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Landeta's Missed Punt In Chicago in 85 Playoffs

Essex : 11/1/2013 7:02 pm
I was reading an excerpt about a new book on the 85 Bears and Landeta was claiming it was the wind that took the ball from him that day. The Bears laughed at that notion and basically said when he lifted up his head because they were coming at him, he just whiffed. I always thought it was the wind. The more I look at the Youtube clip, though, I think the Bears might be right it does not look like the wind. However, I don't see any Bears in the picture either. What do you folks think?
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G2 : 11/1/2013 7:11 pm : link
always was the wind. Of course the Bears would say that.
i was watching  
jsboston : 11/1/2013 7:13 pm : link
and i still think it was the wind.

I just remember that it sucked  
Rick5 : 11/1/2013 7:15 pm : link
a lot. I don't need to see the play again. Seeing it live once was more than enough.
I was there live.  
Big Blue '56 : 11/1/2013 7:19 pm : link
It was quite windy, so SL's excuse could easily be valid
I vote wind  
bluepepper : 11/1/2013 7:22 pm : link
doesn't look to me like he took his eye off the ball.

As a side note, it wasn't the NFC Championship game as the video says, but was a divisional round game. The NFL film of the Giants 1985 season makes the same mistake.
wish the Giants  
aquidneck : 11/1/2013 7:30 pm : link
hadn't lost to Bears in '87 opener. Don't begrudge either franchise their first Super Bowl championship, but would have liked to assert our superiority in the first game the two recent champs intersected.
TommyWiseau : 11/1/2013 7:46 pm : link
Just saw Landeta last night at a bar on Long Island. He was really nice, went to his car to get one of his Super Bowl rings and let a bunch of us try it on and take pictures. Asked him about this and he said it was the wind.
it was a jailbreak  
newmike2 : 11/1/2013 7:51 pm : link
and it could have been either but it's moot because the Bears curb stomped the Giants. All I can really remember from that season is how bad McMahon was.. he just sucked. Dilfer was Joe Montana compared to that idiot.
The Giants would have kicked their teeth in had they played in the  
Optimus-NY : 11/1/2013 7:57 pm : link
NFC Title game in January of '87 in Giants Stadium. Even if the Bears had Mad Mac they would have lost convincingly.
Let's remember the Giants-Bears game in '85  
81_Great_Dane : 11/1/2013 8:28 pm : link
was the closest game the Bears played in that entire post-season.

I always thought the '85 team was even better than the '86 team but I don't think stats support me on that.
The Wind  
tomyac : 11/1/2013 8:34 pm : link
I was at the game sitting almost at the goaline, about ten rows up. Landeta released the ball his leg went straight up but the ball wasn't there. It just didn't drop straight down. There were three of us there together and we all absolutely believed it was the wind. It was the coldest I have ever been in my life and I have been at football games with lower temps but the wind was nasty. It wasn't until much later that I ever heard anyone question whether the wind caused the ball to move or not.
I'm much more willing to believe  
BlackLight : 11/1/2013 8:36 pm : link
that Landeta just didn't release the ball at the right spot than I would that the wind blew the ball that far off course in the 12 inches it fell from his hand to his foot.
Have to agree with Black Light  
Lurts : 11/1/2013 8:45 pm : link
I could understand the wind causing a shanked punt, but a complete whiff had to be mechanics related as well.

As far as the rest of the game, we've had this discussion before. The Bears D was great, ours was awfully good. The game was set up as a field position contest until that punt. Bears scouting also figured out that the back shoulder catches would work against what was really good coverage by our corners. We didn't adjust at all. That was it.
Sean Landeta  
That Said : 11/1/2013 8:51 pm : link
redeemed himself the following year in the NFC Championship game. Another wickedly windy day.

I can't find the quote, but as I recall, Harry Carson said something like, "A punter won the game for us."
This is my first football memory  
ballanda : 11/1/2013 9:37 pm : link
And the first time I saw my dad cry.
I never bought the wind excuse  
Matt M. : 11/1/2013 10:00 pm : link
But, I also thought the more crushing blow was the Rob Carpenter fumble on light contact when the Giants were on the move.
Ha Matt  
Johnny5 : 11/1/2013 10:49 pm : link
Carpenter had a lot of green in front of him. It was a huge catch and run... and he just... fumbles. We were SCREAMING... lol. Sad that the 2 things I remember most about that game was that stupid fumble and the muffed punt. For the record, watching the game at a friends house, we all thought it was the wind on the punt muff, without even any question at the time... but who knows?
It was windy  
JerseyCityJoe : 11/1/2013 11:43 pm : link
but I think the whole Giant team was punch drunk by that kick. The Bears were kicking ass and taking names the whole game.
It was windy that day  
Sec134 : 11/2/2013 12:22 am : link
It is right in the lake and the old Soldier Field had a swirl like Giants Stadium. It was a freak thing.
I remember that play  
Big_Score : 11/2/2013 4:09 am : link
And don't know if it was the wind but never thought it was the Bears. Landeta made punts under more pressure than that during his career. Look at the film, particularly when his foot is raised at the point of the (missed) kick. There's nothing unusual about the Bear rushers positioning at that point, certainly nothing he hasn't seen many times before. Further, you can see he's hardly paying them any attention -- just going through his clockwork routine.

I was surprised to see Landeta miss but there was nothing before or after that made me think it was the rush. Just assumed it was one of those things that happen even to the best.

I always thought it was the wind  
Jimmy Googs : 11/2/2013 8:37 am : link
or a bad drop from his hands. It wasn't pressure from the Bears. Landeta was always pretty solid punter and seemed like he played forever.

Bears were bullies all year and no one was going to stop them. Marino and Fins took it to them one week but that was b/c Marino was a stud and had a really quick release and the Bear pass rush didn't get to him. Too bad Fins lost to Patriots in AFC Championship b/c rematch of Bears/Fins would have been much better game.

Percy : 11/2/2013 8:55 am : link
I remember to this day watching that on TV (because it was one of those really profoundly awful Giants moments). It was a terribly windy day. The TV angle on the punt was from the other side and diagonally downfield. Something caused the ball to tilt awkwardly and slightly away from Landeta as he dropped it for the punt. Looked like the swirling wind to me then. Not so much in this video, but the drop was either bad or the wind took it after the drop. I still think it was the wind. Were the Bears ferocious on the rush toward Landeta at the time (as they were all day that day)? Absolutely, but they weren't that close to him when the flub occurred.
It was a really really windy day  
PatersonPlank : 11/2/2013 9:46 am : link
but I always thought there was more to the miss than that. Being stuck in the endzone against the big bad Bears, the crowd screaming, and yes the wind, all worked together. I think Landeta just choked.

The wind was really bad, no one could throw the ball. Which against he Bears D that year meant death. We didn't move the ball all day.
According to  
Matt in SGS : 11/2/2013 10:57 am : link
one of the guys on the field for the play, Byron Hunt, I just texted him and he said that it felt like it was 62 below zero and windy as hell that day and he said it was a wind gust. So, there is that.
M in CT : 11/2/2013 11:01 am : link
i'm with you as well. the amount of wind it would take to move the ball that far off course, while dropping the short distance from his hand to his foot would be ridiculous.

much, much more likely that it was just a bad drop. after all, if it was so cold, maybe he didn't have such a great grip on the ball before he dropped it?
I don't know  
PaulBlakeTSU : 11/2/2013 11:10 am : link
how you can watch the video and not think it was the wind based on how the ball moves.

Reminds me of the hockey play where the forward has an empty net and the puck just hits a mound of ice and pops over his stick.

Fluky bad luck that will forever make the player look like an idiot.
How many other punts did Landeta whiff on?  
wgenesis123 : 11/2/2013 2:33 pm : link
It twas the wind and rarely have I felt so sick during a game as I did the moment after that happened.
. . .  
Essex : 11/2/2013 5:17 pm : link
I don't know
PaulBlakeTSU : 11:10 am : link : reply
how you can watch the video and not think it was the wind based on how the ball moves.

I don't know how anyone can watch the tape and say the ball was taken by the wind. That is not to say that the wind, which gusted up to 25 miles per hour that day, did not take the ball, but it is not apparent by the video. I always thought it was the wind and my memory was that it was the win. However, when Iread the piece in the new book and pulled the video, I was like, "wow, i am not sure it was the wind." Again, I don't think you can say it was not pulled by the wind by the video, but what you cannot say definitively by that video is that the wind pulled the ball away from him.
Definitely not the wind...  
whozzat : 11/3/2013 3:42 am : link
my dad was so upset watching that whiff, he hit me with his Michelob  
Rich Houston-NYG-WR-1971 : 11/3/2013 8:06 am : link
bottle over my head. I had to get stiches
Landetta would make a tackle on special teams if necessary  
Sec134 : 11/4/2013 12:47 am : link
and was a pro bowl punter. It made me sick that that happened
because fundamentally the Giants had the better all around D, IMO. Although, the Bears ran the 46 through everyone that year, and were scary. I would bet they would say the Giants were their toughest challenge.
The Giants would have beaten the Pats that year. too.
The Giants best chance to score that day...  
Johnny5 : 11/4/2013 9:26 am : link
...was fumbled away by Carpenter. They were moving the ball well that drive. After that the offense did nothing. I was more upset by that fumble than I was by the muffed punt. But that's not saying much.
I think if that play doesnt happen  
cjac : 11/4/2013 1:06 pm : link
the Giants not only win that game but go on to win that superbowl
FatMan in Charlotte : 11/4/2013 1:33 pm : link
Fucking Horan!
Just texted Leonard Marshall.  
Big Blue '56 : 11/4/2013 2:11 pm : link
Awaiting his opinion on the whiff..
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