WhatIfSports Duel to the Death Season: Week 12 (Part 2)

Yesterday’s results can accessed from clicking this link. If you’re all up to speed on that, then let’s quit dilly-dallying around because we’ve got eight more to get to today. Starting with…

1999 Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4) 24, 1981 Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) 16

James Stewart ran for two touchdowns, but it was Fred Taylor’s 115 rushing yards on only ten attempts and Mark Brunell’s 213 passing yards on 25 attempts that fueled the Jaguars’ road victory in Cincinnati. Jimmy Smith had six catches for 122 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown catch from Brunell early in the fourth quarter that put the Jaguars ahead by eight. Cincinnati’s best chance to tie came on a six-minute, 57-yard drive that started with a little under 7:40 remaining and ended at the Jaguar 18 when Ken Anderson couldn’t convert a 4th-and-3 throw to Cris Collinsworth. Pete Johnson gained 96 yards on the ground for Cincinnati in a losing cause.

1999 St. Louis Rams (9-2) 30, 1989 San Francisco 49ers (3-7-1) 10

Kurt Warner threw for 205 yards and a touchdown on 25 attempts and the Rams forced four Joe Montana interceptions, including a pick-six by Todd Lyght, to move to 9-2 and essentially ring a death knell to the 49ers’ playoff hopes. Montana racked up a bunch of yards when he wasn’t throwing interceptions, gaining 303 of them on 32 attempts including a 80-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Rice. But Taje Allen, Devin Bush, Billy Jenkins and Lyght all jumped in front of Montana passes at one point or another during the game, with Lyght taking his interception back 12 yards for a touchdown to put the Rams up 27-10 in the third quarter. Marshall Faulk gained 88 yards on 16 carries for St. Louis.

1958 Baltimore Colts (5-6) 24, 2006 Indianapolis Colts (2-9) 23

Steve Myhra was actually the hero (sort of – more on that later) for once, kicking a 22-yard field goal with under two minutes left to give the Old Colts bragging rights over their Indianapolis brethren. Alan Ameche added 132 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 carries for the ’58 Colts. The 2006 version of the team was down 21-3 in the second quarter but came back on the strength of Peyton Manning’s arm (17-of-26 for 230 yards and a touchdown), Joseph Addai’s legs (85 yards on 13 carries) and Adam Vinatieri’s leg (three field goals, including one with 5:39 remaining to put Indy up by two). After Johnny Unitas hit Raymond Berry with a 43-yard pass play, however, Myhra avenged his previous field goal misses from 32 and 30 yards to sneak one in from 22 yards away to retake the lead for Baltimore. Manning led Indianapolis on one final drive, but Vinatieri’s last-ditch 57-yard attempt was wide right.

2005 Carolina Panthers (6-5) 38, 1960 Philadelphia Eagles (1-10) 0

Jake Delhomme went 13-of-18 for 173 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions and the Panthers rung up 245 yards on the ground to move to 6-5 and into a tie for the final wild-card spot in the NFC. DeShaun Foster picked up 112 of those rushing yards on just 14 attempts and added two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. The Eagles gained 325 yards of offense, but three Chris Draft sacks and three missed Bobby Walston field goals kept them from putting points on the scoreboard.

2005 Seattle Seahawks (4-6-1) 31, 2008 Arizona Cardinals (5-6) 24

Matt Hasselbeck’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Joe Jurevicius with 5:14 remaining gave the Seahawks their second win in a row and moved the Cardinals below .500 for the first time all season. Hasselbeck finished with 156 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 attempts; the reason he threw so infrequently was because Shaun Alexander was gashing the Cardinals on the ground, picking up 183 yards and a 56-yard touchdown run on only 19 carries. Kurt Warner played well for Arizona, throwing for 299 yards and two touchdowns on 32 attempts and the Cardinals had a 4th-and-goal try for the tie with under two minutes remaining but Edgerrin James was stuffed on the last-ditch effort.

1975 Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) 41, 1976 Oakland Raiders (2-9) 24

Franco Harris rushed for 151 yards on 24 attempts and scored four touchdowns (three on the ground, one through the air) as the Steelers dispatched their fiercest rival from the ’70s with relative ease. Pittsburgh also benefited from a 76-yard punt return by [UNKNOWN PLAYER] in the second quarter, as well as two Ken Stabler interceptions and sacks from Jack Ham and Jack Lambert. Mark Van Eeghen scored two touchdowns on the ground for Oakland in a losing effort.

1972 Miami Dolphins (6-5) 22, 1991 Washington Redskins (7-4) 7

Mercury Morris and Larry Csonka combined for 214 rushing yards on 37 attempts and the Dolphins won their fifth game in a row by virtue of beating the Redskins at the Orange Bowl. Bob Griese wasn’t impressive throwing the ball, gaining only 95 yards on 23 attempts but he and Paul Warfield did connect on both Dolphin touchdown passes. On the other side, Mark Rypien had his worst outing of the season, going only 13-of-28 for 98 yards and an interception. Ricky Ervins scored on a 25-yard touchdown run for Washington’s only points.

1968 New York Jets (4-7) 20, 1964 Cleveland Browns (1-10) 17

Don Maynard had 124 receiving yards on five catches and the Jets picked up fifteen more first downs than the Browns en route to victory at Cleveland Stadium. Had Joe Namath not thrown three interceptions, the score might have been more lopsided; as it was, Namath’s third interception set up Jim Brown’s 48-yard touchdown run with 6:23 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Browns were back within one score for the first time since the second quarter. But they never saw the ball again as the Jets converted four third downs and moved all the way from their own 25 to the Cleveland 6 before taking a couple knees to run out the clock. Jim Brown finished with 90 yards on 16 carries; Frank Ryan was horrendous, going 5-of-14 for 59 yards and two interceptions.

Next week: The ’62 Packers and ’92 Cowboys meet in a hugely important game in the NFC home-field advantage race; the ’99 Rams try to pick up their 10th win of the year when they visit the ’91 Redskins; the suddenly red-hot ’86 Giants try to move into a tie for the last wild-card slot in the NFC against the suddenly ice-cold ’85 Bears; and the ’72 Dolphins try to make it six in a row when they head into Pittsburgh to play the ’75 Steelers.

AFC East

  1. ’07 New England: 9-2
  2. ’72 Miami: 6-5
  3. ’90 Buffalo: 5-6
  4. ’68 NY Jets: 4-7

AFC North

  1. ’75 Pittsburgh: 8-3
  2. ’58 Baltimore: 5-6
  3. ’81 Cincinnati: 5-6
  4. ’64 Cleveland: 1-10

AFC South

  1. ’00 Tennessee: 10-1
  2. ’99 Jacksonville: 7-4
  3. ’91 Houston: 6-5
  4. ’06 Indianapolis: 2-9

AFC West

  1. ’79 San Diego: 10-1
  2. ’69 Kansas City: 7-4
  3. ’98 Denver: 5-6
  4. ’76 Oakland: 2-9

NFC East

  1. ’92 Dallas: 8-3
  2. ’91 Washington: 7-4
  3. ’86 NY Giants: 5-6
  4. ’60 Philadelphia: 1-10

NFC North

  1. ’62 Green Bay: 9-2
  2. ’85 Chicago: 6-5
  3. ’73 Minnesota: 3-8
  4. ’52 Detroit: 2-9

NFC South

  1. ’02 Tampa Bay: 7-4
  2. ’05 Carolina: 6-5
  3. ’09 New Orleans: 4-7
  4. ’12 Atlanta: 4-7

NFC West

  1. ’99 St. Louis: 9-2
  2. ’08 Arizona: 5-6
  3. ’05 Seattle: 4-6-1
  4. ’89 San Francisco: 3-7-1

 

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