NFL – Throwback Thursday: King Of The Hill

30 Nov

This week 2 old NFL franchises meet in a battle of top teams in the National Conference this season – the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. Our Throwback Thursday feature game, played between these clubs, took place on November 20, 1966 at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium. Both teams were non-contenders at the time, with Eagles entering the game with a 5-5 record while the Niners were barely above water at 4-3-2. They managed to put on a pretty good show this particular week, however. The home team jumped out to a 10-0 lead on a Tommy Davis field goal paired with an 11 yard touchdown pass from John Brodie to running back Ken Willard. Earl Gros, the Eagles’ fullback, cut into the lead with a 1 yard touchdown plunge, but the 49ers countered with another 10 point surge before halftime as Willard scored again, this time from a yard out, and Davis added another three pointer.

The Eagles came out storming in the second half behind their crew cut quarterback, King Hill. He fired a 15 yard scoring strike to tight end Pete Retzlaff, only to be matched by Brodie, who threw 30 yards to John David Crow for a score, putting San Francisco ahead 27-14. Hill kept his club close with another TD strike to Retzlaff of 10 yards. Gary Lewis then scored on a 2 yard run to end the third quarter, with the Niners now ahead by a commanding 34-21. Philly owned the final quarter, cutting the lead to 34-28 with some help from their defense – a Jim Nettles interception returned for a touchdown. Hill then sealed the deal for a 35-34 comeback win for the Eagles when he connected with an aging future Hall of Famer, Ollie Matson, on a short 4 yard TD pass. It was a sweet moment for Matson, who was winding down the final season of a brilliant 14 year career. It was also a bright spot in the ’66 season for Hill, as he was making 1 of only 2 starts he got that year in place of Norm Snead. Philadelphia finished that season strong, winning out the last 3 games after this to wind up 9-5 for the year, tied for second place with Cleveland in the Eastern Division.


1966 Eagles’ offense, with King Hill under center




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