This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress
Especially if you consider the playing conditions of this playoff game between the Raiders and Browns, this is one of the best playoff games of all-time in NFL history. Cleveland, Ohio just from Lake Erie in January with snow on the ground, even though it didn’t snow in this game. Frigid conditions, Cleveland Municipal Stadium that wasn’t just an outdoor stadium, but an open air stadium as well. Where the lake was just off of the stadium and the end zone by the lake only had one deck of seats. So there wasn’t any protection from that part of the field from the cold air and wind. So you literally felt the frigid wind coming off of the lake in that stadium from that end zone.
Which meant this game was a defensive oriented ball control power run short throwing football game. And even though the Raiders were the road team and from Oakland and Northern California and the Browns were the home team from Cleveland, the style of football for this game favored the Raiders. Because they were a big strong physical team on both sides of the ball. That ran the ball and stuffed the run. Attacked the quarterback and protected the quarterback. The Browns were a finesse pass first team that was questionable on defense and prone to getting beat by big physical teams that ran the ball very well.
The Browns of the late 1970s were called the Cardiac Kids for a very good reason. Even though they were a good football team back then and had pretty if not very good players on both sides of the ball, they weren’t great back then. And didn’t overwhelm good teams because of how good they were. They didn’t blow good teams out because they gave up a lot of yards and sometimes points as well. And were also behind a lot late in games and having to come back. The Raiders on the other hand when they were in the playoffs, they tended to win and hammer their opponents and put them away convincingly.