Playoff Classic in '81


1981 AFC Divisional Playoff Game
January 2, 1982

Kellen Winlsow is helped off field. (Photo: NFL Photos) Rolf Benirschke's 29-yard field goal with 1:08 left in overtime gave San Diego a 41-38 victory over Miami in the highest-scoring playoff game in NFL history at that time. Benirschke redeemed himself after missing a 27-yard attempt at the beginning of overtime. He got a second chance after Miami's Uwe von Schamann's 35-yard field goal try in overtime was blocked by San Diego's Leroy Jones.

The Chargers opened a 24-0 lead in the first period, but Miami rallied to tie the game on the first series of the third period when quarterback Don Strock hit Joe Rose with a nine-yard touchdown pass. The Chargers went ahead 31-24 when quarterback Dan Fouts passed 25 yards to Kellen Winslow.

The next two touchdowns were Miami's before San Diego tied the score at thirty-eight near the end of regulation when Fouts on a nine-yard scoring pass. Fouts set NFL playoff records for most completions (33), most attempts (53), and most yards (433). Winslow set a playoff record for most receptions (13 for 166 yards). San Diego's Chuck Muncie rushed 24 times for 120 yards and scored his twentieth touchdown of the year, a one-yard run in the first period. Strock, who relieved David Woodley, had the best day of his career. He completed 29 of 43 passes for 403 yards.

San Diego Chargers
24
0
7
7
3
-
41
Miami Dolphins
0
17
14
7
0
-
38
SCORING SUMMARY
1st Quarter
SD - Chandler 56 return (Benirschke kick), 7:36
SD - Muncie 1 run (Benirschke kick), 11:02
SD - Brooks 8 pass from Fouts (Benirschke kick), 13:29
2nd Quarter
MIA - FG von Schamann 34, 6:29
MIA - Rose 1 pass from Strock (von Schamann kick), 12:15
MIA - Nathan 25 run after lateral Harris who received 15 yard pass = 40 yard pass from Strock, (von Schamann kick), 15:00
3rd Quarter
MIA - Rose 15 pass from Strock (von Schamann kick), 4:10
SD - Winslow 25 pass from Fouts (Benirschke kick), 10:45
MIA - Hardy 50 pass from Strock (von Schamann kick), 13:32
4th Quarter
MIA - Nathan 12 run (von Schamann kick), 00:07
SD - Brooks 9 pass from Fouts (Benirschke kick), 14:02
Overtime
SD - FG Benirschke 29, 13:52
A - 73,735

Rolf Benirschke (Photo: NFL Photos)

 

ROLF BENIRSCHKE redeemed himself to become the hero of the game. After missing a 27-yarder early in OT, he nailed the game-winner at the 13:52 mark of overtime. (Photo: NFL Photos)

 
Chargers
Dolphins
 
CMP/ATT
YDS
TD
INT
 
CMP/ATT
YDS
TD
INT
Fouts
33/53
433
3
1
Woodley
2/5
20
0
1
Muncie
0/1
0
0
0
Strock
29/43
403
4
1
 
NO.
YDS
LONG
TD
 
NO.
YDS
LONG
TD
Muncie
24
120
18
1
Nathan
14
48
12
1
Brooks
3
19
14
0
Woodley
1
10
10
0
Fouts
2
10
8
0
Hill
3
8
4
0
          Franklin
9
6
3
0
          Vigorito
1
6
6
0
 
NO.
YDS
LONG
TD
 
NO.
YDS
LONG
TD
Winslow
13
166
31
1
Nathan
9
114
27
1
Joiner
7
108
39
0
Harris
6
106
30
0
Chandler
6
106
47
0
Hardy
5
89
50
1
Brooks
4
31
9
2
Rose
4
37
15
2
Muncie
2
5
8
0
Cefalo
3
62
23
0
Scales
1
17
17
0
Vigorito
2
12
8
0
          Hill
2
3
2
0
 
NO.
YDS
LONG
TD
 
NO.
YDS
LONG
TD
Edwards
1
35
35
0
Blackwood
1
8
8
0
Buchanon
1
0
0
0
Small
0
22
22
0
 
NO.
YDS
AVG
LG
 
NO.
YDS
AVG
LG
Roberts
4
161
40.25
47
Orosz
5
210
42.0
45
 
NO./FC
YDS
LONG
TD
 
NO./FC
YDS
LONG
TD
Chandler
1/0
56
56
1
Vigorito
1/0
12
12
0
Brooks
1/1
8
8
0
         
 
NO.
YDS
LONG
TD
 
NO.
YDS
LONG
TD
Brooks
5
85
33
0
Vigorito
4
67
21
0
Beaudoin
1
15
15
0
Walker
1
18
18
0
          Hill
1
13
13
0