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’ve written a post explaining that and the team listings at http://bleacherreport.com/articles/340389-the-ultimate-strat-o-matic-tournament-to-this-point-breakdown
Quick look back on what’s happened thus far is the field of 64. Game One saw a tough battle between the No.7 '63 NY Giants get by the No.58 '96 Carolina Panthers in a classic thanks to Y.A. Tittle and Del Shofner, 22-19.
Game Two brought the first upset when the No.10 '63 Baltimore Colts got it all handed to them in a huge loss to the No.55 '96 Pittsburg Steelers, 37-3.
Game Three was another upset in a high scoring affair between Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana and future Hall of Famer Payton Manning. The No.17 '84 San Francisco 49ers played host to the No.48 '04 Indianapolis Colts and fell 38-31 on a Dominic Rhodes 95-yard KO Return TD, with 30 seconds left.
Game Four saw a defensively dominated game when the No.5 '78 Dallas Cowboys and Tony Doresett took down the stingy No.60 '00 Baltimore Ravens 14-9.
Game Five saw the No. 1 team in the tournament fall, as the lowly No. 64 1978 Denver Broncos knocked off the 1967 Baltimore Colts 21-7, as Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas goes 5 of 21 with a pick, a sac, and no touchdowns.
Game Six was closer then the score shows but it was the No. 11 1967 Oakland Raiders, taking down the No. 54 1999 Jacksonville Jaguars 28-14.
Game Seven showed us how much of a miss match some of the first rounder’s really are. The No. 12 1969 Kansas City Chiefs dropped the No. 53 2001 San Francisco 49ers 30-17.
Game Eight went down to the wire as the No. 44 1970 San Francisco 49ers upset the No. 21 1979 San Diego Chargers 26-24 on the final play of the game.
The No. 4 1978 Pittsburg Steelers hosted the No. 61 1978 New England Patriots.
New England won the toss and would elect to defer, giving Terry Bradshaw and the Steelers got the ball and three plays later Franco Harris fumbled to give the ball right back to the Pats deep in their own territory. The Steele curton defense was able to hold the Pats out of the endzone with a turnover on downs, not only once but twice inside the redzone.
Bradshaw was able to find his TE open in the endzone late in first to finally give the game some offensive light. It would be the only score of the first half though for either team. Heading down the tunnel it was 7-0 Pittsburg.
As I stated New England had defered which wouldn't seem like much, but its what happened to start the second half that would make it much more viable. On the first play under center Steve Grogan turned and handed off to Sam Cunningham who busted loose for a monster 52 yard gain around the end. That would start off a 21-0 quarter that was riddled by Steeler mistakes and Patriot capitilization changed the outlook of this one for sure. New England ended the third with a long touchdown pass of 52 yards.
Pittsburg got an early score in the fourth to make it a ball game again but the Pats would have thier number putting up another 50 plus yard touchdown pass. One more field goal and this game was to far out of hand to recover. Final score in a upset, 1978 New England Patriots 31 the 1978 Pittsburg Steelers 14.
Game Ten was the middle game between No. 32 1983 Washington Redskins and No. 33 1996 Green Bay Packers in old JFK stadium.
The Redskins seemed to be looking very good in this game and after nine turnovers, seven interceptions, a fumble and a fumbled punt return, they would look even better. Joe Thiesman, Joe Washington, and the Washington defense controlled this game from start to finish. After 21 in the first the Redskins slowed down a bit and only managed a field goal in the second but would lead at halftime 24-3.
Green Bay finally found the endzone in the third on a 82 yard kick return by Don Bee, but would give up nine more the high powered Redskins. The fourth and final quarter would continue the same way as Bret Farvre and the Packers were sent home with a astounding 43-17 loss to the 1983 Redskins.