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Pack/Rams And Other NFL ‘Offs Notes

January 16, 2021

In the NFL quarterfinal round/divisional round/slots, opening game, the 7 point favorite Green Bay Packers and the Rams (I write Rams as the ’01 clash was in St. Louis where the Rams played at the time) meet in the ‘offs for the third time, having split the first two tilts, a Pack home win in ’67 and a victorious Rams result, in the aforementioned 2001 tilt.

Both previous clashes were also quarterfinal round games, the ’01 clash in Slot 3 and the 1967 game as the NFL Western Conference, first scheduled playoff also on a Saturday in Green Bay. Then it began earlier, say 1 P.M. local time and today the game will start roughly three and a half hours later.

G.B. is in the first “slot,” i.e. the first game of the AFC/NFC configuration division round, now in its 51st incarnation (’70-2020) and 20th with the late afternoon start first tilt and subsequent night game (2001-2020).

The Packers won in Slot 1 vs the San Francisco 49ers en route to their first crown in 29 years in 1996 and also won vs Seattle in such a game in ’07. However, the eventual champion New York Giants, who 7-11’d titles with 4 ‘offs wins each season (an incredible 5 on the road), in both 2007 and 2011, “OT’d” the Packers in the following week’s NFC title tilt.

Los Angeles (Rams) will be playing in “Slot 1,” for just the second time in 16 AFC/NFC “div” round games, encompassing their time as first L.A. the St. Louis and now L.A. (already 2020 has “seen” LA basketball and baseball abbreviated season crowns for the Lakers and Dodgers respectively) again.

In 2 of the 3 seasons the NFL, before the AFC/NFC configuration began in ’70, had “quarters,” the Rams then in L.A. which of course is far from a cold weather city, sojourned to cold weather cities (Green Bay, actually the tilt was at the Packers’ sometime home, Milwaukee in ’67 and Minneapolis/St. Paul in ’69, and lost such games.

To my knowledge, there have been 6 non Saturday or Sunday ‘offs games, all on a Monday with the Rams involved in 4 of the 6. One in which the Rams did not play, involved the Packers.

In 1955, Christmas fell on a Sunday so the title tilt, a resounding Cleveland Browns’ win in their great quarterback Otto Graham’s last game was played on a Monday at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where until this season, the Rams still played home games. They also played such games in St. Louis and Anaheim.

The other Monday NFL Title Game also resulted in a loss for one of today’s Slot 1 participants. It proved to be legendary coach Vince Lombardi’s only ‘offs loss, as after the home team, Philadelphia Eagles (17-13’d) G.B. that Monday December 26, 1960, the “Pack” under Lombardi, won 5 titles in 7 seasons, compiling a (9-0) ‘offs record.

Closing, (always be, but not me) citing the four other Monday NFL ‘offs tilts (possibly there have been others), three of which involved the Rams.

They lost a slots home game in the mud to Minnesota in ’77 and a wild card game on another Monday in the next double digit year, ’88 also vs the Vikings, this time at “Minne.”

Their lone win in 4 Monday ‘offs games was at Dallas vs the Favored Cowboys in a 1983 wild-card round game.

Dallas won the other Monday ‘offs tilts, played before but on the same day as Vikings/Rams in ’77, that vs the Chicago Bears, en route to the second of 5 Supe crowns, however, sans even a semis appearance since their last title 25 years into the “rear view mirror.”

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