Box Office – Ben Hur (Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins)
Billboard #1 – I Want to be Wanted – Brenda Lee
UK #1 – Only The Lonely – Roy Orbison

23 Oct 1960 – At The Polo Grounds – Fair – Att. 21,000

Houston Oilers          7             7            7             0             – 17

New York Titans        0             7            7             10            – 24

q1 02:50 – HO – Billy Cannon HB1- 29 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 14:50 – HO – Dave Smith FB1 – 3 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 03:10 – NY – Bill Mathis FB1 – 1 run (Bill Shockley kick)

q3 11:15 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 35 kick

q3 05:05 – NY – Thurlow Cooper RE4 – 2 pass (Bill Shockley kick)

q4 06:00 – NY – Bill Shockley PK/HB3 – 29 kick

q4 01:00 – NY – Joe Pagliei P/FB4 – 3 run (Bill Shockley kick)

RESILIENT TITANS SHOW NO MERCY

The New York Titans dealt Houston a severe blow to their title aspirations while strengthening their own case for the Eastern Conference. The game though will most likely be remembered for the injury to 2 of the Oilers star’s as well as the achievements of another injured player.

Houston began the game the brighter and had raced to a 14-0 lead with a brace of td’s from Smith and Cannon before the Titans managed to reduce arrears with a td of their own. But the talking point at half time had to be the stretchering off of both of Houston’s star receivers Bill Groman and John Carson. The Titans squad was not without their own injury worries as kicker and occasional RB Bill Shockley was also carrying an injury but had been persuaded to play by coach Sammy Baugh in a gamble that ultimately paid off. With the Titans trailing 14-17 the game turned on its head when George Blanda’s 27 yard FG conversion was ruled out for offside and his subsequent 32 yard effort missed the mark. That would have given Houston a 6 point lead but worse was to follow when a sublime interception by Oilers corner Mark Johnston was also ruled out for an infringement. The Titans made the most of their luck and eventually thanks to a personal foul found themselves in FG range. Shockley limped onto the pitch and amazingly converted a 29 yard kick to tie the scores. More woe befell Houston following the kick off when after another penalty they were forced to punt and Charlie Milward shanked his kick for just 16 yards. With 1 minute on the clock the Titans broke through the stubborn Houston defense to inflict the coup de grace as Joe Pagliei scored the Titans winning td. Houston almost snatched a draw in the last play of the game when Blanda connected with Charley Hennigan for a hail mary of 73 yards, however he was tackled 7 yards short of the end zone as the clock ran out.

While the result certainly wasn’t a disaster for Houston, the long term loss of both receivers will be far more keenly felt and the next game at Buffalo may define the rest of the season if the replacements fail to fill the boots of Groman and Carson.

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5281716460.7%010
Jacky Lee QBB5118100.0%000
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Charley Hennigan HB4(3) 17373.0730
John Carson TE13268.7160
Jack Atchason SE4(2) 4256.380
Billy Cannon HB13155.080
Bill Groman LE02136.580
Al Witcher SE43134.350
John White TE3144.040
Dave Smith FB1133.030

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Dave Smith FB120864.3121
Billy Cannon HB15377.4291
George Blanda QBA5/PK5224.480
Ken Hall HB4/P11010.0100
Eastern ConferenceWLT
NEW YORK TITANS520
HOUSTON OILERS321
BOSTON PATRIOTS240
BUFFALO BILLS240
Western ConferenceWLT
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS420
DENVER BRONCOS420
OAKLAND RAIDERS241
DALLAS TEXANS240


Box Office – Ben Hur (Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins)
Billboard #1 – Mr Custer – Larry Verne
UK #1 – Only the Lonely – Roy Orbison

16 Oct 1960 – At Jeppeson Stadium – Fair – 19977

Dallas Texans           0           7           0             7             – 14

Houston Oilers        10           3           7             7             – 27

q1 05:20 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 11 kick

q1 00:20 – HO – Dave Smith FB1 – 9 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 05:35 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 12 kick

q2 00:40 – DT – Curley Johnson HB4 – 14 pass (Jack Spikes kick)

q3 10:00 – HO – Ken Hall HB4/P – 4 run (George Blanda kick)

q4 14:40 – HO – Billy Cannon HB1 – 3 run (George Blanda kick)

q4 07:20 – DT – Jack Spikes FB1/PK – 12 pass (Jack Spikes kick)

Billy Cannon (#20) puts the game out of reach as he punches through the beleaguered Texans defense.

HOUSTON EARN THE BRAGGING RIGHTS IN LOCAL DERBY

A bumper crowd just shy of 20,000 turned out to see Houston extend their winning streak to 3 games with a comfortable victory over interstate rivals the Dallas Texans.

Houston’s performance was workmanlike more than spectacular and it was their defense that earned the plaudits putting in a strong performance and restricting a dangerous Dallas offense (missing receiver Chris Burford). Houston’s defensive unit have steadily improved after a quiet start and were buoyed on by a vociferous home crowd that got under the skin of the Texans when it mattered. Dallas fumbled 4 times and Cotton Davidson threw one interception to Houston’s single spill. Neither defensive unit could get near the QB’s who were well defended on both sides and the Oilers have now gone 5 games without registering a sack for or against for that matter. Dave Smith recorded his third 100 yard rushing game and Groman and Hennigan were effective with impressive receiving averages. Houston led the entire game and always had a cushion to protect that built the pressure on the Texans and inevitably led to turnovers.

This was an important win for Houston who now embark on the road for 4 consecutive games with the next  one against Eastern Conference leaders the New York Titans.  Without home field advantage this will be the real test for this teams aspirations.

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK241215550.0%000
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE158517.0190
Charley Hennigan HB4(3)23417.0190
Billy Cannon HB13217.080
Al Witcher SE42157.5120
Eastern ConferenceWonLostTied
New York Titans420
Houston Oilers311
Boston Patriots230
Buffalo Bills140
Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Dave Smith FB1231134.9161
Billy Cannon HB1 8435.4101
George Blanda QBA5/PK4102.540
Ken Hall HB4/P144.041
Western ConferenceWonLostTied
Los Angeles Chargers420
Denver Broncos320
Oakland Raiders231
Dallas Texans240


Playboy Playmate of the Month – Kathy Douglas
Box Office – The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (Robert Preston, Dorthy McGwire)
Billboard #1 – Mr Custer – Larry Verne
UK #1 – Tell Laura I Love Her – Ricky Valance

09 Oct 1960 – At Jeppeson Stadium – Fair – 15343

New York Titans          0             0           7             0             – 7

Houston Oilers           10             3           0           10             – 23

q1 09:35 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 33 kick

q1 00:00 – HO – Charley Hennigan HB4(3) – 3 pass (George Blanda kick)

q2 00:05 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 46 kick

q3 03:00 – NY – Don Maynard HB4 – 13 pass (Bill Shockley kick)

q4 13:30 – HO – Bill Groman LE0 – 15 pass (George Blanda kick)

q4 11:05 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/P – 34 kick

Charley Hennigan & Bill Groman – Houston’s scorers

TITANS TOPPLED

Houston fresh from their bye week, won a relatively comfortable victory against Conference leaders the Titans of New York who by contrast looked jaded and in need of a rest early on. The win keeps the entire AFL competitive with no single team pulling ahead in a well established season.

The Oilers played a tidy game that even allowed for a profligate performance from the normally reliable boot of George Blanda. Dave Smith recorded his second 100+ yard game that the Titans struggled to contain and although the passing game was something of a sideshow, Bill Groman put in another solid performance. The Oilers defensive unit were the most improved although they are still searching that elusive first sack of the season. The Titans employed an aggressive strategy throughout the game blitzing frequently but their attempts proved to be ineffectual with Blanda well defended although he was required to scramble on more occasions than he would have liked. Houston’s defense was only really troubled once in the third quarter when Titans QB Al Dorrow finally found some consistency.

Leading 10-0 at the interval, the Oilers eventually succumbed to a New York drive when Don Maynard caught a 13 yard pass that gave the Titans hope. But that was as good as it got for the visitors and early in the 4th, Groman responded with Houston’s 2nd passing td to keep the Oilers 2 scores ahead. George Blanda had no fewer than 9 field goal attempts although 5 of these were from extreme range of 45 yards or further out. In the end the win was a comfortable one for the Oilers who next entertain local state rivals the Dallas Texans for the Lone Star bragging rights.

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds. Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK21109847.6%210
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAve LgTD
Bill Groman LE156012.0191
Al Witcher SE422010.0110
John Carson TE12157.590
Charley Hennigan HB4(3)133.031
Eastern ConferenceWonLostTied
New York Titans320
Houston Oilers211
Boston Patriots220
Buffalo Bills130
Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Dave Smith FB1271063.9160
Billy Cannon HB112504.290
George Blanda QBA5/PK 9161.850
Doug Cline FB4/LB155.050
Ken Hall HB4/P3-2-0.710

Western ConferenceWonLostTied
Denver Broncos310
Los Angeles Chargers320
Dallas Texans230
Oakland Raiders131


Box Office – Ben Hur (Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins)
Billboard #1 – The Twist – Chubby Checker
UK #1 – Apache – The Shadows

25 Sep 1960 – At Jeppeson Stadium – Fair – Attendance 13958

Oakland Raiders          2             7            7             0             – 16

Houston Oilers            0             6           10             16           – 29

q1 06:35 – OR – Offense Holding Penalty – safety

q2 10:35 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 22 kick

q2 05:25 – OR – Tony Teresa HB1/QBA1 – 1 run (Larry Barnes kick)

q2 00:00 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 20 kick

q3 10:50 – HO – Billy Cannon HB1 – 6 run (George Blanda kick)

q3 08:25 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 27 kick

q3 01:55 – OR – Billy Lott FB1 – 10 run (Larry Barnes kick)

q4 12:40 – HO – Billy Cannon HB1 – 2 run (George Blanda kick)

q4 06:05 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 37 kick

q4 04:20 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 20 kick

BLANDA’S BOOT ENOUGH TO SECURE HOUSTON’S FIRST WIN

George Blanda’s perfect 5 from 5 Field Goal kicks were enough to see Houston through in this tricky return rubber and secure their first ever AFL win. The Oilers had to endure a torrid first half that began ignominiously when they were adjudged to have committed a Holding Penalty and were penalised with a 2 point Safety. Oakland completely dominated the first half but couldn’t break through the Oilers defense when it mattered. Larry Barnes fluffed his two relatively routine field goal attempts resulting in the Raiders only having a slender 9-6 lead at half time despite all the possession. Coach Rymkus must have given his squad a severe dressing down during the interval as the second half Oilers began to show their mettle early in the second half. No.1 AFL draft Billy Cannon has had a quiet start to the season so far and has been overshadowed by his RB counterpart Dave Hill but today was Cannon’s day and despite a modest number of carries he made the most of every opportunity scoring a brace of td’s to register his first points of the season.

The unsung hero of the Oilers team must be RLB Mike Dukes who managed to pick Oakland QB Tom Flores on 3 crucial occasions. Without his keen eyes and lightning fast reactions the Oilers could have been on the receiving end of another defeat.

Houston have a bye week next before taking on Eastern Conference leaders the Titans of New York. The rest couldn’t come at a more opportune time as DB Tony Banfield will be fit to return to defensive duties. Furthermore, following the loss of Charlie Tolar for the season in the previous game, the Oilers have secured the services of Split End Jack Atchason from Boston to bolster their roster.

PlayerAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA517910252.9%000
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE146315.8260
Al Witcher SE4(3)3217.0110
Charley Hennigan HB4(3) 11616.0160
Dave Smith FB1122.020
Eastern ConferenceWonLostTied
New York Titans210
Houston Oilers111
Boston Patriots120
Buffalo Bills120
Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Dave Smith FB122884.0110
Billy Cannon HB19374.182
George Blanda QBA5/K284.040
Ken Hall HB4/P122.020
Western ConferenceWonLostTied
Denver Broncos210
Los Angeles Chargers210
Dallas Texans210
Oakland Raiders021


Box Office #1 – Ben Hur (Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins)
Billboard #1 – It’s Now or Never – Elvis Presley
UK #1 – Apache – The Shadows

18 Sep 1960 – At Jeppeson Stadium – Fair – Attendance 19148

Los Angeles Chargers   6            7            8             10            – 31

Houston Oilers           14             7            0             7             – 28

q1 08:40 – HO – Dave Smith FB1 – 7 run (George Blanda kick)

q1 07:40 – LC – Howie Ferguson FB1 – 4 run (kick failed)

q1 01:00 – HO – Dave Smith FB1 – 3 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 14:10 – HO – Dave Smith FB1 – 8 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 06:50 – LC – Paul Lowe HB1 – 1 run (Ben Agajanian kick)

q3 02:30 – LC – Paul Lowe HB1 – 1 run (Jack Kemp 2point try)

q4 12:00 – LC – Paul Lowe HB1 – 5 run (Ben Agajanian kick)

q4 02:25 – LC – Ben Agajanian PK – 18 kick

q4 00:40 – HO – Bill Groman LE0 – 22 pass (George Blanda kick)

Houston’s defense struggled all day to contain the Chargers

Discipline cost us game” Rymkus

Houston head coach Lou Rymkus was left bemoaning his teams failure to secure their first win thanks to an almost naive lack of discipline. “We should have won that after our great start but in the end our discipline let us down, discipline cost us the game”. Despite an entertaining game it will come as scant comfort to the Houston faithful who must now be starting to doubt the experts opinions of their team as one of the pre season favourites. Houston had led for most of the game and been in control until late in the 3rd quarter. Their defense was for the second game running struggling to cope with a top quality opposition RB this time in the guise of Paul Lowe who overshadowed Dave Smith’s excellent stats by matching his no. of td’s and improving on his yardage tally. After his 3rd td, QB Jack Kemp succeeded with a 2 point try to tie the game. A series of costly personal fouls and all too frequent offside calls cost the Oilers dear as the game went on and the Chargers scored 25 unanswered points to turn around an 8 point deficit to a 10 point lead. Despite a spectacular 22 yard Bill Groman finger tip catch td in the dying seconds and a successful follow up on-side kick, the Oilers, they ran out of time. Further unwelcome news was confirmation that Charlie Tolar’s injury in the game will rule him out for the rest of the season.

Oakland make a quick return fixture as the Oilers next opponents at Jeppeson Stadium for what is fast becoming a must win game for Rymkus and his squad.

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.YdsPct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK301213040.0%140
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLGTD
John Carson TE145413.5170
Billy Cannon HB133010.0130
Bill Groman LE023015.0221
Al Witcher SE42105.080
Charley Tolar FB3166.060
Player
RUSHING
NoYdsAveLGTD
Dave Smith FB1231315.7143
Billy Cannon HB19202.280
George Blanda QBA5/PK2105.080
Ken Hall HB4/P133.030

Eastern ConferenceWonLostTied
New York Titans110
Boston Patriots 110
Houston Oilers011
Buffalo Bills020
Western ConferenceWonLostTied
Denver Broncos 200
Los Angeles Chargers200
Dallas Texans110
Oakland Raiders011


Playboy Playmate of the Month – Ann Davis
Box Office – Ben Hur (Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins)
Billboard #1 – It’s Now or Never – Elvis Presley
UK #1 – Apache – The Shadows

11 Sep 1960 – At Kezar Stadium – Dry – Att. 12703

Houston Oilers              7             7            7             6             – 27

Oakland Raiders            7           13            0             7             – 27

q1 07:30 – HO – Dave Smith FB1 – 3 run (George Blanda kick)

q1 01:40 – OR – Tony Teresa HB1/QBA1 – 2 run (Larry Barnes kick)

q2 08:20 – HO – Dave Smith FB1 – 2 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 03:20 – OR – Billy Lott FB1 – 6 run (kick failed)

q2 00:00 – OR – Tom Flores QBA5 – 1 run (Larry Barnes kick)

q3 05:00 – HO – Charles Tolar FB3 – 11 pass (George Blanda kick)

q4 14:10 – OR – Tony Teresa HB1/QBA1 – 12 run (Larry Barnes kick)

q4 09:30 – HO – Ken Hall HB4/P – 5 run (kick failed)

HOUSTON HELD TO A FRUSTRATING DRAW

Left – Matchday Programme. Centre – Action from the game as 1st round draft pick Billy Cannon looks for a way through

Tight End John Carson’s last minute fumble denied the Oilers the chance to get their campaign off to a winning start at Oakland. With seconds on the clock, Carson looked to have made a game winning 17 yard reception but spilled the ball when tackled just 8 yards shy of the Raiders goal line.

The Oilers defense struggled to contain the Raiders rushing game with Billy Lott impressing for the home side as time and again he bludgeoned his way through the surprised Oilers defense. When Ken Hall ran over the Raiders line to tie the scores few would have expected George Blanda to fluff his kick but like his counterpart Larry Barnes in the first half, he got it all wrong leaving the scores level. Neither side was able to capitalise for most of the 4th quarter until Houston’s last drive that ended in Carson’s fumble.

The Oilers defense will need to improve against expected stiffer opposition when the Chargers visit Jeppeson Stadium next game.    

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK281820064.3%100
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE178712.4240
Charley Hennigan HB423316.5170
Al Witcher SE44246.0120
Billy Cannon HB12178.590
John Carson TE111717.017f0
Charley Tolar FB311111.0111
Dave Smith FB111111.0110
Eastern ConferenceWonLostTied
New York Titans 100
Houston Oilers001
Buffalo Bills010
Boston Patriots010
Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Dave Smith FB116754.7132
Billy Cannon17623.7130
Ken Hall HB4/P284.05td1
Charley Tolar FB3166.060
George Blanda QBA5/PK1-2-2.0-20

Western ConferenceWonLostTied
Denver Broncos100
Los Angeles Chargers100
Oakland Raiders001
Dallas Texans 010


2 years ago my SPF collection numbered just 3 seasons. At that point I had just rediscovered the game after nearly a 20 year hiatus but quickly fell under its stat’s heav(enl)y spell and in short order I began filling in the gaps quicker than boiled asparagus. Fast forward 2 years and I now have almost every season ever produced either by Avalon Hill or unofficial fan based efforts. My interest and focus has always been on the Houston Oilers, my team that I adopted in the mid 80’s when the game was first shown on UK tv. Other blog posts explain the cracked/warped thinking behind choosing this bunch of underachievers suffice to say my experience playing this game has had its fair share of ups and downs.

As new seasons were being produced I began to want to play a wider range of consecutive seasons, if nothing else but to allow me to get through some of those bad Houston years……..Then unexpectedly in October 2020 the 1966 season was produced. At this point my focus had always been to try to replay only play-off games from the first Superbowl. With the advent of the ’66 season I could do just that and go back to the start. It also meant I could try out another idea that I had been mulling over of a knockout tournament that would allow me to use all the teams in the set in a relatively short amount of games. All of this to satisfy my obsession with record keeping. At time of writing the 1966-68 seasons are all available but may stall post 1968 unless follow on seasons become available. But that was it, ambitious enough for anyone. Then one day going over my old record books it dawned on me that the Oilers had only begun with the formation of the AFL in 1960. Just 6 years earlier than my current “start” point. I’ll admit that did set off some rather interesting ideas (well interesting to me at least) and had me thinking that it would be nice to go back to the very start of their history. As these seasons didn’t exist in Statis Pro nor I thought were they ever likely to, I shelved the idea, NOT before posting a message on a forum asking if one of the current makers of seasons would be prepared to do it. The expected tumbleweed response pretty much kaiboshed that idea and I decided to concentrate back on my original campaigns.

Then, just a few weeks later another splendid fan of the game out of the blue announced he had produced the 1960 season. I had a Das Boot “ALARM” moment and from that point on it’s been pretty much going over and over in my head whether it just might be possible. In the end I couldn’t fight the “Stat Devil” on my shoulder telling me over and over how much joy there was to be had logging and recording every single game for what would no doubt be a lifetime………….. So there we are. I have decided that I’ll replay every game the Oilers (Houston and reluctantly Tennessee for completism) played. I don’t regard the Titans as their successors, they have no rights to Oilers stats, history or records so it will end when they Oilers name was retired in 1998. At least that gives me an end point.

Whether this is achievable is open to debate. With playing 2 other campaigns (play-offs and knockout tourneys) I conservatively calculate that this project will take at least 25 years to complete. I’ll be 79 if by God’s grace I’m allowed that life span. It is also dependent on whether my interest in the game can be sustained that long and critically whether the remianing missing seasons are made available. If it all stalls after 1960 this could be a very quick project of just 14 games instead of over 600. Real life might have a say too……….

However, if these Lone Star State locals reaction from beyond the grave when they got the news is anything to go by, I really feel obliged to give it a go. As they say “I may be all hat and no cattle, but I’m ready and rarin’ to go”. If you fancy hanging around for the long haul, stay tooned. I intend to start this project in April which is likely to be the earliest I can get the cards printed.


Copy of original post that was accidentally deleted

15 Jan 1967

Playboy Playmate of the Month – Surrey Marshe
Box Office – Born Loser – “Kitten on wheels, with her bike, her boots and bikini”
Billboard #1 – I’m a believer – The Monkees
UK #1 – Green Green Grass of Home – Tom Jones
Doctor Who – The Underwater Menace part 1. The Tardis Lands on an extinct volcanic rock surrounded by the sea and discover Atlantis

CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

Cleveland Browns 28, Kansas City Chiefs 13.

At Memorial Colosseum Los Angeles – Dry

Favourites Kansas began the championship decider the stronger opening the scoring with a Mike Mercer field goal in the first quarter. Shortly after both sides had to rapidly adjust their offensive strategies when first Kansas’s star RB Mike Garrett was side lined with an injury, then after a second Kansas FG, Cleveland’s Leroy Kelly replied with a short range td to put the Browns 7-6 up but suffered a horrendous injury when tackled in the end zone. Kansas were forced to punt after a clipping foul compromised the start of their next drive that allowed Cleveland good field position to exploit and ultimately extend their lead from Ernie Green taking up the RB baton. Chiefs QB, Len Dawson had a day to forget. His was picked for the first time as the Chiefs attempted to respond leading to a quick fire rushing td shortly afterwards that gave Cleveland a 21-6 advantage at the half time interval.

Kansas received the ball at the beginning of the second half but quickly turned it over following Dawson’s 2nd pass interception. Both defences then had a spell of domination until Kansas managed to drive into the Browns red zone for the first time. It was clear that Dawson’s confidence had been knocked as Kansas resorted to the rushing game attempting to bludgeon their way to the end zone. But the injury to Garrett was being keenly felt and the Browns defense held Kansas on their 3. Expecting a pass, Cleveland were caught out when Dawson succeeded with a trick play end around to flanker Otis Taylor. Kansas began to exert more pressure as momentum looked to be switching in their favour but following a Cleveland punt Dawson threw another interception. The Chiefs then attempted a pass rush but Browns QB Frank Ryan managed to elude his would be sacker and spotting an opening, scrambled into daylight for a td restoring the advantage to 15 points at the end of q3. 

Nerves got the better of both sides offenses in the final quarter. First Cleveland’s Green fumbled the ball on the Chiefs 12 yard line when looking odds on to score. Dawson then led the Chiefs with an impressive display of passing before trying one too many and getting picked for the fourth time. After this, Cleveland managed to run down the clock and in doing so become the first world champions. Considering their injury woes throughout the campaign some would say a well deserved title at that     

Cleveland Browns              0             21           7             0             – 28

Kansas City Chiefs              3             3            7             0             – 13

q1 05:20 – KC – Mike Mercer PK – 37 Kick

q2 13:15 – KC – Mike Mercer PK – 45 Kick

q2 09:05 – CB – Leroy Kelly RB1 – 3 Rush (Jim Houston Kick)

q2 05:25 – CB – Ernie Green RB2 – 4 Rush (Jim Houston Kick)

q2 02:15 – CB – Charlie Harraway RB4 – 9 Rush (Jim Houston Kick)

q3 07:30 – KC – Otis Taylor WR1 – 3 Rush (Tommy Brooker Kick)  

q3 02:10 – CB – Frank Ryan QBA4 – 15 Rush (Jim Houston Kick)  

______________________________________________________

Concluding thoughts

I may give up making predictions in future about games as this yet again did not go to form or expectations. To be fair I had made my decision based on the strength of the Kansas DB‘s yet Cleveland’s were almost as good and in this game did by far the more effective job reducing Len Dawson to nervous wreck. The 2 early injuries to both starting RB’s on both sides made the choice of plays more predictable although the end around score is the first time I have ever succeeded with a td trying this out in some 35 or so years. A good game, not the best but enjoyable and even going into the 4th quarter Kansas could have turned it round. They were on the worse side of the FAC gods with regard to penalties on a few big gain plays that had they gone their way may have changed the result.

No doubt about it though, this campaign has definitely brought to the fore something I have been stubbornly resisting to acknowledge for a while, the original games injury rules. In the past I have been able to live with it as the campaigns I played were no more than 3 or occasionally 4 games for 1 or 2 teams at most. Playing a knockout has increased the number of games and injuries and with much smaller rosters wrought havoc. That said somehow the team with the most injuries managed to win the whole thing. Because of this I am still loathe to make too sweeping rule changes for the future. As noted before I’ll most likely begin with the playing while injured rule as well as adjusting endurance ratings of players who covering for an injured starter.

Next I plan to re- run this campaign as a parallel one that will seed teams not as before based on their real life regular season record but by a rolling record of Statis Pro wins. Once that’s complete it’ll be onto the 1967 season and Cleveland’s defense of the title. I won’t have finished with the ‘66 season then as in the hopefully not too distant future I have an idea to try to play every regular season of the Oilers commencing in their inaugural 1960 season if the cards ever become available. Undecided as to whether I’ll post future as it’s a lot of effort for not much return. Never say never.


Record setters after Semi Finals  

Top scorers

Leroy Kelly           RB1        Cleveland Browns         36 pts – 6TD

Roger Hagberg     RB3        Oakland Raiders           30 pts – 5TD

Bruce Gossett      PK           Los Angeles Rams         29 pts – 8FG, 5EP

Tommy Brooker  DE/PK     Kansas City Chiefs           27 pts – 6FG, 9EP

Clem Daniels        RB1        Oakland Raiders            24 pts – 4TD

Mike Eischeid      PK           Oakland Raiders            24 pts – 3FG, 15EP

Rushing

Clem Daniels        RB1        Oakland Raiders               56 yds

Roger Hagberg     RB3        Oakland Raiders               20 yds

Ode Burrell           RB2        Houston Oilers                18 yds

Dick Bass              RB1        Los Angeles Rams           18 yds

Frank Ryan QBA4       Cleveland Browns             15 yds

Passing

Charley Taylor     RB3       Washington Redskins      68 yds

Otis Taylor          WR1      Kansas City Chiefs          51 yds   

Al Denson           TE2       Denver Broncos              35 yds

Fred Arbanas       TE3       Kansas City Chiefs          29 yds

Gary Collins         WR1      Cleveland Browns           26 yds

Field Goals   

Mike Eischeid      PK           Oakland Raiders              49 yds

Mike Mercer        PK           Kansas City Chiefs           49 yds

Sam Baker          PK          Philadelphia Eagles           48 yds

Lou Groza           PK          Cleveland Browns             45 yds

Mike Mercer        PK           Kansas City Chiefs           45 yds

Td Interception returns

Jimmie Johnson  DCB     San Francisco 49ers         88 yds

Hagood Clark      DSB     Buffalo Bills                     36 yds

Willie Mitchell     RCB      Kansas City Chiefs           25 yds

Joe Scarpati       DSB     Philadelphia Eagles          18 yds

Mike Howell       RCB      Cleveland Browns            15 yds


Record setters after Semi Finals  

Top scorers

Leroy Kelly           RB1        Cleveland Browns         30 pts – 5TD

Roger Hagberg     RB3        Oakland Raiders           30 pts – 5TD

Bruce Gossett      PK           Los Angeles Rams         29 pts – 8FG, 5EP

Tommy Brooker  DE/PK    Kansas City Chiefs           26 pts – 6FG, 8EP

Clem Daniels        RB1        Oakland Raiders            24 pts – 4TD

Mike Eischeid      PK           Oakland Raiders            24 pts – 3FG, 15EP

Rushing

Clem Daniels        RB1        Oakland Raiders               56 yds

Roger Hagberg     RB3        Oakland Raiders               20 yds

Ode Burrell           RB2        Houston Oilers                18 yds

Dick Bass              RB1        Los Angeles Rams           18 yds

Randy Schultz      RB4        Cleveland Browns             14 yds

Passing

Charley Taylor     RB3        Washington Redskins        68 yds

Otis Taylor           WR1       Kansas City Chiefs            51 yds   

Al Denson              TE2       Denver Broncos              35 yds

Fred Arbanas       TE3         Kansas City Chiefs            29 yds

Gary Collins         WR1       Cleveland Browns             26 yds

Field Goals   

Mike Eischeid      PK           Oakland Raiders                 49 yds

Mike Mercer        PK           Kansas City Chiefs              49 yds

Sam Baker            PK           Philadelphia Eagles            48 yds

Lou Groza             PK           Cleveland Browns              45 yds

Mike Mercer        PK           Kansas City Chiefs              43 yds

Td Interception returns

Jimmie Johnson   DCB        San Francisco 49ers          88 yds

Hagood Clark       DSB        Buffalo Bills                      36 yds

Willie Mitchell     RCB        Kansas City Chiefs              25 yds

Joe Scarpati          DSB        Philadelphia Eagles          18 yds

Mike Howell        RCB        Cleveland Browns              15 yds


01 Jan 67

1967 Sport – Wimbledon –  John Newcome (Aus) defeated Wilhelm Bungert (W.Ger), Billie-Jean King (USA) defeated Ann Jones (GB)
Box Office – One Million Years B.C. – Raquel Welch – Travel back through time and space to the edge of man’s beginnings… Discover a savage world whose only law was lust!” – Press release 
Billboard #1 – I’m a believer – The Monkees
UK #1 – Green Green Grass of Home – Tom Jones
Doctor Who – The Highlanders part 3. Jamie and Ben are taken out by rowboat to the Annabelle and warned that the only way off the ship is to the bottom of the sea as a prisoner is pushed overboard….

Semi-Final Injury List

OR – P.Pyle OG, B. Davidson DT, D.Connors LB, A,Powell WR1

CB – V.Costello LB, M.Clark OT, W.Johnson DT, D.Schrafrath OT, J.Kanicki DT, E.Green RB2

LA – J.Scibelli OG

KC – W.Corey LB

Los Angeles Rams 16, Kansas City Chiefs 26. At KC Municipal Stadium – Dry

Kansas came through a stern test that was only decisively decided in the final minute with an interception td return. The Rams have been one of the surprise packages of this tournament progressing from the first round but thanks in the main to their effective defense they had beaten higher ranked opponents in the previous 2 rounds. Relying heavily once more on the kicking boot of Bruce Gossett, they kept themselves in the game throughout and were only trailing by 7 points at the start of q4. The 3rd quarter had been a shambolic affair of turnovers and errors but with the final quarter both sides put in a strong display. After Kansas extended their lead to 10 early on, Los Angeles drove back with a carefully planned offensive series and finally broke through with Dick Bass registering his first score of the campaign. With the game once again a single score affair (at 19-16), Los Angeles regained possession with a minute on the clock. But this time their luck ran out when a telegraphed short pass was picked by Willie Mitchell who returned it for a td. Kansas City are the first finalists and have a fully fit roster to choose from.

Los Angeles Rams              0             6             3             7             – 16

Kansas City Chiefs              7             6             3             10           – 26

q1 09:00 – KC – Mike Garrett RB2 – 7 Rush (Tommy Brooker Kick)  

q2 09:25 – LA – Bruce Gossett PK – 41 Kick

q2 07:30 – LA – Bruce Gossett PK – 38 Kick

q2 02:25 – KC – Mike Mercer PK – 43 Kick

q2 00:25 – KC – Tommy Brooker DE/PK – 9 Kick

q3 08:55 – LA – Bruce Gossett PK – 40 Kick

q3 00:25 – KC – Tommy Brooker DE/PK – 14 Kick

q4 14:05 – KC – Tommy Brooker DE/PK – 19 Kick

q4 07:10 – LA – Dick Bass RB1 – 18 Rush (Bruce Gossett Kick)

q4 00:50 – KC – Willie Mitchell RCB – 25 Interception (Tommy Brooker Kick)

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Oakland Raiders 28, Cleveland Browns 41. At Cleveland Municipal Stadium – Dry

Cleveland held their nerve against a spirited late Oakland fightback to claim the NFL slot for the final. Leroy Kelly was a constant thorn in Oakland’s side carving through the defense to score when it mattered. Going into the 4th quarter Cleveland had racked up what seemed to be an unassailable 31-0 lead. But with Kelly injured at the end of q3 Cleveland switched their strategy with near disastrous results. Opting for a passing game, after Oakland had just registered their first score they failed to make any headway and were obliged to punt. Oakland then scored the td of the game when Clem Daniels who up until that point had been somewhat subdued scored a breakaway 56 yard td. Worse was to come for Cleveland who fumbled the subsequent kick off and a minute later Oakland were on 21 points. The miracle seemed to be well and truly on when an interception occurred on the first play of Cleveland’s next drive. Billy Cannon then caught a pass in the end zone to put Oakland just 3 points adrift at 28-31. Cleveland had just enough left and despite an incredible injury list managed to eek out first a field goal and then a td to decide the game once and for all. No side had scored more than 17 points in a quarter before this game. Oakland’s points tally has only been bettered in 6/21 games. With the bye week next week Clevelands depleted roster has extra time to recover before the finale against Kansas City.

Oakland Raiders                 0             0             0             28           – 28

Cleveland Browns              17           14           0             10           – 41

q1 05:20 – CB – Clifton McNeil WR4 – 19 Pass (Jim Houston Kick)

q1 03:50 – CB – Leroy Kelly RB1 – 7 Rush (Jim Houston Kick)

q1 00:15 – CB – Lou Groza PK – 45 Kick

q2 05:50 – CB – Mike Howell RCB – 15 Interception (Jim Houston Kick)

q2 02:20 – CB – Leroy Kelly RB1 – 1 Rush (Jim Houston Kick)

q4 14:10 – OR – Roger Hagberg RB3 – 2 Rush (Mike Eischeid Kick)

q4 12:40 – OR – Clem Daniels RB1 – 56 Rush (Mike Eischeid Kick)

q4 11:30 – OR – Clem Daniels RB1 – 5 Rush (Mike Eischeid Kick)

q4 11:00 – OR – Billy Cannon TE3 – 19 Pass (Mike Eischeid Kick)

q4 05:35 – CB – Jim Houston LB/PK – 26 Kick

q4 03:05 – CB – Paul Warfield WR2 – 4 Pass (Jim Houston Kick)

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Thoughts

Two contrasting games. The first a tight affair of nip and tuck with once again the Rams punching well above their weight but this time coming up short against superior opposition. Without Gossett I doubt they would have progressed as far but they have been an enjoyable side to play nonetheless.

If ever a game truly showed the unrealistic effects of the Avalon Hill injury system when playing more than a single game then the Oakland vs Cleveland game had to be it. Cleveland ended the game victorious but with no fewer than  9 players out for the game or longer. Luckily with a bye week between the semi’s and the final only 2 players will be out for the final but what happened in this game just felt wrong. Also with smaller rosters each injury was more keenly felt and at times I was playing with the minimum players available to fill the displays. I could live with this for short periods but when over the course of a full quarter or longer, what kept happening was quick turnovers. The FAC gods as usual didn’t help by also throwing in a heap of fumbles and interceptions but “them’s the breaks” I guess. Looking ahead to future campaigns I shall definitely employ the “playing while injured” rules as well as the rule that allows for “temporarily reducing the endurance level of replacements” if the starter is injured.


Record setters after Quarter Finals

Top scorers

Roger Hagberg     RB3        Oakland Raiders                 24 pts – 4TD

Roger LeClerc      PK           Chicago Bears                    20 pts – 4FG, 4EP

Mike Eischeid      PK           Oakland Raiders                 20 pts – 3FG, 11EP

Bruce Gossett      PK           Los Angeles Rams              19 pts – 5FG, 4EP

Rushing

Roger Hagberg     RB3        Oakland Raiders                20 yds

Ode Burrell           RB2        Houston Oilers                  18 yds

Randy Schultz      RB4        Cleveland Browns              14 yds

Gale Sayers          RB1        Chicago Bears                    12 yds

Passing   

Charley Taylor     RB3        Washington Redskins        68 yds

Otis Taylor           WR1       Kansas City Chiefs            51 yds   

Al Denson            TE2       Denver Broncos                 35 yds

Fred Arbanas       TE3         Kansas City Chiefs            29 yds

Gary Collins         WR1       Cleveland Browns             26 yds

Field Goals   

Mike Eischeid      PK           Oakland Raiders               49 yds

Mike Mercer        PK           Kansas City Chiefs            49 yds

Sam Baker            PK         Philadelphia Eagles           38 yds

Danny Villanueva PK/P      Dallas Cowboys                 39 yd

Mike Mercer        PK           Kansas City Chiefs            39 yds

Td Interception returns   

Jimmie Johnson   DCB        San Francisco 49ers          88 yds

Hagood Clark       DSB        Buffalo Bills                      36 yds

Joe Scarpati        DSB        Philadelphia Eagles  18yds


26 Dec 66

Philadelphia Eagles 6, Kansas City Chiefs 33. At KC Municipal Stadium – Dry

Kansas proved too strong for Philadelphia putting in a dominant display after their previous round lacklustre performance. Rookie RB Mike Garrett and WR Otis Taylor led their respective disciplines with impressive performances and the rest of the Kansas cast all played their part. Eagles QB Norm Snead, fearful of being picked by the deadly Kansas duo Safety’s Johnny Robinson and Bobby Hunt played too safe & conservative a game that over and over stalled too far out. A crazy end to half time occurred when in the dying seconds Kansas attempted a Hail Mary on their own 40. Philadelphia blitzed forcing QB Len Dawson to scramble but he fumbled allowing Sam Baker to attempt and succeed with an impressive 48 yard kick with 5 seconds to go. The resultant kick off was caught on the goal line BY Emmitt Thomas who decided to run and made a spectacular 63 yards. The play was flagged against the kicking team who then advanced the ball another 5 yards allowing Mike Mercer to score a 39 yard FG with 00:00 on the clock  

Philadelphia Eagles            0             6             0             0             – 6

Kansas City Chiefs             14           6             0             13           – 33

q1 11:40 – KC – Otis Taylor WR1 – 51 Pass (Tommy Brooker Kick)

q1 02:00 – KC – Mike Garrett RB2 – 4 Rush (Tommy Brooker Kick)

q2 07:10 – PE – Sam Baker PK – 34 Kick

q2 05:05 – KC – Mike Mercer PK – 49 Kick

q2 00:05 – PE – Sam Baker PK – 48 Kick

q2 00:00 – KC – Mike Mercer PK – 39 Kick

q4 10:20 – KC – Fred Arbanas TE3 – 29 Pass (Tommy Brooker Kick)

q4 06:05 – KC – Tommy Brooker PK – 16 Kick

q4 00:35 – KC – Tommy Brooker PK – 16 Kick

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Chicago Bears 24, Oakland Raiders 31. At Oakland Alameda County Colosseum – Dry

Oakland won a classic game that see-sawed back and forth until finally decided in Oakland’s favour by a late td from rookie RB Peter Banaszak. By far the most entertaining game of the competition so far, Oakland took an early lead before the imperious Gale Sayers put the skids on their ambitions with a brace of td’s at the end of the first quarter. At that point the game looked ominously in favour of Chicago. An element of fortune followed for the Raiders who despite being under the cosh for large parts of the 2nd qtr managed to claw themselves back into a narrow lead before Chicago launched an impressive response at the end of q2. The Raiders defense just held them on the 1 yard line and Chicago elected to take 3 points from a field goal to tie the scores.

In the 3rd quarter no side could break the deadlock. Both teams ever increasing injury list cancelling out any advantage one side might have. So it came down to the final quarter where both sides threw the “kitchen sink” at their opponents. First, Hagberg scored his 2nd TD putting Oakland ahead for the third time before Sayers inevitably replied and with it his “hat-trick” TD blasting through the tiring Oakland defense.  Oakland then put on a near perfect drive using every WR, TE & RB on the roster until just 3 yards shy of the end zone with only the rookie Banaszak unused and fresh. He kept his nerve to seal an historic win for the AFL who now advance to the semi finals  

Chicago Bears                    14           3             0             7             – 24

Oakland Raiders                 3             14           0             14           – 31

q1 09:35 – OR – Mike Eischeid PK – 32 Kick

q1 03:35 – CB – Gale Sayers RB1 – 5 Rush (Roger LeClerc Kick)

q1 02:35 – CB – Gale Sayers RB1 – 1 Rush (Roger LeClerc Kick)

q2 11:20 – OR – Roger Hagberg RB3 – 6 Rush (Mike Eischeid Kick)

q2 04:10 – OR – Billy Cannon TE3 – 8 Pass (Mike Eischeid Kick)  

q2 00:05 – CB – Roger LeClerc PK – 8 Kick

q4 12:10 – OR – Roger Hagberg RB3 – 7 Rush (Mike Eischeid Kick)

q4 06:30 – CB – Gale Sayers RB1 – 12 Rush (Roger LeClerc Kick)

q4 01:50 – OR – Peter Banaszak RB4 – 3 Rush (Mike Eischeid Kick)

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Thoughts

Kansas are now showing their true potential. Infact I am surprised how they struggled in their first game as they definitely look to be the real deal with a roster dripping in talent.  The game between Chicago and Oakland was a classic affair and considering 8 starters were missing goes to show that the stars aren’t always a guarantee of a good game. Oakland had a healthy slice of luck from the FAC gods in this game with just a single “1” rated player to utilise meaning the entire roster of skill players were used in most drives that luckily came off more often than not. The win sealed by a rookie RB4 (Banaszak)  was the stuff of legend and would I am sure have made this player a household name much earlier in his career in real life. But how on earth Chicago only won 5 regular games with this team is beyond me, they are without doubt far better on their Statis Pro stats than that record would suggest and with a fully fit squad would be dark horses for going all the way.

NEXT – THE SEMI FINALS

Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns & Los Angeles Rams at Kansas City Chiefs


26 Dec 66

1966 Sport – Cricket – The West Indies captained by Gary Sobers won their series tour of England 3-1-1. “England sobered in defeatAssociated Press
Box Office – Funeral in Berlin – Michael Caine
Billboard #1 – Winchester Cathedral – The New Vaudeville Band
UK #1 – Green Green Grass of Home – Tom Jones
Doctor Who – The Highlanders part 2. Polly having fallen into a pit tries to climb out but a hand clutching a knife reaches out to her, she screams..

Washington Redskins 6, Cleveland Browns 35. At Cleveland Municipal Stadium – Dry

Cleveland eventually displayed their Superbowl credentials with a convincing heavy defeat of Washington. After weathering a 1st quarter storm where turnovers presented the Redskins with no fewer than 3 Field Goal attempts (of which only the one was made) Cleveland came alive and settled down to a comfortable afternoon thanks in the main to their stingy defense that kept QB Sonny Jurgenson at bay all afternoon. It wasn’t all good news for the Browns who lost ROT Monte Clark and MLB Vince Costello to their already extensive injury list. They will be missing no fewer than 6 players for their semi-final matchup against the Raiders or Bears.   

Washington Redskins 3             0             0             3             – 6

Cleveland Browns  0             14           7             14           – 35

q1 06:05 – WR – Charlie Gogolak PK – 34 Kick

q2 09:35 – CB – Leroy Kelly RB1 – 4 Rush (Jim Houston Kick)

q2 03:00 – CB – Randy Schultz RB4 – 14 Rush (Jim Houston Kick)

q3 05:40 – CB – Leroy Kelly RB1 – 14 Rush (Jim Houston Kick)

q4 11:40 – CB – Gary Collins WR1 – 12 Pass (Jim Houston Kick)

q4 14:20 – CB – Gary Collins WR1 – 26 Pass (Jim Houston Kick)

q4 00:25 – WR – Charlie Gogolak PK – 25 Kick

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Los Angeles Rams 12 , Dallas Cowboys 10. At the Cotton Bowl – Squally rain

Dallas threw away their chances of a semi-final with a careless display against a persistent Los Angeles side. Despite controlling most of the game, Dallas turned the ball over again and again. Bruce Gossett’s 3 Field Goals in the last quarter proved the decisive factor in helping the Rams to victory. When the Cowboys managed to secure a narrow lead at the 2 minute warning Los Angeles were determined not to be outdone and throwing caution to the wind managed to put together a 79 yard drive in the final 2 minutes to set up the shortest of field goal attempts with just 10 seconds remaining. Bruce Gossett held his nerve to score his 4th FG of the game and put the Rams through. 

Los Angeles Rams              0             3             0             9             – 12

Dallas Cowboys                  7             0             0             3             – 9

q1 05:50 – DC – Bob Hayes WR0 – 4 Pass (Danny Villanueva Kick)

q2 02:10 – LA – Bruce Gossett PK – 25 Kick

q4 11:15 – LA – Bruce Gossett PK – 28 Kick

q4 03:50 – LA – Bruce Gossett PK – 29 Kick

q3 01:55 – DC – Danny Villanueva PK/P – 39 Kick

q4 00:10 – LA – Bruce Gossett PK – 8 Kick

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Thoughts

Just as I was getting used to close games Washington hit a brick wall against a Cleveland side that is held together by not much more than sticky tape. How Cleveland stopped the Redskins time after time comes down to Washington’s poor performance as much as it did to Cleveland’s defense. They will be without starting left and right DT’s and the middle Linebacker. This may end up being more than a leveller against whoever their next opponents are. With a fully fit team they should have been fancied heavily for a place in the finals.

I can’t quite believe Dallas’ defeat. First the Packers now the Cowboys! On paper they looked so much stronger. They played the better football and had most of the possession but still came up short. Somehow the Rams modest offense managed to nibble away at the Cowboys lead until suddenly they were ahead. With such a narrow margin and nervous conservative plays the order of the 4th quarter, it was always going to come down to a single play and full credit to the Rams for keeping their bottle. My money has to be on Kansas for the title now.

NEXT Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs & Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders


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NFC#16 Chicago Bears 5-7-2

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AFC#09 Oakland Raiders 8-5-1

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NFC#13 Washington Redskins 7-7

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NFC#05 Cleveland Browns 9-5

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NFC#07 Philadelphia Eagles 9-5

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AFC#02 Kansas City Chiefs 11-2-1

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NFC#11 Los Angeles Rams 8-6

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NFC#03 Dallas Cowboys 10-3-1

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