McMillen and Wife Steelers Message Board

Full Version: 1995 AFC Championship Steelers 20 vs Colts 16
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
1995 AFC Championship Steelers 20 vs Colts 16

One of the most exciting AFC Championship games of all time. I still get chills watching the 4th quarter of this game. In a deja vu moment from the '94 AFCC, Harbaugh finds Floyd Turner running wide open behind Darren Perry down the left sideline for a 47-yd TD to give Indianapolis a 16-13 lead with 8 minutes to play. After the Steelers stall at midfield and punt the ball away, the Colts find themselves a 3rd down conversion away from the Super Bowl. On 3rd-and-1 with under 4 minutes to play, RB Lamont Warren takes a handoff and appears to have at least 15 yds of clear sailing ahead of him when CB Willie Williams comes screaming around right tackle on a blitz to make an outstanding shoestring tackle of Warren for no gain. Instead of sealing the game, the Colts are forced to punt, setting up Pittsburgh's game-winning drive with 3 minutes to play. This time, it's WR Ernie Mills who saves the day, not once, but twice. With the ball near midfield, LB Quentin Coryatt steps in front of an O'Donnell pass intended for Mills for a sure INT with nothing but green in front of him. The ball hits Coryatt right in the hands, but Mills reaches out and gets just enough of Coryatt's arm to dislodge the ball, preventing a sure game-ending pick-6. In another deja-vu moment, the Steelers face 4th-and-3 with 2:25 left when O'Donnell finds Andre Hastings for a game-saving conversion, giving the Steelers a first down at the Colts' 38 at the two-minute warning. On the next play coming out of the break, O'Donnell hits Mills for the biggest play of the season. The Steelers run "87-Move-Go" which sends Mills deep down the right sideline. O'Donnell makes a quick pump fake, then launches the ball deep to Mills, who makes an incredible, lunging grab, gracefully dragging his left toe to make sure he gets both feet inbounds before going out at the 1. Two plays later, Bam Morris pounds the ball through the middle for the go-ahead TD with 1:34 to play. Gritty Jim Harbaugh moves within striking distance in the waning moments, driving the Colts 46 yards in 8 plays to the Steelers' 29, only to watch helplessly as his "Hail Mary" bounces in and out of the lap of Colt receiver Aaron Beasley in the end zone on the game's final play. One of the great wins in Steeler history. Also includes Greg Lloyd's infamous "f-ing Super Bowl" postgame quote on national TV (score: Greg Lloyd, 1 -- TV censor button guy, 0).
At halftime, we get coaching adjustments from Mike Ditka and Joe Gibbs, but it's what isn't here that made this halftime show unique.

We hear Greg Gumbel throw to commercial by saying that they'll preview the Packers-Cowboys NFC Championship Game next, and so they do......with help from the Fox NFL Sunday crew! There are a lot of jokes back and forth, particularly between Greg and Terry Bradshaw, who were former partners at CBS on The NFL Today. At the very end of the segment, Greg says that Pat Summerall and John Madden just may call part of the second half of the AFC game (which, of course, didn't happen), but this may have been the most entertaining network studio segment I've ever seen.

The funny part was, the NBC guys were supposed to appear at halftime of the NFC game to recap the AFC game, but they never did. Once the whole plan got out a few days later, Fox claimed technical difficulties, but it's just as likely that they'd gotten what they wanted from NBC (free publicity for what was then still an upstart in the NFL business) and had no intention of letting the NBC crew on their air in the first place. ESPN tried a similar thing years later using the main analysts from all the networks as part of a roundtable, but it never caught on, and we don't see anything like this today, even on NFL Network.

Before the game, we get analysis from Ditka, Gibbs, and Joe Montana, plus a report on Jimmy Johnson, who had recently been hired by the Dolphins. Apparently five different teams had been after him: the Dolphins, Bucs, Lions, Giants, and Browns (who were due to move to Baltimore, but may still have been doing administrative business in Cleveland for the moment). How differently the Steelers/Ravens rivalry might have developed with Jimmy on the Baltimore side!
Interesting stuff, Garrett! Thanks!  Thumbsup
1) I was at both AFC title games in 1994-1995. Notice the dead silence in the stadium as the ball comes down on the final play. Having left so disappointed the year before, I don't know what I would've done had Bailey just closed his arms a split second earlier. I was waaaay to into these things as a trainwrecked and overemotional teenager and might have jumped off something in my emotional state. I kid. Sort of.  Smiley-embarassed

2) What if the ref had signaled TD? There was no instant replay or challenges in the NFL during these years. 

3) Mills' catch to the 1 would not have counted in today's NFL. It was perfectly fine, nobody questioned it after the game, the Colts didn't violently flap their arms incomplete and Marchibroda didn't run down the side judge to protest. It was a good catch to everybody who saw it. But the NFL wanted it a different way for some reason over the last few years.

4) Mills and Willie Williams with two sensational and somewhat forgotten plays to keep the Steelers in it. I also STILL haven't forgiven Chris Oldham for not pulling in that interception that would've avoided the Hail Mary play to begin with! I wanted to celebrate in the stands for a little bit at least.

5) We would've had an easier time with the Chiefs even though it would've been in KC. Same goes in 1997. Those Marty-coached KC teams were frauds. We just weren't careful enough with what we wished for as Steelers fans in wanting to host these AFC title games at Three Rivers. Smile

6) Imagine if Twitter and sites like Deadspin existed in 1996 with reaction to Lloyd's f-bomb and Jim Gray's derpy reaction afterwards. Thankfully, we were only subjected to maybe a Phil Mushnick contrived outrage column in TV Guide before SB XXX. 

And lastly, both the 94-95 AFC games were played on unseasonably (and annoyingly) warm days in Pittsburgh. Then a few days after both games, we got hit with huge snow storms. I would've loved to see a dome team and a warm-weather team like the Chargers handle that.
(12-25-2017, 08:53 AM)RJW Wrote: [ -> ]3) Mills' catch to the 1 would not have counted in today's NFL. It was perfectly fine, nobody questioned it after the game, the Colts didn't violently flap their arms incomplete and Marchibroda didn't run down the side judge to protest. It was a good catch to everybody who saw it. But the NFL wanted it a different way for some reason over the last few years.

Truth. And further proof that the ridiculous "survive the ground" rule needs to change. 

WE KNOW A CATCH WHEN WE SEE IT. It's not that f-ing hard. 

Ernie Mills caught that pass. And Jessie James caught it even more convincingly last week. And on the first drive of the '08 AFC Championship, Santonio Holmes caught that pass. And on and on and on.

Honestly, since they're going to make boneheaded errors either way, I'd rather see them come down on the side the catch rather than ruling against it.