The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 13, 1986 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

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Monday, January 13, 1986
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Sports The Salina Journal Monday, January 13,1986 Page 9 Patriots, Bears claim Super Bowl berths Chicago defense smothers Rams New England coach Raymond Berry received a victory ride from his players Sunday after the Patriots upset the Miami Dolphins, 31-14. New England ends Orange Bowl jinx MIAMI (AP) — The New England Patriots, a self-described team of destiny, turned dreams of a Super Bowl into reality on Sunday while ending a 20-year Orange Bowl nightmare in the American Football Conference championship game. The Patriots, who until two weeks ago hadn't won a playoff game in 22 years and were better known for off- field turmoil than on-field accomplishments, posted a 31-14 victory over one of the National Football League's elite, the Miami Dolphins. The victory not only capped an unprecedented three-game playoff road sweep for the Patriots, but also halted an 18-game losing streak in the Orange Bowl and gave Miami its .first loss ever in six AFC championship games. The next stop for New England is the Louisiana Superdome at New Orleans, where on Jan. 26 the Patriots will face the Chicago Bears, who advanced to the Super Bowl with a 24-0 rout of the Los Angeles Rams in Sunday's National Football Conference title game, "We have some magic," said tackle Brian Holloway, a cog in a New England offensive line that helped roll up 255 rushing yards on the Dolphins, who surrendered 251 in their near-upset by Cleveland last week. "This is a different team from the past. We are a tough, tough team that has faced a lot of adversity and we have a lot more adversity to face in two weeks." The Patriots did it the way they have done it throughout the playoffs — with a running attack led by Craig NEW ENGLAND VS. MIAMI GAME IN STATS NE 21 59-255 71 23 10-12-0 1-14 5-40 2-2 Mlo 18 13-68 234 8 20-48-2 0-0 4-41 5-4 4-35 20:09 First downs Rushes-yards Passing Return Yards Comp-Att Sacks by Punts Fumbles-Lost Penalties-Yards 2-15 Time of Possession 39:51 Individual Statistics RUSHING— New England, C.James 22-105, Weathers 16-87, Collins 12-61, Tatupu 6-9, Eason 3-(minus 7). Miami, Carter 6-56, Davenport 3-6. Nathan 2-4, Bennett 1 -2, Marino 1 -0. PASSING— New England, Eason 10-12-0-71. Miami, Marino 20-48-2-248. RECEIVING— New England, D.Ramsey 3-18, Collins 3-15, Morgan 2-30, Tatupu 1-6, Weathers 1-2. Miami, Nathan 5-57, Hardy 3-52, Duper 3-45, Clayton 3-41, Davenport 3-23, D.Johnson 1-10, N.Moore 1-10, Rose 1-10. MISSED FIELD GOALS— New England, Franklin 47. Miami, Reveiz 32. Scoring Summary New England 3 14 7 7—31 Miami 070 7—14 First Quarter NE— FG Franklin 23, 6:40. Second Quarter Mia — D.Johnson 10 pass from Marino (Reveiz kick), :21. NE — Collins 4 pass from Eason (Franklin kick), 4:50. NE — Ramsey 1 pass from Eason (Franklin kick), 9:35. Third Quarter NE — Weathers 2 pass from Eason (Franklin kick), 3:02. Fourth Quarter Mia — Nathan 10 pass from Marino (Reveiz kick), :32. NE— Tatupu 1 run (Franklin kick), 7:26. A— 74,978 . James' 105 yards that controlled the ball for nearly 40 of the game's 60 minutes. The New England defense, meanwhile, created six turnovers. Four led to 24 points, the other two halted Dolphins threats. That gave the Pats 16 take-aways to just five give-aways in their three playoff victories. The running game and the defense made things easy for quarterback Tony Eason, who threw just 12 times in the game, completing 10 for 71 yards and three short touchdowns. Eason threw only three passes in the second half. "I'm amazed we did it, I'm really amazed," said a dazed Coach Raymond Berry, the Hall of Fame receiver who took over midway through last season when Ron Meyer was fired. "It's hard to believe it's all happening," Berry said. "I thought we could win it going in but now that it's happening, it's really hard to believe it happened." "This team is a reflection of Raymond Berry's character and personality," said Patriot guard John Hannah, the 13-year veteran considered one of the best offensive linemen in NFL history. "He's the guy who got us where we are. "He has believed in us from the very beginning and he made us believe in ourselves. He kept us fighting. Now we're going to the big one." "It was a very satisfying victory, not just for us but for a lot of former Patriots who played for this team over the years," said James, referring to such players as Mike Haynes, Leon Gray and Russ Francis, all traded away after contract disputes. True to predictions by both coaches that the team which got more turnovers would win, the Patriots recovered Miami fumbles on the first play of each half to set up 10 points, got another in the second quarter to set up another score and clinched the game on a 45-yard drive following a (See Patriots, Page 11) CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's typically brutal defense — "11 guys trying to outdo each other," Coach Mike Ditka called it — and defiant Jim McMahon's running and passing for a pair of touchdowns propelled the Bears past the Los Angeles Rams 24-0 on Sunday and into their first Super Bowl. The Bears, the National Football League's best team this season at 171, will play in the Super Bowl Jan. 26 at New Orleans against the New England Patriots, 31-14 winners over the Miami Dolphins in Sunday's American Football Conference title game. The victory over the Rams in the National Football Conference championship game came one week after the Bears had throttled the New York Giants 21-0 — and one year after their 23-0 loss to San Francisco in the NFC title game. Never before had a team recorded consecutive playoff shutouts en route to the Super Bowl. Now the Bears can shoot for three in a row and another record. No Super Bowl has ended in a shutout. "I don't know how we could play much better," Ditka said. "I told them that poem after the game, about how we've come many miles but still have miles to go. "I don't want to sound like I'm not happy, but we're on a mission... and it won't be done until we win down in New Orleans in two more weeks.'' Los Angeles coach John Robinson said the Rams "just couldn't muster up the kind of drive that would have given us a chance for the field position to win. And McMahon played like a great quarterback. The weather didn't seem to bother him." McMahon completed 16 of. 25 passes for 164 yards. The game began in a near-balmy (for Chicago) 39 degrees and concluded in unexpected snow, but throughout, the wind swirled off Lake Michigan and through the columned stadium. Dieter Brock, the Rams' quarterback, was limited to 10 completions on 31 pass attempts for 66 yards and Eric Dickerson gained 46 yards on 17 carries — 202 yards less than he gained eight days ago when the Rams beat Dallas. "We took the game away from Eric," Ditka said, "and when we took it away from him, we knew it was our ballgame. It didn't matter how many we scored because they weren't going to score any.""We didn't run the ball that much," Dickerson said. "When you take us out of our running offense, you can do what you want to us. We got out of our game plan because we fell behind and that hurt us." "There were a lot of heroes in the game. It's just a shame we couldn't give Walter a little more room to move the football," Ditka added. Walter Payton, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, finished with 32 yards on 18 carries — but he also caught seven passes for 48 yards. "The Rams were dropping off and we took advantage of what was offered," Payton said. The Bears' defense put its own imprint on this game when, with less than three minutes to play, defensive end Richard Dent led a charge of linemen and linebackers that buried Brock and stripped him of the ball. Bears, Pats to make Super Bowl debuts By The Associated Press For 16 weeks of the National Football League season, the Chicago Bears were being touted — and touting themselves — as a Super Bowl team. On Sunday, they got there. So did the New England Patriots, who continued their remarkable postseason run by ending an 18- game jinx in Miami's Orange Bowl. On Jan. 26 in New Orleans, the Bears and Patriots make their Super Bowl debuts. Chicago got there with a 24-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, becoming the only team to post consecutive shutouts in NFL playoff history. New England became the first club to win three straight postseason road games in the Super Bowl chase, recording its first triumph in Miami since 1966 by downing the Dolphins 31-14. It will be only the fourth tune in league history that both the NFC arid AFC champions have never been to the Super Bowl — it happened in the first year, of course, 1967 (Packers-Chiefs), and again in 1969 (Jets- Colts) and '82 (49ers-Bengals). And it will be a rematch of the second game of the year, when the host Bears downed the Patriots 20-7. "When we played them the second game of the season, we thought at that time they were the best football team we had seen coming out of preseason," said Coach Mike Ditka, whose Bears registered six sacks and took advantage of four turnovers against New England. "Ray Berry (New England coach) has done a tremendous job. They have good balance and I think they play the game the way it's supposed to be played. They do what it takes to beat you.'' Like Ditka, Berry credited his team with playing to its potential in the playoffs. "They have played up to their capabilities," Berry said of his club. "I told them yesterday I was only concerned with their playing like they can play and we will be all right. "The Bears have been a dominating team. They did a good job against us during the season. We know we'll be playing the best." In addition to their head-on meeting, the Bears and Patriots played six common opponents. The Patriots split a pair of regular-season games with Miami, which dealt Chicago its only loss. Walter Payton, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, has finally reached pro football's ultimate game in his 12th season. He credited the Bears' unique psyche as much as their physical talent for getting them to New Orleans. "The key is that everybody on this team could be cast for 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' and get a part," he said. "We're a bunch of crazies here who all blend together with a common denominator: to win." The Bears may have had some help in winning from, well, elsewhere. Virginia McCaskey, the daughter of team founder George Halas, who died in 1983, thought her father had a hand in all the good things which happened to the Bears this season. "People have said to me, 'Isn't it too bad your dad wasn't here to see this?'" said Mrs. McCaskey before she presented the George S. Halas Trophy, emblematic of the NFC championship, to her relatives who run the team. "I think he's been here the whole season and is here with us now and will be with us always." Bears' quarterback Jim McMahon gave NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle a plug Sunday with his latest headband. Linebacker Wilber Marshall picked it up. "When I first picked up the ball, it looked like I was a long way off," Marshall said, "but I heard a lot of people screaming and I figured I'd get there." Fifty-two yards later, he did. McMahon, the cult-figure quarterback with the punk-rock hairdo, black gloves and off-the-field wraparound sunglasses, added to his game ensemble a headband with "ROZELLE" hand-lettered across the front, his response to a $5,000 fine levied against him by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle for having worn a headband with a prominent brand name visible a week ago. "I'll fight it before I'll pay anything," McMahon said. "The gloves I'm wearing, the shoes we're all wearing, this shirt — there's something written on everything. But they don't say a thing about that. "The rule is bull. They're taking all the fun out of the game." McMahon said he wore the headband this time "because I figure if I gave him (Rozelle) a little publicity he wouldn't fine me. It's all nitpicking, anyway... politics." The first time the Bears got their hands on the ball, McMahon blasted them 56 yards across the Soldier Field turf in just five plays, taking barely three minutes. He started with passes of 20 yards to tight end Emery Moorehead and 19 to wide receiver Willie Gault and finished with his own 16-yard touchdown sprint 5:25 into the game. And on the Bears' second possession of the second half, already owning a 10-0 lead built on Kevin Butler's 34-yard field goal, McMahon fashioned an eight-play, 52-yard march climaxed by his 22-yard pass to the wide-open Gault in the left corner of the end zone with 8:04 gone in the third period. Along the way, on a fourth-and-6 at the Rams' 35-yard line, McMahon passed 13 yards to Payton for a first down. There were three controversial calls by the officials and all of them went against the Rams, two of them almost certainly costing LA some points. "The Chicago team won the foot- ball game. Let's not talk about the officials," Robinson said. He didn't. Early in the second period, Michael Young, one of the Rams' speedy wide receivers, roared down the right sideline with cornerback Mike Richardson matching him stride for stride. As they raced along, Richardson appeared to elbow him just out of bounds. A few steps later, back in bounds, Young caught Brock's pass and wasn't hauled down until he got to the Chicago 20-yard line, a 46-yard play. But side judge Bill Quinby, disregarding or not seeing the contact by Richardson, called Young for being out of bounds, nullifying the catch, and the Rams, back at their 34-yard line, were forced to punt. "I had a feeling it was a late push," Young said, "and I told myself I was going to keep going on my pattern. I knew I was out of bounds." On LA's next possession, on a third- and-10 at its 35, Dickerson carried for an apparent first down, somersaulting over the 45. But the ball was spotted at the 44, a yard short of the first down, and the Rams had to punt again. "I thought that was a pretty bad call. I told the guy he needed glasses more than I did," the goggled Dickerson said. Finally, after a Rams punt was inadvertently touched by Reggie Phillips of the Bears and recovered by Jerry Gray, LA had the ball at the Chicago 21 with 64 seconds to go in the first half and one time out remaining. Dickerson ran twice, for four and five yards. As the clock continued to run, Brock passed to Dickerson, who was tackled at the 5-yard line with one second showing. The Rams signaled for a timeout but the clock didn't stop and, after a consultation by the officials, it was ruled time had runout. "We thought we did call time out. A lot is how quickly the official is willing to recognize it," Robinson said. And referee Jim Tunney said that he "saw captain Brock signaling for a timeout. I looked up at the clock and it was all zeroes." He said none of the other officials saw time remaining while the Rams were calling for time out. LOS ANGELES VS. CHICAGO GAME IN STATS First downs Rushes-yards Passing Return Yards Comp-Att Sacks by Punts Fumbles-Lost Penalties-Yards Time of Possessio LA 9 26-86 44 16 10-31-1 3-23 11-39 4-2 4-25 25:33 Chi 13 33-91 141 18 16-25-0 3-22 10-36 3-1 6-48 34:27 Individual Statlilici RUSHING—Los Angeles, Dickerson 17-46, Redden 9-40. Chicago, Payton 18-32, McMahon 4-28, Suhey 6-23, Gentry 2-9, Thomas 3-(minus 1). PASSING—Los Angeles, Brock 10-31-1-66. Chicago, McMahon 16-25-0-164. RECEIVING—Los Angeles, Hunter 3-29, Dickerson 3-10, Brown 2-14, Duckworth 1-8, Ellard 1-5. Chicago, Payton 7-48, Gault 4-56, Moorehead 2-28, McKinnon 1-17, Wrightman 18, Suhey 1-7. MISSED FIELD GOALS—None. Scoring Summary L.A.Romi 0000—0 Chicago 10 0 7 7—24 Flrit Quarter Chi—McMahon 16 run (Butler kick), 5:25. Chi—FG Butler 34,10:34. Third Quarter Chi—Gault 22 pass from McMahon (Butler kick), 8:04. Fourth Quarter Chi—Marshall 52 fumble return (Butler kick), 12:23. A—63,522 Papa Bear would've loved it CHICAGO (AP) — His initials are on their sleeves and somewhere above the driving snowstorm, the Chicago Bears felt old man George Halas' hand at work Sunday. "He sent the sunshine, he sent the touchdowns, he sent the snowstorm, he sent everything," Bears coach Mike Ditka said moments after his Halas-styled club — rock-ribbed and stingy — shut down the Los Angeles Rams 24-0 Sunday to win the NFC title and the accompanying trophy named after — who else? — George S. Halas. Halas, who helped found the National Football League, picked former player Ditka as his coach months before his death at age 88 in 1983 to ensure his legacy remained strong in Chicago. So it came as little surprise that he would be on almost everyone's mind. "The (NFC) championship should be in the cold, it should be snowing and it should be in Chicago," said Bears President Michael McCaskey, a Halas grandson who walked the sidelines in 1963 when Halas' Bears won the'NFL title, and now is president and chief executive officer of the club. "There's some comfort in all this. Instead of kicking up the dust along tb$ sideline, I can see the old man George Halas, who died in 1983, "sent everything" the Bears' way in Sunday's NFC title game, according to Coach Mike Ditka. walking along on a cloud, kicking at the edges. How else can you explain the sudden snowstorm at the end (of the game?)" Linebacker Mike Singletary, the heart of the Chicago defense, recalled, "I was just getting my first tricycle in 1963." Halas and Singletary were generations apart, but the 27-year-old linebacker's play would have been recognizable — to say nothing of satisfying—to the old man. That's because both hate to give up something for nothing. While he was playing, Ditka once criticized Halas during contract negotiations by insisting the owner "threw nickels around like they were manhole covers." In posting its second straight shutout and limiting the Rams' total offensive output to 130 yards Sunday, the Bears' defense looked equally stingy. And the unit turns out to be just as proud of it as was Halas of his reputation for being tight-fisted. "Yeah, it's true, we growled at each other a couple of times, even if they (the Rams) only got a couple of yards on the play," said Singletary. "We're supposed to be THE defense. People always used to worry too much about the offense on this team, about whether they'd score enough for us to win," he added. "We'll, we figure it this way. If the other guys don't score, they don't win. It's 0-0 at worst." That kind of thinking would have delighted the old man.

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