Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Connor and Lane Each Pick off Two

 By TJ Troup and John Turney 
George Connor stiff arms Vitamin T. Smith 

October 26th, 1952. 

In the 2nd quarter, Curley Morrison has punted to Woodley Lewis early in the 2nd quarter, and Rams begin on own 35. Rams lead at this point in the game 3-0. Towler had thundered off tackle for 29, and one first down Bob Waterfield completed to Smith for 9, so on 2nd and one at the Bears twenty-seven George Conner intercepts and returns 22 going from his own ten to thirty-two. 

In the third quarter as Bears lead 7-3 and Night Train Lane intercepts Steve Romanik on Bear thirty-nine and rambles 20 yards to nineteen. Rams have 4th and 9 on the eighteen, and instead of kicking field goal, Bob Waterfield is again intercepted by Conner, this time on six, and he returns 9 yards. Not 100% sure, yet believe this is where the photo comes from, as Big George stiff arms Smith on return. Bears advance to mid-field as the quarter ends.

George Blanda is short on 51-yard field goal attempt, and the 4th Q is all Rams. The "lights are turned on" at the Coliseum after Quinlan's touchdown run, and Romanik on first down is intercepted again by Night Train on the Bear thirty-four and he weaves his way to four-yard line. 

So in this game, we have George Conner's only two-interception game of his career and the Night Train's first two-interception game. The player roster lists him as an end, not a back. Believe this is just his second start at right corner...he did NOT start the first three games...Pro Football Reference has this listed incorrectly 

Also on this date, and is significant, the best pass-rushing day in NFL history as the Texans & Niners combine for the most sack yards ever in a game, and Norm "Wild Man" Willey & Pete Pihos take down Connerly and Benners for 127 yards on 14 sacks—Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman attended and charted the game and insisted that Willey had 8 sacks on the day. 


  1. If NTLane wasn't starting in early 1952 and All Pro voting was done before the last few weeks of the season that goes a ways in explaining his lack of post season awards.

  2. Gentlemen, as always professional football's two most knowledgeable post-WWII historians add to the corpus of fascinating detail pertaining to the history of this sport (especially edifying to those of us who love the 1950s).....you of course leave us thirsting for more....."best pass rushing day in NFL history", and you drop the breadcrumb of the Texans-49ers? well? PFR states that the teams collectively had 151 yards in passing losses that day, 95 for the 49ers.....Leo Nomellini at RT against the rookie Gino Marchetti? is there film anywhere? what can you tell us about this contest? inquiring (especially Baltimore Colt fanatics) wish to know.....