(MILWAUKEE) - Tobin Rote had his greatest day in
five seasons of professional football at Milwaukee
County Stadium Sunday when he led the Green Bay
Packers to their first NFL victory of 1954 and the
season's No. 1 upset at the expense of the mighty
Los Angeles Rams, 35-17. The 6-3, 205 pound Rice
graduate had lots of expert help from every other
member of the most spirited Packer squads in years.
But, as the happy crowd of 17,455 can and will attest
 without the lanky quarterback it would have been
impossible to put the chill on the explosive West
Coast team in one of the super thrillers in all Packer
history. Check Rote's personal box score: completed
21 of his 37 passes for 286 yards, including three
ouchdown shots to Max McGee, Veryl Switzer and
Bill Howton.
Add 75 yards on 11 running plays for a grand total of 361 yards passing and
carrying, and Rote accounted for all but 100 of the 461 amassed by coach Liz
Blackbourn's club. Rote wasn't thrown for a single loss and had only one pass
intercepted, that one coming early in the game and resulting in no damage. He
played every minute on offense and called an almost flawless game. Terrific?
Yes - and then some. So all Packerland has reason to be chanting: Hats off
to thee, Tobin Rote. Tobin's receivers - Howton, McGee, Switzer, Howie
Ferguson and Reid - and his pass protectors were on the terrific side, too.
They  had to be in order to hold off the Rams' big line and outmaneuver their
sprightly defenders in the secondary.
And the Packers' defensive operators earned their
share of the cheers despite the fact that the enemy
wound up with 475 yards gained - 14 more than the
winners. Anything but rugged play in the clutch
against those Rams and 35 points wouldn't have been
enough. There were enough uneasy moments as it
was, especially in the first period when the Rams had
a 64-yard touchdown pass, Norm Van Brocklin to
Skeet Quinlan, nullified by a clipping penalty. They
took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on another big
pitch, Van Brocklin to the incomparable Elroy Hirsch,
for 66 yards and a plunge by Tank Younger after
Hirsch was hauled down from behind a yard from the
goal line. Green Bay tied it up at 7-7 before
intermission on Rote's 14-yard toss to McGee, plus
the first of five conversions by Fred Cone. That flip
climaxed a 78-yard drive which consumed 12 plays,
including three runs by Rote and as many passes.
Rote's bullet pass and a fine catch by Switzer gave
the Packers the lead well into the third period and
they stayed in the driver's seat the rest of the way.
Gene Knutson's recovery of Jack Dwyer's fumble on a
punt near midfield was the starter. A 34-yard strike to
McGee set the stage and then came the payoff. The
Rams reduced the deficit to 14-10 before the end of
the period on a 35-yard field goal by Les Richter, who
also hit two for two in the extra point department.
Rote quickly upped the margin to 21-10 on the second
play of the final period with a one-year sneak. Justice
was served completely on that score, for Tobin figured
importantly in each of the five plays on the 80-yard
scoring romp. He passed to Howton, Ferguson and
Switzer for a total of 68 and then lugged the ball 11
himself when rushed. The sneak followed on the next
play. It was still touch and go when the Coast boys
struck back in two plays. A tremendous TD effort,
covering 71 yards, saw Van Brocklin fire a long pass to
Bob Boyd, who took the ball in stride at the Packer 28
and went the rest of the way untouched. Just about all
signs of squirming uneasiness, caused by memory of
last week's last period loss to San Francisco, went out
the window when the Packers bounced right back again. All they needed was seven plays from their own 21 despite a temporary backward detour caused by a 15-yard penalty for holding. Again it was Rote. Rote and Rote again. Five times he passed, each time successfully, and twice he carried. The big gainer was the payoff - a line drive shot to Howton, who fielded the ball between two defenders and twisted away for 28 yards and a touchdown. Tobin also hit Howton twice, for 12 yards each, along the way. By way of making doubly sure, the Bays scored again in the last minute. Reid appropriately doing the honors from two yards out after knifing his way through the Rams' giant forward wall for 25 on the previous play. This march, set off by Roger Zatkoff's recovery of Dan Towler's fumble, covered 64 yards. Rote wisely struck close to the ground on seven of the nine plays required to rack up the super insurance marker. Sunday's victory was the first for the Packers in the last 12 starts against the Rams. The Bays hadn't beaten the L.A. powerhouse since chalking up a shutout early in 1948.
There are a few significant items buried deep down in the statistics which help explain Green Bay's welcome victory. Not once did Blackbourn's operators fumble the ball away. What's more, they recovered three L.A. fumbles. Look at the punting figures, too. McGee averaged 45 to 37 for Van Brocklin. And be sure to check the punt returns, which show a 93 to 33 edge for the Packers. The chief contributor was Switzer, whose top effort in this department was good for 38 yards. It is interesting to note those 28 first downs for the Bays, too, in view of the fact that their total in the first three games was 33. Sunday they ground out 11 by rushing, only two less than their grand previous total. All of which is strong indication that it was a maximum of good football and minimum of luck that enabled them to beat the Rams.
LOS ANGELES -  0  7  3  7 - 17
GREEN BAY   -  0  7  7 21 - 35
2nd - LA - Tank Younger, 1-yard run (Les Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 7-0
2nd - GB - McGee, 14-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) TIED 7-7
3rd - GB - Switzer, 14-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 14-7
3rd - LA - Richter, 35-yard field goal GREEN BAY 14-10
4th - GB - Rote, 1-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 21-10
4th - LA - Bob Boyd, 71-yard pass from Norm Van Brocklin (Richter kick) GREEN BAY 21-17
4th - GB - Howton, 28-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 28-17
4th - GB - Reid, 2-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 35-17
OCTOBER 18 (Milwaukee) - Defensive halfbacks Eddie Hughes and Tom McCormick of the Los Angeles Rams were reported in satisfactory condition after being hospitalized here
Sunday with injuries. Dr. Paul J. Nyland of St. Luke's Hospital said Hughes
suffered a head injury when he was knocked unconscious in the last three
minutes of the Los Angeles-Green Bay game at the Stadium. Dr. Nyland said
McCormick suffered throat injuries when another player stepped on his neck
during the third quarter. Hughes was semi-conscious when he arrived at the
hospital by ambulance, but Dr. Nyland said he was soon fully conscious.
OCTOBER 19 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The success of the Green Bay Packers
this season becomes more and more pegged on one Mr. Tobin Rote. The
veteran quarterback evaded his "goat" role Sunday and turned in one of the
most impressive performances ever seen in the pro league. The results - a
startling 35-17 triumph over the high and mighty Los Angeles Rams. "Yes, you
might say our offense is built around Rote," observed coach Liz Blackbourn
Monday, reviewing his team's peak performance. "When Tobin gets hot we're
going to be tough for any of them." Rote was "unconscious" against the Rams. He completed 21 out of 27 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 75 yards and another score. "But don't forget," added Blackbourn, "our receivers were working in the pattern perfectly and Rote was getting lots of protection. That's the way it should be." This was the game to win according to Liz. Getting beaten by only 14 points in three games was, undoubtedly, hurtful psychologically. "This was our best game," emphasized Blackbourn. "Our boys did it playing good football." How about those Rams? "I would say the 49ers were a little better," remarked Liz. "San Francisco had a more consistent offensive machine and it seemed to apply more pressure all the time. But watch out for that Van Brocklin," added Blackbourn. "Boy, he sure can get back in the game with one mighty heave. And when guys like (Elroy) Hirsch and (Bob) Boyd get in the clear, it's murder." Possession of the ball was another winning factor. The Packers had it for 28 first downs and the Rams for only 15. "Opposition isn't going to drive much without the ball," chuckled Liz. "And we weren't in a generous mood Sunday. In fact, we didn't fumble once." Looking forward to next Sunday's game with Baltimore, Blackbourn said the Colts will be one of the toughest defensive clubs the Packers will meet all season. "Don't forget, the Colts beat the Giants and we lost to them." It was a bruising afternoon for the Rams, two of them staying over in a Milwaukee hospital. Clayton Tonnemaker and Gene White were the only Packer casualties. "Neither was seriously hurt," said Blackbourn, "but it's too early to say whether or not they'll be ready against the Colts." The Packers will drill in Green Bay this week before flying to Baltimore Saturday morning. Incidentally, the Colts took it on the chin from the Lions last Saturday, 35-0. They'll sure be in a rambunctious mood.
OCTOBER 19 (Milwaukee Journal) - The way Tobin Rote ran and passed against the Rams at the Stadium Sunday not only led the Packers to five touchdowns, it cut Los Angeles' opportunities way down. Control of the football, through Rote's excellent operation, was probably as important as anything else in the 35-17 upset. The Packers had the ball for 78 running and passing plays; the Rams, only 58. Take away the scoreless first quarter and the Packers' edge was even more pronounced, 61 to 35. This was the first time in four games that the Packers had any marked margin in control of the ball although they did have an 80-71 edge against the Bears in the mud. The number of plays for the Packers and their opponents in the first four game, by quarters and total, follow:
PACKERS  12 13 12 12 - 49
STEELERS 25 15 22 18 - 80

PACKERS  15 23 21 21 - 80
BEARS    16 18 14 23 - 71

PACKERS  15 11 20  9 - 55
49ERS    19 21 16 24 - 80

PACKERS  17 26 16 19 - 78
RAMS     23 12 13 10 - 58
Against the Rams, the Packers for the first time in league play got more play than their opponent in the final period. In their first three games, the Packers led going into the last 15 minutes, only to lose out...Max McGee, the Packers' fine rookie end, had quite a day punting against Los Angeles. He averaged 45 yards on six boots. The ball was bouncing right, thought. He must have averaged 30 yards in the air and 15 on the ground...The hard work and fine coaching of Lisle Blackbourn and his assistants was clearly reflected in Rote's great day. For two weeks, the staff has put in extra hours in an attempt to make Rote, a single wing tailback at Rice in his college days, into a more acceptable T formation quarterback. Certain things had to be corrected. Rote did not fade back far enough. He could not see his receivers. He threw to receivers who were covered. He often went for the long pass when the short men were wide open. He hesitated, trying to decide whether to run or throw, and consequently had to "eat" the ball far too many times. Against San Francisco he ate it six times. Sunday Rote's protection was better than before and he used it to full advantage. He started poorly but as he got the feel of Blackbourn's way, he came along beautifully. He found the holes in the Los Angeles defense. In the last 20 minutes, he completed 11 in a row. Only one of them, to Billy Howton late in the third period, was a long one. Rote lost ground only once all afternoon. He ran when he should have and passed when he should have. Only one of his passes was intercepted and that happened in the first quarter. In the first three games, he had seven intercepted. If Rote continues to play as he did in the last three quarters Sunday, the Packers will be very much in any game. Certainly no pro football team is any better than its quarterback and the way Rote did things Sunday he could be hard to beat..Besides his pass receiving, Veryl Switzer, the rookie from Kansas State, continued hard to collar on punt returns with three for 76 yards. On kickoff, the Rams booted the ball away from him...The Rams, who had beaten the Packers 11 straight times, gained 475 yards from scrimmage, so the two teams between them picked up 936 yards, more than half a mile in an afternoon's work...The Packers ran over their favored rivals both literally and figuratively in the last quarter. So much so that four Rams were carried off. Halfbacks Ed Hughes and Tom McCormick were hospitalized. Guard Les Richter and halfback Skeet Quinlan were through for the day, but accompanied the team back to Los Angeles.
OCTOBER 20 (Philadelphia) - Veryl Switzer, Green Bay Packers rookie, moved up from fifth to second place in the punt returns, latest NFL statistics showed Wednesday. Switzer ran back three Los Angeles Rams punts a total of 78 yards Sunday. The three gave him 128 yards, high in the league, on nine returns and an average of 14.2. Jack Christiansen of Detroit leads with a 17 yard average on nine runbacks. Switzer fell from third to fifth in kickoff returns. He had no opportunities against the Rams. Bill Bowman of Detroit leads with a 45 yard average; Switzer stands fifth with 25.8 and Al Camichael of the Packers, eighth with 24.7. Carmichael missed the Ram game because on injuries. Breezy Reid of the Packers remained in third place among ground gainers. He is the only back to break into San Francisco's domination in running. Joe Perry of the 49ers stands first with 356 yards and a 7.1 average; Hugh McElhenny of the 49ers, second with 331 and 7.4; Reid, third with 234 and 6.3; and John Henry Johnson of the 49ers, fourth with 201 and 5.4. Norm Van Brocklin of Los Angeles, who completed 10 out of 19 passes for 298 yards against the Packers, took over the undisputed lead among the passers. He has completed 53 out of 100 passes for 1,081 yards all told. He has averaged 10.81 yards a pass. Tobin Rote of the Packers, despite a fine day Sunday, ranks only 13th with 6.06 yards a try. Max McGee of the Packers moved up from ninth to seven among the punters with a 43.3 yard average. Van Brocklin leads with 47.2, although McGee outdid him last Sunday, 45 to 37. Jug Girard of Detroit, former Wisconsin and Packer back, fell from first to second as his average dropped to 45.5 Bill Wilson of San Francisco continues to lead the pass receivers with 22 catches. He has gained 289 yards as compated with 555 yards on 20 catches by Bob Boyd of Los Angeles.
OCTOBER 21 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - For a guy who made his name as a halfback at Tulane, Max McGee is rapidly developing into one of the best ends ever to play for the Packers. McGee got his pro chance taking over for ailing Bobby Mann, veteran of seven years. Max made good and then some. In fact, he has now supplanted Mann as Green Bay's offensive left end. The rookie from Fort Worth was high on everyone's list. And coach Liz Blackbourn knows he has a plum. "He's one rookie who has really come through for us," says Liz. And has he! It took the Ram game to get McGee rolling offensively. Max has caught six passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns. But while McGee is now a fixture at left end he remains the Packers' No. 1 punter. McGee has averaged 43.3 yards a boot - shades of the Verne Lewellen era...Breezy Reid continues on his merry way toward becoming one of the league's top ground gainers. Only Joe Jet Perry and Hugh McElhenny of the 49ers are ahead of him. A small guy (5-9, 185 pounds) Reid has gained 234 yards in 37 attempts for a mighty 6.4 average. The Georgia peach has also got his hands into the aerial picture, catching five passes for 35 yards. And don't count out rookie Veryl Switzer. The Packer punt specialist now ranks second in the league with a 14.2 yard average. Switzer is fifth in kickoff returns with a 25.8 average. He's proved to be a handy offensive weapon to use in the clutch...Detroit swamped Baltimore, the Packers' next opponent, 35-0, but strictly with passes. It's hard to believe, but the Colts rank third best in the league in holding an opponent's ground game. They've allowed only 3.2 yards per rushing attempt. So it looks more and more up to Tobin Rote's pitching success again. Rote had his greatest day against the Rams, but then Los Angeles has always been an easy touch for Tobin. It was against the Rams in 1951 that he totaled 360 yards and in 1952 he has a rushing total of 106 yards against them. Incidentally, the Packer coaching staff has worked patiently with Rote and even changed blocking assignments so he could operate better when passing. It's paid off.
Max McGee, October 17, 1954. The popular receiver tries to grab a pass in Milwaukee. The Packers beat the Los Angeles Rams that day, 35-17.
Against the Giants, though, the Colts had Gary Kerkorian at quarterback. He has since been sidelined with injuries and the veteran Fred Enke has not been able to make the Colts offense go the way Kerkorian did.
OCTOBER 23 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers Friday asked waivers on veteran end Bob Mann to make room on the roster for linebacker Deral Teteak. General Manager Verne Lewellen said that Teteak, recovered from an ankle fracture suffered in preseason training, would be in uniform and ready to play in the Packers' NFL game with the Colts at Baltimore Sunday. Mann, 30, and in his seventh year of pro football, is the oldest player on the Packer squad in both service and experience. A former star end at Michigan, Mann was obtained from the Detroit Lions in a trade five years ago. A brilliant pass receiver in the past, he had lost his starting berth this year to rookie Max McGee of Tulane.
OCTOBER 23 (Baltimore) - The Green Bay Packers flew into town today for the
Sunday NFL date with the Baltimore Colts, carrying the role of favorite for the
first time this season. The Packers, apparently on the basis of their 35-17 rout
of the Los Angeles Rams a week ago, were rated four-point favorites over the
Colts. The two teams had identical records - one victory against three losses in
league play. Packer coach Liz Blackbourn reported on arrival that his squad
was in good shape and that Captain Clayton Tonnemaker, who suffered an
injured knee against the Rams, would be ready to go. In addition, Blackbourn
said Deral Teteak, former Wisconsin star who broke a bone in his ankle last
August, would make his first appearance of the year. Teteak will team with
Tonnemaker in the linebacking posts. Teteak's return to active duty was
somewhat of a surprise, but Blackbourn said his ankle had recovered to the
point where he had been pronounced fit for duty. The Packers, before leaving
Green Bay, placed veteran end Bobby Mann on waivers to make room for
Teteak on the 33-man roster. Tobin Rote, who had one of the best days of his
career against the Rams, was expected to again carry the Packer offense with
his passing as Green Bay battled for its second win of the year and third
straight over the Colts. Rote passed for three touchdowns and scored a fourth
last week. The Packers' ground game, spotty at best, was slated for a rough
afternoon against the huge Colt forwards anchored by tackles Art Donovan
and Tom Finnan, both 270 pounders. The Detroit Lions picked up less than 50
yards rushing in beating Baltimore last week. Veterans Claude (Buddy) Young
and Fred Enke were the Colts' hopes, Young with his open field running and
Enke at the passing throttle. Rookie Gary Kerkorian, under whose guidance
Baltimore won its only victory, still was nursing injuries and unlikely to see
action. The kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 p.m., CST, with radio broadcast over
a network of Wisconsin stations.
OCTOBER 24 (Baltimore) - The Baltimore Colts shouldn't go into their NFL
game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday with any illusions like they had
last year. The Colts breezed into Green Bay last season feeling sure they were
going to win. They had beaten the Chicago Bears twice and Green Bay hadn't
beaten anyone. The Packers routed the Colts, 37-14. Two weeks later, Baltimore was in the same mood. It had knocked off the Washington Redskins in the meantime and figured the first Green Bay victory was a fluke. But the Packers did it again, 35-14. These were the only two games won last season by Green Bay. This year things are shaping up somewhat the same. The Packers lost their first three games while the Colts had only won once. But Green Bay let out with a big warning last week by upsetting the Los Angeles Rams, 35-17. Baltimore coach Weeb Ewbank is in a rare dilemma. He doesn't know which quarterback to start. Gary Kerkorian started the season but was hurt and in the next two games, Fred Enke, last year's starter, and Cotton Davidson, a rookie, took turns replacing him. The ground game of the Colts depends mostly on Buddy Young, Royce Womble and fullbacks Zollie Toth and John Huzvar. The Colts have been warned to expect both passing and running by Tobin Rote, veteran Green Bay quarterback. Against Los Angeles, he ran for 75 yards and a touchdown. It was nothing new for him because he has averaged 6.1 yards in rushing for four season. Rote's favorite receivers are Bill Howton and Max McGee. Their passing threat is a real worry to the Colts who haven't been able to do much intercepting. They have grabbed only five from four opponents. Last year at the same time they had intercepted 12.
Green Bay Packers (1-3) 35, Los Angeles Rams (1-2-1) 17
Sunday October 17th 1954 (at Milwaukee)
OCTOBER 21 (Milwaukee Journal) - If the Packers expect to make it two victories in a row, when they meet the Colts at Baltimore Sunday, they will probably require a second fine passing performance in a row from their quarterback, Tobin Rote. Weeb Ewbank, former assistant to Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns, has assembled in his first year as Colt coach a defensive line which practically dares the opposition to try to run the ball. Up front he has assembled five tackles averaging 260 pounds - Gino Marchetti, 245; Art Donovan, 270; Joe Campanell, 245; Tom Finnan, 275, and Don Joyce, 255. If that doesn't discourage running, one of the best linebackers, fellow named Bill Pellington, weighs 230. That leaves it up to Rote. The champion Detroit Lions didn't fool around much with their ground game last Saturday night when they blanked the Colts, 35-0. A good running team, the Lions picked up only 37 yards through the Colts' horses. Fortunately, Baltimore's pass defense has proved nowhere near that effective. Tom Dublinski and Bobby Layne, Detroit's alternating quarterbacks, completed 22 out of 34 throws for 372 yards. Bert Reichichar, who is perhaps the Colts' most effective deep man, is hampered by a cast on his injured hand. Baltimore's offense so far has been even less effective than its pass defense. The Los Angeles Rams, 35-17 victims of the Packers here last Sunday, shut out the Colts, 48-0, in their opening game. In between the whitewashings by the Rams and Lions, the Colts surprised the New York Giants, 20-14, and lost to the Chicago Bears, 28-9. By comparison, the Packers dropped their final exhibition to the Giants, 38-27, and lost to the Bears, 10-3.