RSS
 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Payback For Lombardi

03 Dec

The Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles square off this week on the NFL schedule, so we’ll highlight a game between these 2 franchises played on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 1962. It was the first time the clubs matched up since the Eagles handed Packer coach Vince Lombardi his only post-season loss in the 1960 NFL Championship game. Played at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field, this game was hardly the same contest that was played 2 years earlier for the league title. Green Bay entered the game undefeated at 8-0 while the Eagles, who were considered a bit of a one-hit wonder when they won the crown in 1960, had fallen on hard times. Their record was a lowly 1-6-1 and they were slogging their way through a dreadful season. Now Lombardi was a devout Catholic and never known to be a vengeful person, but he was also a fierce competitor who blamed that 1960 defeat largely on himself. He also vowed to his players that it would never happen again and true to his word the Packers never lost another postseason game in his tenure as coach.

The first quarter was relatively quiet, with Green Bay taking a 7-0 lead on a short touchdown run by backup halfback Tom Moore. The flood gates opened in the second quarter, however, as the Packers racked up 28 unanswered points to lead 35-0 at the half. Fullback Jim Taylor scored twice on runs of 5 and 1 yard, while Moore remained a factor as he scored on a 7 yard run and threw a 25 yard halfback option pass touchdown to Boyd Dowler. Lombardi pretty much emptied the Packer playbook in this game, and his club threw a total of 5 of those HB option tosses in the game, 3 by Moore and 2 by the player usually tabbed to run the play, Paul Hornung. Taylor, who rushed for 141 yards on 25 carries for the day, finished the scoring in the third quarter by rushing 4 and 5 yards for TDs, as he found paydirt 4 times on the day. Packer quarterback Bart Starr cruised through the game, hitting timely passes to go with Taylor’s ground assault. Dowler and Max McGee both had over 100 receiving yards.

With a 49-0 lead now built up, Lombardi called off the dogs in the final period but his defense continued to manhandle  Eagle QBs Sonny Jurgensen and King Hill. Philly only totaled 86 yards of offense and 3 first downs the entire game on their way to the 49-0 shutout embarrassment. In contrast, Green Bay rolled up 624 yards of offense and a record 37 first downs in the totally one-sided contest. The Packers went on to win their second straight NFL title that season, while the Eagles finished 3-10-1 as they continued a downward spiral for several losing seasons afterwards.

 

Packers’ Jim Taylor (31) dominates the Eagles’ defense

 

 

 
Comments Off on NFL – Throwback Thursday: Payback For Lombardi

Posted in Feature Stories, Football

 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

03 Dec

Logo of a small college football team that plays in the Ohio Athletic Conference, the Mount Union Purple Raiders. The Division III team first started play in 1893 and has won 30 conference championships and 13 small college national titles over the years. Former Purple Raiders who have gone on to play or coach in pro football include Pierre Garcon, Cecil Shorts, Kyle Miller, Jim Ballard and Dom Capers.

 
Comments Off on Classic Team Logo of The Day

Posted in Classic Team Logo of the Day

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

03 Dec

1962 Post Cereal football card of former pro football fullback Jim Taylor, who played 10 seasons in the NFL, 9 for the Green Bay Packers and a single season with his hometown New Orleans Saints in their inaugural year of 1967. He was a five-time Pro Bowler, member of 4 NFL title teams, NFL Most Valuable Player in 1962 and named to the NFL’s All Decade Team for the 1960s. Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976. He was a successful businessman after his playing days ended and stayed in good physical condition, jogging 5 miles a day and competing in the Superstars event. Taylor passed away in 2018.

 
Comments Off on Classic Sports Card of The Day

Posted in Classic Sports Card of the Day

 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Fergy’s Sore Ankle

26 Nov

One of this week’s matchups on the NFL schedule pits the Buffalo Bills against the Los Angeles Chargers, and for this week’s Throwback Thursday feature we’ll highlight a divisional playoff game played between these 2 teams on January 3, 1981. The game was played at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, where the Chargers were then located, and was a contest between 2 strong division champions. The Chargers were one of the NFL’s most potent offensive machines, with quarterback Dan Fouts guiding coach Don Coryell’s “Air Coryell” attack to the AFC West crown with an 11-5 record. The Bills were in their third season under coach Chuck Knox, who had built them into AFC East champs at 11-5 by making shrewd personnel moves that included trading away an aging O.J. Simpson and prying receiver Frank Lewis away from Pittsburgh.

Rolf Benirschke opened the scoring with a first quarter field goal for the Chargers, but Buffalo’s defense proved to be pretty stingy, as that was the only scoring San Diego could muster in the first half. Meanwhile, Bills’ signal caller Joe Ferguson, playing on an injured ankle, engineered a pair of scoring drives. Fullback Roosevelt Leaks ran in from a yard out for the first score, and Ferguson found Lewis open for a 9 yard touchdown pass. Surprisingly, Buffalo went into the locker room at halftime with a 14-3 lead. The Chargers came to life in the third quarter. Riding the strong running of Chuck Muncie and pinpoint passing by Fouts, they took the second half kickoff and drove for a touchdown to cut the lead to 14-10. Fouts connected with Charlie Joiner for a 45 yard gain, then hit Joiner again from 9 yards out for the score.

Unfortunately, Ferguson’s injured ankle began to stiffen, and his play suffered as he was sacked 3 times and intercepted 3 times on inaccurate throws caused by the bad ankle, which later was determined to be a hairline fracture. Safety Glen Edwards had 2 of the picks. The Charger offense never came close to their usual production, but got another Benirschke field goal and sealed a 20-14 victory when WR Ron Smith got behind the Bills’ secondary and hauled in a 50 yard scoring toss from Fouts. Although he didn’t reach the end zone at all, John Jefferson was the most productive Charger receiver in the game, catching 7 passes for 102 yards. Workhorse back Muncie gained 80 tough yards rushing and added 53 more on 6 receptions.

The win sent San Diego to the AFC Championship game the following week, but their Super Bowl hopes died there as they lost to their AFC West arch-rivals, the Oakland Raiders, who were in the process of making an improbable run as a wild card team to an NFL title.

 

 

Chargers’ Chuck Muncie gains some hard-earned yards

 

 

 

 
Comments Off on NFL – Throwback Thursday: Fergy’s Sore Ankle

Posted in Feature Stories, Football

 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

26 Nov

Logo of a Division III college football team that plays in the Ohio Athletic Conference, the John Carroll University Blue Streaks. The program, which began play in 1920, has won 11 conference titles, and play their home games at Don Shula Stadium. Notable former JCU alumni who have played pro football include Shula, Carl Taseff, Ed Ecker and London Fletcher. Besides Shula, the school has provided numerous coaches and front office personnel to the NFL, including Greg Roman, Josh McDaniels, Nick Caley, Tom Telesco, Brian Polian, Nick Caserio and David Caldwell.

 
Comments Off on Classic Team Logo of The Day

Posted in Classic Team Logo of the Day

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

26 Nov

1981 Topps football card of former pro football wide receiver John Jefferson, who enjoyed an 8 year career in the NFL, most notably playing for the San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and led the NFL in receiving yards and touchdowns in 1980. Jefferson was named to the Chargers’ 50th Anniversary All-Time team. He remained involved in football after retiring, serving as an assistant coach at the University of Kansas and director of player development with the Washington Redskins until 2009.

 
Comments Off on Classic Sports Card of The Day

Posted in Classic Sports Card of the Day

 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: An NFC South Shootout

19 Nov

It’s time for another Throwback Thursday feature, and on this week’s NFL schedule, a pair of NFC South rivals, the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons, go head to head. We’ll go back a relatively short period of time, only 6 years, to a matchup of these clubs that was a high-scoring affair. It happened on September 7, 2014, on opening day, at the Georgia Dome. The opposing quarterbacks were the same pair of signal callers who lead their teams today – Drew Brees of the Saints and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan.

The Saints jumped out early, with Shayne Graham booting a pair of field goals and Khiry Robinson scoring on a short run. Ryan found Roddy White on a 2 yard scoring pass, but Brees matched that when he hooked up with Brandin Cooks for a 3 yard score, giving New Orleans a 20-7 lead. Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant cut the lead to 20-10 with a three-pointer just before halftime. The third quarter belonged to Ryan and the Falcons. The Falcon field general threw a pair of touchdown passes, a short 1 yarder to Levine Toilolo and a 54 yarder to Antone Smith, and suddenly Atlanta was in control with a 24-20 lead. The final quarter was a real roller coaster. First Brees engineered a drive that ended with power back Mark Ingram scoring from 3 yards out to regain the lead for the Saints. The Falcons answered that with a drive of their own, and Jacquizz Rodgers finished it off with a 17 yard rushing touchdown to put Atlanta back up, 31-27.

The roller coaster ride continued as Brees marched the Saints downfield again, and Ingram again scored from 3 yards out to put New Orleans up 34-31 with only slightly over a minute left to play. Ryan answered back, driving his troops down the field to set up a game-tying 51 yard field goal by Bryant as time expired in regulation. The Saints won the toss and received the OT kickoff, and that’s when disaster struck and the roller coaster derailed on the club from The Big Easy. Marques Colston, Saints’ wide receiver and Brees’ favorite target who had racked up 110 yards receiving on 5 catches for the day, caught a pass but promptly put the ball on the ground, fumbling to set up a 52 yard game-winning attempt for Bryant. The veteran kicker split the uprights and Atlanta escaped with a 37-34 win. The Falcons had a little easier time knocking off New Orleans in their second meeting that year, winning 30-14. However, 2014 wasn’t a very successful season for either club. The Saints finished 7-9 and the Falcons were even worse, with a 6-10 mark.

 

 

Marques Colston fumbles to set up winning Atlanta field goal

 

Classic Team Logo of The Day

19 Nov

Logo of a Division III college football team that plays in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks. Coach Lance Leipold guided the team to 6 Division III national championships in his tenure, including 4 undefeated seasons, before moving on to the University of Buffalo. A perennial small school powerhouse, the Warhawks own an impressive 51-9 record overall in small college playoffs. They have sent a few players on to pro football, including Matt Turk, Jake Kumerow, Derek Stanley and Joe Panos.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

19 Nov

2011 Topps football card of NFL running back Mark Ingram Jr., who is currently in his tenth year in the league, playing for the Baltimore Ravens. He started his career in 2011 with the New Orleans Saints and played there until signing with the Ravens as a free agent in 2019. The former Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama has been selected to the Pro Bowl 3 times so far in his career. His father, Mark Ingram Sr., was a wide receiver in the league for 10 years.

 

NFL – Throwback Thursday: Good Luck For The Ravens?-Nevermore

12 Nov

With the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens squaring off on this week’s NFL schedule, our Throwback Thursday feature remembers a game between these 2 teams played on January 22,2012, a contest to decide the AFC Championship and a trip to Super Bowl XLVI. Played at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, it was a back-and-forth battle between 2 proud teams trying to advance for a chance at pro football’s biggest prize. In the end, it was the Ravens who encountered a pair of hard luck plays that ultimately were the difference in the game.

Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal for the Patriots to open the scoring, the only points scored by either team in the first quarter. Baltimore’s Billy Cundiff tied the game early in the second stanza, and the teams then traded touchdowns. BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored from 7 yards out for New England, and quarterback Joe Flacco hit his tight end, Dennis Pitta, with a 6 yard scoring pass, tying the score at 10-10. Gostkowski closed out the first half and opened the second with field goals to put his club up 16-10, but the Ravens fought back. Flacco threw 29 yards to Torrey Smith for a touchdown, and Cundiff hit another field goal as Baltimore pulled ahead 20-16 headed into an eventful final quarter.

It was in this fourth quarter that Baltimore saw their chance to compete for the Lombardi Trophy fade into history. First, Tom Brady used his patented QB sneak to dive into the end zone from a yard out, giving the Patriots the lead at 23-20. Flacco didn’t flinch, however. With 1:44 left to play, he guided the Ravens on a drive deep into New England territory. That’s when the first twist of fate happened. Flacco tossed a perfect pass to the usually reliable Lee Evans. Evans snatched the pass and turned at the goal line into the end zone, only to have Sterling Moore, a journeyman Patriot cornerback, jar the ball loose at the last second. It was redemption for Moore, who had missed a tackle on Smith’s touchdown catch-and-run earlier. All was not lost, however. Despite failing to cross the goal line, Baltimore could still at least tie the game with a field goal. Fate, again, wouldn’t be kind to the Ravens. Cundiff’s 32 yard game-tying attempt with 11 seconds remaining inexplicably sailed wide left, and the Patriots escaped with the victory.

 

Ravens’ Lee Evans drops potential game-winning TD pass

 

Luck would run out for New England in the Super Bowl. They were matched up with an NFC team that had spoiled their attempt at a perfect season a few years earlier – Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Once again, the Giants spiked the Patriots’ dreams.