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Sports Then and Now

Online Sportsbook Picks for NFC/AFC Conference Championships 2

Posted on January 14, 2015 by Bryan Sheridan
Kam Chancellor and the Seattle Seahawks are just two wins away from repeating as Super Bowl champs.

Kam Chancellor and the Seattle Seahawks are just two wins away from repeating as Super Bowl champs.

We’re mere days from the NFL Conference Championships and you couldn’t ask for two better matchups. In the NFC, the conference’s top seeds face off in a grudge match between two teams that have battled repeatedly, and controversially, in the last few seasons. In the AFC, Tom Brady and Belichick are planning for Andrew Luck and the Colts, who are coming off a victory over Peyton Manning in what was possible his last game…ever.

According to Vegas, the home teams are clear favorites in both games. Odds at online sportsbook TopBet have the Patriots and Seahawks each favored by at least a touchdown, but there is more to these games than meets the eye.

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

Aaron Rodgers is hurt, but he’s still the likely regular season MVP, and he just beat the Dallas Cowboys on one leg, throwing some of his most accurate passes of the year. Don’t count this man out.

The issue for the Packers against Seattle remains their run defense. The Seahawks ran all over the Packers in Week 1, putting up 207 yards, and while the Packers have (at times) found the ability to make plays against the run, most recently causing a key DeMarco Murray fumble, they are still unlikely to stop Marshawn Lynch from clearing the century mark. The Packers will need Rodgers to outscore Lynch if they hope to book their ticket to the Super Bowl. Read the rest of this entry →

49ers and Giants Have Storied Playoff History 23

Posted on January 20, 2012 by Dean Hybl

The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers have played some memorable playoff games over the last 30 years.

When the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants meet for the NFC Championship on Sunday it will mark the eighth time the two squads have met in the playoffs and second time with the Super Bowl on the line.

Given that these two squads have a combined total of eight Lombardi Trophies, it is hard to believe that when they first met in the playoffs thirty years ago, neither team had ever made a Super Bowl appearance.

In the first playoff game of the Joe Montana and Bill Walsh era, the 49ers jumped out to a 24-10 halftime lead and went on to register a 38-24 victory. They would go on to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI.

That game proved to be the first of five playoff meetings over the next decade.

The 49ers claimed the second matchup three years later with a 21-10 victory on their way to their second Super Bowl title.

However, the tide would soon turn as the Giants won 17-3 in 1985 and then in 1986 completely demolished the 49ers 44-3 on their way to their first Super Bowl title.

The two teams would not meet again in the playoffs until the 1990 season and for the first time they were playing in the NFC title game.

San Francisco was shooting for a third straight Super Bowl title, but in what would prove to be his final playoff start as a member of the 49ers, Joe Montana suffered a huge hit from defensive end Leonard Marshall that knocked him out of the game for nearly two years.

The 49ers led the game 13-6 in the second half, but three Matt Bahr field goals, including the game winner following a Roger Craig fumble, allowed the Giants to steal a 15-13 victory and end the dreams of a third straight Super Bowl for the 49ers.

New York went on to defeat the Buffalo Bills 20-19 to win their second Super Bowl under head coach Bill Parcells. Read the rest of this entry →

The 20 Greatest Individual Playoff Performances in NFL History 7

Posted on January 07, 2011 by A.J. Foss

John Elway led the Broncos 98 yards to tie the game then led them to victory over the Browns in the AFC Championship Game.

After previously counting down from number 40-21, here are the 20 greatest individual performances in NFL playoff history.

This list spans back to the beginning of the Super Bowl era in 1966 and does not feature any performances from the Super Bowl.

20. Ken Stabler-1974 AFC Divisional Playoff, Dolphins vs. Raiders

“The Snake” lead the Raiders to a victory in one of the greatest games in NFL history as Stabler completed 20 of 30 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns, his last touchdown pass a remarkable as Stabler launched a pass toward the end zone, as he was being pulled down by a Dolphins defender, that was caught by Clarence Davis, who took fought three Miami defenders for the ball.

The “Sea of Hands” as it become known as, gave the Raiders a 28-26 win and ended the reign of the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins.

19. Lamar Smith-2000 AFC Wild Card, Colts vs. Dolphins

In the first playoff game since 1982 without Dan Marino as the starting quarterback, the Dolphins go back to their roots, a smash-mouth rushing attack.

Lamar Smith carries the ball a playoff record 40 times for 209 yards and scores two touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown, a 17-yard run in overtime to give the Dolphins a 23-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Read the rest of this entry →

Greatest Individual Playoff Performances in NFL History: 40-21 2

Posted on January 06, 2011 by A.J. Foss

The Cowboys couldn't catch Wilbert Montgomery as he rushed for 194 yards to lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl.

Last year, I wrote an article detailing the 50 most memorable moments in NFL postseason history.

This year, I have decided to chronicle the 40 Greatest Individual Performances in NFL Playoff History.

This list spans back to the beginning of the Super Bowl era in 1966 and does not feature any performances from the Super Bowl.

So without further adieu, here are the 40 Greatest Individual Performances in NFL Playoff History:

40. (tie)Ty Law-2003 AFC Championship Game, Colts vs. Patriots
Ricky Manning Jr.-2003 NFC Championship Game, Panthers vs. Eagles

Patriots cornerback Ty Law intercepted Peyton Manning three times to help lead his team to a 24-14 win over the Colts to send New England to their second Super Bowl in three years.

In the game following Law’s performance, Panthers rookie cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. picked off three passes in his game to his team to a win, a 14-3 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

39. Darren Sproles-2008 AFC Wild Card, Colts vs. Chargers

Normally used as a kick returner, Darren Sproles had to fill in at running back for the injured LaDainian Tomlinson in the Chargers’ Wild Card Game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Sproles rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries, to go along with five catches for 45 yards, four kickoff returns for 106 yards, and three punt returns for 72 yards, totaling 328 yards of total offense, the third most in playoff history.

Sproles scored two touchdowns including the game-winning 22-yard touchdown run in overtime to give the Chargers a 23-17 upset over the Colts. Read the rest of this entry →

NFL Playoff Picture Still Fuzzy With Two Weeks Left 2

Posted on December 20, 2010 by Thomas Rooney

Peyton Manning led the Colts past Jacksonville, but they have to win their final two games to reach the playoffs.

With just two weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, there are still 20 teams which could conceivably end up winning the Super Bowl. Although this obviously shows just how competitive the NFL is, and more importantly how exciting the NFL can be, the fact remains that certain teams are still in a much better situation than others as they seek to reach the playoffs.

Super bowl betting pundits note that the Indianapolis Colts, despite enjoying a stellar season last year, are struggling to make the play-offs this time around after enduring a mixed season that has seen them hold an 8-6 record. As a result of this, the Colts know that their hopes of making at least the playoffs this season rest almost entirely on their star quarterback Peyton Manning displaying a run of top level performances for the rest of the regular season.

Contrast this to the predicament facing the Jets, had enjoyed a brilliant start to the season only to see their hopes of grabbing the AFC East crown dashed after they failed to maintain their form when it came to the crunch, leaving them destined for a wild card spot.

However, the most exciting division according to those looking at the Super Bowl betting odds regularly (despite the poor level of football that has been on show this season) has clearly been the NFC West, which could end the season with the division champion experiencing a season that falls below the .500 mark which is normally the minimum requirement for reaching the playoffs.

Whoever ends up making the playoffs this season, the one thing that is for certain is that it is going to take a massive change in form for either the New England Patriots or the Atlanta Falcons not to end the season contesting the Super Bowl.

Cardinals Top Packers in Game for the Ages 1

Posted on January 10, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals - Wild Card Round

The Arizona Cardinals pulled out a victory for the ages with a 51-45 win over the Green Bay Packers

During the last week, Sports Then and Now ran a series featuring the 50 greatest games and moments in the history the NFL conference playoffs. The game Sunday evening between the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers will certainly move near the top of that list.

Ironically, in a game that featured NFL Playoff records for points, total yards and first downs, it was a defensive play that proved to be the difference.

The Packers rebounded from a 31-10 second half deficit to send the game into overtime tied at 45-45.

Considering that Green Bay had scored five touchdowns in the second half it seemed logical that when they won the coin toss for overtime it would lead to a quick score.

However, the score proved to be for the Cardinals. On third down, Aaron Rodgers was sacked and stripped by Michael Adams with the ball bouncing right to Karlos Dansby, who returned the ball 17 yards for the game-winner.

The 51-45 final score set a new record for point in a postseason game. The previous record was 95 set by the Eagles and Lions in 1995.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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