all those anti-Burk boos rolling out of the stands early in the game reminded me of the prominent fight spieler who kept on talking about white trunks, black trunks, and coming attractions while dissatisfied customers tossed things into the ring to add emphasis to lusty catcalls. Finally the football voice, too, had to take official notice. "But," he added, "it may be different before the end of the game." It was different. Thomason was doing most of the quarterbacking. There is no point in trying to kid a TV audience when everything going on can be seen and heard. Yet, for some strange reason, announcers try their best to avoid mention of fights on the field, arguments and other extracurricular activities. By the way, the business of pouring it on their own players is nothing new to Philly fans. They do a pretty thorough job of it in baseball, too. Perhaps that spirit has something to with its decline as a big league city.
​STALWART GREEN BAY DEFENSE IS BEARS' CHIEF WORRY
NOVEMBER 4 (Chicago Tribune) - Defense again became a matter concern in the Chicago Bear camp yesterday as Coach George Halas reassembled the squad to prepare for Sunday's tussle in Wrigley field with the amazing Green Bay Packers. This time, however,
it is Green Bay's defense. The Packers, tied with the
Bears in the western division and victorious in their last
three starts, have already met Pittsburgh, Philadelphia,
San Francisco, Los Angeles - four of the league's powers
- in addition to Baltimore and the Bears. Against this
array, which includes the most potent point producing
machines in football, the Packers have allowed only 91
points, or a remarkably low average of 15.1 per game. Coach Lisle Blackbourn says, "Our defense never was too bad." This may not be the understatement of the year, but it at least is No. 1 for the week. No team yet has been able to maintain its scoring average against the Packers. The Bears made a touchdown and a field goal stand up for a 10 to 3 triumph at Green Bay, and the Packers lost the Pittsburgh game, 21 to 20, in the last minutes of play. San Francisco had to rally for two touchdowns to turn back the embattled Packers, 23 to 17. On the basis of the record it is surprising to find the Packers a seven point underdog in early wagering on Sunday's game, the 72nd in a series that began in 1920 and down through the years has developed into one of the most bitterly fought and spectacular rivalries in football. The fact that the Bears' attack has been gaining momentum each week and piled up 69 points against San Francisco and Los Angeles on the recent western trip, is of little solace to Halas, who learned long ago that the form charts mean little when Green Bay comes to town. The stress for the next three days, therefore, will be on ways of deceiving and circumventing roughhouse John Martinkovic, Clayton Tonnemaker, Dave Hanner and the rest of the Packer defensive corps. It was this trio that led the rout of the Eagles last week, when the Packers' defense set up four touchdowns and accounted directly for a fifth by intercepting two passes, recovering two fumbles, and throwing Adrian Burk for a 13 yard loss when he was going for the distance on fourth down deep in Packer territory. Halas, addressing more than 300 men at the Bear Alumni Fan club luncheon in the Bal Tabarin room of the Sherman hotel yesterday, said he hoped last Sunday's triumph would give the Bears the confidence and incentive to turn back the improved Packers. "Right now we can beat any club in the league," he said. "But so can Green Bay!" Halas revealed that assistant coach Luke Johnsos called the play that beat the 49ers and Ed Brown, who came off the bench cold to throw the pass, confided that he thought when the ball left his hands that he had overthrown Harlon Hill. "My mother didn't know I had thrown it,." Brown added. "And when my cousin told her, she got so excited they had to help her out of the stadium." Halas called George Blanda the greatest quarterback in the league now and indicated that Brown and Zeke Bratkowski, the two rookie stars, would have to stay on the bench until he cooled down. Better pass protection, with special emphasis on the blocking of Chick Jagade, were the reasons for Blanda's improved showing against Los Angeles and San Francisco, Halas said.
BEARS 6-POINT FAVORITES TO BEAT PACKERS SUNDAY
NOVEMBER 5 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Oh, how those Bears love to play the Packers in Wrigley Field! Green Bay's last win over the Bruins at Chicago's North Side ball park was a 41-28 shellacking in 1952 - but that was only after an 11-year drought. Sunday, the Packers and Bears meet for the 72nd time at Wrigley field and the Bears are six point favorites to win their 43rd game in one of professional football's oldest rivalries. Both clubs are tied for third place in the Western Division. To the victor goes a lane in the title race. Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m....The 59-yard return of an intercepted pass by Bobby Dillon against the Eagles Saturday night was the third longest in Packers history. The longest was a 94-yard return by Rebel Steiner against the Bears in 1950 and the second best was 88 yards by Bob Summerhays in 1951 against the Eagles. Fred Cone's seven points against the Eagles (one field goal and four extra points) moved the former Clemson fullback into sixth place in the all-time Packers scoring. Cone now has a total of 206 points, moving ahead of Tony Canadeo. Don Hutson holds the all-time mark with 825 points. He is followed by Ted Fritsch (392), Clark Hinkle (373), Verne Lewellen (301) and Johnny Blood (224)...Tobin Rote established another all-time Packer record last Saturday when he completed his 426th pass in his five-year pro career. This mark breaks the standard set by Cecil Isbell of 419 set during 1939-42. Rote also moved ahead of Isbell in the number of yards gained with 6,102. However, Arnie Herber holds this record with 6,741 yards. In his last three games Rote has completed 52 passes in 95 attempts for a total of 646 yards and a passing efficiency of nearly 55 percent. He has had only two passes intercepted in those last three games...If the Packers can beat the Bears Sunday they will not only be a definite title threat but will have their best winning streak (four in a row) since 1944 when they won six straight and the World's Championship. Green Bay moves into County Stadium the following Saturday for a nationally televised game with the Colts. Game time is 7 o'clock. The telecast will be blacked out in Wisconsin.
50,000 WILL SEE PACKERS BATTLE BEARS
NOVEMBER 6 (Chicago Tribune) - The Chicago Bears yesterday were placed on an overtime schedule in preparation of their engagement against the Green Bay Packers in Wrigley field on Sunday. Linemen put in an extra hour after practice reviewing movies and undergoing a thorough briefing. Overtime also was the rule in the box office where the demand for tickets has surpassed anything since the glory days of 1941. Owner-Coach George Halas, always on the conservative side, predicted 45,000 would sit in on the contest. But with any kind of break in the weather, the throng will likely exceed the 47,960 who saw the San Francisco game on October 17. A crowd of 50,000 is possible. Intensifying of preparations testifies eloquently to the concern with which Halas is approaching the 72nd Packer-Bear contest. Halas sees more than just a remote chance of finishing in a playoff this year and he is in no mood to have his old enemies from the north blot out or obscure the vision. Moreover, no one is more aware of the Packers' recent improvement or precedents in the situation. For some inexplicable reason, the Bears the last three years have had difficulty rebounding the week after the annual two game excursion to the west coast. Last year, for instance, they were lucky to tie the Packers, 24 to 24, after playing two exceptional games - probably their best of the year - in California. Green Bay, of course, faces a task no less executing. The Packers, tied with the Bears, have just as good a chance of sneaking into the title finals. Like the Bears, they have come on late to arrive unexpectedly at a position of contention. Also like the Bears, their improvement has been attributed largely to better protection for their passer - Tobin Rote. Rote established an all-time Packer record in Philadelphia last week when he completed his 424th pass, and brought his total years gained to 6,741 for four and one-half seasons. These marks are particularly impressive in light of the fact that they erase the records set by Cecil Isbell, a legendary figure in the aerial history of football. Rote is having his best season. In the last three games, all Packer victories, he has completed 52 of 95 pass attempts for six touchdowns. Only two of his 95 attempts were intercepted and the opposition included, besides Baltimore, the Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams, two of the league's most powerful aggregations. In Green Bay yesterday, Coach Lisle Blackbourn announced that Clarence Self, one of the Packers' brightest defensive stars, would be moved from left linebacker to rookie Gene Whites' right halfback position and that Jim Psaltis, once a Chicago Cardinal, would start in Self's linebacker spot. White has an injured back and will be out two weeks.
LIKE OLD TIMES; BAYS, BEARS TO DRAW 45,000
NOVEMBER 6 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - It will be like old times Sunday at Wrigley Field in Chicago - the Packer-Bear game is expected to draw over 45,000. Kickoff time is 1:05. The incentive, of course, is watching two of the most improved clubs in the NFL. The winner will still be in title contention. The game will be televised over the ABC network, the only state station being WTMV in Madison. The telecast is being blacked out in a radius of 125 miles of Chicago. Green Bay will be out to avenge a 10-3 setback by the Bears earlier this season before coming to life with three victories in a row. The Bears lost the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. Chicago defeated the Baltimore Colts, the 49ers in a return engagement besides the first one over the Packers. Game with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bears and 49ers gave the Packers three straight losses. Then came the victory string - Rams, Colts and Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears hold a 42-24 edge in the all-time series, with six games ending in a tie. Green Bay's last win at Wrigley Field was 41-28 in 1952. Both clubs are in good physical shape. Defensive halfback Gene White will be the only Packers sidelined. He wrenched his back in the Eagle game. The Bears will be without defensive halfback Ray Smith.
PACKERS TAKE FINAL DRILL ON BEARS' FIELD
NOVEMBER 6 (Chicago Tribune) - The Green Bay Packers, scheduled for a showdown with the Chicago Bears tomorrow in one of the more important NFL games of the day, will break with precedent today to take a final drill in Wrigley field. For years the Packers have completed their preparations at home, boarded an afternoon train and arrived in the Loop the evening before the Bear game. The Bears, meanwhile, continued their long drills and extra lectures yesterday, as Coach George Halas sought to forestall the possibilities of a letdown after the two spectacular games on the Pacific coast. No changes in the Bear lineup are contemplated by Halas, beyond those defensive shifts which worked out so successfully against San Francisco last week. They involve using John Helwig at the left wingback position on defense, guard Bill George backing up on that side and Paul Lipscomb, once a Packer hero, playing the middle guard.
PACKERS FACE BEARS TODAY BEFORE 50,000
NOVEMBER 7 (Chicago Tribune) - What remote
championship hopes the Chicago Bears and Green Bay
Packers have dredged up for themselves out of recent
spectacular successes will be at stake in Wrigley field
today at 1:05 o'clock when these two old rivals meet
for the 72nd time. As many as 50,000, included the
largest Wisconsin delegation in years, are expected to
sit in on the contest which restores the Bear-Packer
series to a position of championship importance for the
first time in a decade. Not since 1944 have the Bears
and Packers, at one time perennial contenders, met
with the title hopes of each at stake. Both already have
lost three games, but the way National league clubs
have been taking each other by the throat of late, it is
entirely possible that today's winner could wind up in
the divisional playoffs, if it can survive the remainder of
the season without a defeat or a tie. Today's loser,
however, can stop dreaming. Green Bay's belated
spurt, after opening the season with three consecutive
defeats, including a 10 to 3 defeat by the Bears, has
been based on one of football's best defenses and the
passing of Tobin Rote. Bear success so far has been
the result of careful planning in draft meetings, where
George Halas has been striving for three seasons to
come up with the proper secondary talent and passing.
He drafted the secondary strength in Ray Smith and
Stan Wallace. The quarterbacking also has been
improved by smart drafting, but this turned out to be
more of an indirect approach when the signing of two
highly touted rookies spurred veteran George Blanda
to great heights. Entering today's game, Blanda is
regarded in many sectors as the best quarterback in 
the league. Besides the customary intense and bitter
struggle between the Bears and Packers, today's game
will be a contest between Blanda and Rote, and Harlon
Hill and Max McGee, a pair of rookie receivers. Hill, a
lanky, fleet taciturn young father from beyond the city
limits in Alabama, moved into the front ranks of 
outstanding receivers last week by catching four touchdown passes as the Bears defeated the San Francisco 49ers. He unquestionably is the best receiver that has come along in years and already is being compared to the immortal Don Hutson. Green Bay, however, considers him not one whit better than its own McGee, a 6 foot 2 inch, 200 pound rookie from Tulane, who opened the season as a punter and in recent games has sparked as a pass catcher. He has caught only 12 passes, but gained a total of 231 yards and scored five touchdowns.
GAME RECAP (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
(PHILADELPHIA) - Tobin Rote tossed three touchdown
passes to Max McGee as the underdog Green Bay
Packers took advantage of two intercepted passes, a
fumble and a fourth down Philadelphia gamble to rout
the Eagles, 37-14, Saturday night before 25,378 fans
at Connie Mack Stadium. The win was Green Bay's
third straight after losing its first three by only 14 points.
Green Bay maintained one of pro football's long
standing jinxes in dropping the Eagles out of a three-
way tie for first place in the Eastern Division. The
Eagles have won only one league game from the
Packers in the 13 meeting between the two teams.
NEVER IN GAME
The 11-point favorite Eagles never were in the ball
game as Veryl Switzer, Negro speedster from Kansas
State, carried the opening kickoff 88 yards to the
Eagles' 10. Unable to gain, Fred Cone kicked an 11-
yard field goal. Bob Dillon made it 10-0 with a 59-yard
interception return of an intercepted pass. After the
Eagles closed the gap to 10-7 on a 26-yard pass from
Bobby Thomason to Toy Ledbetter, the Packers turned
the game into a rout. Rote passed 25 yards to McGee
for a touchdown in the second quarter, and hit his
favorite target for 49 and 30 yard scores in the third
period. Rote himself smashed over for a score in the
final quarter after a pass interference penalty gave
Green Bay a first down on the Eagles' three.
TIGHT PASS DEFENSE
Adrian Burk and Thomason, Philadelphia's two star
passing quarterbacks, were able to complete only 14 of
32 passes and had two intercepted. One of the
interceptions led directly to a touchdown, and the other
set up a score. On the other hand, Rote completed 11
of 20 aerials for 148 yards and two touchdowns. The
Packers, who had dropped an exhibition game to the
Eagles last month, played alert, headsup football,
taking advantage of the many Philadelphia lapses.
Green Bay's defensive line also turned in a top
performance, stopping the vaunted Philadelphia
passing and running game early in the first quarter
when the entire complexion of the contest might have
been changed. Rote fumbled and Mike Jarmoluk
recovered for the Eagles on the Packers 13. But 4
downs later, the Packers took over on their own 21.
The score at the time was 10-0 and a few minutes
later the Eagles put on their only offensive show of
the night, a three-play 61-yard drive climaxed by
Thomason's 26-yard TD pass to Ledbetter. A 15-yard
penalty against Green Bay's Val Joe Walker for
roughing helped the Eagles. A few minutes later,
Walker redeemed himself by intercepting a Thomason
pass and returning 44 yards to the Philadelphia 25.
Rote stepped back on first down and arched a pass to
McGee for a 25-yard touchdown. In the third quarter
the Eagles had fourth down and 27 to go on the Green
Bay 38. Thomason went back to pass and was nailed
for a 13-yard loss on his 49. Rote again hurled to
McGee for a touchdown. Before the third period ended
Thomason fumbled on the Eagles' 30. The Rote to
McGee combination covered the remaining distance
on second down. After Rote himself scored the final Packer TD in the fourth period on a 2-yard smash, the Eagles came back 39 yards for a score with Dom Moselle driving over from the two. Green Bay took advantage of every break and deserved to win. Coach Lisle Blackbourn's pass defense was very efficient. His secondary blanketed the Eagles' receivers and on more than several occasions, Thomason and Burk were unable to unload the pigskin because their intended targets were so well covered.
GREEN BAY    - 10  7 13  7 - 37
PHILADELPHIA -  0  7  0  7 - 14
1st - GB - Cone, 11-yard field goal GREEN BAY 3-0
1st - GB - Dillon, 59-yard interception return (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 10-0
2nd - PHIL - Toy Ledbetter, 26-yard pass from Bobby Thomason (Bobby Walston kick) GREEN BAY 10-7
2nd - GB - McGee, 25-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 17-7
3rd - GB - McGee, 49-yard pass from Rote (Kick failed) GREEN BAY 23-7
3rd - GB - McGee, 30-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 30-7
4th - GB - Rote, 2-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 37-7
​4th - PHIL - Dom Moselle, 2-yard run (Walston kick) GREEN BAY 37-14



WESTERN CONFERENCE - STANDINGS
Detroit           4   1   0   .800  162   87
San Francisco     4   1   1   .800  183  134
Chicago Bears     3   3   0   .500  154  160
GREEN BAY         3   3   0   .500  147  102
Los Angeles       2   3   1   .400  158  145
Baltimore         1   5   0   .167   67  184
Sunday October 31st
Chicago Bears 31, SAN FRANCISCO 27 - With 33 fleeting seconds to go in the final quarter, rookie Harlon Hill from Alabama State Teachers caught a 66-yard touchdown pass to lead the Chicago Bears to a spectacular 31-27 upset victory over the San Francisco 49ers in their NFL clash Sunday. It was one of four touchdown passes caught by Hill, who put on a one-man show. The Lions and San Francisco 49ers each boast four wins and one defeat, with the latter also having been tied once, in sharing the Western Division lead. The 6-foot, 3-inch, 196-pound first year man from Florence, AL, nabbed a 47-yard scoring pass in the first period, caught another good for 20 yards in the third quarter and capped his brilliant performance with an 11-yard touchdown pass and a 66-yard catch. George Blanda, who made all of his conversions - including his 102nd straight - also kicked a 15-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. The 49ers scored a touchdown in the first period and two more in the second. Gordon Soltau kicked field goals good for 16 and 24 yards, respectively, in the final quarter. Blanda's passing was one of his best efforts this season. Hill caught seven passes for a total yardage gain of 214. In the final period, the Bears moved from their own 19 down to the 49er 11. Blanda shot a pass which was partly deflected but the agile Hill twisted to catch the ball and stepped into the end zone for the touchdown. With 33 seconds to go in the game, the Bears took the ball on their own 34. Blanda faded back and flipped the ball to reserve quarterback Ed Brown who shot a long pass down the field. Hill caught the ball on a dead run and outraced the 49er defenders.
Detroit 27, LOS ANGELES 24 - The Detroit Lions accepted two gift touchdowns in the second quarter and whirled 80 yards late in the final period to defeat the Los Angeles Rams, 27-24, Sunday. Dealing the Rams their third defeat in the NFL and keeping their own title hopes alive, the defending champion Lions came from behind in the final minute to win the game before 74,342 fans. Quarterback Bobby Layne steered Detroit on the winning march, with veteran halfback Bobby Hoernschemeyer going over from the three for the TD. Los Angeles gave the Lions two touchdown opportunities in the second period. Leon Hart, the giant Detroit end, literally stole the ball from Ram halfback Skeet Quinlan and rambled 22 yards unmolested for one touchdown. The other came when quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, who is the league's leading punter, got off a blooper that netted only 10 yards and set the stage for the Lions to score from the 17. Layne, on the second play found Dorne Dibble on a 16-yard scoring strike. Tank Younger of the Rams blasted out two touchdowns in the first quarter, one on a 28-yard charge that ended a 77-yard march. The other came from three yards out to complete a 45-yard drive. Younger, Quinlan and Van Brocklin, with his passing, swept 78 yards for a touchdown in the third period, with Dan Towler scoring from the two, putting Los Angeles in front, 21-20. The Rams' Les Richter made it 24-20 with an 11-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and then the Lions wrapped up with their 80-yard march.
Washington 24, BALTIMORE 21 - A pair of Michigan State alumni, Al Dorow and Billy Wells, came of age Sunday driving the Washington Redskins to their first victory of the year. The Skins defeated the Baltimore Colts, 24-21. Actually, it was Vic Janowicz's 15-yard field goal that provided the margin, but Dorow and Wells showed the 23,567 spectators the kind of football that made them brilliant stars at Michigan State. Dorow threw 49 yards to Wells for the Redskins' third touchdown. Wells slightly spectacular running set up the first two scores, as Dorow handed off to yet another rookie, Dale Atketson, for each of those touchdowns, both for one year. Gary Kerkorian, Baltimore's fine quarterback, pitched to Dan Edwards on a 21-yard scoring play while Buddy Young and Zollie Toth both ran short distances for the other touchdowns.
GOOD DEFENSE ALSO GOOD OFFENSE, PACKERS PROVED IN BEATING EAGLES
NOVEMBER 1 (Milwaukee Journal) - "A good offense is the best defense," someone once said, but evidently the Green Bay Packers weren't listening. Or if they were, they went out and proved that the reverse is also true. In any case, the Packers' defensive unit brought the Eagles down the earth in Philadelphia Saturday night, 37-14, in a game which set the tempo for a weekend of upsets in the NFL. Coach Lisle Blackbourn said Monday the defense made only one mistake all night. That was when a touchdown pass brought the Eagles within three points in the second quarter. From then on, Green Bay defenders turned the ball over to their mates in Philadelphia territory four times. Tobin Rote and rookie end Max McGee took it from there for touchdowns on each occasion. In trying to cover McGee, Billy Howton and Veryl Switzer or Al Carmichael and guard against screen passes, Philadelphia's defense alternated double teaming receivers. The Eagles guessed wrong on McGee repeatedly, for every time the rookie had only one man on him he faked his way into the clear. Besides the three scoring passes, McGee got behind the defense late in the first half but Rote overshot him when rushed. Rote now has thrown nine touchdown passes for the season, eight of them in three of the last four games. In both of the Packers' upsets, over the Los Angeles Rams and over the Eagles, he threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. Having climbed three notches in three week with three victories, the Packers next will
face the Bears at Chicago Sunday. The two teams are tied for third
place in the Western Division. Blackbourn said the Packers might not
be in too good physical shape this week. Defensive back Gene White
was left in a Philadelphia hospital. He got a knee in the back and was
in such pain that he could not be moved. John Martinkovic, defensive
end, suffered a pulled leg muscle and offensive tackle Art Hunter also
has a leg injury. Tackle Steve Ruzich and halfback Breezy Reid
suffered facial cuts, which were stitched on the sidelines, and both
later returned to action. Blackbourn said he expected all of the
casualties except White would be ready to go Sunday. "We'll need 'em
all," he said. On the brighter side, rookie Jim Psaltis took over White
s duties in the secondary in fine fashion. White actually did not play
much. He was hampered by a pulled muscle and only played long
enough to suffer another injury. Thus, Psaltis and Clarence Self, who
have alternated, both played most of the way. Linebacker Deral Teteak
is ready to go full time again. Blackbourn said, "But the way
Tonnemaker and Zatkoff are going," he said, "he's having a tough time
breaking into the lineup."
OL' PACKER DAYS BACK
NOVEMBER 1 (Green Bay) - The barber shop wasn't the sole center
of Packer conversation Monday - not by any means. The team was the
talk of the town as citizens whooped it up as if the glorious years of
old has returned. Their beloved Packers, early cellar dwellers after
three straight losses, are now tied with the Chicago Bears for third
place in the Western Division. Some dyed-in-the-wool followers are
even thinking in title contention terms. Green Bay's last championship
was in 1944 when they beat the New York Giants. The "Dark Ages"
set in immediately after that sixth title. But Monday fans were grabbing
tickets for Sunday's game with the Bears in Chicago as if for a division
title tilt. How about this - in less than three hours, 250 tickets for the
Bear game were purchased. Upstairs in his office, coach Liz
Blackbourn and his assistants were mapping strategy to avenge a
previous 10-3 loss to the Bears. It was a day off for the players but not
for the coaches. One could sense by the methodical workmanship
that they knew they had something clicking. A telephone call from
Chicago interrupted Blackbourn. It was a television station asking Liz
if it would all right if Tobin Rote appeared on a show Saturday night
before the game. "What time did you say the show starts?" inquired
Blackbourn. "Ten-thirty - and we'll give him $100." "Well, Rote better
get back by our curfew hour or he'll lose that $100," snapped Liz. The point was clear. Blackbourn was running the Packer show. After three in a row the Blackbourn regime had put new life in the Packers. This pro football hotbed knows it and has a right to celebrate.
BEAR SCOUTS GOT 'EARFUL' OF BAYS, TOO
NOVEMBER 2 (Green Bay) - Chicago Bears' scouts at last Saturday's Green Bay-Philadelphia game got a double dose of information - they sat next to the Packers spotters. Assistant coaches Tom Hearden and Ray McLean told Tuesday how the Bears' contingent headed by Chief Scout Walter Halas, brother of owner-coach George, refused to moved from their seats at Philadelphia's Connie Mac Stadium. "We couldn't move because that's where our phone was located," said Hearden, "so they just sat there and listened to what we said to out bench and scouted the game at the same time." The Bears and Packers, currently tied for third place, meet Sunday in Chicago.
Green Bay Packers (3-3) 37, Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) 14
Saturday October 30th 1954 (at Philadelphia)
NEWS AND NOTES
10,000 FANS GREET PACKERS
OCTOBER 31 (Green Bay) - The city of Green Bay turned out like a college town Sunday to greet its surprising Packers, who overpowered the favored Philadelphia Eagles, 37-14 in a NFL game at Philadelphia Saturday night. A crowd estimated by traffic officers at upwards to 10,000 persons jammed Austin-Strauble Air Field to greet the chartered plane carrying the Packers. It was believed to be the largest crowd ever to greet the Packers. Quarterback Tobin Rote expressed the amazement of the Packers, whom he said to the crowd over the airport loudspeaker system: "If we win another game like that one, probably all Wisconsin will be here." Coach Lisle Blackbourn smiled and told the crowd, "It's swell to win."
DEFENSE WON FOR US AGAIN - LIZ
NOVEMBER 1 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - What's with these Green Bay Packers? After winning only two of six exhibition games they were readily dumped into the also-ran class in the Western Division of the NFL. And after dropping their first three league games, Green Bay's dilemma seemed to have been perfectly figured out by the dopesters. But Sunday the Packers returned from Philadelphia where they routed the Eagles, 37-14, Saturday night to find themselves tied with the Bears for third place in the tough Western Division with three wins and three losses. What about the Eagle rout? "We're not a great offensive club," said coach Liz Blackbourn Sunday even though his Packers ran up their highest score this season. "Our defense did it," was Blackbourn's answer. "With end Bobby Walston out of the Eagles' lineup, our defense could double up on their other star receiver, Pete Pihos. We kept Pihos tied up all night. Their other choice was the lesser experienced Don Luft, the rookie from Indiana. And out line kept rushing Adrian Burk and Bobby Thomason all night - that really kept them in trouble." Blackbourn made one observation about his defensive platoon which is rapidly developing into one of the league's best. "Did you know our fastest men are Val Joe Walker, Bobby Dillon and Jim Psaltis - and they're all defensive halfbacks?" Rookie Max McGee was the offensive sparkplug, scoring three touchdowns. "He's a good one," grinned Liz. "He's not exceptionally fast, but he sure can fake out the defense. I wouldn't call him another Don Hutson, though. And Tobin Rote looked real good again," added Liz, "even though he took a physical beating. The line overpowered him time and time again. In fact he played most of the game with a bruised hand." Rote wasn't the only Packer injured. Defensive halfback Gene White remained in Philadelphia with a bruised back. End John Martinkovic has a slight pulled muscle, while tackle Steve Ruzich and halfback Breezy Reid had their faces stitched during the game. The statistics belied the final score Saturday night, since the Eagles actually outgained and outpassed the Packers, if you believe in numbers. Philadelphia had 15 first downs to Green Bay's 12; gained 102 yards running to the winner's 66, and picked up 101 yards passing to Green Bay's 89. Total yardage showed the Eagles with 203, Green Bay 155. But the story of the game was in the department so familiarly referred to by coaches as fundamentals. Next - a return engagement with the Bears in Chicago. And it looks as another one of those glorious battles of old.
UPSET SPREE THROWS PRO FOOTBALL RACE WIDE OPEN
NOVEMBER 2 (Chicago Tribune) - Many a historian will grow hoary and halt awaiting a more writeable topic that what has been transpiring these days in the NFL, where blue chip championship stock is being redeemed like a lot of option on the Brooklyn bridge. No period in the history of professional football ever saw more upsets, nor gave more encouragement to gate minded owners than the recent weekend on which eight teams rounded the halfway post in the title chase with a chance to qualify for the playoff jackpot. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York bit the dust in startling upsets, but remained deadlocked for the lead in the eastern division. And in the west, where the titans of the sport moved along to more entertaining confusion and greater profits - the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers rose up to haunt every other contender on their schedules. Locally the most cataclysmic development was the Chicago Cardinals' victory (17 to 14) over the Pittsburgh Steelers. It didn't figure anymore than did Green Bay's triumph (37 to 14) over Philadelphia. But the Steelers performed like so many shipping clerks whose foreman had gone fishing, against a Cardinal team that is not opposed to playing a good game and is apt to do it if given the chance. From the dramatic standpoint, the No. 1 attraction was the struggle in San Francisco where the Bears manipulated a story book finish to score a triumph that periled San Francisco title hopes. Not only did the last minute pass play involving rookies Ed Brown and Harlon Hill place the 49ers at a disadvantage in the standings, but the game cost Coach Buck Shaw the services of Hugh McElhenny, many an expert's nomination as the greatest ball carrier in football today. McElhenny went out of the game in the fourth quarter and later was counted out of the 49ers lineup for the rest of the season with a shoulder separation. A metal pin was placed in the injured shoulder during an operation yesterday. With a tie against them, the 49ers cannot qualify for the National League playoff game unless the Detroit Lions trail them in the defeat column or suffer a tie between now and December 19, when the defending champions will play a postponed game with the Cleveland Browns. Even without the loss of McElhenny, the Bears' 31 to 27 victory will leave Shaw memories his best friends will hesitate to recall. Ed Brown, highly touted rookie quarterback, was the key man in a maneuver that had been planned, rehearsed and perfected in the few days that the Bears worked out after dropping a heartbreaker to Los Angeles the week before. It had been devised to take advantage of Jim Cason, a pro football veteran who, scouts discovered, has a marked tendency to charge up from his position as right safety man on running plays. Ironically, however, Cason was not in the game when Brown was rushed into the backfield as a right halfback as a right halfback with instructions for Blanda to call the special play. John Henry Johnson was patrolling the right safety position. But under the circumstances, it was no time for the Bear coaching staff to quibble. Thirty-five seconds remained and they had to take a chance. The result of this play and the game threw the western division back into a tie between Detroit and San Francisco and moved the Bears and Packers into a position where, if their luck holds out, they have a chance to slip into the playoff. This chance will stay alive until after they meet in Wrigley field next Sunday in one of football's most colorful rivalry. The Bears and Packers have been, along with Pittsburgh, the biggest surprises of the season. Green Bay went away to a slow start, but went on to victories over highly regarded Los Angeles and Philadelphia. But Blackbourn and the Packers persevered and were rewarded with victories over highly regarded Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Green Bay now looms as a real challenge to the Bears on Sunday, and anyone else it plays so long as quarterback Tobin Rote remains the perfect workman that he has been the last two weeks. Cleveland, profiting by the Philadelphia defeat, helped itself to a generous portion of the weekend's dividends by surprising the New York Giants, 24 to 14. Opening the season as something of an enigma, without the defensive stars that once made it the scourge of the league, Cleveland now is only half a game out of first place in the eastern group and has an excellent opportunity to preserve its unbroken string of divisional championships. Philadelphia's trouble appears to have been too early an arrival at peak form.
PACKER COMEBACK? NO SURPRISE TO LIZ
NOVEMBER 3 (Green Bay) - There undoubtedly were more important things in the world today, but few rated higher locally than the there straight victories by the Green Bay Packers. Sherman's sack of Atlanta, Hanibal's trip to the mountains and other incidents of record paled by comparison to the incomparable Packers in the eyes of the natives. Forgotten were the three defeats with which the Packers opened the season. The man in the stands fully realized that a break here or there would have given the Bays a victory in all those games. The only matter of consequence was the portent of things to come - a return to championship caliber by the Packers. In rookie coach Liz Blackbourn the fans saw a man to guide the Packers to the days they ruled the NFL. The Green Bay team was clicking as it had not clicked for years. Quarterback Tobin Rote reached his greatest stature in five years with the team in the last three games. The defensive lineup was knocking down the league's stalwarts as no other team had done. There was the third period of the Packers-49ers game when Green Bay rose like a giant reborn to crush the running attack of Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson while the offense was scoring 17 points. The Packers lost that game but it was the turning point. The following week they defeated Los Angeles in a leading upset, followed it up with a win over Baltimore and brought the script up to date Saturday night with a smashing 37-14 upset over Philadelphia. A new star was born for the Packers in the Philadelphia rout - rookie Max McGee, a Tulane end who took the Packers' ways as a Southerner takes to hog jowl. McGee caught three touchdown passes against the Eagles. Rote threw them, giving him six touchdown tosses in the last three games. The defense again was inspired. Only the offensive line showed a need for strength in the early stages of the Eagles game. The recent success was no surprise to Blackbourn. "We've been solid all along," he said. "They just needed to find out they could win."
BEARS AND PACKERS EVEN IN PSYCHOLOGICAL BUILDUP
NOVEMBER 3 (Chicago Tribune) - Green Bay and the Chicago Bears start off the week's preparation for their traditional encounter in Wrigley field Sunday virtually even on all counts. They are tied in the standings for third place in the western division of the NFL with .500 averages and both squads are reported in good shape, following the spectacular weekend ambushes in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Coaches Lisle Blackbourn of Green Bay and George Halas of the Bears announced only slight injuries to two defensive halfbacks as a prelude to the customary psychological buildup that in years past always included loud wailings from both camps over long lists of cripples. McNeil Moore, the rookie star from Sam Houston, came out of the Bears' victory over San Francisco with a bruised leg, but will be ready to face Green Bay. Blackbourn's lone casualty is Gene White, a rookie halfback from Georgia. He, too, will be fit by Sunday. In another switch from precedent, both coaches yesterday demonstrated a willingness to discuss their team's success. Blackbourn attributed the Packers' upset of Los Angeles (35 to 17) and Philadelphia (37 to 14) to general all-around improvement and hard work. "Our defense never was too bad," said Blackbourn. "Our offense started badly, but it has picked up rapidly through a greater variety of receivers and better pass protection for Tobin Rote. It improved, too, when we began to restrict the offense. You always start out with too much, then gradually gain momentum as you discard things you can't use effectively." Halas, giving the Bears a day off after the long plane ride from the coast on Monday, talked of defense. Stan Wallace, the former Illinois fullback, who was the Bears' No. 1 draft choice, is a tremendous help in the secondary, he said. Wallace made his pro debut against the 49ers Sunday, after three months of inactivity because of a fractured hand. "Stan blamed himself for the 49ers' first touchdown," Halas revealed. "He thought it was his man. But he looked great. Especially his tackling. When he tackles them back there, they stay tackled." Except for once when end Ed Meadows fell victim to a feint to the outside and the ball carrier cut back inside him, the left side of the Bears' line, a favorite thoroughfare for the 49ers, put an end to the sweeps and charges of Hugh McElhenny and Joe Perry. The Bears plugged this gap by moving big John Helwig to the defensive halfback post on that side and guard Bill George to the linebacker position. George performed exceptionally well until Paul Lipscomb was excused by the referee for being overenthusiastic. George then moved back to middle guard. The Lipscomb incident still puzzles the Bears. Paul was charged with hitting a 49er in the face. The 49er was wearing a mask. Halas also explained why Ed Brown, who with Harlon Hill brought the game to a Merriwell finish, happened to be doing all the punting. "You have to play two types of games in Kezar stadium. The wind comes in off the ocean and sometimes reaches gale proportions. That was why (Gordon) Soltau's last kickoff only went to the 34. Although Zeke Bratkowski had been punting well all week, we decided on Brown because he had played in Kezar a number of times and was accustomed to bucking the wind." Halas also cleared up the question of why the Bears bucked the wind at the start of the second half. "When it came our turn to choose at the intermission, we were behind, 21 to 7, and had no choice. We had to have the ball. Frisco then took the wind."
​PACKERS VS. BEARS SUDDENLY BECOMES A BIG GAME AGAIN
NOVEMBER 4 (Milwaukee Journal) - What happened in the NFL over the weekend suddenly makes the Packers against the Bears at Chicago Sunday a big game. The two old rivals are tied for third place in the Western Division, a game and a half behind the champion Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers, who share the lead. Because of what the schedule holds for the second half of the season, the Packers and the Bears both must be given at least an outside chance, especially off their recent showings. Liz Blackbourn's Packers will come into their 73rd renewal of the rivalry with three straight victories, including stunning upsets of Los Angeles and Philadelphia. The Bears are back from the coast where they lost by four points to the Rams, then knocked off the last undefeated team in the league, the 49ers, also by four. The Lions, since they have seven games to play and the rest only six, appear to have the upper hand. In a way, the schedule gives the Packers a chance, for they play the Lions twice and the 49ers once. But it won't be easy. In the Eastern Division, the situation is muddled, with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York tied at 4-2 and Cleveland right behind at 3-2. The key there could well be Detroit at Cleveland December 19, a game postponed because of the World Series. That may be the one which knocks the Browns out of it, but if Paul Brown brings his team along far enough, it could work to Detroit's disadvantage. That is, if the Packers, Bears and 49ers have done their share in the meanwhile...When he connected 11 times against the Eagles, Tobin Rote became the all-time Packers' leader in pass completions with 424 in five seasons. Cecil Isbell held the old record of 419, set in 1938-42 when the pros did not throw the ball around as much as they do today...The football took a couple of funny bounces against the Eagles while they were being thrashed by the Packers, 37-14. Twice the Philadelphians made perfectly logical choices on options, taking the penalty each time rather than the play. Both times the selection backfired. The first was made on the opening kickoff. The Packers has returned it to their 32 but were offside. The Eagles chose to kick again from the 45, hoping to smear the runner farther back, or for an automatic touchback or perhaps a fumble. Veryl Switzer instead returned the boot 88 yards to the Eagles' 10 and set up Fred Cone's field goal which put Green Bay ahead to stay. In the third quarter, the Packers had fourth down on the Eagle 45. Max McGee punted and the Eagles returned from the six to the 13. Again the Packers were offside. Philadelphia took the penalty and this time, with the line of scrimmage at midfield, McGee's kick rolled dead on the two.
JUST LIKE OLD TIME WITH PACKERS ON MOVE - 3 IN A ROW FANS INTEREST IN BEAR GAME
NOVEMBER 3 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - "Just think," writes a Packer fan. "We could be running away with the Western if..." Well, you know the rest. If the Steelers hadn't managed to come up with that late fourth quarter touchdown to win, 21-20. If Liz Blackbourn's boys hadn't handed the Bears a touchdown and a victory they (the Bears) didn't deserve. If the Bays hadn't let the 49ers off the hook when the first big upset of the season seemed an almost assured thing. Yes, just think! "We," as Mr. Fan put it in cutting himself into the act, could have a miraculous 6-0 record. The toughest to take in retrospect is the defeat by the Bears. Switch that one to the right side of the ledger and the Packers would be in a swell spot right now. Perhaps the best approach to the other two early setbacks is to be philosophical and figure they were balanced by the walloping dished out to the Rams and Eagles. Regardless, it's still more than all right to start the last half of the schedule with a three game winning streak going and a 3-3 mark after that rugged start. Now it's like old times again. Those great fans in Green Bay proved that in turning out by the thousands to greet their conquering heroes on their return from Philadelphia Sunday. There is more evidence of the same this week as they prepare to follow the team to Chicago for their return battle with the Bears. Old Halas U. did its part in stirring Packer-Bear interest beyond anything experienced in a long time by pulling a startling upset of its own at the expense of the 49ers. Although it wasn't a particularly smooth TV show, the Packers' performance on the field against the Eagles more than made up for technical shortcomings. From the moment Veryl Switzer got away for a long return, thanks to the Eagles' decision to repeat the opening kickoff to take advantage of an offside penalty, Blackbourn's operators handled the Eastern Division big wheels as if they owned them. Once they adjusted their protection setup, the Packers' pass offense really clicked. Max McGee, for instance, was completely free and clear when he grabbed those TD passes pitched by Tobin Rote. Defensively they were just as sharp, as Adrian Burk and Bobby Thomason learned early. The Eagles couldn't move the ball consistently on the ground either. Technically speaking, the most confusing part of the show was caused by bad timing on commercials. Or it may have been the result of having too many sponsors - so many, in fact, that it was difficult to figure out who was selling in the way of popcorn, jewelry, automobiles, shavers, beet, mittens, dinners, bowling, meeting places, and saving-loan services. Anyway, too many plays were lost in the process. The announcer didn't help either by falling into a fight bla-bla artist's routine on occasions. His "house man" leanings were too obvious when he went overboard in giving the "capable officials assigned by Commissioner Bert Bell" a buildup and waving the flag for the other big games coming up. For example, he poured it on for the benefit fans in Washington, who were supposed to be jumping with joy over the prospect of seeing their beloved Redskins against Baltimore the next day. Oh, yeah! The announcer's attempt to close his ears to