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Football


TOFN podcast: HOF MLB Willie Lanier revisits the longest NFL game ever played

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TOFN podcast: HOF MLB Willie Lanier revisits the 1970 bench-clearing brawl with Raiders

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Barkley, elite backs demand a draft-day look

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Hank Stram, a Chicago native, treated the meaningless preseason game like a Super Bowl – and ran up the score in a 66-24 triumph over the Bears. Willie Lanier was a rookie with the Chiefs and spent most of the game watching from the sideline as Stram kept his starters on the field throughout.

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The 1971 AFC playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins was the longest pro football game ever played. It was a game that sent the two franchises in opposite directions – the Dolphins would go on to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls and the Chiefs would go the next 14 seasons without qualifying for the playoffs.

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On this podcastt we’ll discuss with Willie Lanier the 1970 regular-season game that featured a bench-clearing brawl with the Oakland Raiders that wound up a 17-17 tie, costing the Kansas City Chiefs a playoff spot and the chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

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Saquon Barkley could rise to the level of the opponent. He rushed for 194 yards against Southern Cal in a Rose Bowl, 137 against Washington in a Fiesta Bowl and 194 yards against Ohio State. He slapped a 200-yard game on Iowa and 100-yard games on Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska.

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But there was more at stake in that Super Bowl than AFL pride and the chance to show the world that the Kansas City Chiefs had assembled one of the greatest defenses ever – in fact, the last Super Bowl championship defense to lead the league across the board in all four the major statistical categories – run, pass, total and scoring defense.

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Kirk Cousins finished seventh in the NFL last season with 4,093 passing yards – his third consecutive 4,000-yard season. He finished eighth with 27 TD passes, more than past NFL MVPs Drew Brees (26) and Matt Ryan (20).

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First-ballot choices or equally qualified candidates waiting on line? It’s a question that faces Hall of Fame voters and is the subject of the latest Talk of Fame Network podcast.

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There are two other Lombardi Packers who were voted to the NFL’s 50th anniversary team but have never been discussed as Hall of Fame finalists — tight end Ron Kramer and wide receiver Boyd Dowler.

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The Eagles will be better on paper in 2018 with the return of quarterback Carson Wentz, who was building an NVP campaign before a knee injury ended his season in December. Philadelphia went on to win the Super Bowl with backup QB Nick Foles.

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When you play 17 seasons, start 228 games, go to six Pro Bowls, block for two NFL rushing champions and win a Super Bowl as Ray Donaldson has, you certainly deserve to have your career discussed and debated to determine where you game fits in an historical context.

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FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira, the former head of NFL officiating, believes that what we saw from Super Bowl LII is what we’ll get from replay in 2018. Plus, he believes officials blew the call on “the Philly Special,” and he tells us why.

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If players were voted into Canton based strictly on productivity, Joe Jacoby and Everson Walls would already have their busts. But Jacoby didn’t get into the room as a finalist until his 18th year of eligibility and Walls didn’t reach the room until his 20th year. The clock was ticking on them the moment they arrived. They wouldn’t have the luxury of 20 years of potential discussions like a Lewis, Moss and Urlacher.

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Charles Haley underwent surgery on a ruptured disk in his back suffered in the 13th game of the 1995 season but was back on the field two months later for that Super Bowl.

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Charles Haley played in a Super Bowl in Bill Walsh’s final game as head coach of the 49ers and in another Super Bowl in Jimmy Johnson’s final game as head coach of the Cowboys.

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The NFL plays 268 games each fall in the regular and post-seasons. It may be time to get rid of game No. 267 — the Pro Bowl.

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