1984 San Francisco 49ers-2004 Indianapolis Colts: Game Three

Mark BrunswigContributor IDecember 28, 2009

Let me fill you in a little bit on what I’m talking about here.  My best friend Steve and I play old school Strat-O-Matic football.  No computers involved except this part.  It’s all about rolling the dice, and guessing right at the right times.  We have a bunch of teams, old and new, totaling more than 200 card sets between us.  The teams were seeded on the cards as well as on prior game experience. 

There have been five previous tournaments also which helped decipher the ranking, that’s how the 1995 Pittsburg Steelers are such a high seed; they've won two of those tournaments.  At the beginning of each article I will recap the games we have played already.

For a complete look at the teams involved and a little more information on how the seeding was conducted I’m working that.  Got a few days maybe I can get it done.

In the third game of what has been a well-fought beginning to the Ultimate Strat-O-Matic tournament, a total of 69 points and 726 yards of offense were unloaded. 

To recap the first two games, we saw the No. 7 1963 New York Giants squeak by the No. 58 1996 Carolina Panthers, 22-19.

Y.A. Tittle and the Giants looked to be in total control until the fourth quarter, when the Panthers exploded for 12 unanswered points. New York would then put together a late drive with Tittle hitting Walton, Gifford twice, capped off by a 42-yard TD to Del Shofner. 

In the second game, we got to see the first upset, as the No. 55 1996 Pittsburgh Steelers took down the No. 10 1968 Baltimore Colts, 37-3. 

Bettis rushed for 203 yards on 32 carries and Mike Tomzak was a steady 21-of-32 for 184 yards and 4 TDs. The Blitzburg defense was also able to pick off Earl Morrall four times, and stifled Tom Matte for just 20 yards on 18 carries.

That brings us to Game Three, as the No. 17 1946 San Fransisco 49ers play host to the No. 48 2004 Indianapolis Colts

This game has pit two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time against one another, as Joe Montana took on the new golden boy, Payton Manning.

The 49ers won the toss and elected to defer, which may have come back to haunt them as James and the Colts marched down the field for a Manning-to-Harrison score. San Fran would respond later in the quarter with Montana hitting Clark for a 15-yard TD.

Manning would hook up with Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne for TDs in the second, and Montana was only able to manage one TD pass to Dwight Clark and a FG drive with two turnovers in the quarter, giving the Colts a 21-17 lead at the half. 

The second half opened with the 49ers receiving the kick, but a quick three and out start made the mediocre Colts defense look like All-Pros. The 49ers defense were not doing themselves any favors, either, allowing Edgerrin James to grind the clock and put up 152 yards on 28 carries. Indianapolis took a 34-24 lead to the fourth and final quarter.

The fourth quarter looked to be pretty stagnant until the final five minutes, when Joe Montana hit Roger Craig for a six-yard TD to tie the game with 0:30 on the clock.  

With overtime looking inevitable, the ensuing kickoff would be one for the ages, as Dominic Rhodes went 95 yards for the game-winning TD.

Game Four looks to be a defensive matchup, as the No. 5 1978 Dallas Cowboys host the No. 60 2000 Baltimore Ravens.