GAME RECAP (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL)
(MILWAUKEE) - Fred Cone, a five-year veteran who has seen better days as a runner but who is an ace in the hole as a placekicker, booted a 25-yard field goal in the last 24 seconds Sunday to give the Packers an amazing 30-28 win over the Rams before 26,960 delirious rain-soaked fans at the Stadium. The comeback win gives the Packers a share of first place in the
Western Division of the NFL as the heretofore
undefeated Colts took a beating from the Bears. Green
Bay, Los Angeles and Baltimore are in a three-way
deadlock for first place with three wins and one loss.
Cone's perfect placement kicked all the life out of the
Rams, who had scored what seemed the winning points
when defensive halfback Jim Cason intercepted a Tobin
Rote pass on the Packer 25 and ran unmolested for a 
touchdown with only three minutes and 43 seconds left in
the game. Cason was a thorn in Rote's side moments
later, intercepting Tobin's touchdown shot on the Ram 10
with less than two minutes remaining, following Los
Angeles' final touchdown. The situation was as dreary as
the day as the Rams took over with the final seconds
ticking like Packer heartbeats. But the Bill Wade-
triggered Rams could not control the ball in those waning
moments - Norm Van Brocklin was forced to punt - and
Green Bay, to the astonishment of everyone, was in
business. Al Carmichael, a California product himself,
took Van Brocklin's punt on his own 30 and zig-zagged to
the Ram 30. Rote carried to the 19 and slipped in the
next play for no gain. The field goal set-up was
accomplished, though, and Cone, who had booted two
previous attempts and three PAT shots, wiped off his
muddy toe, took precise aim and - boom - three points
and victory for the Packers. That was Fred's eighth field
goal of the season and he is shy by only one of the
Packer season record of nine, jointly held by Clarke
Hinkle in 1940, Ted Fritsch in 1946 and Cone himself last
season. Rote, who completed 19 of 40 tosses for 255
yards, was almost the goat, despite outclassing Van
Brocklin and Wade. Whatever possessed Rote to throw
a flat pass on third down from his own 25 with less than
four minutes to play drove Packer fans a bit crazy. The
pitch, intended for Gary Knafelc, was smack in Cason's
mitts and the Rams had just too easy of a time taking a
28-27 lead which loomed larger and larger. Rote had
thrown 106 passes this season without an interception
when Will Sherman stole a Knafelc touchdown-bound
pass in the end zone. If the 22-yard pass had been
caught, the Packers would have enjoyed a 31-14
advantage midway in the third quarter. But the
interception splattered a scoring chance and sparked the
Rams from a 24-14 deficit to a 28-27 lead. Rote had five
passes intercepted in all, three of them being deflected
before being stolen. But Tobin fired three touchdown
passes to break by two the number of scoring shots
flicked in one career by Cecil Isbell. Rote now has
tossed 61 touchdown passes in his six years in Green Bay. Los Angeles was
handed a real gift for a 7-0 lead in the first minute and 42 seconds of play.
Howie Ferguson fumbled a Rote pitchout. Andy Robustelli scooped it up on the
Packer 18 and practically walked over for the tally. Les Richter converted for a
quick lead. Midway through the initial quarter, the Packers started to click,
driving 39 yards to allow Cone to kick his first placement from the Ram 34 to
cut the deficit to 7-3. Van Brocklin, who completed only one of six passes for
four yards in the first half, just didn't have it, and Norm booted to Carmichael,
who returned the punt to the Packer 37. In nine plays, the Packers moved 63
yards to take the lead, 10-7. Rote's tosses of 20, 19 and 11 yards to Howton
down the middle rattled the Rams' defense. With third down from the seven,
Veryl Switzer in the far left corner and he scooted over untouched. Cone's
conversion was perfect with four seconds left in the first quarter. Deral Teteak
intercepted Van Brocklin's third down strike on the Rams' 43 and returned it
nine yards to set up Green Bay's second touchdown.
KNAFELC SCORES
Ferguson made seven, the six and Breezy Reid romped to the 16. Rote then unleashed a 12-yard toss to Knafelc who bulled his way from the four into the end zone. Cone converted again and the Packers were ahead, 17-7, with 12 1/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter. Sid Gillman, first year Ram boss, then tossed Wade into the quarterback spot. From their own 31, the Rams drove to the Packer 44, but Richter's field goal was miserably short. It was grabbed by Carmichael and returned to the Packer 21. Dick Deschaine had to put the Bays out of trouble - and indeed he did, booming a 48-yard kick into the end zone. It was a give nothing situation for the last two minutes of the first half. Almost as quickly as the Rams scored their first touchdown, the Packers tallied their third with one minute and 49 seconds gone in the third quarter. Rote his his favorite receiver, Howton, for 15 yards. But two plays later the gigantic one came - a 57-yard touchdown pass, Rote to Howton. Billy took the ball on the Ram 40, jockeyed the defense out of its shoes and went the distance. Cone booted the Packers comfortably ahead, 24-7. But the Rams struck back. From their own 34, they went the distance in six plays.
BOUNCE BACK
Wade engineered the drive, hitting Bob Boyd and Elroy Hirsch and finally tossing a 15-yard strike to Ron Waller for the touchdown. Richter, although he could kick no resemblance of a field goal, had little trouble counting the PAT and the Packer lead was trimmed to 24-14. The Packers bounced back, moving from their own 36 to the Ram 19. Rote's tosses to Howton and Knafelc did the damage. But when a third down pass in the end zone, intended for Knafelc, was deflected and grabbed by Sherman, the needed insurance TD was denied. But Wade's arm couldn't find its mark and the Packers took over on the Ram 37, Switzer returning Van Brocklin's punt 33 yards. Trouble struck again as Sherman hung on to a deflected Rote aerial on the Packer 46. Green Bay's defense got tough and the best scoring threat the Rams could show was an unsuccessful 42-yard field goal attempt by Richter. Interception No. 3 backfired against Rote moments later. Cason grabbed Tobin's pass on the Packer 39 and the Rams were on their way to Touchdown No. 3.
WALLER TALLIES
With five second gone in the fourth quarter, Waller took a Wade handoff around right end for five yards and the score. Richter converted and the Packers led by only 24-21. Green Bay took the kickoff and marched to the Ram 37 before stalling. But the reliable Cone was called in and this time his mighty 45-yard boot put the Packers ahead, 27-21, with eight minutes of playing time left. Roger Zatkoff have Los Angeles a little of their own medicine, intercepting Van Brocklin's pass on the Packer 46 and returning it to the Ram 48. The Rams put the rush on Rote and two of his passes were knocked down. Deschaine then punted to the Los Angeles 11. Van Brocklin had to do likewise, punting 62 yards to Carmichael on the Packer 14. Two Ferguson carries moved the ball to the Packer 17. Rote's third down flat-pass sailed right into Cason's bread-basket and the Rams jumped into a 28-27 lead with just three minutes and 43 seconds to play. The Packers came back, though, and moved to their own 37 where Rote tried a long heave to Howton. It was intercepted again by Cason and that seemed to be the ball game as thousands flooded out of the cold, wet stadium. The Rams' Wade was thrown for a yard loss, lost another yard on the second play and Waller picked up seven on third down. Los Angeles had to punt and Van Brocklin's boot carried to Carmichael who ran 30 yards to the Ram 30. Thousands in the parking lot stood still. The Packers could still do it the way Cone was booting 'em from all over the place. Rote set up the kick with an 11-yard scamper to the Ram 19 and it was from there that Cone saved the day with his 25-yard field goal.
FERGUSON HURT
The Rams took the kickoff with 24 seconds left. Waller returning to the 27. Van Brocklin was smeared for a seven yards and his last chance was a short toss to Boyd. He was swarmed by just about every Packer as the gun sounded. Rote outclassed Van Brocklin and Wade but the Los Angeles ground gainers (Waller and Tom McCormick) had an edge in that department. The Packers were hurt plenty when Ferguson was sidelined in the third quarter with a knee injury. He came back in the final quarter but was smacked again. Howie picked up 37 yards in 14 carries with the bad leg. Reid was the Packer workhorse picking up 53 yards in 12 carries. It was the defense which played another rock, sock game. It raised havoc with Van Brocklin and treated Wade just as rudely. The offense could only blame itself for giving Los Angeles two easy touchdowns. No team is going to romp with ease against this Packer defensive platoon. And if interceptions and fumbles can be eliminated, Green Bay could go the distance. Certainly, they have a good start. And now to Cleveland, for a showdown with the Eastern Division's mighty Browns, deadlocked in a first place tie with a similar 3-1 record.
LOS ANGELES -  7  0  7 14 - 28
GREEN BAY   - 10  7  7  6 - 30
1st - LA - Andy Robustelli, 18-yard fumble recovery (Les Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 7-0
1st - GB - Cone, 34-yard field goal LOS ANGELES 7-3
1st - GB - Switzer, 7-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 10-7
2nd - GB - Knafelc, 16-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 17-7
3rd - GB - Howton, 57-yard pass from Rite (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 24-7
3rd - LA - Ron Waller, 15-yard pass from Billy Wade (Richter kick) GREEN BAY 24-14
4th - LA - Waller, 5-yard run (Richter kick) GREEN BAY 24-21
4th - GB - Cone, 45-yard field goal GREEN BAY 27-21
4th - LA - Jim Cason, 25-yard interception return (Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 28-27
4th - GB - Cone, 25-yard field goal GREEN BAY 30-28










WESTERN CONFERENCE - STANDINGS
Los Angeles       3   1   0   .750   95   80
Baltimore         3   1   0   .750   85   88
GREEN BAY         3   1   0   .750   94   72
San Francisco     2   2   0   .500   64  104
Chicago Bears     1   3   0   .250   77   77
Detroit           0   4   0   .000   64  102
Sunday October 16th
CHICAGO BEARS 38, Baltimore 10 - The Bears handed the previously unbeaten Colts a stunning 38-10 setback Sunday to score their first NFL victory of the season. The Bears broke loose with five touchdowns and a field goal to demoralize the bewildered Colts. Rick Casares, a promising rookie from Florida, broke the game open in the second quarter with an 81-yard touchdown run before 40,184. With the game tied at 3-3 on an exchange of first quarter field goals by Bert Rechichar and George Blanda, Casares took a pitchout and slammed through the Colts line on his brilliant run. Seven different men had their hands on him but couldn't bring the rookie down. The Colts, hampered by three 15-yard penalties in four plays, began to move on a 17-yard run by fullback Alan Ameche and a 13-yard pass from George Shaw to Lloyd Coulteryahn. However, Bear tackle Bill George intercepted a Shaw pass putting the ball on the Bear 49. On the very next play, Blanda fired a 51-yard touchdown pass to end Gene Schroeder. Blanda again converted giving the Bears a comfortable 17-3 halftime lead. The Bears pushed across two more touchdowns in the third quarter before Baltimore finally crossed their goal line after recovering a fumbled punt in the fourth period. Chicago completed the scoring in the final period with a 37-yard touchdown pass from substitute quarterback Bob Williams to end Bill McColl. After Casares' sensational run the Colts never could get back in the game. Baltimore made sporadic gains on an occasional run by Ameche or a completed pass by Shaw but never was able to put together a sustained drive. Baltimore recovered a fumbled punt on the Bear 23 in the fourth period. A pass from Gary Kerkorian to Ray Berry put the ball on the 8. A penalty moved it to the two and Ameche took it over from there.
San Francisco 27, DETROIT 24 - A spectacular fourth-down pitchout play by quarterback Y.A. Tittle, who first fumbled the ball and then tossed it fullback Joe Perry, climaxed a 21-point surge in the final quarter and gave the San Francisco 49ers a 27-24 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday. Perry, who earlier had fumbled three times, took Tittle's underhanded toss and scored from five yards out with only one minute and 50 seconds remaining. It dealt the Lions a crushing fourth straight loss and virtually eliminated them from the Western Division race. It was a magnificent comeback victory for the 49ers, who had frittered away numerous chances earlier in the game and entered the final quarter on the short end of a 24-6 score. But in 90 dramatic seconds San Francisco scored twice early in the fourth quarter, stunning the near-sellout crowd of 51,438 in Briggs Stadium and setting the stage for its final scoring march. Dick Moegle sent the 49ers winging in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard end sweep to score after only 14 seconds of play. Then Rex Berry, veteran defensive halfback, fired the 49ers to fever pitch by intercepting Harry Gilmer's pass and racing 44 yards to score. That made it 24-20 with 13 minutes left. Tittle engineered a 60-yard drive for the winning touchdown after the 49ers had once driven to the 24, only to be stopped. After the game, Tittle said the crucial touchdown was a makeshift play. "It was to be a short pass to Gordy Soltau," he said. "When I dropped the ball, Joe (Perry) screamed at me to throw the ball to him. He took off like a bullet."
NEWS AND NOTES
INJURIES CRIPPLE BROWNS
OCTOBER 17 (Cleveland) - Tommy James, safety man for the Cleveland Browns, will be out of action for at least two weeks. Dr. Vic Oppolito said James, injured in Sunday's game at Washington, suffered stretched ligaments in his left knee. Halfback Ray Renfro has a slight rib separation, an X-ray examination disclosed.
LOS ANGELES DEFENSE CLOSED IN WITH RAIN, CAUSED ROTE TROUBLE
OCTOBER 18 (Milwaukee Journal) - What happened to Tobin Rote's passing when it started to rain at the Stadium Sunday was hard to believe. Before the first drops fell, midway in the third quarter, the Green Bay quarterback was making the Rams wish they had never left Los Angeles. He fit perfectly Coach Lisle Blackbourn's recent description of him. "When Tobin's right," Blackbourn had said, "he's positively the best quarterback in pro football." Then the rain, or something, took the edge away from him and Green Bay was fortunate, indeed, to win at all. Here are Rote's passing figures, without and with the rain:
     Att Comp Yds TDs Int
DRY   21   12 194   3   0
WEST  19    7  61   0   5
Blackbourn, who admits himself that Rote is "the most inconsistent quarterback" in the NFL, said Tuesday at Green Bay that he thought he had at least part of the answer. "Our plan," Blackbourn said, "was to throw short passes, to keep the ball away from their deep men, Sherman and Burroughs. We didn't want them to get a chance to intercept. "This worked fine until the
ball got wet. I'd say that Rote was having a great day.
Then they moved their backs up close to plague our
short ones. Tobin still didn't want to throw long, because
the ball was wet and we still were worried about them
zoning on the long ones and intercepting." Then,
Blackbourn said, things started to go wrong. The first
two interception were on deflected passes, neither of
them long ones. "Those I can excuse," the Packer
coach said, "but a few other things were inexcusable."
First, Blackbourn mentioned the screen pass which the
Rams made their third interception, setting up the
touchdown which cut Green Bay's lead to 24-21. "They
sensed the screen," Blackbourn said, "and covered the
receiver. Tobin had two alternatives - eat the ball or
throw it away. Instead of throwing it way away, he tried
to dump it right over the line. That was an interception
they should never had made." And the pass in the flat,
from the Packer 17, which Jimmy Cason intercepted for
the touchdown that put the Rams ahead, 28-27. "I didn't
like the call," Blackbourn said, "and neither did Tobin
when he came out. If he wanted to try that, he shouldn't
have used the wide side of the field (the ball was
spotted 20 yards in from the west sideline and Rote
threw toward the east sideline). There was just too
much room for the defender to get to the ball before the
ball got to the receiver. Cason timed it perfectly and he
was away. It was not a good call at all." Then
Blackbourn mentioned the long pass intended for Gary
Knafelc which Cason intercepted on the Rams 10.
"That's just what I didn't want him to try," Blackbourn
said. "It was exactly what he had decided wouldn't work
in all of our planning."...The spread formation that the
Packers tried on their first play from scrimmage was to
be used as an "irritant", Blackbourn said. "We hoped to
spread 'em out, make them switch their defense around.
We had planned to use it two or three more times, but our offense was working so well and the protection for the passer so good that we didn't go back to it."...'I FLUBBED IT': Concerning the fumbled pitchout which gave the Rams their first touchdown, fullback Howie Ferguson said after the game. "It was thrown right square where I wanted it. I just flubbed it."...Blackbourn said he thought that Ferguson, injured ankle, wrenched knee and all, would be ready to play against the Browns at Cleveland Sunday. If not, Breezy Reid will be switched to fullback, Veryl Switzer to left halfback and Al Carmichael and Joe Johnson will share the flanker back spot.
BAY PASS DEFENSE TOUGHEST IN NFL
OCTOBER 18 (Philadelphia) - One big reason the Packers have jumped off to such a successful start in the Western Division is because of a topnotch pass defense. League statistics released Tuesday show Green Bay has permitted only 32 of its opponent's 86 passes to be completed for a 37.2 percentage - best in the NFL. However, against Cleveland Sunday the Packers will be up against the Otto Graham-triggered Browns, who boast the best pass completion mark (60.8 percent) in the league. The top scoring team is also the Browns, who have counted 100 points in four games. The Packers have tallied 94 points, third best. Green Bay is third behind the Bears and Steelers in total yardage (1,345 - 643 rushing and 702 passing). Cleveland is fourth. The Al (The Horse) Ameche galloping Colts took over the rushing lead from Cleveland with 776 yards. The Browns have 688, followed by Green Bay with 643. In air attack Detroit is second behind Philadelphia (872 yards) followed by Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Cleveland. Los Angeles leads in punting with a 45.1 yard average per kick. Cleveland is second with 44.3 and the Bears, Packers and Eagles are tied for third with 42.5. The Browns have only allowed opposing ball carriers to gain 2.8 yards per carry, second to Pittsburgh. And Cleveland is second to the Packers in pass defense, allowing only 38.2 percent of opponents' passes completed.
PACKERS PROVE AGAIN GAME ISN'T OVER UNTIL FINAL GUN
OCTOBER 18 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - A man who saw MOST of Sunday's Packer-Ram thriller is still moaning. Understandably so. "That's the last time I'll ever try to beat the crowd out of the stadium, so help me," he promised. "I thought the ball game was over and the Packers dead after that last Ram interception. What a dope!" The possibility of pulling the game out of the fire was rather remote, for the Rams' gift marker, via a pass interception, came less than four minutes before the end. But immediate past history should have taught the man not to give up, regardless of the odds, anytime the Bays of 1955 are within winning range. Remember how they beat the Lions in the league opener at Green Bay three weeks ago Sunday? The clock showed only 20 seconds to go when Gary Knafelc made a jumping catch of Tobin Rote's pass and bulled his way over the goal line. It almost happened again a week ago last Saturday night. On the very last play, Bill Howton was only inches away from turning defeat into victory. He was only that far away from Rote's fast pitch into the end zone. Admittedly, it's a terrific strain on the heart to win 'em with the clock ticking off the fatal seconds. But there isn't a better way to keep 'em glued to their seats - and bring 'em back again. People like nothing better than be convinced the game isn't over until the final gun. The man's plight, by the way, brings to mind that it wasn't the first time the impossible was accomplished in the very same stadium. Hundred, perhaps thousands, had left the premises and were in their cars, homeward bound, one night in 1954 when the Braves rallied for six runs with two outs in the ninth to beat the Dodgers. Looking back to the Packers' latest success story, so many vital elements went into it that one can't help wondering if a lot of these things are pre-destined and follow a script way beyond the control of mortal man. Consider first what appeared to be an absolute give-away - the ill-fated Rote pass intercepted and run back for the TD that gave the Rams the lead. If the pass (on third down) hadn't been intercepted, the Packers surely would have punted. Then the Rams might have ground out a touchdown legitimately, they had time. Say the Rams had run and passed for the big score instead. Surely they would have used up most of the precious time remaining in the process. Then it would have taken a miraculous runback of the kickoff and/or a tremendous pass to save the game. The time situation plus the rain and slippery field certainly would have minimized the threat of either happening. Instead, the supposed give-away, coming when it did, gave the Packers enough time to return the kickoff, complete a pass or two, lose the ball on another interception, regain possession by forcing a Ram kick and finally gain position for Fred Cone's field goal. The Rams helped the Packer cause when Bill Wade ran out of bounds to stop the clock on the first play following the last interception. Without that bit of help, it might have been impossible to win. Ironically, Norm Van Brocklin, too, gave the Bays a lift by getting off the best punt of the day down that exciting home stretch. If it had been 10 or 15 yards shorter, Al Carmichael might not have had a chance to handle it. Or if he did, there might have been no return of consequence. As it was, Carmichael had time to field the ball and do some fancy running on a beautiful runback that netted 40 yards - absolutely necessary yards. That runback, incidentally, was the key play, second in importance only to Cone's winning kick. All that matters now, of course, is that everything turned out all right. But it's not a bad idea to keep in mind that victory and defeat hang on a mighty thin thread.
LIZ CITES PACKERS' TITLE CHANCES
OCTOBER 18 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Coach Liz Blackbourn said Monday any chance the Packers have to stay in title contention depends entirely on the "jumbleness" of the Western Division the remainder of the season. "We're a thin club, mighty thin," observed Blackbourn from his Green Bay office. "Our defense has been playing well, all the way. Our offense is built around Tobin Rote and Howie Ferguson - we can't stand injuries and expect to stay up there." Ferguson injured his leg against the Rams Sunday. "It's a jammed knee," reported Liz. "But I believe he will be ready for Cleveland next Sunday." That's the situation with the amazing Packers, who possess the best start (3-1) since 1947. They have stayed in business without adequate depth - serious injuries would be the killer. "If Fergy can't make it Sunday we'll move Breezy Reid to the fullback spot, Veryl Switzer will be our left half and we'll use either Al Carmichael or Joe Johnson as the flanker," revealed Liz. "Switzer is the most valuable halfback on the club. He's our best blocker, a good receiver - he can do so many things. If he had just a little more speed, he would be great." Blackbourn then pointed out several situations where players must be kept for their specialist roles. It weakens the club in respect to reserve strength, but it gives the Packers aces in the hole. "There's no doubt we're hanging on to Dick Deschaine for his punting ability and Fred Cone for his magic toe. But two big disappointments have been Tom Bettis, our first draft choice, and George Timberlake. Bettis has a pulled hip muscle, but he never has looked like a better linebacker than Roger Zatkoff or Deral Teteak. Timberlake is still with us because we need a second center." Blackbourn emphasized that the trading season is all but over, yet he would never stop listening to a deal. "Yes, we're kind of a funny ball club. We're not easy to handle, but injuries sure put is in a dither trying to figure our best possible punch. We've built so much around so few." What about the pass defense which gave Norm Van Brocklin and Bill Wade a hectic afternoon? "I guess all those quarterbacks can't have an off-day," laughed Liz, referring to the poor passing displays of Bobby Layne, George Blanda and Ed Brown against the Packers. "Our defense didn't yield against the Rams. We gave them two touchdowns on an interception and a fumble." Blackbourn criticized Rote's flat pass which was intercepted by the Rams' Jim Cason, running for an easy score with less than four minutes left in the game. "Rote is a terrific quarterback," added Liz. "But he can kill you with those." And what about Cone's game-winning field goal in the last 24 seconds? The Colts proved last week that Fred's 47-yarder didn't clear the bars, but it was called good. "I don't care if the ball went through the goal posts or not," shot Blackbourn. "The ref raised his hands, didn't he? I didn't even watch the ball." Then Liz revealed that Cone said the ball didn't have much to spare. Now comes Cleveland, a team gaining momentum with Otto Graham looking like old. "They can score so much on improvised pass patterns," emphasized Liz. "Today we're compiling all our scouting reports for our club to work on starting Tuesday. And work it will be if we expect to keep up with the Browns."
PACKERS 'FLYING' HIGH WITH HOWTON
OCTOBER 19 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers won
world titles in 1936, 1939 and 1944 when a slight, lanky
end from Alabama by the name of Don Hutson re-wrote
just about every pass catching record in the NFL. On
his first play in pro ball against the Bears, Hutson took
a pass from Arnie Herber and went 94 yards for the only
score of the game. Here was the secret to Green Bay's
championship success - Hutson catching anything
Herber threw and later anything tossed his way by Cecil
Isbell. Today the Packers are once again in the thick of
the Western Division race. And once again there is a
fleet-footed end catching the shots of a veteran
quarterback. Billy Howton, the Packers' second draft
choice in 1952, is the closest resemblance to a Hutson.
In fact, the Houston hustler did Hutson one better in his
freshman year, breaking Don's record for yards gained
catching passes in one season (1,211) by 20 yards. At
the moment Howton is one of the best receivers in the
league. He has caught 21 Rote rifles in four games for
345 yards and three touchdowns. His 57 yard
touchdown catch against the Rams last Sunday was
the longest this season. However, Billy on two
occasions has gone 90 yards on tosses by Babe Parilli.
And he scored the game-winning touchdown on a 90-
yard pass play in the 1953 Pro Bowl game. Howton
possesses exceptional speed and an uncanny ability
to shake defensive halfbacks. For example, in the Ram
game, he grabbed a button hook Rote pass, jockeyed
three Los Angeles defenders out of their britches and
bingo! - 57 yards and a Packer touchdown. Bill was the most
valuable player on the 1951 Rice team and was an All-
American choice. He is about as tall as Huston but is built
heavier (185 to 172). For those who like to compare Hutson-
Howton achievements, here's the breakdown. Howton has
been the leading Packer pass receiver ever since joining the
club. But this season he has jumped off to the best start. With
Rote tossing truer than ever, the aerial game has once more
gained fame at Green Bay. Howton may never approach the
greatness of Hutson, but he's doing the best job in modern
football against the toughest pass defense. He teams with a
Texas partner with clicking perfection. Rote's passes aren't the
easiest to catch. They're bullet-like shots - but they're being
caught with game winning finesse by Howton. Rote also has
the surprising Gary Knafelc as a true receiver as well as
Howie Ferguson, Veryl Switzer and Breezy Reid. But Howton
has been the favorite target - he's the best in the league.
PRO GRID DRAFT MOVED UP TO LATE NOVEMBER
OCTOBER 19 (Philadelphia) - NFL teams will make their
"bonus pick" and select the first three choices from the 1955
collegiate crop sometime between November 14 and
November 28, some two months earlier than usual.
Commissioner Bert Bell said Wednesday night that there was
no secret about this meeting as expressed in some quarters.
"I sent out a bulletin to club owners, informed them of the
meeting and specifically stated that an announcement of the
early draft would be made to the press at least two weeks
before the date of the meeting," Bell said. The continuing war
with the Canadian League motivated the early draft. Usually,
the NFL draft is held at the annual meeting in January.
BROWN DEFENDS PRO REIGN
OCTOBER 20 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - What about the
Cleveland Browns? They've won two world championships and five straight divisional titles since joining the NFL in 1950 and show no signs of letting up. When the Browns came into the league they had a strong team from the start. Coach Paul Brown built a powerhouse around quarterback Otto Graham. Names like Gillom, Groza, Lavelli, Renfro and Ford were soon synonymous with pro football greatness. Today, Brown still hopes to send out winning clubs - to reach his goal of creating a grid dynasty. He refuses to support, or even consider, the theory that Cleveland's continued supremacy is harmful to pro football. "Winning is not an evil thing," says Brown. "Winning fairly is an admirable accomplishment no matter what the field of endeavor. I am a football teacher. If we win before 10,000 fans, that's swell. If we lost before 80,000, that's awful." Well, the Browns are still winning and Sunday they'll put their 3-1 record against an identical Packers mark at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. To celebrate the Browns' 10th year in professional football, Cleveland Mayor Anthony Celebrezze has urged Ohio citizens to give their undivided support and encouragement to the Browns on their day. So the perennial champion meets and an up and coming challenger, one which has had six glorious years of world titles - but no resemblance of a winner for 10 years until this season. The Browns are still the Otto Graham-triggered winners. In his ninth season with Cleveland, Graham has directed the high-geared Brown offensive that has led the team to 107 wins, 19 losses and three ties. It was Graham who raised havoc with the Lions in the championship game last December as the Browns won with ridiculous ease, 56-10. It was Graham hitting nine of 16 receivers last Sunday for 138 yards to give the Browns a 24-14 win over the Redskins. And along with Graham, there were the oldtimers, Horace Gillom, Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, Ray Renfro and Lenny Ford, still doing the job of champions. Coach Brown has injected new life with the acquisitions of Ed (Big Mo) Modzelewski, taking over as regular fullback. Modzelewski powered for 58 yards in 13 carries against Washington. He's a neat replacement for Marion Motley. The Packers have never beaten a Brown team. In their only league contest, Cleveland whipped Green Bay, 27-0, in the first pro game ever played in Milwaukee County Stadium in 1953. Scores of the Packers' exhibition losses to the Browns are: 38-7 in '50, 21-14 in '52, 21-13 in '53, 14-13 in '54 and 13-7 in '55. It all points that the Browns strictly mean business when they play for keeps. Green Bay never quite turned the trick in exhibition play, and all but one games were down to the wire finishes. When it was a league situation it was simple mayhem. The Packers, indeed, have an old score to settle. And Sunday's showdown between two divisional leaders couldn't be a more opportune time.
PACKERS FEAR GRAHAM - BROWNS HAVE PASSING AS WELL AS DEFENSE
OCTOBER 20 (Milwaukee Journal) - After looking over the scouting reports, Lisle Blackbourn was talking about the Cleveland Browns, NFL champions, whom his Green Bay Packers meet at Cleveland Sunday. "Graham is back," he said. "He's the one who makes them so good on offense. They always had the 
defense. On a pass play you put a good rush on Otto and he'll roll out. Then he and Brewster, Lavelli and Renfro (Cleveland receivers) will improvise among themselves. They're all old heads at this and they get more long passes, because they think and act quickly and together." Then Blackbourn talked about Cleveland's defense. "That line," he said, "it's awfully big. Gain at middle guard, Colo and Kissell at tackles, Ford and Massey at ends, they make things tough for anybody. Michaels is a great linebacker. Their deep men, Lahr, Konz, Paul, they're all old heads, too. You don't fool 'em very often." How do the Browns compare with Green Bay's earlier opponents like, say, the Los Angeles Rams? Here are a few thoughts on the subject, arrived at from conversations and reports:
Quarterback: Graham, unretired, having a great year. Leads league in percentage of completions, yards gained per pass. The Rams' Van Brocklin had unusually bad day against Packers. Could have been Green Bay defense which has, for the most part, made Layne, Blanda, Brown, Williams, Shaw look bad, too. Not much to choose between second stringers Ratterman of Browns and Wade of Rams. Every team would like to have such reserves.
Rest of backfield: Browns much deeper, bigger. Paul Brown using two fullbacks at a time. Big Mo Modzelewski and Curly Morrison. Rams didn't have any because of injuries to Towler and Younger. Where Rams had to rely on "little" fellows like Waller and McCormicj, Browns also have Bassett, first string fullback last year, and halfbacks like Renfro, old Dub Jones and rookie Bob Smith of Nebraska. Big edge to Browns here.
Receivers: Excellent for both teams.
Defense: Rams lead league with 16 interceptions (five against Packers), Browns have stolen only five passes, but have permitted only 424 yards in air (best in league) and 38.2 percent completions, second only to Packers' 37.2. Browns also are stingy on ground, giving up 336 yards, second to Pittsburgh's 290, compared with 525 for Rams and 551 for Packers. Four opponents have gained only 760 yards on Cleveland, all told (Pittsburgh defense only other one under 1,000 yards with 870).
Field goal kicking: Here the Packers will have no such an edge as they did over Rams when Cone made three out of three including winner and Rams missed three out of three (Richter flubbed two and Fears dug divot on other). Lou (The Toe) Groza showed he was back in form with 41 yard field goal against Washington last Sunday.
Age: Browns are aging (Graham, Gatski, Lavelli and Groza are in 10th seasons, Gillom in ninth, Jones and James in eighth and Lahr in seventh. All have been around longer than any Packer). But they are by no means decrepit. They've won three straight games as Rams had last week, and among the victims was western division favorite San Francisco, 38-3.
BROWNS 7-PT. CHOICE SUITS PACKERS FINE
OCTOBER 21 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - "The Packers think they can win in their division and that's making them tougher. We aren't planning on losing, either, so something has to give in this one." That was the capsule quote from Coach Paul Brown Thursday, priming his Browns for Sunday's showdown with the classy Packers at Cleveland. Both clubs are sporting 3-1 records, but the oddsmakers have made the Browns a seven point favorite. At Green Bay, Coach Liz Blackbourn was apparently unconcerned by the point spread as he sharpened his offensive unit. In underdog roles, the Packers have won every game. They were slight favorites in the Colt contest and lost. Fullback Howie Ferguson was still bothered with a wrenched knee, suffered in the Ram game. He did some running in drills Thursday but left early for treatment. It is still doubtful whether Howie will see any action against the Browns. Another training room patient was quarterback Tobin Rote, bothered with a heavy head cold. Rote seemed to be responding to Trainer Bud Jorgenson's treatment and should be in shape by Sunday. Halfback Breezy Reid has been running at Ferguson's spot this week, along with veteran fullback Fred Cone. However, it was quite possible Blackbourn will use the spread formation against the Browns if the Packer running game goes haywire. As in the spread used against Los Angeles, Rote goes behind the center as in the T-formation, but then the backfield shifts into a spread. It will be homecoming for Packer line coach Lou Rymkus in Cleveland Sunday. Rymkus was one of the all-time great tackles of professional football, playing on six Cleveland championship teams. He was named All-Pro tackle for four of those six years. His last game in Memorial Stadium was in 1951 when the Browns defeated the Cardinals, 49-28. The Packers' stout defense has given up only six touchdowns in four games - three others can be charged to the offensive platoon. So watch those miscues! Two fumbles recovered for touchdowns and an intercepted pass for a TD - were results of the offensive bobbles. And from a Cleveland scribbler:
"The punch those Green Bay Packers pack", says grave Professor Paul,
"Will knock us off the winning track unless we're on that ball."
Green Bay Packers (3-1) 30, Los Angeles Rams (3-1) 28
Sunday October 16th 1955 (at Milwaukee)
PACKERS' ROTE DUELS GRAHAM IN SHOWDOWN
OCTOBER 22 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Paul Brown, probably the most successful coach in football, has been quoted in a national magazine as saying that
the Packers' Tobin Rote "can do more different
things well than any other pro quarterback." At
the same time, Brown calls his own Otto
Graham the "finest passer I've ever seen a
quarterback like Graham can be the difference
between winning the championship and
finishing in the second division." So attention
will be on the quarterback Sunday when Green
Bay's up and coming Packers battle the
defending world champion Browns in
Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. NFL statistics
show that Graham, who came out retirement
for his 10th season, is the loop's best passer.
Peerless Otto has completed 35 of 57 passes
for 531 yards - a 9.32 average. That's
completing 61.4 percent of the time. Rote is
ranked 10th at the moment. However, Tob has
thrown more passes (136), completed more
(67) for more yards (797) and more TDs (7)
than anyone else in the league. Passing ratings
are based on the average gain per pass
attempted. Rote has a 5.86 average. Brown
also credits Rote with "setting a new style for T
quarterbacks" - running with the ball. The
record shows that Rote has not carried the ball
as much this season as he did last year.
However, Tob has run on two crucial occasions
this fall to set up the winning points. Against
the Lions in Green Bay, Rote ran for 28 yards
in the closing seconds to set the stage for his
game-winning touchdown pass to Gary Knafelc.
And against the Rams last Sunday, rovin'
Tobin ran 11 yards to the Los Angeles 19 - 
putting the ball in position for Fred Cone's
winning field goal. League statistics also
reveal old Otto has been somewhat of a runner,
too. In fact, he's the fourth best in the league
with a 3.3 average gain. Graham has carried
the ball 24 times for 79 yards - and he's scored
two touchdowns carrying the ball. Rote, second only to rookie George Shaw of Baltimore, has a 4.5 yard average, the result of 94 yards on 21 carries. Tobin has scored one touchdown, a one yard plunge against the Bears. Who's going to fool whom Sunday? It's a great life when you gamble and win and a miserable existence when you lose. But that's how it goes in pro football.
PACKERS, BROWNS DUEL
OCTOBER 22 (Cleveland) - Either the Packers are a serious title contender or the Browns are still the champions of old. More than 55,000 who see Sunday's showdown between once beaten Green bay and once beaten Cleveland in Municipal Stadium will know the answer. The Packers go into the game in a three-way tie with Los Angeles and Baltimore for the Western Division lead. The Browns are co-leaders in the Eastern Division with Pittsburgh. Kickoff is 1:05, Milwaukee time. Cleveland started slowly this season, winning but one exhibition game and losing its first league start against Washington. But since then, the Browns have bumped off the 49ers, Eagles and gained revenge against the Redskins. It was a similar start last season when the Browns lost two of their first three game, including a humiliating 55-27 beating by the Steelers. They came back to win eight of their last nine games and capture the Eastern Division title, then topped off the season by walloping the Lions in the league playoff, 56-10. Otto Graham is back, and that seems to make the Browns a title contender. The 10-year veteran passer has lost none of the touch which has made Cleveland champions in nine straight campaigns. Otto is still the best in the business, being top ranked among the pro passers. Green Bay's rising Packers, the surprise of the league with their comeback wins over the Lions and Rams and mastery over the Bears, have been winging along on Tobin Rote's passing, Howie Ferguson's running and the best pass defense in the league. A thin club, yes, but one which has adopted a winning frame of mind, making it tougher on the opposition every game. The Packers have never beaten a Paul Brown-coached team, but figure they have the best chance ever Sunday. To do it they must throw their topnotch pass defense against Graham, and they must have Rote hitting at his very best. Ferguson's running could be the question mark. Coach Liz Blackbourn revealed that it would not be until game time whether the bruising fullback would play. Hampered by a wrenched knee sustained in the Ram game, Ferguson has been hobbling all week. If Howie can't cut it, Blackbourn will counter by moving halfback Breezy Reid to fullback. And it is very possible Rote will operate from a spread formation if the running game can't progress against the big Brown line. Blackbourn is high on this Packer team but labels injuries as the killer. "We're a thin club but a good one. Injuries would kill us."
ARE PACKERS TEAM OF DESTINY?
OCTOBER 23 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - Are the "Dick Merriwell" boys - the Packers - pro football's team of destiny this year? There has been more than a hint already. They beat the Lions on a Tobin Rote to Gary Knafelc pass in the last 20 seconds; nicked the Rams last week on Fred Cone's field goal 24 seconds before time ran out, and just missed on the last play in their only venture against the Colts. Logic decrees they can't keep it up as they play their first road game Sunday at Cleveland. Preponderance of expert thinking supports that view, for the Browns are expected to win by a touchdown or two, say 27 or 34 to 20. But all the Packers recognize is that each game, including this one, starts with the score 0-0. Which proves the team with "destiny" ideas can't be licked in advance and is tough to beat on the field, as the Browns may discover.
PACKERS WILL MEET BROWNS IN TOUGH GAME AT CLEVELAND
OCTOBER 23 (Cleveland) - The first, and perhaps even the toughest, of Green Bay's six road games in this NFL season, will be played here today when Lisle Blackbourn's surprising Packers take on Paul Brown's Cleveland Browns, defending league champions. The game, which matches co-leaders of the two divisions, each with three victories and one defeat, will start at 1:05 p.m., Milwauke time, and will be broadcast by WTMJ. A crowd of upward of 60,000 is expected. The Packers, seven point underdogs this time, have never beaten the Browns. In each of the last five years, they met in preseason exhibition games and the scores, all in favor of Cleveland, were 38-7, 21-14, 21-14, 14-13 and 13-7. They met only once in league play, in 1953. The Browns won the first football game ever played in Milwaukee County Stadium, 27-0, with Otto Graham completing 20 out of 26 passes. Graham Sunday will match passing and running talents, but not signal calling, with Tobin Rote, Packer quarterback. Brown himself calls almost all of Cleveland's plays with shuttling guards. Blackbourn leaves Rote pretty much on his own on the field. Graham and his henchmen and Rote and his will be running into two of the league's finest defenses and it is with the defense that this game will probably be won or lost. Green Bay's chances for an upset are not enhanced by the condition of Howie Ferguson, fullback. Blackbourn said Saturday, upon arriving here, that Ferguson's knee, wrenched in the Los Angeles game at Milwaukee last Sunday, were still sore. If Ferguson cannot play, Breezy Reid will play fullback and Veryl Switzer left halfback. The Packers arrived by plane Saturday noon and worked out briefly at Cleveland stadium in the afternoon. The Browns and Packers last met in an exhibition game at Akron, Ohio, two months ago. The Browns won, 13-7, for their only triumph in six preseason games. The Packers, however, flubbed a chance to win when they reached the Cleveland four yard line in the last minute and failed to score. Not much in the way of solid comparisons can be derived from that game. The Browns rarely do well in exhibitions, as Brown experiments and generally gets them ready for the games that count. Blackbourn's Packers in that game hardly resembled the Packers of today. With so many new men, rookies and players obtained in trades, the team had not yet jelled.
RAMS FAVORED TO TAKE OVER LEAD ALL ALONE
OCTOBER 23 (Milwaukee Journal) - The way the handicappers see it, the Los Angeles Rams will be all alone in first place in the NFL's western division after Sunday's games. The Rams rule seven point favorites to beat Detroit's Lions at Los Angeles. The Packers and Baltimore, both tied with the Rams for the lead, both are rated underdogs, Green Bay by seven points at Cleveland and the injured Colts by seven against the Washington Redskins at Baltimore. In the western division's other game, San Francisco is the choice by three points over the Chicago Bears at San Francisco. At New York, the New York Giants, although residing in the basement, are favored by three points to knock the Pittsburgh Steelers out of a share of first place in the eastern division. The Philadelphia Eagles, despite their last place standing in a tie with the Giants, rule six point favorites to beat the Chicago Cardinals at Chicago.