This was written from internet articles. Two weeks after the Eagles defeated the Lions 27 to 24, they lost 38 to 10 the same Lions in the Runner Up Bowl. It was at the Orange Bowl in Miami.
As a stated the Eagles had won the NFL in 1960 and finished just a half-game behind the New York Giants for first place in the Eastern Conference in the ’61 standings with a 10-4 record. Eagles’ quarterback, Sonny Jurgensen, threw for a league record 3723 yards and 32 touchdowns. Tommy McDonald led the league in receiving with 1144 yards. The Lions were the second best team in the West. Unfortunately, Vince Lombardi’s Packers came to dominate the division and the NFL. Detroit was led by quarterback Jim Ninowski who threw for 1921 yards. His primary receiver was Gail Cogdill who caught passes for 956 yards. Nick Pietrosante led the Lions in rushing with 841 yards. The Lions lost any chance of catching the Packers in the West with a 17-9 loss on Thanksgiving Day.
Detroit avenged their season-ending 27-24 loss to the Eagles in the Runner Up Bowl by trouncing Philadelphia, 38-10. The game was viewed with much concern by NFL management as only 25,612 fans showed up for the Saturday contest in the Orange Bowl. Also, injuries to Eagles’ stars Sonny Jurgensen and J.D. Smith had fans and officials questioning the need for the game. The Lions took a commanding 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back. They turned two interceptions by Yale Lary and Dick Lane and a fumble into first half points. Jim Ninowski and Earl Morrall shared quarterbacking duties, each throwing for two TD’s while Morrall ran in a third from 5 yards. Terry Barr caught both Ninowski passes for 69 and 14 yard scores. Pat Studstill (18 yards) and Sam Williams (19 yards on a fake field goal) accounted for Morrall’s. Jim Martin added an 18 yard field goal for the Lions. The Eagles scored their points in the third period on a 9 yard pass from King Hill to Pete Retzlaff and a 22 yard field goal by Bobby Walston.