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Thread: AFL: Full Color Football

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    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    1988 AFL Pre-Season Scouting Report

    The mega powers of the AFL are set to explode in 1988 as the league is set to enter what will surely be one of the most fiercely competitive in history. The AFL will expand to 17 teams this season with the addition of the brand new Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The odd number of teams forced a change to the scheduling format that will see every team face each other just once during the course of a 17 week season, with 1 team getting a "bye" each week. The new scheduling format is set to be in place until the 1992 season when the next planned expansion team is set to launch and even the AFL out with 18 teams. The road to the Super Bowl culminates on January 22nd 1989 with Super Bowl XXIII live from Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami Florida!

    Player ratings are in parenthesis, players are rated on a 99 point scale similar to the Madden player rating system. The "(R)" next to a player's name stands for "Rookie", which means that the player will enter his first year in pro football this year.

    Cleveland Browns:
    Stadium: Cleveland Municipal Stadium
    Head Coach: Marty Schottenhiemer
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Bud Carson(defensive coordinator), Bill Cowher(special teams)
    1987 Record: 15-1(Super Bowl XXII Champions)

    Impact Players:
    QB- #19 Bernie Kosar(87)
    HB- #32 Otis Anderson(83)
    TE- #82 Ozzie Newsome(87)
    WR- #89 Wes Chandler(79)
    WR- #84 Webster Slaughter(86)
    T- #74 Jim Lachey(88)
    G- #61 Jesse Sapolu(86)
    G- #66 Kevin Gogan(85)
    DT- #99 William "The Refrigerator" Perry(79)
    DE- #95 Richard Dent(95)
    ILB- #59 Seth Joyner(91)
    OLB- #57 Clay Mathews(89)
    OLB- #58 Wilber Marshall(96)
    S- #25 Keith Bostic(87)
    K- #7 Morten Andersen(90)

    The Cleveland Browns are perhaps the only team in pro football that can challenge the excellence of the LA Raiders from an all time perspective. The Browns victory over the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII was the franchise's 9th World Title in their 3rd different league(4 time AAFC Champions, 4 time NFL Champions, and now 1 AFL Championship). The Browns unit that dominated the AFL in 1987 will go down as one of the greatest championship teams in the proud history of the franchise. Cleveland's 46 defense ran roughshod over the AFL in 1987, breaking the Raiders record for fewest points allowed in a single season en route to a 15-1 record. The Browns dominated their rival Indianapolis Colts(the only team that beat them in the regular season) in the Eastern Conference Championship, avenging their heartbreaking home playoff loss from last year before dominating the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

    With the departure of defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan and the loss of Clyde Simmons in the Expansion Draft the Browns will have a tough task ahead of them on their quest to repeat as AFL Champions in 1988. The Browns replaced Buddy Ryan with former Bills head coach Bud Carson as new defensive coordinator. Carson was defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs 1984 Super Bowl winning season. With the core of the defense returning and the further maturation of Bernie Kosar the Browns are still the team to beat going into the 1988 AFL season.

    Denver Broncos:
    Stadium: Mile High Stadium
    Head Coach: Dan Reeves
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Collier(defensive coordinator)
    1987 Record: 12-4(Lost Super Bowl XXII)

    Impact Players:
    QB- #7 John Elway(90)
    RB- #44 Lorenzo White(77)(R)
    WR- #80 Jerry Rice(99)
    WR- #83 Stephone Paige(87)
    TE- #89 Jay Novacek(82)
    G- #62 Guy Mcintyre(84)
    DE- #97 Tim Harris(93)
    DT- #75 Keith Millard(92)
    OLB- #56 Chip Banks(84)
    ILB- #77 Karl Mecklenburgh(88)
    SS- #46 Tim Mcdonald(86)

    The Denver Broncos finally conquered their Western Conference demons in 1987 when they finally made it past the Raiders and Chiefs to break through into Super Bowl XXII. Jerry Rice was unstoppable in 87, running away with MVP honors by shattering OJ Simpson's single season touchdown record. John Elway willed Denver to a 12-4 record and a victory over Seattle in the Wild Card playoffs. In the Western Conference Championship against Joe Montana's Chiefs it was the Broncos defense that dominated, intercepting Montana 3 times and sacking him twice while holding Walter Payton to just 48 yards in what turned out to be his final game. The Broncos upset the Chiefs but they ran into a brick wall in Super Bowl XXII in the form of Buddy Ryan's 46 defense. Playing without star running back George Rogers(who was lost to a knee injury) the Browns were able to shut down Denver's high powered offense en route to a 24-10 victory.

    The Broncos lost running back George Rogers for good when his knee injury forced him into an early retirement from the AFL this offseason. Hoping to fill his shoes is rookie Lorenzo White, one of the premier runners in this past 1988 USFL spring season. White rushed for 1,046 yards in 14 games in the USFL this Spring and played a major role in the Washington Sentinels' winning the USFL World Title. White's performance in the USFL earned him a contract with the Broncos. On defense Tim Harris and Keith Millard developed into two of the most dominant defensive linemen in the league while on offense Elway and Rice are the most dynamic quarterback/receiver duo in all of pro football. The Broncos will look to defend their Western Conference crown and take the next step towards a Super Bowl ring in 1988 .

    Indianapolis Colts:
    Stadium: The Hoosier Dome
    Head Coach: Jim Mora
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Dom Capers(defensive backs), Vic Fangio(linebackers)
    1987 Record: 15-1

    Impact Players:
    QB- #3 Bobby Hebert(85)
    QB- #9 Tommy Kramer(81)
    RB- #29 Eric Dickerson(96)
    WR- #87 Al Toon(93)
    WR- #88 Brian Blades(83)(R)
    TE- #83 Steve Jordan(90)
    T- #75 Jimbo Covert(85)
    C- #73 Don Mosebar(86)
    MLB- #50 Mike Singletary(97)
    LB- #51 Sam Mills(90)
    OLB/DE- #56 Pat Swilling(89)
    DE- #72 Dexter Manley(90)
    DT- #99 Dan Hampton(89)
    DT- #76 Steve "Mongo" Mcmichael(94)
    S- #22 Dave Duerson(90)

    The Indianapolis Colts "Dome Patrol" defense decimated opponents in the Hoosier Dome in 1988. The core of the unit was put together by former head coach Buddy Ryan when he assembled Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, and Mongo Mcmichael, while new head coach Jim Mora added Pat Swilling and Sam Mills to complete one of the most awesome defensive units the AFL has ever seen. With the Dome Patrol dominating and Eric Dickerson running for over 1,700 rushing yards the Colts won 15 consecutive games en route to a 15-1 record, avenging their opening day defeat at the hands of the rival Cleveland Browns with a late season win in the rematch that remained the only blemish on Cleveland's historic Championship season. Due to tie breakers(which came down to point differential), the Colts finished second in the East and had to defeat the New York Jets in the Wild Card playoffs before facing Cleveland in a 3rd meeting. This time in the harsh frozen field in Cleveland the Colts dream season and 16 game win streak were brought to an end in a disappointing 20-0 shut out loss in the Eastern Conference Championship.

    The Dome Patrol defense will return to the Hoosier Dome stronger and better in 1988 while on offense the the Colts drafted rookie receiver Brian Blades out of the NCAA Champion winning Miami Hurricanes, a strong talented offensive weapon that could make an impact as a day 1 starter. Eric Dickerson so far has been the best running back in the AFL in the 1980's decade and is still a superstar in the prime of his career. Pressure will be on Dickerson to carry the Colts on his back to a Championship in 1988.

    Kansas City Chiefs:
    Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium
    Head Coach: Marv Levy
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Ted Marchibroda(offensive coordinator), Emmitt Thomas(defensive backs)
    1987 Record: 13-3

    Impact Players:
    QB- #19 Joe Montana(90)
    QB- #10 Ken O'Brien(83)
    HB/FB- #32 Marcus Allen(90)
    WR- #81 Art Monk(89)
    TE- #89 Mark Bavaro(91)
    RT- #69 Will Wolford(88)
    C- #53 Jeff Bostic(84)
    G- #74 Bruce Matthews(90)
    LT- #76 John Alt(86)
    DT- #99 Jerome Brown(89)
    DT- #93 Jerry Ball(85)
    DE- #72 Ed "Too Tall" Jones(86)
    ILB- #55 Jack Del Rio(84)
    CB/FS- #42 Ronnie Lott(97)
    CB- #31 Kevin Ross(86)

    In 1987 Joe Montana returned from a back injury that caused him to miss most of the 1986 season and almost ended his career. Montana's rehab would cause him to miss the first 3 games of the 1987 season but with backup Ken O'Brien filling in Kansas City was able to get off to an impressive 3-0 start. Montana returned to action and picked up right where he left off, taking over and guiding Kansas City to a 13-3 record and first place in the West. Joe Cool struggled in the Western Conference Championship and the Chiefs were upset at home by the Denver Broncos. While trailing 24-0 Montana was benched after throwing 3 interceptions and taking numerous hits. Ken O'Brien came in and almost rallied Kansas City to come from behind but ultimately ran out of time, losing 27-23. The game turned out to be the final of Walter Payton's legendary career as he announced his retirement shortly after.

    The Chiefs made the biggest news in the offseason when they signed Marcus Allen in the first real blockbuster signing since unrestricted free agency was instituted by the AFL this year. The Chiefs stealing Marcus Allen away from the Raiders only fans the flames of what has been one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports in this decade, their showdown in 1988 will be a primetime affair that will have all eyes watching. One of the major success stories for Kansas City last season was the emergence of rookie defensive tackles Jerry Ball and Jerome Brown, two dominant interior linemen that combine to weigh well over 600 pounds and are almost impossible to run against. Ball and Brown along with seasoned vet Too Tall Jones gelled into one of the best defensive lines in the AFL last season and are only going to get better as the two young defensive tackles enter their sophomore season. The Chiefs defense will keep them among the elite in the West in 1988 but with Ken O'Brien's success as a backup things could get interesting with the quarterback situation if Joe Montana doesn't return to prime form.

    New York Jets:
    Stadium: Jets Stadium
    Head Coach: Jerry Glanville
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Nick Saban(defensive backs)
    1987 Record: 9-7

    Impact Players:
    QB #12 Randall Cunningham(89)
    HB- #34 Bo Jackson(94)
    HB- #24 Freeman Mcniel(87)
    WR- #82 Mike Quick(84)
    LT- #66 William Roberts(86)
    OLB- #58 Carl Banks(86)
    ILB- #51 Ken Norton Jr.(76)(R)
    ILB- #55 Brian "The Boz" Bosworth(81)
    DT- #73 Joe Klecko(82)
    DT- #67 Dave Butz(83)
    DE- #99 Mark Gastineau(85)
    CB- #26 Audray Mcmillian(79)
    S- #47 Joey Browner(91)

    The 1988 New York Jets are a team built in the image of their head coach Jerry Glanville, one of the more outrageous characters in the entire AFL, a man that dresses in all black and still believes Elvis is still alive(he leaves tickets for him at the front gate for all Jets home games). It starts with starting quarterback Randall Cunningham and the AFL leading rusher in 1987 Bo Jackson, two of the most explosive play makers in the league, two players that Glanville gambled on when he drafted them as Cunningham was primarily a scrambler with questionable passing skills and Bo Jackson was only a part time running back who played for the New York Yankees until baseball season was over in October. Glanville's gamble paid off as Cunningham has developed into a next level quarterback that the AFL has never seen before while Jackson retired from his baseball career to focus solely on football, eventually leading the AFL in rushing yards last season in his first full year as a starter. Jackson and Cunningham lit up the AFL last season and took New York back to the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

    The defensive side of the ball is where the Jets reflect the wild personality of their head coach. Glanville's defense was one of the most hard hitting units in all of the AFL last year and they are a team loaded with big time personalities, characters like "The Boz" Brian Bosworth, rookie Ken Norton Jr. the son of former heavyweight boxing champion that defeated Muhammad Ali and broke his jaw, and the veteran Mark Gastineau, one of the best pass rushers in AFL history and one of the most fiery personalities the league has ever seen. The Jets from top to bottom are the type of team that is made for the spotlight of playing in the media capitol of the world and their run to the playoffs in 1987 took center stage in mainstream sports news last Fall. Things will be no different in 1988 as the pressure is on Glanville to take this heavily hyped Jets squad to the next level.

    Seattle Seahawks:
    Stadium: The Kingdome
    Head Coach: Chuck Knox
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Monte Kiffin(defensive line),
    Pete Carroll(defensive backs), Joe Vitt(strength/quality control)
    1987 Record: 12-4

    Impact Players:
    QB- #1 Warren Moon(92)
    QB- #17 Dave Krieg(83)
    FB- #32 John L Williams(94)
    HB/KR- #21 Earnest Byner(86)
    TE/KR- #88 Steve Tasker(80)
    WR- #80 Steve Largent(85)
    WR- #81 James Lofton(86)
    G- #75 Chris Hinton(88)
    NT- #63 Bill Maas(85)
    DT- #99 Michael Dean Perry(84)(R)
    DE- #56 Chris Doleman(90)
    CB/S- #40 James Hasty(87)(R)

    Warren Moon led the Seahawks to their best regular season in franchise history in 1987, guiding them to a 12-4 finish with what many consider his true breakout season as an AFL passer. Now with Moon entering his third season with the Seahawks the team and the city of Seattle is hungry for their very first ever playoff victory in 1988. The Seahawks are 22-10 in the regular season since trading for Warren Moon but they are 0-2 in the playoffs with back to back losses to the Broncos in Denver in each of the past two Western Conference Wild Card playoff games.

    The Seahawks offense remains one of the most balanced attacks in the AFL with head coach Chuck Knox emphasis on the power run game and Warren Moon emerging as one of the all around best passers in the entire league. Seattle added 2 key rookies on defense with the drafting of cornerback James Hasty and defensive linemen Michael Dean Perry, two of the best defensive play makers in college football in 1987 that could make an immediate impact on the league in 1988.

    San Diego Chargers:
    Stadium: Jack Murphy Stadium
    Head Coach: Joe Gibbs
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Richie Petitbon(defensive coordinator),
    Ken Houston(defensive backs)
    1987 Record: 10-6

    Impact Players:
    QB- #9 Jim Mcmahon(83)
    QB- #11 Mark Rypien(80)
    HB- #20 Mike Rozier(90)
    WR-#83 Ricky Sanders(91)
    WR- #81 Ernest Givins(89)
    WR- #84 Anthony Miller(83)(R)
    T- #65 Gary Zimmerman(95)
    T- #78 Bruce Armstrong(88)
    DT- #97 Henry Thomas(90)
    DE- #75 Charles Mann(87)
    DE- #91 Leslie O'Neal(88)
    OLB- #50 Duane Bickett(89)
    OLB- #56 Ken Harvey(85)(R)
    CB- #22 Gill Byrd(93)

    The 1987 season was the end of an era for the San Diego Chargers as it was the final season of the "Super-Charger Triple Threat" of Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, and Tony Dorsette. In their glory days the trio was unstoppable, breaking AFL offensive records on their way to back to back Western Conference Championship titles in 1980 and 1981. The Chargers lost Super Bowl XV and XVI and then fell apart and wasted away in the cellar of the Western Conference for the rest of the 80's. Joe Gibbs took over the team in 1986 and turned things around, leading the Chargers to a 10-6 finish in 1987, San Diego's best season since their 1981 campaign. Ten victories wasn't enough for San Diego to make a playoff appearance and it turned out to be the finale for the Chargers super trio of Fouts, Winslow, and Dorsette as both Fouts and Winslow retired and Dorsette signed with the Miami Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason.

    The Chargers made the move in the offseason to replace the legendary future Hall Of Famer Dan Fouts by signing Jim Mcmahon, the controversial former LA Raiders quarterback that suffered concussions and neck injuries that eventually led to losing his starting job and eventual falling out with Al Davis and the Raiders. Mcmahon, a Super Bowl winning quarterback with the Raiders in 83, is a proven winner when healthy, but he's been out of football for the better part of 2 years. Now entering his third season as Chargers' head coach, Joe Gibbs has quietly been rebuilding the Chargers for life after Fouts/Winslow/Dorsette, with key acquisitions from the USFL like receiver Anthony Miller and solid draft picks like Ken Harvey.

    Los Angeles Raiders:
    Stadium: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
    Head Coach: Buddy Ryan
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Jeff Fisher(defensive coordinator), Willie Brown(defensive backs), Art Shell(offensive line)
    1987 Record: 9-7

    Impact Players:
    QB- #17 Doug Williams(84)
    QB- #12 Jay Schroeder(83)
    HB- #34 Herschel Walker(94)
    WR- #85 Willie Gault(86)
    WR- #84 Haywood Jeffires(76)
    TE- #88 Keith Jackson(89)(R)
    G- #79 Bill Fralic(89)
    C- #66 Bart Oates(88)
    DE- #75 Howie Long(86)
    DT- #71 Bill Pickel(86)
    DE- #93 Greg Townsend(92)
    OLB- #56 Lawrence Taylor(98)
    CB- #22 Mike Haynes(87)

    The Raiders have yet to recover from their upset loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXI, a loss that has turned out to be one of the most devastating single losses in AFL history. The stigma of that disappointment carried over into the 1987 season as the team lost it's heart and collapsed down the stretch to miss the playoffs entirely for the first time since 1981. The Raiders collapse in 1987 led to head coach Tom Flores stepping down from his position and paving the way for Los Angeles to hire Buddy Ryan, the defensive coordinator that was the mastermind behind the Cleveland Browns record breaking defense that dominated the AFL last season. Buddy Ryan will take over the silver and black in 1988 and he inherits a Raider team that is still loaded with some of the best talent in the AFL.

    Buddy Ryan will look to revive the Raiders with the 46 defense with Lawrence Taylor, Howie Long, and Mike Haynes. Ryan made his first big move on the offensive side of the ball by drafting tight end Keith Jackson, arguably one of the most talented all around players to come out of this year's draft. Jackson is hands down the best tight end coming out of college football and will compliment the smash mouth offense that Buddy Ryan will look to build around Herschel Walker. Herschel Walker is one of the most explosive offensive weapons and one of the biggest superstars in the AFL. Walker is considered one of the true super-power rushers of the AFL, part of the holy trinity of elite rushers along with the Colts' Eric Dickerson and the Jets' Bo Jackson, all 3 of which rushed for over 1,700 rushing yards last season. Walker finished 3rd in the AFL in rushing behind Dickerson and Jackson in 1987 but he had more receptions and receiving yards than either as he led the Raiders in both categories.

    The Raiders in 1988 with Buddy Ryan will look to return to prime form with a bounty on the entire AFL. Warren Moon, John Elway, Joe Montana and all of the quarterbacks of the Western Conference could find their names on the hit list. The Raiders meetings with Kansas City, San Diego, and Cleveland will be high drama high intensity games with personal vendettas on the line. The Chiefs vs Raiders rivalry became more heated than ever when Raiders running back Marcus Allen clashed with owner Al Davis over a contract dispute and left LA to sign with the Chiefs as an unrestricted free agent. Another primetime affair for the Raiders in 1988 will be their meeting with the defending Super Bowl Champion Cleveland Browns as Buddy Ryan will go toe to toe with his arch rival in Browns head coach Marty Schottenheimer. Ryan and Schottenhiemer's personal rivalry almost tore the Browns apart as they engaged in a dramatic power struggle throughout the Browns Championship winning 1987 season.

    The Raiders clash with San Diego in 1988 took on a whole new dynamic when the Chargers signed former Raiders quarterback Jim Mcmahon this past offseason. Mcmahon's feud with Al Davis was headline news in LA and his ugly departure spilled into the courtrooms and changed the landscape of the AFL with unrestricted free agency(and a salary cap set for 1989). The Mcmahon vs Al Davis feud is a feud that is one of the most heated in pro sports history as Mcmahon's lawsuits brought together the AFL players union and led to Davis losing his powerful influence he's had a clutch of over the AFL ever since the league backed out of the merger with the NFL in the 60's. In the aftermath of the trials Mcmahon accused Davis of using his influence to black ball him from the AFL after none of the teams showed any interest in signing him and he was forced to sit out the entire 1987 season.

    Buffalo Bills:
    Stadium: Rich Stadium
    Head Coach: Joe Bugel
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Wade Phillips(defensive coordinator)
    1987 Record: 7-9

    Impact Players:
    QB- #8 Steve Young(89)
    HB- #28 Curt Warner(91)
    FB- #44 Tom Rathman(90)
    WR/PR- #80 Irving Fryar(84)
    WR- #83 Andre Reed(88)
    T- #67 Luis Sharpe(92)
    C- #53 Kevin Glover(86)
    DE- #78 Bruce Smith(92)
    OLB- #56 Darryl Talley(87)
    ILB- #58 Shane Conlan(86)
    CB- #24 Everson Walls(87)
    CB- #21 Eric Allen(85)(R)
    S/CB- #36 Terry Mcdaniel(77)(R)

    The Bills moved on from head coach Bud Carson this past offseason after a disappointing 16-32 run during his 3 years at the helm. Buffalo signed new head coach Joe Bugel, the former offensive line coach that assembled one of the best units in the AFL in Houston and then later in San Diego. Bugel inherits a team with a superstar franchise quarterback in Steve Young, a team that showed signs of improvement in 1987 with a 7-9 finish, their best since 1981.

    The Bills have quietly developed into one of the most promising young teams in the league. Steve Young showed signs of progression in his sophomore season and will look to take the next step in his third season in 1988. Young's supporting cast on offense includes what should be one of the best power rushing attacks in the league with Joe Bugel taking over. Bugel was the mastermind behind the success of Earl Campbell in Houston in the late 70's and early 80's and will look to repeat that success in Buffalo with promising young linemen Kevin Glover, All Pro veteran Louis Sharpe, and arguably the best fullback in the AFL Tom Rathman paving the way for Curt Warner. The strength of the Bills in 1988 will most certainly be their strong young defense. Defensive end Bruce Smith leads Buffalo's defense as one of the elite pass rushers in the league while the drafting of Eric Allen and Terry Mcdaniel gives the Bills one of the best secondary units in the league for a long time to come.

    New England Patriots:
    Stadium: Sullivan Stadium
    Head Coach: Bill Walsh
    Notable Assistant Coaches: George Seifert(defensive coordinator), Ray Rhodes(defensive backs), Mike Holmgren(quarterbacks)
    1987 Record: 6-10

    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Frank Reich(86)
    QB- #4 Jim Harbaugh(82)
    HB- #33 Roger Craig(95)
    WR- #86 Stanley Morgan(85)
    WR/PR- #82 John Taylor(86)
    LT- #77 Bubba Paris(80)
    G- #63 Mike Munchak(96)
    C- #51 Randy Cross(89)
    RT- #74 Steve Wallace(87)
    DE- #70 Leonard Marshall(89)
    DE- #94 Charles Haley(92)
    ILB- #51 Chris Spielman(85)(R)
    ILB- #54 Bill Romanowski(83)(R)
    OLB- #56 Andre Tippett(89)
    OLB- #58 Keena Turner(85)
    FS- #43 Terry Kinard(90)

    Bill Walsh's Patriots failed to repeat as AFL Champions in 1987 after winning Super Bowl XXI two seasons ago. The injuries mounted on offense and the age of the defense caught up to New England down the stretch in 1987 as they stumbled to a 6-10 finish, their worst record under Walsh's tenure. Walsh has built a strong legacy as one of the true great head coaches in AFL history as he enters his 10th season as Patriots head coach. During his 9 seasons with the Patriots Walsh has gone 89-55 overall with a 6-4 record in the post season, 2 Super Bowl titles(1980, 1986), 3 Eastern Conference Championship Game victories, and 5 first place finishes in the East. Walsh lost some key greats this past offseason when Steve Nelson announced his retirement and Harry Carson and James Wilder were lost to the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers through the expansion draft.

    The Patriots will look to improve in 1988 with younger players like Charles Haley and John Taylor developing into big time primetime players down the stretch last year. Walsh brought some much needed youth to the Patriots linebacker corps with the drafting of Bill Romanowski and Chris Spielman, two of the best young linebackers to come out of this year's draft. The Patriots also added depth at quarterback with the signing of top USFL passer Jim Harbaugh, a proven winner that led the Washington Sentinels to the USFL World Title this past Spring. New England appears to have put the pieces together to return to the top of the East in 1988. Rumors have been making their rounds that this could be the final season of Bill Walsh's historic AFL coaching career as he is strongly considering retirement. Walsh will look to add his 3rd Super Bowl ring to his Hall Of Fame legacy in what could very well possibly be his final season.

    Miami Dolphins:
    Stadium: The Orange Bowl
    Head Coach: Don Shula
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Chuck Studley(defensive coordinator), Dave Shula(wide receivers)
    1987 Record: 5-11

    Impact Players:
    QB- #13 Dan Marino(94)
    HB- #33 Tony Dorsett(85)
    WR- #85 Mark Duper(84)
    WR- #83 Mark Clayton(90)
    WR- #89 Willie "Flipper" Anderson(81)(R)
    T- #78 Jackie Slater(91)
    T- #79 Harris Barton(84)
    G- #61 Nate Newton(86)
    ILB- #56 John Offerdahl(87)
    CB- #25 Jerry Gray(90)
    CB- #37 Nate Odomes(84)
    P- #1 Reggie Roby(86)

    The Miami Dolphins torched the AFL in 1984 with Dan Marino and Eric Dickerson shattering AFL offensive record books. Miami seemingly never recovered from their "one-and-done" home playoff loss to the Chiefs in that season's Western Conference Championship Game and have since missed the playoffs in each of the last 3 seasons since then. A bitter contract dispute with 2 time MVP Eric Dickerson seen the Dolphins part ways with the superstar runner with a trade to Indianapolis and Don Shula's offense just hasn't been the same since. The Dolphins were plagued with injuries and the lack of any type of run game last season and fell to a 5-11 finish, their worst season since 1976 with the most losses any Dolphins team has suffered since their 1966 expansion season.

    The Dolphins look to get back on track in 1988 by adding more talent around the best quarterback in the AFL; Dan Marino. Shula will look to improve the run game by signing veteran back Tony Dorsette as an unrestricted free agent. Dorsette is one of the all time leading rushers in AFL history. The Dolphins also signed top receiver in this year's USFL spring season with the signing of Flipper Anderson. The Dolphins defense remains the glaring weakness of the team after losing veteran leader Randy White through free agency. Don Shula and Dan Marino are without a doubt one of the best head coach/quarterback duos the AFL has ever seen but they enter the 1988 season with tremendous pressure as they try to avoid a 4th consecutive season without a post season appearance.

    Pittsburgh Steelers:
    Stadium: Three Rivers Stadium
    Head Coach: Chuck Noll
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Tom Moore(offensive coordinator), Tony Dungy(defensive coordinator), Joe Greene(defensive line)
    1987 Record: 5-11

    Impact Players:
    QB- #11 Phil Simms(88)
    QB- #15 Neil Lomax(86)
    HB- #37 Gerald Riggs(87)
    FB- #34 "Ironhead" Craig Heyward(79)(R)
    WR- #83 Louis Lipps(87)
    WR/KR- #81 Tim Brown(87)(R)
    TE- #88 Brent Jones(75)
    C- #52 Mike Webster(87)
    T- #75 Lomas Brown(85)
    OLB- #91 Kevin Greene(90)
    OLB- #95 Greg Lloyd(76)
    ILB- #54 Hardy Nickerson(83)
    CB/PR- #26 Rod Woodson(86)
    SS- #25 Scott Case(94)

    The last two seasons have been rebuilding years for Chuck Noll's Pittsburgh Steelers, dark times that have seen the once proud franchise falter to a 9-23 overall record and a spot in the cellar of the Eastern Conference that they will look to scratch and claw their way out of in 1988. Throughout the turnover from the legendary Steel Curtain days to the new generation the one constant has been center Mike Webster, the rock solid foundation that has anchored the Steelers through thick and thin and had one of his best seasons in 1987.

    Chuck Noll has meticulously rebuilt Pittsburgh and will look to turn the corner in 1988. The Steelers defense is one of the best young units in the league with Kevin Greene, Hardy Nickerson, and Rod Woodson coming on strong late last season. The news out of training camp for Pittsburgh is the emergence of Phil Simms who appears to have taken the starting job after riding the bench behind Neil Lomax in 1987. Simms spent the first few years of his career on the bench backing up Steve Bartkowski for the New York Jets before leaving the AFL to play as a starter in the CFL in Canada. Simms won 2 back to back Grey Cup Titles in the CFL before signing a big money deal with the USFL where he led the Philadelphia Stars to a USFL World Title. After the decline of the USFL Simms signed with the Steelers where he backed up Lomax last season, winning 2 games for Pittsburgh after Lomax went down with an injury late in the season. The well traveled veteran Phil Simms will take over for Lomax as the starter in 1988 and he will lead a new look offense that features two strong rookies in receiver Tim Brown and fullback "Ironhead" Heyward.

    San Antonio Gamblers:
    Stadium: Alamo Stadium
    Head Coach: Jack Pardee
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Mouse Davis(offensive coordinator)
    1987 Record: 4-12

    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Jim Kelly(88)
    WR- #81 Anthony Carter(93)
    WR- #88 Mark Carrier(88)
    C- #63 Dermontti Dawson(80)(R)
    DE- #92 Reggie White(98)
    DT- #54 Randy White(81)
    LB- #58 Jessie Tuggle(84)
    LB- #97 Cornelius Bennett(94)
    S- #36 Bennie Blades(85)(R)

    The San Antonio Gamblers failed to live up to the hype coming out of their undefeated final USFL season into the AFL in 1987. San Antonio only won 4 games in their inaugural AFL campaign but 7 of their 12 losses were by a touchdown or less, including 3 overtime losses. The Gamblers showed signs of potential in their 2 game season sweep over the interstate rival Houston Oilers and their victory over former USFL rival Minnesota Bulls but it was their upset win over the Buffalo Bills on the road that proved the Gamblers belong in the AFL. Jim Kelly out-dueled his former USFL rival Steve Young to lead San Antonio to victory in one of the best games of the 1987 AFL season.

    Head coach Jack Pardee's "Run & Shoot" offense struggled against the top level defenses of the AFL in 1987 but on defense the Gamblers produced one of the greatest individual single season performances in AFL history. Reggie White shattered the single season sack record in his first year in the AFL with 23 sacks. Now with a full season in the AFL under their belt the Gamblers look to establish themselves as a legitimate threat in the AFL in 1988. Veteran defensive lineman Randy White was signed as a free agent while Bennie Blades was drafted from the National Champion Miami Hurricanes and is expected to make an impact from the start.

    Cincinnati Bengals:

    Stadium: Riverfront Stadium
    Head Coach: Sam Wyche
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Dick Lebeau(defensive coordinator)
    1987 Record: 4-12

    Impact Players:
    QB- #7 Boomer Esiason(93)
    RB- #21 James Brooks(87)
    FB/RB- #36 Ickey Woods(89)(R)
    TE- #41 Keith Byars(88)
    WR- #81 Eddie Brown(90)
    WR- #84 Eric Martin(88)

    WR- #80 Cris Collinsworth(81)
    T- #65 Max Montoya(90)
    T- #78 Anthony Munoz(99)
    DT- #77 Jim Jeffcoat(91)
    DT/NT- #69 Tim Krumrie(90)
    DE- #90 Neil Smith(80)(R)
    CB- #26 Cris Dishman(77)(R)
    KR/PR- #23 Mel Gray(88)

    Bengals owner Paul Brown took criticism from the Cincinnati press for sticking with head coach Sam Wyche after 3 consecutive losing seasons, including an abysmal 4-12 last place finish in 1987. Wyche's job is day to day as he enters his fourth season at the helm in 1988 as the Bengals could make a mid season coaching change if Cincinnati does not show improvement. The Bengals have the tools to be a dangerous contender in 1988 and it all starts with quarterback Boomer Esiason, one of the most dynamic field generals in the AFL today.

    The Bengals have two of the best linemen on both sides of the ball with Anthony Munoz on offense and Jim Jeffcoat on defense. Munoz is arguably the best offensive linemen in the entire AFL while Jim Jeffcoat remains one of the most dominant interior defensive linemen in the league. The Bengals made moves for their future with a strong draft this year, strengthening the defense with Neil Smith and Cris Dishman while picking up promising young fullback Ickey Woods on offense. For Cincinnati the future is now, the 1988 season is do or die for Sam Wyche and the Bengals.

    Houston Oilers:
    Stadium: Houston Astrodome
    Head Coach: Mike Shannahan
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Alex Gibbs(offensive line)
    1987 Record: 2-14

    Impact Players:
    QB- #11 Jim Everett(89)
    QB- #7 Doug Flutie(85)
    RB- #34 Thurman Thomas(87)(R)
    FB/RB- #35 Neal Anderson(89)
    WR- #84 Sterling Sharpe(85)(R)
    T- #66 Joe Jacoby(92)
    G- #73 Mark May(90)
    G- #68 Russ Grimm(85)
    DT- #79 Ray Childress(90)
    DE- #96 Sean Jones(87)
    CB- #28 Darrell Green(90)

    The 1988 Houston Oilers will attempt to awaken from the nightmare that was the 1986 and 1987 seasons, a dark period that seen the once proud AFL bedrock franchise drop into the darkness with just 2 victories and 30 defeats. The Oilers fired head coach Mike Ditka and moved on to new young head coach Mike Shannahan, the mastermind behind the Denver Broncos high powered offense.

    The Oilers have maintained one of the best offensive lines in the AFL with Jacoby, May, and Grimm. Even though Henry Ellard was lost to free agency the Oilers made 2 key draft picks in this year's draft with the first round pick Sterling Sharpe and hometown Houston native Thurman Thomas. The Oilers remain shallow on defense despite the stellar play of Childress and Green but they have quietly put together perhaps one of the most promising young offenses in the league. Whether or not the Oilers offense can live up to it's potential depends on third year quarterback Jim Everett and first year head coach Mike Shannahan to put it all together in 1988.

    Minnesota Bulls:
    Stadium: The Metrodome
    Head Coach: Jim Hanifan
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Ernie Zampese(offensive coordinator), Al Saunders(quarterbacks),
    Gunther Cunningham(defensive line)
    1987 Record: 2-14

    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Vinny Testaverde(77)
    HB/FB- #35 Christian Okoye(82)
    WR- #80 Henry Ellard(93)
    WR- #84 Gary Clark(89)
    G- #62 Randall Mcdaniel(84)(R)
    NT- #71 Greg Kragen(86)
    LB- #55 Matt Millen(89)
    LB- #57 Rickey Jackson(87)
    FS- #41 Eugene Robinson(84)

    The Bulls transition from the USFL to the AFL was a rough one in 1987 as the team was only able to win 2 games. Minnesota's rookie running back Christian Okoye and rookie quarterback Vinny Testaverde both took beatings playing behind an offensive line comprised of AFL rejects and cast offs from the Bull's USFL days. The answer was Minnesota's first round pick in the 1988 draft with the selection of Randall Mcdaniel, quite possibly the best guard coming out of college football and a day 1 starter in the AFL.

    The Bulls were aggressive in the unrestricted free agency frenzy, signing two of the best free agents available in Henry Ellard and Matt Millen. Ellard emerged as one of the best possession receivers in the league playing for the Houston Oilers over the past 5 seasons while Matt Millen was a key factor in the LA Raiders dominant defense that won back to back Super Bowl titles in 83-84. Now the Bulls are built to play in the AFL in 1988 and they will look to earn their respect and prove they belong in the big leagues.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
    Stadium: Tampa Stadium
    Head Coach: Bill Parcells
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Bill Belichick(defensive coordinator), Romeo Crennell(special teams), Tom Coughlin(wide receivers)
    1987 Record: N/A

    Impact Players:
    QB- #11 Wade Wilson(86)
    QB- #15 Jeff Hostetler(82)
    HB- #32 James Wilder(82)
    HB- #33 Craig James(80)
    WR- #88 Michael Irvin(79)(R)
    WR- #80 Cris Carter(83)
    LT- #76 Jim "Jumbo" Elliott(79)(R)
    DE- #96 Clyde Simmons(87)
    DE- #78 Pierce Holt(83)(R)
    ILB- #53 Harry Carson(84)
    FS- #22 Erik McMillan(89)(R)

    The AFL's newest expansion team will make it's debut in 1988 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the AFL in their first season. Tampa football fans were set to get an NFL expansion team in 1976 but the financial collapse(and eventual demise) of the National Football League and a political scandal involving would be owner Hugh Culverhouse resulted in the team dissolving before they ever even got a proper name. Now 12 years later Tampa football fans will get a front row seat to all of the big time superstars and high impact action of the AFL as their Buccaneers are set to take on all 16 AFL teams in their inaugural season.

    The first move towards building a contender from the ground up was to hire head coach Bill Parcells, a 2 time USFL Championship winner with 2 different teams, both of which were undermanned rosters with mostly no name players. Parcells has AFL experience as part of Bill Walsh's coaching staff having served as linebackers coach during the Patriots 1980 Super Bowl winning season. Through the expansion draft the Bucs were able to pick up veterans like James Wilder and Harry Carson from New England, while also picking up one of the most promising young defensive ends in Clyde Simmons from the Super Bowl winning Cleveland Browns defense that rewrote record books in 1987. In the official AFL Draft Tampa took Miami Hurricanes superstar receiver Michael Irvin with the first overall pick. Irvin dominated the NCAA playing for the National Champion Hurricanes and will be a box office attraction for Florida football fans.

    In a move to prevent the new expansion Bucs from being a door mat against the star studded teams of the AFL in their first season the league put together an additional last minute "USFL Supplemental Draft" where Tampa was able to select the rights to USFL players in order to finalize their roster. Through this supplemental draft Tampa picked up Erik Mcmillan and Jim Elliott, two of the best in the USFL at their positions this Spring. Tampa also selected Craig James and rookie pass rusher Pierce Holt, two hometown favorites from the wildly popular Tampa Bay Bandits USFL franchise.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-29-2019 at 08:49 PM.

  2. #122
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    1988 AFL Schedule

    The 1988 season is set to get underway with the official schedule being released by the AFL. This season the AFL is loaded from top to bottom with the most talent the league has ever seen, from the legendary coaches like Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh, and Don Shula to the all time greats in their primes like Reggie White, Bo Jackson, and Jerry Rice, never before in the AFL has there ever been this perfect storm of greatness that the league will see in 1988. All of the big time storylines, characters, and superstars will take center stage on Monday nights with ABC Monday Night Football dominating the primetime airwaves. This year's schedule will see a change that will have all teams playing each other just one time instead of facing conference opponents twice as usual. With the introduction of the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers making for a 17 teams this means that every week 1 team will have a bye week and the season will be played out over a 17 week schedule.

    The big game circled on everybody's calendar is the week 7 Monday Night showdown with Jim Mcmahon returning to the Coliseum with the Chargers to take on Doug Williams and the LA Raiders in a game with an almost soap opera level of drama surrounding it. Buddy Ryan's LA Raiders will also be the center of attention in week 5 when they take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Browns in a game that will see Ryan face his sworn enemy Marty Schottenhiemer and the elite defense that he left behind in Cleveland to take the head coaching job in LA. Monday night football will kick off the season on week 1 with Joe Montana's Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Browns in Cleveland. Week 2 will see the debut of the expansion Buccaneers in their inaugural game in Tampa Stadium as they host the Cincinnati Bengals. Week 3 of Monday Night Football features a rematch of the Game of The Year last season with Jim Kelly's San Antonio Gamblers rematching Steve Young's Buffalo Bills.

    The star studded New York Jets will be featured twice on Monday Night Football this season as dynamic duo of Randall Cunningham and Bo Jackson will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins in week 10 before going to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers in week 13. Week 9 will see the next chapter in what has arguably been the biggest rivalry in recent AFL history when the Colts and Browns lock horns in a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Championship Game on Monday Night Football in one of the most anticipated games of the season. Week 11's episode of Monday Night Football features Warren Moon's return to the Astrodome as the Seahawks take on the Oilers while week 12 will see the Monday Night Football debut in the Metrodome in Minnesota as the Bulls host John Elway and the defending Western Conference Champion Broncos. For the next 17 weeks all 17 AFL teams will be battling it out for 1 prize, the right to be called the best in the world, and the road ends on January 22nd 1989 in Miami for Super Bowl XXIII!

    Week 1(Sep. 4th-5th)
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts
    New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks
    San Diego Chargers @ Buffalo Bills
    New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Raiders
    Miami Dolphins @ San Antonio Gamblers
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Oilers
    Minnesota Bulls @ Cincinnati Bengals

    Week 2(Sep. 11th-12th)
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos
    Indianapolis Colts @ Seattle Seahawks
    San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets
    Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Raiders
    San Antonio Gamblers @ New England Patriots
    Miami Dolphins @ Houston Oilers
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Minnesota Bulls

    Week 3(Sep. 18th-19th)
    San Antonio Gamblers @ Buffalo Bills(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns
    Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers
    Los Angeles Raiders @ New York Jets
    Houston Oilers @ New England Patriots
    Minnesota Bulls @ Miami Dolphins
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Kansas City Chiefs

    Week 4(Sep. 25th-26th)
    Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Cleveland Browns @ San Diego Chargers
    Los Angeles Raiders @ Indianapolis Colts
    New York Jets @ San Antonio Gamblers
    Houston Oilers @ Buffalo Bills
    New England Patriots @ Minnesota Bulls
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Cincinnati Bengals
    Denver Broncos @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Week 5(Oct. 2nd-3rd)
    Cleveland Browns @ Los Angeles Raiders(ABC Monday Night Football)
    San Antonio Gamblers @ Indianapolis Colts
    New York Jets @ Houston Oilers
    Buffalo Bills @ Minnesota Bulls
    New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals
    Seattle Seahawks @ Kansas City Chiefs

    Week 6(Oct. 9th-10th)
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers(ABC Monday Night Football)
    San Antonio Gamblers @ Cleveland Browns
    Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Oilers
    Minnesota Bulls @ New York Jets
    Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Miami Dolphins
    San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Seattle Seahawks

    Week 7(Oct. 16th-17th)
    San Diego Chargers @ Los Angeles Raiders(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Houston Oilers @ Cleveland Browns
    Minnesota Bulls @ Indianapolis Colts
    New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks
    Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

    Week 8(Oct. 23rd-24th)
    New England Patriots @ Cincinnati Bengals(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Cleveland Browns @ Minnesota Bulls
    Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets
    Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
    Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Diego Chargers
    Los Angeles Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
    Seattle Seahawks @ San Antonio Gamblers

    Week 9(Oct. 30th-31st)
    Indianapolis Colts @ Cleveland Browns(ABC Monday Night Football)
    New England Patriots @ New York Jets
    Buffalo Bills @ Pittsburgh Steelers
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Miami Dolphins
    San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals
    Los Angeles Raiders @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks
    San Antonio Gamblers @ Houston Oilers

    Week 10(Nov. 6th-7th)
    New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Buffalo Bills @ Indianapolis Colts
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New England Patriots
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Seattle Seahawks
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Los Angeles Raiders
    Minnesota Bulls @ Kansas City Chiefs
    Houston Oilers @ Denver Broncos
    San Antonio Gamblers @ San Diego Chargers

    Week 11(Nov. 13th-14th)
    Seattle Seahawks @ Houston Oilers(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills
    New England Patriots @ Kansas City Chiefs
    Miami Dolphins @ Denver Broncos
    San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Antonio Gamblers
    Los Angeles Raiders @ Minnesota Bulls

    Week 12(Nov. 20th-21st)
    Denver Broncos @ Minnesota Bulls(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns
    Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots
    Seattle Seahawks @ Miami Dolphins
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Raiders
    San Antonio Gamblers @ Cincinnati Bengals
    Houston Oilers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers

    Week 13(Nov. 24th, 27th-28th)
    New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers(ABC Monday Night Football)
    New England Patriots @ Cleveland Browns(Thanksgiving)
    Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Oilers
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Bulls
    Kansas City Chiefs @ San Antonio Gamblers
    Los Angeles Raiders @ Denver Broncos
    Seattle Seahawks @ San Diego Chargers

    Week 14(Dec. 4th-5th)
    Los Angeles Raiders @ Seattle Seahawks(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts
    New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals
    Buffalo Bills @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Houston Oilers @ Kansas City Chiefs
    Denver Broncos @ San Antonio Gamblers
    Minnesota Bulls @ San Diego Chargers

    Week 15(Dec. 11th-12th)
    New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
    Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Jets
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Buffalo Bills
    Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Bulls
    San Diego Chargers @ Houston Oilers
    San Antonio Gamblers @ Los Angeles Raiders

    Week 16(Dec. 18th-19th)
    Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts
    Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets
    Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
    Seattle Seahawks @ New England Patriots
    Miami Dolphins @ San Diego Chargers
    Houston Oilers @ Los Angeles Raiders
    Minnesota Bulls @ San Antonio Gamblers

    Week 17(Dec. 24th-25th)
    Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs(ABC Monday Night Football)
    Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    New York Jets @ Denver Broncos
    Buffalo Bills @ Seattle Seahawks
    San Diego Chargers @ New England Patriots
    Los Angeles Raiders @ Miami Dolphins
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Antonio Gamblers
    Minnesota Bulls @ Houston Oilers

    AFL Playoffs Schedule

    December 31st, 1988
    Eastern Conference Wildcard Playoff Game
    Western Conference Wildcard Playoff Game

    January 8th, 1989
    Eastern Conference Championship Game
    Western Conference Championship Game

    January 22nd, 1989
    Super Bowl XXIII(Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami Florida)

    Bookerman's Notes

    Alright so when I started this project I always envisioned working my way into a week-by-week format with game summaries. This format was attempted for the 1978 season but ended up stalling the whole project out. I tried it again with 1983 and again it failed. The big reason why it failed was because of how unfamiliar I was with the NFL in those years. It was before my time. Beyond the bigger names I was just too unfamiliar with the coaches and players from that era. So to keep the project going I abandoned that format those seasons and reverted back to summarizing a whole season in 1 post.

    Now we've finally reached what is, as a major NFL history nerd, my personal favorite little era in NFL history; 1988 to 1993. Something about the 1988 NFL season in retrospect, it was like a beginning of a new era/chapter type of season. The NFL seemed to really get it's shit together around this time with the 1982 and 1987 strike seasons behind them, the USFL dead and gone, 18 years after the merger with the AFL it was like things had finally really settled in and it also seemed like all of a sudden players were just bigger, stronger, faster, better athletes on average than before. The 1989-1990 seasons where when the NFL took the next step attendance wise, after those seasons it was like there were no more games in front of crowds of 14,000 after those seasons it was like every game was a sell out even if teams were doing bad. When you go through and look at NFL attendance through the years it was like things changed after 89-90 going into 1991-1992 the NFL seemingly got more big time. I think the reason for that is that the league was running at an all time high during those years, the talent and the product on the field was better than it had ever been.

    1991 to me is the peak of this era, I just think there was any other season with so many of the all time greats all playing at or near their primes all at the same time like there was that year. This is one of the reasons why people still play Tecmo Super Bowl on NES all these years later, that 1991 roster was GOAT. 1992 was right there with it and then there was the anomaly that is the 1993 NFL season, the first year of unrestricted free agency(which completely shook up the whole league) and a year where defense just completely dominated the league across the board.

    After all the offensive innovation and record shattering numbers that were produced after they changed the rules in 1978, all that explosion of offense in the 80's and early 90's all of a sudden it was like in 1993 things reverted back to fucking 1973 NFL football. It has to be the most physical, hardest hitting seasons in NFL history. There were more teams that season that allowed fewer than 300 points than any other season before or after in the 16 game era(there were only 4 teams that managed to score more than 350, thats the fewest ever in the 16 game era). Defense dominated the game so thoroughly in 1993 that they changed the rules again in 1994 to tip the balance back for more offense. So 1988 to 1993 is a pretty special little window of NFL history that I'm quite fond of. The game was at it's most physical and was more stacked than it ever was before or after imo.

    I didn't start watching football until the 91 Super Bowl and 92 season but a lot of what shaped those seasons took place in 1988-1989-1990. This era is my favorite to look back on whether it's watching old games or reading up on it whatever. So now we've reached the point where I feel like I can fully commit to the week-by-week format that I always had in mind for this project. So after a small break I will be returning to this and simulating the 1988 season with my pen and paper RPG dice roll system, game by game, week by week in the format that I started 1983 with. This time I'm much more familiar with the talent and personalities of the league to the point where I think I can pull it off. Stay tuned.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 11-29-2019 at 12:56 PM.

  3. #123
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    1988 AFL Season

    Week 1(Sep. 4th-5th)

    Player Of The Week: Warren Moon(QB, Seattle Seahawks), 22 of 31 for 355 yds and 3 tds

    Denver Broncos 22, Indianapolis Colts 21- at The Hoosier Dome, attendance 60,622. Broncos outlast Colts on the road in a defensive duel in the dome. The Colts took a 14-9 lead with back to back defensive touchdowns in the second quarter, an interception returned for a touchdown by Dave Duerson and a fumble recovered and returned for a touchdown by Sam Mills. Denver took a 15-14 lead with field goals that were set up by a blocked punt and later a fumble recovery in the third quarter. Eric Dickerson broke a 17 yard touchdown run to put Indianapolis on top 21-15 early in the fourth quarter but Elway was able to drive Denver into scoring range to win it with an 11 yard strike to Jerry Rice with 3:55 left in the game. The Broncos defense held Eric Dickerson to just 68 yards on 26 carries while the Colts held Denver to just 33 total rushing yards and sacked Elway 4 times.

    Seattle Seahawks 35, New York Jets 23- at The Kingdome, attendance 63,903. Warren Moon proved to be unstoppable in the Kingdome as he torched Jerry Glanville's Jets defense by going 22 of 31 for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bo Jackson ran for 91 yards and a touchdown but Randall Cunningham was intercepted twice in the red zone by the Seahawks defense.

    San Diego Chargers 13, Buffalo Bills 12- at Rich Stadium, attendance 75,895. The Buffalo Bills welcomed Jim Mcmahon back to the AFL by sacking him 3 times and intercepting him once in a game that was totally dominated by defense. The Chargers trailed for the first 3 quarters of the game but the defense and special teams set up what turned out to be the game winning field goal early in the fourth quarter.

    New England Patriots 30, Los Angeles Raiders 13- at LA Memorial Coliseum, attendance 52,211. Buddy Ryan's 46 defense struggled to stop the Patriots rushing attack or their short screen passing game as Bill Walsh's squad rolled over the Raiders with an easy 30-13 victory. The Patriots defense held Herschel Walker to just 59 yards rushing on 19 carries. Patriots quarterback Frank Riech completed 18 of 27 for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Patriots defense limited the Raiders to just 118 yards passing.

    San Antonio Gamblers 33, Miami Dolphins 29- at Alamo Stadium, attendance 22,094. Jim Kelly outdueled Dan Marino in South Texas by throwing for 283 yards and 3 touchdowns to put the Gamblers over the Dolphins. Gamblers' defensive end Reggie White sacked Dan Marino twice and forced a fumble along with 5 tackles. San Antonio took a 23-10 lead into halftime and never looked back. Marino threw for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception while Tony Dorsette had a receiving touchdown and 104 combined yards rushing and receiving in his debut for the Dolphins.

    Houston Oilers 21, Pittsburgh Steelers 14- at The Astrodome, attendance 40,511. Mike Shannahan won his debut as Houston Oilers' head coach with a victory over future AFL Hall Of Famer Chuck Noll's Steelers at the Astrodome. Oilers' quarterback Jim Everett threw 3 interceptions but completed 23 of 30 passes for 290 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers offense struggled with quarterback Phil Simms taking over as the starter, throwing for just 144 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

    Cincinnati Bengals 20, Minnesota Bulls 17(OT)- at Riverfront Stadium, attendance 49,827. Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason threw for a touchdown and ran for another to help put the Bengals over the Bulls. Cincinnati had over 200 total team rushing yards but Minnesota held them to just 17 points through 4 quarters. The Bulls overcame 3 Vinny Testaverde interceptions to come back from a 17-7 deficit to tie the game in the 4th quarter to send it into overtime. The Bengals won the coin toss in overtime and took the opening possession into field goal range for the 38 yard game winner.

    Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, OH
    Kansas City Chiefs(0-0) at Cleveland Browns(0-0)
    Attendance: 80,022
    Nielson Rating: 20.7

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Chiefs 0 10 7 7 24
    Browns 7 0 0 7 14

    The 1988 season premier of AFL Monday Night Football on ABC features the defending Super Bowl Champion Cleveland Browns taking on the 2 time Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs and their superstar quarterback Joe Montana. The Browns open the season at home celebrating their victory in Super Bowl XXII with the raising of the banner in Municipal Stadium during the pre-game ceremonies.

    Cleveland took an early 7-0 lead after a 73 yard drive capped by a 1 yard touchdown run up the middle by Otis Anderson. Marcus Allen scored his first touchdown in a Chiefs uniform early in the second quarter when he ran a 7 yard touchdown run that capped a 9 play 84 yard drive. The Chiefs intercepted Kosar and added a field goal to take a 10-7 lead into the half.

    Joe Montana put together scoring drives of 79 and 88 yards in the second half to put the Chiefs up 24-7 by the fourth quarter. Bernie Kosar was able to connect with Webster Slaughter for an 11 yard touchdown strike in the fourth quarter but the damage had been done. Kansas City closed it out and stole a 24-14 victory on the road in Cleveland. The Browns defense sacked Montana twice and intercepted him once while limiting him to just 189 passing yards. Marcus Allen ran for 72 yards and a touchdown with 3 receptions for 28 yards.

    AFL Standings

    Eastern Conference
    New England Patriots 1-0
    Cincinnati Bengals 1-0
    Cleveland Browns 0-1
    Indianapolis Colts 0-1
    New York Jets 0-1
    Pittsburgh Steelers 0-1
    Miami Dolphins 0-1
    Buffalo Bills 0-1
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-0

    Western Conference
    Denver Broncos 1-0
    Kansas City Chiefs 1-0
    Seattle Seahawks 1-0
    Houston Oilers 1-0
    San Antonio Gamblers 1-0
    San Diego Chargers 1-0
    Los Angeles Raiders 0-1
    Minnesota Bulls 0-1

    Week 2 Preview:

    Expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers make AFL debut taking on the Bengals on Monday Night Football

    Super Bowl XXII rematch as Browns take on Elway and the Broncos in Denver

    Jim Kelly's Gamblers take on Frank Riech's Patriots in New England in a battle of 1-0 teams looking to stay unbeaten
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-23-2019 at 09:23 PM.

  4. #124
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    1988 AFL Season

    Week 2(Sep. 11th-12th)

    Player Of The Week: Dan Marino(QB, Miami Dolphins), 32 of 44 for 417 yds and 4 tds

    Denver Broncos 24, Cleveland Browns 13- at Mile High Stadium, attendance 75,977. The Broncos avenged their loss in Super Bowl XXII eight months ago by dominating the defending AFL Champion Cleveland Browns at home. The Broncos defense dominated the game with 3 turnovers and a touchdown in the third quarter when a Keith Millard forced Bernie Kosar fumble was recovered and returned 13 yards into the end zone by Tim Harris. The touchdown gave Denver a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter. Cleveland was able to move into scoring range in each of their ensuing possessions in the third quarter but Denver managed to hold them to field goals to hold onto a 21-13 lead going into the fourth quarter. Bernie Kosar was picked off by Broncos safety Tim Mcdonald early in the fourth, setting up a field goal that put Denver on top 24-13. The Broncos defense never allowed a first down for the rest of the game to hold on for the victory and a spot atop the Western Conference with a 2-0 record. Broncos receiver Jerry Rice had 7 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown while Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar went 14 of 36 with a fumble and an interception. Elway went 21 of 30 for 233 yards with 1 touchdown pass and 1 interception.

    Indianapolis Colts 37, Seattle Seahawks 28- at The Kingdome, attendance 64,023. The Colts outpaced Warren Moon and the Seahawks in Seattle despite giving up over 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards. The Colts scored on each of their first 4 possessions to take a 16-14 lead going into the second quarter. Seattle took a 21-16 lead after the Seahawks drove 78 yards primarily on the back of fullback John L. Williams. Ernest Byner ran a 7 yard touchdown to put Seattle on top but Indianapolis struck back on the very next play by returning the kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Bobby Hebert connected with Steve Jordan on the 2 point conversion to put Indianapolis up 24-21 going into the half. The Seahawks drove into the red zone on their opening possession of the second half but Moon was intercepted on a tipped pass by Colts linebacker Sam Mills. Eric Dickerson broke a 27 yard touchdown run late in the third to put Indy on top 31-21. Moon threw two more interception in the fourth quarter and both were converted into field goals by Indianapolis, giving them a commanding 37-21 lead. The Seahawks drove downfield in the final 3 minutes to cut the deficit to 37-28. Warren Moon threw for 311 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Eric Dickerson ran for 127 yards and 1 touchdown on 26 carries.

    New York Jets 26, San Diego Chargers 19- at Jets Stadium, attendance 76,319. The Jets dynamic duo of quarterback Randall Cunningham and running back Bo Jackson were too much for the Chargers defense to handle as the tandem accounted for over 400 yards of offense and 3 touchdowns. Bo Jackson ran for 107 yards and 1 touchdown while Cunningham passed for 218 yards and a touchdown while also running for 77 yards and another touchdown on the ground.

    Buffalo Bills 20, Los Angeles Raiders 16- at LA Memorial Coliseum, attendance 50,071. Bills first year head coach Joe Bugel scored his first win as an AFL head coach by leading Buffalo to an upset victory over Buddy Ryan's LA Raiders on the road. Buffalo managed to jump out to a 10-0 lead after putting together long drives that consumed most of the first quarter. The Raiders eliminated Buffalo's passing game by hitting Steve Young hard and often but had no answer for the Bills power run game led by Curt Warner and Tom Rathman. The Raiders answered with an 11 yard Herschel Walker touchdown run in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 10-7. Both teams traded field goals in the second quarter to take a 13-10 score into the half. The Bills defense held Herschel Walker to just 33 yards rushing in the second half and picked off Doug Williams twice. Steve Young ran for an 8 yard touchdown to put Buffalo on top 20-10 early in the fourth quarter but the Raiders answered with their longest drive of the game when they marched 74 yards to cut the deficit to 20-16 with a 17 yard touchdown pass from Doug Williams to Keith Jackson. The Raiders went for the 2 point conversion but Herschel Walker was stopped short by the Bills' defense. Buffalo held on to win it 20-16. Steve Young was knocked out of the game with a concussion late in the 4th quarter while Doug Williams was sacked 5 times on the day(twice by Bruce Smith). The loss puts the Raiders in last place at 0-2.

    New England Patriots 33, San Antonio Gamblers 14- at Sullivan Stadium, attendance 60,094. The Patriots rolled over the Gamblers in New England with a strong defensive performance that seen Gamblers' quarterback Jim Kelly sacked 6 times and intercepted twice. New England held San Antonio to just 24 total rushing yards and allowed only 7 first downs. Jim Kelly struck early with a 74 yard strike to Anthony Carter on the game's 2nd play to put San Antonio on top 7-0. New England answered with 30 unanswered points. Roger Craig had 67 rushing yards and 44 receiving yards with 1 touchdown on the day while Frank Reich threw for 241 yards and 2 touchdowns.

    Miami Dolphins 43, Houston Oilers 36- at The Astrodome, attendance 44,161. Dan Marino led the Dolphins to victory over the Oilers on the road by passing for 417 yards and throwing 4 touchdown passes. The game started as a shoot out as neither team punted in the entire first half of the game. The Dolphins defense had no answer for Oilers running back Neal Anderson, who ran for over 156 yards and 1 touchdown as the Oilers offensive line had their way with Miami's defense. Marino threw 2 touchdowns in the first half to help Miami tie it up at 21-21 going into the half despite Houston dominating the first half time of possession with 22:10 vs Miami's 7:50. Interceptions by Jerry Gray and Nate Odomes in the second half helped Miami run away from Houston for the 43-36 victory. Oilers quarterback Jim Everette threw for 293 yards passing and 2 touchdowns but threw 2 critical interceptions in the second half.

    Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Minnesota Bulls 10- at The Metrodome, attendance 57,047. Steelers quarterback Phil Simms completed 25 of 31 passes for 251 yards and a touchdown to win his first game as a starter for Pittsburgh on the road in Minnesota. Bulls receiver Henry Ellard caught 9 passes for 104 yards and Minnesota's lone touchdown but quarterback Vinny Testaverde threw 4 interceptions and was sacked 3 times on the day. Pittsburgh linebacker Kevin Greene had an interceptions and a sack along with 9 tackles.

    Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL
    Cincinnati Bengals(1-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers(0-0)
    Attendance: 72,693
    Nielson Rating: 17.2

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Bengals 14 0 10 3 27
    Buccaneers 0 3 7 7 17

    Week 2 of ABC's Monday Night Football featured the debut of AFL football in Tampa Stadium as the expansion Buccaneers hosted the Cincinnati Bengals in front of a sold out crowd. The debut for the Buccaneers was a tough one as they were no match for the red hot Bengals. Cincinnati's rookie runner Ickey Woods became a prime time sensation by running for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns to help lead Cincinnati to a 27-17 victory.

    The Bengals jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead after a 13 yard touchdown run by Ickey Woods followed by a 9 yard touchdown pass from Boomer Esiason to Keith Byars. The Bengals forced Tampa to punt on each of their first 7 possessions. An interception by Tampa rookie Erik McMillan set up a 34 yard field goal to cut Cinci's lead to 14-3 going into the half. The Bengals increased their lead to 24-3 in the third quarter after a 41 yard field goal and a 2 yard touchdown run by Ickey Woods. Wade Wilson finally found the end zone for the Buccaneers very first touchdown when he hit Cris Carter for a 21 yard touchdown pass late in the third. The Bucs drove down the field after the game was decided to add a 3 yard touchdown run by James Wilder in the final minutes of the game to bring the final to 27-17. Bucs quarterback Wade Wilson went 17 of 35 for 211 yards with 1 touchdown pass and 1 interception and was sacked twice.

    AFL Standings

    Eastern Conference
    New England Patriots 2-0
    Cincinnati Bengals 2-0
    Indianapolis Colts 1-1
    New York Jets 1-1
    Pittsburgh Steelers 1-1
    Miami Dolphins 1-1
    Buffalo Bills 1-1
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-1
    Cleveland Browns 0-2

    Western Conference
    Denver Broncos 2-0
    Kansas City Chiefs 1-0
    Seattle Seahawks 1-1
    Houston Oilers 1-1
    San Antonio Gamblers 1-1
    San Diego Chargers 1-1
    Los Angeles Raiders 0-2
    Minnesota Bulls 0-2

    Week 3 Preview:

    Rematch of one of the most exciting games of the 1987 season as Jim Kelly's Gamblers take on Bills on Monday Night with Steve Young status for the game doubtful due to concussion.

    Los Angeles looks for first victory as LT's Raider defense takes on Bo Jackson and Randall Cunningham's Jets in West Coast vs East Coast showdown in New York.

    2-0 Bengals look to remain unbeaten when they go on the road to take on the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-28-2019 at 12:27 PM.

  5. #125
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    1988 AFL Season

    Week 3(Sep. 18th-19th)

    Player Of The Week: Bo Jackson(RB, New York Jets), 22 carries for 139 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns(including a 78 yard touchdown run)

    Cleveland Browns 27, Seattle Seahawks 19- at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, attendance 77,497. Cleveland finds their first victory of the season by shutting down Warren Moon and the Seahawks' offense. Seattle was held scoreless in the first half after Moon was sacked 3 times and intercepted once. Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar finally found his rhythm and threw 3 touchdown passes along with 243 passing yards.

    San Diego Chargers 12, Indianapolis Colts 10- at Jack Murphy Stadium, attendance 55,893. The Chargers defense held on to outlast the Colts in a defensive stalemate in the rain in San Diego. Amid a torrential downpour the Chargers defense was able to hold Eric Dickerson to just 77 yards on 25 carries. The Colts knocked Jim Mcmahon out of the game in the second quarter but backup Mark Rypien was able to move the Chargers offense into range to hit 2 field goals in the second half to erase a 10-6 halftime deficit. Chargers defensive end Leslie O'Neal had 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 sacks.

    New York Jets 30, Los Angeles Raiders 27- at Jets Stadium, attendance 76,119. Bo Jackson broke a 78 yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to put the Jets on top of the Raiders 30-20. The Raiders defense struggled to stop Jackson throughout the day, giving up 139 rushing yards on 22 carries along with 2 touchdowns. New York jumped out to a 21-7 lead in the first half after capitalizing on Raider turnovers. Doug Williams was benched at the half after throwing 3 interceptions but backup Jay Schroeder was intercepted twice in the second half. Schroeder managed to drive LA downfield to score a touchdown in the final two minutes but the Raiders failed to recover the onside kick.

    New England Patriots 24, Houston Oilers 16- at Sullivan Stadium, attendance 60,021. Roger Craig had 8 receptions for 93 yards along with another 78 yards rushing to help lead the Patriots to a come from behind victory over Houston. The Oilers surprised the Patriots with a punt return for a touchdown followed by an interception by Darrell Green returned 22 yards for a touchdown to jump out to a 10-0 lead early on. The Patriots answered with a touchdown on their ensuing possession but the Oilers struck back with a long drive capped by an 11 yard touchdown run by Neal Anderson. A missed extra point attempt gave Houston a 16-7 lead going into the half. New England responded by driving 90 yards on their opening possession of the second half. Frank Reich threw 2 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lead the Patriots from behind for the victory. Reich threw for 219 yards with 2 touchdown passes and an interception.

    Minnesota Bulls 21, Miami Dolphins 20- at Joe Robbie Stadium, attendance 70,199. The Minnesota Bulls pulled off the upset on the road against Dan Marino and the Dolphins in a game that seen the returning Vinny Testaverde(who won a Heisman trophy and led the Miami Hurricanes to an NCAA Championship) drawing a near capacity crowd to Joe Robbie Stadium. Testaverde went 18 of 27 for 190 yards with 2 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions while Marino was sacked twice and intercepted once. The Bulls defense and special teams led Minnesota to a 21-3 lead by halftime and kept the pressure on Marino in the second half to stave off the comeback. Miami drove into field goal range in the final 20 seconds but missed the 44 yarder.

    Cincinnati Bengals 28, Pittsburgh Steelers 17- at Three Rivers Stadium, attendance 55,834. The Bengals kept their undefeated streak alive after rolling over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. Boomer Esiason led Cincinnati to score on each of their first 3 possessions by running a no huddle offense that took Pittsburgh completely off guard. By the time Pittsburgh had managed to stop Cincinnati for force their first punt the Bengals had already taken a commanding 21-10 lead. Phil Simms went 23 of 44 for 290 yards while Gerald Riggs ran for 2 touchdowns and 105 yards rushing for Pittsburgh. Boomer Esiason threw for 231 yards and 2 touchdowns while Bengals rookie sensation Ickey Woods ran for 2 touchdowns.

    Kansas City Chiefs 10, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3- at Arrowhead Stadium, attendance 69,333. The expansion Tampa Bay Bucs put up a surprisingly strong fight against Joe Montana and "America's Team" on the road in Arrowhead. Tampa's defense pitched a perfect game by not allowing Montana and the Chiefs high powered offense to score a single offensive touchdown in the entire game. The Buccaneers offense fell flat and only had 7 first downs throughout the game, only managing a field goal after a Montana interception set up a 24 yard chip shot. The Tampa defense held Marcus Allen to just 49 yards rushing on the day and sacked Montana 4 times. Tampa held on to a 3-0 lead until a Wade Wilson pass was intercepted and returned for a 31 yard touchdown by Ronnie Lott. Montana led the Chiefs on a 77 yard scoring drive late in the fourth to add the field goal that put it out of reach and gave the Chiefs the 10-3 victory. Tampa defensive linemen Clyde Simmons and rookie Pierce Holt both had 2 sacks each.

    Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
    San Antonio Gamblers(1-1) at Buffalo Bills(1-1)
    Attendance: 79,993
    Nielson Rating: 19.8

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Gamblers 0 0 7 7 14
    Bills 0 14 7 0 21

    Steve Young was ruled out with a concussion but the Bills managed to shut down San Antonio's "Run N Shoot" offense and ran for 211 total team rushing yards to secure the victory. In a rematch of what many consider the best game of the 1987 AFL season the San Antonio Gamblers passing attack fell flat as Jim Kelly completed only 18 of 37 passes and was intercepted twice. The Bills started backup quarterback(and starting punter) Tom Tupa and relied heavily on the power running game of Curt Warner(117 yards rushing and 1 touchdown) and fullback Tom Rathman(84 yards rushing and 1 touchdown) as well as a punishing performance by their offensive line(Reggie White was held without a sack for the first time).

    Bills defensive end Bruce Smith had a fumble recovery and a sack along with 9 tackles on the day. The Bills jumped out to a 21-7 lead going into the fourth quarter. San Antonio cut the lead to 21-14 with 4 minutes left but Buffalo was able to maintain possession and run the clock out to hold on to the victory.

    AFL Standings

    Eastern Conference
    New England Patriots 3-0
    Cincinnati Bengals 3-0
    New York Jets 2-1
    Buffalo Bills 2-1
    Cleveland Browns 1-2
    Indianapolis Colts 1-2
    Pittsburgh Steelers 1-2
    Miami Dolphins 1-2
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-2

    Western Conference
    Denver Broncos 2-0
    Kansas City Chiefs 2-0
    San Diego Chargers 2-1
    Seattle Seahawks 1-2
    Houston Oilers 1-2
    San Antonio Gamblers 1-2
    Minnesota Bulls 1-2
    Los Angeles Raiders 0-3

    Week 4 Preview:

    Battle of the undefeated as Joe Montana and the 2-0 Chiefs take on the red hot 3-0 Cincinnati Bengals

    Prime time showdown on Monday night between two teams desperate to salvage their season as Dan Marino's Dolphins take on the Steelers in Pittsburgh

    Raiders look for their first win of the season as head coach Buddy Ryan returns to Indianapolis to take on the team that fired him 3 years ago

  6. #126
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    1988 AFL Season

    Week 4(Sep. 25th-26th)

    AFL Player Of The Week: Jim Kelly(QB, San Antonio Gamblers), 35 of 61 for 5 touchdown passes and 420 passing yards

    Cleveland Browns 20 @ San Diego Chargers 24- at Jack Murphy Stadium, attendance 59,277. Jim Mcmahon had his best game since returning to the AFL when he threw for 322 passing yards and 3 touchdowns to take down the defending Super Bowl Champion Cleveland Browns. Morten Anderson's 51 yard field goal was the only points in the first half as Cleveland held onto a 3-0 lead going into halftime after holding San Diego to just 9 rushing yards and 3 first downs. Mcmahon connected with Ernest Givens for a 16 yard touchdown pass to put San Diego up 7-3 early in the third quarter. Bernie Kosar was intercepted in the red zone on Cleveland's ensuing drive and then Mcmahon hit Ricky Sanders deep for a 71 yard touchdown just two plays later to put San Diego up 14-3. Cleveland answered with an 80 yard scoring drive capped with a 4 yard touchdown run by Ottis Anderson to cut the Chargers lead to 14-10 going into the fourth. Both teams traded field goals early in the fourth quarter before Mcmahon led San Diego on a long scoring drive that ate up over 7 minutes. A 12 yard touchdown pass to Mike Rozier put San Diego up 24-13 with less than 2 minutes to play. Bernie Kosar led Cleveland down field to cut the deficit to 24-20 after a 21 yard touchdown pass to Webster Slaughter but Cleveland failed to recover the ensuing onside kick. The Browns lost running back Ottis Anderson for the season with a torn pectoral muscle suffered in the fourth quarter.

    Los Angeles Raiders 27 @ Indianapolis Colts 17- at The Hoosier Dome, attendance 60,193. Buddy Ryan earned his first victory as head coach of the LA Raiders with a 27-17 win over his former team the Indianapolis Colts. Raiders running back Herschel Walker ran for 94 yards and 1 touchdown while Colts running back Eric Dickerson was knocked out of the game with bruised ribs in the second quarter. The Raiders defense held the Colts to just a field goal in the first three quarters of the game while Jay Schroeder passed for 301 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception. Tommy Kramer replaced Bobby Hebert in the fourth quarter and threw back to back touchdown passes to trim the Raiders lead to 27-17 but LA managed to hold on for the victory.

    New York Jets 38 @ San Antonio Gamblers 41(OT)- at Alamo Stadium, attendance 24,046. The Gamblers upset the Jets in overtime in an early front runner for game of the year and perhaps one of the greatest shoot outs in AFL history. The game seen the lead change hands 5 times with both starting quarterbacks combining for over 760 yards of total combined passing yards on the day. The Jets defense had no answer for the Gamblers' run n' shoot offense as Jim Kelly led San Antonio downfield at will for 420 yards and 5 touchdowns on the day. Jets quarterback Randall Cunningham had over 330 passing yards and 2 touchdown passes with 2 interceptions along with another 88 yards rushing and 1 rushing touchdown. San Antonio held onto a 38-31 lead until Cunningham ran in a dramatic game tying touchdown with just :20 seconds left on the clock to send it into overtime. A Reggie White sack on third and long forced the Jets to punt on their first possession of overtime. Kelly then proceeded to drive San Antonio into field goal range by completing 5 consecutive passes, setting up the 31 yard game winner with 6:11 left in OT.

    Houston Oilers 6 @ Buffalo Bills 27- at Rich Stadium, attendance 77,376. Steve Young returned to the starting lineup to lead Buffalo to a dominant victory at home over the Houston Oilers. Young passed for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns while the Bills' defense forced 7 turnovers, including 3 interceptions of quarterback Jim Everett. Bills running back Curt Warner ran the ball 25 times for 110 rushing yards and a touchdown.

    New England Patriots 24 @ Minnesota Bulls 21- at The Metrodome, attendance 60,317. The Bulls came back from 21-0 second half deficit with 3 Vinny Testaverde touchdown passes, the last of which was a 22 yard strike to Anthony Carter that tied the game 21-21 with 2:40 left in the fourth quarter. The Patriots answered with a 59 yard drive capped by the game winning 21 yard field goal with :05 left on the clock. Anthony Carter caught 9 passes for 123 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns while Vinny Testaverde threw for 287 passing yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Patriots defensive end Charles Haley had 3 sacks.

    Kansas City Chiefs 16 @ Cincinnati Bengals 20- at Riverfront Stadium, attendance 59,755. The Bengals kept their unbeaten streak alive by handing the Chiefs their first loss of the season. Kansas City took a 10-3 lead into halftime after a first half of football that was dominated by defense. Boomer Esiason rushed 7 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter to tie the game 10-10. Montana responded with an 84 yard scoring drive capped by a 1 yard touchdown run by Marcus Allen on 4th and goal. Kansas City attempted a two point conversion but Montana's pass to Bavaro fell incomplete in the end zone. Cincinnati added a field goal on their ensuing possession to trim the Chiefs' lead to 16-13. Cincinnati recovered a Marcus Allen fumble late in the fourth when Kansas City was threatening to add to their lead with a long drive. The Bengals took the lead with a 16 yard touchdown pass from Boomer Esiason to Keith Byars with 1:07 left. Montana had another chance to retake the lead but a last second hail mary shot to the end zone was intercepted by Cincinnati to secure the win.

    Denver Broncos 28 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13- at Tampa Stadium, attendance 67,533. John Elway returned from the bye week fresh to down the Tampa Bay Bucs by throwing for 341 yards and 2 touchdowns to keep Denver undefeated. Jerry Rice caught 7 passes for 104 yards and 1 touchdown while the Denver defense sacked Wade Wilson 7 times.

    Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA
    Miami Dolphins(1-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers(1-2)
    Attendance: 58,433
    Nielson Rating: 19.1

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Dolphins 7 0 7 7 21
    Steelers 7 14 7 3 31

    Dan Marino returned to his hometown and looked to try to turn the Dolphins season around against the Pittsburgh Steelers on prime time Monday Night Football on ABC. Marino was outshined by Steelers quarterback Phil Simms who passed for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns, completing 21 of 27 passes including 14 consecutive completions to start the game. Dan Marino led the Dolphins downfield to take an early 7-0 lead on their first possession but the Steelers answered back with an 81 yard scoring drive of their own to tie the game at 7-7. Pittsburgh's defense stopped Marino for the rest of the first half and ate up most of the clock with 2 back to back scoring drives. An 18 yard touchdown pass to Louis Lipps and a 9 yard touchdown run by Gerald Riggs put Pittsburgh up 21-7 at the half.

    Both teams traded touchdowns in their opening possessions of the second half. A 32 yard touchdown strike from Marino to Mark Duper cut Pittsburgh's lead to 28-14 going into the fourth quarter. The Steelers shut down Miami's run game and sacked Marino 3 times in the fourth quarter to hold on for a commanding 31-21 victory.

    AFL Standings

    Eastern Conference
    New England Patriots 4-0
    Cincinnati Bengals 4-0
    Buffalo Bills 3-1
    New York Jets 2-2
    Pittsburgh Steelers 2-2
    Cleveland Browns 1-3
    Indianapolis Colts 1-3
    Miami Dolphins 1-3
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-3

    Western Conference
    Denver Broncos 3-0
    San Diego Chargers 3-1
    Kansas City Chiefs 2-1
    San Antonio Gamblers 2-2
    Seattle Seahawks 1-2
    Houston Oilers 1-3
    Minnesota Bulls 1-3
    Los Angeles Raiders 1-3

    Week 5 Preview:

    Highly anticipated showdown between Buddy Ryan's Raiders and Marty Schottenheimer's Browns. Buddy Ryan helped lead Cleveland to Super Bowl glory as defensive coordinator last season but the bitter and dramatic feud with Marty Schottenheimer divided the team and dominated the headlines.

    Undefeated records on the line when the 3-0 Denver Broncos take on the 4-0 Cincinnati Bengals in a potential Super Bowl preview

    Showdown of the elite passers of the AFL as Warren Moon's Seattle Seahawks travel to Kansas City to take on Joe Montana's Chiefs
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-11-2020 at 10:24 PM.

  7. #127
    American Ninja

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    1988 AFL Season

    Week 5(Oct. 2nd-3rd)

    AFL Player Of The Week: Bo Jackson(RB, New York Jets), 25 carries for 204 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns

    San Antonio Gamblers 20 @ Indianapolis Colts 31- at The Hoosier Dome, attendance 53,789. The Colts defense held San Antonio to -6 rushing yards and shut down the Gamblers "Run N Shoot" passing attack to secure the win at home. Eric Dickerson ran for 155 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Turnovers created by the Indy defense helped them jump out to a 10-0 lead early. San Antonio was shut out and limited to just 3 first downs in the first half while Eric Dickerson's first touchdown increased Indy's lead to 17-0. A strong kickoff return to open the second half set San Antonio up in favorable field possession. Jim Kelly finally managed to move the Gambler's offense downfield with a drive capped with a 13 yard touchdown pass to Anthony Carter cut the deficit to 17-7. Indianapolis consumed a majority of the clock in the second half with back to back scoring drives of 81 and 89 yards that increased their lead to 31-7 early in the fourth. Kelly was able to put together two scoring drives late to cut the score to 31-20.

    New York Jets 31 @ Houston Oilers 34- at The Astrodome, attendance 57,931. Oilers quarterback Jim Everett threw for 3 touchdowns and 355 passing yards including a 61 yard drive downfield for the winning field goal in the final minute of the game to put the Oilers over the Jets in an offensive shootout. Even though the Jets fell short the real story of the game was the dominant performance of their running back Bo Jackson, who earned his second AFL Player Of The Week award by running for 204 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. The Jets took a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter after Jackson ran his first two scores on New York's opening possessions of the game. The Oilers answered back with a long drive capped by a 22 yard touchdown run by Neal Anderson. A fumble recovered by Houston on the ensuing kickoff set up Everett's first touchdown pass, a 32 yard catch and run by Thurman Thomas that tied the game 14-14. Both teams added field goals before the half to tie the score up at 17-17. Jim Everett picked the Jets defense apart on back to back drives to put Houston up 31-17. Bo Jackson cut the deficit to 31-24 at the end of the third quarter breaking through the Oilers defensive line and outrunning their entire secondary for a thrilling 47 yard touchdown run, his third of the game. The Jets defense intercepted Jim Everett twice in the fourth quarter, the second set them up in the red zone where they were faced with a 4th and goal with just 1:02 left on the clock. Bo Jackson plunged through the Oilers defensive line for the score the tie the game up 31-31 with less than a minute to play. Jim Everett completed two big passes to Sterling Sharpe and Thurman Thomas to move Houston into field goal range where they were able to win it with a 41 yarder with no time left, giving them the 34-31 victory.

    Buffalo Bills 17 @ Minnesota Bulls 10(OT)- at The Metrodome, attendance 61,277. The Buffalo Bills top ranked defense carried them to victory once again after dominating the Minnesota Bulls offense in the Metrodome for the 17-10 victory. Bills' defensive end Bruce Smith feasted on Vinny Testaverde with 4 sacks 1 forced fumble. The Bills struggled against a strong defensive effort from Minnesota but defense and special teams turned out to be the deciding factor as strong punts kept the Bulls in bad field position for most of the game. Buffalo nursed a 14-0 lead going into the half even though Steve Young had been sacked twice and intercepted twice. Minnesota was able to move downfield into the red zone for the first time early in the third quarter but had to settle for a field goal after Buffalo stopped them inches short of a first down on 3rd and 1. The Bills added a field goal to go up 17-3 going into the fourth quarter. Vinny Testaverde was able to hit Henry Ellard for a 19 yard touchdown pass late in the game to cut the deficit to 17-10 but Minnesota was unable to get the ball back. The hard fought road victory puts Buffalo at 4-1, their best start since the 1973 season.

    New England Patriots 23 @ Miami Dolphins 22- at Joe Robbie Stadium, attendance 63,736. Dan Marino threw for 307 yards and 3 touchdown passes in the Dolphins frustrating home loss to New England. Marino was intercepted twice in the first quarter of the game as New England capitalized and jumped to an early 14-0 lead. Two field goals increased New England's lead to 20-0 before Miami finally found the end zone with a 13 yard strike from Marino to Mark Duper at the end of the first half. A two point conversion run by Tony Dorsette cut the deficit to 20-8. Marino came out hot in the second half with two quick scoring drives via the passing game. A 21 yard touchdown pass to Flipper Anderson and a 19 yard lob to Mark Clayton in the back of the end zone gave Miami a 22-20 lead with 4 minutes left to play. Frank Reich converted on back to back crucial third downs with screen passes to Roger Craig to move New England into range for the go ahead field goal to take a 23-22 lead with 1:21 left to play. Marino moved Miami into range for the game winning field goal with :04 seconds left but strong wind gusts pushed it wide right to secure New England's victory. Frank Reich threw for 274 yards and 2 touchdowns while Roger Craig had 66 yards rushing and 116 receiving yards with 1 touchdown. The victory sends Miami to 1-4 and has the rumor mill in South Florida churning about the legendary Don Shula's job security after the defending National Champion Miami Hurricanes college football team rolled to a 5-0 start under head coach Jimmy Johnson after a 55-0 victory over Missouri in the Orange Bowl just 24 hours prior to the game.

    Denver Broncos 16 @ Cincinnati Bengals 13(OT)- at Riverfront Stadium, attendance 59,755. A battle between the undefeated Broncos and Bengals took nearly 5 full quarters to decide as the Broncos managed to win it deep into overtime with a 34 yard field goal. Both defenses dominated the game and the Bengals held onto a 6-3 lead going into half time. The Bengals took a 13-3 lead midway through the third quarter after Boomer Esiason led Cincy on a 88 yard drive utilizing a quick no-huddle offense that took Denver by surprise. Elway led Denver on back to back scoring drives in the final 5 minutes to tie the game at 13-13 to send it into overtime. Both teams remained in a defensive stalemate through the first 13 minutes of the overtime period. Elway connected with Jerry Rice on critical third down plays to move Denver into range for the winning field goal with just 2:40 remaining in overtime to keep Denver undefeated. Jerry Rice caught 11 passes for 188 receiving yards and 1 touchdown.

    Seattle Seahawks 17 @ Kansas City Chiefs 21- at Arrowhead Stadium, attendance 73,851. The Kansas City Chiefs managed to stop Seattle's power run game and sacked Warren Moon 5 times to score a hard fought victory over a conference rival. Joe Montana threw for 222 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes, including two to Art Monk. The Chiefs took a 21-10 lead early in the fourth quarter after Montana hit Monk for a 72 yard deep touchdown pass that ended the competitive phase of the game.

    Pittsburgh Steelers 28 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20- at Tampa Stadium, attendance 60,133. Steelers' rookie sensation Tim Brown returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown while also catching 8 passes for 108 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns to help the Steelers down the expansion Tampa Bay Bucs. Rod Woodson had a 62 yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter that put Pittsburgh up 28-13. Steelers quarterback Phil Simms completed 20 of 30 for 188 yards and 2 touchdown passes. Bucs quarterback Wade Wilson threw for 215 yards with 2 interceptions and 2 touchdowns, both to Tampa rookie Michael Irvin who caught 7 passes for 98 yards.

    Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
    Cleveland Browns(1-3) at Los Angeles Raiders(1-3)
    Attendance: 64,093
    Nielson Rating: 20.2

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Browns 0 0 0 16 16
    Raiders 7 14 3 3 27

    ABC's Monday Night Football played host to one of the most highly anticipated showdowns of the 1988 AFL season as Buddy Ryan's Raiders squared off against Marty Schottenhiemer's defending AFL Champion Cleveland Browns live on primetime network television. The backstory goes back to two seasons ago when Buddy Ryan was hired by Schottenhiemer as the new Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator. The two worked together to lead Cleveland to an 11-5 season in 1986 but the Browns lost a heartbreaking double overtime thriller against the Colts in the Wild Card playoffs. The loss started the rivalry between Buddy Ryan and Marty Schottenheimer that seen both trading barbs in the media in Cleveland after Ryan was critical of Marty's offensive playcalling. The feud escalated through the 1987 offseason and created a rift in the Browns locker room, a division between the offensive and defensive units. Browns practices were filled with fights and the press conferences were headline news but Ryan and Schottenhiemer somehow managed to pull the team together and lead them to a dominant 15-1 season led by one of the all time great defensive performances by any team in AFL history. The Browns ran through the playoffs and dominated the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.

    Immediately following the Browns victory in Super Bowl XXII this past January Buddy Ryan took the Raiders head coaching job in Los Angeles. Without each other Buddy Ryan and Marty Schottenheimer have struggled so far in 1988, with both teams stumbling out of the gate to identical 1-3 records. Nevertheless the showdown between their Raiders and Browns was still a personal affair with all eyes on it as their bitter rivalry spills out onto the field on primetime network television for one of the most watched AFL games of the season so far.

    The Raiders looked to have settled in with Buddy Ryan's 46 Defense concepts as they stifled the Browns offense to hold them scoreless throughout the first 3 quarters of the game. Raider quarterback Jay Schoeder(filling in for the injured Doug Williams) continued to have success in the passing game throwing for 280 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Herschel Walker had 91 receiving yards and another 54 yards on the ground. Los Angeles' defense forced 3 turnovers and helped the Raiders jump out to a 24-0 lead. Bernie Kosar finally moved Cleveland into scoring range late in the game with back to back touchdowns with 2 point conversions to cut the deficit to 24-16. The Raiders closed out the game with another clock consuming drive that capped with a 41 yard field goal for the 27-16 final score.

    AFL Standings

    Eastern Conference
    New England Patriots 5-0
    Cincinnati Bengals 4-1
    Buffalo Bills 4-1
    Pittsburgh Steelers 3-2
    New York Jets 2-3
    Indianapolis Colts 2-3
    Cleveland Browns 1-4
    Miami Dolphins 1-4
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-4

    Western Conference
    Denver Broncos 4-0
    Kansas City Chiefs 3-1
    San Diego Chargers 3-1
    San Antonio Gamblers 2-3
    Houston Oilers 2-3
    Los Angeles Raiders 2-3
    Seattle Seahawks 1-3
    Minnesota Bulls 1-4

    Week 6 Preview:

    Rematch of Super Bowls XIX and XX as Joe Montana's Chiefs travel into Pittsburgh to take on the rejuvenated Steelers on Monday Night Football.

    4-1 Buffalo Bills take on 5-0 New England Patriots for control of 1st place in the East.

    Red hot Denver Broncos defend their spot atop the West against the surging San Diego Chargers.

  8. #128
    What A Maneuver!
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Another really fun write up man! I've been following forever, and I really think this is the most underrated thread on this entire site.

    A lot of parity here in the early going of the season. A bunch of teams still trying to figure things out on both sides of the ball. Really fun to watch this all play out.

    Jim Kelly continues to sling it around, with no help surrounding him. The Colts are a team to keep an eye on, even though they seem pretty one-dimensional with Dickerson leading the charge. I'm guessing those two 80-yard drives in the second half were all ED chewing up the clock.

    Bo Jackson, Thurman Thomas, Sterling Sharpe, Jim Everett- How are the Oilers 2-3 right now? I suspect they figure out some shit on defense and turn it around-too much talent on offense to be a .500 team the rest of the way. The Jets are that team that is in every game but just can't seem to put it together for 4 full quarters.

    I'm not sold on the Bills yet. Not sold on New England either, which makes me think it's Pittsburgh or Cincinnati's division to lose. Should be an interesting matchup next week between Buffalo and New England.

    I remember when Roger Craig was drafted by NE in this thread I thought they would turn into a contender. Here they are walking into Miami and winning. New England is quietly running the table right now, but I don't think that lasts too much longer. Don Shula on the hot seat? You're a booking genius Trouble in paradise, Marino isn't himself, but I still think they find a way to turn it around down the stretch.

    The Steelers having Tim Brown AND Rod Woodson returning kicks? I'd kick that shit out of bounds and take the penalty I can imagine coaches losing their fucking minds every time the kicker gave them a running head start to return a kick. Phil Simms is still leading the charge, and Pittsburgh, despite their 3-2 record, I think is the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

    The main story here is Buddy and Marty needing each other more than they thought. Really great angle you've played here. The Browns are in a serious Super Bowl hangover, which was to be expected. I would have LOVED to be at practice when Ryan's defense and Marty's offense were throwing each other around. I'd love nothing more than to watch a documentary on the NFL Network right now about their season as champs. That competitiveness no doubt led them to the Championship last year. Such an awesome story, really well done.

    Really looking forward to next week's slate of games. I'm going to try hard to keep up with this and comment as much as possible, because this is just plain incredible to read. Great work brother!

  9. #129
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    1988 AFL Season

    Week 6(Oct. 9th-10th)

    AFL Player Of The Week: Dan Marino(QB, Miami Dolphins), 467 passing yards and 6 touchdown passes

    San Antonio Gamblers 19 @ Cleveland Browns 20- at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, attendance 76,788. The Browns defense came up big against San Antonio's "Run N Shoot" passing attack and rebounded from back to back road losses(both on the west coast) with a desperately needed victory over the Gamblers. San Antonio's Reggie White had 2 sacks and a forced fumble in the first half to help hold a 0-0 tie going into the third quarter. Cleveland scored first on a fumble recovered and returned for a touchdown by Seth Joyner. Bernie Kosar finally managed to move Cleveland into scoring range to add a field goal that gave the Browns a 10-0 lead going into the fourth. Jim Kelly was intercepted early in the fourth to set up another Cleveland field goal to increase their lead to 13-0. San Antonio finally scored after a 64 yard bomb from Kelly to Anthony Carter set them up for a 33 yard field goal to cut the deficit to 13-3 with 11 minutes left to play. The Browns answered with an 86 yard drive downfield capped by a 21 yard touchdown pass from Kosar to Webster Slaughter to increase the gap to 20-3. Jim Kelly then proceeded to put together back to back drives in the final 6 minutes, a 91 yard drive capped by a 14 yard touchdown strike to Mark Carrier followed by a successful 2 point conversion that cut the deficit to 20-11. The Gamblers managed to recover the onside kick and then added another touchdown and two point conversion to cut the lead to 20-19 with just :31 seconds left. The Gamblers attempted another onside kick but Cleveland was able to recover and close the deal. Kelly threw 2 touchdown passes and 1 interception with 191 passing yards but was sacked 4 times.

    Indianapolis Colts 34 @ Houston Oilers 24- at The Astrodome, attendance 46,321. The Houston Oilers defense managed to hold Eric Dickerson under 100 yards rushing but Indianapolis still managed to outpace them with over 300 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes by quarterback Bobby Hebert. Colts tight end Steve Jordan had 101 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns while rookie receiver Brian Blades had 112 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. Mike Singletary intercepted Jim Everett's very first pass on the Oilers opening possession and the Colts never looked back with 20 unanswered points to open the first quarter. Houston responded with two scoring drives in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 20-14 but a fumble scooped up and returned for a touchdown by Sam Mills put Indy up 27-14 going into the half. Oilers cornerback Darrell Green picked Bobby Hebert off and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown early in the third to cut Indy's lead to 27-21. Hebert responded with a 74 yard drive capped with his third touchdown pass of the day to put Indy up 34-21. Houston managed to add a field goal early in the 4th quarter to cut Indy's lead to 34-27 but the Colts controlled the ball and the clock throughout the remainder of the game to get the win.

    Minnesota Bulls 0 @ New York Jets 13- at Jets Stadium, attendance 71,420. Vinny Testaverde was intercepted 4 times in Minnesota's shut out loss to the Jets on the road. The Bulls defense put in a valiant effort in holding Bo Jackson to just 61 yards rushing on 21 carries but turnovers set up all 13 of the Jets points. Randall Cunningham ran for 81 yards rushing and the Jets lone offensive touchdown while also throwing for 207 yards in the air(with 2 interceptions). Bulls linebacker Rickey Jackson had a sack and an interception along with 10 tackles.

    Buffalo Bills 10 @ New England Patriots 13- at Sullivan Stadium, attendance 60,794. The Patriots maintained their perfect record by holding off a tough Buffalo Bills team at home to move to 6-0. Patriots quarterback Frank Reich completed 19 of 23 passes but was intercepted 3 times and sacked twice, the last of which knocked him out of the game in the second quarter. Backup Jim Harbaugh came in and led New England down into range for the field goal that gave them a 10-0 advantage going into the fourth quarter. Harbaugh was intercepted in Buffalo territory on New England's ensuing possession and Bills quarterback Steve Young parlayed it into a dramatic 15 yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 10-7. Both teams traded field goals on their next possessions to set the score at 13-10 with 2:31 left to play. Steve Young moved Buffalo down the field to threaten to tie the game but a controversial call killed their drive on 4th and 7 when an apparent completion to Andre Reed was ruled incomplete out of bounds. Reed appeared to get both feet inbounds on the play, which would have set Buffalo up with a first down in field goal range. The incomplete pass ruling turned the ball over on downs and gave New England the chance to run the clock out to hold on for the victory and a firm grip on 1st place in the Eastern Conference.

    Cincinnati Bengals 49 @ Miami Dolphins 55(OT)- at Joe Robbie Stadium, attendance 70,005. Dan Marino willed the Dolphins to a dramatic overtime victory over the Bengals by throwing for 467 passing yards and 6 touchdowns in one of the greatest shootouts in AFL history. In a game that seen over 1,000 yards of combined offense and only 1 punt in nearly 5 quarters of football Dan Marino exposed the Bengals lone weakness, their defensive backfield, picking them apart at will. Cincinnati likewise exposed Miami's defense by scoring on each of their first 5 possessions, using a no-huddle offense that Miami had no answer for. Both teams were knotted up at 28-28 after a track meet in the first half. Cincinnati came out and drove 78 yards on their opening possession of the second half to take a 35-28 lead after an 11 yard touchdown run by Ickey Woods. Miami responded with a 72 yard bomb from Marino to rookie Flipper Anderson on the very first play of their next drive to tie the game up at 35-35. Miami finally managed to stop Cincinnati to force a punt on their next possession and then Marino drove the Dolphins 67 yards for the go ahead score, a 3 yard touchdown run up the middle by Tony Dorsette that put the Dolphins up 42-35. A fumble on the ensuing kickoff put Miami in position for Marino's 5th touchdown pass, a 19 yard strike to Mark Duper to put the Dolphins up 49-35. The Bengals answered with a 92 yard drive that ended with another Ickey Woods touchdown run to cut the deficit to 49-42 with 3:51 left in the game. Dan Marino was intercepted on Miami's next drive setting up Boomer Esiason's dramatic game tying touchdown pass to Eric Martin to send it into overtime knotted up at 49-49. The Dolphins won the coin toss and marched 70 yards downfield to win it with Marino's 6th touchdown pass of the day, a 10 yard lob to Mark Clayton to give Miami the win 55-49. Boomer Esiason threw for 402 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Ickey Woods had 114 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns.

    San Diego Chargers 20 @ Denver Broncos 28- at Mile High Stadium, attendance 76,245. John Elway overcame a 20-14 fourth quarter deficit to lead the Broncos to victory over San Diego in the mud to keep the Broncos undefeated and in 1st place in the Western Conference. San Diego's defense intercepted Elway 3 times in the first half and held Jerry Rice to just 2 receptions for 32 receiving yards in the first 3 quarters of the game. Jim Mcmahon had 274 passing yards and 2 touchdown passes but lost a fumble in San Diego's own end zone in the third quarter that was recovered for a touchdown by Keith Millard, cutting San Diego's lead to 20-14. Elway and Jerry Rice caught fire in the fourth quarter and were responsible for the majority of Denver's 88 yard drive to open the quarter. Elway dove through two defenders at the goal line for the go ahead touchdown that put Denver on top 21-20. After Denver's defense held San Diego to three and out Elway then drove Denver 62 yards before hitting Jerry Rice for an 11 yard strike to seal the victory at 28-20.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 @ Seattle Seahawks 33- at The Kingdome, attendance 59,921. Warren Moon threw for 213 passing yards and 2 touchdowns while John L. Williams and Ernest Byner both combined for 161 total rushing yards and 2 touchdowns to help the Seahawks defeat the expansion Tampa Buccaneers. Tampa was backed up to their own 1 on their opening possession after a fumble on the opening kickoff. Seahawks defensive end Chris Doleman sacked Wade Wilson in the end zone for a safety to give Seattle a 2-0 lead within the first 2 minutes of action. Seattle drove down into the red zone on their next possession but Tampa's defense limited them to a field goal for a 5-0 lead. Wade Wilson drove Tampa downfield on a 69 yard drive capped by a 7 yard touchdown pass to James Wilder to put Tampa on top 7-5 going into the second quarter. The Seahawks controlled the clock for 11:49 of the second quarter with back to back drives that seen them run over Tampa's defense with power running, jumping out ahead with a 19-7 lead going into the half. Tampa cut the deficit to 19-14 when they drove down field on their opening possession of the second half. Seattle responded with Moon hitting Steve Largent for a 51 yard touchdown pass to put the Seahawks up 26-14. Moon threw his second touchdown of the day to James Lofton to give Seattle a 33-14 lead going into the fourth quarter. Tampa managed a field goal to cut the lead to 33-17.

    Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA
    Kansas City Chiefs(3-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers(3-2)
    Attendance: 59,016
    Nielson Rating: 20.0

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT F
    Chiefs 0 0 7 21 3 31
    Steelers 7 21 0 0 0 28

    Monday Night Football played host to a rematch of Super Bowls XIX and XX when Joe Montana led the Chiefs into Pittsburgh to take on the rebuilt Steelers for a prime time network television showdown. The two teams played each other in two of the most exciting and most watched Super Bowls in the history of the event at the end of the 1984 and 1985 seasons. In Super Bowl XIX the Chiefs jumped out to a 20-0 lead but Steelers quarterback Neil Lomax led a valiant comeback effort to eventually close the gap to 20-17 late in the third quarter. Chiefs running back Walter Payton iced Pittsburgh's comeback attempt with an epic 79 yard touchdown run for the ages, a truly defining moment in Super Bowl history. The Chiefs would defeat Pittsburgh by a final score of 30-17 to win their first AFL title since 1969.

    The next year the teams rematched in Super Bowl XX in the Superdome in New Orleans. This time the Chiefs jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and took a 24-3 lead into halftime. Pittsburgh nearly pulled off one of the all time great comebacks in AFL history when they came out in the second half to go up 30-24 with just 2:23 left to play. Joe Montana led Kansas City on an amazing 91 yard drive in the final minutes, hitting Mark Bavaro for the game winning 11 yard touchdown pass. The victory catapulted the Chiefs and Joe Montana into nationwide superstardom, with the press anointing the franchise "America's Team", while the crushing defeat spiraled Pittsburgh downward eventually to the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Now, three years later, Steelers head coach Chuck Noll has rebuilt Pittsburgh with promising young talent across the board while Kansas City is hungry to retake their spot atop the AFL.

    What unfolded on Monday Night Football was a fitting cap to one of the wildest weekends of football as Joe Montana pulled off the largest regular season comeback in AFL history. Steelers quarterback Phil Simms was nearly perfect in the first half, completing 16 of 18 passes for 159 yards and 3 touchdown passes to give Pittsburgh a commanding 28-0 lead going into the first half. Joe Montana worked his magic in the second half with 3 touchdown passes all in the fourth quarter, the last of which was an 8 yard strike to Marcus Allen with just :50 seconds left in the game to tie it up at 28-28. The Steelers won the coin toss and got the ball first in overtime but Kansas City forced them to punt at mid-field. Marcus Allen had a critical 1 yard dive over the line of scrimmage for a first down on 3rd and 1 to help keep Kansas City alive. Montana then hit Art Monk for a 22 yard completion to move KC into field goal range to win it with the 31 yarder with 7 minutes left in the overtime period.

    AFL Standings

    Eastern Conference
    New England Patriots 6-0
    Cincinnati Bengals 4-2
    Buffalo Bills 4-2
    Pittsburgh Steelers 3-3
    New York Jets 3-3
    Indianapolis Colts 3-3
    Cleveland Browns 2-4
    Miami Dolphins 2-4
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-5

    Western Conference
    Denver Broncos 5-0
    Kansas City Chiefs 4-1
    San Diego Chargers 3-2
    Seattle Seahawks 3-3
    Los Angeles Raiders 2-3
    San Antonio Gamblers 2-4
    Houston Oilers 2-4
    Minnesota Bulls 1-5

    Week 7 Preview:

    From the courtrooms and tabloids to the gridiron; San Diego's Jim Mcmahon returns to LA to take on his former team the LA Raiders in a dramatic meeting on prime time ABC Monday Night Football in a game that has garnered mainstream media attention. The outspoken Jim Mcmahon and Raiders owner Al Davis' bitter and personal rivalry changed the landscape of the AFL forever and will culminate on the field in the most anticipated game of the season.

    Montana vs Elway in a clash for first place in the Western Conference when the 4-1 Kansas City Chiefs travel to Denver to take on the undefeated 5-0 Denver Broncos in a rematch of the 1987 AFL Western Conference Championship Game.

    Showdown in the "Sunshine State" as the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers host Dan Marino's Miami Dolphins for the very first time.

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