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“Exact” Sunday December 26th Notes

December 29, 2021

Sunday December 26, 1976 as was the case with the same date in 2021 was a Sunday.

Then, exactly 45 years earlier, as was the case last Sunday, the L.A. Rams sojourned to Minnesota to play the Vikings in the earlier game. In ’76 the tilt in Minnesota was for the NFC Title and a berth in the 9th Super Bowl.

In ’76, largely due to L.A. coach Chuck Knox’ decision to “FG” at the Minne 1, compounded exponentially by Wally Hilgenberg’s block and Bobby Bryant’s TD return, the Vikings prevailed, only to lose to John Madden’s only Super Bowl appearance team, the Raiders. Madden died yesterday at age 85.

Last Sunday, the now (11-4) Rams moved a half game ahead of (10-5) Arizona in the NFC West, with a (30-23) win at (7-8) Minne.

The later game/AFC title tilt in ’76, finally produced a “Raiders’ under Madden” AFC title tilt win, a first in 3 such games vs the Chuck Noll coached Pittsburgh Steelers. “Pitts” played the tilt without Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. Yet Pitts was nerarly a TD “fave” and it felt good to win a 100 dollar bet, on Oakland that day. Warren Bankston gathered in a TD pass from Ken Stabler, in that game.

Last Sunday on the 61 year anniversary of the Monday December 26, 1960 (then the NFL “respected” Christmas Day and moved the title tilt, which by the way was Vince Lombardi’s only post-season game loss to Monday) Philadelphia Eagles’ (17-13) win vs the Green Bay Packers—the now (8-7) Las Vegas Raiders won by that same score, in a late tilt vs the (7-8) Denver Broncos.

Also in a late tilt, the (11-4) K.C. Chiefs, seeking a second title in 3 seasons, a third straight Supe appearance and 4th straight “show up” in the AFC Title tilt, made it 8 straight wins and maintained their lead in the race for the AFC “1” seed, by ripping the (7-7-1) Steelers, whose quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is likely nearing the end of a fine/2 titles career.

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