(CHICAGO) - As expected, the Bears had every thing their own way at Wrigley Field Sunday, pounding the Packers, 38-14, to grab a first place tie in the Western Division with the finally beaten Detroit Lions. The manner in which they did it was calculated to bring the 49,172 patrons, who witnessed this heralded grudge fight, for bigger and better things. The Bruins rolled up 21 points before the Packers could chalk up a first down, this being the tell-tale difference. Old Halas U. wasted no time in taking command of the situation. It marched 72 yards for a touchdown after the opening kickoff, put the game in the rout class with a three TD spurt in the second quarter and added seven points in the third period and three in the final. Outclassed 21-0, Tobin Rote completed his first pass in the second quarter as the Packers finally ground out a first down and four plays later had a touchdown when Gary Knafelc hauled in a 23 yard Rote pass. Fred Cone tacked on the first of two conversions. Green Bay's only other stop at the pay window came in the third quarter when the Bears were hugging a 28-7 lead. Rote and Bill Howton teamed up on a 49 yard touchdown play - the only moment which might have bothered the Bears. Rote was given a continuous Bear rush and the Packer attack went up like a rocket and down like a stick. Rote completed only eight of 23 tosses for 137 yards.
Chicago countered with guerrilla warfare. John Hoffman romped for 107 yards. Ed Brown completed eight of 10 passes for 182 yards and George Bland connected on five of eight aerials for 126 yards. Harlon Hill had his own way against a bewildered Packer pass defense as he caught four passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Gene Schroeder grabbed four for 77 yards and Ed McColl two for 76. The only feather in the Packers' hat was stopping Rick Casares. The pounding fullback gained 66 yards and fumbled three times. Meanwhile, the Packers' snipping was no match for the Bruins' big guns. The Packers were outgained on the ground, 193-62, in the air, 299-249, and in total yards, 492-311.
The Bears' opening drive, which covered 72 yards in 12 plays, was indicative of what was to come. When the ground attack bogged down, Brown went back and completed passes. Hoffman crashed over from the five for the first touchdown and Blanda's conversion, surprisingly, was the extent of the scoring in the first quarter, although Blanda missed a 28-yard field goal minutes later. Green Bay had the ball on six plays in the first quarter, including a punt, so there was little danger of pestering the Bruins. After the Packers bobbled their third chance on offense, the Bears showed them how to do it in six plays as they went 68 yards for their second touchdown. Brown hit Hill on a 23 yard scoring heave and Blanda converted. A 27 yard gallop by Casares with an assist of an unseen Bear holding Bobby Dillon set up the TD. Again Rote was rushed off his feet and again the Wrigley Fielders bounced back. This time on third down, Blanda was being chased by a herd of Packers. But on the run he spotted McColl a lonesome target on the Packer 30. One long heave connected and McColl chalked up a 69-yard touchdown without a man 15 yards from him. Blanda converted and the Bears were striking it rich, 21-0, with 21 minutes of the game played. The Packers finally came to life and in six plays covered 74 yards for their first score. Rote hit Howton for 34 yards and the payoff was a Rote rifle to Knafelc, who banged into the protruding wall of the stands but hung onto the ball. Cone kicked the extra point and the Packers trailed, 21-7.
Bobby Dillon's interception of Blanda's pass delayed the Bears' fourth touchdown, but J.C. Caroline, who stole two of Rote's aerials, retaliated six plays later with a 52 yard touchdown romp after picking off the Packer pass. Blanda tacked on the 28th point. The Packers almost punched across a score of their own as the half neared completion when Al Carmichael returned Blanda's kickoff 73 yards to the Bears' 27. But on a fourth down fake field goal from the Bear four, with Rote throwing, didn't fool the defense as Ray Smith intercepted. Liz Blackbourn's downhearted crew chalked up the first score in the second half and their last. Bill Forester recovered Casares' fumble on the Packer 39 and four plays later, Rote tossed a long one to Howton, who got behind Caroline. The play was touchdown bound from the start, convering 49 yards. Cone kicked the Packers' final point.
Back bounced the Bears. After a holding penalty shoved them back to their 30, Brown uncorked a 25 yard pass to Hill, who took the ball away from Dillon and went the distance in a play which covered 70 yards. Blanda again booted one out of the park and the Bears had it their own way, 35-14. Blanda's 29-yard field goal in the fourth quarter wrote an end to the scoreboard activity, although the Packers, with Bart Starr directing the T, got to the Chicago two before a holding penalty and a Jesse Castete interception ended any Packer hope for a more presentable score. Starr incidentally had his best passing day for the Packers he completed five out of nine for 119 yards. And so loss No. 5 goes down in the Bay books and a dismal season for sure sets in. About the only thing typical about this Packer-Bear game, no love was lost. It was another rock 'em sock 'em affair. But a pass, a punt and a prayer was hardly enough against an offense so diversified as the Bears.
GREEN BAY     -  0  7  7  0 - 14
CHICAGO BEARS -  7 21  7  3 - 38
1st - CHI - John Hoffman, 5-yard run (George Blanda kick) CHICAGO 7-0
2nd - CHI - Harlon Hill, 23-yard pass from Blanda (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 14-0
2nd - CHI - Bill McColl, 69-yard pass from Blanda (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 21-0
2nd - GB - Knafelc, 23-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) CHICAGO 21-7
2nd - CHI - J.C. Caroline, 52-yard interception return (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 28-7
3rd - GB - Howton, 49-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) CHICAGO 28-14
3rd - CHI - Hill, 70-yard pass from Blanda (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 35-14
4th - CHI - Blanda, 29-yard field goal CHICAGO 38-14
NOVEMBER 12 (Green Bay) - The Packers Monday asked waivers on Floyd (Breezy) Reid, halfback in his seventh season with the team. A replacement will be announced later.
NOVEMBER 12 (Philadelphia) - There will be no expansion of the NFL in the immediate future, Commissioner Bert Bell said tonight, following revelation
that Denver, Minneapolis and Buffalo had renewed bids
for franchise in the wake of Louisville's offer to the
Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and 
Pittsburgh Steelers. "I would not favor, not can I see
expansion, either geographically or in the number of
franchises, until the last place teams in each division 
can win four or five games," Bell said. "In the first place,
it would be bad business as well as a breach of faith
with fans to move a club into a city if that club could not
be a winner," he continued. Louisville officials created the
expansion situation last week when they propositioned
the Redskins, and then later the Eagles and the Steelers
to move into the Kentucky state fairgrounds on terms 
which George Marshall, owner of the Redskins, 
described as "fabulous". Pittsburgh and Philadelphia 
have evidenced interest in the Kentucky proposition and
are scheduled to meet with Louisville representatives
this week. Meanwhile Mayor David L. Lawrence of 
Pittsburgh has suggested that the University of 
Pittsburgh stadium be made available to the Steelers to
keep the team in that city. Bell indicated he was not in
favor of moving clubs, even if circumstances were
favorable to expansion of the league, which now numbers
12 franchises in eleven cities. "When the bottom clubs 
in both divisions are able to win four or five games, then
we will have enough good football players to add a
couple of teams," he said. League standings indicate
that the teams have not yet reached this Utopian 
balance. San Francisco has won only one game in
seven starts and four other clubs - Pittsburgh, Cleveland,
Los Angeles and Green Bay - have won only two with 
the season more than half over. Bell credited television
with the sudden interest in National league franchises. Video, he explained, has taken professional football into every nook and corner of the nation in the last few season. Several teams have special widespread networks. The Chicago Bears, for example, telecast their games live over 68 stations from Jacksonville to Harlingen, Tex., to Denver through the middle west every Sunday. "Also," Bell added, "professional football has reached the stage where one cannot lose a lot of money in it. No one gets rich in it; in fact, no one ever got rich in any professional sport. But with television, radio and the growing interest in the game, it has become increasingly attractive as an investment." Although he does not expect that there will be any change in the league this year or next, for scheduling purposes, Bell hopes that some day it will be possible to increase the membership so that at least six teams will have playing sites other than major league baseball parks. "With six open parks, it would be possible to schedule the weaker teams against each other and pair the powers at the start of the race. In this way," he explained, "you would not force the weaker clubs to battle the powers in the opening games, and ruin their seasons before the race is actually underway. Number in the 'win' column create enthusiasm and enthusiasm creates better football."
NOVEMBER 13 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers Tuesday asked waivers on defensive halfback Jim Capuzzi and signed halfbacks Bill Roberts, rookie from Dartmouth and the Marines, and Ken Gorgal, who was released by the Chicago Bears last week. Coach Lisle Blackbourn said that Roberts would see "plenty of action" on offense as a replacement for Breezy Reid, who was cut adrift Monday. He said that Gorgal, former Purdue star who started his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns, would be a regular cornerback on defense. Roberts was one of the last players trimmed from the roster by the Packers before the season. Capuzzi never played college football, but was at the University of Cincinnati and Marquette before he joined the Packers.
NOVEMBER 13 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - There's nothing wrong with the Packers that some rich new blood wouldn't cure - like grabbing the long lost bonus choice in the upcoming draft and getting a shot at the cream of the 1956 college crop. Sunday the Wisconsin pros didn't belong on the same field with the Bears because they were outclassed position-wise from the start. The Packers were on the short end of every statistic except punting, kickoff returns and fumbles. The Bays' 62 yards gained on the ground against the Chicagoans was indicative of what has happened most of this dismal season. With no rushing to speak of and all passing, an opponent knows an all out rush against Tobin Rote stops the Packers cold. Coach Liz Blackbourn admitted Monday that the early draft, which will take place later this month, is Green Bay's salvation. "We need the best players available at the time," Blackbourn said. "It's not a question of drafting for position." The Packer head man gave his explanation for the club's downfall. "We got off to a bad start losing to the Lions and Bears," Liz observed. "But the thing which really killed us was Baltimore. We were physically beaten up there and lost our hope for staying in contention. Our game against the Browns was just one of those bad days. And against the Bears, well, we couldn't stop their passing, especially Brown." Blackbourn called the Bears "the best team we've seen." And he considered Detroit the only team which could beat them. While Rote hasn't had a good day since he passed the Rams dizzy four weeks ago, Blackbourn wouldn't comment further about his veteran passer and his stuff. But when asked if Bart Starr deserves more consideration after his best performance as a Packer pro, Blackbourn said "Starr probably will start against the 49ers next Sunday." Starr played the entire fourth quarter against the Bears. He completed five of nine passes for 119 yards and ran for five on a keeper. His best effort was a 53 yard completion to Bill Howton. However, Starr had two touchdown-bound heaves intercepted. Blackbourn's biggest problem at the moment is getting the club up for next Sunday's game. "Sure, the boys are disappointed," Liz said, "but there's nothing like a victory or two to bring that confidence back." The Packers' best chance is against the 49ers, the team with the worst record in pro ball (1-6). And if the Bays don't succeed here, they'll probably have to wait until next year. The Packer coach made one change Monday morning, releasing halfback Breezy Reid, a veteran of seven seasons in pro ball. Others might be coming.
NOVEMBER 14 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - It is surprising to observers the similarity between the Packers today and the club a year ago. But being as good a team as before doesn't help chances in the Western Division this season. The Bears and Lions have shown vast improvement, thus it's strictly a two-team runaway. Last year at this time the Packers returned to Green Bay after a disastrous road trip, losing three straight. They were in fourth place, two games behind the pace-setting Rams. Today Green Bay is fourth ranked, four games behind the leading Bears and Lions after dropping three in a row. Figures point out the Bays are performing on par with last year's team. Take the passing of Tobin Rote. A year ago the veteran flipper completed 98 of 211 passes for 1,214 yards and eight touchdowns after seven games. He had 11 intercepted. This season Rote has completed 85 of 184 aerials for 1,266 yards and 14 touchdowns. He had had only six intercepted. Rote had no rest in '55 until Paul Held stepped into the picture Thanksgiving Day. However, this season Bart Starr has been a capable replacement for the seven year vet. The Alabama rookie has completed 12 of 26 passes for 170 yards and has had two intercepted. Billy Howton has caught only two more passes than a year ago, but has gained 805 yards compared to 516 last season. And he's scored nine touchdowns at to four in '55 at this time. Gary Knafelc has not measured up to this performance of last year. So far, Knafelc has caught 17 passes for 232 yards and six touchdowns. Last season he caught 28 for 393 yards. But then Rote has not been as selective with his receivers this season. Joe Johnson had caught 15 for 121 yards and Al Carmichael has snared 10 for 117 yards. Neither Johnson nor Carmichael figured prominently in the Packer passing game last year. Howie Ferguson was the Packers' running attack a year ago as he gained 560 yards in 111 carries. Fergy has carried the ball only half as much this season, picking up 247 yards in 63 attempts. The biggest disappointment was Breezy Reid, recently released. A year ago Reid gained 243 yards in 58 carries and this season picked up only 39 yards in 14 tries. On the brighter side today is Carmichael's performance. Al has picked up 182 yards in 28 carries compared to 16 yards on only two tries in '55. The Packers are a better scoring team than a year ago, rolling up 159 points in seven contests compared to 145 last year. But they've given up more - 197 to 179 in '55. Being banged up physically in Baltimore had much to do with the Packers' nosedive. Yet it must be pointed out that adequate replacements haven't been found for defensive halfback Doyle Nix and Veryl Switzer. Howton is the leading scorer today with 54 points on nine touchdowns. Last year Fred Cone was leading the attack with 49 points in 11 field goals and 16 extra points. Cone has kicked only two field goals this season. After losing, 52-31, at Wrigley Field last fall, the Packers came back and won three of their remaining five games. It could be done again this time with two games to be played with the 49ers and one each with the Cardinals and Rams. The Packers have little chance of frightening the Lions in Detroit Thanksgiving Day.
NOVEMBER 14 (Milwaukee Journal) - Even a third straight capacity crowd for the Green Bay Packers in their home finale against San Francisco Sunday will not permit them to catch Milwaukee attendance-wise this season. The three NFL games here this fall drew 77,004 fans. With two sellouts in little City Stadium thus far, Green Bay has drawn 49,336. A third capacity crowd Sunday, which is not certain at all, would push Green Bay's total to 74,004. At best for the season, then, Green Bay will trail by 3,000. A year hence, of course, the Packers expect different things. They will have their new 32,000 seat stadium completed and they confidently think they will have 30,000 crowds as a regular thing. Only once in four seasons of play at County Stadium have the Packers drawn as many as 30,000 fans - 40,119 for the Baltimore Colts and Alan Ameche on a Saturday night a year ago. Since County Stadium was put into use in 1953, Milwaukee holds a slight edge in the little intercity attendance duel. For the three full seasons, 1953-55, Milwaukee drew 200,298 fans, Green Bay 197,221. The year before County Stadium was ready, 1952, the Packers averaged 21,884 per home date in Green Bay; only 13,833 per home date in Milwaukee (Marquette Stadium).
NOVEMBER 15 (Milwaukee Journal) - Al Carmichael was named "Packer of the week" by the Green Bay Quarterback club Wednesday night for his fine play on kickoff returns against the Chicago Bears at Chicago last Sunday...Thanks to their 494 yards against the Packers, the Bears increased their ground gaining lead in the NFL. They have gained 2,928 (1,609 rushing and 1,319 passing) in seven games. Their closest pursuer is Los Angeles with 2,538. The Bears will meet the Rams at Chicago Sunday...Emlen Tunnell, veteran defensive halfback from Iowa, started his 98th straight game for the New York Giants last Sunday...ROOKIES TO START: Two rookie quarterbacks will likely start when the Packers meet the San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Sunday. Earl Morrall, Rose Bowl here from Michigan State, already has beaten out veteran Y.A. Tittle with the 49ers. Coach Lisle Blackbourn of Green Bay said Thursday that Bart Starr would start for Green Bay in place of Tobin Rote. "And we will go with Bart for quite awhile, too," Blackbourn said. Starr, from Alabama, was Green Bay's 17th choice in the draft last winter. Morrall was taken by San Francisco in the first round.
NOVEMBER 16 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - A number of complaints, all justifiable, have been voiced since last Sunday about the dangerous wall immediately outside the end zone at the south end of Wrigley Field, where the Chicago Bears play their home games. There is nothing new about the hazard. It has been there since the park was built and pre-dates the Bears. That's going back a long time and only adds to amazement over the fact that a fatal injury has yet to be recorded. Perhaps that's what it is going to take - a fatal injury - to force the Bears (or the owners, the baseball Cubs) to provide the necessary protection for players who can and do get roughed up enough within the boundary lines without running into brick walls to boot. The gruesome possibilities involved came to mind again when Gary Knafelc, Packer end, crashed into the non-yielding obstruction after catching a touchdown pass against the Bears. Fortunately, Knafelc came out of it without anything more serious than the shock which always follows a severe, unexpected jolt. He was able to leave the field under his own steam...OTHER NOT SO LUCKY: Others before him were not that lucky, I remember seeing Dick Plasman, ex-Bear end, crashing into that wall. He looked like he had been run through a meat grinder and wasn't long for this world when he was carried off the field on a stretcher. Eddie Jankowski, if I recall correctly, rammed head on into the dugout adjoining the wall when he was playing halfback for the Packers. Eddie, too, came out of it, but the needless off-field blow undoubtedly shortened his career. One of the many who saw Knafelc go boom, either at the scene or via television, put it very well when he wrote: "We all recognize that a park or stadium designed primarily for baseball can't be perfect for football. A certain amount of improvising is necessary to tailor the premises to football. But why can't it be done with the safety of the participants in mind? So there isn't enough room beyond the end zone when the football field is laid out to give the most spectators the best view. Then what? Pad the walls, dugout and any other obstruction. Hasn't anyone heard of foam rubber? Make it a foot thick or thicker if necessary. Padding would be going on by now if Gary Knafelc had been badly hurt or killed. If the latter had happened, the Bear management would have been guilty of moral if not legal manslaughter. Is that what they're waiting for?"...GROWING EMPHASIS ON SAFETY: The emphasis on football has been on added safety for players in many forms through the years: Compulsory use of helmets...better equipment, designed to give more protection to the wearer as well as more of the same to opposing players...face masks...elimination of old fashioned bicycle tape, formerly used to wrap hands and make them as hard clubs..compulsory padding of braces and other special protective devices. In the not too distant past, it was common to place yard markers, made of wood and other unyielding substance, close to each sideline as a guide for players and spectators alike. They were either eliminated entirely or replaced by rubber markers for the same reason that goal posts were long since padded. Even the pros are safety-protection conscious, as witness their new rule which "kills" the ball when the player in possession is "contacted by a defensive player and he touches the ground with any part of his body except his hands or feet." Until this year the player could get up and run. Only the referee's whistle stopped play. There was only one reason for the change: Guard against piling up and unnecessary injury. So go to work, Commissioner Bert Bell. Apparently you are the only one who can get some action from club owners. Come to think of it, that's the way it should be done - on orders from the league's front office.
NOVEMBER 16 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers will start an all rookie backfield outside of veteran fullback Howie Ferguson against the 49ers Sunday in Green Bay. Coach Liz Blackbourn announced Thursday that Bart Starr would start at quarterback, Bill Roberts, recently signed, would be given the left halfback spot. Blackbourn wants to give the "new" faces as much as the experience as possible the rest of the season. Then, took, the Packer coach hasn't been too impressed with the way things have gone offensively the last three games. A change could help. San Francisco publicitor Dan McGuire said it was hard to put a finger on the 49er' ills this season. "We just can't seem to score when the chance prevails," McGuire said. "But opponents have scored against us quite easily - mainly because our pass defense is the worst in the league." McGuire reported that rookie quarterback Earl Morrall would start against the Packers. "We were going nowhere with Y.A. Tittle," said McGuire, "so Coach Frankie Albert wants to give Morrall as much work as he can possibly get." The 49ers played their best games against Detroit. They lost to the Lions, 20-17, in the Motor City when Bobby Layne booted a field goal in the last 17 seconds. And they were beaten in the return engagement at San Francisco, 17-13 - yet had a chance to win with a first down on the Lions' one with two minutes to play. A penalty took the starch out of the scoring sails. Dicky Moegle, a good pass catching back, has to play on defense because of the shortage of defensive aces. Moegle leads the club with three interceptions. The 49ers Thursday added J.D. Smith, former Bear halfback, to plug the defensive holes. The California club will arrive in Chicago Saturday morning and, after a workout at Stagg Field, will entrain to Green Bay. Sunday's game in rickety old City Stadium will probably be the last. Work on the Packers' new home is progressing rapidly. The bowl is shaped, drainage is completed and the playing field will be seeded early next week.
NOVEMBER 13 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are even in the NFL's Western Division race with five games to go. No other team is in it. Which is the better team, or better yet, which team will make the playoff? "The Bears," say the Green Bay Packers and their coaches. "Detroit," says Frank Albert, who will bring his last place San Francisco 49ers to Green Bay Sunday to play the Packers. After the Bears had beaten the Packers Sunday in Chicago, 38-14, Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay coach, was asked how he thought the Bears would fare in their two December meetings with Detroit. "I'd say they will break even," Blackbourn said. "And if they're tied for the division championship and meet again in a playoff?" "The Bears will win," Blackbourn said, firmly. "They have too much offense, even for Detroit's fine defense." Albert thinks differently. His 49ers have lost twice to each leader, by big scores to the Bears and by close scores to the Lions. After Detroit beat San Francisco the second time, Albert said, "I said two weeks ago that Detroit has a better all-around team. That still goes. The Bears roll up the points, but you've got to respect that Detroit defense." Blackbourn said Sunday night, "The way Brown and Blanda are throwing those passes, nothing can stop them. Their receivers are big and maneuver well. Then the passers give them the ball exactly in the right place. The only way to stop them would be to run around them out of bounds and come back onto the field. There's not time for that." Detroit has a bit of an edge in the schedule, but on the basis of its 18-17 upset by Washington Sunday, that may not help. "The Bears will win it now," Ray (Scooter) McLean, Packers backfield coach, said. "The Lions are going down and the Bears are getting better." Someone mentioned that Detroit's defense had been carrying too much of the load. There had been talk of Bobby Layne's comeback at quarterback and the running of rookies Hopalong Cassady and Don McIlhenny, but the defense, after all, has done the job. It has held the opposition to 16, 14, 21, 17, 7, 13 and 18 points, respectively, in the first seven games. "Anytime you can hold the other side to four touchdowns or less in this division," said Wally Cruice of Milwaukee, Green Bay scout, "you've got a pretty good defense." Against the Bears is the fact that they must meet the first and second place teams on the Eastern Division, the New York Giants and Chicago Cardinals. But if Detroit could do no better than lose against Washington, their easier interdivisional schedule might not mean much. Tobin Rote, Green Bay's quarterback, shook his head in agreement. "Those Bears," he said, "are the greatest offensive team I've seen in my years (seven) in this league. There just isn't much they can't do. I guess I didn't have a very good day out there, but, shucks, I'd say their defense has improved a lot, too.
Chicago Bears (6-1) 38, Green Bay Packers (2-5) 14
Sunday November 11th 1956 (at Chicago)