Dunlap’s Super Bowl Preview

It’s funny . . . . . . I started my 2016 single elimination tournament back in August, and, after all those games, it still came down to Atlanta and New England!!  So, on Sunday at noon, before the REAL Super Bowl, I will be playing my big game!

And, because of the way that I randomly calculate injuries, we have a number of players who will not be participating, and some of them are pretty important.  So, these injuries could have a dramatic impact on the outcome of the game, especially on the defensive line for the Falcons, and for both offense and defense for the Pats.

Here is a list of those injured players, and their numerical ratings, who will miss Sunday’s Super Bowl:

ATLANTA:

Jacob Tamme (TE – 3-A), Brian Poole (CB – 3), Desmond Trufant (CB – 3), Adrian Clayborn (DE – 3), Courtney Upshaw (DT – 3), Tyson Jackson (DE – 3), Jalen Collins (CB – 3), Ra’Shede Hageman (DT – 3)

NEW ENGLAND:

Dion Lewis (HB – 3-B), Danny Amendola (WR – 3-B), Rob Ninkovich (LB – 4), Jabaal Sheard (DE – 3), Logan Ryan (CB – 4), Shea McClellin (LB – 3), Kyle Van Noy (LB – 3), Trey Flowers (DE – 3)

 

Cowboys Top Eagles – Finish Season 12-4

Dallas – Philadelphia Recap Sheet

After a horrific 2-4 start to my 2016 Dallas Cowboys replay, they won their last ten games to finish 12-4!  And, this one was a little special, because long-time Dallas quarterback, Tony Romo, made his one and only appearance in the season.  He came in early in the 4th quarter, after Philadelphia had clawed back from a 27-10 halftime deficit to within a touchdown, 27-20.  And, on his very first pass, he hit Jason Witten with a 53 yard touchdown pass!  He ended up 3-3 for 84 yards . . . and his card is ridiculously awesome . . . but those were the only three passes he attempted in the replay!

I will tabulate and publish Dallas’ final stats in a few days.

Brady, Patriots Dominate Chiefs in AFC Championship, 37-19

AFC Championship Recap Sheet

New England quarterback, Tom Brady, who had missed the previous two Patriot playoff games, threw four touchdown passes and let his team to a 37-19 victory over Kansas City and earned a return trip to the Super Bowl!

The Chiefs actually scored the games first two touchdowns in the opening period and appeared to be running on all cylinders as they took a 13-0 lead.  But Brady methodically led his team to 37 unanswered points to blow out Kansas City, who really hurt themselves with turnovers (3) and penalties (10 for 104 yards).

Falcons Hold off Green Bay to Win NFC Title Game, 26-20

NFC Championship Recap Sheet

The Atlanta Falcons, despite being completely out-played by the Green Bay Packers, found a way to win the game and advance to the Super Bowl!  The Packers ran 85 offensive plays, compared to the Falcons’ 50, and outgained Atlanta 452-249.  But, a huge 94 yard interception return by Falcon’s defensive back, Robert Alford, and four field-goals by Matt Bryant was the difference in this game.

Green Bay scored a touchdown with only 23 seconds left to play and then, remarkably, recovered an on-sides kick . . . but a “Hail-Mary” pass to Randall Cobb fell incomplete as time expired as the Falcons earned their trip to the Super Bowl.

Conference Championship Games Set!!

After five months of playing this single-elimination 2016 APBA Football Tournament, we’re down to four teams.  In the NFC, it will be the Green Bay Packers going to Atlanta to take on the Falcons . . . and, in the AFC, the Chiefs will travel to Foxboro to challenge the New England Patriots.

As always, in my format that relies on individual match-ups, injured players can really make a difference.  So, here is the list of players who will NOT be available to play for their respective teams in the Conference Championship Round, and there are some notable names here (underlined and in bold print), including an All-Pro Linebacker for Atlanta (Beasley):

Green Bay:  Eddie Lacy, Jared Cook, JC Tretter, Datone Jones, Joe Thomas, Quinten Rollins, Julius Peppers

Atlanta:  Taylor Gabriel, Adrian Clayborn, Courtney Upshaw, Tyson Jackson, Brooks Reed, Jalen Collins, Vic Beasley

Kansas City:  Chris Jones, Ramik Wilson, Justin Houston, Daniel Sorensen, Tamba Hali

New England:  Dion Lewis, Chris Long, Malcolm Brown, Kyle Van Noy, Shea McClellin, Jabaal Sheard

New England 27 – Pittsburgh 13

Pittsburgh – New England Recap Sheet

Brady?  Who needs Brady?!!?

In the second consecutive game without their All-World quarterback, the New England Patriots rallied behind Jimmy Garoppolo to pound the Pittsburgh Steelers and advance to the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs!

Garoppolo was terrific, completing 20 passes for 314 yards and a touchdown.  But, it was the Patriots’ defense that really rose to the occasion, holding the Steelers to only 249 yards of offense in their 27-13 victory.