERYONE was waiting for the rematch, again in San
Diego. That went out the door in their first playoff game, when a Houston team which was without its starting QB and without the then-best player in
the NFL, great RB Earl Campbell, beat SD because of some unholy number of interceptions Fouts threw. I don't think I've ever been so surprised by the
outcome of a playoff game.
I've mentioned above what the 1980 Chargers did, and this time I even got it right.
Then in 1981, the Chargers' offense was arguably at its greatest, but its defense was a shadow of its former self and frankly stunk. I believe DE
Fred Dean was gone, and Kelcher looked like he'd gained, oh, about 500 pounds. THAT was the year of the incredible 41-38 double OT game with Miamia,
in which the Dolphins came back from what I believe was a 24-0 deficit on their homefield, aided by the great relief play of QB Don Strock (who should
have been the starter) and a brilliant hook and lateral play to end the first half and close it, I think, to 24-14 (maybe 24-17).
By the mid-fourth quarter, the Dolphins were ahead 38-31 and were fixing to score again, effectively putting the game away. But they failed to do
so--I believe because of a running back's fumble--and then Fouts rallied the Chargers on a do-or-die TD drive. The first overtime featured two blown
chipshot FG's, the San Diego one being a real shocker because their kicker, Rolf Benirschke (sp.?), was about as good as they got at that point in NFL
history. But he redeemed himself in the second quarter and they won 41-38.
As I said before--even though I got the year wrong :-(--that game is widely viewed, still, as perhaps the greatest NFL playoff game of all time. And
Chargers TE Kellen Winslow is still believed by many to have played the greatest playoff game of any individual ever, that day. If you have never
seen the game, do whatever you can to get a videotape of it. It's pro football's equivalent of the Flutie/Miami game in 1984.