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Thread: AFL: Full Color Football

  1. #141
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football





    AFL Eastern Conference Playoff Picture

    Current Leaders


    1. Cincinnati Bengals 9-4
    2. New England Patriots 9-4
    3. Buffalo Bills 8-4


    In The Hunt

    New York Jets 8-4
    Indianapolis Colts 7-5


    Eastern Conference Scenarios:


    The Cincinnati Bengals are in control of their own destiny in first place, if they can win out they will get home field advantage in the East no matter what else happens. Cincinnati holds head to head victories over Buffalo and New England and this would give them the edge should all 3 teams win out and finish with identical 12-4 records. If the Bengals can win their next 3 games they will be in an interesting position because they already have a bye week in week 17, so they would have 2 weeks off to get ready for the Eastern Conference Championship Game in Cincinnati.

    The New England Patriots would need to win out and would need the Bengals to lose one of their last 3 games to get the first seed and homefield advantage in the East. New England holds a victory over Buffalo giving them the tiebreaker over them should both teams win out and finish with 12-4 records.

    Buffalo can get the #1 seed in the East if they can win out and both New England and Cincinnati lose at least one more game. The Bills can take the #2 seed and host the Wild Card game if they can win out and New England loses at least 1.

    The Bills hold the tiebreaker over the Jets for the final Wild Card spot due to head to head victory. If the Jets can defeat the Bengals next week it will blow the entire playoff picture wide open in the East. The Indianapolis Colts will need to win out the rest of their games along with the Jets to lose 2 out of their next 4 and the Bills to lose at least once in order to get into the playoffs.


    AFL Western Conference Playoff Picture

    Current Leaders


    1. Kansas City Chiefs 9-3
    2. Denver Broncos 7-5
    3. San Diego Chargers 7-5


    In The Hunt

    Seattle Seahawks 6-6
    Houston Oilers 6-6
    San Antonio Gamblers 5-7
    Minnesota Bulls 5-7
    Los Angeles Raiders 5-7


    Western Conference Scenarios:


    The Western Conference is still wide open with all 8 teams still alive in the playoff race with just 4 weeks to go, in a conference where all 3 of the leaders have injured quarterbacks(2 of them out for the year), anything can happen. The Chiefs have a firm grasp on the #1 seed and would have to lose 3 out of their next 4 games to lose it. Meanwhile the Broncos will rest their hopes on backup Gary Kubiak after losing John Elway to injury for the rest of the year.

    The Seahawks get Warren Moon back this week from the elbow injury that sidelined him for the past month. Seattle will need to win out in their last 3 games and will need multiple losses to Denver and San Diego since they lost head to head matchups to both teams.

    The Houston Oilers need to win their last 4 games and will need at least 2 losses from Denver and/or 1 loss from San Diego to get in and they will play the Chargers in week 15.

    The Gamblers, Raiders, and Bulls while not mathematically eliminated would each need to win out and would also need several other teams to lose multiple games to get in. The Bulls hold a victory over the Raiders and will play their old USFL nemesis Gamblers in week 16 in what will most likely be a playoff eliminator.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 04-10-2020 at 11:54 PM.

  2. #142
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1988 AFL Season


    Week 14(Dec. 4th-5th)




    AFL Player Of The Week: Bruce Smith(DE, Buffalo Bills), 4.5 sacks, 5 tackles, 1 forced fumble


    Cleveland Browns 17 @ Miami Dolphins 24- at Joe Robbie Stadium, attendance 53,187. Dan Marino brought the Dolphins back from a 17-3 third quarter deficit with 3 touchdown passes to lift the Dolphins over the Browns. The Dolphins returned the opening kickoff 47 yards to set up a field goal that gave Miami an early 3-0 lead. From then on the Browns defense dominated the rest of the first half, battering Marino with 3 sacks, an interception, and a fumble. The two turnovers were converted into points as Cleveland held onto a 17-3 lead until Marino finally drove the Dolphins downfield for a quick 33 yard touchdown strike to Mark Duper. Marino drove the Dolphins 77 yards on their opening drive of the fourth quarter, capping the drive with a 19 yard touchdown pass to Flipper Anderson that tied the game at 17-17. Miami recovered a Browns fumble later in the fourth quarter that set up Marino's game winning 13 yard touchdown pass to Mark Clayton giving Miami the 24-17 lead with 4:21 left to play.

    Pittsburgh Steelers 17 @ Indianapolis Colts 28- at The Hoosier Dome, attendance 59,899. Al Toon helped to keep the Colts' playoff hopes alive with 141 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns to down the Steelers. Phil Simms was knocked out of the game after a vicious hit from Pat Swilling early in the second quarter with Pittsburgh leading 10-7. Neal Lomax came in as Simms' replacement and was sacked 5 times on the day by the Colts defense. Eric Dickerson ran for a 9 yard touchdown to give Indy a 14-10 lead going into the half. Lomax drove Pittsburgh down into Colts territory in the opening drive of the second half where he found Tim Brown for a 18 yard touchdown pass to retake the lead 17-14. The Colts took a 21-17 lead late in the third with Toon's first touchdown. Bobby Hebert connected with Toon again midway through the fourth quarter with a 26 yard touchdown catch that sealed the victory 28-17.

    New York Jets 21 @ Cincinnati Bengals 28- at Riverfront Stadium, attendance 59,780. The Bengals took a firm grip on the Eastern Conference top seed by upending the red hot Jets in what was perhaps the marquee game of the AFL weekend. The Bengals took the opening drive 78 yards downfield for a 4 yard touchdown run by Boomer Esiason to take an early 7-0 lead. After holding the Jets to a three and out the Bengals looked unstoppable on an 87 yard drive on their second possession of the game. Ickey Woods ran for an 8 yard touchdown to put Cincinnati up 14-0. New York finally got the ball moving on their ensuing possession with Bo Jackson carrying the Jets offense for the bulk of a 72 yard drive that was capped with a 19 yard theatrical Randall Cunningham quarterback keeper that trimmed Cinci's lead to 14-7 early in the second quarter. The Bengals offensive line put on a dominant performance against the Jets defense in the second half. Cincinnati ran over the Jets on back to back scoring drives to open the third quarter to take a commanding 28-7 lead. The Bengals defense focused on shutting down Bo Jackson but Randall Cunningham fought to try to bring the Jets back with two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. Cunningham got the ball back with a chance to tie the game with 1:13 left to play but a third down pass was picked off by Cincinnati to seal the victory.

    Buffalo Bills 20 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0- at Tampa Stadium, attendance 69,887. The top ranked Bills defense pitched a perfect shut out performance in a road victory over the expansion Buccaneers. The Bills had a 39:47 to 20:13 time of possession advantage while Buffalo's defense held Tampa to just 21 total rushing yards. Steve Young hit Andre Reed for the game's first touchdown early in the second quarter. Tom Rathman had a 1 yard touchdown run before the half to give Buffalo a 14-0 lead. Tampa's defense held Buffalo to 2 field goals in the second half but the Bucs offense only passed midfield 3 times and missed a field goal in their lone trip into the red zone. Bruce Smith feasted on Bucs quarterback Wade Wilson with 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble to become the first defensive player this year to win AFL Player Of The Week honors.

    Houston Oilers 7 @ Kansas City Chiefs 34- at Arrowhead Stadium, attendance 76,944. Marv Levy made the last minute decision to bench Joe Montana due to mounting injuries from last week while backup Ken O'Brien threw for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns to torch the Houston Oilers. Art Monk had 113 yards receiving while Mark Bavaro caught 2 touchdown passes. Marcus Allen broke a 52 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to cap the Chiefs scoring. The Chiefs intercepted Oilers quarterback Jim Everett 3 times.

    Denver Broncos 22 @ San Antonio Gamblers 41- at Alamo Stadium, attendance 24,287. Backup Gary Kubiak filled in for the injured John Elway(lost for the season last week) and threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 4 times in the Broncos road loss to the Gamblers in Texas. The Broncos defensee had no answer for San Antonio's "Run N Shoot" offense as the Gamblers scored on drives of 59, 77, 81, and 86 yards in the first half. It took Jim Kelly just 4 plays to find the end zone on San Antonio's opening drive of the game. The Gamblers took a 27-7 lead when Kelly ran for an 8 yard touchdown before the end of the first half(the extra point was missed). Cornelius Bennett sacked Kubiak and caused the fumble that was recovered by Jesse Tuggle and returned 21 yards to the goal line, setting up Kelly's third touchdown pass of the game, a short strike to Anthony Carter that put the Gamblers up 34-7. Kubiak led Denver on back to back scoring drives on the Broncos ensuing possessions, hitting Jerry Rice for a 22 yard touchdown and running for an 11 yard score. Kubiak hit Rice for a 2 point conversion to cut the deficit to 34-22 with 9:33 left to play. San Antonio put the game away with a 75 yard drive that seen Kelly throw his 4th touchdown pass of the game to seal the victory 41-22. The victory was San Antonio's 4th consecutive win, they have the top ranked passing offense in the AFL during that 4 game stretch.

    Minnesota Bulls 20 @ San Diego Chargers 23(OT)- at Jack Murphy Stadium, attendance 57,130. The San Diego Chargers brought an end to the Bull's Cinderella story winning streak with a 38 yard field goal in overtime. The Bulls took a 17-3 lead after Vinnie Testaverde connected with Gary Clark for an 81 yard bomb in the second quarter. The Chargers fought back in the second half with a 73 yard interception returned for a touchdown by Gill Byrd. Mark Rypien connected with Ricky Sanders for a 59 yard deep strike to tie the game at 17-17 early in the fourth quarter. The Chargers converted another Testaverde interception into a 28 yard field goal to take a 20-17 lead with 2:11 left in the fourth quarter. Testaverde led the Bulls on a 9 play 67 yard drive to set up the game tying field goal as time expired, sending it into overtime at 20-20. Minnesota won the coin toss in overtime but Testaverde threw his 3rd interception on the Bull's first play of the extra period, setting up the game winner for the Chargers.







    vs
    The Kingdome, Seattle, WA
    Los Angeles Raiders(5-7) at Seattle Seahawks(6-6)
    Attendance: 63,791
    Nielson Rating: 19.7


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT F
    Raiders 7 7 14 0 0 28
    Seahawks 14 7 0 7 6 34



    AFL Monday Night Football returns to the Kingdome in Seattle where Warren Moon returns from the elbow injury that sidelined him for the last 5 weeks. Moon was having an MVP caliber season up until the injury put him out. Moon won AFL Player Of The Week honors twice in the first 8 weeks, the first in week 1 with 355 yards and 3 touchdown passes in a victory over the Jets and the second in week 7 with 311 yards and 4 touchdown passes in a win over the Bengals. Moon had the Seahawks on track for a return to the playoffs with a 5-3 record but after his injury the Seahawks went 2-3 with backup quarterback Dave Krieg in his absence. Now Seattle find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture looking in.

    The big news story headed into tonight's prime time network television showdown was the Seahawks receiver Steve Largent and his quest to become the all time leading receiver in AFL history, a landmark milestone achievement. Headed into tonight's game against the Raiders Largent is just 51 yards shy of Charlie Joiner's record of 12,392 career receiving yards. Steve Largent is already a future AFL Hall Of Famer and one of the best players the AFL has ever seen. Largent is one of the original Seattle Seahawks that played his rookie year for the team in their inaugural AFL expansion season in 1976. Through thick and thin Largent has been the anchor of the Seahawks for their entire first 12 years of history so far. Largent is chasing AFL history but he also chases the one thing that has eluded the Seahawks for their entire first 12 years; a victory in an AFL playoff game. Largent helped lead Seattle to their first playoff appearance in their third season in 1978 but they were dismantled by the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers "Steel Curtain" dynasty. Largent was widely considered the best wide receiver in the AFL throughout the early 80's but Seattle never returned to the playoffs after their 1978 loss to Pittsburgh.

    Things changed with a blockbuster trade that brought Warren Moon to Seattle in 1986. The man with the biggest heart and the best hands in AFL history seen a career resurgence. Together Largent and Moon led Seattle back to the playoffs in 1986 and 1987 with a combined win-loss record of 22-10 in the last two regular seasons, but an 0-2 record in the playoffs has lingered and added pressure in 1988 to finally break through and win an AFL playoff game. The Seahawks entire 1988 season hangs in the balance as they face an LA Raiders team that plays it's 4th game without superstar linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who is serving a 4 game suspension for a failed drug test. The Raiders have kept their slim playoff hopes alive by going 2-1 in their last 3 games without LT. The story of the Raiders resurgence is the development of backup quarterback Jay Schroeder into one of the strongest arms in the AFL, with multidimensional super-athlete Herschel Walker living up to his billing as one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the AFL and rookie tight end Keith Jackson having a breakout season.


    Steve Largent became the AFL's all time leading receiver live on prime time network television after an 11 yard reception late in the second quarter on a drive where the Seahawks took a 21-14 lead. Largent's landmark achievement got a standing ovation from a sold out Kingdome crowd in one of the greatest moments in AFL Monday Night Football history. The Raiders came out in the second half looking to spoil the celebration with an 18 yard touchdown pass from Schroeder to Herschel Walker followed by a 32 yard touchdown pass to Keith Jackson that put the Raiders up 28-21 going into the fourth quarter. The Raiders 46 defense shut down the Seahawks run game and sacked Warren Moon twice on third downs to end back to back Seahawks drives in the fourth quarter. Steve Largent brought the Kingdome back to it's feet with a 59 yard catch that put Seattle within scoring range with just 2:44 left to play. Warren Moon tied the game with a 21 yard strike to James Lofton to tie the game 28-28. Herschel Walker caught a screen pass and broke 33 yards upfield to set up a last second field goal for the win but the kick was blocked by rookie defensive tackle Michael Dean Perry to send the game into overtime. The Raiders won the overtime coin toss but their opening possession was killed by a critical sack by Chris Doleman on 3rd and long. Moon won it for Seattle with a deep strike to Earnest Byner for 56 yard walk off touchdown to ice the Raiders.






    AFL Standings


    Eastern Conference
    Cincinnati Bengals 10-4
    New England Patriots 9-4
    Buffalo Bills 9-4
    New York Jets 8-5
    Indianapolis Colts 8-5
    Pittsburgh Steelers 5-9
    Miami Dolphins 4-10
    Cleveland Browns 3-10
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-11

    Western Conference
    Kansas City Chiefs 10-3
    San Diego Chargers 8-5
    Seattle Seahawks 7-6
    Denver Broncos 7-6
    Houston Oilers 6-7
    San Antonio Gamblers 6-7
    Minnesota Bulls 5-8
    Los Angeles Raiders 5-8



    Week 15 Preview:

    The Cincinnati Bengals fight for first place in the East as they take on Eric Dickerson and the Dome Patrol defense of an Indianapolis Colts team that is fighting for their playoff lives.

    Head coach Joe Gibbs returns to the Houston Astrodome looking for redemption and a spot in the Western Conference playoffs as he leads his San Diego Chargers against the Oilers team that unceremoniously dumped him two years ago.

    Joe Montana returns to action to lead the Kansas City Chiefs into Buffalo to take on Steve Young and the top ranked defense of the Bills in an East vs West showdown between two of the best teams in the AFL this year.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 04-10-2020 at 11:55 PM.

  3. #143
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Still following this, and it's still all sorts of awesome. I love that you post updates on a Sunday, because every Sunday I watch NFL Network all day. After "A Football Life" marathon this morning, to reading this, I couldn't ask for anything better to entertain me on a Sunday

    The playoff picture seems to be getting a bit clearer, but the main story I'm taking away (and highly anticipating) is the draft order. The 1989 draft was fucking LOADED and I am very excited to see where everyone falls. You have an abundance of HOF'ers in this draft- off the top of my head I can think of Aikman, Barry Sanders, Deion, Derrick Thomas, and probably some I'm forgetting.

    I always look forward to these updates, so I'll be pumped to see the next one. The playoffs are inching closer and everything is about to ramp up. Keep up the great work man!

  4. #144
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Pro Football News
    December 6th, 1988



    Mark Gastineau announces sudden retirement

    One of the all time great pass rushers in AFL history shocked the sports world by announcing his sudden and unexpected retirement following the Jets loss to the Bengals on Sunday. Gastineau's reason for retiring was to take care of his fiance Brigitte Nielson after she was diagnosed with cancer. Gastineau was the 1984 AFL Defensive Player Of The Year and at one time held the single season record for sacks(a record that was broken by San Antonio Gamblers' Reggie White last season). The retirement of Gastineau is a crushing blow to a New York Jets team that is still in the playoff hunt and a defense that also lost star linebacker "The Boz" Brian Bosworth to a season ending shoulder injury in their loss to the Bengals.


    Raiders head coach Buddy Ryan deactivates LT for remainder of season

    The LA Raiders have officially deactivated their star leader Lawrence Taylor just as he comes off of a 4 game suspension due to a failed drug test last month. The situation between LT and Raiders head coach Buddy Ryan by all accounts has become toxic after Taylor was suspended. With LT playing in the last year of his contract it is widely believed that he will not resign with LA and will enter the unrestricted free agent market in the offseason.





    AFL Injury Report
    Notable injuries for week 15 in the American Football League

    Name Team Position Injury Status
    Andre Tippett New England Patriots Linebacker Sprained Ankle Out 2-3 Weeks
    Brian Bosworth New York Jets Linebacker Torn Labrum Out For Season
    Tony Dorsett Miami Dolphins Running Back Torn Achilles Out For Season
    Bernie Kosar Cleveland Browns Quarterback Broken Collar Bone Out For Season
    Otis Anderson Cleveland Browns Running Back Torn Pectoral Muscle Out For Season
    Jim Mcmahon San Diego Chargers Quarterback Torn Rotator Cuff Out For Season
    Doug Williams LA Raiders Quarterback Torn MCL Out For Season










    AFL Eastern Conference Playoff Picture

    Current Leaders


    1. Cincinnati Bengals 10-4
    2. New England Patriots 9-4
    3. Buffalo Bills 9-4


    In The Hunt

    New York Jets 8-5
    Indianapolis Colts 8-5


    Eastern Conference Scenarios:


    The Cincinnati Bengals are in control of their own destiny in first place, if they can win out they will get home field advantage in the East no matter what else happens. Cincinnati holds head to head victories over Buffalo and New England and this would give them the edge should all 3 teams win out and finish with identical 12-4 records. If the Bengals can win their next 2 games they will be in an interesting position because they already have a bye week in week 17, so they would have 2 weeks off to get ready for the Eastern Conference Championship Game at home in Cincinnati.

    The New England Patriots would need to win out and would need the Bengals to lose one of their last 2 games to get the first seed and homefield advantage in the East. New England holds a victory over Buffalo giving them the tiebreaker over them should both teams win out and finish with 12-4 records.

    Buffalo can get the #1 seed in the East if they can win out and both New England and Cincinnati lose at least one more game. The Bills can take the #2 seed and host the Wild Card game if they can win out and New England loses at least 1.

    The Jets hold head to head victories over New England and Indianapolis but were defeated by Cincy and Buffalo. They would need to win out and for New England to lose at least 1 of their last 3 games to get in.

    The Colts have a critical game against the Bengals this Sunday that could turn the tide in their season. Indy has a victory over the Bills so they would need to win out their last 3 games and would need losses by The Jets, Bills, and/or Patriots to get in.


    AFL Western Conference Playoff Picture

    Current Leaders


    1. Kansas City Chiefs 10-3
    2. San Diego Chargers 8-5
    3. Denver Broncos 7-6


    In The Hunt

    Seattle Seahawks 7-6
    Houston Oilers 6-7
    San Antonio Gamblers 6-7
    Minnesota Bulls 5-8
    Los Angeles Raiders 5-8


    Western Conference Scenarios:


    The Western Conference is still wide open with all 8 teams still alive in the playoff race with just 3 weeks to go. The Chiefs have a firm grasp on the #1 seed and will clinch homefield advantage with 1 more victory.

    With Elway out for the season the Broncos playoff hopes are suddenly in serious jeopardy. They hold a tie breaker over Seattle due to head to head victory should the two teams finish with identical records.

    The Seahawks have the best chance out of all of the 5 teams in the West to sneak in, if they can win out and finish with a better record than Denver they will steal the final Wild Card spot. While San Antonio, Houston, Minnesota, and LA are not yet eliminated they would each need an act of god to get in at this point.

  5. #145
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1988 AFL Season


    Week 15(Dec. 11th-12th)




    AFL Player Of The Week: Herschel Walker(RB, Los Angeles Raiders), 185 yards from scrimmage(117 receiving, 68 rushing) and 2 touchdown receptions.


    Cleveland Browns 21 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 9- at Three Rivers Stadium, attendance 47,491. The Browns stifling defense held Pittsburgh without a touchdown to secure a dominant road victory. Browns backup quarterback Mike Pagel overcame two interceptions in the first quarter with a 12 yard touchdown pass to Ozzie Newsome before the half and a 21 yard touchdown pass to Webster Slaughter in the third quarter to secure the victory. Steelers quarterback Phil Simms was sacked 3 times and lost 2 fumbles.

    Indianapolis Colts 30 @ Cincinnati Bengals 24- at Riverfront Stadium, attendance 59,732. The Colts scored a critical victory to keep their slim playoff hopes alive by taking down the first place Bengals on the road. Eric Dickerson ran for 91 yards and 1 touchdowns while Al Toon caught 9 passes for 141 yards and another 2 touchdowns. Dickerson's 13 yard touchdown run in the second quarter send the game into the half tied up at 14-14. Cincinnati drove downfield to take a 17-14 lead after a field goal in their opening possession of the second half. The Colts responded with a 62 yard bomb from Hebert to Al Toon to take a 21-17 lead. The Bengals retook the lead with a quick 81 yard scoring drive where Boomer Esiason completed 5 of 6 of his passes, the last of which was a 19 yard touchdown pass to Cris Collinsworth to go up 24-21. Dickerson carried the Colts on his back with 4 big runs on Indy's ensuing possession, converting on 2 critical 3rd and short plays to keep the drive alive. Dickerson's 23 yard run set Indy up in field goal range to tie the game at 24-24 going into the 4th quarter. Indy's defense came up with big stops on both of Cinci's first 2 drives of the fourth quarter while the Colts offense drove into the red zone twice for back to back field goals for a 30-24 lead. The Bengals drove into scoring range in the final 1:11 but the Colts were able to stop a would be game winning touchdown when Dave Duerson batted down a pass from Esiason to Collinsworth in the back of the end zone to seal the victory.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 @ New York Jets 27- at Jets Stadium, attendance 75,004. Randall Cunningham willed the Jets to victory over the Bucs with 297 passing yards and 2 touchdown passes along with another 88 yards rushing. Bucs quarterback Wade Wilson passed for 242 passing yards and 2 touchdown passes, both in the first half to lead Tampa to a 14-3 lead going into the half. The Jets exploded with 21 points in the third quarter including a 7 yard touchdown run by Bo Jackson and both of Cunningham's touchdown passes, a 27 yard catch and run to Freeman Mcniel and a 15 yard strike in the endzone to Mike Quick. Both teams traded field goals in the fourth quarter while the Jets controlled the clock to hold on for the 27-17 victory.

    Kansas City Chiefs 20 @ Buffalo Bills 22- at Rich Stadium, attendance 80,309. A sold out capacity crowd packed into a frozen Rich Stadium to witness the first Joe Montana vs Steve Young showdown despite 11 mph winds and a -2 degree wind chill. The Bills struck first after a fumbled opening kickoff and a holding penalty backed the Chiefs up to their own 4 yard line on their first drive of the game. Bruce Smith forced Montana to fumble the ball out of the end zone for a safety to give Buffalo an early 2-0 lead. Buffalo then drove 58 yards to add a field goal to go up 5-0 with 9:21 left in the opening quarter. The Chiefs answered with a long, grinding 77 yard drive that seen Montana hit Mark Bavaro for an 11 yard score to go up 7-5 going into the second quarter. Ronnie Lott intercepted Steve Young to give Kansas City possession on the Bills 30 yard line but Buffalo's defense held KC to a field goal that put them up 10-5. The Bills drove downfield for a field goal as time expired before the half but strong winds pushed the kick wide left. The Bills controlled the ball and the clock for majority of the third quarter with a strong smash mouth power run game, adding a 34 yard field goal and a 42 yard touchdown pass from Young to Irvin Fryar to put Buffalo up 15-10 going into the fourth quarter. Montana drove Kansas City 69 yards downfield threatening to take the lead but a huge sack by Bruce Smith on 3rd and long held them to a field goal to cut the deficit to 15-13 with 5 minutes left to play. The final 5 minutes would go down as one of the most thrilling final 5 minutes of any game this year. After a coffin corner punt put KC on their own 9 yard line and with temperatures plummeting into single digits, Montana commanded the Chiefs on a heroic 91 yard drive that was capped by a theatrical goal line dive over the top for a touchdown by Marcus Allen. The score put KC up 20-15 but Steve Young responded with a heroic 77 yard drive in the final 2 minutes, converting on a critical 3rd and 11 with a 13 yard run early in the drive. The Chiefs had Buffalo at 3rd and 9 later in the drive when Young again ran for a first down with a 10 yard diving effort. Buffalo drove down to KC's 5 yard line but the Chiefs were able to stop them short on three consecutive runs up the middle to force a game deciding 4th down with just :17 seconds left to play. Young faked a handoff and found Tom Rathman in the end zone for the game winning touchdown. Joe Montana went 20 of 30 for 181 yards and 1 touchdown while Steve Young went 14 of 27 for 145 yards with 2 touchdown passes and 1 interception along with another 35 yards rushing.

    Seattle Seahawks 33 @ Minnesota Bulls 24- at The Metrodome, attendance 56,724. Warren Moon passed for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns while fullback John L. Williams ran for 109 yards on the ground to defeat the Bulls in Minnesota. Vinnie Testaverde was intercepted twice in the first half as the Seahawks capitalized to take a 23-10 lead into halftime. Moon hit James Lofton deep for a 73 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to put Seattle up 30-10. Bulls' running back Christian Okoye ran for 2 touchdowns in the second half but it was too little too late for Minnesota, who were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss.

    San Diego Chargers 38 @ Houston Oilers 21- at The Astrodome, attendance 50,297. Joe Gibbs returned to Houston to lead the Chargers to a blowout victory that eliminates his former team from playoff contention in the West. Mike Rozier ran for 145 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns while Mark Rypien passed for 211 yards and 2 more touchdowns. The Chargers intercepted Jim Everett and scored on each of their first 3 possessions for a 21-0 lead early. Everett was intercepted twice more in the second half as Gibbs' Chargers ran away with an easy rout over Mike Shannahan's Oilers.

    San Antonio Gamblers 19 @ Los Angeles Raiders 31- at LA Memorial Coliseum, attendance 44,730. Herschel Walker had 117 yards receiving and 68 yards rushing with 2 touchdowns to help the Raiders down the red hot Gamblers in LA. Howie Long sacked Jim Kelly 3 times and kept constant pressure on the Gamblers' quarterback to help the Raider defense slow down San Antonio's high powered passing attack. Herschel Walker caught touchdown passes of 33 and 21 yards in the second half along with an amazing catch and run on a screen pass early in the game where he out-sprinted the Gamblers' defense for 81 yards before being tackled just short of the end zone.







    vs
    Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO
    New England Patriots(9-4) at Denver Broncos(7-6)
    Attendance: 76,021
    Nielson Rating: 19.2


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Patriots 7 3 0 3 13
    Broncos 7 6 3 0 16



    Broncos receiver Jerry Rice and backup quarterback Gary Kubiak shocked the world by leading the Broncos to a stunning upset over the heavily favored New England Patriots on a freezing cold Monday Night Football clash in Denver. With the Bengals being defeated on Sunday New England had a chance to take the #1 seed in the East with a victory over Denver, who lost their star quarterback John Elway for the season two weeks ago. Nobody gave the Broncos a chance but Kubiak threw for 193 yards, 111 of them to Jerry Rice. Kubiak connected with Rice for the Broncos only touchdown of the game early in the first quarter after leading Denver on a 71 yard drive against a tough cold weather Patriots defense.

    New England answered with a long scoring drive on their ensuing possession as Frank Reich connected with John Taylor and Roger Craig to keep the chains moving, eventually hitting Craig on a 17 yard touchdown to tie it up at 7-7. Patriots quarterback Frank Reich struggled throughout the rest of the game, including a fumbled snap that gave Denver field position to go ahead 10-7 on a 24 yard field goal. Roger Craig carried New England on a drive into field goal range to tie it up at 10-10. Kubiak led Denver on a 57 yard drive to set up a field goal as time expired in the first half, giving Denver the 13-10 lead going into the intermission.


    The Broncos defense decimated Frank Reich in the third quarter with 2 sacks and an interception that put Denver into range for the field goal that gave them a 16-10 advantage headed into the fourth quarter. The Patriots took their opening possession of the fourth quarter down into Broncos' territory but Denver was able to hold them to a field goal that trimmed their lead to 13-16 with 10:43 left to play. Denver controlled the ball and ran out the final minutes to hold on for the upset win.The victory keeps Denver alive and in control of their own destiny in the Western Conference playoff picture and keeps New England from overtaking Cincinnati for the #1 seed in the East. Roger Craig had 90 yards rushing and 49 yards receiving with 1 touchdown catch.






    AFL Standings


    Eastern Conference
    Buffalo Bills 10-4
    Cincinnati Bengals 10-5
    New York Jets 9-5
    New England Patriots 9-5
    Indianapolis Colts 9-5
    Pittsburgh Steelers 5-10
    Miami Dolphins 4-10
    Cleveland Browns 4-10
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-12

    Western Conference
    Kansas City Chiefs 10-4
    San Diego Chargers 9-5
    Denver Broncos 8-6
    Seattle Seahawks 8-6
    Los Angeles Raiders 6-8
    Houston Oilers 6-8
    San Antonio Gamblers 6-8
    Minnesota Bulls 5-9



    Week 16 Preview:

    The Cincinnati Bengals close out their season on the road in a game with heavy playoff implications against bitter Ohio rivals the Cleveland Browns looking to play spoiler to defend their home state honor live on prime time Monday Night Football on ABC.

    Joe Montana and Marcus Allen take the Chiefs into New York to take on Randall Cunningham and Bo Jackson of the Jets in a game where KC will be looking to clinch 1st place in the West while New York battles for a spot in the East.

    Warren Moon and the Seahawks take on Roger Craig and the Patriots in a showdown between two 4th seeded teams fighting for their playoff lives.

    The Denver Broncos take on the first place Bills in Buffalo with a playoff spot on the line.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 04-12-2020 at 10:03 PM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    A lot to take out of Week 15 here...

    First, what a glorious recap between KC and Buffalo. I am truly hoping they meet again down the line. Young vs Montana can end up being your very own version of Brady vs. Manning, and I am all for it every time they match up.

    The Colts still strike me as a sleeper team, although they don’t have an easy road to sneak in.

    The Patriots choke on MNF. I have a feeling this Broncos team has the mojo right now, even without Elway. They can certainly not only play spoiler, but could make a serious run in the playoffs if everything works in their favor to get there. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with them.

    And I know I already mentioned it, but I am really pumped to see the off-season. Aikman to the Bucs? Barry Sanders on Minnesota? Maybe a trade takes place? The possibilities are endless.

    Keep up up the great work man, I’m pumped to see Week 16 and more importantly the playoffs all unfold. I’ll be reading.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1988 AFL Season


    Week 16(Dec. 18th-19th)




    AFL Player Of The Week: Dan Marino(QB, Miami Dolphins), 394 passing yards and 4 touchdowns


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 @ Indianapolis Colts 27- at The Hoosier Dome, attendance 59,087. The Dome Patrol defense feasted on Tampa quarterback Wade Wilson with 8 sacks and limited them to just 38 total rushing yards while forcing 5 turnovers in a dominant Colts victory over the Bucs. Eric Dickerson was shut down by the Tampa defense in the first 3 quarters but he broke loose for 2 long touchdown runs in the fourth to seal the victory, a 33 yarder to put Indy up 20-7 followed by a 51 yard run to secure the victory 27-7.

    Kansas City Chiefs 28 @ New York Jets 20 - at Jets Stadium, attendance 76,899. Fans packed Jets Stadium to maximum capacity to witness a showdown between two of the biggest superstars in the AFL when Joe Montana's Chiefs took on Bo Jackson and the Jets with heavy playoff implications on the line. Going into the game the Jets needed to win to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race while the Chiefs needed a victory to clinch 1st place in the West and all that comes with it(a first round bye and homefield advantage in the Western Conference Championship Game). The wind chill dropped the temperature down into the teens in Jets Stadium. The Chiefs took the opening possession of the game down field for an 80 yard scoring drive. After taking a 7-0 lead on an 8 yard touchdown pass from Montana to Bavaro the Chiefs never lost control of the game. KC's defense shut Bo Jackson down and limited him to just 49 yards on 18 carries but Randall Cunningham moved the chains to keep up with the Chiefs in the first half. Cunningham threw a touchdown pass and ran for another to keep the Jets close, trailing 21-14 going into the half. The Jets defense finally came up with some big stops against KC in the third quarter but their offense was unable to punch the ball into the end zone on back to back trips into the red zone. Two field goals cut the Chiefs lead to 21-20 going into the fourth quarter. Both teams traded punts until a 49 yard run by Marcus Allen broke the game open for KC. The run set the Chiefs up for an 11 yard touchdown strike from Montana to Art Monk to put KC up 28-20 with just 4:55 left to play. With Bo Jackson sidelined with an apparent shoulder injury the Jets were unable to even it up in their final two possessions and the Chiefs were able to hold on for the victory.

    Minnesota Bulls 24 @ San Antonio Gamblers 30- at Alamo Stadium, attendance 24,180. Jim Kelly threw for 311 yards and 3 touchdowns to give the Gamblers their 6th straight victory over the Minnesota Bulls going back to their three meetings in the 1986 USFL season(including the Gamblers victory over the Bulls in the 86 USFL playoffs). The Bulls came out with a quick 14-7 lead after two deep touchdown passes from Vinnie Testaverde to Mark Carrier. Kelly rallied the Gamblers for 20 unanswered points in the second quarter including a field goal that was set up on a Testaverde pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Reggie White and intercepted by Jesse Tuggle. The Gamblers took a 27-14 lead into half time but Minnesota came out in the third quarter with back to back scoring drives. A 38 yard field goal and then a 6 yard touchdown run by Christian Okoye cut the Gamblers' deficit to 27-24 going into the fourth quarter. The Bulls had a chance to tie the game early in the fourth but they missed a 43 yard field goal attempt wide left. Kelly led the Gamblers down field to add to their lead with a 41 yard field goal to take a 30-24 lead. Vinnie Testaverde led the Bulls 74 yards in the final two minutes to set them up for the game tying touchdown attempt but his third down pass was intercepted with :11 seconds to play to ice their comeback hopes and give the Gamblers their 7th victory of the season. Gamblers defensive end Reggie White had 3 sacks, a tipped pass, and a forced fumble on the day.

    Denver Broncos 13 @ Buffalo Bills 17- at Rich Stadium, attendance 80,198. The Bills downed the Broncos in front of a capacity crowd at Rich Stadium to maintain first place in the Eastern Conference. Buffalo's defense sacked Broncos backup quarterback Gary Kubiak 4 times and intercepted him twice while limiting Denver's rushing yards to just 57 total on the day. Bills running back Curt Warner had 130 yards rushing and 1 touchdown. Buffalo jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter before controlling the clock and the ball for the rest of the game. Denver scored a touchdown in the third quarter when Kubiak hit Jerry Rice deep for a 71 yard touchdown pass down the sideline. Warner's lone touchdown of the game came in Buffalo's ensuing possession when he broke a 18 yard run to put the Bills on top 17-7 going into the fourth quarter.

    Seattle Seahawks 21 @ New England Patriots 33 - at Sullivan Stadium, attendance 60,594. The Patriots kept their playoff hopes alive with a dominant victory over the Seahawks on a frozen field with 8 degree wind chill. Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon came out cold and lost 2 fumbles in the first half while also throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the Seahawks opening drive of the second half. Moon's pick six put the Patriots up 23-7 early in the third quarter. New England broke Seattle with back to back scoring drives in the second half on the back of Roger Craig, who finished the day with 121 yards rushing and 61 yards receiving with 2 rushing touchdowns.

    Miami Dolphins 35 @ San Diego Chargers 17- at Jack Murphy Stadium, attendance 58,266. Dan Marino burned the Chargers defense for 394 passing yards and 4 touchdowns to lift the Dolphins over the Chargers in San Diego. Marino threw touchdown passes on each of the Dolphins first 3 possessions while the Chargers turnovers prevented them from being able to keep up. With Miami jumping out to a quick 21-3 lead San Diego was forced to abandon the run early, digging themselves deeper into a hole after 2 critical interceptions thrown by Mark Rypien in the second half. Marino's fourth touchdown pass came early in the fourth with a 22 yard strike to Flipper Anderson to put Miami up 35-10.

    Houston Oilers 26 @ Los Angeles Raiders 17- at LA Memorial Coliseum, attendance 39,211. The Oilers scored a tough road victory over the Raiders in LA with Neal Anderson running for 116 rushing yards while rookie Thurman Thomas caught a touchdown pass and rushed for another. Darrell Green picked off Jay Schroedor and returned it 69 yards for a touchdown to put Houston up 7-0 quick in the first quarter. Jim Everett led Houston on a 70 yard scoring drive capped by a 17 yard touchdown pass to Thurman Thomas. A missed extra point put Houston at a 13-0 advantage going into the second quarter. The Raiders trimmed the Oilers lead to 13-7 after a 15 yard touchdown run by Herschel Walker before the half. LA drove 60 yards in their opening possession of the second half to add a field goal that cut Houston's lead to 13-10. Thurman Thomas broke a 29 yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to give Houston a 20-10 lead. Neal Anderson carried the Oilers on back to back scoring drives in the fourth quarter where Houston was able to seal the victory with a pair of field goals.







    vs
    Cleveland Stadium, Cleveland, OH
    Cincinnati Bengals(10-5) at Cleveland Browns(4-10)
    Attendance: 80,102
    Nielson Rating: 20.5


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Bengals 7 6 0 7 20
    Browns 3 7 10 3 23


    AFL Monday Night Football hosts one of the biggest games of the year in "The Battle Of Ohio" with a deep seeded rivalry that goes all the way back to the legendary head coach Paul Brown. Paul Brown is widely considered the godfather of modern day football head coaching. He was one of the founding fathers of the Cleveland Browns franchise that took his last name when they launched in the AAFC upstart league in 1946. Paul Brown built a dynasty in the Browns as they went on to dominate the AAFC league winning all 4 of the leagues titles in 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1949. The Cleveland Browns were such a powerhouse that they moved into the NFL for the 1950 season after the NFL bought out the AAFC. The Browns proved their greatness by running roughshod over the NFL en route to the 1950 league title. Paul Brown's Cleveland dynasty would go on to win NFL titles in 1954 and 1955 but after Art Modell bought the team in the early 60's he made the controversial move to fire the man that the Browns were named after.

    Paul Brown got his revenge against Art Modell and the Cleveland Browns by building a new football team in Ohio over in Cincinnati, the Bengals. The Cincinnati Bengals took nearly identical uniform and helmet design as the Cleveland Browns when they launched in the AFL in 1968 as an expansion team. Paul Brown got the last laugh when the AFL put the NFL out of business by 1977 but Art Modell was able to negotiate a deal to make the Browns one of only 2 NFL teams to transfer over into the AFL in 1978. Ever since then the Browns and Bengals have played some of the most heated rivalry games in the AFL, with a rich backstory to their bitter feud it is always a heated affair when the Browns and Bengals meet on the AFL field.

    Never before has there been a more critical showdown between these two historic rivals than this Monday Night Football game on prime time network television tonight. Coming into this game the Cincinnati Bengals are one of the hottest teams in the AFL with one of the most unstoppable offenses the league has ever seen. Tonight the Bengals are fighting for their playoff lives after losing first place in the Eastern Conference they find themselves on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention entirely. With a bye week in the final week in the season next week the Bengals play their season finale tonight with everything at stake. With a win the Bengals seal their trip to the playoffs and a chance at first place depending on what happens to Buffalo next week. But a loss puts Cincinnati in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs in a razor tight race in the Eastern Conference.

    Over on the Cleveland side the Browns are a 4-10 team that has nothing to play for but Ohio pride. This same Browns team made history last year on a 15-1 run to Super Bowl glory with one of the greatest defensive units in AFL history, a defense that has kept Cleveland competitive down the stretch after the team lost their starting quarterback and starting running back to season ending injuries. Tonight, Cleveland plays their Super Bowl with a chance to finish the season strong and hold their heads up high going into the long offseason.


    The Bengals won the opening coin toss and took the first possession 80 yards on just 6 plays to put up the first touchdown, a 9 yard strike from Boomer Esiason to Keith Byars for a 7-0 lead early. After giving up the opening touchdown the Browns defense shut the Bengals down for the rest of the first quarter and kept them out of the end zone for the rest of the first half. Cris Collinsworth lost a fumble that gave the Browns favorable field position, setting up a 48 yard field goal by Morten Anderson that cut the Bengals lead to 7-3 going into the second quarter. The Bengals utilized their next level no-huddle offensive attack to move into the red zone on back to back drives but the Browns defense came up with big stops on third downs to hold them to field goals. The Bengals second field goal put them up 13-3 with 3:19 left in the first half. Browns backup Mike Pagel moved the chains with critical third down conversions to Webster Slaughter and Ozzie Newsome before finding Wes Chandler in the back of the end zone for a 15 yard touchdown that cut the deficit to 13-10 going into the half.

    The most critical play of the game was perhaps early in the third quarter when Richard Dent caused Ickey Woods to fumble and Wilber Marshall scooped it up and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown to put Cleveland on top 17-13. The Browns seized the momentum of the game and forced Cincinnati to punt on each of their 4 possessions of the third quarter. Mike Pagel moved Cleveland into field goal range where Morten Anderson nailed a 55 yarder to extend Cleveland's lead to 20-13 going into the fourth quarter. The Bengals fought back with a clutch drive in the fourth quarter. Boomer Esiason connected with Eddie Brown for a 18 yard touchdown to tie the game at 20-20 with 1:41 left to play. Mike Pagel connected with Webster Slaughter on 2 long passes and then found Ozzie Newsome on 3rd and long to move Cleveland into field goal range with :08 left to play. Morten Anderson booted the game winning 51 yard field goal with time expiring to give the Browns the victory 23-20 in one of the best Monday Night Football games of the 1988 season.





    AFL Standings


    Eastern Conference
    Buffalo Bills 11-4
    New England Patriots 10-5
    Indianapolis Colts 10-5
    Cincinnati Bengals 10-6
    New York Jets 9-6
    Pittsburgh Steelers 5-10
    Miami Dolphins 5-10
    Cleveland Browns 5-10
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-13

    Western Conference
    Kansas City Chiefs 11-4
    San Diego Chargers 9-6
    Denver Broncos 8-7
    Seattle Seahawks 8-7
    Houston Oilers 7-8
    San Antonio Gamblers 7-8
    Los Angeles Raiders 6-9
    Minnesota Bulls 5-10




    Week 17 Preview:

    The Indianapolis Colts take on the first place Chiefs on Monday Night Football with their entire season hanging in the balance. The Colts can make the Eastern Conference playoffs with a victory but they could be eliminated from contention with a loss. It is unclear whether or not Marv Levy will play the Chiefs starters after they clinched the #1 seed this week.

    A do or die playoff eliminator between the Jets and Broncos, the loser faces certain elimination from contention. If Denver wins they are in but the Jets would need losses to Indy and New England to have a chance to get in.

    A Steve Young vs Warren Moon shootout as the Bills travel all the way across the country to play the Seahawks in the Kingdome with a chance to clinch first place in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile the Seahawks need to win to save their season and need Denver to lose in order to make the playoffs in the West.

    Another east coast vs west coast showdown when the Chargers travel into snowy New England to take on the Patriots team that needs to win and a Buffalo loss to steal 1st place in the East, while a loss puts New England in jeopardy of missing the playoffs entirely. It's game sure to be a live action chess match with Bill Walsh vs Joe Gibbs in a clash between two of the best head coaches in the entire AFL.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 04-18-2020 at 02:17 PM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football





    AFL Eastern Conference Playoff Picture

    Current Leaders

    1. Buffalo Bills 11-4
    2. New England Patriots 10-5
    3. Indianapolis Colts 10-5


    In The Hunt

    Cincinnati Bengals 10-6
    New York Jets 9-6



    Eastern Conference Scenarios:

    The Eastern Conference playoff race has been one of the tightest in AFL history with no margin for error for any of the 5 teams fighting to get in. The Bengals have held a spot at or near the top of the conference for most of the season until losing both of their last 2 games. Now with a bye week in the final week of the season the whole city of Cincinnati has to sit and watch their fate unfold in week 17. All eyes in Cincinnati will be on the San Diego vs New England game on Sunday as the Bengals will need a loss by New England to get in. If the Patriots beat the Chargers on Sunday the Bengals will be eliminated from contention.

    The Bills took first place and can clinch the top spot with a victory over Seattle on Sunday. The Bills can still clinch 1st place with a loss to Seattle if both New England and Indianapolis lose.

    New England can still clinch 1st place if they can defeat San Diego on Sunday and if Buffalo loses to Seattle. The Patriots would clinch the #2 spot with a victory over the Chargers no matter what happens elsewhere but they still can be eliminated with a loss(see below).

    Indianapolis can clinch a playoff spot if they win against the Chiefs on Monday night. They still have a chance to clinch 1st place with a victory over KC on Monday night and with losses by Buffalo and New England on Sunday. If the Colts lose on Monday night they could be eliminated from contention(see below).

    Things would get interesting if the Colts and Patriots lose and the Jets win as it would create a 4 way tie of 10-6 teams(Indy, Cincy, New York, and New England). Under these circumstances New England would be eliminated due to worst head to head record among the 4 teams(1-2) and worst record against conference opponents among the 4(4-4). This would create a 3 way tie between NY, Cincy, and Indy with all 3 teams having identical 1-1 head to head records among the 3 teams. This would mean it would come down to conference record, which would give New York the #2 seed since they have a 7-1 record against the East. This would mean that Indy gets the final Wild Card spot due to head to head victory over Cincinnati. This would create quite the controversy since the Bengals would be eliminated despite having identical record and a head to head victory over the #2 seed NY Jets, while New England would be eliminated despite having identical record and head to head victory over #3 seed Indy.

    Another of the many possible scenarios is if New England wins on Sunday and Indianapolis loses on Monday night, the Jets with a victory over Denver would create a 3 way tie between NY, Cincy, and Indy for the final Wild Card spot. In this scenario all three 10-6 teams(NY, Indy, Cincy) having identical 1-1 head to head records among the 3 teams. This would mean it would come down to conference record, which would give New York the #3 seed since they have a 7-1 record against the East(Cincy is 5-3, Indy is 6-2).



    AFL Western Conference Playoff Picture

    Current Leaders

    1. Kansas City Chiefs 11-4
    2. San Diego Chargers 9-6
    3. Denver Broncos 8-7


    In The Hunt

    Seattle Seahawks 8-7


    Western Conference Scenarios:

    The Western Conference playoff race is not quite as complicated as the East. The Chiefs have already locked up the #1 seed that gives them a first round bye and homefield advantage in the Western Conference Championship Game. The Chiefs have the luxury of being able to rest their starters on Monday night against the Colts, Marv Levy could rest Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, and other key players for some or all of the game on Monday night to play it safe.

    The Chargers have already secured a spot in the playoffs but they can clinch the #2 seed and homefield advantage in the Wild Card round with a victory in New England on Sunday. If San Diego loses and Denver defeats the Jets on Sunday then the Chargers would drop to the #3 seed and would have to travel to Denver to play the Broncos in the Wild Card round at Mile High Stadium.

    The Broncos can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a victory over the Jets on Sunday. They can take the #2 seed with a victory and a Chargers loss to New England on Sunday. If the Broncos lose to the Jets and Seattle defeats the Bills on Sunday then Denver would be eliminated from playoff contention and Seattle would steal the #3 seed.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1988 AFL Season


    Week 17(Dec. 24th-25th)




    AFL Player Of The Week: Roger Craig(RB, New England Patriots), 20 carries for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing along with 9 receptions for 122 yards and 1 touchdown receiving


    Cleveland Browns 10 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12- at Tampa Stadium, attendance 57,391. The expansion Buccaneers finished their inaugural season on a strong note as they were able to edge the defending AFL Champion defense of the Cleveland Browns with 4 field goals. The Bucs defense sacked Browns quarterback Mike Pagel 4 times, twice by Clyde Simmons in the first half. Tampa led Cleveland 6-3 after a fumble recovery set up a 49 yard field goal late in the second quarter. The Browns put together a strong drive to open the third quarter with Pagel finding Ozzie Newsome on a 7 yard touchdown pass to put the Browns up 10-6. Wade Wilson drove Tampa into the red zone for the first and only time after a long drive late in the third quarter. Cleveland held Tampa to another field goal to hold onto a 10-9 lead going into the fourth quarter. Both defenses tightened up in the fourth quarter but an interception by Buccaneers rookie defensive back Erik McMillan. Wade Wilson made 2 critical third down conversions to move Tampa into range for the go ahead 44 yard field goal, giving the Bucs a 12-10 lead with 7:15 left to play. Both defenses clamped down in the remainder of the game as neither offense was able to cross mid-field. The Bucs victory gives them a 3-13 final record on the season, which secures the #1 draft pick for the 1989 draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock.

    New York Jets 27 @ Denver Broncos 17- at Mile High Stadium, attendance 76,278. Randall Cunningham and Bo Jackson carried the Jets to their 10th win of the season by spoiling the Broncos playoff hopes in a game played in the mud and snow flurries of Mile High Stadium. Bo Jackson ran for 117 yards on the day and added his 15th touchdown of the season in the second quarter to put the Jets up 17-10. Cunningham passed for another score in the third quarter and moved New York into field goal range early in the fourth to seal the victory with a 38 yard field goal.

    San Diego Chargers 21 @ New England Patriots 30- at Sullivan Stadium, attendance 60,798. The Patriots defense shut down San Diego's deep passing attack and controlled the clock with a heavy dose of Roger Craig to defeat the Chargers in a blizzard in a game with massive playoff implications around the league. The television broadcast featured live cut-ins from a remote broadcast from Cincinnati Bengals' head coach Sam Wyche's house where he watched the game with several of his players on their bye week in his living room. The Bengals hopeless and desperate reactions were showcased as they watched their playoff hopes crumble and one of their most promising seasons slip away in front of their eyes. Fans in Sullivan Stadium celebrated by throwing snow into the air as the Patriots took a game clinching 30-14 lead with less than 5 minutes to play after Frank Reich hit Stanley Morgan for a 16 yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. The victory clinched a playoff birth for the Patriots after nearly being eliminated by a crushing defeat to the Broncos on Monday Night Football weeks ago. Meanwhile the Patriots victory eliminates both the Jets and Bengals, two 10-6 teams and two of the most exciting teams in the league this season.

    Los Angeles Raiders 22 @ Miami Dolphins 14- at Joe Robbie Stadium, attendance 44,033. The Raiders took advantage of a busted up Dolphins offensive line(playing without Jackie Slater) to sack Dan Marino 3 times en route to a dominant victory on the road in Miami. Herschel Walker ran for 155 rushing yards and 1 touchdown while Howie Long had 2 sacks. The Raiders took a 22-0 lead early in the third quarter and most Dolphin fans emptied out of the stadium by the end of the quarter.

    Pittsburgh Steelers 19 @ San Antonio Gamblers 27- at Alamo Stadium, attendance 25,986. Jim Kelly threw for 291 yards and 2 scores while Reggie White had 1 sack and 2 forced fumbles with constant harassment of Steelers quarterback Phil Simms all game to help guide the Gamblers to their 8th victory of the season. Pittsburgh settled for field goals on all 4 of their trips into the red zone in the first half while San Antonio jumped out to a 27-12 lead before the end of the half with back to back Kelly to Mark Carrier touchdown passes(31 and 19 yards). Rod Woodson returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth to cut the deficit to 27-19 but San Antonio's defense would hold tight to secure the win. The fans gave the Gamblers a standing ovation in their final game at the smaller temporary home at Alamo Stadium after finishing with an impressive 8-8 record in their second season in the AFL. Construction is expected to wrap up on San Antonio's new 58,000 seat "Alamo Dome" just in time for the Gamblers' 1989 season opener.

    Minnesota Bulls 14 @ Houston Oilers 21- at The Astrodome, attendance 33,592. The Oilers gave Bulls' quarterback Vinnie Testaverde his 29th and 30th interceptions of the season while Jim Everett tossed for 2 scores and 308 passing yards to lead Houston to victory over the Bulls in front of a half empty Astrodome. The defeat sent the Bulls to a 5-11 final record, giving them a top 5 pick in the stacked upcoming 1989 draft. The victory gave Houston an 8-8 finish and puts head coach Mike Shannahan into the conversation for AFL Coach Of The Year considering the young roster along with the fact that this was an Oiler team that finished 0-16 just two seasons ago(and only won 2 games last season).

    Buffalo Bills 16 @ Seattle Seahawks 20- at The Kingdome, attendance 65,003. A surge in last minute ticket sales seen a super no-vacancy at the Kingdome for a critical game where the Seahawks were playing for a spot in the playoffs(due to Denver's loss earlier in the day) while Buffalo was playing to keep the #1 spot in the East(and the bye in the Wild Card round and the guaranteed homefield advantage in the Conference Championship Game that comes with it). The Bills power run game was shut down by Chuck Knox's Seahawks defense while the crowd noise caused multiple false start penalties. Seahawks defensive end Chris Doleman had 2 sacks to help keep the Bills scoreless in the first half. Warren Moon completed 7 of 8 passes on a long 81 yard drive before the end of the half, eventually finding James Lofton in the end zone for the score to put Seattle on top 10-0 going into the half. The Bills shot themselves in the foot with critical false start penalties and a delay of game after failing to get the snap off in time in the third quarter. John L Williams ran for a 5 yard touchdown to put Seattle up 17-0 with 4:33 left in the third. Steve Young finally managed to move the chains on a long drive that seen Buffalo cut Seattle's lead to 17-7 with an 11 yard touchdown run by Curt Warner. The Bills' defense sacked Moon and caused a fumble that set Buffalo up with the ball in the red zone but Seattle held them to a field goal to keep a 17-10 lead. Buffalo's defense forced Seattle to punt on each of their ensuing possessions while Steve Young commanded back to back drives deep into Seattle territory, both times having to settle for field goals. With Seattle leading 17-16 with 4:23 left in the game Warren Moon led Seattle on a 61 yard drive, weathering a smothering pass rush to convert on back to back third and longs to set the Seahawks up for the game clinching field goal giving them a 20-16 lead with 1:19 left to play. With no timeouts the Bills were unable to beat the clock and ultimately ran out of time, giving them their 5th loss of the season and dropping them all the way from the #1 seed in the East to the final Wild Card spot while the Seahawks victory clinched a playoff birth in the West.







    vs
    Arrohead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
    Indianapolis Colts(10-5) at Kansas City Chiefs(11-4)
    Attendance: 77,012
    Nielson Rating: 20.0


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Colts 3 0 7 14 24
    Chiefs 10 7 0 0 17


    ABC presents a special holiday Christmas night edition of AFL Monday Night Football in a clash between 2 of the best teams in the league this year. Joe Montana is one of the league's biggest superstars, the 2 time Super Bowl winner has his Chiefs in 1st place in the West once again. The Chiefs starters will see limited action tonight since they have their 1st place spot clinched up but the Indianapolis Colts team is playing for keeps tonight as they have a chance to secure homefield advantage against Buffalo in the Eastern Conference Wild Card Game next week. This would be critical for the Colts, who will be playing on a short week since they play tonight, to be able to play Buffalo in the friendly indoor confines of the Hoosier Dome instead of traveling on the road to play in the hostile winter weather of Rich Stadium. Monday Night Football embraces the Christmas spirit for tonight's special holiday broadcast with all the appropriate decorations and even a special surprise appearance by the big fat jolly man himself. .



    MONTANA TO SANTA FOR THE SCORE! Take that Snowflakes! Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas from the AFL!


    The game itself was a tale of two halves. The Chiefs superstar runner Marcus Allen sat out the entire game in street clothes to rest up for the Conference Championship in 2 weeks while most of the other Chiefs starters seen limited action in the first half. The Chiefs defensive starters limited Eric Dickerson to just 22 yards on 12 carries while Joe Montana tossed 2 touchdown passes to put Kansas City up 17-3 going into half time. Ken O'Brien took over for Montana in the second half and the Colts fought their way back into the game against mostly backups playing for the Chiefs. Eric Dickerson ran for 81 yards in the second half while the Colts defense completely dominated the Chiefs second string offense. Eric Dickerson ran for a 12 yard touchdown to tie the game up 17-17 early in the fourth. Bobby Hebert connected with Steve Jordan for the go ahead score with 4 minutes left to give Indy the victory 24-17.

    The win gives Indy homefield advantage next week in the Eastern Conference Wild Card Playoff Game when they take on the Buffalo Bills in the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis. Bills fans and players were reportedly furious in interviews and sports radio call ins all week over Kansas City's decision to pull all their starters in the second half of the game and giving up a 17-3 lead that cost them the #1 seed in the East.





    AFL 1988 Final Standings


    Eastern Conference

    Team Wins Losses Ties Win Percentage Points For Points Against
    New England Patriots 11 5 0 .688 354 273
    Indianapolis Colts 11 5 0 .688 418 301
    Buffalo Bills 11 5 0 .688 311 228
    Cincinnati Bengals 10 6 0 .625 415 354
    New York Jets 10 6 0 .625 405 362
    Pittsburgh Steelers 5 11 0 .313 303 354
    Miami Dolphins 5 11 0 .313 401 460
    Cleveland Browns 5 11 0 .313 237 289
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 13 0 .188 187 373

    Western Conference

    Team Wins Losses Ties Win Percentage Points For Points Against
    Kansas City Chiefs 11 5 0 .688 404 277
    San Diego Chargers 9 7 0 .563 335 349
    Seattle Seahawks 9 7 0 .563 409 397
    Denver Broncos 8 8 0 .500 343 356
    Houston Oilers 8 8 0 .500 367 433
    San Antonio Gamblers 8 8 0 .500 425 422
    Los Angeles Raiders 7 9 0 .438 379 346
    Minnesota Bulls 5 11 0 .313 279 371





    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 04-25-2020 at 10:45 AM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Ah, the magic of a post season run minus Elway just wasn’t in the cards for Denver

    Without a clear cut favorite in the east (still not sold on New England) and the West virtually KC’s for the taking, itll be interesting to see how the playoffs pan out.

    Of course, the dream matchup of a Montana/Young Round 2 is still on the table, which would be a highly entertaining Super Bowl.

    I know you didn’t ask for predictions, but I’m gonna give them...

    Wild Card
    Chargers over Seahawks
    Bills over Colts

    Championship Round
    Chiefs over Chargers
    Bills over Patriots

    Super Bowl
    We all win with this matchup
    Chiefs over Bills

    Joe Cool is still the king of the grid iron...for now.

    Ps: That Montana-to-Santa Claus picture/card is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. Searching eBay now to see how expensive it is. Stimulus check funds can certainly go to that over anything else!
    EDIT: That was the best $1.99 plus $5 shipping I have ever spent

    Super excited for the first batch of playoff games, can’t wait for the next update!
    Last edited by BattleTank; 04-25-2020 at 11:14 PM.

  11. #151
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Quote Originally Posted by BattleTank View Post
    Ah, the magic of a post season run minus Elway just wasn’t in the cards for Denver

    Without a clear cut favorite in the east (still not sold on New England) and the West virtually KC’s for the taking, itll be interesting to see how the playoffs pan out.

    Of course, the dream matchup of a Montana/Young Round 2 is still on the table, which would be a highly entertaining Super Bowl.

    I know you didn’t ask for predictions, but I’m gonna give them...

    Wild Card
    Chargers over Seahawks
    Bills over Colts

    Championship Round
    Chiefs over Chargers
    Bills over Patriots

    Super Bowl
    We all win with this matchup
    Chiefs over Bills

    Joe Cool is still the king of the grid iron...for now.

    Ps: That Montana-to-Santa Claus picture/card is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. Searching eBay now to see how expensive it is. Stimulus check funds can certainly go to that over anything else!
    EDIT: That was the best $1.99 plus $5 shipping I have ever spent

    Super excited for the first batch of playoff games, can’t wait for the next update!
    Tank gonna make me see another bills sb lost :o




    Spoiler:


    CWA World Heavyweight Champion
    Brayden Bridges





  12. #152
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    I've been slowly reading my way through this whole thread over the past few days, and god damn, I've been cheating myself all these years that I haven't read this. You've created a truly fascinating alternate universe here. As a Steeler fan I was glad that you incorporated them in the league, although it was somewhat unfortunate that it happened in the 70s era where they were so dominant, and didn't reach the same levels of success in the AFL as they did in the NFL. Reading some of the things you thought of, also would've loved to read the alternate universe with Dan Marino going to the home town Steelers but it wasn't to be. I'm very interested to keep my eyes on this going forward, especially going into the 89 draft and now almost getting to the 90s, very fascinating stuff.

    I was thinking about doing something similar to this for the XFL which is why I originally started reading through it, really glad I did.

  13. #153
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Thanks for the love dudes. I feel very good about finishing this season, this was quite a task. This was a fucking grind and maybe the hardest thing I've ever completed in a fan fiction, from painstakingly putting the schedule together with hand drawn grid on notebook paper to trying to come up with realistic stats and scores week to week, to manufacturing storylines and trying to build certain characters through the course of the season to trying to keep this thing going in real time with a post every week for 17 weeks(my vacation in February screwed this up).

    I tried this for the 1978 season and again for the 1983 season and each time just kinda got overwhelmed with it and failed. I really didn't want that to happen a third time so I was really dialed in for this and committed. Honestly there was a point with this 1988 season where I kinda regretted starting this format so soon, I thought maybe I should have waited until 89 or even just wait until the 90's. But I pushed through and really felt like I found my groove with it. My game summaries at first I wanted to mirror the AP game summaries you would read in the annual NFL Record & Fact Books but these kinda developed from week to week into something more. I definitely found a comfort zone there after a few weeks and it makes me glad I did start with 1988 to work out the kinks of this format.

    I learned from a few mistakes through the season and figured out a few things to make it easier/better in future seasons. To get the results I used a dice roll system based on pen and paper role playing game battle systems like from games like Dungeons and Dragons(I had more experience with Shadow Run and Star Wars RPG's back in the day so it's probably closer to the system used in those). The dice roll was effected by each team's stats in certain categories on offense and defense, and these stats would change from week to week depending on things like what field surface they played on, weather, momentum, injuries, etc, everything is relative. But I can't lie there were times where I swayed the results to make certain things happen and this may be something I experiment with more going forward in future seasons, I may even try to meticulously book out an entire season just to see what a worked football league would be like. Worked roller derby, worked jousting/sword fighting tournaments at Medieval Knights, pro wrestling, I feel like a worked football league has so many possibilities.

    But I do like my dice roll system and I like not knowing exactly is going to happen. These upcoming playoffs for example will all be dice roll matchups I really have no idea how it's going to play out. Like I didn't plan on Cincinnati missing the playoffs this season it just happened, they lost the roll to Cleveland in the finale and in this universe I thought that was a cruel but realistic twist, I mean that defense had Wilber Marshall, Seth Joyner, and Richard Dent these Bengals faced far tougher competition in this alternate reality than the real life 1988 Bengals did. But I think this might have been the catalyst I need to finally expand the playoffs to an 8 team tournament.

    I was really intrigued by the totals when I finally tallied up all the points for/points against numbers at the end of the season. Looking at the numbers it was a highly offensive league, you had 10 out of 17 teams in the league score more than 350 points on offense while you only had 4 out of 17 teams that allowed fewer than 300 points on defense(only 1 team in the West). So the balance was in favor of the offense. In the real life 1988 NFL season there were only 9 out of 28 teams that scored over 350 and 8 teams that allowed fewer than 300. But I don't think these AFL results are too far off from what realistic numbers would have been in this scenario, you got to realize that AFL was a more offensive league in the 1960's compared to the NFL it was different. I feel like AFL football was better suited for television because of this, it was just more exciting and colorful than the NFL in the 1960's. When the two leagues merged in 1970 it was like the AFL style of football died and all those teams had to adapt to the NFL style. What would have happened if the merger never happened, how would the AFL style evolve over the 30 years that this thread has covered? Does every body score 400 points a season? Man, you know what, maybe so.

    Also will be interesting to add up and track the attendance numbers and MNF TV ratings from season to season going forward.

    Battletank yeah looking for some Santa football images sent me down the football card rabbit hole. Back in the day I used to get the big boxes of cards for Christmas, I must have had the entire 1990 Score set(also had a full 1989 set of a different brand I can't remember, I got these in like 93-94 so I was a few years behind everybody, probably big reason why I'm so fond of this era of NFL). I seen they go for dirt cheap I may have to pick one up. I definitely want this one:



    And Battletank has brought this up a couple of times but can't stress enough how completely fucking nuts the upcoming offseason is going to be. Between the epic 89 draft, some major coaching changes, maybe the biggest blockbuster trade this thread will ever see, and the first big wild free agency frenzy I can't stress how stoked I am about where this project is going. This next offseason is so fucking pivotal to this whole project for where it is going in the future. I can't wait to get to it. Thanks for reading
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 04-26-2020 at 07:06 AM.

  14. #154
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    1988 College Football Season Summary


    The 1988 NCAA Division I football season wrapped up in early January 1989 just as the AFL playoffs are kicking off. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish captured the National Championship by defeating unbeaten West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl. Notre Dame dominated college football in 1988 with an undefeated 12-0 record. Their turning point in the season was the victory over #1 ranked Miami Hurricanes in October. Going into that game the Hurricanes were riding a 36 game win streak.

    The Miami Hurricanes loss to Notre Dame was the end of an era. The Hurricanes finished 11-1 in 1988 and defeated Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Miami has been a powerhouse in college football for the past 5 seasons playing for head coach Jimmy Johnson, going a combined 52-9 under his leadership over that time including a 36 game win streak and the 1987 National Championship. The Hurricanes in the late 80's have been a wild renegade team under Johnson's tenure, a team of characters known for their trash talk, over the top celebration, and their tendency to run the score up on their opponents, the media nicknamed them "The Bad Boys Of College Football". Jimmy Johnson has created a firestorm of rumors and speculation going into 1989 after reportedly fielding offers to take the next step into the pro level with the American Football League.


    The biggest story of the 1988 college football season has been without a doubt the sheer brilliance of Oklahoma State running back Barry Sanders. Sanders electrified the college football world with perhaps the greatest season in history with an ungodly 2,850 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns. Sanders ran for over 300 yards in 4 different games in 1988, averaging 7.6 rushing yards per carry and over 200 yards per game. Barry Sanders won the 1988 Heisman Trophy Award and is set to enter the 1989 AFL Draft this April.


    Other outstanding performers around college football include UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman, perhaps the finest quarterback in this year's upcoming AFL draft. Aikman threw for 2,771 passing yards with 24 touchdown passes and only 9 interceptions in 1988. Two outstanding defenders in college football this year are Florida State defensive back Deion Sanders aka "Prime Time", and Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas. Prime Time had 5 interceptions in 1988(2 of them returned for touchdowns) while Derrick Thomas had an unheard of 27 sacks in 1988.


    This year's AFL draft will be a deep one as the talent coming out of the 1988 college football season is at perhaps an all time high up to this point. Two of the most dynamic offensive weapons in 1988 was University Of Texas running back Eric Metcalf and Michigan State wide receiver Andre Rison. Offensive linemen that stood out in 1988 include Penn State guard Steve Wisniewski, Rice center Courtney Hall, Notre Dame guard Andy Heck, and Pitt center Mark Stepnoski while Syracuse's Daryl "Moose" Johnson is perhaps the best fullback entering the AFL draft this year. Of all the offensive stars from college entering this year's AFL draft all of them stand in awe at the sheer awesomeness of Michigan State's left tackle Tony Mandarich.


    Mandarich is one of the most amazing physical specimens entering the AFL draft this year and is widely considered the best offensive line prospect maybe ever. The force of nature is widely considered a sure fire safe bet pick in the top 5 and potentially a future AFL Hall Of Famer. On the defensive side of the ball many are buzzing about a hard hitting safety out of Arkansas named Steve Atwater while AFL teams in the draft looking for pass rushers will have their eyes on Florida's Trace Armstrong and Virginia's Jeff Lageman. This year's AFL draft will be one of the most pivotal since the 1983 draft and one that will certainly set the stage for the entire 1990's decade.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 04-28-2020 at 02:56 PM.

  15. #155
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Ah yes, Mandarich, the greatest NFL bust of all time.

  16. #156
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u31FO_4d9TY

    AFL '88: Mega Powers Explode
    The Road To Super Bowl XXIII


    On the eve of the kickoff of the 1988 AFL playoffs we take a look back at the season that was in the annual AFL Films special "Road To The Super Bowl" recap. The 1988 AFL season was dominated by the Mega Powers of the league; Herschel Walker from the LA Raiders, Roger Craig from the New England Patriots, Eric Dickerson from the Indianapolis Colts, and perhaps the biggest superstar in the AFL today, Bo Jackson of the New York Jets. The four power backs completely ran over opposing defenses across the AFL with well over 6,300 total combined rushing yards between the four of them.

    Herschel Walker entered the AFL with all of the pressure of trying to live up to the hype of his USFL career. After dominating the USFL Walker created a bidding war for his services in the AFL that made him one of the highest paid athletes in pro sports when he signed with the LA Raiders last season. Walker lived up to the hype and earned his money in 1988 when he carried the Raiders offense on his back after the team lost starting quarterback Doug Williams to injury mid-season. After the Raiders got out to a 2-5 start Herschel Walker willed them to victories in 5 of their last 9 games, including a 41-0 shut out over the Tampa Bucs in a game where Walker gained more total yards than the entire Buccaneers offense. Walker's 194 yards rushing and 3 touchdown performance against Tampa earned him AFL Player Of The Week honors for week 9. Herschel won the award again in week 15 when he led the Raiders to a victory over the San Antonio Gamblers with 117 yards receiving and 2 touchdown catches. Walker was without a doubt one of the most dangerous all around threats in the league in 1988, as runner out of the backfield, a receiver, and even as a lethal kickoff return man.

    Despite the success of Herschel Walker the LA Raiders struggled under head coach Buddy Ryan's first year as head coach, finishing with a 7-9 record. The Raiders season was full of drama and they dominated the headlines all year. Buddy Ryan and owner Al Davis were accused of a bounty system or a "Hit List" that rewarded players with cash bonuses for injuring specific opposing players. 1988 could possibly be Lawrence Taylor's final season in LA after a falling out with the team after he was suspended for a failed drug test late in the year. LT played in the final year of his contract with the Raiders in '88 and is expected to be an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason. The Raiders are one of the team's hit the hardest by the new unrestricted free agency and salary cap restrictions as they lost several key players last year(Marcus Allen to the Chiefs, Matt Millen to the Bulls) and still find themselves over the cap headed into the 1989 off-season. Still their is hope for a bright future in LA with the success of quarterback Jay Schroeder late in the season and the bright young talent of rookie tight end Keith Jackson.


    Another one of the most versatile running backs in the AFL in 1988 was New England Patriots superstar Roger Craig. Craig led the AFL in total yards from scrimmage in 1988 with 1,512 rushing yards and 812 receiving yards. The Super Bowl XXI MVP carried the Patriots to a 6-0 start early in the season and ended up being the deciding factor in the 3 way race for 1st place in the Eastern Conference. In the snowy field at Foxboro on Christmas Eve in the Patriots season finale with their playoff spot on the line it was Roger Craig who ran for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground while also catching 9 passes for 122 yards and 1 touchdown receiving in New England's victory over the Chargers. The performance earned Craig AFL Player Of The Week honors for week 17 and clinched 1st place in the Eastern Conference for the Patriots with an 11-5 record. Roger Craig earned a reputation as arguably one of the best pass receiving backs in the AFL and as one of the most devastating downfield runners in the league with a unique running style that punishes would be tacklers with high knee strikes.


    Another back that willed his team into the AFL playoffs is the Indianapolis Colts' former AFL MVP Eric Dickerson, that man that will go down as the premier running back in the AFL for the 1980's decade by the time it's all said and done. Eric Dickerson outgained Roger Craig, Bo Jackson, and Herschel Walker to lead the entire AFL in rushing yards with 1,594 rushing yards in 1988. Indy struggled to a 1-3 start to the season and remained lost in one of the tightest conference/division races ever in AFL history down the stretch in the Eastern Conference. The Colts were in 6th place with a 4-4 record at the halfway point and after a 23-14 loss to the Patriots in New England in week 12 many had the Colts dead to rights at 6-5 in the highly competitive Eastern Conference. Dickerson and a premier defense led by Mike Singletary, Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, Dexter Manley, Dan Hampton, and Steve "Mongo" Mcmichael(aka the "Dome Patrol" defense) carried the Colts to a 5 game win streak to finish the season 11-5 and steal 2nd place in the East.

    After losing their first 2 games at home early in the season(including giving up 27 points in a loss to their former defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan's Raiders) the Dome Patrol defense decimated offenses in 6 consecutive lights out performances at the Hoosier Dome; a 31-20 victory over the Gamblers(the highest scoring offense in the AFL in 1988), a 49-19 blowout of the Bulls, a 21-13 win over the Bills, a 30-14 victory over Marino's Dolphins, as well as dominant victories over the Bucs(27-7) and Steelers(28-17).

    Out of all the Super-Power backs that tore up the AFL in 1988 none of them reached the superstar status of the New York Jets' phenom, Bo Jackson. Jackson retired from major league baseball to focus on his AFL career last season and completely dominated for the past two seasons. This year his numbers were down slightly from his amazing 1987 season(where he led the AFL with over 1,700 rushing yards) but he was still the center of attention in the AFL whenever he was on the field for the Jets. Bo drew big numbers in AFL attendance and television ratings and put up big numbers on the field as well, including an amazing 139 yard 2 touchdown performance in week 3 against the mighty 46 Buddy Ryan defense of the LA Raiders. Two weeks later Bo earned his second AFL Player Of The Week award when he ran for over 200 yards and 4 touchdowns in a game the Jets somehow still found a way to lose against the Houston Oilers. Bo's signature game of the season and perhaps of his entire career so far is without a doubt his Monday Night Football showcase where he ran for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Dolphins. Jackson's return to Monday Night Football later in the season against Pittsburgh had one of the biggest television audiences of any AFL game this year tuning in to see him run for over 100 yards to lead the Jets to a victory on prime time television.

    Bo Jackson was on track to the AFL MVP award as he and the electrifying Jets quarterback Randall Cunningham had an exciting New York football team in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff hunt until the defense fell apart late in the season. Jackson was hampered by a nagging injuries that had mounted up after running the ball 25-30 times a game in Jerry Glanville's offense, he was sidelined for most of the Jets loss to the Chiefs that eventually eliminated them from playoff contention. Still, Bo Jackson finished the season with 1,548 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Jets star pass rusher Mark Gastineau shocked the world when he retired suddenly after the Jets loss to the Bengals in week 14, a game that seen another Jets star defender Brian Bosworth lost for the year with a shoulder injury. Even though the Jets missed the playoffs they still finished with a strong 10-6 record with Bo Jackson and Randall Cunningham providing some of the most exciting moments and games of the 1988 AFL season.




    The class of the AFL 1988 regular season was America's Team, the Kansas City Chiefs. Joe Montana was on track to an MVP season after leading the Chiefs to an 8-1 start and a firm clasp on 1st place in the West that they would never loosen up on. Montana led the Chiefs on a 28 point second half comeback against Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football that many consider the best game of the season and the greatest regular season comeback in AFL history. The Chiefs struggled and lost 3 out of 5 games at one point when Montana began to struggle with injuries. Joe Cool got healthy and rebounded to lead the Chiefs to a first place finish with an 11-5 record. The decision to steal Marcus Allen away from the Raiders this past offseason paid off for Kansas City as he finished with 1,008 rushing yards and 787 receiving yards. The true key to Kansas City's success in 88 was their improved defense, which ranked 3rd in the AFL in fewest points allowed.

    Even though the Road To The Super Bowl goes through Kansas City in the West the two teams that will be fighting to take that next step in the playoffs will be the San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks. Joe Gibbs turned the Chargers around into the surprise success story in the AFL in 1988. Not many gave San Diego a chance this offseason after the retirement of Kellen Winslow and Dan Fouts and the loss of Tony Dorsett through free agency. Still head coach Joe Gibbs put together one of the best receiver trios in the AFL(Ricky Sanders, Ernest Givens, and Anthony Miller) and one of the best defenses in the league. Backup Mark Rypien came in and played well filling in for the injured Jim Mcmahon, who was lost for the season early on. Gibbs led the young Chargers team to a 2nd place finish in the west with a 9-7 record. Meanwhile over in Seattle Warren Moon thrived in the Kingdome up until he was lost for 4 weeks with an injury. Moon returned from the injury to save Seattle's season and earn a spot in the playoffs.


    The biggest surprise this season was the success of the Buffalo Bills, a team that has routinely been one of the worst in the league in the 1980's and a team that hasn't seen the playoffs since 1974. New head coach Joe Bugel put together a strong power rushing attack on offense and quarterback Steve Young began to grow as a play maker on the field. Buffalo's defense led the league in fewest points allowed and the Bills threatened to take the Eastern Conference with a strong 7-3 start. Buffalo became nearly unbeatable at home in Rich Stadium down the stretch and won one of the best games of the season when they took down the first place Kansas City Chiefs in a thriller in week 15.

    Another big surprise was the collapse of the Cincinnati Bengals late in the season after they hovered over 1st place in the Eastern Conference for most of the year. The Bengals had one of the most high powered offenses in the AFL in 1988 with Boomer Esiason edging out Dan Marino with the highest passer rating in the AFL. The Bengals had control of their own destiny after coming out with a 10-4 start to the season. But the team that many predicted to represent the East in the Super Bowl all season would lose their final 2 games to finish 10-6 and miss the playoffs entirely. The deciding loss would go down as perhaps one of the most haunting defeats when the Bengals lost a trap game to the Ohio rival Cleveland Browns in week 16 in one of the most dramatic games of the season, now perhaps the signature game of this bitter rivalry. The Browns were on their way to a 5-11 finish and had nothing to play for but Ohio pride. Playing without starting quarterback Bernie Kosar or starting running back Ottis Anderson, Cleveland would upset the Bengals with 3 Morten Anderson field goals of 50+ yards, the last of which was the game winner as time expired for the 23-20 victory that will live on in infamy in Cincinnati forever.

    Elsewhere around the AFL the San Antonio Gamblers lit up the AFL in 1988 with their Run N' Shoot offense with Jim Kelly leading an offense that scored more points than any other team in the league. San Antonio earned their respect in 1988 with an impressive 8-8 finish. Meanwhile the Denver Broncos collapsed down the stretch after starting the season 5-0. John Elway was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his knee and the Broncos would eventually fall apart and miss the playoffs. Down in Houston new head coach Mike Shannahan led a young team to a return to respectability with an 8-8 finish on the strength of the arm of quarterback Jim Everett.


    And then there were the also-rans. For the Minnesota Bulls there were big moments, including the upset of the Broncos in the Metrodome on their debut on Monday Night Football which seemed like a coming out party for the franchise and it's fans. Even though the Bulls had their moments in 1988 they still suffered through a 5-11 season that seen quarterback Vinnie Testaverde throw 30 interceptions. Things weren't much better for the 5-11 defending Super Bowl Champion Browns, who suffered through an injury plagued season on offense while their defense continued to dominate opponents. In Pittsburgh the Steelers looked promising early on after a 5-3 start but would lose all of their final 8 games to finish 5-11. Nobody expected the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be much of a threat in their inaugural AFL season in 1988, considering the thin roster head coach Bill Parcells was given to work with it's impressive that Tampa did finish with a 3-13 record with a huge upset victory over the playoff bound Chargers early in the season. Tampa's big win of the season was their upset of the Miami Dolphins in the first ever Sunshine State Showdown, a franchise defining victory. in Tampa's triumph was the tragedy for the Dolphins team, with their loss to the lowly Bucs a low point in their 5-11 season. Dan Marino threw for over 4,200 passing yards and threw for 39 touchdown passes but Miami's defense was the worst in stopping the run or rushing the passer. Miami's 5-11 season seen Dan Marino shut out of the AFL playoffs for the 4th consecutive season and fans in Florida split over whether or not the Don Shula era needs to continue.






    AFL 1988 Regular Season Awards/Leaders




    1988 AFL MVP Award Winner
    Roger Craig(RB, New England Patriots), Led the Patriots to 1st place finish in the East by leading the AFL in total yards from scrimmage with 2,312



    AFL Offensive Player Of The Year
    Roger Craig(RB, New England Patriots), Led the AFL in total yards from scrimmage with 1,512 rushing yards and 812 receiving yards with 16 total touchdowns


    AFL Defensive Player Of The Year
    Bruce Smith(DE, Buffalo Bills), 13 sacks, leader of AFL's top ranked defense


    AFL Rookie Of The Year
    Ickey Woods(RB, Cincinnati Bengals), 893 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns


    AFL Coach Of The Year
    Joe Bugel(Buffalo Bills), In his first year as a head coach in the AFL leads Bills to first winning season in 7 years and leads them to first playoff appearance in 13 years(1974)


    AFL Top Rated Passer
    Boomer Esiason(QB, Cincinnati Bengals), 3,788 passing yards, 30 touchdown passes


    AFL Rushing Leader
    Eric Dickerson(RB, Indianapolis Colts), 1,594 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns


    AFL Receiving Leader
    Anthony Carter(WR, San Antonio Gamblers), 89 receptions, 1,472 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns


    AFL Sack Leader
    Reggie White(DE, San Antonio Gamblers), 16 sacks



    AFL Interception Leader
    Erik Mcmillan(CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), 9 interceptions




    AFL Wild Card Playoffs Preview


    The AFL 1988 playoffs kick off this Sunday on New Years Eve with the AFL Eastern and Western Conference Wild Card Playoff Games. The Road To The Super Bowl starts here and it ends on January 22nd 1989 at Joe Robbie Stadium with Super Bowl XXIII live from Miami Florida on NBC!

    vs

    In the early game on Sunday it will be the Buffalo Bills traveling to the Hoosier Dome to play the Indianapolis Colts in the Eastern Conference Wild Card Playoff Game. The Buffalo Bills loss in Seattle in their season finale caused them to fall from 1st place in the East all the way to the #3 seed, now instead of resting up on a bye week and getting ready to host the Eastern Conference Championship Game in 2 weeks they find themselves on the road in Indy against the Dome Patrol defense on their home turf. This game will be a clash between 2 of the best defenses in the AFL this season. Indianapolis defeated Buffalo 21-13 back in week 10 in the Hoosier Dome. Bills quarterback Steve Young took a beating in that game, he was sacked 3 times and threw 2 interceptions. In their last 6 games in the Hoosier Dome nobody has scored more than 20 points against the Dome Patrol defense but Indy played on Monday Night Football finale on Christmas night and will have a short week to prepare for the playoffs.

    vs

    On Sunday afternoon in the Western Conference Wild Card Playoff Game San Diego Chargers head coach Joe Gibbs faces the quarterback that he helped develop into one of the elite passers in the AFL, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon. No other head coach in the AFL knows Moon better, Joe Gibbs coached Moon in Houston and played a pivotal role in Moon's rise to the top during their time together with the Oilers. Gibbs and Moon were split up 2 years ago when the Oilers fired Gibbs and traded Warren Moon to Seattle. Now Joe Gibbs has recharged San Diego for a return to the playoffs in his second season while Warren Moon has made Seattle a threat in the West. Fate has brought Moon and Gibbs back together to face each other in the single most important game of either of their careers up to this point. Can Warren Moon overcome his former head coach and lead Seattle to their first ever AFL playoff victory or will Joe Gibbs redeem himself for his past failures in Houston? The Chargers defeated Seattle 20-10 in San Diego in week 13 but Warren Moon was out with an injury, the Seahawks played with backup Dave Krieg(who threw 2 interceptions). The Chargers will have to find an answer for Seahawks pass rusher Chris Doleman, who had 3 sacks in the meeting back in week 13. Seattle on the other hand will have their hands full defending San Diego's trio of speedy receivers(Ricky Sanders, Ernest Givens, and rookie Anthony Miller) that Joe Gibbs likes to stretch the field with.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 05-02-2020 at 01:54 PM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1988 AFL Wild Card Playoffs
    January 1st, 1989




    Eastern Conference Wild Card Playoff Game
    vs
    The Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, IN
    Buffalo Bills(11-5) at Indianapolis Colts(11-5)
    Attendance: 60,139


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Bills 0 0 3 7 10
    Colts 7 3 3 6 19


    The Indianapolis Colts won their 7th consecutive home game in the Hoosier Dome with a dominating performance by their "Dome Patrol" defense. In a clash between two of the best defensive units in the AFL it was the Colts defense that held their ground, holding Buffalo's power rushing attack scoreless in a hard hitting war of attrition in the first half. Whenever Buffalo had the ball it was a battle in the trenches, power vs power, it was Kevin Glover and Tom Rathman vs Dan Hampton and Steve "Mongo" Mcmichael fighting tooth and nail on the inside while Bills left tackle Louis Sharpe battled man to man with Colts pass rusher Dexter Manley all game in a physical war of muscle, spit, blood, and guts. Sharpe managed to keep Manley from touching Steve Young but the Colts linebacker corps of Mike Singletary, Sam Mills, and Pat Swilling sacked Young 4 times and held Bills running back Curt Warner to just 59 total rushing yards in the whole game.

    In the first quarter it was a Curt Warner fumble that the Colts recovered that set up the first touchdown, a 14 yard touchdown pass from Bobby Hebert to tight end Steve Jordan to put Indy on top 7-0. The Colts put together a 56 yard drive on the back of two big runs by Eric Dickerson to add a field goal to take a 10-0 lead into halftime.


    Colts running back Eric Dickerson had 89 yards rushing on 26 carries against the Bills top ranked defense of the AFL.


    Steve Young managed to move the chains in Buffalo's opening possession of the second half against a hard hitting onslaught from Indy's defense. Young converted on three critical 3rd downs on the drive, first a 12 yard pass to Tom Rathman on 3rd and 10, followed by a 7 yard diving run on 3rd and 4, then a 16 yard completion to Andre Reed on 3rd and 9 to move Buffalo into field goal range. Reed took a gharish hit on the play that took him out of the game. The Bills hit a 38 yard field goal to cut Indy's lead to 10-3. Indianapolis answered with a 61 yard drive to add another field goal to extend their lead to 13-3 with 4:32 left in the third quarter.


    Bills quarterback Steve Young took a merciless beating from the Indy pass rush, he was sacked 4 times and completed only 14 of 32 passes for 141 passing yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.


    Buffalo fought back in the fourth quarter with Bruce Smith sacking Bobby Hebert on a critical 3rd and long that knocked Indy out of field goal range and forced them to punt. Pressure from Bruce Smith caused Hebert to throw an interception on Indy's ensuing drive. The interception set up Steve Young's 22 yard touchdown pass Irving Fryar that cut Indy's lead to 13-10 with 9:22 left to play. Buffalo's defense came up with a big stop on Indianapolis' next drive, giving Steve Young the chance to tie it up with 3:44 left to play. Young threw a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Dave Duerson. The turnover set up Indy's 30 yard field goal that put them up 16-10 with 2:14 left to play. Buffalo had another chance but the Colts held them to a turnover on downs. Indy got the ball back on Buffalo's 30 yard line where they clinched the win with a field goal for the 19-10 victory.


    The leader of the Dome Patrol defense, Colts linebacker Mike Singletary commanded a brutal hard hitting defensive effort that eliminated Buffalo's run game and kept the pressure on Steve Young. Singletary's focus is unmatched in the AFL, his 9 tackles and 1 sack earned him Player Of The Game honors from John Madden and Pat Summeral but his tipped pass in the 4th quarter led to the interception that sealed the victory.


    The AFL playoffs often times come down to who can hit the hardest, and in this game it was the Indianapolis Colts and their Dome Patrol defense. The Colts out-hit the Bills in a fiercely physical wild card playoff game to move on to their 3rd consecutive trip to the Eastern Conference Championship Game. The celebration after the game was subdued by Colts head coach Jim Mora, in the press conference after the game he brought up the Colts losses in the 1986 and 1987 Eastern Conference Championship Games to the eventual Super Bowl Champs(the Patriots and Browns) as he reminded reporters that the Colts hardest work is ahead of them. Now they are set for a rematch with New England next week with a trip to Super Bowl XXIII on the line. As for the Buffalo Bills it was a heart wrenching end to their season, their best season in well over a decade. The Bills were a strong contender in the East under head coach Joe Bugel's first year at the helm and can only get better with one of the best young rosters in the league going into the 1989 off-season.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 05-09-2020 at 07:21 PM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1988 AFL Wild Card Playoffs
    January 1st, 1989




    Western Conference Wild Card Playoff Game
    vs
    Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, CA
    Seattle Seahawks(9-7) at San Diego Chargers(9-7)
    Attendance: 60,744


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT F
    Seahawks 10 0 7 0 0 17
    Chargers 3 7 7 0 3 20


    The Chargers broke the hearts of Seahawks fans in Seattle when they denied their first ever playoff victory with a 38 yard field goal in overtime to win the Western Conference Wild Card Playoff 20-17. It was a matchup of the student vs the master with Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon on the field facing a game plan custom made to stop him by his former sensei, Chargers head coach Joe Gibbs. Both defenses took control of the line of scrimmage early on with Seattle's interior rushing attack with John L. Williams and Ernest Byner being met head on by fierce opposition in the form of Chargers interior defensive lineman Henry Thomas, one of the best in the AFL. On the other side of the ball the Seahawks moved pass rusher Chris Doleman around the line of scrimmage throughout the game only for him to be mostly contained by both Chargers offensive tackles; Gary Zimmerman and Bruce Armstrong. Despite neutralizing the Seahawks pass rushing specialist they were still unable to run the football as Seattle's defense kept Mike Rozier in check, limiting him to just 67 yards total on the day.


    San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Henry Thomas dominated the line of scrimmage and stopped Seattle from being able to run up the middle, as a result Seattle lost the time of possession battle and their traditional ball control offensive strategy fell apart over the course of the game.


    Both teams traded field goals before Moon put together an 83 yard drive late in the first quarter. A 38 yard completion to Steve Largent put Seattle into scoring range where Moon connected with Ernest Byner on a 9 yard screen pass for a touchdown. Seattle took a 10-3 lead into the second quarter but head coach Chuck Knox's conservative play calling cost him dearly. San Diego shut down the Seahawks run game on 1st and 2nd down and put the pressure on Moon with sacks by Charles Mann and Leslie O'Neal on critical 3rd and long plays for Seattle in the second quarter. Warren Moon made a costly mistake before the half when he threw a pick six to Chargers cornerback Gill Byrd. Byrd's 27 yard interception return for a touchdown tied the game 10-10 going into the half and gave the Chargers the momentum with a fired up hometown crowd behind them.


    San Diego Chargers backup quarterback Mark Rypien gets his first playoff victory as a starter despite struggling and completing 18 of 35 attempts for 174 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.


    The Seahawks offense continued to struggle in the third quarter. San Diego took their opening possession of the second half 72 yards on a drive that was capped with a 48 yard bomb from Mark Rypien to Ricky Sanders for the go-ahead score. The touchdown put San Diego up 17-10 with 7:33 left in the third quarter. Moon responded with a 68 yard deep strike to James Lofton on Seattle's very next offensive play. Two plays later Moon connected with Lofton again, this time with a perfect 11 yard touchdown pass that tied the game 17-17 going into the fourth quarter.

    Both defenses retook control of the game through the early part of the fourth quarter. The Chargers threatened to take the lead when they drove past mid field with 8:19 left to play, only for Mark Rypien to throw an interception to Seahawks rookie cornerback James Hasty. Seattle's ensuing possession was plagued by two critical holding penalties leaving them unable to capitalize on the turnover. Rypien was intercepted again later in the fourth quarter, setting up a dramatic final 2:07 of the ballgame. Seattle moved to the 3 yard line with less than 2 minutes to play only for running back Ernest Byner to lose a fumble at the goal line. San Diego recovered the fumble at the 1 yard line and ran out the clock to take the game into overtime tied at 17-17. The Chargers won the coin toss and took the opening possession right down the field, eventually hitting the 38 yard field goal to win the game and send the crowd into a frenzy.


    Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon devastated after losing his 3rd consecutive Wild Card Playoff Game, giving him an 0-3 playoff record since coming to Seattle and failing to lead them to their first playoff victory in franchise history despite throwing for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception.


    The celebration was unreal in Jack Murphy Stadium after Joe Gibbs led the Chargers to their first playoff victory since 1981. The triumph of San Diego's victory was the tragedy of Seahawks fans everywhere after the team lost it's 3rd consecutive Wild Card Playoff loss and has STILL to this date never won an AFL playoff game in the team's 13 year existence. Warren Moon was particularly distraught after the game as he walked off the field with his head hung low in disappointment and agonizing bitter frustration after his fate was decided by a coin toss, he never even got a chance to step onto the field in overtime, he could only watch as a legacy of greatness slipped away with every yard that San Diego marched toward their game winning kick. With the victory the San Diego Chargers earned the right to travel to Arrowhead Stadium next week to take on America's Team, the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFL Western Conference Championship Game.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 05-09-2020 at 07:21 PM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Pro Football News
    January 6th, 1989



    Miami Dolphins fire legendary head coach Don Shula, hire Hurricanes head coach Jimmy Johnson

    The Dolphins shocked the world by releasing arguably the greatest head coach in AFL history on Thursday. Shula has polarized Dolphins fans for the past few seasons as many consider him a beloved part of the culture of the team and a hero that brought the city 3 consecutive AFL Super Bowl titles while other Miami football fans believed it was time to move on from Shula after the Dolphins missed the playoffs for the last 4 seasons despite having arguably the best quarterback in the entire league in Dan Marino. Shula took over the Dolphins in 1970, only their 5th season in the AFL after entering as an expansion team in 1966. In his first year in 1970 Shula led the Dolphins to their first division title before leading them to 3 consecutive AFL Super Bowl victories in 1971, 1972, and 1973. In 1972 Shula led the Dolphins to a perfect undefeated 17-0 season, the only undefeated season in modern football history. Shula drafted both Dan Marino and Eric Dickerson in the 1983 draft and the Dolphins offense shattered records in 1984 en route to a 15-1 record in the regular season. Miami would lose in the 84 playoffs and would not return to the post season. After failing to negotiate a new contract with Eric Dickerson the Dolphins traded him to Indianapolis and proceeded to struggle through the last 4 seasons, finishing with back to back 5-11 seasons in 1987 and 1988. In 1988 Shula's Dolphins finished dead last in defending the run and rushing the passer with their lowest point being the loss to the winless expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game that was penned "The Battle For Florida" by the Miami press.


    Just 24 hours after Shula was released the Dolphins held a press conference announcing the hiring of Miami Hurricanes head coach Jimmy Johnson. Jimmy Johnson built the Hurricanes into a powerhouse in college football over the past 5 seasons, leading them to the 1987 National Championship title. Many Dolphins fans are protesting the coaching change as Johnson's Hurricanes earned a nasty reputation over the past 5 seasons as "The Bad Boys Of College Football", an image that was complete opposite of the style of football that Don Shula represented in Miami. During the press conference Jimmy Johnson stated that he regrets the circumstances in which he got the Dolphins head coaching job and he has utmost respect for Don Shula and his legacy with the Dolphins. Johnson promised Miami fans to return the Dolphins to the top of the AFL via any means necessary.

    AFL owners to vote on expanding playoffs this offseason

    The AFL owners will be voting in their upcoming meeting to expand the playoffs starting in 1989 by adding a 4th team to each conference tournament, essentially making the playoffs an 8 team tournament. The catalyst for the proposed change to the format was the 10-6 Bengals and 10-6 Jets, two of the best and most exciting teams in the league, both missing the playoffs in 1988. Last year the 10-6 San Diego Chargers missed the playoffs in what was a return to form for their trio of Dan Fouts, Tony Dorsett, and Kellen Winslow in their final season together.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1988 AFL Conference Championships
    January 8th, 1989



    Eastern Conference Championship Game
    vs
    Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, MA
    Indianapolis Colts(12-5) at New England Patriots(11-5)
    Attendance: 60,811

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Colts 3 3 7 7 20
    Patriots 3 7 7 14 31


    Weather was perfect for hard hitting AFL playoff football with temperatures in the high 30's/low 40's on a cloudy afternoon in Foxboro as the hometown New England Patriots hosted the red hot Indianapolis Colts(who were riding a 6 game win streak) in the AFL Eastern Conference Championship. The game was a rematch of the 1986 Eastern Conference Championship where the Patriots dominated the Colts to the tune of a 24-14 victory before moving on to upset the LA Raiders in Super Bowl XXI, giving head coach Bill Walsh his 2nd AFL Super Bowl ring. Jim Mora's Colts enter the rematch with the pressure of trying to finally break through in their 3rd consecutive Eastern Conference Championship appearance, last season they were shut out 20-0 by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Cleveland Browns. Both starting quarterbacks Bobby Hebert(Colts) and Frank Reich(Pats) took a pounding in the first quarter. For Hebert it was a constant barrage from Patriots force of nature pass rusher Charles Haley, with Andre Tippett and Leonard Marshall also teeing off on occasion. For Reich it was an unstoppable pass rush by Colts edge rushers Pat Swilling and Dexter Manley while field general Mike Singletary led a defense that contained the Patriots AFL MVP running back Roger Craig all game long.


    Patriots pass rusher Charles Haley was nearly unstoppable with 3 sacks, a forced fumble, and pressure on Colts quarterback Bobby Hebert on nearly every passing play


    The Colts were able to find success with Eric Dickerson on their second drive of the game as the premier running back of the decade slice through wide open holes in the middle and burned the Patriots inexperienced middle linebackers for big runs. The Patriots defense tightened up in the red zone and held the Colts to a field goal that gave them an early 3-0 advantage. After a strong kick return by John Taylor set New England up near mid field the Patriots managed to drive into Colts territory with Reich connecting with Roger Craig and Stanley Morgan with quick slants that put them into scoring range. The Colts stuffed Roger Craig on 3rd and short and forced the Pats to settle for a field goal to tie it up 3-3 going into the 2nd quarter.


    Colts AFL leading rusher Eric Dickerson redeemed himself for the fumbles that cost the Colts in their losses in the last 2 AFL Eastern Conference Championship Games by running for 107 yards and 1 touchdown against the Patriots 3rd ranked defense in the league, but it just wasn't enough, Indianapolis was doomed to lose their 3rd consecutive Conference Title game.


    The Patriots stole the momentum by recovering a fumble by Colts rookie receiver Brian Blades and returning it into Colts territory, setting up a quick 14 yard touchdown strike from Frank Reich to Stanley Morgan to put New England up 10-3. Indianapolis managed to move into scoring range after a deep bomb from Hebert to Al Toon but once again the Patriots defense didn't budge in the red zone and the Colts had to settle for another field goal to cut New England's lead to 10-6 going into the half.

    The Colts took the momentum back early in the third quarter when Dexter Manley hit Frank Reich and caused him to fumble, giving the Colts the ball on New England's 35 yard line. Bobby Hebert found tight end Steve Jordan on 3rd and goal just a few plays later to put the Colts on top 13-10. The Patriots retook the lead after Frank Reich drove the Patriots 78 yards, converting on 3 consecutive third and long situations before Roger Craig punched it in with a 3 yard touchdown run to give New England a 17-13 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Colts answered with a long drive of their own on their first possession of the 4th quarter. Eric Dickerson broke a 22 yard run up the middle to put the Colts on the goal line before punching it in with a 2 yard touchdown run to put Indy on top 20-17 with 11:09 left to play.


    Patriots quarterback Frank Reich has been groomed and developed by legendary head coach Bill Walsh into what he is today, despite losing a fumble and being sacked 4 times by the Colts "Dome Patrol" defense Reich threw for 227 yards and 3 touchdown passes to lead the Patriots back to the Super Bowl


    Disaster struck the Colts on New England's ensuing possession when Frank Reich spun out of a near sack by Steve "Mongo" Mcmichael before hitting John Taylor deep. Taylor burned the Colts secondary deep for a 64 yard touchdown that put the Patriots back on top 24-20 with 4:19 left to play. The Colts drove to mid-field with back to back runs by Dickerson of 11, and 10 yards before Hebert threw an interception to Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett, who returned it all the way back to the Colts 9 yard line before being tackled from behind. Frank Reich found a wide open Stanley Morgan in the back of the end zone on a flawless play action fake to Roger Craig, putting the final nail in the Colts coffin by putting New England up 31-20 with just 1:47 left on the clock. Bobby Hebert was able to connect with Al Toon deep to put Indy into scoring position but with time ticking away they were unable to convert on 4th and 5 and turned the ball over on downs, sealing the victory for the Patriots and giving Bill Walsh his 4th Eastern Conference Championship victory.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 05-09-2020 at 10:49 PM.

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