Cardinals Defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1963-The Loss that Hurt the Most

On the last day of the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers, at 7-3-3, came into Yankee Stadium to play the 10-3 New York Giants. In those days, the NFL determined standings by dividing the wins by the total of wins and losses. Tie games meant nothing. Let’s use a foolish scenario. A team with a record of 1-0-13 would be better than a team going 13-1-0. The first team would have a perfect record of 1.000 and the second team .929. The NFL changed this calculation after the 1973 season. Today a tie adds a half game to both the wins and losses.

As a result, a Pittsburgh victory over New York Giants would have given the Steelers first place in the Eastern conference. Pittsburgh’s winning percentage would have been .727 and New York’s .714. The Steelers had defeated the Giants 31 to 0 in one of their best performances in the Pre-Super Bowl. However, the Giants in a bizarre game beat the Steelers 33 to 17 and won the Eastern Division Title. The Steelers and finished 7-4-3.
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One loss in Week 5 that year was the most disappointing I ever watched prior to 1970. The Steelers came in to Busch Stadium were 2-1-1 and the Cardinals were 3-1. The Steelers were under dogs because their two best players, John Henry Johnson and Clendon Thomas, were injured. A 20 to 3 halftime lead for the Steelers wound up a 24 to 23 loss. Some horrid details later.

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John Lindsay Defines His Ideas

John V. Lindsay won four elections, from 1958 to 1962, as the Representative for the 17th District of New York State. This was known as the Silk Stocking District. Mid-way in his fourth term Lindsay was elected as Mayor of New York. His terms (Jan 1966 to Jan 1974) were a time of great social turmoil. He summed up his basic Ideas in his book Journey into Politics.

I believe that the real danger of increasing centralism does not lie reasonable Federal expenditures for the destitute, for education, and for health, but rather in the pervasive to individual liberties that that stems from any undue concentration of military, police or economic power.

THIS IS THE BEST DEFINITION OF LIBERALISM THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. IT RAISES SOME QUESTIONS, ESPECIALLY THE WORD DESTITUTE. THE LIBERAL GOAL IS TO ELIMINATE POVERTY, TO HAVE WELL INFORMED AND CURIOUS CITIZENS, AND TO HAVE THE PUBLIC HEALTH AT A HIGH LEVEL. WE WILL NEVER, OF COURSE, ACHIEVE THESE GOALS. JOHN LINDSAY BELIEVED THAT WE COULD ADVANCE OUR FREEDOMS AND PREVENT THEIR EROSION WITH THESE IDEAS

HIS BOOK HIT STANDS IN JANUARY OF 1967. THIS WAS JUST OVER ONE YEAR AS MAYOR OF NEW YORK AND TWO MONTHS AFTER THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS. REPUBLICANS MADE BIG GAINS, BUT FOR THE MOST PART, THE RESULTS DID NOT INDICATE A TURN TO THE RIGHT. THE THREE NEW SENATORS, MARK HATFIELD FROM OREGON, CHARLES PERCY FROM ILLINOIS, AND EDWARD BROOKE OF MASSACHUSETTS WERE QUITE LIBERAL. ADA PRESIDENT JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH STATED HIS ORGANIZATION COULD SUPPORT A REPUBLICAN FOR PRESIDENT.

Against the Cardinals in the 70s

Looking past games with the Cardinals at Veterans Stadium, the Philadelphia Eagles had some losses which should have been victories.

1972

This was a battle between two mediocre teams. In the first half, Pete Liske and Harold Jackson mishandled an End Around play at the St Louis 10. The Eagles settled for a field goal. Later in the half, the Eagles drove to the Cardinal 14 yard line. Pete Liske’s pass to a wide open Steve Zabel hit the goal post. In the third quarter, the Eagles had a great long drive and were at the one yard line. Believe it or not, Liske fumbled on a quarterback keep; St. Louis took over. The 6 to 6 tie was the Eagles best showing at home in 1972. They lost the other six games and they were lopsided.

1975

Midway in the fourth quarter, the Eagles led 23 to 7. After that, the Birds went daffy. Jim Bakken kicked a 30 yard field goal in the final play. Cardinals 24 Eagles 23.

1976

Mike Boryla threw a 55 yard touchdown pass to Charlie Smith in the first quarter. Then offense fell asleep until midway in the fourth quarter. Dave Hampton capped a drive with a six yard touchdown. The Eagles drove again to the Cardinal 10. Then Art Malone fumbled. Cardinals 17 Eagles 14.

1977

The Eagles drove down field to the Cardinals 30 and kicked a field goal. As per usual, they did next to nothing and trailed 21 to 3 with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Ron Jaworski then threw touchdown passes to Herb Lusk and Harold Carmichael. In the waning seconds, Cardinal linebacker Mike Sensibaugh intercepted. Final Cardinals 21 Eagles 17.

1978

The Cardinals came into this game 0-7. Jaworski threw a touchdown pass to Harold Carmichael early in the game. Once again the Eagles did very little. Late in the game, Roger Wehri intercepted a pass to seal the game. Cardinals 16 Eagles 10.

Don’t Even Think About Playoffs

I saw this headline today. Forget it folks. Fans, Management, and Players should be near sighted. Let’s use the BYE week to look at past mistakes and prepare for Arizona. Just remember the loss in AFC Title Game five years ago

In my 58 years of following the Eagles, that loss to the Cardinals, 32 to 25, was my greatest disappointment. I have already mentioned the big losses Arizona had during 2005. Even so, Arizona, like the Birds had won two playoff spots. The Eagles were overconfident. They were thinking about the Super Bowl and not on the games at hand.

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While many predicted the Eagles to finish the season with six wins or less, the Eagles already have that total through just 11 games. Chip Kelly has his team in 1st place in the NFC East with five games to play, as they head into their week 12 bye.

The WIP Morning Show was gauging what the new expectations for the Eagles were going forward. They asked on the Audio Roadshow app, “Now that the Eagles are 6-5, what is your new goal for the team?”

The options were: Finish the season 8-8, win the division, win one playoff game, or win the Super Bowl. 48% of fans said the Eagles should look to win at least one playoff game, if not more.

Philadelphia Holds On Winning 24 to 16 over DC

No need to rehash the big win over the Redskins 24 to 16. The turning point came in the fourth quarter with the Eagles leading 24 to 0. The Eagles had the ball at the Redskin 40 with fourth and one. Bryce Brown came up short, Washington took over, and somehow the visitors got the flame. Philadelphia seemed to almost fall apart. Then came heavy pressure from an Eagle linemen, RG Griffin threw a floater, and Brandon Boykin made the interception.

That was the only bright spot of the last ten minutes. I was looking for the first Eagle shout out since 1996; but the win did not register until the final play. Recall Ricky Waters and company defeated the New York Giants at Veterans Stadium 24 to 0 in 1996. There is no doubt the the defense let down. Despite that, the offense could not get that first down when really needed.

I don’t think the Eagles are getting enough of a pass rush. There have been some hurries and deflections but nothing wins the game like a sack.

2010 at Home vs Washington

The media hype was flying as Donovan McNabb returned to Lincoln Financial Field. This turned out to be the most costly loss of 2010. Had the Eagles won, as they should have, the Post Season alignment would have been better.

The Washington Redskins, running the ball, got touchdowns on their first two possessions. Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain did the damage. The Redskins lead 14 to 0. The Eagles kicked two field goals and the Redskins one. Kevin Kolb had replaced the injured Micheal Vick. Washington led 17 to 6 both at halftime and at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Eagle offense finally got moving. Kolb threw a three yard touchdown pass to Brent Celek and the score was 17 to 12. Then came the two plays that hurt the Eagles both in the game and for the season.

–Behind by five, Philadelphia had to go for a two point conversion. The Redskins broke up a pass.
–The Eagles drove to the Washington 18. On the final play, Kolb just missed Jeremy Maclin in the End Zone. No touchdown and a lost game.

Final Washington 17 Philadelphia 12

Donny Anderson-Last Non Specialty Punter

Donny Anderson was the last NFL punter who played other positions. He played nine years in the NFL. (1966 to 1973) In each year, he played halfback and was the regular punter. Donny Anderson and Elijah Pitts, in 1967, took over where Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor left off. After 1966, Hornung retired and Jim Taylor played with the New Orleans Saints in their first year. Donny Anderson had a big role in the Ice Bowl in 1967.

Here are Anderson’s Lifetime Statistics

Rushing-1,197 attempts, 4,676 yards gained, 41 touchdowns scored, and a 4.1 yard average;
Receiving-209 passes caught, 2,548 yards gained, 14 touchdowns scored, and a 12.2 yard average;
Punting-387 kicks, 15,236 yards covered, and one blocked.

His only blocked punt played a big role in the history of NFL. It was

–the 13th week of NFL Season,
–Nationally Televised,
–On a Saturday,
–at the Los Angeles Coliseum against the Rams.

The Rams were 9-1-2 and the Packers were 9-2-1

The Green Bay Packers had already clinched first place in the Central Division. LA needed to win because they were in a real struggle with the Baltimore Colts for the Coastal Division Title. After 12 weeks, Baltimore was 10-0-2. That’s right the Colts were undefeated with two ties.

The Packers were leading Rams 24 to 20 with 30 seconds left in the game. Donny Anderson was getting ready to punt from his own 20 on fourth down. The Rams gave an all out blitz and Willie Daniel blocked the punt. Tony Gillory picked up the ball and ran to the Packer three. Roman Gabriel threw a five yard touchdown pass to Bernie Casey. Final Rams 27 Packers 24. This was one of the best games in the 60s. To restate, Donny Anderson had the only blocked punt in his entire career.