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Saleem Choudhry - Researcher
Saleem spends his days gathering, interpreting, and disseminating information about the game of pro football. He now shares in his blog some of the more unique stories and facts that he has uncovered while working with the Hall’s vast collection of more than 18 million pages of documents.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the possibility of an 8-8 St. Louis Rams or a 7-9 Seattle Seahawks team making the playoffs as the winner of the NFC West Division. As it turned out, the Seahawks won their division and had the opportunity to host the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card game. Not many fans gave the Seahawks a chance, but as I am sure you know, they defeated the Saints by a thrilling 41-36 score at Qwest Field.
I thought this was the best game of the Wild Card Weekend. There is something about the notion that any team can beat another team on any given week that makes the NFL the best league in the world. Sitting here on Monday morning, I still get a shiver down my spine thinking about the tremendous touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch late in the fourth quarter which essentially sealed the game for Seattle.
Lost in the spectacle of this incredible win by the Seahawks, however, was the fact that this was the seventh highest point total scored by both teams in playoff history. The highest scoring game in the postseason occurred just last year when the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Green Bay Packers in a thrilling 51-45 overtime scorcher.
In that game, both quarterbacks were nearly flawless. Cardinals' signal-caller Kurt Warner threw more touchdowns (5) than incompletions (4), and his 87.9 completion percentage (29 of 33) was the third-best in NFL postseason history. Aaron Rodgers, the Packers quarterback, was making his first playoff start and passed for 423 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Warner led the Cardinals to a 21-point lead in the third quarter before Rodgers took over and guided the Packers back to even the game at 45-45 with less than two minutes remaining in the game. The Packers received the ball first in overtime but tragedy struck when the young quarterback fumbled on the third snap of extra play. Cardinals' linebacker Karlos Dansby recovered the ball stripped by cornerback Mike Adams in mid-air and returned it 17 yards for the winning score.
You have to love the sudden-death atmosphere of the playoffs. You never know what's going to happen.
2009 NFC Wild Card Playoff
Arizona Cardinals 51, Green Bay Packers 45 (OT) = 96 points
1995 NFC Wild Card Playoff
Philadelphia Eagles 58, Detroit Lions 37 = 95 points
1999 NFC Divisional Playoff
St. Louis Rams 49, Minnesota Vikings 37 = 86 points
1992 AFC Wild Card Playoff
Buffalo Bills 41, Houston Oilers 38 (OT) = 79 points
1981 AFC Divisional Playoff
San Diego Chargers 41, Miami Dolphins 38 (OT) = 79 points
1990 AFC Divisional Playoff
Buffalo Bills 44, Miami Dolphins 34 = 78 points
2002 NFC Wild Card Playoff
San Francisco 49ers 39, New York Giants 38 = 77 points
2010 NFC Wild Card Playoff
Seattle Seahawks 41, New Orleans Saints 36 = 77 points