1981 AFC Championship Game: Chargers vs. Bengals | “The Freezer Bowl” | NFL Full Game

1981 AFC Championship Game: Chargers vs. Bengals | “The Freezer Bowl” | NFL Full Game

100 Replies to “1981 AFC Championship Game: Chargers vs. Bengals | “The Freezer Bowl” | NFL Full Game”

  1. 16:48 Bengals Force Fumble on Kickoff

    18:26 K. Anderson 8-yard TD Pass to Harris

    33:46 D. Fouts 33-yard TD Pass to K. Winslow

    40:23 P. Johnson 1-yard TD Run

    46:38 D. Fouts Intercepted by Breeden

    53:23 D. Fouts Intercepted by Kemp

    1:01:57 Chargers Fumble in Bengal Territory

    1:17:54 Bengals Fumble in Chargers Territory

    1:36:44 K. Anderson 3-yard TD Pass to D. Bass

    1:47:21 Chargers Stop Bengals on Fourth Down to Ice the Freezer Bowl

  2. Despite those extreme temperatures, the Ohio River in Cincinnati did not freeze over like it did in January 1977. Guess it was just a freak cold snap in January 1982.

  3. The Chargers would have won but it was just too cold. Dan Fouts (QB) said that it was so cold that it was very difficult to throw the football.

  4. Very rare for Cincinnati/Kentucky to see this kind of cold. I think I read that this was the third or fourth-coldest day ever in the city dating to the 1800s. The Sunday before this when the Bengals beat Buffalo at home the temperature was in the 50s.

  5. Speaking of Bengals, why not go back to the 1981 uniforms, minus the helmet. That Orange stripe helmets from 1981 is still fresh and clean and is still used today anyhow.

  6. No way it was -59. The coldest ever recorded temperature in Ohio was -39. Perhaps wind chill was -59. Still unbelievably cold!

  7. oh my God Enberg said midget I'm so offended I'm still so offended how could he say such a mean terrible work where's my coloring books.

  8. So lets get this in perspective. The Chargers flew from San Diego ( dry air and sunny sky ) to Miami Florida and played in hot humid weather ( for January) , played a double overtime game where they had to fight muscle cramps , had to carry Winslow off the field . Then the Chargers flew back to San Diego , practice in dry air and sunny sky , then fly to Cincinnati and attempt to play a game in minus fiftynine degrees. – 59 ? You kidding me ? Has any team ever gotten that shitty of the end of the stick before? Oh yeah , to top it off the Chargers play their home games on grass , Miami game on grass , now go play on what was basically rubber on top of concrete in " minus 59 degrees " weather .

  9. Played on a neutral field – or just on a day with 0 degree temperatures – The Chargers win that game. But at -59 it was almost impossible to get the passing game going consistently. And coming from 84 degrees and a ton of humidity the week before there was no way any team was going to win in Cincinnati that day. The weather beat the Chargers more than the Bengals did.

  10. My dad went to this game when he was a kid, he told me he had like 4 layers of clothing and a sleeping bag! He also told me the Kenny Anderson and Dan Fouts got frostbite on their hands!🥶

  11. Nice post AZ…many memories. Football is first and foremost an element sport.This is what originally made the game exciting!

  12. I say this because I've lived in Southern California almost all my life. I bet you if the Bengals and Chargers played a playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium these days in early January, and the weather was about 10 degrees, NOT a single Charger fan would be at that stadium. Los Angeles people get scared and then bundle up in thick layers of clothes in 53 degree weather. People on the West Coast can't handle (mentally or physically) cold weather like people in the Midwest and East Coast can.

  13. Chargers choked again! They would lose to David Woodley in 82. Favored from 79-82 to win Superbowl. Bills would do worse. Lose 4 Super Bowls in a row. Bengals have yet to win anything.

  14. How can I see the Monday night game in 1975 when Ken Anderson passed for 450 yards to beat the Bills with O.J. gaining 200 yards rushing?

  15. Strange watching games back in the day. Gotta admit it's kinda nice to not see the players celebrate after every first down. Or when the score a touchdown, they don't all go into some stupid dance routines. Just some high fives and hand the ball to the ref

  16. That old Riverfront turf was bad enough under favorable conditions.. I can't even imagine what it felt like on a day with -59 wind chill.. whatever these players got paid it wasn't enough

  17. The Freezer Bowl inspired the NFL to play the Super Bowl in warmer climates until stupid politicians got involved and changed it!

  18. Looking back on this game, Chargers should have won it easily in spite of the poor conditions. They were deep in Cincinnati territory a number of times and failed to score with what looked like faulty play calling. The Bengals meanwhile were far from impressive. Goes to show, the better team does not always win. Also, human psychology. The prior win for the Chargers was possibly the greatest NFL game of all time in Miami. For whatever reason, teams tend to have a let down after big wins like that.

  19. Merlin Olson says after Fouts first pass, "you lose the feeling in your hand for the ball in weather this cold." He doesn't notice, or neglects to point out, that Fouts is wearing a glove on his passing hand; Anderson elects to throw bare handed. The Bengals came in with the better record than the Chargers, they'd beaten San Diego in the regular season, and handled their nemesis, the Steelers, in both season games. Anderson was #1 rated passer in this season (and #1 runner among QBs), since he had a line that could protect him and players who could run the ball (P. Johnson) as well as help for Curtis (Collingsworth, Ross). But despite his impressive numbers, Anderson at the age of 32 didn't have the same zip on the ball as he did at ages 24 and 25 (again #1 passer, under QB coach Bill Walsh). He's a smarter QB, but he couldn't do much about the turn-overs that cost the Bengals their first Superbowl.

  20. Friends mom worked for the Cinci mayor, so he had box seats….almost froze to death walking up from the parking lot..didn't dress for the day but figured why bother, ill be inside :(…had my feet on the heater and didn't thaw out until halftime….i would have never made it sitting outside, not a cold weather person.

  21. In January, 1982 when this game was played, NBC-TV Network's Mon.-Fri. daytime game shows were Alex Trebek-hosted original "Battlestars" series, "Password Plus" and "Wheel/Fortune". Same month, January 10 yrs. prior (1972) "peacock" network's (NBC's) Mon.-Fri. daytime game shows were original "Concentration", original "Jeopardy!", "III On Match", early-1970s "…Century", original "Hollywood Squares" series and "Who-What-Where Game"

  22. always football games are rigged I believe the Dallas Saints game was rigged to I mean how can you get away with so many blatant headshots without a flag

  23. In 1971, the Packers could ave drafted Ken Anderson in the 3rd round…instead they waited until the 6th round to draft Scott Hunter….One of the MANY gaffs by Dan notso Devine…

  24. 6 quarterbacks that I wish would have got a Super Bowl ring: Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon, Bert Jones, Ken Anderson & Dan Fouts. All should be in the HOF

  25. I wish i could go back to this time in nfl and invent fantasy football. then take my time machine back to 2019. Id be richer than jeff bezos 😂😂😂

  26. Ken Anderson was likely the best all round QB from mid 70’s to early 80’s IMO. He was on a terrible team for years and got no respect.

  27. 1ST D. Enberg He was Class Act he could Make Any1 Look Good…San Diego ran twice to start the Game & got 1st down& thn Tried to throw..Its -59, U have to Establish the running game Plus it would keep UR Guys Moving & they Never Went Back To it…

  28. Would’ve LOVED too have Seen Faust Vs Montana in Good Weather.. they’d have to have Given a Better Showing than What Cinn. Did.. Might have been one of the Worst SB.. At least there’d been A Lot Of Offense..& High Scoring

  29. I wonder if the Brown family told the Bengals back then they didnt care if they won or lost just pack the stadium
    and make us $$$.

  30. 1:01:57 – Watch the grit of Fouts, diving in to try to recover that fumble….in a pile of bodies….with a wind chill of 59-below-zero. Contrast that with the Gutless Wonder, aka Cam Newton, who couldn't even be bothered to simply fall on a fumble in the Super Bowl to keep his team in the game….with only a single outstretched arm to contend with….in balmy conditions.

    And yet stupid fanboys continue to defend and excuse Newton and his utter cowardice.

  31. At least in Cincinnati they still play in the weather. You can work up enough warmth either by playing or cheering in the stands but there's nothing can be done about the wind chill. R.I.P. Forrest Gregg and Chuck Muncie and thanks for the memories

  32. Chargers should have stolen play sheets, filmed walk throughs, added a 2nd channel to their head sets then they would have been a dynasty. its been shown to be very successful.

  33. I don't think this was the missing ring for the Chargers. I feel SBXV was definitely the missing ring for the Chargers.

  34. 1981 was a memorable NFL season the playoffs had great games SDvsMia 41-38 2ot thriller BuffvsNYJ wc NYG made playoffs 1st time since 1963 and of course the DALvsSF "theCatch" NFC title game which aired right after this game was over!

  35. All I have to say about this game is hats off to both teams in that frigid weather. I think Winslow said a few years ago that he still has some ailments from that game.

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