This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
I love these old games, especially starting in 1978 or so and going through the 1980s. The NFL of the last 10-15, years I would’ve lived very well without experiencing. Because the Roger Goodell is so offensive and money oriented, that they are coming damn close to eliminating defense and physical play on defense. But the NFL of the late 1970s and the 1980s was a balanced league. Where offenses and defenses were equal under the rules. Which meant back then you had balanced offenses and defenses. You had pass-first teams, that also ran the ball well and run-first teams that could also throw the ball well. And you also had teams that were known for offense, that were also good on defense. And teams that were known for defense, that were also good on offense.
This game between the Oilers and Dolphins is an excellent example of that. The Dolphins for the most part were no longer Super Bowl contenders, as far as the 1970s. But they were still good enough to win the AFC East and make a lot of noise in the AFC and NFL in general. The Oilers in 1978 were looking for their first playoff appearance since the 1960s and the AFL-NFL merger. And not only made the AFC Playoffs in 1978, but got to the AFC Final. And both of these teams were very good of both sides of the ball. Both had strong defenses, both could run and throw the ball well. Which is what makes this a classic matchup.