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NFL Semis or Later, Notes

December 23, 2021

In this the upcoming 16th of 18 NFL “reg” weeks, teams (hopefully) will complete their 15th games, in this the first season, in which there are 17 games.

I will cite 4 semis rematches among games between this week’s opponents.

On Saturday night in Green Bay, on the same venerable Lambeau Field, so muddy nearly 56 years ago, when Paul Hornung, Bart Starr led the Pack to the first of what is still an unprecedented 3 straight NFL crowns, topping the Cleveland Browns (23-12) in Cleveland great, Jim Brown’s last game with the team, it is (11-3) and current NFC leader, Green Bay hosting (7-7) Cleveland in a redux of the aforementioned 1965 NFL title tilt. That, by the way, was the last pre Super Bowl season.

There are two rematches of not only past semis, but also of games played 2 weeks ago. In the far more important game, likely the AFC East title is on the line, as (9-5) New England (Patriots), which beat Buffalo (Bills), two weeks back and in an AFL unscheduled playoff/”semi” in 1963, is the home team vs the (8-6) Bills.

Two weeks ago, on a day “faves” rolled, almost certain NFC East winner, (10-4) Dallas (Cowboys) won at now (6-8) Washington (Football team, my first time putting that nickname in parentheses), covering as about 5 point favorites.

“Wash” won both title tilts, played 10 years apart in 1972 and 1982. The ’82 (strike) season tilt is the only one of the 102 Conference Title games NOT played on a Sunday. It was played on a Saturday with Pat “Super” Summerall doing television play by play.

In 3 straight “even year” seasons, the NFC title tilt matched teams playing each other this week. In both the 1974 and 1976 NFC title games, each played in Minnesota, the home team Vikings defeated the L.A. Rams to advance to their third and fourth Supes. As was the case in the first two, Minnesota never led and thus lost.

The Rams, back in L.A. are (10-4) while the Vikings enter the tilt with a (7-7) record.

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