Note: As per the rules of the NFL playoffs prior to the 1990 regular season (notwithstanding the strike-shortened 1982 season), the San Francisco 49ers (the NFC 1 seed) did not play the Los Angeles Rams (the 5 seed) in the Divisional playoff round because both teams were in the same division.
RAMS - Johnson 4 pass from Everett (Lansford kick) RAMS 14-0
PHI - Toney 1 run (Ruzek kick) RAMS 14-7
RAMS - Bell 7 run (Lansford kick) RAMS 21-7
The Los Angeles Rams played the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia in the opening game of the playoffs. Rams quarterback Jim Everett threw two touchdown passes in the first half as the Rams allowed only one Eagles touchdown in the fourth quarter. Everett connected on a 39-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Henry Ellard and a 4-yarder to tight end Damone Johnson. After Philadelphia running back Anthony Toney scored on a 1-yard rushing touchdown, Los Angeles running back Greg Bell, who rushed for 124 yards, scored on a 7-yard touchdown to clinch the victory.
Steelers defensive back Rod Woodson recovered a fumble to set up Gary Anderson's winning 50-yard field goal in overtime to give Pittsburgh the win. The Steelers scored first with running back Tim Worley's 1-yard rushing touchdown. But from that point on until the fourth quarter, the two teams exchanged 6 field goals. In the final period, Oilers quarterback Warren Moon, who finished the game with 315 passing yards, threw two touchdowns to wide receiver Ernest Givins, an 18-yarder and a 9-yarder. However, Pittsburgh running back Merrill Hoge tied the game on a 2-yard rushing touchdown with 46 seconds left in regulation.
Hoge finished the game with 100 rushing yards on just 17 carries, along with 3 receptions for 26 yards.
BUF - Thomas 3 pass from Kelly (Kick failed) CLE 34-30
In a shootout, Browns linebacker Clay Matthews intercepted Bills quarterback Jim Kelly at the Cleveland 1-yard line with 3 seconds remaining to preserve a 34-30 victory. Kelly threw for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns while Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar threw for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. Browns receiver Webster Slaughter had the best postseason performance of his career with 3 receptions for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Buffalo scored first with wide receiver Andre Reed's 72-yard touchdown reception. But Cleveland struck back with a 45-yard field goal by Matt Bahr and a 52-yard touchdown pass from Kosar to Slaughter. Kelly's 33-yard touchdown pass to James Lofton put the Bills back in the lead, 14-10, but Browns retook the lead with Ron Middleton's 3-yard catch shortly before the end of the first half.
On the opening drive of the second half, Kosar hooked up with Slaughter for another touchdown pass, this one 44-yards, to increase their lead to 24–14. Buffalo responded with a 6 yard touchdown catch by running back Thurman Thomas, who tied an NFL playoff record with 13 receptions for 150 yards. But Browns running back Eric Metcalf returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to give his team a 31–21 lead by the end of the third quarter. After an exchange of field goals, Thomas caught a three yard touchdown pass. But the extra point failed, forcing the Bills to attempt to score a touchdown instead of a field goal on their final drive. With time running out, Kelly led the Bills to Cleveland's 11-yard line. But fullback Ronnie Harmon dropped a potential game winning catch in the end zone  and Kelly was intercepted by Matthews on the next play.
SF - Rice 72 pass from Montana (Cofer kick) SF 7-3
SF - Jones 8 pass from Montana (Cofer kick) SF 14-3
SF - Taylor 8 pass from Montana (kick failed) SF 20-3
SF - Rice 13 pass from Montana (Cofer kick) SF 27-3
MIN - FG Karlis 44 SF 27-6
SF - Lott 58 interception return (Cofer kick) SF 34-6
SF - Craig 4 run (Cofer kick) SF 41-6
MIN - Fenney 3 run (Karlis kick) SF 41-13
49ers quarterback Joe Montana threw for 241 yards and four touchdowns as San Francisco dominated the Vikings. Minnesota scored first on a 38-yard field goal by Rich Karlis, but then Montana completed 4 unanswered scores: a 72-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerry Rice, an 8-yarder to tight end Brent Jones, an 8-yarder to wide receiver John Taylor, and a 13-yarder to Rice. 49ers defensive back Ronnie Lott returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown, and running back Roger Craig rushed for a 4-yard score. Craig finished the game with 125 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Rice caught 6 passes for 114 yards and 2 scores. One of the few bright spots of the game for Minnesota was tight end Steve Jordan, who caught 9 passes for 149 yards
RAMS - F. Anderson 20 pass from Everett (Lansford kick) RAMS 7-6
NYG - O. Anderson 2 run (Allegre kick) NYG 13-7
RAMS - FG Lansford 31 NYG 13-10
RAMS - FG Lansford 22 Tie 13-13
RAMS - F. Anderson 30 pass from Everett RAMS 19-13
The Rams upset the Giants with quarterback Jim Everett's 30-yard touchdown pass to Flipper Anderson with 1:06 gone in overtime. New York jumped to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter with two field goals by kicker Raul Allegre. With 17 seconds left in the first half, Anderson caught a 20-yard touchdown reception from Everett to take a 7-6 lead. In the third quarter, Giants running back Ottis Anderson scored on a 2-yard touchdown. But in the fourth quarter, Los Angeles kicker Mike Lansford made two field goals to tie the game, the second one coming with 3:01 left in regulation.
Rams receiver Henry Ellard had the best postseason performance of his career with 8 receptions for 125 yards.
DEN - V. Johnson 37 pass from Elway (Treadwell kick) Tie 17-17
PIT - FG Anderson 35 PIT 20-17
PIT - FG Anderson 32 PIT 23-17
DEN - Bratton 1 run (Treadwell kick) DEN 24-23
For the second game in a row, Steelers running back Merril Hoge had a superb performance, rushing for 120 yards on 16 carries and catching 8 passes for 60 yards. But this time it wasn't enough to lift his team to victory. Broncos receiver Mark Jackson caught 5 passes for 111 yards.
A 71-yard Broncos drive was capped by Melvin Bratton's 1-yard touchdown run with 2:27 remaining to win the game. The Steelers jumped to a 10-0 early lead with a 32-yard field goal by Gary Anderson and a 7-yard touchdown by Hoge. Bratton's 1-yard touchdown cut the deficit to 10-7, but Pittsburgh responded with quarterback Bubby Brister's 9-yard touchdown to wide receiver Louis Lipps. Denver kicker David Treadwell then made a 43-yard field goal before halftime to cut the Steelers' lead, 17-10. In the third quarter, Broncos defensive back Tyrone Braxton recovered a fumble at the Pittsburgh 37-yard line, setting up quarterback John Elway's 37-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Vance Johnson. Anderson later kicked two field goals to give the Steelers a 23-17 lead before Bratton scored the winning touchdown.
DEN - Young 70 pass from Elway (Treadwell kick) DEN 10-0
CLE - Brennan 27 pass from Kosar (Bahr kick) DEN 10-7
DEN - Mobley 5 pass from Elway (Treadwell kick) DEN 17-7
DEN - Winder 7 run (Treadwell kick) DEN 24-7
CLE - Brennan 10 pass from Kosar (Bahr kick) DEN 24-14
CLE - Manoa 2 run (Bahr kick) DEN 24-21
DEN - Winder 39 pass from Elway (Treadwell kick) DEN 31-21
DEN - FG Treadwell 34 DEN 34-21
DEN - FG Treadwell 31 DEN 37-21
Quarterback John Elway led the Broncos to a 37-21 victory with 385 passing yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, while also leading the Broncos in rushing with 39 yards on the ground. Denver jumped to a 10-0 halftime lead with kicker David Treadwell's 29-yard field goal and wide receiver Michael Young's 70-yard touchdown reception. However, the two teams scored a combined 5 touchdowns in the third period. Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar completed a 27-yard touchdown pass to receiver Brian Brennan, but Elway countered with a 5-yard touchdown to tight end Orson Mobley. Running back Sammy Winder's 7-yard rushing touchdown extended the Broncos lead to 24-7. However, Cleveland scored two touchdowns in a span of 2:11 to cut the lead to 24-21: a 10-yard touchdown reception by Brennan and 2-yard touchdown run by Tim Manoa. But then Denver scored 13 unanswered points in the final period to clinch the victory: Winder's 39-yard touchdown reception and two field goals by Treadwell.
NFC Championship: San Francisco 49ers 30, Los Angeles Rams 3[edit | edit source]
SF - Jones 20 pass from Montana (Cofer kick) SF 7-3
SF - Craig 1 run (Cofer kick) SF 14-3
SF - Taylor 18 pass from Montana (Cofer kick) SF 21-3
SF - FG Cofer 28 SF 24-3
SF - FG Cofer 36 SF 27-3
SF - FG Cofer 25 SF 30-3
The 49ers crushed the Rams with 442 total yards and held the ball for 39:48. Los Angeles jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter with a 23-yard field goal by Mike Lansford, but that eventually was their lone score of the game. While the Rams had momentum early in the game, it shifted to San Francisco's favor for good when safety Ronnie Lott batted down a pass intended for a wide open Flipper Anderson. Had Anderson made the catch, he would have scored easily, giving the Rams a 10–0 lead. The Lott knockdown inspired the 49ers while deflating the Rams. From this point on, San Francisco dominated and led 21–3 at half. San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana threw 2 touchdown passes in the second period: a 20-yarder to tight end Brent Jones and an 18-yarder to wide receiver John Taylor. Running back Roger Craig recorded a 1-yard rushing touchdown, while kicker Mike Cofer made 3 field goals in the second half. Montana showed much precision and finished the game with 26 of 30 completions for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fullback Tom Rathman rushed for 63 yards and caught 6 passes for 48.