WAS - Clark 24 pass from Rypien (Lohmiller kick) WAS 24-7
Running back Brian Mitchell led the Redskins to the 24-7 victory with 109 rushing yards and 100 total yards on receptions and punt returns. The Vikings scored first on running back Terry Allen's 1-yard touchdown that capped a 74-yard drive, but Washington controlled the game from that point on. Redskins kicker Chip Lohmiller scored a 44-yard field goal and running back Earnest Byner recorded a 3-yard touchdown to give Washington a 10-7 lead. Then on fourth down at the Minnesota 44-yard line late in the second quarter, Mitchell rushed 36 yards on a fake punt. He would then score on an 8-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Mark Rypien's 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Gary Clark in the third period closed out the scoring.
AFC: San Diego Chargers 17, Kansas City Chiefs 0Edit
The Chargers shut out the Chiefs as San Diego scored two touchdowns in the second half. The game remained scoreless until midway through the third period when Chargers running back Marion Butts scored on a 54-yard rushing touchdown. Then, San Diego defensive lineman Leslie O'Neal intercepted a pass on Kansas City's next drive to set up kicker John Carney's 34-yard field goal. In the final period, Chargers linebacker Steve Hendrickson, who lined up as a running back, scored on a 5-yard touchdown run.
Known as The Comeback, the Bills mounted the greatest comeback in NFL history, overcoming a 35-3 deficit against the Oilers. The Bills were without future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly (who was injured in the last game of the season, a loss to the Oilers), All-Pro linebacker Cornelius Bennett and lost starting running back Thurman Thomas to a hip injury, and the Oilers jumped to a 28-3 lead by halftime. Houston quarterback Warren Moon recorded 220 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in the first half. Then 1:41 into the third quarter, Oilers defensive back Bubba McDowell returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown, increasing their lead to 32 points. But quarterback Frank Reich led Buffalo to 5 unanswered touchdowns, including running back Kenneth Davis' 1-yard rushing score, Don Beebe's 38-yard touchdown reception, and wide receiver Andre Reed's 3 touchdown catches. However, Oilers kicker Al Del Greco scored the tying 26-yard field goal with 12 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Early in the extra period, Bills defensive back Nate Odomes' interception set up Steve Christie's 32-yard game field goal to give the Bills a 41-38 win.
Reich finished the game with 21 of 34 pass completions for 289 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 1 interception. Reed had 8 catches for 136 yards and 3 touchdowns. Davis rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown, while also catching 2 passes for 25 yards. Moon recorded 36 of 50 completions for 371 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 2 interceptions. Receiver Curtis Duncan caught 9 passes for 117 yards. Jeffires recorded 8 catches for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns.
NFC: Philadelphia Eagles 36, New Orleans Saints 20Edit
PHI - Barnett 57 pass from Cunningham (Ruzek kick) Tie 7-7
NO - field goal Andersen 35 NO 10-7
NO - Early 7 pass from Hebert (Andersen kick) NO 17-7
NO - field goal Andersen 42 NO 20-7
PHI - field goal Ruzek 40 NO 20-10
PHI - Barnett 35 pass from Cunningham (Ruzek kick) NO 20-17
PHI - Sherman 6 run (Ruzek kick) PHI 24-20
PHI - Safety, White sacked Hebert in end zone PHI 26-20
PHI - field goal Ruzek 39 PHI 29-20
PHI - Allen 18 interception return (Ruzek kick) PHI 36-20
The Eagles overcame a 20-10 Saints lead late in the third quarter by scoring 26 points in the final period. New Orleans scored first on running back Craig Heyward's 1-yard touchdown run, but it was countered with Philadelphia quarterback Randall Cunningham's 57-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Fred Barnett. The Saints then went ahead 17-7 before halftime with kicker Morten Andersen's 35-yard field goal and wide receiver Quinn Early's 7-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Bobby Hebert. The two teams exchanged field goals in the third quarter, and the score was 20-10, New Orleans, going into the final period.
With less than 11 minutes left in the game, Cunningham connected with wide receiver Fred Barnett for a 35-yard touchdown completion. Then on the first play of the Saints' next possession, Eagles linebacker Seth Joyner intercepted a pass to set up running back Heath Sherman's 6-yard touchdown, giving Philadelphia the lead, 24-20. After New Orleans got the ball back, Eagles defensive lineman Reggie White sacked Hebert in the end zone for a safety. Philadelphia kicker Roger Ruzek then added a 39-yard field goal, and 19 seconds later, defensive back Eric Allen intercepted Hebert and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown.
The Bills forced 4 turnovers and 7 sacks as they held the Steelers to just a field goal. Buffalo quarterback Frank Reich threw for 160 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions; while running back Kenneth Davis rushed for 104 yards Steelers running back Barry Foster rushed for 104 yards and caught a pass for 7.
Pittsburgh scored first with kicker Gary Anderson's 38-yard field goal on their opening drive. However, Steelers quarterback Neil O'Donnell lost a fumble while being sacked by Bruce Smith, which Bills defensive lineman Phil Hansen recovered on the Bills 41-yard line. Buffalo then advanced 59 yards to score on Reich's 1-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Frerotte, an eligible lineman. On the opening drive of the second half, the Bills moved the ball 80 yards and scored with Reich's 17-yard touchdown pass to James Lofton. In the final period, a botched Steelers field goal attempt set up a 44-yard drive that ended with Bills kicker Steve Christie's 43-yard field goal. The next time Buffalo got the ball, they drove 86 yards and scored on a 1-yard run from fullback Carwell Gardner.
NFC: San Francisco 49ers 20, Washington Redskins 13Edit
SF - Jones 16 pass from Young (Cofer kcik) SF 17-3
WAS - field goal Lohmiller 32 SF 17-6
WAS - Rypien 1 run (Lohmiller kick) SF 17-13
SF - field goal Cofer 33 SF 20-13
Despite committing 4 turnovers, 49ers quarterback Steve Young passed for 227 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 73 yards, to beat the Redskins. Young threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Taylor to open the scoring. Then after the two teams traded field goals, Young connected with tight end Brent Jones on a 16-yard touchdown completion to give San Francisco a 17-3 lead before halftime. In the third quarter, Washington kicker Chip Lohmiller made a 32-yard field goal to cut the lead, 17-6. Later in the period, Young lost a fumble at the San Francisco 15-yard line, and Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 17-13. Washington then reached the San Francisco 23-yard line before Brian Mitchell fumbled the ball back to the 49ers. San Francisco then marched on a 14-play, 59-yard drive that consumed more than seven minutes off the clock to score on Mike Cofer's game-clinching 33-yard field goal. This was the last game of Joe Gibbs' first tenure as Redskins head coach.
DAL - Tennell 1 pass from Aikman (Elliott kick) DAL 7-3
DAL - Novacek 6 pass from Aikman (Elliott kick) DAL 14-3
DAL - field goal Elliott 20 DAL 17-3
DAL - Smith 23 run (Elliott kick) DAL 24-3
DAL - field goal Elliott 43 DAL 27-3
DAL - Gainer 1 run (Elliott kick) DAL 34-3
PHI - Williams 18 pass from Cunningham (Ruzek kick) DAL 34-10
The Cowboys defense had 5 sacks, and held the Eagles offense for 178 yards and 10 points. Philadelphia scored first on a 32-yard field goal by kicker Roger Ruzek, but Dallas then scored 34 consecutive points. Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman threw two touchdown passes: a 1-yard score to tight end Derek Tennell and a 6-yarder to tight end Jay Novacek. Running back Emmitt Smith, who finished the game with 114 rushing yards, scored a 23-yard touchdown run, running back Derrick Gainer rushed for a 1-yard touchdown, and kicker Lin Elliott made two field goals. Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham's 18-yard touchdown to wide receiver Calvin Williams closed out the scoring.
MIA - Paige 1 pass from Marino (Stoyanovich kick) MIA 7-0
MIA - Jackson 9 pass from Marino (Stoyanovich kick) MIA 14-0
MIA - Jackson 30 pass from Marino (Stoyanovich kick) MIA 21-0
MIA - field goal Stoyanovich 22 MIA 24-0
MIA - Craver 25 run (Stoyanovich kick) MIA 31-0
The Dolphins defense shut out the Chargers, holding San Diego quarterback Stan Humphries to just 18 of 44 completions for 140 yards and intercepting him four times. Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino threw 3 touchdown passes in the second quarter. All of Marino's touchdowns were set up by interceptions. Miami defensive back Troy Vincent's interception set up running back Tony Paige's 1-yard touchdown reception. Another interception by Vincent led to tight end Keith Jackson's 9-yard touchdown. Then linebacker Bryan Cox's interception set up Jackson's 30-yard touchdown. In the fourth period, Dolphins kicker Pete Stoyanovich added a 22-yard field goal and running back Aaron Craver recorded a 25-yard rushing touchdown.
BUF - Thomas 17 pass from Kelly (Christie kick) BUF 10-3
BUF - field goal Christie 33 BUF 13-3
BUF - Davis 2 run (Christie kick) BUF 20-3
BUF - field goal Christie 21 BUF 23-3
BUF - field goal Christie 31 BUF 26-3
MIA - Duper 15 pass from Marino (Stoyanovich kick) BUF 26-10
BUF - field goal Christie 38 BUF 29-10
The Bills intercepted Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino twice, recovered 3 fumbles, forced 4 sacks, and held Miami to just 33 rushing yards. Although the Buffalo offense had trouble getting into the end zone because it was both quarterback Jim Kelly and running back Thurman Thomas's first game after recovering from injuries, kicker Steve Christie made an NFL playoff record-tying 5 field goals. Thomas rushed for 96 yards and caught 5 passes for 70.
Midway through the first quarter, Bills lineman Bruce Smith forced a fumble from Marino while sacking him, and linebacker Darryl Talley recovered it, setting up a 21-yard field goal by Steve Christie. Miami struck back on their next drive with a 51-yard field goal from Pete Stoyanovich. After the ensuing kickoff, Kelly led the Bills 64 yards in 7 plays and finished the drive with a 17-yard touchdown to Thomas early in the second quarter. Later on, Buffalo defensive end Phil Hansen intercepted a pass from Marino and returned it to the Dolphins 24-yard line, setting up Christie's second field goal and giving the Bills a 13-3 lead by the end of the first half.
Then on the opening kickoff of the second half, Miami returner Mike Williams fumbled the ball while being tackled by Mark Pike, and Buffalo's Carwell Gardner recovered it at the Dolphins 25-yard line. Five plays later, running back Kenneth Davis scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, giving the Bills a 20-3 lead. Buffalo's defense took over the rest of the third quarter, holding the Dolphins offense to 2 offensive yards while Christie added two more field goals to increase their lead to 26-3. Marino completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mark Duper in the final period. However, Christie kicked his 5th field goal of the game to clinch the victory.
This was the second straight year the Bills defeated a future Hall of Fame quarterback to advance to the Super Bowl as they beat John Elway and his Denver Broncos 10-7 a season earlier.
NFC Championship: Dallas Cowboys 30, San Francisco 49ers 20Edit
DAL - E. Smith 16 pass from Aikman (Elliott kick) DAL 24-13
SF - Rice 5 pass from Young (Cofer kick) DAL 24-20
DAL - Martin 6 pass from Aikman (kick blocked) DAL 30-20
Even though the Cowboys had only one more yard of total offense than the 49ers (416 to 415), Dallas forced four critical turnovers that helped them earn the win. On San Francisco's first drive of the game, a holding penalty on offensive lineman Guy McIntyre nullified a 63-yard touchdown completion from quarterback Steve Young to wide receiver Jerry Rice, and the 49ers had to punt. Despite a 19-yard reception from Michael Irvin on the Cowboys first play, they also had to punt, but returner Alan Grant fumbled the football after a hit from Dixon Edwards and Dallas fullback Daryl Johnston recovered it on the 49ers 22. Once again the Cowboys started their drive with a completion to Irvin, this one a 21-yard gain to the 1-yard line. But the San Francisco defense managed to hold them up on three consecutive plays, forcing Dallas to settle for Lin Elliot's 20-yard field goal.
San Francisco 49ers running back Marc Logan returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Cowboys 48-yard line. Aided by a 16-yard run from Ricky Watters, San Francisco drove 48 yards and scored with Young's 1-yard touchdown run to take a 7-3 lead. Dallas was forced to punt on their next drive after Troy Aikman was sacked twice (one by Bill Romanowski and the other by Martin Harrison) for 19 total yards, and Grant returned the football to the Cowboys 47-yard line. San Francisco then drove to the Dallas 29-yard line, but the drive stalled there and Mike Cofer missed a 47-yard field goal try. After a punt, Watters lost a fumble that was recovered by defensive back Kevin Smith. Aided by a defensive holding call against Pierce Holt for holding up running back Emmitt Smith at the line on third down (the 49ers objected, stating that Holt was fooled by a fake handoff into thinking Smith actually had the ball), Dallas took a 10-7 lead with Smith's 4-yard touchdown run. A 21-yard reception by Rice sparked a 49ers drive to the Cowboys 10-yard line where Cofer made a 28-yard field goal to tie the game with less than two minutes left in the second quarter. Cofer's kickoff went out of bounds, giving Dallas a chance to score before the end of the half. Aikman managed to lead them to the 49ers 25-yard line, but Elliot's 43-yard field goal attempt went wide right and the score remained 10-10 going into halftime.
After receiving the second half kickoff, the Cowboys marched 78 yards, featuring a 38-yard leaping catch by Alvin Harper over defensive back Eric Davis, to score on running back Daryl Johnston's 3-yard touchdown run to take a 17-10 lead.
The 49ers struck back with a 35-yard completion from Young to Rice that set up a 43-yard field goal by Cofer, cutting the score to 17-13. However, Dallas put together a 79-yard drive which consumed nine minutes with a key 31-yard reception by tight end Jay Novacek. This second long drive was capped by Aikman's 16-yard touchdown pass to Smith, giving the Cowboys a 24-13 advantage.
Midway through the final period, Cowboys linebacker Ken Norton Jr intercepted a pass from Young and returned it to the 49ers 45-yard line, and Dallas subsequently marched to the 7. Rather than attempt a field goal on 4th down and 1, Smith attempted to run for the first down, but was tackled by linebacker Mike Walter for no gain. The 49ers then drove 93 yards to score on Rice's 5-yard touchdown reception, cutting the lead to 24-20 with 4:22 left in the game. But on the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Aikman threw a 14-yard pass to Harper, who ended up running for a 70-yard gain to the San Francisco 9-yard line. Three plays later, wide receiver Kelvin Martin scored on a 6-yard touchdown reception, making it 30-20 (the extra point was blocked) with 3:43 to play. The 49ers attempted one last drive to come back, but Young was intercepted once again, this time by free safety James Washington.
Aikman threw for 322 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. Smith rushed for 24 carries and 114 yards, caught 7 passes for 59 yards, and scored 2 touchdowns. Harper caught 3 passes for 117 yards. Defensive tackle Tony Casillas recorded 3 sacks. Meanwhile, Young recorded 313 passing yards and one touchdown, but threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter. Rice caught 8 passes for 123 yards and a score. Watters rushed for 69 yards and caught 6 passes for 69.