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Thread: AFL: Full Color Football

  1. #101
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1986




    1986 AFL MVP Award Winner
    Lawrence Taylor(LB, LA Raiders), 19 sacks, led Raider defense that allowed fewest points in AFL and guided team to AFL best 13-3 record



    AFL Offensive Player Of The Year
    Jerry Rice(WR, Denver Broncos), 99 receptions, 1,698 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns


    AFL Defensive Player Of The Year
    Lawrence Taylor(LB, LA Raiders), 19 sacks, most in AFL


    AFL Rookie Of The Year
    Bo Jackson(RB, NY Jets), Averaged 5.1 yards per carry with 11 touchdowns in only 9 games played


    AFL Coach Of The Year
    Bill Walsh(New England Patriots), Led Patriots to first place finish for 5th time in 8 years with 12-4 record


    AFL Top Rated Passer
    Dan Marino(QB, Miami Dolphins), 4,013 passing yards, 39 passing touchdowns


    AFL Rushing Leader
    Curt Warner(RB, Buffalo Bills), 1,572 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns


    AFL Receiving Leader
    Jerry Rice(Denver Broncos), 99 receptions, 1,698 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns


    AFL Sack Leader
    Lawrence Taylor(LB, LA Raiders), 19 SK



    AFL Interception Leader
    Ronnie Lott(CB/S, Kansas City Chiefs), 9 INT




    1986 AFL Standings


    AFL Northeast Football Conference

    New England Patriots 12-4
    Cleveland Browns 11-5
    Indianapolis Colts 10-6
    Cincinnati Bengals 6-10
    New York Jets 5-11
    Buffalo Bills 4-12
    Pittsburgh Steelers 4-12



    AFL Southwest Football Conference

    Los Angeles Raiders 13-3
    Denver Broncos 12-4
    Seattle Seahawks 10-6
    Miami Dolphins 9-7
    San Diego Chargers 8-8
    Kansas City Chiefs 7-9
    Houston Oilers 0-16





    1986 AFL Playoffs




    +++Wild Card Playoffs+++




    AFL Northeast Conference Wildcard Playoff
    vs
    Indianapolis Colts 19 @ Cleveland Browns 16(2OT)




    AFL Southwest Conference Wildcard Playoff
    vs
    Seattle Seahawks 17 @ Denver Broncos 33





    +++Conference Championships+++





    AFL Northeast Conference Championship
    vs
    Indianapolis Colts 14 @ New England Patriots 24




    AFL Southwest Conference Championship
    vs
    Denver Broncos 20 @ Los Angeles Raiders 21









    January 27th, 1987, The Rose Bowl, Pasadena California


    vs
    New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Raiders


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT F
    Patriots 0 0 7 10 3 20
    Raiders 0 7 0 10 0 17

    Super Bowl XXI MVP:

    Roger Craig(107 yards rushing, 56 yards receiving, 1 touchdown)


    It was just 3 years ago in Tampa at Super Bowl XVIII where the LA Raiders defeated Bill Walsh's New England Patriots. Now three years later Bill Walsh has orchestrated an upset victory over what was thought to be an unbeatable Raider defense in one of the most physical hard hitting Super Bowl games ever played in the 21 year history of the game. The defensive stale mate in the first half seen both quarterbacks Doug Williams and Frank Reich take beatings that neither seemed to recover from. Raiders running back Marcus Allen was held to just 11 yards rushing in the first half while Patriots power runner Roger Craig was able to move New England down into the red zone twice, only to be turned away by interceptions by Mike Haynes. Haynes second interception set up Doug Williams 77 yard strike to Willie Gault to put LA on the board 7-0 going into the half.

    The third quarter was more of the same as both defenses made adjustments and never allowed a single first down in the entire period. New England was able to keep their hopes alive with a 66 yard punt return for a touchdown by rookie John Taylor, tying the score at 7-7 going into the 4th quarter. The Raiders moved downfield with short screen passes to Marcus Allen and Todd Christenson on back to back scoring drives in each of their ensuing possessions in the final quarter. A 7 yard touchdown run by Marcus Allen and a 44 yard field goal put LA on top 17-7 with 9 minutes left in the game. A good return on the ensuing kickoff set New England up near mid field on their next possession but quarterback Frank Reich was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Veteran backup and former Super Bowl MVP Jim Plunkett took over the Patriots offense and completed a critical 3rd & 11 pass to keep New England's drive alive. The former Super Bowl MVP was able to move New England into range for a field goal to cut the Raiders lead to 17-10 with 5 minutes left.

    Disaster struck LA on the ensuing kickoff when New England was able to recover a fumble in Raider territory. Roger Craig was able to break through the Raider defense for a 13 yard touchdown to tie the game at 17-17 with less than 2 minutes to play. The Raiders won the coin toss and took first possession in overtime but Patriot linebacker Andre Tippett caught a tipped pass out of the air for the interception that set up New England's game winning field goal, giving Bill Walsh his second AFL Super Bowl Championship by a final score of 20-17.

    The victory by the Patriots was considered a sizable upset considering the Rose Bowl was sold out by a mostly partisan Raider crowd, essentially making it a road game for New England(Pasadena is just a 16 minute drive north of Los Angeles). The victory was revenge for Walsh and Jim Plunkett after they suffered a loss to this Raider team in Super Bowl XVIII three years ago, the season after Plunkett won Super Bowl MVP honors by leading the Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XVII and then being traded to New England the following offseason. New England was criticized for the trade after Plunkett's poor performance in the Patriots loss to LA in Super Bowl XVIII. Plunkett sat most of the 1986 season on the bench but went 6 of 10 for 82 yards and saved the game for New England. Lawrence Taylor had one of the all time best performances by any player on a losing team in the Super Bowl with 11 tackles 2 forced fumbles and 4 sacks.








    The 1986 season was one of the wildest in AFL history, a journey filled with twists and turns, mid season roster transactions and critical injuries that reshaped the league. Miami Dolphins 2 time MVP runner Eric Dickerson held out for a new contract throughout training camp before sitting out the first 3 games of the season. Miami shocked the sports world when they traded Dickerson to the Indianapolis Colts in week 4 in exchange for rookie first round pick Ronnie Harmon and the Colts 1st round draft pick in 1987. America's Team the Kansas City Chiefs were rocked to it's core when superstar quarterback Joe Montana was lost for the year from a back injury suffered in week 2 in a controversial late hit by Greg Townsend against the LA Raiders. Not only was Montana sidelined for the remaining 14 weeks of the 1986 season but his 1987 season and perhaps his entire career could be in jeopardy depending on how his scheduled back surgery goes this offseason.

    Without Montana and several key injuries to the offensive line the Kansas City Chiefs struggled to a 7-9 finish and the LA Raiders were able to reclaim their spot as kingpins of the Southwest Conference. The Raiders were back in black in 1986 as Lawrence Taylor returned to prime form to capture his 2nd AFL MVP award by leading a rejuvenated defense that dominated the entire AFL. Raiders quarterback Jim Mcmahon created quite the controversy after clashing with owner Al Davis and demanding a trade following being benched for Doug Williams at the start of the season. The Raiders were unable to find a trade partner and opted to deactivate Mcmahon, kickstarting a series of lawsuits that could see major changes made to the AFL's free agent system, including a proposed "Unrestricted Free Agency" system that could see unsigned players allowed to become free agents after a minimum term in the league of up to 5 years. With Doug Williams named the starter and the defense dominant as ever the Raiders put the Jim Mcmahon drama behind them and ran roughshod over the AFL in 1986, finishing in first place in the Southwest with a league best 13-3 record. The Raiders battered quarterbacks and allowed a league low in rushing yards and total points allowed. Doug Williams threw for 3,622 yards with 22 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions in his first full season as a starter for the Raiders

    Doug Williams guided the Raiders back to the Super Bowl with a heroic performance in the Southwestern Conference Championship Game against John Elway and the Denver Broncos. After throwing 3 interceptions earlier in the game Williams led the Raiders on a 88 yard drive in the final 2 minutes with the Raiders trailing 20-13, hitting Marcus Allen for a 22 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 20-19 with :02 left on the clock. The Raiders gambled by going for the 2 point conversion and Williams faked a handoff to Allen before hitting a wide open Todd Christenson in the back corner of the end zone to give the Raiders the 21-20 win in one of the wildest and most dramatic finishes in AFL playoff history.

    The pressure was all on Doug Williams heading into Super Bowl XXI as the media focused on him being the first African American quarterback to ever make it to a Super Bowl. The pressure was also on the Raiders as they played in front of a sold out crowd at the Rose Bowl of over 100,000 mostly Raider fans turning Super Bowl XXI into a home game for Los Angeles. LA would take a 17-7 lead into the 4th quarter after Doug Williams rose to the occasion and fought through a beating he took at the hands of the New England defense. Special teams mistakes and turnovers bit the Raiders and they collapsed in the 4th quarter and gave up their lead, eventually losing in overtime by a field goal after Doug Williams pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted in field goal range.


    The LA Raiders dominated the AFL in the regular season in 1986 but the season would go down as one of the finest ever for one of the true masters of the game, the New England Patriots head coach Bill Walsh. Walsh earned AFL Coach Of The Year honors after fielding one of his best teams in 1986, dominating the Northeast Conference for his 5th first place finish since taking over the Patriots in 1979. The Patriots rode a tough defense, the strong performance of second year quarterback Frank Reich(3,791 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions) and dominant MVP candidate Roger Craig to a 12-4 finish, easily defeating the Indianapolis Colts in a foot of snow in the Northeast Conference Championship Game before earning their 2nd AFL Super Bowl Championship with their upset over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXI.


    For the bridesmaids of the 1986 season the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos it was two young teams on the rise that finished just on the cusp of greatness, but ultimately ending in bitter defeat in the AFL Conference Championship Games. The Broncos continued to improve in 1986 with second year sensation Jerry Rice completely dominating the AFL to lead in receiving yards and receptions. Running back George Rogers rushed for over 1,300 yards and led the league in touchdowns while John Elway took his place as one of the elite quarterbacks in the AFL and one of the leading MVP candidates throughout most of the year. The Broncos defense improved in 1986 and made a big statement with their dominant 33-17 victory over the Seahawks in the playoffs. Denver lost in the final seconds of the Southwest Conference Championship Game but Denver had the Raiders on the ropes and put up a much tougher fight than last year's blowout loss in LA in the Wild Card round.

    For the Colts it was the beginning of a new era as former USFL Championship winning coach Jim Mora took over for the fired Buddy Ryan. Mora had a lot of hype due to his success in the USFL and he lived up to it by improving Indianapolis' offense and keeping together one of the league's best defenses. The Colts made the midseason trade for Erick Dickerson and made a push to make the playoffs with a 6 game win streak to close out the season. Veteran quarterback Tommy Kramer surprised the league with over 4,000 yards passing and 25 touchdowns while Eric Dickerson ran for 1,489 rushing yards in only 12 games. The Colts went on the road to the Dog Pound in Cleveland to pull off a massive upset victory in the Wildcard playoffs before having their season brought to an end at the hands of the Patriots in a blizzard in New England in the Conference Championship Game.

    The Indianapolis Colts success in 1986 heightened what was already one of the fiercest rivalries in the AFL with the Cleveland Browns, a rivalry that goes back to the glory days of the now defunct NFL where the two teams went to war in NFL Championship Games in 1964 and 1968. The clash between the Colts and Browns in the Wildcard Playoff Game was one that would have made NFL fans proud as it was everything that NFL style football was all about, tough smash mouth low scoring defensive battles. The Browns were heavy favorites at home but would fall to a field goal in double overtime in a brutal competition between the two best defensive units in the AFL. The Colts won the game but the game took it's toll physically on them and they were no match for the Patriots the next week in the Conference Championship. Cleveland put together one of the hardest hitting defenses in recent history under Buddy Ryan's helm as defensive coordinator in 1986 and he was looking for revenge in the Wildcard playoff game after being fired by the Colts the previous offseason. Ryan's defense served him proud but turnovers by the Browns offense would ultimately cost them the game.


    Another team that was knocking on the door in 1986 was the rejuvenated Seattle Seahawks, who's trade for Warren Moon in the offseason paid off after Moon led Seattle to a 10-6 finish. Moon threw for 3,822 yards and 27 touchdown passes to help Seattle steal the Wildcard spot from Miami, putting the Seahawks into the playoffs for only the 2nd time in their 10 year history. Seattle was no match for the Broncos in the Wildcard Playoff game but it was clear that the team has a bright future with Warren Moon as their franchise quarterback.

    For the Miami Dolphins the season was dominated by the news of the Eric Dickerson hold out, which stretched on through training camp and into the first 3 weeks of the season. Without Dickerson the Dolphins fell to a 1-2 start before finally making the trade with the Colts, sending the 2 time MVP running back to Indy for rookie Ronnie Harmon and a 1st round pick. Miami's run game and defense struggled down the stretch but Dan Marino almost single handily willed Miami into the playoffs with one of the best passing seasons in AFL history. Marino again proved to be nearly unstoppable in 1986 but the decline of the Dolphins defense and the loss of Eric Dickerson ultimately cost them a trip to the playoffs after finishing 4th in the division at 9-7.




    For an example of the level of competition in the AFL one only has to look to the Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers, two teams loaded with talent that both failed to post winning records in 1986. For San Diego they moved on to their 3rd head coach in as many years with the hiring of Joe Gibbs, who was able to get strong performances out of a mostly past their prime veteran roster, guiding the Chargers to an 8-8 finish and becoming a leading candidate for Coach Of The Year. In Cincinnati quarterback Boomer Esiason took his place as one of the top young quarterbacks in the AFL but the team stumbled down the stretch and finished with a disappointing 6-10 record, placing head coach Sam Wyche's job in jeopardy going into next season.

    And then just like every year in the AFL there were the also-rans, the cellar dwellars, teams like the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills who finished with 5-11 and 4-12 records respectively. The Jets made waves with the performances of rookie running back Bo Jackson, who missed training camp and the first few months of the season to play for the MLB's New York Yankees. When Jackson joined the Jets in October after baseball season he made headlines with dominant performances, including a 220 yard rushing performance against the Bengals in week 14. Jackson and second year quarterback Randall Cunningham took over for the Jets final game and put up 40 points on the Houston Oilers in one of the most entertaining offensive performances of the season. Meanwhile in Buffalo the first season for USFL sensation Steve Young was a rough one as he struggled to adjust to the AFL, going 2-9 as a starter and throwing 11 interceptions. Still Buffalo had the best running back in the AFL as Curt Warner returned to form and carried the Bills on his back in 1986.

    In Pittsburgh the Steelers suffered through an injury plagued season on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Neil Lomax missed 8 games while running back Gerald Riggs missed 10 games due to a torn ACL. Pittsburgh fell to a 4-12 finish in 1986, their worst season since 1969 in the NFL. In 1986 however there were bad teams and then there were the Houston Oilers, the very first team in AFL history to go the entire season without a victory, finishing with a historically bad 0-16 record under Mike Ditka's first season as an AFL head coach. The Oilers played 5 different quarterbacks in all in 1986 after losing rookie Jim Everett to a shoulder injury in week 5. The Oilers effort to rebuild may have backfired as the team finds itself as one of the weakest rosters in the all star stacked Southwest Conference. With an arsenal of draft picks over the next 2 years the pressure is on Houston's front office and head coach Mike Ditka to improve upon what was the worst season in AFL history.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 10-12-2019 at 08:43 AM.

  2. #102
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Pro Football Offseason News
    February, March, April 1987





    Tampa Bay expansion team reveals logo, colors, name, set for 1988 debut in the AFL


    Tampa Bay pro football fans came so close to getting an NFL franchise just 11 years ago but the financial decline of the now defunct National Football League and a scandal involving proposed owner Hugh Culverhouse left the Tampa Stadium sitting without a pro team. The Glazer family put together a winning bid to bring AFL football to Tampa and the team was announced to join the league as an expansion team in 1988. Now the teams colors, logo, and name has been revealed at a special press ceremony. The new expansion team will be named the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with creamsicle orange and white as the team's official colors. The team will hire a head coach and begin to put a roster together next year along with having the official #1 pick in the 1988 draft.


    USFL's Minnesota Bulls and San Antonio Gamblers set to take to the newly realigned AFL in 1987


    The AFL welcomes it's two newest teams in 1987 when 2 of the finest USFL teams make the transition to the big stage. The Minnesota Bulls and San Antonio Gamblers will join the AFL as part of the deal made when the AFL bought out the USFL. The two teams were the most successful at the box office for the USFL and both team owners were able to buy their way in(with San Antonio breaking ground on a new domed stadium). San Antonio comes into the AFL with a storm of hype as they completed a perfect undefeated 16-0 USFL World Championship winning season in their final year in the USFL in 1986. With superstars in Reggie White and Jim Kelly and the advanced high powered "Run And Shoot" offense of head coach Jack Pardee the Gamblers could be contenders in the AFL from the very start. The Bulls have a loyal following in Minnesota and were one of the strongest teams on the field in the USFL in 86, led by head coach Jim Hanifan and a hard hitting defense the Bulls are seemingly built to compete in the AFL. Both teams will take the first 2 picks in the upcoming AFL draft with Minnesota taking the 1st overall pick on a coin flip. With the 2 new teams the AFL will increase to 16 teams overall and will maintain it's dual conference structure(though the conferences will be renamed simply "East" and "West"). Both Minnesota and San Antonio will be placed in the Western Conference while Miami will be moved to the Eastern Conference.

    New AFL alignment:

    Western Conference

    Los Angeles Raiders
    Kansas City Chiefs
    San Diego Chargers
    Seattle Seahawks
    Denver Broncos
    Houston Oilers
    San Antonio Gamblers
    Minnesota Bulls

    Eastern Conference

    Buffalo Bills
    Miami Dolphins
    New England Patriots
    New York Jets
    Indianapolis Colts
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    Cincinnati Bengals
    Cleveland Browns


    Joe Montana's status for 1987 uncertain following back surgery


    Kansas City Chiefs superstar Super Bowl MVP winning quarterback Joe Montana missed most of 1986 with a back injury suffered by a controversial late hit against the LA Raiders. Now after undergoing surgery to repair his vertebrae Montana may miss all of Chiefs training camp and possibly all of the 1987 season depending on how his recovery goes.


    Bo Jackson announces retirement from baseball, fully commits to NY Jets for 1987 season


    Rookie sensation Bo Jackson made headlines in 1986 by playing for the New York Yankees during baseball season and then joining the New York Jets for the AFL season after baseball season was over. Jackson ran for 11 touchdowns in just 9 games and had two games with over 200 yards rushing. Bo has become a media darling in the media capitol of the world and is primed to become one of the biggest stars in AFL history after fully committing himself to the sport of football.


    USFL Free Agents hit the open market in AFL, bidding war underway for Walker and Simms


    As per the deal of the AFL's purchase of the USFL last off season all of the stars of the USFL are eligible to sign with AFL teams as free agents starting this year. Once the free agent period begins it is expected that AFL teams will be trying to outbid each other for Herschel Walker and Phil Simms as well as elite offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman and Jesse Sapolu. The new look trimmed down USFL will take the field for it's 5th season with just 8 teams serving as a developmental league for young talent looking to break into the AFL. The future of the USFL beyond this upcoming season is uncertain however as a new TV deal has yet to be made and they are on the final year of their existing contract with ABC/ESPN. With all of the top stars signing with the AFL it will be a tough sell for any network to sign the USFL in it's current state.


    Super Bowl MVP's Jim Plunkett and Louis Wright lead class of retirements

    Jim Plunkett came in off the bench and completed key passes to bring the New England Patriots back from a 17-7 fourth quarter deficit in his final game at Super Bowl XXI. Just days later Plunkett announced his retirement after an injury plagued 1985, Plunkett lost his starting job to Frank Reich in 1986 but was able to end his career on a high note with his 2nd Super Bowl ring. Another former Super Bowl MVP retired this offseason when Broncos defensive back Louis Wright called it a career. Other notable retirements include Bengals quarterback and all time AFL leading passer Ken Anderson. The Broncos also lost another key component to their 1977 Orange Crush defense that brought them the Super Bowl XII title with the retirement of Tom Jackson. Jets quarterback Steve Bartkowski announced his retirement. Raider legends Lester Hayes and Ray Guy both announced their retirements as well as longtime Chargers receiver Charlie Joiner.


    AFL Hall Of Fame Class of 1987 Revealed


    "Mean" Joe Greene, dominant defensive lineman that anchored Pittsburgh Steelers "Steel Curtain" defense that won back to back NFL titles in 1974-1975 before moving to AFL to win back to back Super Bowl titles in 1978-1979.


    Gene Upshaw, one of the greatest offensive lineman in AFL history and one of the most critical elements to Raiders dynasty of the 1970's.

  3. #103
    Raiders go 8-8 in '19
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Looking forward(?) to 1987!

  4. #104
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Pro Football Offseason News
    February, March, April 1987





    LA Raiders sign USFL superstar Herschel Walker

    The LA Raiders have reportedly outbid multiple other AFL teams to sign the biggest superstar to come out of the USFL, running back Herschel Walker. Walker was a Heisman Trophy winner and a 2 time USFL MVP. Walker was fielding offers from Houston, Cleveland, and San Diego but was signed a massive deal with Al Davis' LA Raiders, making him the highest paid athlete in the entire AFL. Walker's 1985 USFL MVP season seen him run for over 2,000 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns in just 14 games and he ran for over 1,800 rushing yards in each of his 4 seasons in the USFL.


    USFL free agent frenzy, top stars sign with AFL

    The San Diego Chargers sign offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman and former Heisman Trophy winning running back Mike Rozier

    The Cleveland Browns sign offensive lineman Jesse Sopolu

    The Indianapolis Colts sign linebacker Sam Mills

    The Kansas City Chiefs sign quarterback Ken O'Brien(USFL's top rated passer in 1986)

    The Pittsburgh Steelers sign quarterback Phil Simms

    The Houston Oilers sign quarterback Doug Flutie


    Joe Montana on the road to recovery, could return as soon as week 3

    The Kansas City Chiefs all star Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Montana missed 14 games due to a back injury in 1986 but has successfully undergone surgery and has begun to work his way towards making a comeback for 1987. Montana will miss all of the Chiefs upcoming training camp but could be ready to take the field as early as week 3. Meanwhile Kansas City has signed an insurance policy in Ken O'Brien, the star gunslinger from the USFL that lit the league up in 1986.


    Jim Mcmahon wins antitrust lawsuit against Al Davis/AFL, clears way for "Unrestricted Free Agency" starting in 1988

    The ugly ongoing feud between Raiders quarterback Jim Mcmahon and owner Al Davis culminated in a landmark settlement that will have a heavy impact on the AFL going forward. Mcmahon was awarded his release from his contract and will be able to take offers as a free agent. As per the settlement made with Davis and the AFL the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was recently ratified included a new "Unrestricted Free Agency" system to be implemented starting in 1988. As part of the system any veteran AFL player who has at least 5 years experience will be free to negotiate as a free agent when his contract is up. After the lawsuit was settled Mcmahon has yet to sign with any AFL teams and has gone public saying that he believes Davis has used his influence on the league to have him black balled.


    AFL makes deal with Players Union for new Collective Bargaining Agreement

    The AFL avoided a work stoppage in 1987 by striking a new deal with the players union. Included in the deal was new benefits packages as well as the implementation of Unrestricted Free Agency in 1988 and the option to implement a new salary cap system starting in 1990.


    USFL signs 3 year deal with USA Network

    The USFL's future is one of survival after the AFL was able to keep the league afloat with a new television deal with the USA Network cable channel. The league will finish it's 5th and final year of it's initial deal with ESPN/ABC this Spring with just 8 teams and devoid of most of the bigger name stars who have signed with the AFL over the past 2 off seasons. The league will continue as a developmental league for the AFL not just for young undrafted players but also for up and coming head coaches, such as Bill Parcells who led the Oklahoma Outlaws to win the 1985 USFL Championship before taking over the Philadelphia Stars and leading them to the title game in 1986(where they were defeated by the San Antonio Gamblers). Parcells is among a short list of candidates that could take over the new AFL expansion team in Tampa Bay in 1988.

  5. #105
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football



    1987 AFL Draft


    The 1987 AFL draft unfolded live on ESPN with the two newest teams taking the first picks, the Minnesota Bulls and San Antonio Gamblers. The Gamblers and Bulls led off the 87 draft with critical first round picks that could shape their future as they make the transition from the USFL to the AFL in 1987. All eyes were on this year's draft to see where the big stars coming out of college football will go.


    First Round Picks:






    With the 1st overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft, the Minnesota Bulls select...


    Spoiler:




    Vinnie Testaverde, Quarterback(Miami)








    With the 2nd overall pick in the 1987 AFL Draft, the San Antonio Gamblers select...


    Spoiler:




    Cornelius Bennett, Linebacker(Alabama)








    With the 4th overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft the Pittsburgh Steelers select...


    Spoiler:




    Rod Woodson, Defensive Back(Purdue)








    With the 5th overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft the Buffalo Bills select...


    Spoiler:




    Shane Conlan, Linebacker(Penn State)








    With the 6th overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft the New York Jets select...


    Spoiler:




    Brian Bosworth, Linebacker(Oklahoma)








    With the 8th overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft the Kansas City Chiefs select...


    Spoiler:




    Jerome Brown, Defensive Tackle(Miami)








    With the 9th overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft the San Diego Chargers select...


    Spoiler:




    Bruce Armstrong, Offensive Tackle(Louisville)








    With the 10th overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft the Miami Dolphins select...


    Spoiler:




    Harris Barton, Offensive Tackle(North Carolina)








    With the 11th overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft the Miami Dolphins select...


    Spoiler:




    Nate Odomes, Defensive Back(Wisconsin)








    With the 14th overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft the Denver Broncos select...


    Spoiler:




    Tim Mcdonald, Safety(USC)








    With the 15th overall pick in the 1987 AFL draft the Los Angeles Raiders select...


    Spoiler:




    Haywood Jeffires, Wide Receiver(NC State)




    Notable Later Round Picks:

    Minnesota Bulls- Christian Okoye, Fullback(Azusa Pacific)
    San Antonio Gamblers- Mark Carrier, Wide Receiver(Nicholls State)
    Kansas City Chiefs- Jerry Ball, Defensive Tackle(Southern Methodist)
    San Diego Chargers- Henry Thomas, Defensive Tackle(Louisiana State)
    LA Raiders- Chris Carter, Wide Receiver(Ohio State)
    Pittsburgh Steelers- Hardy Nickerson, Linebacker(California)
    Pittsburgh Steelers- Greg Lloyd, Linebacker(Fort Valley State)
    Cleveland Browns- Kevin Gogan, Guard(Washington)

  6. #106
    Curtain Jerker

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    I like this alternate AFL so far, but here's a more plausible (IMO) way to get it: have the Raiders win instead of the Jets in the 1968 AFL title game and then win Super Bowl III; I could easily see Al Davis doing something similar to what Joe Namath does at the start of this diary...

    Good story, though...

  7. #107
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Quote Originally Posted by LordByron View Post
    I like this alternate AFL so far, but here's a more plausible (IMO) way to get it: have the Raiders win instead of the Jets in the 1968 AFL title game and then win Super Bowl III; I could easily see Al Davis doing something similar to what Joe Namath does at the start of this diary...

    Good story, though...
    Oh thats a brilliant idea.

    Other ideas I kinda regret not doing was shaking up the 83 draft, experiment with Elway keeping the Colts in Baltimore and Marino going to his hometown Pittsburgh. I was going to do that but changed my mind at the last minute. Also would have been interesting to play around with the USFL never existing and how that would have shaped the 80s. Oh well whats done is done and I'm going to keep rolling. Some interesting what ifs I'm hitting on now going forward:

    What if football was Bo Jackson's full time career instead of his hobby?

    What if unrestricted free agency and the salary cap existed 5 years earlier?

    What if there was no player strike in 1987?
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 10-19-2019 at 01:11 PM.

  8. #108
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Bulls taking Vinny Testaverde is a pretty good move, tbh. They need a serviceable QB to set up their dynasty and he's as good as it gets in the "serviceable" department. Hopefully the Bulls build a good team around him. Will there be a supplemental draft for the Bulls and Gamblers? I might have missed it in earlier posts haha.

  9. #109
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim View Post
    Bulls taking Vinny Testaverde is a pretty good move, tbh. They need a serviceable QB to set up their dynasty and he's as good as it gets in the "serviceable" department. Hopefully the Bulls build a good team around him. Will there be a supplemental draft for the Bulls and Gamblers? I might have missed it in earlier posts haha.
    Vinny to the Bulls with that #1 pick seemed like a no brainer. I decided not to do a supplemental draft since these weren't really expansion teams they had 4 USFL seasons to put a roster together. Tampa expansion team in 88 will get an expansion draft.

  10. #110
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    USFL 1987 Season Summary




    The USFL played it's 5th season in the spring of 1987 and it was a totally new look league after scaling down to just 8 teams following the departure of San Antonio and Minnesota to the AFL big leagues. This was the first season where the USFL operated as more of a developmental league for the AFL following the AFL buying out the USFL last Summer. As part of the deal and as a measure of survival almost all of the USFL's top stars made the move to the AFL over the past 2 offseasons, being made eligible as unrestricted free agents for AFL teams since the USFL team owners could no longer afford the big money contracts they were signed to.

    After bleeding money over the past 4 years and running on it's last year of the television contract with ABC/ESPN many thought 1987 would be the final year for the USFL. A beacon of hope shined through the darkness when the AFL was able to sign a 3 year deal with the USA Network cable channel to air USFL games in the spring of 1988, 1989, and 1990. The goal of the new look USFL would be to work towards finally turning a profit with the new TV deal signed and restructured ownership and workforce to move the league out of the red and into the black. What unfolded on the field in 1987 was a sign of a bright future for the USFL as it turned out to be one of the most exciting years of USFL action yet.


    The story of the USFL 1987 season was the emergence of Bill Parcells as the next big thing among up and coming head coaches in pro football. Parcells rallied the Philadelphia Stars no name roster to win the USFL World Championship, Parcells 2nd USFL World Title in the last 3 years. Parcells is the only USFL head coach to win 2 World Titles and he did it with 2 different teams, capturing the USFL World Championship in 1985 with the Oklahoma Outlaws. The season after leading Oklahoma to the title Parcells left to take over the Philadelphia Stars where he led them to the 1986 USFL World Championship Game where they lost 22-21 to the undefeated San Antonio Gamblers. Parcells took one of the youngest and most inexperienced rosters in the league to glory in 1987 with AFL cast off Jeff Hostetler at quarterback and the top rated defense in the USFL(coordinated by Bill Belichick). With the success of former USFL Championship winning coach Jim Mora in the AFL last year it is widely believed that Parcells will be the hottest commodity for AFL teams looking for a new head coach in 1988. Rumors are already swirling that Parcells could be the leading candidate to take the job for the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers expansion team in the AFL next year.



    Even though Philadelphia dominated the post season it was the Washington Sentinels that dominated the USFL regular season in 1987. Former NY Jets head coach Joe Walton took over the Sentinals in 1986 and coached the top rated passer Ken O'Brien to one of the best seasons of any quarterback in USFL history thus far. Even though Ken O'Brien left Washington to sign with the AFL's Chiefs Walton was able to take the Sentinels to their 2nd consecutive Eastern Division title in 1987 with rookie quarterback Jim Harbaugh picking up right where Ken O'Brien left off, throwing for 33 touchdowns and 3,900 passing yards to lead Washington to an AFL best 12-2 record. Harbaugh's success was largely in part to the two best receivers in the USFL in Anthony Carter and Gary Clark, both of whom combined for over 2,000 yards of receiving and 22 touchdowns. Through their performances in the USFL in the Spring of 1987 both Anthony Carter and Gary Clark have worked their way into the AFL as both will be fielding offers from AFL teams that are putting the final touches on their rosters at the start of training camp. Even though Washington dominated again in 87 they were defeated at home in the playoffs with a second back to back loss to Parcell's Philadelphia Stars in another upset.

    Elsewhere around the league in the USFL in 1987 it was the year of the quarterback as several young gunslingers that were left out of the AFL in this year's draft found a way to shine. Jim Harbaugh won rookie of the year honors but rookie passers like Steve Beuerlien and Chris Miller had stand out rookie seasons that could result in AFL contracts in the future. Chris Miller threw for 27 touchdowns for the Oakland Invaders and Beuerlien took over for the struggling Todd Blackledge and won 7 games for the San Francisco Sharks before throwing 4 touchdown passes in the Western Division Title Game to put San Francisco into the USFL World Championship Game. Other rookie passers like Oklahoma's Don Majkowski and Detroit's Rich Gannon showed flashes of potential and could be names to look out for in the USFL in the future.

    One of the most popular teams in the USFL in 1987 and throughout the first 5 years of the USFL has been without a doubt the Tampa Bay Bandits. "Bandit Ball" became a thing in Tampa and fans have supported the team through thick and thin. The Bandit fans' loyalty was rewarded by one of the teams' finest seasons in 1987. Head coach John Mackovic fielded one of the most talented teams in 87 with passer Jay Shroedor throwing for over 4,000 yards, running back Craig James rushing and receiving for over 1,000 yards, and rookie linebacker Jesse Tuggle winning Defensive Player Of The Year honors. Tampa finished strong with a 9-5 record but were left out of the post season due to tiebreakers with Philadelphia.


    +++1987 USFL Standings+++


    Eastern Division
    Washington Sentinels 12-2
    Philadelphia Stars 9-5
    Tampa Bay Bandits 9-5
    Detroit Panthers 3-11


    Western Division

    Chicago Stallions 8-6
    San Francisco Sharks 7-7
    Oakland Invaders 5-9
    Oklahoma Outlaws 4-10



    +++Playoffs+++




    Division Championships



    USFL Eastern Division Championship
    Philadelphia Stars 38 @ Washington Sentinels 23



    USFL Western Division Championship
    San Francisco Sharks 55 @ Chicago Stallions 29




    World Championship




    USFL World Championship Game
    Philadelphia Stars 27 vs San Francisco Sharks 12
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 10-26-2019 at 07:12 AM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football




    1987 AFL Pre-Season Scouting Report


    The American Football League rolls on into the 1987 season after ratifying a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union as well as the addition of 2 new teams, setting the stage for one of the more interesting and most highly anticipated seasons in recent memory. The new look 16 team league will unfold over the next 19 week long road to glory, the road to the Super Bowl! This year's road to the Super Bowl will end on January 31st at Jack Murphy Stadium in beautiful San Diego California with the mecca of sports, the grand daddy of them all, Super Bowl XXII...



    Player ratings are in parenthesis, players are rated on a 99 point scale similar to the Madden player rating system. The "(R)" next to a player's name stands for "Rookie", which means that the player will enter his first year in pro football this year.












    New England Patriots:
    Stadium: Sullivan Stadium
    Head Coach: Bill Walsh
    Notable Assistant Coaches: George Seifert(defensive coordinator), Bill Mcpherson(defensive line), Ray Rhodes(defensive backs)
    1986 Record: 12-4(Super Bowl XXI Champions)


    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Frank Reich(83)
    HB- #32 James Wilder(84)
    FB/HB- #33 Roger Craig(91)
    WR- #86 Stanley Morgan(88)
    WR- #82 John Taylor(77)
    TE- #89 Dwight Clark(84)
    LT- #77 Bubba Paris(80)
    G- #63 Mike Munchak(95)
    C- #51 Randy Cross(89)
    RT- #74 Steve Wallace(79)
    DE- #70 Leonard Marshall(89)
    DE- #94 Charles Haley(86)
    ILB- #57 Steve Nelson(84)
    ILB- #53 Harry Carson(85)
    OLB- #56 Andre Tippett(91)
    OLB- #58 Keena Turner(86)
    FS- #43 Terry Kinard(89)


    Patriots head coach Bill Walsh established himself as one of the true all time greats in AFL history with his 2nd Super Bowl Championship with New England's upset win over the Raiders at Super Bowl XXI this past January. The Patriots have been one of the most dominant teams since Walsh took over the team with 6 first place finishes in the last 9 seasons, 4 Conference Championship appearances, and 3 Super Bowl appearances including victories in Super Bowls XV and XXI. Under Walsh's leadership the Patriots have found success by playing as a team, without any real true single dominant superstar on the roster, the Patriots have dominated by playing together as a unit on both sides of the ball.




    Quarterback Frank Reich enters his 3rd seasons in Walsh's West Coast Offense and could have a breakout season depending on if/when age catches up to the aging veterans in James Wilder, Stanley Morgan, and Dwight Clark, all of whom are entering the twilight of their careers. Same could be said on the defensive side of the ball where age is beginning to catch up to the core of their unit. The Patriots will need to draw on their veteran experience going into the 1987 season as they will be entering this year with a target on their backs as defending AFL Champions.







    Los Angeles Raiders:
    Stadium: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
    Head Coach: Tom Flores
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Willie Brown(defensive backs), Art Shell(offensive line)
    1986 Record: 13-3


    Impact Players:
    QB- #17 Doug Williams(86)
    QB- #12 Jay Shroeder(84)
    HB- #34 Herschel Walker(92)
    HB/FB- #32 Marcus Allen(90)
    WR- #85 Willie Gault(86)
    WR- #84 Haywood Jeffires(75)(R)
    WR- #80 Cris Carter(75)(R)
    G- #79 Bill Fralic(90)
    C- #66 Bart Oates(86)
    DE- #75 Howie Long(88)
    DT- #71 Bill Pickel(86)
    DE- #93 Greg Townsend(91)
    OLB- #56 Lawrence Taylor(98)
    ILB- #55 Matt Millen(87)
    CB- #22 Mike Haynes(88)


    The Raiders put the Jim Mcmahon drama behind them last season and rode veteran journeyman Doug Williams and a historically great defensive effort all the way back to their 9th Super Bowl appearance. The Raiders in 1987 will be battling the hangover that comes with being upset in a defacto home game Super Bowl after being defeated in the Rose Bowl by the New England Patriots in an overtime thriller. LA will look to get back to the Super Bowl for a 10th time by signing the biggest free agent this past offseason when they inked USFL superstar running back Herschel Walker to a contract. Walker is one of the most dynamic and versatile athletes in all of pro sports and is highly expected to make an immediate impact on the AFL in his first season as he joins Marcus Allen in a lethal 1-2 punch of a backfield.




    The question surrounding the Raiders is if their defense can be as good now after the retirement of Lester Hayes and the aging of Mike Haynes. The Raiders lost two of the all time greats to retirement in Hayes and punter Ray Guy but new talent has been added in the form of two excellent young receivers Cris Carter and Haywood Jeffires. The Raiders have been the most dominant team in AFL history thus far and they are heavily favored to continue that dominance in 1987 with the returning MVP Lawrence Taylor looking to recapture the magic that the Raiders defense had in 1986.









    Indianapolis Colts:
    Stadium: The Hoosier Dome
    Head Coach: Jim Mora
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Dom Capers(defensive backs), Vic Fangio(linebackers)
    1986 Record: 10-6


    Impact Players:
    QB- #9 Tommy Kramer(83)
    QB- #3 Bobby Hebert(84)
    RB- #29 Eric Dickerson(96)
    WR- #87 Al Toon(93)
    TE- #83 Steve Jordan(90)
    T- #75 Jimbo Covert(88)
    C- #73 Don Mosebar(86)
    MLB- #50 Mike Singletary(97)
    LB- #51 Sam Mills(88)
    OLB/DE- #56 Pat Swilling(90)
    DE- #72 Dexter Manley(90)
    DT- #99 Dan Hampton(89)
    DT- #76 Steve "Mongo" Mcmichael(92)
    S- #22 Dave Duerson(91)

    The Indianapolis Colts were one of the cornerstone teams in the NFL in their days in Baltimore. Now the Colts enter their 10th season in the AFL in 1987 and never has the buzz and hype been as strong for their fanbase as it is now. The Colts won their very first ever AFL playoff game last season when they upset the Cleveland Browns on the road in a double overtime defensive duel against their former head coach Buddy Ryan, who took the defensive coordinator job with the Browns after being fired by Indianapolis. New head coach Jim Mora gave the Colts a new look and a new attitude in 1986 and he had them one game away from their first Super Bowl appearance since they represented the NFL in Super Bowl III almost 20 years ago. The big story for the Colts last season was the mid season trade for Miami's 2 time MVP runner Eric Dickerson, arguably the best running back in all of pro football.




    The trade for Dickerson tipped the scales in the Colts favor in the Eastern Division race last season and the superstar runner has Colts fans chomping at the bit heading into the 1987 season now that Jim Mora will have a full offseason to build his offense around him. The Colts defense was already among the elite in the AFL but they were made even better with the addition of linebackers Sam Mills from the USFL and a strong rookie campaign by Pat Swilling in 1986. Along with one of the smartest linebackers in the game Mike Singletary the Colts linebacker corps will be one of the finest in the AFL in 1987









    Denver Broncos:
    Stadium: Mile High Stadium
    Head Coach: Dan Reeves
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Collier(defensive coordinator), Mike Shanahan(offensive coordinator)
    1986 Record: 12-4


    Impact Players:
    QB- #7 John Elway(91)
    HB- #38 George Rogers(88)
    WR- #80 Jerry Rice(99)
    WR- #83 Stephone Paige(86)
    TE- #89 Jay Novacek(77)
    G- #62 Guy Mcintyre(78)
    DE- #97 Tim Harris(84)
    DT- #75 Keith Millard(90)
    OLB- #56 Chip Banks(87)
    ILB- #77 Karl Mecklenburgh(92)
    SS- #46 Tim Mcdonald(72)(R)


    The Denver Broncos took the next step in 1986 and won their first playoff game since their victory over the Raiders in Super Bowl XII. The prime time player for Denver's 12-4 season was without a doubt wide receiver Jerry Rice, the 1986 AFL Offensive Player Of The Year. Rice became the lethal weapon of quarterback John Elway en route to one of the best seasons any Denver Broncos player has ever produced, catching 99 passes for over 1,600 receiving yards. Rice and Elway burned the Seahawks in the Wild Card round with a dominant 33-17 victory to advance to the Southwest Conference Championship. In the Conference Championship the Broncos faced the formidable defense of the LA Raiders, the same team that ended Denver's 1985 season with a 41-6 embarrassment in the playoffs. This time Denver put up much more of a fight but they still fell just short, losing a heartbreaking 21-20 loss in the final seconds.




    The Broncos lost 2 of the all time greats from the Orange Crush days when Tom Jackson and Super Bowl XII MVP Louis Wright announced their retirements this past offseason. Looking to fill the shoes of Wright in the secondary will be rookie safety Tim Mcdonald, one of the best defensive backs in college football in 1986. With a rock solid defense and the dangerous offensive firepower of Rice, Paige, Rogers at Elway's disposal the Broncos will be heavily favored to return to the AFL playoffs in 1987, this time they could have the experience needed to finally make the next step to return to the Super Bowl on the 10 year anniversary of their Super Bowl XII glory days.









    Cleveland Browns:
    Stadium: Cleveland Municipal Stadium
    Head Coach: Marty Schottenhiemer
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Buddy Ryan(defensive coordinator), Bill Cowher(special teams)
    1986 Record: 11-5


    Impact Players:
    QB- #19 Bernie Kosar(89)
    HB- #32 Otis Anderson(82)
    TE- #82 Ozzie Newsome(90)
    WR- #89 Wes Chandler(83)
    WR- #84 Webster Slaughter(87)
    T- #74 Jim Lachey(88)
    G- #61 Jesse Sapolu(83)
    G- #66 Kevin Gogan(84)(R)
    DT- #99 William "The Refrigerator" Perry(81)
    DE- #95 Richard Dent(98)
    DE- #96 Clyde Simmons(86)
    ILB- #59 Seth Joyner(89)
    OLB- #57 Clay Mathews(89)
    OLB- #58 Wilber Marshall(97)
    S- #25 Keith Bostic(93)
    K- #7 Morten Andersen(92)

    The Cleveland Browns are a proud and historic franchise with rich history going back to their dominant Paul Brown/Otto Graham years when they ruled the AAFC with an iron fist, winning 4 consecutive league titles from 1946 to 1949 before making the move to the NFL and running the table in 1950, 1954, and 1955. Then it was the invincible Jim Brown that led them to the NFL title in 1964, giving Cleveland their 8th pro title. After the NFL folded following the 1977 season the Browns were one of only 2 teams to make the transition to the AFL and their quest to win a pro championship title in their 3rd league in franchise history has fallen flat. Since moving to the AFL in 1978 the Cleveland Browns have never won an AFL playoff game. The Browns suffered heart wrenching dramatic last second losses in both of their last two trips to the post season, losing by a field goal in overtime in Pittsburgh in 1985, then losing by a field goal in double overtime in the upset loss to the Colts at home in last year's Wild Card epic.




    The Browns will be on a quest for their first AFL playoff victory in 1987. Cleveland looked to make the next step last offseason when owner Art Modell hired defensive guru Buddy Ryan as the Browns new defensive coordinator. Ryan installed his highly innovative 4-6 defense and the Browns thrived, dominating the competition on a 9 game win streak to finish the season. Buddy Ryan stirred up controversy with his criticism in the media of Browns' head coach Marty Schottenhiemer's offensive playcalling in Cleveland's double OT loss to Indianapolis in the playoffs last season. The two clashed over draft picks and traded barbs in recent press conferences. The rivalry escalated and carried over to the practice field as the headlines coming out of Cleveland's training camp have been numerous fights breaking out during practices between the offensive and defensive squads. Reports are that Schottenhiemer and Ryan have divided the Browns locker room and the team could implode at any time. If the two coaches can co-exist the Browns have the talent to be one of the elite teams in the AFL this season.








    Seattle Seahawks:
    Stadium: The Kingdome
    Head Coach: Chuck Knox
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Monte Kiffin(defensive line),
    Joe Vitt(strength/quality control)
    1986 Record: 10-6


    Impact Players:
    QB- #1 Warren Moon(90)
    QB- #17 Dave Krieg(83)
    FB- #32 John L Williams(90)
    HB/KR- #21 Earnest Byner(86)
    TE/KR- #88 Steve Tasker(80)
    WR- #80 Steve Largent(87)
    WR- #81 James Lofton(86)
    G- #75 Chris Hinton(88)
    NT- #63 Bill Maas(88)
    DE- #56 Chris Doleman(90)
    OLB- #50 Vernon Maxwell(81)
    SS- #45 Kenny Easley(89)

    The Seattle Seahawks trade for Warren Moon paid off in 1986 as Moon led Seattle to their 2nd playoff appearance in their 12 year franchise history. Seattle lost to Denver in the Wild Card round but their 10-6 season proved that they were a team on the rise. Once Moon settled in with Chuck Knox's offense the Seahawks looked like one of the most dangerous teams in the league down the stretch last season. Moon has developed into one of the absolute best passers in the AFL and he has breathed new life into the careers of Steve Largent and James Lofton, two of the best in AFL history.




    Head coach Chuck Knox has developed Seattle into a power team on both sides of the ball during his 3 years at the helm, managing to go 25-23 overall in the toughest conference in all of sports, the stacked AFL Southwest(now known simply as the Western Conference). Now Knox has the pieces together for Seattle to make a move in the West, with the Seahawks standing out as one of the most well balanced teams in the league going into the 1987 season.









    Miami Dolphins:
    Stadium: The Orange Bowl
    Head Coach: Don Shula
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Chuck Studley(defensive coordinator), Dave Shula(wide receivers)
    1986 Record: 9-7


    Impact Players:
    QB- #13 Dan Marino(95)
    WR- #85 Mark Duper(89)
    WR- #83 Mark Clayton(90)
    C- #57 Dwight Stephenson(94)
    T- #78 Jackie Slater(90)
    T- #79 Harris Barton(84)(R)
    G- #61 Nate Newton(83)
    DT- #54 Randy White(84)
    ILB- #56 John Offerdahl(87)
    CB- #25 Jerry Gray(90)
    CB- #37 Nate Odomes(83)(R)
    P- #1 Reggie Roby(85)


    Miami Dolphins star quarterback Dan Marino is widely regarded as the best quarterback in the AFL today. After shattering the record books in 1984 Marino has continued to shred the AFL in each of the last two seasons. An ugly fallout with Eric Dickerson seen the Dolphins lose their star runner to a trade with the Colts, whom they will now have to face twice each year since being realigned to the Eastern Conference starting this season.




    The Dolphins used the picks from the Dickerson trade to draft offensive lineman Harris Barton and defensive back Nate Odomes, two rookies that could be day 1 starters that make an immediate impact. Even though Marino is thought to be the best of the best in the AFL he remains haunted by the failures in the post season, the loss to the Raiders in the 1983 Southwest Conference Championship, then the heartbreaking one-and-done loss to Kansas City at home in the 1984 Southwest Conference Championship the year Marino and Dickerson won co-MVP and led Miami to a 15-1 record. Despite leading the league in passing in 85 and 86 Marino's Dolphins have failed to make the playoffs in each of the past 2 seasons. Pressure is on Don Shula and Dan Marino to lead Miami back to the post season and to live up to the hype in 1987.








    San Diego Chargers:
    Stadium: Jack Murphy Stadium
    Head Coach: Joe Gibbs
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Bugel(offensive line), Richie Petitbon(defensive coordinator),
    Ken Houston(defensive backs)
    1986 Record: 8-8


    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Dan Fouts(85)
    QB- #11 Mark Rypien(75)
    HB- #33 Tony Dorsett(85)
    HB- #20 Mike Rozier(90)
    WR-#83 Ricky Sanders(82)
    WR- #81 Ernest Givins(90)
    TE- #80 Kellen Winslow(87)
    T- #65 Gary Zimmerman(93)
    T- #78 Bruce Armstrong(87)(R)
    DT- #97 Henry Thomas(85)(R)
    DE- #75 Charles Mann(88)
    DE- #91 Leslie O'Neal(90)
    OLB- #50 Duane Bickett(89)
    CB- #22 Gill Byrd(87)


    Head coach Joe Gibbs deserved an honorable mention in the AFL Coach Of The Year category for the job he did turning around the San Diego Chargers in his first season at the helm in 1986. Gibbs took a tired aging veteran roster and patched together an 8-8 season, the team's best in 4 years. San Diego was improved across the board in 1986 and even though the Chargers top stars are in the twilight of their careers the team looks to have a bright future under Joe Gibbs' leadership.




    Gibbs has loaded San Diego with new talent for 1987, starting with the man that USFL diehards claim to be the best offensive lineman in pro football, Gary Zimmerman. The Chargers also signed USFL free agent Heisman Trophy winning runner Mike Rozier and drafted perhaps the best offensive lineman coming up out of college football in Bruce Armstrong. The Chargers have matured on the defensive side of the ball into a strong veteran unit that could make San Diego a threat in the West in 1987. Time is running out for the Charger Triplets, Fouts, Dorsett, and Winslow, 1987 could be their last year to finally capture the AFL Championship that has eluded them throughout their illustrious careers.








    Kansas City Chiefs:
    Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium
    Head Coach: Marv Levy
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Wade Phillips(defensive coordinator/linebackers), Emmitt Thomas(defensive backs)
    1986 Record: 7-9


    Impact Players:
    QB- #19 Joe Montana(92)
    QB- #10 Ken O'Brien(85)
    HB- #34 Walter Payton(88)
    WR- #81 Art Monk(90)
    TE- #89 Mark Bavaro(96)
    RT- #69 Will Wolford(84)
    C- #53 Jeff Bostic(84)
    G- #74 Bruce Matthews(86)
    LT- #76 John Alt(85)
    DT- #99 Jerome Brown(88)(R)
    DT- #93 Jerry Ball(84)(R)
    DE- #72 Ed "Too Tall" Jones(87)
    ILB- #55 Jack Del Rio(83)
    CB/FS- #42 Ronnie Lott(98)
    CB- #31 Kevin Ross(86)

    America's Team suffered through a nightmare season in 1986. It all started with a heated week 2 game against the rival LA Raiders. Joe Montana was hit late on a controversial play that seen the 2 time Super Bowl winning quarterback down and out with a career threatening back injury. The Chiefs suffered through a 7-9 season without Montana and failed on their quest for a 3rd consecutive AFL Title. Montana underwent successful back surgery and fought through a grueling rehab to get back on track for a comeback in 1987. Joe missed all of the Chiefs training camp but is on track to make his return by week 3 of this season. Questions loom over whether or not Montana will be physically able to get back to the form he was in when he led Kansas City to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 84-85. After the Chiefs signed the top USFL quarterback Ken O'Brien as their insurance policy, the question now is whether or not head coach Marv Levy will bench O'Brien for Montana come week 3 if O'Brien plays as well as he did in the USFL last year.




    The Chiefs drafted two of the biggest and baddest interior defensive lineman in Jerome Brown and Jerry Ball, two 300 pound rookies that will be needed in 1987 when the Chiefs have to face the power backs of the Western Conference twice each in 87, running backs like LA's Herschel Walker, Seattle's John L Williams, and Houston's Neal Anderson will have their work cut out for them when they go up against the Chiefs' defense in 1987. The Chiefs will have Montana back in 1987 but it has been reported that this could be the final year of the legendary Walter Payton's career as the all time AFL great has speculated about his retirement recently. Sweetness will look to go out as a Champion in 1987.








    Cincinnati Bengals:

    Stadium: Riverfront Stadium
    Head Coach: Sam Wyche
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Dick Lebeau(defensive coordinator)
    1986 Record: 5-11


    Impact Players:
    QB- #7 Boomer Esiason(88)
    RB- #21 James Brooks(86)
    FB- #41 Keith Byars(85)
    WR- #80 Cris Collinsworth(85)
    WR- #81 Eddie Brown(86)
    WR- #84 Eric Martin(86)
    T- #65 Max Montoya(90)
    T- #78 Anthony Munoz(99)
    DT- #77 Jim Jeffcoat(92)
    DT/NT- #69 Tim Krumrie(88)
    SS- #49 Gary Fencik(83)
    KR/PR- #23 Mel Gray(86)

    The Bengals head coach Sam Wyche is on the hot seat following a 5-11 finish in his second year at the helm in Cincinnati last season. Pressure will be on Wyche to show improvement in 1987 and the Bengals look to have their first winning season in 4 years. One of the positives from Wyche's less than impressive 13-18 run over his first 2 years in Cincinnati have been the development of Boomer Esiason into one of the most promising young gunslingers in all of the AFL. Esiason benefit from one of the best receiver units in the Eastern Conference in veteran Cris Collinsworth and the young duo of Eric Martin and Eddie Brown. The Bengals also feature arguably the best offensive lineman in the entire AFL in Anthony Munoz. Cincinnati's offense has the firepower to make a move Eastern Conference in 1987.




    The Bengals defense will be anchored by defensive tackle Jim Jeffcoat in 1987. Jeffcoat came on strong in 1986 and led all defensive tackles in the AFL in sacks and will look to do it again in 1987. The Bengals are thin on defense but if they can stay healthy they have the talent to keep Cincinnati in games this season. If Cincinnati's offense can turn the corner the Bengals could be one of the surprise teams of 87.








    New York Jets:
    Stadium: Jets Stadium
    Head Coach: Jerry Glanville
    Notable Assistant Coaches: N/A
    1986 Record: 5-11


    Impact Players:
    QB #12 Randall Cunningham(88)
    HB- #34 Bo Jackson(93)
    HB- #24 Freeman Mcniel(85)
    WR- #82 Mike Quick(88)
    LT- #66 William Roberts(84)
    OLB- #58 Carl Banks(89)
    ILB- #55 Brian "The Boz" Bosworth(81)(R)
    DT- #73 Joe Klecko(83)
    DT- #67 Dave Butz(83)
    DE- #99 Mark Gastineau(85)
    CB- #26 Audray Mcmillian(79)
    S- #47 Joey Browner(92)


    The Jets were in rebuilding mode in Jerry Glanville's first full season as head coach in 1986. Two offensive sensations emerged as the future of the Jets late in the season in the form of quarterback Randall Cunningham and running back Bo Jackson. Cunningham took over for the final 4 games of the season and electrified Jets fans with his scrambling ability and his big time arm. Bo Jackson joined the Jets midseason after playing the 1986 MLB season with the New York Yankees baseball team. Jackson stole the show by running for 11 touchdowns in just 9 games played. With the retirement of Steve Bartkowski this offseason Jerry Glanville is going all in on Randall Cunningham as the full time starting quarterback in 1987 and Bo Jackson thrilled Jets fans by announcing his retirement from baseball this offseason to focus solely on his AFL career.




    With Cunningham and Jackson, two unbelievable talents the likes of which the AFL has never really seen, the Jets are one of the must watch teams going into 1987. Head coach Jerry Glanville made waves by drafting controversial outspoken rookie linebacker "The Boz" Brian Bosworth in this year's draft. If pro football were like Wrestlemania, Jerry Glanville and The Boz would be the Bobby Heenan and Demolition of the AFL. The Jets are a cast of interesting characters seemingly made for primetime television going into the 1987 season, all eyes in the media capitol of the world will be on Jets Stadium this season to see if this team can put it's money where it's mouth is.








    Buffalo Bills:
    Stadium: Rich Stadium
    Head Coach: Bud Carson
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Gunther Cunningham(defensive line), Pete Carroll(defensive backs), Tom Coughlin(wide receivers)
    1986 Record: 4-12


    Impact Players:
    QB- #8 Steve Young(89)
    HB- #28 Curt Warner(91)
    FB- #44 Tom Rathman(86)
    WR/PR- #80 Irving Fryar(84)
    WR- #83 Andre Reed(86)
    T- #67 Luis Sharpe(89)
    C- #53 Kevin Glover(80)
    DE- #78 Bruce Smith(90)
    OLB- #56 Darryl Talley(88)
    ILB- #58 Shane Conlan(87)(R)
    CB- #24 Everson Walls(89)


    The Buffalo Bills are an AFL worst 19-61 combined over the last 5 seasons. Last year under head coach Bud Carson's second year at the helm the Bills fell to a 4-12 finish, even worse than Carson's 5-11 finish in his first year. With the regression Bud Carson is under pressure in 1987 to produce results. Carson will finally go with Steve Young as his full time starter after only 7 starts in his first year in the AFL last season. Young showed improvement in his final games of 1986 with flashes of potential that he could be a dangerous mobile playmaker in the AFL.




    Carson's offense will look to lean on their power running game in 1987 with Curt Warner returning to form last year and the emergence of Tom Rathman as a spectacular power fullback. The Bills offensive line showed signs of improvement in the end of the season last year. The Bills will look to finally erase the stigma of the last 5 losing seasons in 1987 and climb out of the cellar of the Eastern Conference once and for all.








    Pittsburgh Steelers:
    Stadium: Three Rivers Stadium
    Head Coach: Chuck Noll
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Tom Moore(offensive coordinator), Tony Dungy(defensive coordinator), Joe Greene(defensive line)
    1986 Record: 4-12


    Impact Players:
    QB- #15 Neil Lomax(87)
    QB- #11 Phil Simms(85)
    HB- #37 Gerald Riggs(90)
    WR- #82 John Stallworth(84)
    WR- #83 Louis Lipps(83)
    TE- #88 Brent Jones(74)
    C- #52 Mike Webster(88)
    T- #75 Lomas Brown(82)
    OLB- #91 Kevin Greene(78)
    OLB- #95 Greg Lloyd(72)(R)
    ILB- #54 Hardy Nickerson(76)(R)
    CB/PR/KR- #26 Rod Woodson(80)(R)
    SS- #25 Scott Case(83)

    The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered their worst season in 1986 since they jumped to the AFL in 1976, an abysmal injury plagued 4-12 season that seen Pittsburgh finish in last place for the first time since their 1969 season in the NFL. That last place finish in 1969 set Chuck Noll's Steelers up to draft the players that built their dynasty in the 1970's. Pittsburgh's last place finish in 1986 could very well produce similar results as Noll hauled in 3 talented rookies in Rod Woodson, Greg Lloyd, and Hardy Nickerson.




    The Steelers continue to look to rebuild after the Steel Curtain dynasty fell apart in the early 80's. Now the pieces are seemingly coming together to put Pittsburgh back on top of the Eastern Conference. Neil Lomax will look to bounce back from the knee injury that ended his 1986 season but the Steelers went out and signed former AFL and USFL veteran Phil Simms, who will be looking to take over as the starter going forward.








    Houston Oilers:
    Stadium: Houston Astrodome
    Head Coach: Mike Ditka
    Notable Assistant Coaches:
    1986 Record: 0-16


    Impact Players:
    QB- #11 Jim Everett(77)
    QB- #7 Doug Flutie(77)
    RB- #35 Neal Anderson(86)
    WR- #80 Henry Ellard(87)
    WR/PR- #84 Billy "White Shoes" Johnson(79)
    T- #66 Joe Jacoby(96)
    G- #73 Mark May(89)
    G- #68 Russ Grimm(86)
    DT- #79 Ray Childress(90)
    DE- #96 Sean Jones(89)
    CB- #28 Darrell Green(95)

    The Houston Oilers began a new era in 1986, an era that got off to a historically bad start. The Oilers became the first team in AFL history to finish with an 0-16 record. Rookie quarterback Jim Everett struggled before being injured and lost for the year. Rookie runner Neal Anderson had some success running behind the Oilers elite offensive line but the offense ranked dead last in passing in the AFL and the defense struggled mightily against the top teams in the league.




    The Oilers hit rock bottom in 1986 but from there the only way to go is up. Cornerback Darrel Green emerged as one of the best corners in the AFL last year and is without question one of the fastest players in AFL history. Defensive lineman Ray Childress also became a nucleus of the Oilers defense that kept them close in several of their 16 losses last year. Receiver Henry Ellard also developed into a solid weapon down the stretch and could be one of the better receivers in the AFL this season. The major question mark for the Oilers is at the quarterback position as Jim Everett remains largely unproven after losing all 10 of his starts his rookie season. The Oilers appear to be a long way from being competitive but they will look to regain respect in 1987.








    San Antonio Gamblers:
    Stadium: Alamo Stadium
    Head Coach: Jack Pardee
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Mouse Davis(offensive coordinator)
    1986 Record: N/A


    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Jim Kelly(85)
    WR- #81 Anthony Carter(93)
    WR- #88 Mark Carrier(80)(R)
    DE- #92 Reggie White(99)
    LB- #58 Jessie Tuggle(82)(R)
    LB- #97 Cornelius Bennett(87)(R)

    The San Antonio Gamblers will make the transition from the USFL to the AFL beginning in 1987 and they enter with substantial hype after running the table with a perfect 14-0 regular season in their final year in the USFL in 1986. The Gamblers blew away the Minnesota Bulls 49-16 in the USFL playoffs before defeating Bill Parcells' Philadelphia Stars in the 1986 USFL World Championship Game, completing a perfect 16-0 season. San Antonio became one of the most popular teams in the USFL with overwhelming fan support as fans flocked to Alamo Stadium to see Jack Pardee's innovative and entertaining "Run And Shoot" offense executed to perfection by star quarterback Jim Kelly. The Gamblers success in their final USFL season was largely in part due to Reggie White's historic 23 sacks in just 14 games. White was the most dominant player in the USFL and many believe the best defensive player in all of pro football.




    The excitement for the Gamblers in San Antonio has reached fever pitch as ground is set to be broken on a brand new $200 million dollar 65,000 seat domed stadium; "The Alamo Dome". All eyes will be on opening day when it will be a battle between USFL vs AFL Champions, San Antonio will pit it's perfect record and it's highly touted Run And Shoot offense up against the defending AFL Champion New England Patriots and Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense.








    Minnesota Bulls:
    Stadium: The Metrodome
    Head Coach: Jim Hanifan
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Ernie Zampese(offensive coordinator), Al Saunders(quarterbacks)
    1986 Record: N/A


    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Vinny Testaverde(77)(R)
    HB/FB- #35 Christian Okoye(82)(R)
    WR- #84 Gary Clark(91)
    NT- #71 Greg Kragen(81)
    LB- #57 Rickey Jackson(87)
    FS- #41 Eugene Robinson(84)


    The Minnesota Bulls will be making the transition from the USFL to the AFL this season along with the San Antonio Gamblers. The Bulls were one of the most successful teams at the box office in the USFL thanks largely in part to beloved former NFL Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant taking the job coaching the team at it's inception. The Bulls became an instant hit in the Metrodome and had their most successful season on the field in their final season in the league in 1986. Minnesota had one of the toughest defenses in the USFL in 86 but they were defeated in the USFL playoffs by San Antonio by a score of 49-16.




    Minnesota's defense dominated in the USFL in 1986 but it will be a true test for Kragen, Rickey Jackson, and Eugene Robinson when they face the elite teams of the AFL in 1987. The Bulls made moves to build for the future with the #1 pick in the draft taking Miami Hurricanes star quarterback Vinny Testaverde. Testaverde is a first team All American and Heisman Trophy winner in 1986. Bulls fans are chomping at the bit to see Minnesota represented in the AFL and the Metrodome will be rocking on opening day when they host the LA Raiders.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-02-2019 at 01:22 AM.

  12. #112
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    It kills me to see Reich in a pats jersey. I think this is a big year for buff that d is stacked

    Spoiler:


    CWA World Heavyweight Champion
    Brayden Bridges




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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1987




    1987 AFL MVP Award Winner
    Jerry Rice(Denver Broncos), Broke OJ Simpson's AFL single season record for touchdowns with 26



    AFL Offensive Player Of The Year
    Jerry Rice(Denver Broncos), 90 receptions, 1,579 receiving yards, 26 touchdowns


    AFL Defensive Player Of The Year
    Reggie White(DE, San Antonio Gamblers), Led AFL with 23 sacks, a new AFL single season record


    AFL Rookie Of The Year
    Shane Conlan(LB, Buffalo Bills), Led all of the AFL in tackles with 166


    AFL Coach Of The Year
    Jim Mora(Indianapolis Colts), Led Colts to 15-1 record by winning 15 consecutive games after losing on opening day


    AFL Top Rated Passer
    John Elway(QB, Denver Broncos), 4,067 passing yards, 38 passing touchdowns


    AFL Rushing Leader
    Bo Jackson(RB, NY Jets), 1,793 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns


    AFL Receiving Leader
    Jerry Rice(Denver Broncos), 90 receptions, 1,579 receiving yards, 26 touchdowns


    AFL Sack Leader
    Reggie White(DE, San Antonio Gamblers), 23 SK



    AFL Interception Leader
    Joey Browner(S, New York Jets), 9 INT





    1987 AFL Standings


    AFL Eastern Conference

    Cleveland Browns 15-1
    Indianapolis Colts 15-1
    New York Jets 9-7
    Buffalo Bills 7-9
    New England Patriots 6-10
    Miami Dolphins 5-11
    Pittsburgh Steelers 5-11
    Cincinnati Bengals 4-12



    AFL Western Conference

    Kansas City Chiefs 13-3
    Denver Broncos 12-4
    Seattle Seahawks 12-4
    San Diego Chargers 10-6
    Los Angeles Raiders 9-7
    San Antonio Gamblers 4-12
    Houston Oilers 2-14
    Minnesota Bulls 2-14





    1987 AFL Playoffs





    +++Wild Card Playoffs+++






    AFL Eastern Conference Wildcard Playoff
    vs
    New York Jets 20 @ Indianapolis Colts 30





    AFL Western Conference Wildcard Playoff
    vs
    Seattle Seahawks 24 @ Denver Broncos 30







    +++Conference Championships+++






    AFL Eastern Conference Championship
    vs
    Indianapolis Colts 0 @ Cleveland Browns 20





    AFL Western Conference Championship
    vs
    Denver Broncos 27 @ Kansas City Chiefs 23









    January 31st, 1988, Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego California


    vs
    Denver Broncos vs Cleveland Browns


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Broncos 3 0 0 7 10
    Browns 10 7 0 7 24

    Super Bowl XXII MVP:

    Ozzie Newsome(13 receptions, 112 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns)



    The Cleveland Browns dominated the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl XXII by the score of 24-10. The Browns defense shut down AFL MVP Jerry Rice and battered John Elway with 5 sacks and 3 interceptions to hold Denver out of the end zone until the final 9 minutes of the game. The Browns victory was the franchise's first AFL Super Bowl Championship but it is their 9th pro title since the team won 4 All America Football Conference titles(1946, 1947, 1948, and 1949) and 4 NFL Championships(1950, 1954, 1955, and 1964). Turnovers plagued Denver in the first quarter as Cleveland converted an interception and a fumbled punt return to take a 10-0 lead within the first 5 minutes of the game. A good kick return set Denver up to answer but Elway was only able to get close enough for a field goal to cut the lead to 10-3 going into the 2nd quarter. Cleveland answered with a 91 yard drive that ate up 11 minutes of the second quarter, converting on 3 third downs with strikes from Bernie Kosar to Ozzie Newsome. Newsome caught 5 passes for 77 of Cleveland's 91 yards on the drive including the 8 yard touchdown reception that put Cleveland up 17-3 late in the 2nd.

    The Browns defense continued to dominate Denver in the 3rd quarter, never allowing a single 1st down and never letting Denver cross their own 35 yard line in the entire quarter. Denver's defense responded by holding Cleveland at bay in the 3rd quarter but Elway was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter, the last of which set up Kosar's 17 yard touchdown strike to Ozzie Newsome to put the Browns up 24-3 end the competitive phase of Super Bowl XXII. Elway was able to drive Denver downfield for an 11 yard touchdown pass to Stephone Paige late to cut the deficit to 24-10 but the damage had been done. The Browns celebrated the victory with both head coach Marty Schottenhiemer and defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan carried off the field separately on the shoulders of their players while owner Art Modell was presented the Lamar Hunt Super Bowl trophy in tears. During the week leading up to the game rumors began to circulate about Buddy Ryan leaving the Browns after the game to take one of the vacant head coaching jobs elsewhere in the AFL this upcoming offseason. Neither Schottenhiemer nor Ryan would answer any questions about the rumors in the post game press conference.








    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1tj2zJ2Wvg



    AFL '87: Appetite For Destruction




    The 1987 season was the most successful in AFL history as new attendance and television ratings records were set. New records were set on the field as well with Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Rice capturing AFL MVP honors by breaking OJ Simpson's single season touchdown record from 1975 with an unbelievable 26 receiving touchdowns(which also shatters the 26 year old AFL single season record for receiving touchdowns, a record Rice tied last year with 17). Also broken was Mark Gastineau's record for single season sacks after the San Antonio Gamblers' defensive end Reggie White ran through the AFL in his first year in the league with 23 sacks.




    It was a year where 2 new teams joined the fold in San Antonio and Minnesota, two USFL powerhouses that brought new passionate fan bases to the league. The top teams of the USFL were no match for the AFL on the field in 1987, struggling throughout the season before finishing in the bottom of the Western Conference. In San Antonio the Gamblers were the more competitive team of the two, managing an impressive upset over the Bills in Buffalo in one of the best games of the 1987 AFL season. Gamblers quarterback Jim Kelly out dueled Bills gunslinger Steve Young in hostile territory(Kelly turned down a contract after being drafted by the Bills in 83 to sign with the USFL's Gamblers) in a game that seen over 900 combined passing yards, a game that seen San Antonio win it 34-31 after the Bills missed a last second field goal to tie the game.

    In Minnesota rookie quarterback Vinny Testaverde struggled mightily with 21 interceptions and the Bulls lost 6 of their 14 losses by a touchdown or less. The Bulls fanbase stuck with the team throughout the losing and they were paid off with a victory over the Houston Oilers in week 10. Two weeks after the Bulls first AFL victory they won a revenge game over their former USFL rivals with a 20-17 win over the San Antonio Gamblers at the Metrodome. The Bulls sacked Jim Kelly 7 times in the game to help avenge Minnesota's embarrassing blowout loss to San Antonio in the 1986 USFL playoffs.




    Even though the USFL teams finished in the cellar of the West the 1987 season revolved around 2 other teams that dominated the East, the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns. The two teams played a defensive stand off in last year's Eastern Conference Wild Card Game, a brutally physical battle that took 2 overtimes to finally find a winner after the Colts won it with a field goal. The rivalry spilled over into the 1987 season as both teams ran roughshod over the entire AFL with 2 of the greatest defenses in AFL history. The Browns defense broke the Raiders record from last year by only allowing 191 points all season, while the Colts tied LA's record with just 198 allowed. The Browns defeated the Colts in the week 1 Monday Night Football rematch but the Colts would go on to win 15 in a row including a rematch with Cleveland in week 13 that ended Cleveland's undefeated streak. The two teams handed each other their only losses of the season and both finished atop the East with identical 15-1 records(Cleveland won 1st place and the bye in the playoffs due to better point differential). The rubber match in the Eastern Conference Championship seen Cleveland get revenge for their upset loss at home in last year's playoffs as they managed to shut Indianapolis out, holding Eric Dickerson to just 72 yards en route to a dominant 20-0 victory.




    The Browns went on to dominate the high powered offense of the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl XXII and capture their very first AFL Championship title. Cleveland's dream season had it's perfect ending and this Browns team will go down as one of the most dominant the AFL has seen since perhaps the '78 Steelers "Steel Curtain" 13-1 season, and some may argue that this Browns defense was even better. For the Denver Broncos it was a year where they finally got past their rival LA Raiders to avenge their playoff heartbreak in 85 and 86. The Broncos emerged as one of the powerhouses of the AFL with John Elway and Jerry Rice breaking out as the most dynamic quarterback/receiver duo in the league. The Seahawks couldn't stop Rice and Elway in the Western Conference Wild Card Game and neither could the Chiefs in the Conference Championship. Elway drove the Broncos 96 yards in the final 2 minutes to ice the Chiefs and upset Montana in Kansas City in what turned out to be Walter Payton's final game of his career. Payton surpassed OJ Simpson as the AFL's all time leader in career rushing yards and played a major role in the Chiefs 13-3 season. Payton failed in his quest to go out as a champion but he will go down as without a doubt one of the true all time greats in AFL history.




    Elsewhere around the AFL the headlines seemingly were dominated by the New York Jets in 1987. Randall Cunningham had a breakout year and Bo Jackson was an MVP candidate with an outstanding season where he outgained the Raiders Herschel Walker and the Colts Eric Dickerson in the arms race of super power running backs that unfolded in the AFL this year. The Jets defense came together to help New York return to the playoffs. In Seattle it was quarterback Warren Moon who stole the show with over 4,000 passing yards and 28 touchdown passes, leading the Seahawks to one of their best seasons in franchise history. In San Diego head coach Joe Gibbs made the Chargers contenders again, leading them to a 10-6 finish and getting one of the best seasons out of Dan Fouts late career. In Los Angeles the Raiders got off to a 9-3 start but collapsed after Doug Williams was lost for the year to knee injury, falling in each of their last 4 games to miss the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Pro Football Offseason News
    January 1988




    Future Hall Of Famers; Payton, Fouts, Winslow, Stallworth lead class of retirements

    The 1987 season ended up being the final chapter in the legendary careers of Walter Payton, Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, and John Stallworth. The beloved Walter Payton, "Sweetness" ends his career as the all time leader in career rushing yards in AFL history having broken OJ Simpson's record last season. Payton won Super Bowl MVP honors for his performance in Super Bowl XIX where he led the Chiefs to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Payton followed up the next season by winning the AFL MVP award by breaking the single season record for total yards from scrimmage. Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow finished their careers on a strong note by leading the Chargers on a resurgent 10-6 finish. The duo rewrote offensive record books in leading the Chargers to back-to-back Western Conference Championships in 1980 and 1981. Even though the high powered Chargers lost both Super Bowl appearances Fouts did eclipse Ken Anderson's record for career passing yards and touchdowns, retiring as the AFL's all time leading passer. Meanwhile Steelers receiver John Stallworth wrapped his career up this month with his retirement announced, going out as 2 time NFL Champion and a 2 time AFL Super Bowl Champion. Other notable players to announce their retirements this month are Patriots greats Dwight Clark and Steve Nelson, and Bengals defensive back Gary Fencik.


    Injuries claim the careers of Stephenson, Rogers, and Easley

    Three of the best the AFL has to offer were forced to retire in the prime of their careers due to mounting injuries. Dolphins center Dwight Stephenson, widely considered the best at his position in the league, retired after just 7 seasons due to a knee injury suffered in the end of the 1987 season. Seahawks defensive back Kenny Easley was forced to retire due to a kidney disease while Broncos running back George Rogers was forced to retire due to the knee injury suffered in the Wild Card Playoff game against Seattle.


    Tom Flores steps down as LA Raiders head coach


    Tom Flores announced his resignation as LA Raiders head coach after a disappointing collapse that seen the 9-3 Raiders lose all of their final 4 games to miss the playoffs for the first time since their first season in LA in 1981. The collapse followed LA's upset loss in front of a mostly home crowd in Super Bowl XXI to the New England Patriots at the Rose Bowl. Al Davis will reportedly announce the new Raiders head coach by the end of the week.


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign Bill Parcells as head coach, set for Expansion Draft in February


    The AFL's new expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the signing of their very first head coach in Bill Parcells. Parcells was an assistant on Bill Walsh's Patriots before taking a head coaching job in the USFL where he led the Oklahoma Outlaws and then Philadelphia Stars to USFL World Titles. Parcells is expected to keep his defensive coordinator Bill Belichick from the Stars and is expected to hire Romeo Crennell from New England to coach the Special Teams. Tampa will begin to put their roster together with an Expansion Draft next month where they will get to choose 2 players from each AFL team. All AFL teams will put 5 players up for selection in the draft. The Bucs are also set to take the #1 pick in the upcoming AFL Draft.


    Houston Oilers fire Mike Ditka after 2-30 run during 2 year tenure


    The Oilers pulled the plug on the Mike Ditka experiment after an abysmal 0-16 finish in 1986 followed by a 2-14 finish in 1987 that seen the team upset by both the USFL transplant franchises. The Oilers are expected to announce a new head coach soon and rumored candidates for the job include Buddy Ryan, Chargers(and former Oilers) offensive line coach Joe Bugel, and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan.


    Buffalo Bills move on from Bud Carson following 3 consecutive losing seasons


    The Bills let Bud Carson go following a 7-9 finish in 1987. The move comes as a surprise as Buffalo had shown signs of improvement during the course of the year and won 3 of it's last 5 games due to a stiff defense and Steve Young turning the corner as a starting quarterback. Buffalo will name a replacement in the coming days.



    Unrestricted Free Agency set to begin in 1988, Salary Cap to follow in 1989


    The Unrestricted Free Agency market is set to open next month and could have a major impact on the AFL going forward as all veteran players with at least 5 years in the league who's contracts are up will be free to hit the market. The deal comes after a chain of events that started with Jim Mcmahon's lawsuit against Al Davis and the AFL, which seen the AFL Players Union join in and a historic federal injunction that paved the way for the new collective bargaining agreement that was ratified last year. As part of the deal a new salary cap system will go into effect next offseason and teams will be forced to operate under a limited budget to sign players with. Notable free agents set to hit the market next month include Raiders running back Marcus Allen and linebacker Matt Millen, Oilers receiver Henry Ellard, Dolphins linebacker Randy White, and Chargers running back Tony Dorsette.


    Expansion Committee put together to begin process to add 18th AFL franchise


    Work has started to begin the process to add the 18th franchise to the AFL with the goal being set for a 1992 launch for the new expansion team. The new team will balance out the league with an even 18 teams. Cities in contention to host the new team include Philadelphia, Washington DC, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Phoenix. The winning bid will be announced next year after the strenuous process concludes.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-08-2019 at 07:33 AM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Pro Football Offseason News
    February 1988




    Buddy Ryan hired as new LA Raiders' head coach

    The Raiders hired Buddy Ryan after parting ways with Tom Flores. Ryan is the defensive mastermind behind the Cleveland Browns dominant 15-1 campaign in 1987 that seen them win Super Bowl XXII. Ryan led the Browns to Super Bowl glory in his second season as defensive coordinator but before that he was head coach of the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts where he assembled another one of the most dominant defenses in the league.


    Joe Bugel hired as new Buffalo Bills head coach

    The Buffalo Bills have hired offensive line coach from the San Diego Chargers; Joe Bugel. Bugel earned his reputation as the offensive line guru that assembled one of the best lines in the league during his tenure with the Houston Oilers. Bugel moved on to the San Diego Chargers as part of Joe Gibbs coaching staff where he again put together a dominant line that provided Dan Fouts protection that allowed him to have his best season in the late phase of his career, guiding San Diego to a 10-6 record.


    Houston Oilers hire Mike Shannahan as new head coach


    The Oilers hired young offensive coordinator from Denver in Mike Shannahan to take over the reigns in 1988. Shannahan worked his way up Dan Reeves coaching staff in Denver where he orchestrated one of the best offenses in the league in 1986 and 1987.


    Kansas City Chiefs sign Marcus Allen


    The unrestricted free agency market opened this month with a blockbuster signing as the Kansas City Chiefs have inked Marcus Allen to a 6 year contract, stealing away one of the most dynamic weapons from their arch rival LA Raiders. Allen reportedly had a major falling out with Raiders owner Al Davis and turned down their offer to re-sign. The signing comes just weeks after Chiefs star runner Walter Payton announced his retirement.


    Notable unrestricted free agent signings


    Minnesota Bulls sign Raiders linebacker Matt Millen to a 3 year deal

    Minnesota Bulls sign Oilers receiver Henry Ellard to 6 year contract

    San Antonio Gamblers sign Dolphins defensive tackle Randy White to 2 year deal

    Miami Dolphins sign Chargers running back Tony Dorsette to a 1 year contract

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Pro Football Offseason News
    February 1988





    Tampa Bay Buccaneers Expansion Draft

    The brand new Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to debut in the AFL in 1988. The first head coach was named just last month when Bill Parcells was signed to a 3 year deal. Parcells and his staff will have their hands full when they attempt to build a roster from scratch that can compete against the super-powers of the AFL. In order to help make the team competitive the AFL put together this expansion draft, which also serves as a method for all of the AFL teams to prepare for the new salary cap restrictions that are set to take place next offseason. The new Minnesota Bulls and San Antonio Gamblers were exempt from the Expansion Draft but all 14 other AFL teams were forced to put 5 players each up for selection, with Tampa being able to take 2 from each squad.

    Notable selections
    Harry Carson(Linebacker, New England Patriots)
    James Wilder(Running back, New England Patriots)
    Cris Carter(Wide Receiver, LA Raiders)
    Clyde Simmons(Defensive End, Cleveland Browns)
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-09-2019 at 12:00 AM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Pro Football Offseason News
    March 1988





    Jim Mcmahon signs with San Diego Chargers


    The Chargers made shock waves in the AFL with a major blockbuster free agent signing with the signing of controversial outspoken former Raiders quarterback Jim Mcmahon. Mcmahon would lose his starting job with the Raiders to Doug Williams due to recurring injuries and would clash head on with Raiders owner Al Davis, developing a feud that seen a court ruling that paved the way for the unrestricted free agency system put into place this year. Mcmahon was free from the Raiders but was not signed by any teams last off season. Mcmahon accused Al Davis of using his power within the AFL to have him blackballed across the league last off season and was vocal about the Raiders' collapse in 1987 after Doug Williams was lost to injury. Jim Mcmahon will return in 1988 to take the place of retired Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts and the potential showdown with their rival LA Raiders will be must see TV.




    Tampa Bay Bucs sign Hostetler, Wilson from USFL


    The Buccaneers picked up two of the best quarterbacks in the USFL over the past few seasons in Jeff Hostetler and Wade Wilson, two veterans that were cut by AFL teams early on in their careers but went on to have success in the USFL. Both quarterbacks won USFL World Titles coached by Bucs head coach Bill Parcells. Wilson won the 1985 USFL World Title playing for Parcells' Oklahoma Outlaws while Hostetler won the USFL World Title in 1987 running Parcells' offense for the Philadelphia Stars.




    AFL Hall Of Fame class of 1988 revealed


    Two of the all time greats will be inducted into the AFL Hall Of Fame this August when Steelers linebacker Jack Ham and Raiders offensive lineman Art Shell will go into the Hall. Ham was one of the key players in Pittsburgh's 1970's dynasty that produced 4 pro titles(2 in the NFL, 2 in the AFL). Art Shell was a critical factor in the Raiders' dynasty of the 1970's.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-10-2019 at 09:07 AM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football



    1988 AFL Draft


    The 1988 AFL Draft opens up with the brand new expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the clock with the first overall pick. This year's draft is perhaps one of the deepest in recent history with top level talent beyond the first round. This very well could be a draft that shapes the future of the AFL to come.


    First Round Picks:






    With the 1st overall pick in the 1988 AFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select...


    Spoiler:




    Michael Irvin, Wide Receiver(Miami)








    With the 2nd overall pick in the 1988 AFL Draft, the Minnesota Bulls select...


    Spoiler:




    Randall Mcdaniel, Guard(Arizona State)








    With the 3rd overall pick in the 1988 AFL draft the Houston Oilers select...


    Spoiler:




    Sterling Sharpe, Wide Receiver(South Carolina)








    With the 4th overall pick in the 1988 AFL draft the San Antonio Gamblers select...


    Spoiler:




    Bennie Blades, Safety(Miami)








    With the 5th overall pick in the 1988 AFL draft the Cincinnati Bengals select...


    Spoiler:




    Neil Smith, Defensive End(Nebraska)








    With the 6th overall pick in the 1988 AFL draft the Pittsburgh Steelers select...


    Spoiler:




    Tim Brown, Wide Receiver(Notre Dame)








    With the 9th overall pick in the 1988 AFL draft the Buffalo Bills select...


    Spoiler:




    Terry Mcdaniel, Cornerback(Tennessee)








    With the 10th overall pick in the 1988 AFL draft the LA Raiders select...


    Spoiler:




    Keith Jackson, Tight End(Oklahoma)








    With the 12th overall pick in the 1988 AFL draft the San Diego Chargers select...


    Spoiler:




    Ken Harvey, Linebacker(California)




    Notable Later Round Picks:


    Indianapolis Colts- Brian Blades, Wide Receiver(Miami)
    San Antonio Gamblers- Dermonti Dawson, Center(Kentucky)
    Houston Oilers- Thurman Thomas, Running Back(Oklahoma State)
    Cincinnati Bengals- Ickey Woods, Running Back(UNLV)
    Pittsburgh Steelers- Craig Heyward, Fullback(Pittsburgh)
    New England Patriots- Chris Spielman, Linebacker(Ohio State)
    Buffalo Bills- Eric Allen, Cornerback(Arizona State)
    New York Jets- Ken Norton Jr., Linebacker(UCLA)
    Seattle Seahawks- Michael Dean Perry, Defensive Tackle(Clemson)
    New England Patriots- Bill Romanowski, Linebacker(Boston College)
    Cincinnati Bengals- Cris Dishman, Cornerback(Purdue)
    Seattle Seahawks- James Hasty, Cornerback(Washington State)

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Truly fate that Minnesota somehow comes away with Randall McDaniel.

  20. #120
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    USFL 1988 Season Summary




    The 6th USFL season unfolded on Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons on the USA Network on cable television throughout the Spring of 1988. The story of the season was the continued drop in television ratings and attendance. None of the 7 other USFL teams were able to generate the excitement and fan enthusiasm that the Tampa Bay Bandits generated in 1988. The Bandits had their best season at the box office and on the field. Head coach John Mackovic put together a dominant 13-1 campaign with rookie passer Stan Humphries leading an offense that was built around veteran runner Craig James, who ran for 1,288 yards and 9 touchdowns. Rookie receiver Anthony Miller finished in the top 3 in the USFL in receiving yards with 1,312 along with 10 touchdowns. The Bandits had the best defense in the USFL in 1988 with rookie pass rusher Pierce Holt leading the USFL in sacks with 15.

    The USFL's most popular team shined on the field in 1988 as Bandit Ball was running hot into the playoffs. The dream season came to a screeching halt in front of a home crowd of over 40,000 when Tampa was upset by the Washington Sentinels and their star gunslinger Jim Harbaugh in what was arguably the best USFL game in the 6 year history of the league. Harbaugh led the Sentinels to field goal range for the game winner in a double overtime epic.




    Jim Harbaugh threw for 20 touchdown passes and over 3,500 yards in 14 games for the Sentinels in 1988, leading them to an 11-3 record. Two rookies played a major role in Washington's success with running back Lorenzo White running for 1,046 yards and 6 touchdowns while defensive back Erik McMillan led the USFL with 7 interceptions. The Sentinels took down the Bandits in Tampa Bay before crushing the Oakland Invaders 39-3 to capture the 1988 USFL World Championship.

    Running away with USFL MVP honors in 1988 was Philadelphia Stars hometown hero Willie "Flipper" Anderson, who caught 77 passes for 1,691 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. The Philadelphia Stars finished with an 11-3 record and were one of the best teams in the USFL in 1988. Stars rookie quarterback Chris Chandler threw for 3,700 passing yards while rookie runner Gaston Green ran for over 900 but it wasn't enough as the team was defeated by Washington in week 12 in a game that ultimately eliminated Philadelphia from the post season due to tiebreakers within the division. Other notable performances in elsewhere in the USFL in 1988 include rookie Chuck Cecil's 6 interceptions for the Chicago Stallions, Chris Miller's league leading 3,944 passing yards leading Oakland to the USFL World Title game, and strong second year performances from young passers Rich Gannon(Detroit Panthers), Steve Beurlien(San Francisco Sharks), Don Majkowski(Oklahoma Outlaws).



    +++1988 USFL Standings+++


    Eastern Division
    Tampa Bay Bandits 13-1
    Washington Sentinels 11-3
    Philadelphia Stars 11-3
    Detroit Panthers 2-12


    Western Division

    Chicago Stallions 8-6
    Oakland Invaders 7-7
    Oklahoma Outlaws 5-9
    San Francisco Sharks 4-10




    +++Playoffs+++




    Division Championships



    USFL Eastern Division Championship
    Washington Sentinels 27 @ Tampa Bay Bandits 24(2OT)



    USFL Western Division Championship
    Oakland Invaders 35 @ Chicago Stallions 22




    World Championship




    USFL World Championship Game
    Oakland Invaders 3 vs Washington Sentinels 39

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