(CHICAGO) - The Packers put on a thrilling rally to gain a 21-21 tie with
the Bears at Wrigley Field Sunday in a game they (the Packers)
should have won and obviously almost lost - paradoxically just about
deserved to lose. A 23-yard pass play, Babe Parilli to the incomparable
Bill Howton, a minute and a half before the final gun, plus Fred Cone's
conversion saved the day. The vital pitch climaxed an 80-yard drive -
rather, an aerial jaunt - eight of which were passes, five of them
completions. That last ditch march came close to having a super
happy ending. For the Packers, thanks to Dave Hanner's partial block
of Fred Morrison's fourth down punt, even gained position for one last
shot at victory on the very last play of the game. But Cone's 45-yard
field goal try barely managed to clear the line of scrimmage and rolled
harmlessly along the ground toward the end zone.
The Packers' successful closing drive was strictly in keeping with the
general pattern of the loosely played and at time dreary games
witnessed by 39,889 customers. That the hands far overshadowed the
pedal extremities in what is still known as football among the pros can
be verified by these rather starting facts and statistics: Five of the six
touchdowns came on passes - three by design, with assists from
stumbling defenders on both sides, and two on interceptions, which
were assumed to be contrary to design.
Only Cone's sparkling 41-yard scoring dash on a well-executed dash
on a well executed draw play broke the passing monotony. The other
Packer TD came on Bobby Dillon's 49-yard runback of a misguided
pass by the Bears' George Blanda. Blanda made amends by twice
hitting teammates, who dashed into the promised point land. The first
to Jim Dooley covered 33 yards and the last to John Hoffman was good
for 16. Don Kindt accounted for the first marker by fielding Parilli's 
bullet-like toss and going all the way - 67 yards.
The foot fortunately still held the spotlight on extra points, Blanda and
Cone booting three apiece. Blanda, by the way, wasn't too far off in
field goal attempts from 49 and 51 yards. In addition to the 45-yarder
that could have won the game, Cone blew two from 31 and 34 yards
out. The net result was nothing for five in this department. But the real
hand-over-foot theme clincher rests with the statistics - rather the pass
attempts and completions. Blanda and Tommy O'Connell cranked up
45 times for the Bears while Parilli and Tobin Rote fired away 35 times,
a total of 80 passes. Rote (12 out of 24) and Parilli (7 out of 11)
collaborated for 237 yards. Blanda (17 out of 37) and O'Connell (two out
of eight) collected for 234 for a near dead heat. By sharp contrast, the
Bears didn't even get "Schneider" on running plays. Or is a total of 55
for the day supposed to be good? Only Cone's fine run saved the
Packers from being in the same boat, for they wound up with 90 on the
ground, including the 41 contributed by Cone on the run that turned out
to be the game saver. The old rivals did stick to custom by kicking on
fourth down and the results, especially for the Bears, were astounding.
Golden-toed Morrison averaged a cool 49 yards on his five boots, a
performance that had a lot to do with keeping the Bays back on their
heels a good share of the second half. It looked like a breeze for the
Packers when they connected twice for a 14-0 lead in the first six
minutes and 25 seconds - first on Dillon's interception and shortly
thereafter on Cone's breakaway. But just when they seemed on their
way to a possible murderous rout, Kindt came up with the spoiler by
picking off Parilli's pass, aimed at Howton, and fighting his way into the
clear for an easy romp. To make matters worse, the Bears moved to a
14-14 tie a half minute before the end of the half when Blanda threw to Dooley in the deep flat. Lanky Jim made a fine catch, faked Ace Loomis completely out of position and dashed along the sideline to score. It was Blanda's fifth completion in seven attempts on a drive that started on the Bears' 30.
Morrison's tremendous 54-yard kick, which bounced straight up in the air on the Packer four yard line, and a roughness penalty against the Bays on the return boot by Clive Rush, gave the Bears position on Green Bay's 29 near the end of the third quarter. Blanda delivered the payoff punch on the first play of the final quarter with a 16-yard toss to Hoffman to give his team a 21-14 lead. Judging by the way the Packers got nowhere in particular following the intermission, that looked like the ball game too. It surely would have been curtains for Gene Ronzani's boys if the Bears had cashed in on a great break later in the final period - an interference call against the Packers that gave the home club a first down on the four. That gave the Bears an opportunity to show they were ideal hosts, and they took full advantage, Hoffman committing a first down fumble. The ball rolled into the end zone, where Val Joe Walker pounced on it for one of the season' s most important touchbacks.
For awhile it seem that the Bays were inclined to look the gift horse in the mouth. But finally they hauled out the same spread formation with which they have troubled the Bears before, with Rote at the controls. Tobin passed to J.R. Boone for 18 and 6, and to Howard Ferguson for 11, running for nine and five himself between times. Parilli took over with the ball on the Bears' 31 and promptly clicked on a eight-yarder to Rush. That set up the big one. Howton faked S.J. Whitman so cleverly that the Bear defender fell flat. So Billy was alone when Parilli's perfect pass came his way and he stepped gingerly over the goal line. It was the Packers' first tie with the Bears since 1943 when they deadlocked at 21-21. The last previous draw in any league game was with the Giants (24-24) in 1947.
GREEN BAY     - 14  0  0  7 - 21
CHICAGO BEARS -  7  7  0  7 - 21
1st - GB - Dillon, 49-yard interception return (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
1st - GB - Cone, 41-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 14-0
1st - CHI - Don Kindt, 67-yard interception return (George Blanda kick) GREEN BAY 14-7
2nd - CHI - Jim Dooley, 33-yard pass from Blanda (Blanda kick) TIED 14-14
4th - CHI - John Hoffman, 16-yard pass from Blanda (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 21-14
4th - GB - Howton, 23-yard pass from Parilli (Cone kick) TIED 21-21
NOVEMBER 11 (Green Bay) - Next on the puzzling Packers' gridiron card is Sunday's clash with the defending champion Detroit Lions in Green Bay. It's the Packers' home town finale and nothing would be finer than to dump the perennially powerful Lions before an expected crowd of more than 20,000. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The Packers will be at top strength physically for the first time. Plagued by injuries all season, the Packers have been unable to field the same offensive and defensive units in two successive games. Moving back into the defensive backfield picture will be Bennie Aldridge, who suffered a back injury against the Los Angeles Rams in Milwaukee in early October. Also expected to be raring to go will be two power-riding backs who played little in the 21-21 deadlock with the Chicago Bears last Sunday - halfback Al Carmichael and fullback Howie Ferguson. The Lions, in the thick of the championship race with San Francisco and Los Angeles, will be aiming for nothing short of victory if title intentions are to be fulfilled. Twice-beaten by the air-minded Rams, the Lions will be at full strength for Sunday's game.
NOVEMBER 11 (Philadelphia) - Otto Graham and Joe Perry lead the NFL in passing and ground gaining, weekly league statistics disclosed yesterday. Graham is setting a terrific pace for the passers. The Cleveland Browns' star quarterback has averaged 10.69 yards per attempt through the first seven games. He has attempted 150 passes, completed 96 for 1,603 yards and six touchdowns. His margin of completions is a fabulous 64 percent. On the other hand, or rather foot, Perry, the San Francisco jet, has averaged 5.2 yards each of the 115 times he's lugged the ball, for a total of 599 yards. Lone Green Bay Packer among the loop leaders is rookie halfback Al Carmichael, who tops the punt returners with a 13.5 average. Bobby Thomason of the Philadelphia Eagles ranks second in passing with an 8.8 yard average, 82 of 143 completed for 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns - most TD passes in the league. Norman Van Brocklin of the Los Angeles Rams is third - 8.48 average, 91 of 174 completed, 1,475 yards, 11 TD passes. Charley Justice of the Washington Redskins is closest to Perry. Justice has 459 yards on 76 attempts for a six yard average. Deacon Dan Towler of the Rams is third with 444 yards on 100 efforts for a 4.4 average. In other individual categories, Elbie Nickelt of Pittsburgh is first among pass receivers with 40 caught for 490 yards; Lou Groza of Cleveland tops the pointmakers with 57; Pat Brady the punters with a 48.9 average; Joe Arenas of San Francisco the kickoff return artists with a 42.5 average and Jack Christianson the pass interceptors with seven.
NOVEMBER 11 (Baton Rouge, LA) - Cecil Isbell, assistant football coach at Louisiana State University, said Wednesday he would resign to join the sales and public relations department of the Gayle Manufacturing Co. of Albion, Mich., a machine good firm. Isbell played pro football with the Green Bay Packers and was on the coaching staffs of the Baltimore Colts, Chicago Cardinals and Dallas Texans.
NOVEMBER 12 (Green Bay) - The champion Detroit Lions bring a string of seven straight victories over the Green Bay Packers to City Stadium Sunday but the Packers feel this is the year they may snap the skein. The Bays will be near peak physical condition with only defensive halfback Marv Johnson on the injured list. Back in action are end Bill Howton and Bob Mann to catch passes from Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli. Howton caught three touchdown passes in the last two games after missing the first four games of the season with injuries. While the Packers hold a respectable 26-13 edge in victories in the series dating to 1929, their last win over Detroit was a narrow 16-14 decision in 1949.
Green Bay Packers (2-4-1) 21, Chicago Bears (1-5-1) 21 (T)
Sunday November 8th 1953 (at Chicago)