Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

San Diego Downs Dolphins Chargers Rally from 15-Point Deficit, Beat Miami 22-21

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

San Diego Downs Dolphins Chargers Rally from 15-Point Deficit, Beat Miami 22-21

Article excerpt

The San Diego Chargers tried every blitz known to man Sunday in an effort to stop Dan Marino. They shuffled personnel. Made coverage adjustments.

But in the end, they used the old prevent defense. As in they prevented him from touching the ball for much of the second half.

"The best defense against him is to keep him on the sidelines," San Diego running back Natrone Means said.

That tactic worked so well that Marino and the rest of the Miami Dolphins will be sidelined until September.

Thanks to an 8-yard pass from Stan Humphries to Mark Seay with 36 seconds remaining - and John Carney's extra point - the Chargers rallied past Miami 22-21 in a thrilling American Football Conference semifinal at Jack Murphy Stadium.

San Diego still had to withstand Pete Stoyanovich's missed a 47-yard field goal attempt with seven seconds left. A 32-yard pass interference penalty set up the last-gasp try.

For only the third time in franchise history, the Chargers (12-5) are in the conference title game. They travel to Pittsburgh next Sunday, trying to advance to their first Super Bowl.

For the Dolphins (11-7) it's a case of - curses, foiled again.

"To go in with a 21-6 lead at halftime and then have it come apart the way it did in the second half is a bitter disappointment," Dolphins coach Don Shula said.

After three duds this weekend in the National Football League conference semifinals, the Chargers and Dolphins collaborated on a scorcher - complete with clutch plays, controversial calls, and down-to-the-last-second drama.

The day started with fly-bys by five military helicopters and four fighters jets during the national anthem.

Then the real air show began, piloted by Daniel Constantine Marino Jr.

He shredded the Dolphins for 206 yards and three touchdown passes - in the first half!

During touchdown drives of 79, 52 and 70 yards, the Dolphins amassed 11 yards rushing and were beneficiaries of a 15-yard personal foul penalty against San Diego.

But who needs a running game with Marino at quarterback?

Everything else on those drives came via the pass, with Marino throwing touchdown passes of 8 and 9 yards to tight end Keith Jackson and 16 yards to backup wide receiver Mike Williams. …

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