ALIVE AND KICKING; AMAZING ATLANTA STUNS MINNESOTA ON OT FIELD GOAL : ATLANTA 30, MINNESOTA 27.
Byline: Mike Freeman For other people with similar names, see Mike Freeman (disambiguation)
Mike Freeman, born October 13, 1961 in Mount Holly, New Jersey was a former African-American football player and currently a sports columnist working for CBS Sportsline.com. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times
National Football Conference title in overtime, 30-27, Carter burst into tears. Other Vikings players were crying and some simply had stunned looks. Linebacker Ed McDaniel High School Football
The only retired number in Batesburg-Leesville (SC) football history is the #50 worn by Ed McDaniel from 1984-1986. McDaniel helped lead the Panthers to a 27-8 record in his three seasons under Head Coaches Ed Porter (1984) and Gary Smallen (1985-86). kept mumbling mum·ble
v. mum·bled, mum·bling, mum·bles
1. To utter indistinctly by lowering the voice or partially closing the mouth: mumbled an insincere apology. , ``I can't believe this.''
Believe. That is what the Falcons have done all season and there is almost a mystical quality to this team. In the exhibition season, few picked the Falcons to win their division. Once they did, riding an emotional high from the successful heart surgery undergone by coach Dan Reeves
But the Falcons believed and they gained the franchise's first trip to the Super Bowl when Morten Andersen Morten Andersen (born August 19, 1960 in Copenhagen, Denmark) is an American football placekicker. The all-time leading scorer in NFL history, Andersen currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons. kicked a 38-yard field goal with 3:08 remaining in overtime.
The Vikings kicker, Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson (born July 16, 1959 in Parys, Free State, South Africa) is a former American football placekicker. , who had not missed on 122 field-goal and extra-point attempts since December 1997, narrowly missed a 38-yard field-goal attempt with 2:07 left in the fourth quarter and the Vikings leading 27-20.
Not only did the Falcons believe, but they attacked against the heavily favored Vikings. From Tim Dwight Timothy John Dwight, Jr. (born July 13, 1975 in Iowa City, Iowa) is an American football player. Officially listed as a wide receiver, he has also been a punt and kick returner for four teams in the National Football League, He excelled in both football and track at the University returning kicks from 5 yards deep in his end zone, to gutsy quarterback Chris Chandler Chris Chandler is a retired American football player, who played as a quarterback in the National Football League for nearly sixteen years. Early years
Chris Chandler was born on October 12, 1965 in Everett, Washington. throwing bombs early then leading a John Elway-like game-winning drive, to the Falcons' defense playing without fear against a deadly Minnesota passing game, Atlanta acted as if this were a pressure-free exhibition contest against the Indianapolis Colts
Now the extremely confident Falcons go to Super Bowl XXXIII Super Bowl XXXIII was the 33rd championship game of the modern National Football League (NFL). The game was played on January 31, 1999 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida following the 1998 regular season. in Miami where they will play the Denver Broncos, who beat the Jets 23-10.
``I don't think that Minnesota disrespected us, but everyone else did,'' said Jamal Anderson This article is about the former Falcons running back. For the current Falcons defensive end, see Jamaal Anderson.
Jamal Sharif Anderson (born September 30, 1972 in East Orange, New Jersey) is a former running back in the National Football League, with the , the Falcons running back. ``We're the first team to go on the road for the conference championship with a 14-2 record. We've got a 3,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers, an 1,800-yard rusher and a defense that was No. 2 in the NFL NFL
National Football League
NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga stopping the run, and everybody was saying, `Look at the Vikings.' We want you to disrespect us, we want to be the underdogs, but at the end of the game we'll be the ones smiling.''
``I mean, it's incredible when you think about it, coming from 1-7 halfway through your first year, to be in the Super Bowl in the second year,'' said Reeves. ``It's an unbelievable group of guys. They believe and they work hard and do the things that you have to do, what you preach as a coach.''
The Falcons executed a brilliant game plan on both sides of the ball. While many thought that stopping Anderson was the key, it was not. Anderson had just 67 yards on 23 carries. Atlanta's plan all along was to attack a weak Minnesota pass defense. Atlanta racked up 427 yards of offense but only 110 on the ground.
Chandler was brilliant, completing 27 of 43 passes for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Receivers Tony Martin (5 catches for 129 yards) and Terance Mathis Terance Mathis (born June 7, 1967, in Detroit, Michigan) was a Pro Bowl wide receiver in the NFL. Drafted in 1990 by the New York Jets, he played the majority of his career with the Atlanta Falcons. (6 catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns) found themselves single-covered much of the afternoon. They destroyed the Vikings' secondary.
Defensively, the Falcons gave up some big plays early as Minnesota jumped to a 17-7 lead midway through the second quarter. Wide receiver Randy Moss Randy Moss (born February 13, 1977 in Rand, West Virginia) is an American football wide receiver for the New England Patriots. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1998, and played the first stage of his career in Minnesota before a trade in 2005 brought him to the Oakland had five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown at the end of two quarters but just one catch for four yards in the second half.
That was because the Falcons made a smart tactical decision in double-teaming Carter and Moss and taking their chance against the run. Running back Robert Smith (71 yards) did some damage, but taking away the receivers eliminated Minnesota's big-play capability.
``That was a key part of the game,'' said Reeves.
What might have hurt the Vikings more than anything was a crucial turnover just before the first half ended. Up by 13 points with 1:17 left, the Vikings decided to go for the throat. But Cunningham, after dropping back to pass, had his arm hit by defensive end Chuck Smith. The ball popped loose and was recovered by defensive lineman Travis Hall at the Minnesota 14-yard line. Chandler hit Mathis for a touchdown on the next play.
After that fumble, the Vikings would score on just one of their next eight possessions.
When Minnesota's Anderson - 35 for 35 on field-goal attempts in the regular season - missed a 38-yard field goal that would have given the Vikings a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter, the momentum changed.
Chandler led Atlanta on an eight-play, 71-yard drive that concluded with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Mathis with 49 seconds remaining to tie the score.
In the overtime, Chandler directed one of the best playoff drives of the decade.
Neither offense could move the ball well early in the overtime. Then Chandler got hot. He threw passes for 15, 26 and six yards, and unlike Cunningham, he was not jittery in the pocket. He coolly guided the Falcons on a 10-play, 70-yard drive, setting up the game-winning field goal by Andersen.
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: MINNESOTA vs. ATLANTA
The sorest man in America is most certainly Atlanta's Chris Chandler, for all the punishment Minnesota's defense handed to him. Still, hobbled with a bad ankle and bleeding, the Falcons quarterback led his team on a 71-yard, eight-play drive in the deafening Metrodome, hitting Terance Mathis on a 16-yard TD pass in the final minute to force overtime. Chandler outplayed Randall Cunningham, throwing for 340 yards on 27 of 43 passing with three TDs, keeping his composure even though the Vikings threatened to run away with the game late in the first half. Instead, Cunningham fumbled in the final minute and Chandler found Mathis again on the next play to pull within 20-14 going into halftime, keeping Atlanta in the game.
Some might have thought it bad karma when the boys in the truck at Fox flashed Gary Anderson's amazing stats on the screen when the Minnesota kicker lined up what should've been the game-clinching field goal with 2:07 left and a 27-20 lead. Anderson, the most prolific placekicker in NFL history (420 lifetime field goals), was 35 for 35 this season, hitting everything from every distance on every surface at every stadium. But he couldn't do it when it counted the most. His 38-yard attempt started left and kept hooking, sliding just outside the left upright, giving Chandler and the Falcons room to work.
STAT OF THE GAME
Take your pick. On the road, Atlanta outgained the highest-scoring offense in NFL history 427-356. . . . Before ``The Miss,'' Gary Anderson had hit 106 consecutive kicks (including extra points). . . . NFL touchdown leader Randy Moss was held to one catch for 4 yards in the second half and overtime. He finished with six catches for 75 yards and a TD.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
``When we got here, we found they were already selling tickets for the Super Bowl. We came here to spoil a lot of trips. If they're coming to the Super Bowl now, they're going to have to come see the Falcons.''
- Atlanta cornerback Michael Booker.
5 Photos, Box
PHOTO (1--2--Color) Morten Anderson's 38-yard field goal with 3:08 remaining in overtime stymied Minnesota and gave Atlanta its first Super Bowl berth in the team's 33-year existence.
Morry Gash and David Bergman/AssociatedPress
(3--Color) Gary Anderson had made 122 consecutive field goals and extra points since December 1997, but his miss on a 38-yard attempt in the fourth quarter might have cost Minnesota a Super Bowl berth.
(4--Color) Chris Chandler
(5--Color) Gary Anderson
BOX: NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: MINNESOTA vs. ATLANTA (see text)