Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Pro Football Hall of Fame Final 15 Predictions
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
TUESDAY TIDBITS: "The Autumn Wind is a Raider"
Monday, December 27, 2021
Fast Starters, Strong Finishers—NFL Quarterbacks
Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers. He is the front-runner for MVP. though we have other ideas (Cooper Kupp, cough, cough). In all fairness the Packers, at this point seem like the team to beat in the NFC. But they were the last two years, too.
Sunday, December 26, 2021
NBC Boots It On The Tackle Eligible Tonight. Kind Of.
In the 42-7 Halftime score there is a lot going on if one is a Cowboys fan. Among the first-half highlights, Terence Steele's touchdown reception was certainly one of the highlights.
After the score NFC's research team informed him (presumably) that the least touchdown by a Cowboy lineman was Hall of Fame tackle Rayfield Wright in 1968—
However few remember that Wright was a tight end in early1968 (1967 as well) and didn't switch to tackle until later in the season, around mid-season though we did see evidence that Wright got work at tackle in the preseason.
|Wright #85 from there 1968 Cowboys team photo|
This is the Cowboys roster and depth chart from the 1968 Week Five clash with the Eagles, the game he caught the touchdown pass (which was 15 yards)—
Baker Mayfield Plays Santa at Lambeau Field
By Eric Goska
Baker Mayfield played Santa Claus Saturday.
The Cleveland quarterback tossed three first-half interceptions, gifts which the Packers parlayed into three touchdowns on their way to 24-22 victory over the Browns.
Mayfield was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list the day before the two clubs met. He took a private jet to Green Bay, touching down around 9 a.m., roughly six-and-a-half hours before game time.
Perhaps rusty, perhaps not, the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft definitely helped the Packers’ cause. He fired two interceptions in the first quarter and another in the second.
Darnell Savage came up with the first on a deep ball intended for Donovan Peoples-Jones. Chandon Sullivan snagged the second when Mayfield overthrew Jarvis Landry deep in Packers’ territory. Rasul Douglas pilfered the third when he jumped in front of a throw slated for Landry.
Green Bay converted each turnover into a touchdown. Rogers found Allen Lazard from 11 yards out, and twice connected with Davante Adams.
Capitalizing on those mistakes, the Packers led 21-12 at halftime.
Interceptions aside, Green Bay did little to slow the Browns in the opening two quarters. Not counting Mayfield’s kneel-down to end the half, Cleveland piled up 203 yards on 26 plays (7.8 average).
Color the Packers fortunate. It is not often they come up with three picks before halftime.
Since 1945, Green Bay has come away with three or more in a first half just 34 times in the regular season. The team is 19-14-1 when doing so.
Call the Packers opportunistic. Saturday was the first time in team history – dating to 1921 – in which the Green and Gold produced three touchdowns as the result of interceptions in the first half of a regular-season game.
And Green Bay needed every one. Mason Crosby’s 32-yard field goal was all the scoring the club could muster after the break.
Fortunately, the defense rose up once more. Douglas grabbed his second pick on a third-down throw earmarked for Peoples-Jones with 43 seconds remaining. From there, Green Bay ran out the clock.
Saturday was the 30th time in the regular season under head coach Matt LaFleur that the Packers have had fewer turnovers (they had zero against the Browns) than their opponent. The team’s record in those games is 30-0.
Since 1921, the seven regular-season games in which the Packers scored 14 or more points as the result of three or more first-half interceptions. Green Bay won all seven games.
Pts. Opp. Passer(s) Date
21 Browns Baker Mayfield (3) 12-25-2021
14 Pirates John Turley (1), Heinie Weisenbaugh (1), Johnny Gildea (1) 10-06-1935
14 Pirates Ed Matesic (2), Johnny Gildea (1) 10-25-1936
14 Rams Bob Snyder (1), Stan Pincura (1), Dick Tuckey (1) 10-30-1938
14 Rams Parker Hall (2), Marty Slovak (1) 10-13-1940
14 Eagles Rick Arrington (3) 10-25-1970
14 Raiders Carson Palmer (3) 12-11-2011
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Harry Jacobs, "Quarterback of the Defense" on Buffalo's Great Teams of the Mid-1960s, Passes Away
By Jeffrey J. Miller
It was with tremendous sadness that we learned that Jacobs had passed away last week (December 17, 2021) at the age of 84. His loss was a big one for Western New York and the Bills’ long-time fans, for Jacobs was not only a really good football player, but he was also an extraordinary human being. Jacobs had been battling dementia for several years but remained a steadfast supporter of the team and its alumni, even attending the reunion of the Bills’ championship teams in 2015. He had always been a very active member of alumni activities and charitable events. During his days as an active player, Jacobs was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and remained a devout witness for Christ right to the very end.
For fans of the AFL-era Bills, of course, Jacobs will always be remembered primarily as the man who put personnel in position to make the plays on defense, or, as he was commonly referred, the Quarterback of the Defense. Defensive coordinator Joe Collier was the mastermind behind the Bills’ sophisticated defenses, tinkering with myriad formations, blitzes and stunts, but worked closely with his middle linebacker to make Buffalo’s unit the best in the American Football League by 1964. Jacobs was acknowledged as a full-fledged member of the defensive game-planning team, often studying film alongside Collier and devising schemes that were to be used against upcoming opponents.
“Joe broke films down,” Jacobs recalled in an interview with this writer for the book Rockin’ The Rockpile: The Buffalo Bills of the American Football League. “He was the first person to my knowledge that really worked at breaking down each of the plays so I could see how first, second, third, every down and position, what they use, and then make a choice in that situation on the field. In order to do that, I had to know what everybody else did.” This knowledge allowed Jacobs full authority to make all the defensive calls without need of consultation with the Bills’ sideline. He was the one who called the line stunts (called “exits”) or sent George Saimes in on the safety blitz. He is also the one credited with putting linebacker Mike Stratton in position to inflict the famous “Hit Heard ‘Round the World” tackle on Keith Lincoln in the 1964 AFL Championship Game. If the Buffalo's defensive record between 1964 and 1966 is any indication, the coaching staff’s faith in Jacobs was more than justified.
Jacobs was born and raised in Canton, Illinois, and attended Canton high School. He was a two-way star at Bradley University in nearby Peoria, playing guard on offense and defensive end on defense. After his senior year, Jacobs was selected to play in the Chicago Tribune All Star game, where his coach was Lou Saban of Northwestern. He went undrafted, and had unsuccessful tryouts with the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears, both of which wanted him to play guard. “Fortunately for me,’ said Jacobs, “the AFL had just started, and Lou Saban stepped in.” Saban had been hired as the coach of the Boston Patriots franchise in the new American Football League, and brought Jacobs in to play defensive end and middle linebacker. Things were going well in Boston until Saban was let go and replaced by Mike Holovak.
“I liked it in Boston,” Jacobs recalled. “Holovak took over and they drafted Nick Buoniconti from Notre Dame. He was not—in my opinion—better than I was, but Mike put him in there. Nick turned into a great linebacker, but at that point, he wasn’t. That was really frustrating to me, so I was very pleased to come to Buffalo.”
The Patriots sold Jacobs to the Bills on July 19, 1963, where he was reunited with Saban and defensive coordinator Joe Collier. Jacobs was installed as the starting middle linebacker and held down the position for the next seven seasons. Often referred to as the Baby-Faced Assassin for his youthful looks, Jacobs pulled a complete Jeckyl-and-Hyde routine when he put his helmet on and trotted onto the field. Though he stood only six-foot, one inch, and tipped the scales at a mere 226 pounds, Jacobs was a solid performer at the Mike (middle linebacker) position, missing just ten games due to injury during his Buffalo tenure. He was part of a linebacking corps (along with outside backers John Tracey and Mike Stratton) that started 62 consecutive games, a pro football record. He was also the leader of a defensive unit that between 1964 and ’65 went 17 straight games (16 regular season and one playoff) without surrendering a rushing touchdown—another record that still stands. Jacobs also served as a mentor for Marty Schottenheimer, the Bills’ backup middle linebacker who went on to great success as a head coach in the NFL.
His greatest game might have been the 1965 AFL Championship Game, played December 26, 1965, at Balboa Stadium against the San Diego Chargers. In a rematch of the previous year’s title game, the Chargers were heavily favored, with their explosive offense that included the likes of Lance Alworth, Keith Lincoln, Paul Lowe and John Hadl. But with Jacobs calling the shots, the Bills’ defense pitched a shutout (23-0), with Jacobs contributing an interception in the rout.
He remained with the Bills through the 1969 season, in which he was voted into his first AFL All-Star Game (he had played in the 1965 classic, but as a member of the entire Bills squad that faced the rest of the league’s stars). Jacobs was traded to the New Orleans Saints and played one last season (1970) in the Big Easy. He was the only player to have participated in the very first and the very last games in AFL history, and is one of only 20 players to have played every season of the league’s ten-year existence.
Harry and his wife of 63 years, Kay, who survives him, remained in Western New York until his death. He was enshrined in the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
2021 Allmost All-Joe
|Leonard (l) and Quinnen Williams (r)|
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Fair or Unfair There May Be Voter Fatigue for Aaron Donald