1977 NFL SIM: SCRATCH MY BACK WITH A HACKSAW!

Hacksaw_Reynolds

The faux-1970s have come to resemble Ground Hog Day for the Dallas Cowboys. The real-life version of the team made its fourth Super Bowl and won a second championship with a dominating performance over the Denver Broncos.

The sim version? Well, they continue to run into the Los Angeles Rams.

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Season highlights include the following:

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers losing streak ended at 25 with a 21-7 home win over the Chicago Bears. The Bears backed into the NFC Central Championship despite losing their final three games.
  • The Seattle Seahawks did not improve on their inaugural season, again finishing 3-11. For the 1976-77 seasons the Buccaneers finished 1-25 and Seahawks 4-22 against established NFL teams.
  • For the Minnesota Vikings, the simulation proved especially harsh at 4-10 instead of the team’s actual 9-5 record and division championship.
  • Walter Payton rushed for 246 yards in a Week 2 game,  but the Bears lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 38-34. Later in the season Payton rushed for 241 yards and three scores in a win over Minnesota.
  • And then there is this bizarre scoreline from a Raiders-Browns game…

 

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That is not an NFL score. It is more like what the University of Nebraska did to the Minnesota Golden Gophers back in the day. Guess Cleveland finally got revenge for that Super Bowl II loss.

The Atlanta Falcons finished 12-2 in the sim against their 7-7 real-life record. Partially under the guidance of young assistant Jerry Glanville, the unit became known as the Gritz Blitz, code name for one of the best single-season defenses in league history with only 129 points conceded for the season. The defensive dominance was a one-year anomaly compared to previous and future Falcons seasons. Sadly for Atlanta, quarterback Steve Bartkowski missed much of the season, which rendered the offense as anemic and cancelled out the stellar defense.

The bad news for Los Angeles Rams is they did not win the NFC West. The good news was they went to Dallas as a wild card and eliminated the Cowboys at Texas Stadium for the fourth time in six years with a 34-13 win.

The Denver Broncos won their first division title in franchise history but lost in the divisional round to Cincinnati 17-9. The Bengals advanced to their second Super Bowl with a 23-10 win, handing the Steelers third home playoff loss in as many seasons.

A quick bio blast on Bengals coach Bill ‘Tiger’ Johnson. Son William R. Johnson would become president and CEO of the Heinz Corporation.

The Rams won in Atlanta to earn their fifth NFL/NFC Championship. The Rams then made history successfully defending their title In Super Bowl XII with a 33-0 shutout, a feat that did not occur in any of the first 50 real-life Super Bowls.

Rams Head Coach Chuck Knox resigned after the game to accept a similar position with the Buffalo Bills.

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