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Vinny
03-22-2005, 12:18 PM
3) 1979 AFC divisional playoff — Houston Oilers 17, San Diego Chargers 14

The article from Sports Illustrated was entitled “The Stolen Signals Caper,” and it explained how the banged-up (bruised, limping, etc.) Oilers were able to derail San Diego by stealing its offensive signals. Houston would be without its top three offensive players for the game — Dan Pastorini, Earl Campbell and Ken Burrough — so they were grasping for any kind of edge, even if it meant resorting to dirty pool.

The story was that Ed Biles, Houston’s defensive coordinator, had cracked the Chargers’ code and ordered binoculars to be fixed on the San Diego sideline. As the plays were being flashed to the Chargers’ huddle, the Oilers were getting a good look at them too. Result: Houston’s defense knew exactly what was coming.

After his team had swiped five Dan Fouts passes and smothered pro football’s most feared offensive attack, LB Gregg Bingham changed into his street clothes and leaked the story to SI’s Paul Zimmerman. The magazine ran with it.

“I was the only one who knew,” said Bingham, who had called Houston’s defensive signals that afternoon. “It just told me what defense to put us into. It’s not the kind of thing you want everybody (on the field) knowing, or pretty soon the Chargers are going to figure out what’s happening.

“Let’s face it, the information we had was golden.”

Turns out, it was all BS.

“I found out later that Bingham had made it up, that he was pretty much jerking me around,” said Zimmerman. “It was embarrassing. There were no stolen signals. They only thing the Oilers were reading were Fouts’ feet, how he positioned them under center. That hinted whether it was run or pass; that’s all.”

So then what was the real secret to Houston’s success against the Chargers? I went back to former Oilers coach Bum Phillips and asked for a recap.

“The idea was to rush our front three linemen straight up the middle, trying to force the line back into Fouts’ face,” Phillips remembered. “An outside rush wouldn’t work because his line was too good and Fouts was a pro at working in the pocket. If we couldn’t get to him, we insisted our players get their hands up and try to block the ball. Evidently, Fouts couldn’t see very good because he made some bad throws and we blocked some passes.”

There you have it. Not nearly as glamorous an explanation, is it? Frankly, I prefer the shadowy tale of espionage and intrigue. Much better reading. http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/Commentary/Columns/2004/danyluk010705.htm

Koruptified
03-22-2005, 12:32 PM
2) 1996 AFC divisional playoff — Jacksonville Jaguars 30, Denver Broncos 27

Memories of the ’96 Broncos — a Panzer division, its tracks clanking and spitting dirt as it rolled across the countryside. Denver topped the league in both rushing offense and rushing defense that season, a strong departure from the shaky zing-and-fling operation that existed during the Dan Reeves years.

New coach Mike Shanahan had hitched onto the sleeper of the ’95 draft, RB Terrell Davis, who was giving him a hefty 4.7 yards a crack. Then in ’96, Davis exploded for a record 1,538 yards, the kind of heavy-duty running not before seen in the Rockies. And for QB Elway, who by now was 36, it meant not having to win things by himself anymore.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville was a franchise just two years out of expansion. A hodgepodge of rejects, free agents and high-draft picks — “a USFL squad,” one Denver columnist called them. The Jags had slipped into the playoffs at 9-7, and on paper things looked like a mismatch. The 19th-rated run defense against that Denver machine? Most sacks allowed in the AFC? A team with a 3-6 road record, coming into supercharged Mile High? The Broncos’ scouts looked at that, then slipped back to camp with this report: Resistance should be light.

It wasn’t. An early 12-0 Denver lead crumbled into a 23-12 panic as the Jaguars became the aggressors. They scored on six straight possessions, attacking with a relative unknown, Mark Brunell, at quarterback (“We hadn’t faced anything like him all season,” one Bronco later admitted) and a castoff fullback, Natrone Means, who gouged the Broncos’ line for 140 yards. Nothing fancy. The Jags just outworked them.

Denver TE Shannon Sharpe had an interesting line after it was over. “I couldn’t describe how bad I feel inside,” he said, “if I had a thousand tongues.”When I saw this post, I knew the Jags had to have been on this top list with Denver...

Not too bad for the Jags to make one of the greatest upsets in their second year.

Houston has a lot of history though... I'll keep my eyes open for the Texans to get a playoff upset.

TheOgre
03-22-2005, 12:57 PM
I still love that Vikings win over the 69ers. That is one of my favorite playoff memories.

Havoc
03-22-2005, 02:30 PM
Atlanta beating the Vikings in the '99 playoff game.

Arizona Cardinals beating the Cowboys in '97.

D-ReK
03-22-2005, 02:38 PM
Thanks for the link, Vinny...That was a good read...

Brunell was the man back before all the injuries...He was definitely my favorite player of the late '90s...

TheOgre
03-22-2005, 03:50 PM
Atlanta beating the Vikings in the '99 playoff game.

I still cry at the thought of that game. The Vikings were my adopted team while Houston had none. I even went out and got a John Randle jersey. Friggin' Gary Anderson waited until the worst moment to miss his first FG of the year.

Vikings/Broncos would have been so much more entertaining than Falcons/Broncos ended up.

Havoc
03-22-2005, 04:04 PM
I still cry at the thought of that game. The Vikings were my adopted team while Houston had none. I even went out and got a John Randle jersey. Friggin' Gary Anderson waited until the worst moment to miss his first FG of the year.

Vikings/Broncos would have been so much more entertaining than Falcons/Broncos ended up.

There were alot of people at my high school who wanted the Vikes to win. My math teacher was from Minnesota. Plus, there was this guy named Moss. If you score a touchdown in the south, it means you got "mossed".

Brunell was similar to Steve Young before he lost his mobility.

TheOgre
03-22-2005, 04:12 PM
Brunell's prime didn't last very long. He seemed to be great for about 5 years. He is a shell of that man now.

D-ReK
03-22-2005, 04:22 PM
Brunell had some incredible years....and a couple of his best years were under the direction of our own Chris Palmer.

That's why you'll never catch me making any "Fire Palmer" threads or talking down on him...He knows what he's doing, but we don't have the personnel to allow him to get to incredibly creative...Upgrade the O-Line, and people will be saying Palmer deserves Assisstant Coach of the Year honors...

Brunell's prime didn't last very long. He seemed to be great for about 5 years. He is a shell of that man now.

It's a shame...Injuries killed his career...He had the makings to be one of the greats...

bckey
03-23-2005, 02:50 AM
I'll do it for you Fire Palmer!

Koruptified
03-23-2005, 12:28 PM
Brunell was amazing. I still love the guy regardless. He was an amazing player and was outstanding for the Jaguars. With Tony Bosselli, the two of them were a great pair. I still love that 63-7? victory over Miami for Jacksonville in the Playoffs. Pure domination.

TheOgre
03-23-2005, 02:02 PM
Brunell was amazing. I still love the guy regardless. He was an amazing player and was outstanding for the Jaguars. With Tony Bosselli, the two of them were a great pair. I still love that 63-7? victory over Miami for Jacksonville in the Playoffs. Pure domination.

I think it was 28-0 before Marino completed a pass in that game.

Koruptified
03-23-2005, 04:10 PM
I think it was 28-0 before Marino completed a pass in that game.

Man, I loved it. It was amazing. I also believe that game is in the record books for the biggest margin of victory in the Playoffs.