Today, we get into the Regional Semifinals and Finals and find out our first two Final Four teams, and we start with the Tampa and New Orleans Regions. For those who haven't been following along, here are the previous rounds:
the opening round results
the first round results from the Tampa/New Orleans regions
the first round results from the Los Angeles/Houston regions.
the second round results from the Tampa/New Orleans regions
the second round results from the Los Angeles/Houston regions
The Jacksonville Jaguars did not have to meet the Tennessee Titans, and have been rolling through the bracket as a 12 seed. That came to an end in this game, though. The Jaguars stayed close early, but the Patriots never punted all game. Brady went 24 of 29 and was never sacked. Maroney vultured 3 touchdowns, and the Patriots pulled away with three field goals at the end of the first half and during the third quarter.
In a near-rematch of XXXII, the Denver Broncos jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead. Brett Favre hit Robert Brooks to get Green Bay back in the game, and following an Elam field goal, a William Henderson touchdown reception right before the half brought Green Bay within 3. The only score in the third quarter was another Denver field goal, so Denver held a slim 20-14 lead entering the fourth, with Green Bay on the march. Favre connected with Brooks again early in the fourth to give Green Bay its first lead. After Green Bay held Denver to consecutive three and outs, Favre and Brooks combined for a third touchdown with just over two minutes left. Denver managed to drive for a potential tying score, but Elway's scramble for the goal line in a potential tying conversion came up just short, and the ensuing onside kick failed. Green Bay gets revenge for the Super Bowl loss.
The first two regional semifinals featured lots of offense, but not this one. The defenses combined to yield less than 500 total yards, along with 9 sacks and 5 turnovers. The Rams held on to a slim 10-3 lead throughout most of the game, but McNair rallied the Titans for a tying touchdown inside the final two minutes with a pass to Derrick Mason, which sent the game to overtime. The defensive battle then resumed, as the teams exchanged punts for most of the overtime period. The Rams' defense turned in the play of the game, when reserve linebacker Doug Woodlief etched his name into WCB tourney lore by picking off a tipped McNair pass and returning it inside the 10, setting up Bruce Gossett's game winning field goal.
Not all teams in the What Coulda Been Tourney failed to win the title--some are the missing link in what could have been greater immortality. This regional semifinal featured two teams that could have had even greater glory if these seasons had resulted in a win in the conference championship games over teams they had owned in other playoff years. The winner of this matchup would have to be considered one of the favorites to win it all.
Pittsburgh grabbed a 7-3 first quarter lead after a Frank Lewis touchdown. The key point in the game was then a series of plays that resulted in Dallas settling for a field goal after a pass that would have put the ball near the goal line was just out of Jay Novacek's reach, followed by the Pittsburgh possession. The Steelers would not muster a lot of consistent offense on this day, but the big play came two plays after Dallas cut it to 7-6. Bradshaw hit the man who always came up big in big games, Lynn Swann, for a 67 yard touchdown. It was the last points scored all game, as both defenses clamped down in the second half. The Steel Curtain held Emmitt Smith to 52 yards on 27 carries, as Pittsburgh advances to set up a defensive slugfest with the Rams for the New Orleans Region title.
TAMPA REGION FINAL
The Patriots had been rolling through the WCB tournament, but the Packers and Reggie White must have taken lessons from the Giants. The Patriots had to punt on their first three possessions, and when Green Bay scored in the second quarter on a touchdown, and added a field goal on the next drive, they held a 10-0 lead. Brady found Moss right before the half to get on track and cut it at halftime. In the third quarter, Kevin Faulk added the only touchdown to give New England their first lead. A Packers field goal cut it to a one point game, but a Patriots score with about four minutes left gave them the 21-13 advantage.
Surely the Patriots wouldn't lose another close game that they held a late lead? Well, the Packers scored on the play right before the two minute warning, and then hit on the two point conversion to Antonio Freeman coming out of the break. Still, the Patriots had the ball in a tie game with just under two minutes. They moved it to midfield, when LeRoy Butler gambled on jumping a Welker route and turned the game. The Packers then took the ball into scoring range, and scored a touchdown on what may have been a lay down by Belichek in order to get one last desperation chance. The Pats only got two plays off.
NEW ORLEANS REGION FINAL
With the national media already writing the stories about the 2007 Patriots dynasty versus the 1976 Steelers dynasty in the Final Four, Roman Gabriel had something to say. The Rams jumped to a stunning lead on an 86 yard pass from Gabriel to Bass. On his next pass following a Bleier fumble, Gabriel hit Bernie Casey for a 40 yard score, and the Rams were up 14-0. The Steelers managed to close the gap to 14-10 by halftime, and the score would stay there until the end of the third, when Gabriel connected for his third long touchdown of the game, this one to Billy Truax. The Pittsbugh defense shut down the Rams ground game, but Gabriel's three strikes prove decisive. The Rams defense harrasses Bradshaw all day, and the 1967 Rams move on.
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at 6:27 am and is filed under Insane ideas, Totally Useless. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.