Detroit Lion Fall in 1958

The Detroit Lions had a six year dynasty which fell after their 59 to 14 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the 1957 Championship game. However, in a game at Cleveland in 1958, Tobin Rote completed 17 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns. The passes were:

–four yards to Jim Gibbons
–34 yards to Howard Cassady,
–13 yards to Gene Gedman.

Jim Martin kicked field goals of 43, 37, and 48 yards.

For the Browns, Milt Plum threw a 12 yard touchdown pass to Ray Renfro. This was late in the game against a prevent defense that used time and made the game seem closer than it really was.

Earl Morral, who died last play for the Lions from 1958 to 1964.


Hal Smith-RIP

Hal Smith died a few weeks ago. He was a catcher for the St Louis Cardinals.

1959 Statistics HR 13 RBI 50 BA .270

A heart attack forced Hal Smith to retire midway in June of 1960. Don’t expect life to be fair and Hal Smith demonstrated that advice. There was no question about Smith’s fielding ability. His hitting was another matter. However, in 1959 Smith put it all together. His play improved so much that he made the All Star Team. HS was also featured in a issue for a baseball magazine.

Two games stood out in 1959. Hal Smith hit two home runs in one game in May. This effort was from a player who had only one home run the previous year. In September Smith hit a Grand Slam.

The heart attack really hurt. Today, with all the advances in medicine, it would have been a different matter. Smith remained in the Cardinal’s organization as a Coach and Scout.

Tampa Bays Finally Win After 26 Duds-1977

After 14 weeks in 1977 season, Tampa Bay was still 0 and 14. That meant the Buccaneers, counting 1976, had lost 26 consecutive games. Using defense, John Mckay’s teams won their final two games.

Week 13. At New Orleans

The Buccaneers overcame 100 yards in penalties for an easy 33 to 14 win. The Bucs were so dominating that they led 26 to 0 with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Archie Manning threw six interceptions, two of which were run across for touchdowns. The touchdowns-Rich Wood ran for 36 yards and Mike Washington ran for 10 yards. Greg Jones recovered a fumble in the Saints’ End Zone. Tamps Bay recorded six sacks for 36 yards When any team scores three defensive touchdowns and terrorizes the other guy’s Quarterback, losing is almost impossible. Final Tampa Bay 33 Saints 14.

Week 14. At home vs. St Louis.

The Cards had a 7-3 record after 10 games. A hunter must have shot a group of Red Birds since they lost their final four games. Once thinking about a Super Bowl, St Louis came in struggling at .500. The Buccaneers got four turnovers. Each side showed one receiving performance. The Buccaneers-. Morris Owens caught four passes for 138 yards and one touchdown. Cardinals-Ike Harris caught six passes for 96 yards.

Cardinals Fold In the Seventies

More details later but here is how the Cardinals Fared in the 70

1970-After dropping the first game, the St Louis Cardinals won seven in a row. This included three consecutive shut outs and two wins over the Dallas Cowboys. After that the Cardinals played to a 6 to 6 tie with the cross state rival, the Kansas City Chiefs. They defeated the Eagles easily for an 8-2-1 record. Then came three consecutive losses for an 8-5-1. This was above average but not good enough for a Playoff spot.

1974-Won seven in a row then staggered to a 3-4 finish. Cardinals lost on the road to the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the playoffs.

1976-Things looked promising after a 7-4 start. Then St. Louis finished by losing the final tree games. Tampa Bay beat the Cardinals on the last Sunday for second victory in their young history.

1968-St Louis Cardinals-Last Miss in the 60s

If you are a Cardinal fan who moans about missing the playoffs, 1968 was another lost year. The Cardinals lost out to Cleveland by 1/2 game but defeated the Browns twice. Cleveland was 10-4 and St Louis 9-4-1. Highlights as follows:

1. The Cardinals lost three of their first four games. Two of them were among the best teams in the NFL.

Lost 24 to 13 at home to the Los Angeles Rams (10-3-1)
Lost on the road to the Dallas Cowboys (12-2)

2. Won Five in a Row. The big win was at the Cleveland Browns. 27to 21.

The Cardinals shut down the ground game of the Browns yielding only 22 yards.

For Browns’ Quarterback Bill Nelson completed 17 passes for 321 yards. Milt Morin and Paul Warfield combined for 16 receptions for 300 yards and two touchdowns. For St Louis, Willis Crenshaw carried 19 times for 94 yards.

3. In the biggest gaff of the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-11-2) and Cardinals played to a 28 to 28 tie.

Pittsburgh led 21 to 0 at halftime and St Louis Cardinals dominated in the second half. Dick Shiner for the Steelers completed 20 of 30 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns. Roy Jefferson, with two touchdowns, stood out for the Steelers. He scored on an 80 yard punt return and on a 52 yard pass completion. Jim Hart teamed up with Bobby Joe Conrad, Dave Williams, and Jackie Smith for 352 yards and three touchdowns. The first half of this game cost the St. Louis Cardinals first place in the Century Division.

4. At Baltimore the Colts tore the Cardinals up 27 to 0.

On a horrible day for the Cardinals, Willis Crenshaw, Jackie Smith, and Bobby Joe Conrad combined for 13 receptions for 137 yards. Jim Hart threw four interceptions. John Mackey and Willie Richardson combined for 10 receptions, 126 yards and three touchdowns.

5. Final Game. At St Louis, the Cardinals were 8-4-1 and Cleveland Browns were 10-3. Cleveland was 1 1/2 games over the Cards. The game meant nothing either way. The Cardinals had Jack Smith scoring on a 36 yard reversal. St Louis won and finished 9-4-1. The bad first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers was costly.

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St Louis Cardinals 1965 and 1966 & Against the Pittsurgh Steelers

Coming off of the 9-3-2 season in 1964, the Cardinals had visions of the NFL Title. Visions turned out to be just that about a third of the way through the season. After losing the first game to the Eagles, the Cardinals won four a row. Two of the games in that span really stick out.

Week 2-The 49 to 13 thrashing of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were the NFL Champions the previous year. This was one of the biggest wins in Cardinal history.

Week 5-The 20 to 7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. St. Louis completely stopped the Steelers offense. The only score for Pittsburgh came on a fumbled punt return at the Steelers five. I saw this game at Pitt Stadium.

After this 4-1 start, fans had be thinking about finishing first in the Conference. Then the roof fell in. The Cardinals lost the next two games before hosting the Steelers. Pittsburgh came back from 14 to 3 in the fourth quarter to lead 17 to 14; but the Cardinals showed their resistance to a loss. With 37 seconds left, Charlie Johnson threw a 59 yard touchdown pass to Bill Gambrell. Final St Louis 21 Pittsburgh 17. After this game, the Cardinals record was 5-3.

The Cardinals lost the remaining five games to end the season at 5-9.

Now for 1966

The Cardinals brought a 7-1-1 record into Pitt Stadium to play the Steelers who were 2-5-1. Pittsburgh used special teams and defense to get the victory.

–Paul Martha returned an interception 38 yards to the Eagle 10. Ron Smith threw a touchdown pass to John Hilton on the next play.
–Andy Russell blocked a punt from Jacky Smith and returned it for a touchdown.
–Dick Hoak, on a pass option play, threw a touchdown for 38 yards to Roy Jefferson.

The Steelers denied St. Louis a touchdown on this game. Final Steelers 30 Cardinals 9

The very next week, with an oddity, the Pittsburgh Steelers went to St. Louis. This was a bitterly fought game full of penalties, turnovers, and sacks. The Cardinals gained 228 yards to just 80 yards for the Steelers. St Louis got two field goals and the Steelers got one. Final. Cardinals 6 Steelers 3.

The victory gave the Cardinals a 8-2-1 record and in contention for the title. However, they lost the final three games to finish 8-5-1. Among those three losses was a 16 to 10 embarrassment to the first year Atlanta Falcons.

Cardinals Have No Dynasty 63-64

One of the problem in getting folks to root for the Arizona Cardinals is that there is no dynasty that fans can refer to. The teams played very close but have let one game get away or had a series of games with a few losses.

1963-The St Louis Cardinals were 8-3 after 11 games and really controlled their own fate; however, they lost two of those last three games.

Week 12-lost 24 to 10 to the Cleveland Browns at home.
Week 14-lost 28 to 24 to the Dallas Cowboys at home.

The New York Giants won the Eastern Conference title with an 11-3 record. The Cardinals finished third at 9-5.

1964-This was one of the Cardinals’ finest seasons at 9-3-2. They finished second only a half a game short of the first place Cleveland Browns. Oddly enough, St. Louis bettered the Browns in the home and away series. In week four the two teams played to a 33 to 33 tie in Cleveland. In December, St. Louis won over the Browns 28 to 19. The great sign-in this victory the Cardinals held the Browns without a touchdown until the last 30 seconds of the game.

What cost the Cardinals was a six game span after a 3-0-1 start. As noted, the Cardinals won the 1964 series against the Browns with a tie and win. However, the Cardinals played poorly against the last place New York Giants. A good team has to beat the bad teams to win a title. Here were the low points in four games in that time frame.

Week 5-lost at home to the Baltimore Colts 47 to 27. Baltimore won Western Conference title with a 12-2 record.
Week 7-lost at home to the Dallas Cowboys 31 to 13. The Cowboys finished at 5-8-1.
Week 8-lost at Yankee Stadium to the New York Giants 34 to 17. For one game, Y.A Title returned to his form in 1962 and 1963. The Giants in 1964 fell to last place with a 2-10-2 record.
Week 10-Playing in the mud with a constant rain, the Cardinals and Giants played to a 10 all tie.

The St Louis lost the season series to the New York Giants; and from that missed out on the Eastern Conference Title.