2.0 AFC Quarterfinals: Boston Patriots @ Edmonton Eskimos
Coach - Bill Parcells
QB - Tom Brady
RB - Marshall Faulk
WR - Randy Moss
WR - James Lofton
TE - Ben Coates
LT - Mike McCormack
LG - John Hannah
C- Dwight Stephenson
RG - Bill Fralic
RT- Bruce Armstrong
DE - Claude Humphrey
DT - Fred Smerlas
DT - Joe Greene
DE - Howie Long
ROLB - Nick Buoniconti
MLB - Ray Lewis
LOLB - Robert Brazile
CB - Darrell Green
FS - Donnie Shell
SS - Steve Atwater
CB - Lester Hayes
K - Gary Anderson
P - Mike Scifres
KR/PR - Billy "White Shoes" Johnson
BN - WR - Stanley Morgan
BN - DL - Jerome Brown
BN - QB - Warren Moon
BN - LB - Steve Nelson
BN - RB - Thurman Thomas
Coach - John Madden
QB - #8 Troy Aikman
RB - #33 Ollie Matson II
RB - #32 Franco Harris
FB - #48 Daryl Johnston
WR - #14 Don Hutson
WR - #80 Steve Largent
TE - #87 Dave Capser
TE - #84 Jay Novacek
Slot - #35 Pete Pihos
T - #77 Willie Roaf
G - #64 Randall McDaniel
C - #60 Chuck Bednarik
G - #66 Gene Hickerson
T - #79 Bob St. Clair
DE - #68 L. C. Greenwood
DT - #70 Ernie Stautner
DT - #39 Art Donovan
DE - #81 Doug Atkins
Not sure exactly what I'm supposed to do here so I'll just explain what I feel are my teams strengths and weaknesses.
Not much of a football historian but here goes.
The strength of my team is the defense, although like all of the teams in this exercise, the offense isn't bad either.
I feel I have the best defensive secondary with Darrell Green, Lester Hayes, Steve Atwater and Donnie Shell.
The line is strong with Smerlas and Joe Green as solid run stoppers who can also get to the QB. Howie Long and Claude Humphrey are the pass rushing ends but Brazile and Ray Lewis are also effective at getting to the passer.
When Jerome Brown comes in, Green can move to end if necessary.
Buoniconti would move to OLB to keep Lewis at MLB.
Steve Nelson is a solid backup at LB.
Offensively, I'm happy to have Brady at QB but I took him too early it seems based on the last one of these, which I didn't participate in.
I don't have a true full back on the team because I'd have Brady in the shotgun frequently, using Moss and Stanley Morgan as the wide outs and James Lofton in the slot with Faulk lined up as the lone back. Ben Coates rounds out the skill positions at TE and I was happy to get him late. I suppose if you have a team where Thurman Thomas is the 3rd down back, things aren't too bad offensively. Moss and Morgan would be a very difficult due for any defense to handle on the outside. Morgan is still top 5, I believe in career YPC.
The offensive line is strong, led by Hannah, likely one of the 5-6 best of all time. Stephenson and Fralic, were very good players but did not have the longevity of some of the other great OL's. McCormack and Bruce Armstrong round out the line and both are talented, tough solid players.
Special teams are good, not great with Billy White Shoes Johnson returning kicks and solid if not outstanding Gary Anderson and Mike Scifres serve as Kicker and Punter.
To come all the way up to the bone-chilling cold of Edmonton (as if it would be any different in Boston), I think the better defense should win, which is how I set up my team - to win within the trenches. With this set up, it seems as if stopping the run won't be as much of a priority as stopping the passing game will be. Hopefully the massive d-linement with Atkins and Stautner can get into the face of Brady, and allow Lambert and Robertson to help out the defense over the top, as well as subbing in some excellent and renowned DB's.
In this matchup of two bone-chilling weather teams, the Edmonton Eskimos were to host the Boston Patriots. Both teams are well-acclimated to the cold weather, so this game looked to be won in the trenches and with the running game.
Edmonton's offensive line is second to none, boasting five hall of famers in their starting lineup. They also boast a linebacking corps featuring two of the top linebakers in history with Lambert & Bednarik. They also have a revolutionary figure at WR in Don Hutson, and an all-around solid team. Boston is the same way, having a very solid team in all aspects.
To start off the game, each team traded a punt back and forth. On Edmonton's second possession, Troy Aikman was able to find Don Hutson for a 34 yard pass, bringing the Edmonton offense to the Boston 21. Once there, a short run of 2 yards, an incomplete pass, and a 5 yard gain forced Edmonton to settle for a field goal.
On Boston's second possession, Marshall Faulk took control of the drive, getting 7 carries for a total of 43 yards, which included a 5 yard plunge to the right tackle for a TD and a 7-3 lead for Boston.
Edmonton got the ball back to begin the second quarter, and after two completions to Hutson and one to Largent, and 4 Franco Harris runs, Edmonton got the ball to the Boston 15. From there, on first down Ray Lewis came up the middle and knocked Franco Harris for a 4 yard loss, made possible by the extra attention required by Joe Greene. The rest of the drive resulted in gaining only 6 yards. Again, Edmonton was forced to attempt a successful field goal, cutting the lead to 1.
On the ensuing kickoff, one of the most electric returners of all-time, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson was able to take the ball along the right sideline 53 yards to the Edmonton 47. They attempted to establish the running game with Marshall Faulk, but the Edmonton defense held strong and was forced to punt.
Boston was able to down the punt at the Edmonton 3 yard line. Franco Harris was able to give Edmonton some breathing room after a 22 yard gain to the Edmonton 25. Steve Largent went out for a post route, but Darrell Green was able to step in front of the underthrown ball and pick it off.
With just four minutes left in the first half, up by one, Thurman Thomas and Marshall Faulk combined for 7 carries for 38 yards, getting the ball to the Edmonton 8. Ben Coates was able to get open on a crossing route, and dove in just past the pylon to make the score 14-6 at the end of the half.
To begin the second half, the defenses of both teams came out of the locker room and stepped up. The Edmonton defense gave Boston nothing on their opening drive, forcing a 3 and out.
On Edmonton's next drive, Aikman found Steve Largent for a 62 yard pass gain, taking the ball to the Boston 33. Aikman was able to find Ollie Matson peeling off of a block to set up the screen play, and following the caravan of hall of fame offensive lineman dove in for a touchdown, making the score 14-13.
After this, the defenses would not give up an inch. The most first downs either team was able to manage on one drive was just two until 7 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. Edmonton was able to finally break free thanks to their punishing running game, adding a 46 yard field goal from Matt Stover to go up by two.
Tom Brady was given 3:48 seconds to get Boston the lead and win the game to advance to the playoffs. Randy Moss had two catches for 35 yards on the drive. Using his timeouts to his advantage, the Patriots were able to use the running game and passes to the outside to continue to the move the ball against the Edmonton defense. With 15 seconds left, the ball stood at the Edmonton 22 yard line. Gary Anderson lined up for the game-winning field goal, and knocked it through the uprights to give Boston the slimmest lead possible, 17-16. They were able to hold onto this lead for the rest of the game.
Marshall Faulk was named MVP of the game, after carrying the workload for Boston. He had 28 carries for 122 yards, one TD, and 4 receptions for 39 yards.