WhatIfSports Duel to the Death Season: Week 10 (Part 2)

In yesterday’s post, six road teams won divisional contests – mostly in convincing fashion, too! There are three more divisional games today as we finish up Week 10. COMMENCE THE SIMMING.

1989 San Francisco 49ers (3-5-1) 19, 2009 New Orleans Saints (4-5) 17

In a slightly improbably occurrence, the 49ers got their second Hail Mary win of the season when John Taylor caught a 12-yard Joe Montana pass with no time left and San Francisco shocked the Saints at the Superdome. New Orleans had taken a 17-13 lead with less than a minute remaining when Drew Brees (19-of-32, 225 yards and two touchdowns) hit Pierre Thomas with a 2-yard touchdown pass and the 49ers were actually still stuck at their own 34-yard-line with only 34 seconds left. Then Montana hit Brent Jones for a 39 yard gain, sandwiched 13-and-7-yard passes around a sack by Roman Harper and then hit Taylor with the game-winner on the final play of the game. Montana finished with 255 yards, that game-winning touchdown and an interception on 28 attempts.

1958 Baltimore Colts (3-6) 17, 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) 0

Johnny Unitas threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns on 26 attempts, Lenny Moore gained 142 combined rushing and receiving yards on 16 touches and the Colts limited the Steelers to 164 yards of offense to earn the road shutout. Moore caught the second of Unitas’ touchdowns in the fourth quarter, putting the Colts up 14-0. Unitas had earlier found Jim Mutscheller late in the second quarter with a 6-yard touchdown throw to give Baltimore a lead it would never relinquish. Terry Bradshaw only went 5-of-14 for 70 yards and an interception for Pittsburgh.

1986 New York Giants (3-6) 14, 1992 Dallas Cowboys (6-3) 10

Stacy Robinson caught two touchdown passes from Phil Simms, including the game-winner from 13 yards away with 4:55 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Giants upset the Cowboys at Giants Stadium. Simms finished 13-of-22 for 167 yards, two touchdowns and (semi-miraculously) no interceptions. The Cowboys briefly took the lead in the fourth quarter on a 70-yard touchdown throw from Troy Aikman to Jay Novacek, but couldn’t move past the Giants’ 46-yard line on their final two possessions of the game.

1979 San Diego Chargers (8-1) 24, 1985 Chicago Bears (6-3) 20

Dan Fouts threw a 22-yard touchdown to John Floyd with 1:37 remaining and the Chargers improved to 8-1 and broke the Bears’ five-game winning streak in the process. Fouts threw for 213 yards, three touchdowns and one interception on 30 overall attempts; his other touchdowns went to Bob Klein and John Jefferson. Walter Payton rushed for 131 yards and a 27-yard touchdown that gave the Bears a 20-17 lead with 7:03 remaining. After Fouts’ third touchdown gave the Chargers the lead back with under two minutes to play, the Bears could only muster one first down before turning the ball over on downs.

2008 Arizona Cardinals (5-4) 35, 1952 Detroit Lions (2-7) 10

Kurt Warner threw for 231 yards and three touchdowns on just 24 attempts and the Cardinals used two touchdowns in the final forty seconds of the first half to turn a 14-10 game into a blowout. Larry Fitzgerald caught Warner’s second touchdown pass to give the Cardinals a 21-10 lead and then Chike Okeafor, of all people, scored on a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown with six seconds remaining to put the game out of reach. Anquan Boldin scored on a 45-yard touchdown run and added 52 yards receiving.

1991 Houston Oilers (5-4) 34, 1976 Oakland Raiders (2-7) 33

Al Del Greco kicked a 50-yard field goal with no time remaining to cap a 10-point Oiler rally in two minutes and nine seconds and break a three-game losing streak. After Clarence Davis scored on a 49-yard touchdown run with 3:23 left, the Raiders had a seemingly secure 33-24 lead. But Fred Steinfort’s missed extra point in the second quarter would turn out to be the difference in the game, as Warren Moon (26-of-42, 384 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs) quickly led the Oilers on a 71-yard touchdown drive in just four plays, capped by a 15-yard Allen Pinkett touchdown run. After forcing the Raiders to go three-and-out, the Oiler offense grinded out a 10-play, 34-yard drive to get Del Greco into position for the game-winning field goal. Ken Stabler finished 17-of-24 for 217 yards and two touchdowns for Oakland in a losing effort.

1999 St. Louis Rams (7-2) 26, 2005 Seattle Seahawks (2-6-1) 23

Marshall Faulk rushed for 163 yards on 17 carries and added 82 receiving yards and two touchdowns on four catches and Jeff Wilkins kicked a 22-yard field goal with 26 seconds left to give the Rams their seventh win of the season. Faulk got the scoring started with a 52-yard touchdown catch from Kurt Warner (18-of-31, 247 yards, 2 TDs), but the Seahawks still had a 23-20 lead going into the fourth quarter thanks to an impressive performance from Shaun Alexander (147 yards on 19 carries). Ultimately, though, Wilkins’ third and fourth successful field goals in as many tries put the Rams back over the top.

Next week: Every team is back in action as the ’85 Bears take on the ’99 Rams, the ’02 Bucs face the ’62 Packers and the ’72 Dolphins try to win their fourth in a row by winning in Buffalo.

AFC East

  1. ’07 New England: 8-1
  2. ’90 Buffalo: 5-4
  3. ’72 Miami: 4-5
  4. ’68 NY Jets: 3-6

AFC North

  1. ’75 Pittsburgh: 6-3
  2. ’81 Cincinnati: 5-4
  3. ’58 Baltimore: 3-6
  4. ’64 Cleveland: 1-8

AFC South

  1. ’00 Tennessee: 8-1
  2. ’99 Jacksonville: 5-4
  3. ’91 Houston: 5-4
  4. ’06 Indianapolis: 2-7

AFC West

  1. ’79 San Diego: 8-1
  2. ’69 Kansas City: 5-4
  3. ’98 Denver: 4-5
  4. ’76 Oakland: 2-7

NFC East

  1. ’92 Dallas: 6-3
  2. ’91 Washington: 6-3
  3. ’86 NY Giants: 3-6
  4. ’60 Philadelphia: 1-8

NFC North

  1. ’62 Green Bay: 7-2
  2. ’85 Chicago: 6-3
  3. ’73 Minnesota: 3-6
  4. ’52 Detroit: 2-7

NFC South

  1. ’02 Tampa Bay: 6-3
  2. ’09 New Orleans: 4-5
  3. ’05 Carolina: 4-5
  4. ’12 Atlanta: 4-5

NFC West

  1. ’99 St. Louis: 7-2
  2. ’08 Arizona: 5-4
  3. ’89 San Francisco: 3-5-1
  4. ’05 Seattle: 2-6-1
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