(GREEN BAY) - George Halas turned his well trained Chicago Bears loose on the grass of City Stadium Sunday and they clawed and cuffed the Green Bay Packers into submission, 34-20. The score does not completely reflect the Bears' superiority. Even though they gave the Packers a touchdown with barely a minute played, they won as they pleased. Only the statistics were close. Halas started his 31st NFL season as coach. Also owner of the Bears, he returned to coaching after a two year retirement. The performance of the Bears revealed his master coaching hand.
The Bears had many weapons. Their defense never let the Packer quarterbacks off the hook until after the issue was settled. On offense, quarterback Ed Brown, halfback Willie Galimore, fullback Rick Casares and end Harlon Hill led the way. Galimore scored three touchdowns. He ran over from the one and eight yards out and he took a pass from Brown for 79 yards. Brown scored once himself on a two yard sneak and passed 14 yards to Hill for the final touchdown. George Blanda kicked four extra points and had the fifth blocked. Green Bay, meanwhile, could not score a touchdown on attack until the Bears held a 34-13 lead. Bobby Dillon, the one-eyed defensive back, intercepted Brown's first pass on the third play of the game and dodged and skittered 37 yards to a touchdown. Even a stroke of good fortune like that could not inspire the Packer offense nor dissuade the Bear defense. Green Bay had to settle for 23 and 30 yard field goals by Paul Hornung until the Bears let up in the last period. Then Bart Starr's two passes to Max McGee set up Hornung's two yard scoring dive. Hornung also kicked two extra points.
The Bears' defense deserves first mention. Their strategy was not unlike that of the Allies against German in World War II. Bomb 'em before they get off the ground. So the Bears swarmed all over the Packer quarterbacks - Starr and Babe Parilli - and the Packers could do little about it. Fumbles set up two of the Bears' touchdowns, but the Chicagoans needed little help really. Casares was his usual indestructible self - a tank with speed. Galimore was a sight to behold. He is a skinny Negro with long legs. He looks awkward as he first plants his feet in long strides. But then he turns on the afterburner and whooosh! He's away. This was the Bears' first opening game victory since 1952, when they also beat the Packers. Green Bay has won only one league game in its neat, new stadium, the opener against the Bears a year ago. A sellout crowd sat in on Sunday's contest, the 79th renewal of the pro football's longest series. The Bears now have won 47 games to the Packers' 26 with six ties. Ray (Scooter) McLean had an unhappy debut as head coach of the Packers. He once played with the Bears, under Halas. His old team and coach showed him no mercy.
CHICAGO   -  7 14  7  6 - 34
GREEN BAY - 10  3  0  7 - 20
1st - GB - Dillon, 37-yard interception return (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
1st - CHI - Willie Galimore, 1-yard run (George Blanda kick) TIED 7-7
1st - GB - Hornung, 23-yard field goal GREEN BAY 10-7
2nd - CHI - Galimore, 8-yard run (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 14-10
2nd - CHI - Ed Brown, 2-yard run (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 21-10
2nd - GB - Hornung, 30-yard field goal CHICAGO 21-13
3rd - CHI - Galimore, 79-yard pass from Brown (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 28-13
4th - CHI - Harlon Hill, 13-yard pass from Brown (Kick failed) CHICAGO 34-13
4th - GB - Hornung, 2-yard run (Hornung kick) CHICAGO 34-20
Defensive back Bobby Dillon (44) returns an interception 37 yards for the first touchdown in the Packers’ 34-20 loss to the Chicago Bears at City Stadium on Sept. 28, 1958. Rookie linebacker Ray Nitschke (33) fends off Bears quarterback Ed Brown (15), while defensive tackle Dave Hanner (79) runs with Dillon. It was the only year Nitschke wore No. 33; he switched to his familiar No. 66 in 1959. Press-Gazette archives
SEPTEMBER 29 (Milwaukee Journal) - Ray (Scooter) McLean didn't take long to talk in superlatives of the Chicago Bears after they had rather roundly licked his Packers a little earlier in the day, 34-20. "You can't make mistakes against a good ball club and win," he said. "The team that beats them will make no mistakes." And in the Bears' dressing room, George Halas, the Chicago owner turned coach again, returned the compliment in the good tradition of the coaching profession. "The Packers are the most improved team in the division," Halas said. "They've got better balance offensively. They've got four good pass receivers. They've got excellent runners in McIlhenny and Hornung. They'll beat anybody. "Were the Bears better this year with much the same personnel as last but with Halas returned as coach in place of Paddy Driscoll? "Oh, sure, they're lots better," McLean said. "Even Halas admitted that." "We couldn't take the ball in when we were in scoring position," McLean said. "That's where we fell down." McLean refused, however, to blame either the quarterbacking of Bart Starr and Babe Parilli or the play of the offensive line. He preferred instead to laud the Bears. "They were sure shooting a lot of men on us," he said. "Stan Wallace, Bill George, Fred Williams and Doug Atkins made life miserable for us. They're tough, just real tough." Halas thought well of his defense, naturally - well enough that the game ball went to Wallace for his outstanding play. Just about the time that McLean assumed a mood of optimism, Curly Lambeau, the first Packer coach, came bouncing into the dressing room. "That's one game down," Lambeau told McLean. "You'll be all right. Remember, that's the best defense in the league you faced today." For Lambeau, it was the first league game he had seen in City Stadium. The Packers against the "best defense" had one consolation. They were the first to gain more than 100 yards rushing against the Bears this season. The Bears were undefeated in six exhibitions. "You've been giving scouts fits with your defense," a well wisher in the Bears' dressing room told Halas. "Don't be misled by that jumping around we did when they had the ball," Halas said. "Half the time that's just frosting on the cake. It means nothing." McLean wasn't so sure that it meant nothing. "It worries the blockers," he said. "It upsets their timing." In the first half, the phone between the pressbox and the bench was not functioning properly. "We could hardly hear each other," Packers' aid Nick Skorick said. The phone was repaired at halftime.
SEPTEMBER 29 (Milwaukee Journal) - Quarterback Babe Parilli, shaken up on an attempted pass in the third quarter, suffered no broken ribs. X-rays were taken Sunday night. Parilli was reported bruised only. "If he's too sore to play this week, we'll go with Bart Starr and Joe Francis against the Detroit Lions," Ray McLean said. Defensive back Hank Gremminger, who suffered a concussion, was also reported in good condition.
SEPTEMBER 29 (Green Bay) - There was only one guy who had a smile on his face at the Packer office Monday. He was Earl Falck, ticket director, who announced next Sunday's home game against the Lions is another sellout. Upstairs, Coach Scooter McLean quietly talked about "ifs". "If we had only kept our passing game going," McLean mumbled. "If we had scored when we were in position...if we had taken advantage of those breaks..." Maybe McLean was expecting too much against the best team he's faced this season. These weren't the same Bears who lost here last year. George Halas has rebuilt his offensive line, which makes Willie Galimore and Rick Casares twice the runners they were a year ago. And defensively, Stan Wallace, Doug Atkins, Bill George and Fred Williams were in the Packer backfield at the snap of the ball. But the disturbing news Monday was the injury report. Quarterback Babe Parilli, "red-dogged" by Atkins in the third period, suffered a torn muscle in his chest and the way things look now he won't see any action against the Lions. McLean also listed halfback Al Carmichael and linebacker Tom Bettis in the same category. Neither was suited up for the Bears. Trainer Bud Jorgensen had an ailing list a mile long. While McLean was pleased with the yardage his gang gained against as good a defensive club as the Bears, he singled out the work of rookie linebacker Ray Nitschke. "Nitschke played a whale of a game," McLean said. "When he hits, you know you've been hit." Our sincere apologies go to rookie Jim Shanley, accused of fumbling a Bear punt in the first quarter which led to Chicago's first touchdown. The culprit, according to McLean, was Johnny Symank, a defensive back. But why was Symank used on punt returns? "We drilled him all week on returning punts because Carmichael was hurt," McLean answered. "And he looked good...until yesterday." Assistant coaches Jack Morton and Breezy Reid returned with the dope on the Colts' 28-15 win over the Lions. "Individual stuff hurt Detroit," Morton said. "Al Ameche gained 43 yards, L.G. Dupre 51 and Johnny Unitas passed well. On the other hand, John Henry Johnson picked up only 20 yards and Gene Gedman 10, Neither Tobin Rote nor Bobby Layne were very successful." Reid added this conclusive proof: "The Lions had the ball for only 53 plays...the Colts 89." McLean said his biggest job this week was to improve his offensive line.
OCTOBER 1 (Milwaukee Journal) - Scooter McLean, head coach of the Green Bay Packers, no sooner finished taking a postgraduate lesson last Sunday from his old coach, George Halas of the Chicago Beatrs, than he had to look forward to meeting his old Bear roommate, George Wilson, coach of the Detroit Lions. Their teams will meet before another sellout crowd at Green Bay Sunday. McLean played halfback and Wilson end for the Bears in the forties. The Lions were angling for McLean as backfield coach until McLean stepped up with the Packers when Lisle Blackbourn was fired. The Lions had trouble with Baltimore quarterback Johnny Unitas as usual. Unitas completed 23 of 42 passes for 250 yards as Baltimore won, 28-15. Last year, he gained 239 and 141 yards passing in two games against the Lions...Raymond Berry, Baltimore end, caught 10 passes against the Lions. "He's not particularly fast," Green Bay scouts reported. "But he's got good moves. He runs his patterns well and knows how to get free."
OCTOBER 2 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Green Bay Packers have a double problem in preparing to meet the champion Detroit Lions in the NFL game at Green Bay Sunday. Detroit has two fine quarterbacks, Tobin Rote and Bobby Layne. Both are proven veterans. They share the job. Rote once played for the Packers. He was traded to Detroit in the deal which brought Green Bay four regulars - tackles Oliver Spencer and Norm Masters, guard Jim Salsbury and halfback Don McIlhenny. Layne actually was first string most of last season. Then he suffered a broken leg against Cleveland and Rote led the Lions to the championship. In the opener at Baltimore last Sunday, George Wilson, Detroit coach, shuffled quarterbacks often. "I played hunches," Wilson said. "I changed men when I thought one of them might get hot." So Rote and Layne shared the job as Baltimore won, 28-15, and apparently will continue to do that against the Packers. The Lion quarterbacks are hampered in that Detroit's receivers are crippled. Steve Junker, great rookie of last season, is out with a knee operation. So is Jerry Reichow, the all-purpose man from Iowa. Dave Middleton has been commuting between the Lions and medical school. Now he is ready to go full time. Jim Doran is an established veteran. Howard (Hopalong) Cassady, the Ohio State All-American, scored two touchdowns against the Colts, one from Rote and one from Layne. But they must play almost all the way. Detroit's ground game was not much against Baltimore, but the Colts' strong line may have been the reason. The Lions rushed for only 73 yards. John Henry Johnson gained 20 yards and Gene Gedman 10 as the two veterans carried a dozen times all told. Ken Webb of Presbyterian (S.C.) College is the top rookie running back. Danny Lewis of Wisconsin has been injured, but his knee may permit him to play at Green Bay Sunday.
OCTOBER 3 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Joe Francis, a converted college tailback who was kept by the Packers because of his potential, will definitely see action Sunday against the Lions. Coach Scooter McLean has no other choice. The former Oregon State star has been riding the bench because Bart Starr and Babe Parilli are experienced passers - and they say you can't beat experience in this league. But Parilli was racked up by the Bears last Sunday. He suffered torn muscles in his chest and the way things looked Thursday Parilli will see no part of the Lions."Babe has been coming along real fine," McLean said. "But it hurts him when he passes. He would find it pretty rough out there Sunday." Parilli isn't the only casualty. Halfback Al Carmichael and linebacker Tom Bettis, sidelined two weeks, very likely will set out Sunday's game. "Everybody isn't OK," McLean answered when asked how the other hands were. "We've got a lot of little injuries. The Bears really did a job on us." While injury talk bothered McLean, he said his passing game would have to improve considerably to beat the defending world champions. And so emphasis this week has been on the air attack. Detroit will be at peak condition. Halfback Danny Lewis, defensive halfback Jack Christiansen and end Gene Cronin will be ready after watching their teammates lose to the Colts last week. The Lions have kept eight rookies. However, only tackle Alex Karras and halfback Ken Webb have broken into the starting ranks.
OCTOBER 3 (Milwaukee Journal) - After what Baltimore's defensive line did to them, the champion Detroit Lions are wondering if their guards are too small for pro football. The "watch charm" fellows, pro variety, are veterans Harley Sewell and Stan Campbell. Each weighs 225 pounds. Rookie center-linebacker Bill Glass of Baylor, 235 pounds, and veteran tackle-center Charlie Ane, 260 pounds, are being groomed at guard....Defensive back Jack Christiansen and rookie halfback Danny Lewis of Wisconsin missed the Baltimore game because of leg injuries but will be ready for the Packers at Green Bay Sunday. That means the Lions will be at full strength, unless Terry Barr has not fully recovered from his leg woes. He was hurt on the opening kickoff of the Baltimore game and told no one. His man, Colt end Raymond Berry, proceeded to catch 10 passes...Sore ribs, souvenirs of the Chicago Bears game, may keep Packer quarterback Babe Parilli out of the Lion game. Rookie Joe Francis of Oregon State may share the job with Bart Starr. Linebacker Tom Bettis and halfback Al Carmichael probably will miss Sunday's game because of injuries...Tackle Art Hauser of the Los Angeles Rams, on the injured reserve list for the season, underwent an operation on his knee. The Rubicon (Wis.) native draws a full salary, even though idle...PRO GRID BITS: Dick Deschaine, former Packer punter from the sand lots of Menominee, Mich., averaged 46.25 yards for four kicks in his debut with Cleveland against Los Angeles last Sunday. The Rams outgained the Browns from scrimmage by almost 100 yards, 470 to 373, and led Cleveland after three quarters, 27-14, but lost to Lou Groza's last minute field goal. Four fumbles helped ruin Los Angeles...Handicappers rate the Chicago Bears over Baltimore and Washington over the Chicago Cardinals Saturday night and Detroit over Green Bay, San Francisco over Los Angeles, New York over Philadelphia and Cleveland over Pittsburgh Sunday...Ron Kramer, Green Bay's slot back (third end), reported this week to Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., for induction into the Air Force.
Chicago Bears defensive back J.C. Caroline tries to get the ball back after Paul Hornung’s kickoff went into the stands during the second quarter of the opener on Sept. 28, 1958. A fan apparently handed Caroline the ball, then pulled it back.
OCTOBER 5 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Another sellout crowd of 32,150 will be on hand Sunday to see if the Packers have found themselves after running out of gas in the last two pre-season games and in the league opener last weekend. Victories have been few and far between in this old corner of the pro football world lately. And if the Packer can't beat the Lions Sunday, you can bet many will plug in transistors- or what have you - to get the new from Yankee Stadium. Beating the champs is a tough order especially tough after taking a physical beating by the Bears. But Scooter McLean isn't going to get any pity on that score. McLean can only pick up the pieces and shoot the works against Detroit. In this league there is no such thing as a breather.
OCTOBER 5 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Thanks to a couple of good friends, I got off to a pretty fair start in picking the pros. Without Lou Groza's placekicking artistry and John Brodie's strong right arm, I would have been in trouble along with the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers. The Toe's winning field goal against the Los Angeles Rams with 23 seconds left and Brodie's fine passing against the Pittsburgh Steelers changed the complexion of the NFL's opening day. It also meant five right and one wrong in the first week selections, an .833 percentage and one I'll settle for come the December finish. With the opening games and some of the early jitters behind, the 12 teams settled down this weekend to what shapes up as one of the league's best races. So I'll move into picking of Sunday's game by selecting:
Detroit over Green Bay - The Lions should bounce back after that opening loss in Baltimore. Neither Bobby Layne nor Tobin Rote had a good day against the Colts but that won't happen often. Detroit will be heard from before the race in the West is over. The Packers, chewed up by the Bears last Sunday, still can test any defense with Paul Hornung's running and the throwing of Bart Starr and Babe Parilli. The Lions will be growling again.
Chicago Bears (1-0) 34, Green Bay Packers (0-1) 20
Sunday September 28th 1958 (at Green Bay)