1961 Eagles got no Help from the Pittsburgh Steelers

The New York  Giants  finished the season at 10-3-1  and the Philadelphia Eagles were 10-4, 1/2 game behind.   Freezing  other variables,  a Week 2 game at Pittsburgh between the Steelers and the Giants really hurt both Pennsylvania teams.  The Giant offense was  phasing in Y. A. Title as the first string quarterback but 42 year old Charlie Conerly still had significant playing time.

Now for the game. The  Steelers scored first as John Henry Johnson capped a drive with a three yard zip.  Steelers 7 Giants 0.  Then came the most damaging play of the entire season for Pittsburgh.   A second drive in the first quarter stalled at the NY 35 yard line.   The Steelers were attempting a 42 field goal with Tom Tracy holding for Lou Micheals.  Tracy spotted the ball then picked it up which totally  confused the Giants.  Tracy threw on the option play to John Henry Johnson,  who was standing all alone at the 20 yard line.   The pass was right between his numbers and he dropped the ball.  I believe he could have crawled into the End Zone.

A 14 to 0 lead might have opened in flood gates for Pittsburgh; quite the contrary it invigorated New York and this below  took place.

Chuck Conerly threw a touchdown pass to Joe Morrison;

Y. A Title threw a touchdown pass to Del Shofner;

Pat Summeral kicked a 19 yard field goal

Erich Barnes had two interceptions off  Bobby Lane

for Pittsburgh:

John Henry Johnson opened the scoring with a four yard touchdown run;

Buddy Dial caught an 11 yard touchdown pass

Trailing 17 to 14, Pittsburgh had the ball at the Giants 25.   Jim Katcavage hit Layne on a pass play.  Andy Robustelli recovered.

Had the Steelers won, the Eagles would have won the division 10-4 to the Giants 9-4-1



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