Paul Hornung was one of the most versatile and dependable running backs in NFL history. He was a mainstay of the Green Bay Packer teams of the sixties and in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hornung was a good runner, pass catcher, blocker, halfback option play passer, and kicker of field goals and extra points. For 1963, Commissioner Pete Rozelle suspended him for gambling on games.
When he returned to Green Bay in 1964, all skills looked intact except for kicking. Hornung’s timing was way off , making only 12 of 38 field goal tries and even missing a few extra points. Baltimore finished first at 12-2, three and a half games better than the second place Packers. The difference was clearly kicking. To show:
Game 2 at home with the Baltimore Colts. Lost 21 to 20. Hornung missed five field goals and an extra point.
Game 4 at home with the Minnesota Vikings. Lost 24 to 23. A missed extra point would have meant a tie.
Game 6 at Baltimore. Lost 24 to 21. Once again, Paul Hornung missed five field goals.
With better placekicking, Green Bay would have won the title. The Packers got Don Chandler from the New York Giants during the off-season. The Packers dynasty resumed and Paul Hornung was the last of the placekickers who did other things.