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NFL – 1985 AFC Divisional Playoff – New England Patriots VS Los Angeles Raiders


It doesn’t matter when or where the Pats and the Raiders meet up….it is typically a significant battle…and this 1985 AFC Divisional Playoff game was no exception….as the teams entered this game with the Raiders already hving defeated New England 35–20 during the regular season….but in this game, Patriots RB Craig James had an outstanding game by rushing for 104 yards…. catching three passes for 48 yards….while completing one pass for eight yards….and scored a touchdown….while the Patriots defense forced six turnovers and shut out the Raiders in the second half.

In the first quarter, Patriots safety Jim Bowman recovered a muffed punt by Raiders returner Fulton Walker….which set up New England QB Tony Eason’s 13-yard touchdown pass to TE Lin Dawson….then on LA’s next drive…DB Ronnie Lippett intercepted a pass from Raider’s QB Marc Wilson….but the Patriots were unable to move the ball….after which Raiders DE Greg Townsend blocked Rich Camarillo’s punt….getting the ball back for his team at the Pats 16-yard line….which led to a 29-yard field goal by Chris Bahr.

In the second quarter, Bahr missed a 44-yard field goal….but the Raiders defense once again held the Patriots down and forced a punt….which Walker returned 16 yards to start off a 52-yard scoring drive culminating in Wilson’s 16-yard touchdown throw to receiver Jessie Hester….then on New England’s first play from scrimmage after the turnover…. when Raiders DL Howie Long recovered Mosi Tatupu’s fumble on the New England 19, as LA scored another touchdown on Marcus Allen’s 11-yard run….which increased their lead to 17–7. The Patriots stormed back with an 80-yard touchdown possession….as Tatupu helped make up for his fumble with a 22-yard run….while James caught a 24-yard reception and rushed for 27 yards on the drive….which included a 2-yard touchdown on third down out of shotgun formation that cut the score to 17–14. Then on LA’s ensuing possession, Ronnie Lippett recorded his second interception of the day….which gave the Pats the ball at LA’s 28-yard line…and eventually led to a Tony Franklin field goal to tie the game, but with 1:40 left in the half…. the Raiders managed to retake the lead before halftime,…as Marcus Allen had a 17-yard gain….and Wilson completing a 31-yard pass to TE Todd Christensen on the way to a 32-yard field goal from Bahr.

Midway through the third quarter….Allen fumbled the ball to the Pats which led to a Franklin field goal…thus tying the game back up at 20. Then in what turned out to be the key play of the game….Raider’s CB Sam Seale fumbled the ensuing kickoff….which Bowman recovered in the end zone for a touchdown to give New England a 27–20 lead. There was still a full quarter left to play, but the Raiders would get no further in the game than the New England 41-yard line….as Los Angeles’ three fourth quarter drives would result in a punt….an interception by Fred Marion….and a turnover on downs at their own 13…however, Marcus Allen finished the game with 121 yards rushing and one touchdown….while catching three passes for eight yards.

Like most times that the Patriots and the Raiders take the field….it is usually a “balls to the wall” type of game….as this one lived up to their tradition….with NE winning by a score of 27 – 20.

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