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Thread: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

  1. #21
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    Quote Originally Posted by The Golden One View Post
    Scores a 97/100 on the "social media profile pic" scale.
    It is a great pic. Also love the one that I used in that title picture for the 65 Bills, maybe one of my favorite football pictures. One day when I finish this countdown I would like to do a "Top 100 Favorite Football Pictures" countdown.

    Thanks for all the support here. I was surprised at the level of interest. Truth be told I've actually started this on another forum a few months ago but that place started having a lot of problems and just did a format switch that left all my posts doubled up in the thread. This place is much more reliable and the format is much better than the one they switched to so I'm moving this here(I'm up to the 70's) and finishing it here, the 1 or 2 people over there that is reading I will give them links to this site/thread. Thanks everyone here for the reps/comments, I appreciate it.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-30-2017 at 09:20 PM.

  2. #22
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #93

    Spoiler:




    1934 New York Giants



    The NFL was breaking ground in the 1930's, even though it still took a back seat to baseball, boxing, and horse racing, when people were talking about "football" in America in the 1930's they were usually talking about the college game. The NFL made some moves in the 30's to start to change things, starting with a new alignment beginning in 1933 with teams split up into 2 divisions, with a set "NFL Championship Game" between the division winners to decide an undisputed Worlds Champion of Pro Football. The NFL finally began to keep track of stats and after 13 years of the NFL game staying in lockstep with the rules of the college game, the league began to change the rules in the 30's to give the pro game it's own identity. Rules were changed to prevent so many tie games and shut outs. The league also began to gain ground in mainstream popularity, with the College All Star game tradition starting in 1934 pitting a team of recently graduated all stars from the college ranks up against whoever was the NFL Champion, with the first game in 1934 drawing over 79,000 fans to Soldier Field to see the defending NFL Champion Chicago Bears play the College All Star team to a 0-0 tie. Another new tradition that was born in 1934 was the annual Thanksgiving Day game. The Portsmouth Spartans were purchased and moved to Detroit to become the Lions in 1934, playing the first Thanksgiving Day Game against the Bears in a game that was the first NFL game to be broadcast to a national audience as the NBC Radio Network carried the game on 94 stations.


    The 1934 season produced the first ever major earth shattering upset in an NFL Championship Game, a preview of what was to come almost three quarters of a century later as a scrappy underachieving New York Giants team stomped out an undefeated run of what was at the time the most powerful, unstoppable team the NFL had ever seen. The New York Giants finished with the best record in the NFL in 1933, winning the Eastern Division title with an 11-3 record before being defeated by the Chicago Bears 23-21 in the NFL Championship Game in what was considered at that time the greatest game ever played in the first 12 years of NFL history. The Giants came out in 1934 with an 0-2 start before going on a 5 game winning streak. The G-Men's win streak came to an end in Chicago in a rematch of the 1933 NFL Championship Game as the Bears dominated New York for a 27-7 victory. Two weeks later the Giants lost to the Bears again in New York 10-3. The Chicago Bears ended up finishing the 1934 season with an undefeated 13-0 perfect record, completely dominating the NFL like no other team before them. With dominant lineman like Link Lyman, George Musso, and Bill Hewitt up front the 1934 Bears ran up unreal stats for that era including their 2,847 total rushing yards with their triple threat rushing attack of Bronko Nagurski, Red Grange, and Beattie Feathers(who ran for over 1,000 yards, the first time in NFL history, nobody would even come close to that mark until Steve Van Buren 13 years later) grinding out an unbelievable 3,900 total yards of offense and 286 points, numbers that were freakish for that period in NFL history.




    ^Bronko Nagurski vs Mel Hein



    The Giants were able to win the Eastern Division crown even though they went 1-4 against division opponents in 1934. Legendary two way player Mel Hein anchored the Giants on the center of the line with Bill Owen and Ray Flaherty up front while second year quarterback Harry Newman led the team in rushing yards(483). Newman led the NFL in passing yards as a rookie in 1933 but he struggled throwing the ball in 1934, only completing 1 touchdown pass all year even though Red Badgro ended the season tied for the lead in receptions with 16(!). The Giants defense buckled down after their second loss to the Bears, allowing only 6 points in their final 3 games, including 2 shut outs to finish the year with an 8-5 record to win the Eastern Division title and secure a third game against the undefeated 13-0 Chicago Bears for the 1934 NFL title, a rematch of the 1933 NFL Championship Game.





    ^Mel Hein, one of the best players in the first 50 years of NFL history



    The 1934 NFL Championship Game would go down as one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. Due to an alternating format where homefield advantage was alternated every year between the winners of the Eastern and Western divisions, the Giants hosted the Bears at the Polo Grounds in New York on December 5th 1934. A freezing rain the night before the game left the field a frozen mess. The temperature at game time was 9 degrees. Ray Flaherty suggested the Giants change from football shoes to basketball sneakers to Giants head coach Steve Owen, remembering an experience he had in college; "Too bad we don't have sneakers instead of these things. I remember a game at Gonzaga. The ground was just like this. We switched to basketball shoes and ran away from the other team". Owen considered his team switching shoes but every sporting goods store was closed. Owen sent Giants trainer to Manhattan College to pick up a set of basketball sneakers, by the time he made it back to the Polo Grounds with the shoes the Bears had a 13-3 lead with 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. The Giants called a timeout to switch footwear and then returned to the game to score 4 touchdowns, including 2 runs by fullback Ken Strong, pulling off the upset to win the 1934 NFL Championship Game 30-13, ending the Bears quest for a perfect season and a spot in the history books as the greatest NFL team of all time. The game would go down in NFL lore as "The Sneakers Game".






    Even though the Giants defeated one of the all time great teams in NFL history they find themselves this low on the countdown for a couple of reasons. For starters they had homefield advantage in that NFL Championship game and the help of the bad weather and the equipment change, not that it's taking anything away from that victory but the circumstances definitely played in the Giants favor in that game. Also the quality of competition that year in the NFL was still not that high, teams still played uneven amounts of games, some teams played 11 games, some teams played 12 games, some teams played 13 games, some teams even went out of business mid-season(St. Louis Gunners closed up shop after 3 games, the Cincinnati Reds folded after an 0-8 start). The Giants went 1-4 in a pretty weak division in 1934 and hold the lowest win percentage(.615, .643 if you add that 9th win in the NFL Championship Game) of any of the NFL Championship winning teams for the first 65 years of NFL history, with the most losses of any NFL Championship winning team until the 1980 Raiders and 1988 49ers. The Giants also didn't really blow away the competition that year or lead the league in any significant statistical categories, they finished 3rd in the league in points scored, and 7th in points allowed(4th in the league in point differential). With all that said though they did win the NFL Championship and they defeated one of the best regular season teams the NFL had ever seen up to that point in a high pressure game when the title was on the line.



  3. #23
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    I would honestly argue between 1969-1978, the '75 Vikings were probably the best squad out of everybody, but no doubt the '69 Team were among the best in the Super Bowl squads.

    I'm curious to see where/if the 1987, 1998, and 2009 Vikes are on this list.


    Great list thus far though, it's always neat to see extensive lists like these with such detail.

  4. #24
    American Ninja

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim View Post
    I would honestly argue between 1969-1978, the '75 Vikings were probably the best squad out of everybody, but no doubt the '69 Team were among the best in the Super Bowl squads.
    That's an interesting argument to make, 75 Vikings were definitely tough as hell. I watched the playoff game against the Cowboys a couple of Summers ago and was just in awe at how much of a roughneck football game that was, one of the most physical, hard hitting games I've ever seen, that ending was just brutal for Vikings fans. Epic game for sure and a great team those Vikings were that year.

    I'm curious to see where/if the 1987, 1998, and 2009 Vikes are on this list.
    I'd hate to drag you through this only to find out that none of those teams made the cut. I honestly didn't even consider the 87 or 2009 squads. The 1998 team was the closest out of those teams to make it but they did not. I felt that for all the impressive numbers they put up at the end of the day that season was a major disappointment. That loss in the NFC Championship has to be one of the most frustrating things a fanbase of any team has ever had to go through in NFL history, even worse than the Bills missed field goal in Super Bowl XXV if only for the fact that it was right there in their home stadium and the frustrating way they laid down there at the end of that game. A lot of blame gets put on the kicker but rewatching the game last year it struck me that they had multiple other opportunities after that missed field goal to win that game, those fans in the stadium were ready to start partying and it just got ripped out of their hands, absolutely brutal. The record breaking offense and 15-1 record is quite an accomplishment but I felt like they just did not deserve to be ranked over any of the teams in the top 100 using the criteria I'm going with. With that said though I'd welcome somebody trying to make a case that they should have made the list, I'd be open to revise this in the future so my mind can be changed.


    Great list thus far though, it's always neat to see extensive lists like these with such detail.
    Thanks man.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-13-2017 at 08:10 AM.

  5. #25
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #92

    Spoiler:




    1932 Chicago Bears


    When I started this countdown one of the things I did to compare these teams within the context of when they played was to break NFL's 97 years of history down into 8 different eras. The first era from 1920 to 1932, whether you want to call it the Bronze Era or the Pioneer Era, it's really amazing how much different the game was back in that 13 year period. It was almost an entirely different sport altogether. The game clock would run continuously, without stopping for incomplete passes, turnovers, touchdowns, television breaks or referee "booth review" instant replays. Games typically ran about 90 minutes from start to finish, including halftime. The ball itself was bigger, clunkier, and more round which made it virtually impossible to throw with any modicum of accuracy. There were no hash marks on the fields so if a play was stopped near the sidelines that's where the next play would pick up, teams would have to waste a down just to get the ball back out of the crunched up area in the sidelines. Incomplete passes in the end zone resulted in a touchback for the defense and a change of possession. It was also illegal for a player to throw a forward pass if he was less than 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage. There was no such thing as overtime yet, a large percentage of games ended in a tie. The league didn't keep track of any stats, there were no playoffs or Championship games or even divisions. The 1932 season is the end of that first era because a series of events kickstarted some major changes in the NFL going forward.

    The 1932 season was the first year that the NFL started to keep official statistics. Also the former powerhouses of the 20's like the Frankford Yellow Jackets and Providence Steamroller closed up shop as the league dwindled down to just 8 teams for 1932, the fewest the league had ever fielded. Two of those teams, the Chicago Bears and Portsmouth Spartans, finished the season deadlocked in a tie for first place, producing the first ever "playoff" game, an impromptu post season meeting to determine an undisputed NFL Champion. For the Chicago Bears the story of their 1932 Championship run started with their disappointing 4-9-2 run in 1929. After George Halas led his team to the NFL title in 1921 the Bears finished as bridesmaids at 2nd place 4 out of the next 5 seasons. After the Bears bottomed out in 1929 with their first losing record George Halas made 2 critical moves that would strengthen the team into one of the new powerhouses of the NFL. Halas first move was to remove himself from the head coaching position and bring in Ralph Jones to coach the team in 1930. Halas' second move was to sign a monster of a man out of the University of Minnesota named Bronko Nagurski. At a time when the average NFL player was 5' 10" and 180 pounds "The Bronk" was a colossus at 6' 2" and 230-240 pounds of solid power.


    "When you hit him it was like getting an electric shock. If you hit him above the ankles, you were likely to get yourself killed"
    -Red Grange

    "I remember in the first game I didn't know what to expect from Nagurski, hearing all those things, but I knew I was going to have to play for my life anyway. In the first series of downs, that first game I played against him, which was in 1932 in Green Bay, the Bears had the ball. The ball was handed off to Nagurski and he came through the line. I was backing up the line on the strong side and I waited for him to come to me. Well, he darn near killed me. He knocked me on my back and I ended up with four stitches on my face. I thought to myself, you either better start moving or go after him or get out of the way because otherwise you are going to get killed. So, from that day on, I figured I'd either go at him or away from him, but I knew that if I went at him I had to get there first because he had me by about twenty pounds."
    -Clarke Hinkle

    Nagurski was a bruising runner and a feared blocker for the Bears resurgence in 1930 and 1931 as Ralph Jones use of the T-formation used the legendary Red Grange in motion with one or more ends flexed or split out from time to time, producing a modern pro set formation. Jones' Bears also utilized a single wing formation using "The Bronk" in the fullback position. The Bears opened up the 1932 season struggling, with each of their first four opponents holding them scoreless. The Bears fell to a 1-1-4 record after playing the new Boston Braves to a 7-7 tie. Chicago would go on to win 5 of their last 7 games(with the other 2 being ties), including a 9-0 victory over Green Bay in a snowstorm at Wrigley Field on December 11th.




    The Bears victory over the Packers put them tied for first place with a 6-1-6 record at the end of the regular season. Chicago's defense held 7 of their opponents scoreless through the season. Luke Johnsos' led the NFL with 321 receiving yards while "The Bronk" ran for 533 rushing yards, only 43 yards fewer than Cliff Battles' league leading performance for the Boston Braves inaugural season. The Bears also featured Bill Hewitt in his rookie season, while another great, George Trafton was playing in his final season. At 29 years old the legendary "Galloping Ghost" Red Grange's mystique had faded by 1932, his shoulders and knees had been worn down by the barnstorming tours of the 1920's but he still managed to play a valuable role on the 1932 Bears Championship season, leading the team with 7 touchdowns.




    With the 6-1-6 Bears and the 6-1-4 Spartans deadlocked in a tie for first place the NFL scheduled an impromptu playoff game to determine an undisputed Worlds Champion of Pro Football. The Bears and Spartans played to 2 tie games in the regular season, they were on a collision course for a 3rd game for all the marbles at Wrigley Field in Chicago on December 18th 1932. A massive blizzard rolled through Chicago the week of the game that dumped waist deep snow, forcing the NFL to move the game to Chicago Stadium, a smaller indoor arena used for hockey games(home of the Chicago Blackhawks at the time), producing the first game ever played indoors. The floor of the arena where the game was played was concrete with a layer of dirt(and probably some animal feces) leftover from a circus the previous week. The field was only 80 yards long, approximately 15 feet narrower than a regulation gridiron. The end zones were less than 10 yards deep and the sidelines were right up on the dasher boards of the hockey rink. As a result of the smaller field the NFL made some clever changes to the rules to make up for it. Hash marks were drawn on the field 10 yards from the sideline, with a rule that if the ball was run out of bounds it would be placed at the nearest mark. No field goals were allowed, punts that hit the rafters of the building were considered a touchback, and each time a team passed the mid-field it was penalized 20 yards to make up for the lost space.





    The game itself was widely considered a major debacle, with George Halas being quoted saying "I don't think anything could compare with that game. The only thing not ridiculous about the whole mess was that we won the game". The deciding score was a controversial one as Branko Nagurski faked a goal line run and dropped back to throw a touchdown pass to Red Grange. The Spartans argued that Nagurski was not 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage, which would have made his pass illegal. The referees ruled that the play stood and the Bears pulled away with a 9-0 victory after the Spartans botched a punt snap to add a safety. The Portsmouth Times headline read "Sham Battle on Tom Thumb Gridiron" with sportswriter Lynn A. Wittenburg calling the game "a synthetic show". The experience for the fans in attendance for that game was very unique as they were closer to the action than ever before. One sportswriter wrote about the game "It was the difference between sitting ringside at a heavyweight fight or in the last row in the upper deck. All of the sounds of human beings smashing other human beings were right there and very real".

    The 1932 NFL Championship game had a huge impact on the sport as some of the changes made for that game became permanent fixtures starting the next season. The hash marks system used in the 1932 Championship Game were instituted and the 5 yard rule for forward passes was done away with, making it legal for a passer to throw a forward pass from anywhere behind the line of scrimmage. Other key changes instituted the next season included moving the goal post from the back of the end zone to the goal line to promote more field goals. The resulting rules changes opened up the game and made shut outs and ties far less frequent. Another big change inspired by the 1932 title game was the alignment into 2 divisions with the division winners facing off in an annual NFL Championship game at the end of the year, one game at the end of the season, winner takes it all, loser takes the fall.

    The Bears of 1932 were undisputed Worlds Champions of Pro Football chocked with some of the greatest players of all time but there are a few reasons why they find themselves down in the bottom of this countdown. For starters they only won 7 games, playing 6 opponents to a tie. Secondly they won the impromptu NFL Championship game that was played on an 80 yard hockey rink against a Portsmouth team that was without it's best player; quarterback Earl "Dutch" Clark, who was the NFL's leading scorer in 1932 and had already left the team to take an offseason job coaching the basketball team at his alma matter(Colorado College) when the game was set. Still the Bears team was a force to be reckoned with and the game they played for the NFL Championship changed the sport forever.


  6. #26
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #91

    Spoiler:




    1935 Detroit Lions


    The Portsmouth Spartans and their fans felt like they were screwed in the 1932 NFL Championship game by Bronko Nagurski's controversial touchdown pass to Red Grange. The Spartans best player and the NFL's leading scorer Earl "Dutch" Clark was gone to meet commitments for an offseason basketball coaching job he signed with his alma matter before the NFL came up with the impromptu playoff game to break the Spartans tie with the Bears atop the standings at the end of the year. Without Clark the Bears held the Spartans scoreless in a 9-0 shutout on the makeshift indoor arena(due to a blizzard) with special modified rules to make up for the cramped playing surface. Two years later the Spartans packed up with Dutch Clark and moved from Portsmouth Ohio to the motor city, Detroit, where they became the Lions in 1934. The Lions were one of the best teams in the NFL in their first season in Detroit, opening up the year on a 10 game winning streak before dropping their last 3(including back to back losses to the invincible Chicago Bears in their final 2 games). The Lions dropped to 10-3 and fell behind the undefeated Bears for second place in the division. Head coach Potsy Clark and the most dangerous offensive weapon in the league Dutch Clark came back and finally broke through to bring an NFL Championship to the Great Depression ravaged city of Detroit in 1935.



    ^Earl "Dutch" Clark(also seen in the first pic above)


    The Lions opened up the season with a 35-0 thrashing of the young Philadelphia Eagles in a game where Detroit's defense never allowed a single first down. After being penned heavy favorites to run away with the NFL title by the Associate Press the Lions stumbled to a 4-3-1 record. Detroit's second loss to Curly Lambeau's Green Bay Packers(which featured Don Hutson in his rookie season) on November 10th seemed to be the turning point in the season for the Lions. Detroit finished out the season with a 3-0-1 run after their second loss to Green Bay, including a huge victory over the Packers in a third game, a game that turned out to be the deciding game in the race for the NFL Western Division title.

    A key trade of Doug Nott for Bill Shephard occurred on November 4th. Shephard helped the Lions take the Packers down, scoring 2 touchdowns in a 20-10 victory in front of 14,000 fans at University of Detroit stadium on November 17th. After finally beating Green Bay the Lions faced the Chicago Bears in back to back games, playing to a 20-20 tie at Wrigley Field in the first meeting on November 24th. The Lions went into the rematch 4 days later on Thanksgiving Day with a 0-5-3 record against the Bears in their previous 8 meetings, their last win being in the 1931 season when they were the Portsmouth Spartans. With their skim lead in the Western Division on the line Dutch Clark scored 2 touchdowns to finally score a 14-2 victory over the Bears for Detroit. The final game the next week seen Detroit destroy the Brooklyn Dodgers 28-0, securing the Lions NFL Western Division title with a 7-3-2 record.




    Dutch Clark carried the Lions on his back and led the NFL in scoring in 1935 with 6 touchdowns(4 on the ground and 2 receiving), with 1 field goal and 16 point after touchdown kicks totaling 55 points all year, along with another 4 touchdown passes that he threw for. Clark had help from Ernie Caddel, who led the team in rushing yards(450), with Ace Gutkowski and Glen Presnell also carrying a bit of the load offensively. The Lions 191 total points scored was just 1 point shy of Chicago's league leading mark in 1935.




    The Lions faced off against the 9-3 defending NFL Champion New York Giants for the 1935 NFL Championship Game at the University of Detroit stadium on December 15th 1935. The Giants were favored to win but they were ambushed early on, with Detroit throwing 2 long passes to set up an 8 yard touchdown run on their opening possession to give them a quick 7-0 lead. The Lions intercepted New York and ran it back to midfield to set up the defining play of the game and perhaps Detroit's entire 1935 season, a 40 yard touchdown run by Dutch Clark that blew the roof off of the place. New York answered back with a touchdown to close the gap to 13-7 before the end of the half. A blocked punt sealed the Giants fate in the 4th quarter as the Lions ran in another touchdown on their ensuing possession to take a 20-7 lead and end the competitive phase of the game. A Lions interception set up another 4 yard touchdown run to give Detroit a 26-7 victory. The Lions 1935 NFL Championship was a big victory for the sport of pro football in the city of Detroit as the Detroit Tigers baseball team had won the World Series that October, and that following April the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup.

  7. #27
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #90

    Spoiler:




    1930 Green Bay Packers



    The Packers were one of the toughest teams in the NFL in the 1920's. Curly Lambeau was the founding father of the team, as a player and a coach Curly assemble an all star cast of players like Johnny "Blood" Mcnally, Mike Michalske, and the monstrous Cal Hubbard to run the table and go undefeated(12-0-1) to win the 1929 NFL Championship, the Packers very first title. Curly retired as a player and focused on coaching the Packers as they fought to defend their title in 1930. The Packers opened up the 1930 season with a 8 game winning streak, extending Green Bay's unbeaten streak to 23 games including the last 2 games of 1928 and the entire 1929 season. Green Bay finally tasted defeat at the hands of Chicago Cardinals on November 16th with a 6-13 loss at Comiskey Park in Chicago. For the rest of the season Green Bay fought to keep their 1st place lead as the race for the NFL Championship with a quickly improving Chicago Bears and a hard nosed New York Giants heated up towards the end of the year.




    ^Johnny Blood, one of the most interesting characters of old school NFL lore



    The 1930 season unfolded and became a 3 way race for first place between the Packers, Giants, and Bears. Going into the November 16th Packers loss to the Chicago Cardinals the Giants were nipping at their heels with a 10-1 record, their lone loss coming at the hands of the Packers early in the season. Green Bay's spot was saved after their November 16th loss because the Giants would lose that same day to a rapidly improving Chicago Bears team. The Giants took the lead in the NFL by defeating Green Bay the very next week 13-6 at the Polo Grounds, giving New York an 11-2 record and sending Green Bay to 8-2. Green Bay would rally to defeat the Frankford Yellow Jackets and Staten Island Stapletons the next two weeks to retake 1st place as the Giants collapsed and dropped back to back games to the Stapletons and Brooklyn Dodgers. The Bears would upset the Packers on December 7th in a 21-0 shutout in Chicago to finish out their season on a 5 game winning streak during Ralph Jones and Bronko Nagurski's first seasons with the team. The Giants finished out their season with a pair of wins to get to a 13-4 record. The 10-3 Packers season came down to their final game against the Portsmouth Spartans, where they needed a tie or a win to hold on to 1st place and win the NFL Championship. Green Bay would hold on to a 6-6 tie to keep their spot and repeat as NFL Champions, the undisputed Worlds Champions of Pro Football of 1930.






    Johnny Blood would lead the team with 5 touchdown catches while Verne Lewellen would rack up a team best 9 touchdowns and 54 total points scored. Cal Hubbard and Mike Michalske both were some of the most dominant front linemen of the era and both were in rare form for the Packers in 1930, while future Hall of Famer Arnie Herber scored 3 touchdowns for the Packers in his rookie season. There was no disputing that the Packers were the top team in pro football in 1930. They became only the 2nd team to win back to back NFL titles following in the footsteps of the Canton Bulldogs of 1922-1923. These Packers were at their best while they were on their 8 game winning streak in the opening of the season, where they shut out 4 of their opponents, compiling a 23 game unbeaten streak that stretched back to 1928. The only reason the 1930 Packers don't find themselves higher up on this list is due to the unbalanced format of the NFL and the lack of any postseason games that season. After taking a commanding lead with that 8 game win streak they were able to coast through their last 6 games, going 2-3-1. The Packers probably would have had their hands full had they played the Giants or Bears in a postseason/Championship game, both teams seemed to have caught up with Green Bay by the end of the year.


    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-17-2017 at 09:08 AM.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #89

    Spoiler:




    1945 Cleveland Rams


    World War II had a pretty major impact on the NFL from 1941 until it ended in September 1945. Altogether some 638 players left the league to join the war efforts during that period, with 21 of them being killed in action. The War hit the NFL the hardest in the 1943 season as the US draft for the war depleted rosters to the point where the Steelers and Eagles had to join forces for a year as the Phil-Pitt Steagles, while the Cleveland Rams had to suspend operations entirely when owner Dan Reeves was drafted. The Cleveland Rams entered the NFL in 1937 where they remained cellar dwellers for their first 6 years in the league. Servicemen began to return home from the war in 1944. The Cleveland Rams returned to the NFL in 1944 and began to build a strong contender. In 1945 the Rams turned their fortunes around when they selected UCLA Bruins quarterback Bob Waterfield with the 42nd overall pick in the NFL draft.



    ^Bob Waterfield, 1945 NFL MVP as a rookie


    Bob Waterfield was an impact player for Cleveland right from the start as he ran for a score and threw another in the Rams 21-0 victory over the Chicago Cardinals in the opening game of the season. The next week Waterfield ran for an 8 yard touchdown, hit Steve Pritko for a 25 yard touchdown pass, and booted a 28 yard field goal to guide the Rams to a 17-0 win over the Chicago Bears in Cleveland. In week 3 Bob Waterfield threw 2 touchdown passes in the Rams 27-14 win over the defending NFL Champion Green Bay Packers. Waterfield's finest performance of the season was his 3 touchdown passes thrown in a 35-21 victory in their rematch against the Chicago Cardinals. Waterfield was named NFL MVP as he led the Cleveland Rams to a 9-1 record and NFL Western Division title in his rookie year, throwing for 14 touchdown passes(tied Sid Luckman for most in the league) while running for 5 and kicking 31 PAT's and 1 field goal.

    The Rams led the NFL in total rushing yards(1,714) with Frank Gehrke leading the team in rushing yards(467) and rushing touchdowns(7). Jim Benton was named first team NFL All Pro after leading the NFL in receiving yards with 1,067 yards and 8 receiving touchdowns, only the 2nd player in NFL history to catch over 1,000 yards receiving. Left guard Riley Matheson was named first team All Pro while rookies Gil Bouley and Mike Lazetich carried the load on the front lines filling in for most of the season due to injuries. The Rams were set for an NFL Championship showdown against the #1 defense in the NFL, the Washington Redskins, a head to head matchup against one of the biggest stars in the NFL in the decade, Sammy Baugh, against thew new gunslinger Bob Waterfield. The game was expected to break the NFL attendance record as it was set for the 80,000 seat Cleveland Municipal Stadium on December 16th 1945.





    Freezing weather kept most fans at home as a disappointing 32,178 turned out to sit in frigid -8 degree temperature, the coldest NFL Championship Game ever played up to that point. Horrible field conditions produced a low scoring game. The first score of the game was the play that the 1945 NFL Championship Game was mostly remembered for as Sammy Baugh's attempted pass bounced off the goal post(which was placed at the goal line in those days). As the rule stood the ball hitting the goal post resulted in a safety for the other team, giving the Rams a 2-0 lead in the first quarter on a goofy technicality that didn't make any sense whatsoever. The 2 points ended up being the deciding factor in the game.

    The Rams defense knocked Sammy Baugh out of the game with bruised ribs but the Redskins still took a 7-2 lead in the second quarter. The Rams answered back with a 37 yard touchdown pass from Bob Waterfield to Jim Benton. Waterfield's extra point kick was partially blocked before teetering on the goal post and just barely dropping over to give Cleveland a 9-7 lead. Waterfield connected with a 44 yard touchdown pass in the 3rd quarter to give Cleveland a 15-7 lead. Washington fought back and closed it to 14-15 at the end of the 3rd quarter but the Rams were able to hold on to survive a scoreless 4th quarter to win the 1945 NFL Championship. Throughout the game the temperature never rose above 0 degrees.




    The game ended up being the Rams final in Cleveland as they packed up and moved to the big money and bright lights of the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles just 2 months after winning the 1945 NFL Championship Game. The next year the NFL also did away with the ridiculous rule that gave the defense a safety if a pass hit the goal post. Bob Waterfield as a rookie had a sensational MVP season for a great young team that had been masterfully rebuilt in just 1 year after the team had suspended operations for the entire 1943 season. With a 9-1 record(10-1 overall counting the NFL Championship Game) the Rams find themselves at this spot on the countdown not only because of the somewhat controversial win in the NFL Championship Game but also because they ran the table in a transitional year in the NFL, a time when the powerhouses of the 40's like the Giants, Bears, and Packers were on the downswing of their dynasties while even the Redskins team they played in the title game was beginning to get long in the tooth(one of those four teams won the NFL Championship for 9 consecutive years from 1936 to 1944).

    It also can't be understated how much of an effect World War II had on the NFL. In all actuality the War probably set the league back by about 5-6 years(maybe more). Even though the NFL was on the back end of that in 1945 the effects were probably most felt during those first couple of years after the war, 1945 to 1947, as talent coming up during that time was depleted and teams were rebuilding. The four teams that carried the league through the War years(1942-1944) star players(Sammy Baugh of the Redskins, Sid Luckman of the Bears, Mel Hein of the Giants, and Don Hutson of the Packers) were aging in the twilight of their careers and the overall level of competition was lower than other eras. With that said though the Rams did get the job done as the clear cut best team in the league in the regular season, and even though the goal post played a major role in the 1945 Championship Game Waterfield's 192 yards passing and 2 touchdown passes and Jim Benton's 9 catches for 125 yards receiving came against a Redskins defense that led the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed and fewest total points allowed.


    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-20-2017 at 07:26 AM.

  9. #29
    American Ninja

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #88

    Spoiler:




    1964 Buffalo Bills



    The 1965 Buffalo Bills came in at #95 on this countdown due to a stifling defense that carried a 17 game streak without a single rushing touchdown allowed(the last 8 games of the 64 season, the 64 AFL Championship game, and the first 8 games of the 1965 season), an NFL record that still stands to this day. That 17 game streak started in the Bills 1964 campaign, a season where they were even more dominant and even more well rounded on both sides of the ball, quite possibly one of the strongest teams in the 10 years of AFL history. The Buffalo Bills defense emerged in the AFL in 1964 like a Mt. Everest. Defensive coordinator Joe Collier fielded an innovative 4-3 defense that was the first to send blitzing safeties after the quarterback along with smothering bump and run tactics to dominate opponent's receivers at the line of scrimmage. Joe Collier would later go on to coach the "Orange Crush" defense of the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl run in 1977, with a young padawan named Bill Belichick on his staff learning the ways of the force.

    The 1964 Buffalo Bills are one of the great forgotten teams in football history. They are the highest ranked AFL team on this countdown from the pre-Super Bowl era and the 3rd highest ranked AFL team overall behind the 1968 Jets and 1969 Chiefs. You could really make an argument that they should be much higher as the only thing holding them back was that they did not get the chance to test their might against the NFL Champions of the 1964 season, the Cleveland Browns, a team they matched up very well with. As much acclaim is thrown to the 1963 San Diego Chargers it is of my opinion that these 1964 Bills stood the best chance of any of the pre-Super Bowl AFL Champions in a head to head matchup with that season's NFL Champion. The 1964 Bills were too strong in every aspect, starting at the offensive line, which was anchored by one of the greatest players in AFL history; Billy Shaw(#66 shown in the painting above). Billy Shaw was an undersized offensive lineman that used quick footwork and solid fundamentals to be one of the premier AFL linemen, earning 5 first team AFL All Pro honors and 9 AFL All Star appearances along with becoming the only player to ever be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame that never played a down of his career in the league(Shaw retired in 1969, the final AFL year before the merger).

    Billy Shaw is one of the most underrated offensive lineman, standing 6'2" and weighing roughly 258 pounds Shaw used technique over tonnage to not only hold his own against much bigger monsters of the AFL like Ernie Ladd(6'9"/315), Buck Buchanan(6'7"/270) but he dominated against them every year(also against 6 time AFL All Star Houston Antwine, 275 pounder of the division rival Patriots), going head to head with them in the trenches(twice, sometimes three times a year), paving the way for Cookie Gilchrest to lead the AFL in rushing yards in 1964 with 981 yards and 6 touchdowns.




    Cookie Gilchrest was a 251 pound proto-Earl Campbell, a bruising power runner that spearheaded an NFL style rushing attack that the defenses of the AFL could not stop. The Bills ran the football more than they threw it but when it came time to move the ball down the field quarterback Jack Kemp could sling it with the best of the AFL quarterbacks, his weapon of choice being Elbert Dubenion, who caught 48 passes for 1,139 yards in 1964, averaging 27.1 yards per catch. The Bills opened up the 1964 season by dropping 31 first quarter points on the Kansas City Chiefs, including 3 Jack Kemp touchdown passes and a JJ Watt style interception returned by defensive lineman Tom Sestak for a touchdown. The Bills blew the Chiefs out 34-17 on opening day before manhandling Denver 30-13. The eye opener was the 30-3 destruction of the defending AFL Champions the San Diego Chargers. In all the Bills outscored their first 3 opponents by a combined score of 94-33. The 1964 Bills defense was very innovative and very physical. For the "bombs away" style offenses of the AFL it was like running into a brick wall when they played Buffalo, and a big part of that was cornerback Butch Byrd, a smothering coverman that was the size of a linebacker. The quarterback of the defense was Harry Jacobs. With Jacobs in the middle and with AFL first team All Pro Mike Stratton on the outside the Bills were just as tight, just as smart, and just as physical as any of the elite defenses in the NFL.

    Buffalo opened up the 1964 season on a 9 game winning streak. Their first loss of the season came at home against division rival Boston Patriots on November 15th in one of the best games of the 1964 AFL season. The Bills took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter but Babe Parilli tossed 2 touchdown passes to help Boston take a 14-10 lead in the 2nd quarter. A Pete Gogalak field goal before the half cut Boston's lead to 14-13. Jack Kemp's 22 yard touchdown pass was followed by a successful two point conversion help Buffalo retake the lead 21-14. Buffalo's defense recovered a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown to put the Bills up 28-14 later in the third quarter. The Patriots fought back with 22 unanswered points late in the game to take a 36-28 lead. With Buffalo abandoning their running game in an attempt to make a comeback the Bills began to fall apart, with Cookie Gilchrest pulling himself out of the game out of frustration. Buffalo would go on to lose the game but just as things looked like they were starting to fall apart quarterback Jack Kemp pulled his team back together. Cookie Gilchrest ran for 87 yards the next week as Buffalo pulled off a come from behind victory against the San Diego Chargers by overcoming a 10 point deficit in the 4th quarter to win it 27-24 on a late Pete Gogolak field goal.

    The race between Buffalo and Boston for the AFL Eastern Division tightened when Buffalo was upset by the Raiders in Oakland on December 6th. The Patriots and Bills finished tied for first place in the AFL East the previous season, resulting in a playoff between the teams that seen Boston destroy Buffalo in front of their hometown fans 26-8. Going into the final game of the 1964 season the Bills were 1-6-1 in their previous 8 meetings against Boston, including a 3 game losing streak that included the 1963 divisional playoff game. The showdown for the Eastern Division title and a spot in the AFL Championship Game went down on December 20th 1964 as the 10-2-1 Patriots squared off against the 11-2 Buffalo Bills in Fenway Park in Boston in the final regular season game. Jack Kemp hit Elbert Dubenion for a 57 yard touchdown pass early to give Buffalo the 7-0 lead. Boston answered back with a 27 yard touchdown pass from Babe Parilli to Tony Romeo but Buffalo defended their 2 point attempt to keep a 7-6 lead. Buffalo's defense played lights out as the Bills controlled the ball, grinding out a 24-6 lead going into the 4th quarter. By the time Boston scored a touchdown and 2 point conversion it was too little too late, the Bills won the game 24-14 to capture the 1964 AFL Eastern Division title, finishing their season with a 12-2 record.




    ^December 20th showdown against the Patriots on snowy Fenway Park with the AFL East title on the line


    The Bills hosted the defending kings of the AFL when they played the Chargers on the day after Christmas in the 1964 AFL Championship Game. The defining moment of not only the game, not only the Bills season, but the defining moment of this entire team from this era was by far "The Hit Heard Round The World". Bills linebacker Mike Stratton leveled the Chargers star running back Keith Lincoln early in the game. The hit took the life out of the Chargers and took Lincoln out of the game with broken ribs. Buffalo would go on to defeat San Diego 20-7 to win the 1964 AFL Championship. The next year the Bills traded Cookie Gilchrest to Denver and suffered injuries to all of their starting receivers but their defense still carried them to a second consecutive AFL Championship, continuing their streak without a rushing touchdown allowed to 17 games.





    ^My first gifs I ever made, "The Hit Heard Round The World"


    The 1964 Buffalo Bills maybe should be a little higher up on this list. They had a pretty big influence on the game, not only with their defense on the field, which innovated elements that were used by the Steel Curtain Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders later on to win Super Bowls. They also really elevated the AFL with how good they were. I believe they would have been a really tough challenge for the 1964 NFL Champion Cleveland Browns. The Bills in 1964 played a tougher schedule than the Browns did. The Browns scored more points(415, averaging 29.6 per game while Buffalo scored 400, averaging 28.6 per game) but the Bills had more total yards(5,206 vs Cleveland's 4,486). The Bills had the better defense statistically, allowing only 242 points(17.3 per game) while Cleveland gave up 293(20.9 per game) and it's important to note that the Bills allowed that much fewer points in a league that had 2 point conversions and was more wide open with offense. The Bills and Browns never played so we will never know who would have won a matchup between the two kings of pro football in 1964.


    One other innovation that these Bills brought to the game was on the special teams side of the ball as Pete Gogolak was the first true soccer style kicker. The New York Giants of the NFL broke an unwritten rule between the two leagues when they stole Gogolak from Buffalo after the 1965 season. This move touched off a war between the two leagues raiding each other's rosters, which got so far out of hand and drove player salaries up so high that both leagues had no choice but to begin negotiations for the merger prior to the 1966 season. While the merger was going to take years to put together, the hype for an NFL vs AFL Championship Game was to the point that the two leagues weren't going to make football fans wait any longer for something they had been dying to see, the game was finally agreed upon to take place at the end of the 1966 AFL and NFL seasons, it would later get the title of "Super Bowl".



  10. #30
    American Ninja

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #87


    Spoiler:




    1957 Detroit Lions


    Even though the Lions franchise has struggled in the Super Bowl era they were one of the premier teams in the first 40 years of NFL history, winning 4 NFL Championship titles, including 3 titles within a 6 year period in the 1950's. Earl "Dutch" Clark led the Lions to their first NFL Championship in 1935. The Lions were a strong contender the years after they won the 35 title but Dutch Clark was never able to take them back to a title game, retiring after the Lions finished in 2nd place in 1938. Detroit slid off into mediocrity in the immediate years after Dutch Clark retired, by 1942 Detroit finished with a winless 0-11 record. Detroit started to rebuild into a contender when the football gods blessed them with two of the best players of the era in 1950, two Texas boys in quarterback Bobby Layne and running back Doak Walker. The Lions would go on to win back to back NFL Championships in 1952 and 1953. In 1954 Detroit was humiliated in their 3rd consecutive appearance in an NFL Championship Game when the Cleveland Browns blew them away, intercepting Bobby Layne 6 times to run the final score up to 56-10. Detroit fell apart in 1955, losing their first 6 games before finishing with a 3-9 record, losing Doak Walker to retirement at the end of the season. The Lions defense started to come of age in 1956 and in 1957 Detroit overcame quite a bit of adversity to return to the NFL Championship Game for a rematch with Paul Brown's Cleveland powerhouse.

    Detroit's 1957 season began in controversy as head coach Buddy Parker quit the team just 2 days before the first preseason game. Parker was the coach that led the Lions to the 1952 and 1953 NFL Championships, amassing a 50-24-2 record during his tenure with the team. Parker quit the team frustrated with the Detroit Lions ownership(which consisted of 12 owners split into 2 factions at the time). Parker quit Detroit to take the vacant Pittsburgh Steelers job, saying to the press; "I don't want to get involved in another losing season, so I'm leaving Detroit. In fact, I'm leaving tonight". Assistant coach George Wilson took over the team on the fly.



    Lions Hall of Fame linebacker Joe Schmidt(#56)


    The Lions struggled in their first 6 games after their longtime head coach bailed on them. Johnny Unitas threw 4 touchdown passes to help the Colts beat Detroit on opening day. Bobby Layne was benched after throwing 3 interceptions as the Colts blew the Lions out 34-14. Over 55,000 fans packed into Briggs Stadium in Detroit to witness the rematch between the Colts and Lions on October 20th 1957. Johnny Unitas again threw 4 touchdown passes, giving Baltimore 27-3 lead by the 3rd quarter. Bobby Layne and Tobin Rote led Detroit on an epic 4th quarter comeback, scoring 3 touchdowns, the last of which being a 29 yard Bobby Layne touchdown pass late in the game giving Detroit a 31-27 victory.

    One of the key games for the Lions in the 1957 season was their heartbreaking last second loss to the 49ers in San Francisco on November 3rd. Detroit took a 10-0 lead early but San Francisco fought back and scored 28 unanswered points to take a 28-10 lead early in the 4th quarter. Journeyman backup quarterback Tobin Rote came in to replace Bobby Layne and led Detroit on a spirited comeback to retake a 31-28 lead with three 4th quarter touchdown passes. San Francisco iced Detroit with a 41 yard hail mary "Alley-oop" bomb from Y.A. Tittle to R.C. Owens, giving San Francisco the win 35-31. In all that afternoon Y.A. Tittle completed 21 of 28 passes for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns. The loss sent Detroit to 3-3 and put San Francisco in 1st place in the NFL Western Conference with a 5-1 record. The loss was a turning point in the Lions season as Tobin Rote's 4 touchdown performance gave him the starting job over the aging Bobby Layne, while the Lions defense tightened up to help the team win 5 of it's last 6 games, including a 31-10 victory in the rematch against San Francisco and a 20-7 win over the Cleveland Browns. The Lions and 49ers both finished tied for first place in the West with 8-4 records, setting up one of the all time greatest playoff games ever played in NFL history.



    ^Western Conference playoff game between the 49ers and Lions, notice the fans on the rooftops of the houses in the background


    The Lions traveled to San Francisco to play the 49ers in the 1957 NFL Western Conference playoff game on December 22nd in front of 60,118 fans, with many more fans watching from the rooftops of nearby houses surrounding Kezar Stadium. San Francisco jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after Y.A. Tittle hit R.C. Owens and Hugh McElhenny for 34 and 47 yard touchdown passes. Tobin Rote answered back early in the 2nd quarter with a 4 yard touchdown pass to Steve Junker. Another Y.A. Tittle touchdown pass and a field goal put San Fran up 24-7 at the half. The 49ers came out and almost sealed it when Hugh McElhenny broke a 71 yard run that put San Francisco on Detroit's 7 yard line. Detroit's defense came alive on a goal line stand that turned the momentum of the game. The 49ers had to settle for a field goal that put San Francisco up 27-7. The Lions proceeded to complete what is still to this day the 5th largest comeback in NFL Playoff history. The comeback started with back to back touchdown runs by Tom Tracy, the second being a 58 yard sprint to the end zone. Gene Gedman's 2 yard touchdown run early in the 4th quarter put Detroit up 28-27. In all the Lions scored 21 points over a span of about 4:29 of game time at the end of the 3rd and early in the 4th quarter. Jim Martin's 13 yard field goal put the final nail in the coffin. The Lions defeated San Francisco 31-28 to win the Western Conference Championship and earn a spot in the 1957 NFL Championship Game. According to Lions defensive back Jack Christianson the Lions could hear the 49ers celebrating through the thin wall separating the teams locker rooms at halftime, which enraged Joe Schmidt and fired the Lions defense up to make a statement in the 2nd half.

    Awaiting the Lions was the powerhouse team of the decade, the 9-2-1 Cleveland Browns led by NFL MVP rookie Jim Brown. Over 55,260 fans packed into Briggs Stadium in Detroit on December 29th to see the Lions slaughter the Browns 59-14, avenging their embarrassing blowout loss to them in the 1954 NFL Championship Game. Tobin Rote threw for 280 yards and 4 touchdowns while rushing for another. The Lions defense held Jim Brown to just 69 rushing yards and forced 6 turnovers. It was one of the biggest blowouts in NFL Championship Game or Super Bowl history.




    The Cleveland Browns were without a doubt the best team of the 1950's decade. Paul Brown's team dominated the NFL ever since they entered the league in 1950, winning 7 Conference Championships in their first 8 years, including victories in the 1950, 1954, and 1955 NFL Championships. The Browns could beat anybody in the NFL during this period but they just could not beat the Detroit Lions, going 1-6 against them from 1950 to 1957, including losses in the 1952, 1953, and this 1957 NFL Championship games. One of the main reasons why the Lions were the only team in the NFL to hold a winning record over the Browns in the 1950's was that they had one of the toughest defenses of the entire decade. Joe Schmidt and Jack Christianson were both named first team NFL All Pro in 1957 while Yale Lary was named an All Star. On offense Tobin Rote and Bobby Layne fought over the quarterback job with Rote eventually stealing the job away by the end of the season. Rote threw for 11 touchdowns and 1,070 yards. John Henry Johnson was an excellent power running back in his own right, running for 621 yards and 5 touchdowns. On the offensive line the Lions featured 2 Hall of Famers, Lou Creekmur and legendary center from the Browns Frank Gatski playing in his final season(if you can't beat'em, join them).




    The next year the Lions would trade Bobby Layne away to the Steelers and the team never won another NFL Championship. The 1957 Lions were a truly great team in a really great era in NFL history, they played some really epic games during their quest for the 1957 NFL title. The comeback against Baltimore is still a top 5 regular season comeback in NFL history, the loss to San Francisco in the "Alley-oop" game, and then the amazing comeback on the road in the playoff against San Francisco in the rubber match. They went on to beat a really great Cleveland Browns team in the NFL Championship Game in about as dominant fashion as a team could possibly win. When you consider the talent on this team and their performances on the field that year I think you could probably make a case that this team should be higher on this countdown.

  11. #31
    American Ninja

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #86
    Spoiler:




    1937 Washington Redskins


    The NFL came a long way in the 1930's. They started keeping up with stats in 1932, aligned into divisions and set an annual NFL Championship Game in 1933, redesigned the football and opened up the rules for the forward pass to thrive, and in 1936 set an annual college player selection meeting, or the NFL Draft. In 1937 the Boston Redskins moved to Washington DC and drafted All American quarterback Sammy Baugh from TCU, signing him for $8,000. Sammy Baugh's legend was first born while he was technically still an amateur in the annual College All Star Game as he led a team of All American's to a victory over the defending NFL Champion Green Bay Packers in front of over 80,000 fans at Soldier Field in Chicago. Baugh's 44 yard touchdown pass was the only score of the game, giving the College All Stars a 6-0 victory.

    Sammy Baugh wasn't the first player to thrive with the new concept of the forward pass but he had an incredible accuracy that was unseen up to that point. Sammy honed his passing skills by practicing with a tire swing in his high school football days playing for the Sweetwater Texas Mustangs. Baugh came into his rookie season and emerged as the first true gunslinger in NFL history, earning the nickname "Slingin" Sammy Baugh as he led the Washington Redskins to their very first NFL Championship in their inaugural season in D.C.




    The Redskins opened up the 1937 season with a 13-3 win over the Giants as Sammy Baugh completed 11 of his 16 passes in his first game. Washington would open up the season going 2-2 before winning 6 of their last 7 games to win the NFL Eastern Division title with a 8-3 record. The key component of the 1937 Redskins title run was 6' 2" 255 pound Glen "Turk" Edwards on the front lines protecting Sammy Baugh and opening up holes for the NFL's leading rusher that season, Cliff Battles. Battles ran for 874 yards and 5 touchdowns(with another 2 touchdowns through the air, tying Don Hutson and Clarke Hinkle for most in the league) while Sammy Baugh led the NFL in passing with 8 touchdown passes and 1,127 passing yards.



    ^Cliff Battles in color


    The Redskins on the defensive side led the NFL in fewest yards allowed(2,123), with 6 games where they only allowed a touchdown or less. The biggest wins for the Redskins came at their final 2 games of the regular season when the NFL Eastern Division title on the line. The Redskins defeated Don Hutson and Clarke Hinkle's Green Bay Packers 14-6 in Washington to set up a showdown with the Giants at the Polo Grounds for the division title and a spot in the NFL Championship Game on the line. The Giants went into the game with a 6-2-2 record while Washington was at 7-3. Over 11,000 Redskins fans traveled to New York to cheer for their team at the Polo Grounds. Cliff Battles ran for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Redskins offensive line dominated the Giants defense. Washington destroyed New York 49-14 to capture the NFL Eastern Division crown with an 8-3 record.

    Few people gave the Redskins much of a chance when they traveled to Wrigley Field to play the 9-1 Chicago Bears in the 1937 NFL Championship Game. The legend of Sammy Baugh was solidified in this game as the Bears built their gameplan around shutting down Cliff Battles, holding him to just 53 yards on 17 carries. With Battles being shut down the rookie Sammy Baugh was forced to take matters into his own hands, the result was the birth of one of the NFL's biggest stars of the era. Sammy brought the Redskins back from a 14-7 deficit with a 55 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. The Bears quickly answered back with a touchdown to take a 21-14 lead. Sammy Baugh tied the game up at 21-21 with a 78 yard touchdown pass before tossing the go ahead 35 yard touchdown pass to Ed Justice, giving Washington a 28-21 upset victory in one of the best NFL Championship Games of the early days. In all Sammy Baugh threw for 335 passing yards and 3 touchdowns as Washington's defense held Bronko Nagurski to just 48 rushing yards.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-30-2017 at 08:31 PM.

  12. #32
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #85
    Spoiler:




    1931 Green Bay Packers


    There's a good reason why Curly Lambeau had a stadium named after him in Green Bay. Lambeau was one of the founding godfathers of the team in 1919. As a player/coach Curly's Packers entered the NFL in 1921 and never suffered a losing season during their first 8 years in the league. Even though Curly led the Packers to a 49-25-12 record as one of the strongest teams in the NFL from 1921 to 1928 they never managed to finish higher than 3rd place. In 1929 Curly put together a freakishly good team, bringing in Mike Michalske, the 250 pound monster Cal Hubbard, and the dirtiest player in the game Johnny Blood. The Packers would go undefeated at 12-0-1 to win the '29 NFL Championship. Curly retired as a player and focused on being a head coach after the 1929 season, replacing himself with rookie Arnie Herber, the first great passer in NFL history. Green Bay defended their title in 1930 by extending the team's unbeaten streak to 23 games(last 2 games of 1928, entire 1929 season, and first 8 games of 1930), finishing the season 10-3-1 to win back to back NFL Championships. In 1931 the Packers did something that only 2 other teams have done in almost 100 years of NFL history; win a third consecutive NFL Championship title.




    The Packers opened up the 1931 season with a 9-0 start, outscoring their opponents by a total of 213-42. Over 13,500 packed into City Stadium to see Green Bay defeat the Chicago Bears 7-0 in their 3rd game. Over 14,000 fans came to City Stadium the next week to see Green Bay beat the Giants 27-7. The Packers played 8 of their first 9 games in that win streak in their home City Stadium, with their biggest win being the 48-20 victory over the Providence Steamroller on October 25th 1931.

    Throughout the 1931 season the Packers were neck and neck with the Portsmouth Spartans. After their thrashing of the Steamroller on October 25th the Packers and Spartans were deadlocked in a tie for first place as both teams had undefeated 7-0 records. Portsmouth took the 1st place spot after they won on Halloween night. The very next day the Portsmouth Spartans were defeated by the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds while Green Bay took the 1st place spot with a tough 6-2 win over the Chicago Bears in front of over 30,000 fans at Wrigley Field. The Packers lead in the NFL standings was helped by Chicago giving Portsmouth their second loss of the season on November 8th. Green Bay's 9 game win streak was snapped by the Chicago Cardinals on November 15th, the same Cardinals team that also upset the Portsmouth Spartans on November 22nd, giving Portsmouth their 3rd loss and sealing a 3rd consecutive NFL Championship for the Green Bay Packers. The Pack would drop their final game in Chicago to the Bears by a score of 6-7 but it was a meaningless game as the Packers had 1st place all wrapped up, finishing the season with an NFL best 12-2 record. The Packers shut out 5 of their opponents and only allowed a touchdown or less in 5 other games, averaging 6.2 points allowed per game, while averaging 20.8 points scored per game, all impressive numbers for that era.




    The Packers 3 NFL Championships from 1929 to 1931 established a winning culture in the franchise, a franchise that would go on to win 10 more titles in the decades that followed. Green Bay's 13 NFL titles are the most of any team in NFL history, the reason they call Green Bay "Title Town". The team that brought the town it's first 3 titles was easily one of the best of all time. Curly Lambeau is by far one of the most innovative head coaches of all time. Mike Michalske and Cal Hubbard were the heart of the team as they dominated the front lines on offense and defense. Johnny Blood was a wild at heart drunkard that would give Lambeau fits, the type of guy that would buy out entire whore houses to have all the women to himself, and probably played drunk or hung over in a few games. Johnny Blood led the Packers with 14 touchdowns in 1931(2 rushing touchdowns, 11 receiving touchdowns, and 1 interception returned for a touchdown).

    The only thing that holds this Packers team back on this countdown is the fact that they never played the Portsmouth Spartans in 1931. It's really odd that the NFL Championship was settled without the two best teams in the NFL ever playing each other. Both teams played(and beat) every other team in the league, with Portsmouth finishing in 2nd place behind Green Bay with an 11-3 record(they had an even better defense than the Packers, averaging 5.5 points allowed per game with 6 shut outs). Due to the structure of the league at that time Green Bay was awarded the title because they had the best record in the NFL. The fact that Green Bay amassed that record without ever playing the (other)best team in the league holds this team back a bit on this countdown.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-30-2017 at 08:30 PM.

  13. #33
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #84

    Spoiler:




    1940 Chicago Bears


    George Halas was not only one of the founding fathers of the Chicago Bears but he was also one of the original godfathers of the NFL when he represented the Bears(known as the Staleys at the time) at the original NFL meetings that formed the league in Canton Ohio in 1920. Halas played end, coached, and took over ownership of the Bears in 1921, eventually moving the team to Chicago in 1922. Halas retired from playing and coaching and focused on managing the Bears starting after the 1930 season, assembling a dynasty around Bronko Nagurski that won an NFL title in 1932. Halas returned to coaching the Bears in 1933 as a cost cutting measure since the Great Depression had the team on the ropes financially. Papa Bear coached the Bears to a second consecutive NFL Title in 1933 and one game short of a perfect season and three-peat in 1934. In 1937 Halas took the Bears back to the NFL Championship but they were outgunned by rookie passer Sammy Baugh as he led the Redskins to an upset victory with 3 touchdown passes. Bronko Nagurski retired after the 1937 NFL Championship Game loss, and throughout 1938 and 1939 it was starting to look like the Bears had been passed up by the Packers and Redskins aerial offense. In 1940 Halas' Bears would take one giant leap forward with a new innovative take on the classic T-formation that would produce the most lopsided blowout victory in all of NFL history.

    The NFL was stronger than it had ever been by 1940. The league had survived the Great Depression with a core of teams that had established themselves in their markets. The rules of the game and the format of the league had been ironed out through 20 years of trial and error, and the NFL draft established in 1936 had began to bring parity to the league. The Chicago Bears opened up their 1940 season with a huge 41-10 victory over the defending NFL Champion Green Bay Packers in Green Bay before dropping their next game to their cross town rival Chicago Cardinals. Chicago then went on a 5 game win streak, including wins over strong teams in the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, and completing the sweep over Green Bay with a 14-7 win at home. The Bears dropped 2 games in a row to the Lions and then Redskins to fall to 6-3. After the loss to Washington the Redskins owner George Marshall roasted the Bears in the newspapers, saying "the Bears are crybabies and quitters when the going gets tough".




    After being embarrassed in the papers by the Redskins loudmouth owner the Bears won their last 2 games to take the NFL Western Division title with an 8-3 record. The stage was set for a rematch with the Redskins in the 1940 NFL Championship Game, played in front of over 36,000 fans at Griffith Stadium in Washington. What went down was a true massacre on the gridiron. George Halas brought in University of Chicago coach Clark Shaughnessy to assist the Bears for the game, using Shaughnessy's unique spin on the T-Formation to completely blindside the Redskins. Halas used George Marshall's insults of the team in the newspapers to rally the Bears to destroy the Redskins in what is still to this day the biggest blowout in NFL history. The Redskins had no answer for the T-Formation as the Bears ran the score up to 21-0 in the first quarter. The Bears line plowed the way for 6 rushing touchdowns and the defense intercepted 7 passes, 2 from Sammy Baugh(3 interceptions were ran back for touchdowns). When the dust settled on the 1940 NFL Championship Game the final score read 73-0, the Chicago Bears were Worlds Champions again.




    The Chicago Bears took the field in 1940 with a total of 7 Hall of Famers. Luckman, and Mcafee played well(Luckman ranked 5th in passing yards), but were in the early stages of their careers. Chicago's tough play on the front lines in 1940 was what George Halas' built his "Monsters of the Midway" dynasty of the 40's around. Rookie Clyde Turner fit in well with Dan Fortman, Joe Stydahar, and George "Moose" Musso to give the Bears a huge front line that was very good at wearing teams down through the course of a game. This Hall of Fame line was bigger, faster, and stronger than the rest of the NFL in 1940. With the T-formation brought in for the 1940 NFL Championship Game the Bears had jumped out in front of the league and left everybody scrambling for an answer to stop it(and copy it). Halas' Bears were the class of the NFL in the 1940's. With their dominant performance in the 1940 NFL Championship game it was obvious that the rest of the league had a long way to go to catch up to what Halas was doing.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-30-2017 at 08:30 PM.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #83

    Spoiler:





    1947 Chicago Cardinals


    The modern day Arizona Cardinals are the oldest franchise in the NFL, with lineage that goes back to 1898 when Chris O'Brien formed a neighborhood team on the south side of Chicago named the Morgan Athletic Club. The team changed it's name to The Normals, then the Racine Cardinals(named after a street in Chi-Town) and finally just the Chicago Cardinals. During the Cardinals stay in Chicago comparing the team to the crosstown Bears was like comparing the Clippers to the Lakers today, maybe even worse. The Bears were Chicago's pro football team. The Bears dominated the league under George Halas' leadership and routinely beat up on the hapless cross town Cardinals throughout the 20's, 30' and 40's. In fact the Bears whooped up on the Cardinals and went 35-10-6 against them from 1920 to 1946. Wins were few and far in between for the Cardinals, who had stretches of 0-11-2 against the Bears from 1930 to 1936. After the Cardinals upset over the Bears in 1936 they went another 1-13 against them from 1937 to 1943. The worst of it came in the 1939 season when the Bears destroyed the Cardinals in both games, beating them 44-7 on Wrigley Field and then 48-7 on Comiskey Park. The biggest win for the Bears was a 53-7 romping in 1941. As the NFL started to recover from World War II the balance of power in the city of Chicago finally started to shift. The Cardinals split games with the Bears in 1945. In 1946 George Halas returned from his service in the War and resumed his position as head coach of the Chicago Bears, while down on the south side of town the Cardinals brought in the coaching mind behind the 1928 NFL Champion Providence Steamroller, a man thought to be washed up and well past his prime, Jimmy Conzelman.




    ^Jimmy Conzelman with the original "Million Dollar Backfield"



    After losing their first meeting with George Halas' Bears in 1946 Conzelman led the Cardinals to a thrilling 35-28 win over the Bears in the final game of the '46 season, one of the biggest wins for the team during it's 40 year tenure in Chicago as it gave the Cardinals their first winning season in over 11 years(the Cardinals finished in last place in 9 out of 13 seasons from 1933 to 1945, going 1-29 from 1943 to 1945). The victory was made even more meaningful when the Bears went on to win the 1946 NFL Championship Game the next week. In 1947 the Cardinals stopped being bullied by the Bears and finally broke out from under George Halas' shadow to bring an NFL Title to the south side of Chi-Town. It all started when Cardinals owner Charles Bidwell put together "The Million Dollar Backfield", otherwise known as "The Dream Backfield", starting with Charley Trippi, whom Bidwell had signed to a 4 year contract worth $100,000 after picking him with the 1st overall pick in the 1945 NFL draft, winning a bidding war with the New York Yanks of the All American Football Conference(AAFC, a rival pro football league that emerged from 1946 to 1949). Trippi was joined by quarterback Paul Christman(2,191 passing yards and 17 passing tds in 1947), halfback Elmer Angsman, and fullback Pat Harder. The Dream Backfield combined for 18 rushing touchdowns to help the Chicago Cardinals finish with a league best 9-3 record, including a clean sweep of the defending NFL Champion Bears en route to the NFL Western Division title.






    The Cardinals first win over the Bears in 1947 came in their second game of the season with a 31-7 victory at Comiskey Park in front of over 39,000 fans on October 5th. The Cardinals had 4 interceptions and ran up 31 unanswered points after Chicago took an early 7-0 lead. The Cardinals beat a tough Green Bay Packer team the next week to get out to a 3-0 start before dropping their first loss to the Los Angeles Rams on October 19th. The Cardinals avenged their loss to the Rams on November 2nd before moving to 7-1 after a win over Detroit followed by completing the sweep over Green Bay. The race for the NFL Western Division title tightened up as the Cardinals lost to the high powered offense of the Washington Redskins followed by a close last second loss to the Giants. The Bears took 1st place in the division with an 8-2 record with the Cardinals trailing them in second place at 7-3. It all came down to the final game of the season, a Chi-Town Rumble between the 8-3 Chicago Bears vs the 8-3 Chicago Cardinals on December 14th 1947 in front of 48,632 fans at Wrigley Field, the winner takes the NFL Western Division crown and earns a spot in the NFL Championship Game. The Bears were ambushed as the Cardinals jumped ahead with an 80 yard touchdown pass from Paul Christman to Babe Dimancheff. The Bears never recovered. The Cardinals led 27-7 by the half, eventually beating the Bears 30-21 in what has still to this day got to be considered one of the biggest wins in the history of the franchise.






    Over 30,000 fans packed into Comiskey Park for the 1947 NFL Championship Game on December 28th. The Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles and their NFL leading rusher Steve Van Buren(who had set a new NFL record with 1,008 rushing yards). The Cardinals defense intercepted Philadelphia 3 times and held Van Buren to just 26 rushing yards. The breakout performance of the 1947 NFL Championship Game was rookie Charley Trippi's 206 yard performance. Trippi donned basketball sneakers for better traction on the frozen Comiskey Park, running past the Eagles' defense for a 44 yard touchdown run that gave Chicago a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter. Trippi broke 5 tackles when he returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to put Chicago out front 21-7. The Cardinals "Dream Backfield" ran for a combined 282 rushing yards as Chicago defeated the Eagles 28-21 to win the 1947 NFL Championship. This would be the last championship that the Cardinals franchise would win to date, the longest drought of any team in the NFL today.






    Even though they took down George Halas and the Bears and won the 1947 NFL Championship the Cardinals just never could capture the hearts of Chicago. They came out even better in 1948 as the class of the NFL but they were upset in a rematch with the Eagles in the 1948 NFL Championship Game. By 1951 the Cardinals were back in last place in their division. The Cardinals finished in last place 5 times in the 1950's, after the 1959 season the team was moved to St. Louis(where they played from 1960 to 1987, they moved to their current home in Arizona in 1988). Even though the Cardinals lost the war for Chicago with the Bears they did win a few battles, their victories over the Bears in 1947 and their run for the NFL Championship is arguably the proudest moment in the history of the nearly 120 year old franchise.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #82

    Spoiler:



    1946 Chicago Bears


    Shortly after World War II broke out the Chicago Bears owner/coach George Halas left the Chicago Bears and enlisted in the Navy while they were 5-0 in the middle of a run for the NFL Championship. Halas served as an ensign in the Navy during World War I when he was just 22 years old. In World War II Halas served as lieutenant commander in the seventh fleet under the command of Admiral Chester Nimitz. Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos finished the season and led the Bears to an undefeated record before losing the NFL Championship Game to the Washington Redskins. Anderson and Johnsos led the Bears back to the NFL Championship Game in 1943 where they defeated the Redskins to win the title. The Bears faded without Halas in 1944 and 1945, dropping to 2nd place in '44 before suffering their first losing season in 15 years with a 3-7 record in '45. The Japanese surrendered and brought World War II to an end on August 15th 1945. Halas was released from his duty with the Navy with a Bronze Star and the rank of Captain, he returned to coach the Bears in 1946 and wasted little time in leading the team straight back to an NFL Championship.


    Having been in the service 39 months, I knew my veterans would be fed up with petty regulations. When the spring camp opened, I announced all rules were scrapped. Bears were men, responsible men, self-disciplined men, and would look after themselves.
    -George Halas in his autobiography "Halas"

    Halas got back to work in 1946 and brought a strong Bears team out to a 3-0-1 record at the start of the season, with big wins over Green Bay, the Chicago Cardinals, and Philadelphia Eagles before playing the defending LA Rams to a 28-28 tie. The first loss came at the Polo Grounds to the New York Giants on October 27th by a score of 14-0. The Bears would go on to win their next 4 games, finishing out winning 5 of their last 6 with their lone loss during that stretch coming to the Chicago Cardinals. The Bears finished the season with a huge 42-6 thrashing of the Detroit Lions on December 8th. Chicago finished with an 8-2-1 record to win the NFL Western Division title and earn a spot in the 1946 NFL Championship Game.




    Quarterback Sid Luckman played in his 7th season in the league and led the NFL with 17 touchdown passes(tied with Bob Waterfield), with 1,826 passing yards. George Wilson and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Stydahar played on the front lines in some of their final games for the Bears in 1946. Bill Osmanski was joined by his little brother, rookie Joe Osmanski. Ray Mclean and Hall of Famer George Mcafee also played supporting roles on the 1946 Bears Championship run. The anchor of the team in 1946 was without a doubt Clyde "Bulldog" Turner, who played center and nose tackle, playing a big role in the Bears leading the league in fewest rushing yards allowed(1,060) as well as most points scored(289, averaging 26.3 per game). Turner was voted first team All Pro by Associated Press.




    The Giants and Bears were set to meet in the 1946 NFL Championship Game but some controversy emerged as odds-makers had the Bears at a suspicious 10-14 point favorite despite the fact that the Giants had beaten them in the regular season. The New York City police department investigated and found out the night before the game that a gambler had offered Giants fullback Merle Hapes $2,500 to make sure the Bears covered the spread. Hapes had told Giants quarterback Frank Filchock about the bribe, both men were taken under custody by the NYC Police just 12 hours before kickoff in the 1946 NFL Championship Game. A 28 year old salesman named Alvin Paris was arrested and thought to be backed by a large bookmaking outfit from out of state. Frank Filchock was freed and allowed to play in the game but Hapes was ruled ineligible by then NFL Commissioner Bert Bell.

    The 1946 NFL Championship Game was played at the Polo Grounds on December 15th 1946 in front of 58,346 fans. The Bears jumped out to a 14-0 lead after a 21 yard touchdown pass from Luckman to Ken Kavanaugh. Dante Magnani picked off Frank Filchock and returned it 19 yards for Chicago's second touchdown. Filchock threw 2 touchdown passes to bring the Giants back to a 14-14 tie in the 3rd quarter but the Bears defense tightened up and didn't allow another Giants score for the rest of the game. Chicago tacked on another 10 points after a Sid Luckman touchdown run and a field goal to win the game 24-14. Altogether Frank Fichock threw 6 interceptions in the game. The following year both Filchock and Hapes were suspended from the NFL for failing to report the attempted bribe to throw the '46 NFL Championship game.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #81

    Spoiler:



    1944 Green Bay Packers


    Don Hutson was one of the all time greatest, most dominant players in NFL history. Hutson became the main weapon in Curly Lambeau's aerial offensive attack that in all actuality was the first true modern passing system in NFL history starting when they signed Hutson in 1935. Hutson was the driving force behind the teams' run for NFL Championships in 1936 and 1939. The Packers passing game was way ahead of it's time, the defenses of the NFL never did really catch up to what Hutson was doing. Even after the rest of the league had figured out what to expect from the Packers they still couldn't stop it. Hutson had ridiculous speed for that era and a repertoire of moves that left defenders in the dust, once he got open deep it was all over with except for the crying, with 1 out of every 5 passes that he caught in his career being run in for touchdowns. In the 1940's Hutson added some new moves to his arsenal, becoming the first ever 1,000 yard receiver in 1942, then leading the Packers to their 6th NFL Championship title in 1944. Don Hutson on the field was poetry in motion, one of the pioneers that made the passing game in the NFL an art form.


    Don Hutson's NFL Records(from the 2016 NFL Record and Fact Book):


    • Most seasons leading NFL in scoring(5: 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944)
    • Most consecutive seasons leading the NFL in scoring(5: 1940 to 1944)
    • Most seasons leading NFL in touchdowns(8: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944)
    • Most consecutive seasons leading NFL in touchdowns(4: 1935 to 1938 and 1941 to 1944)
    • Most seasons leading NFL in receptions(8: 1936, 1937, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945)
    • Most consecutive seasons leading NFL in receptions(5: 1941 to 1945)
    • Most seasons leading NFL in receiving yards(7: 1936, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944)
    • Most consecutive seasons leading NFL in receiving yards(4: 1941 to 1944)
    • Most seasons leading NFL in receiving touchdowns(9: 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944)
    • Most consecutive seasons leading NFL in receiving touchdowns(5: 1940 to 1944)
    • First 1,000 yard receiver in NFL history(1,211 yards in 1942, record that wasn't broken until 1951)
    • 99 career touchdown receptions was an NFL record that stood for 44 years until Steve Largent broke it
    • 29 points(4 td receptions and 5 PAT kicks) scored in 1st quarter against Lions in 1945 remains NFL record for most points scored by individual in a single quarter



    After the Packers 1939 NFL Championship season they fell behind the Bears new innovative T-formation and finished in second place in the NFL Western Division for 4 consecutive years. During that 4 year span from 1940 to 1943 the Bears dominated the NFL, going 7-1-1 against the Packers, including a 33-14 victory in the 1941 Western Division Playoff game. The Packers faced the defending NFL Champion Chicago Bears at City Stadium in Green Bay in their second game of the 1944 season. Green Bay took a 28-0 lead after a 26 yard touchdown pass from Irv Comp to Don Hutson in the 2nd quarter. The Bears pulled an incredible comeback to tie the game after 3 Sid Luckman touchdown passes and a 5 yard touchdown run by Bob Margarita to tie the game 28-28 in the 4th quarter. The Packers fought back with a 42 yard touchdown run by Lou Brock and a 50 yard interception returned for a touchdown by Ted Fritsh to seal a 42-28 win. The victory over the Bears pushed Green Bay to dominate all of their next 4 opponents to get out to a 6-0 start. Green Bay's first loss of the season in the rematch with the Chicago Bears. Over 45,500 fans packed into Wrigley Field to see the Bears shut out the Packers. Sid Luckman ran for a touchdown and threw for 2 more to guide the Bears to a 21-0 victory.



    ^Aerial shot taken at the 1944 NFL Championship Game


    The way the Packers usually worked out their schedule during their early years is that they would play their first half of their games all at home before going out and playing the last half of the season entirely out on the road. In 1944 Green Bay came out of a 5 game road trek with a 3-2 record, following up their shut out loss in Chicago with a 42-7 win over the Rams in Cleveland. Green Bay was shut out again at the Polo Grounds by the New York Giants 24-0 on November 19th. The Packers closed out the season with a win over the merged Cardinals/Steelers(result of both teams rosters being depleted by the World War II draft). Don Hutson finished the 1944 season with 58 passes for 866 yards and 9 touchdowns(Hutson also played as a kicker, making 31 PAT's that year). The Packers would finish with an 8-2 record, winning the NFL Western Division title for the 5th time and earning a rematch against the 8-1-1 New York Giants in the 1944 NFL Championship Game.


    "He was THE greatest receiver. There wasn't any doubt about it. I know one thing... nobody else in the league could touch him. You couldn't turn him loose on one man. He could hurt you pretty quick."
    -Sammy Baugh

    "I just concede him two touchdowns a game and hope we can score more"
    -George Halas

    The Packers played their 6th consecutive road game when they took on the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds for the 1944 NFL Championship Game on December 17th 1944. Over 46,000 fans witnessed Green Bay defeat the Giants 14-7. New York focused so much on double covering Don Hutson that they held him to just 2 catches for 47 yards and 0 touchdowns, while Ted Fritsh caught a 28 yard touchdown pass and ran for another to give Green Bay a 14-0 lead at halftime. The Giants were able to score a touchdown in the 4th quarter but it was too little and too late, Green Bay held on to win it 14-7 to take the 1944 NFL Championship.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=646nq6ESipY
    ^1944 NFL Championship Game highlights


    The Packers 1944 NFL Championship would be their final title under Curly Lambeau's tenure as head coach, Don Hutson's 3rd title with the team. Don Hutson announced his retirement following the seasons but he would change his mind before the end of the 1945 preseason, coming back to lead the league in receptions one last time, putting in one of his finest performances in his 29 point quarter against the Lions(an NFL record that may never be broken). The only thing holding this '44 Packers team back is that the 1940's during and immediately following World War II the overall level of competition in the league was the lowest it's ever been since the early 20's. The color line that the NFL upheld from the late 30's to the late 40's kept African American players out of the league. These factors and the low number of teams in the league gave the NFL a similar parity to NBA basketball in these days, there were 4 players that decided the balance of power, Mel Hein of the Giants, Sammy Baugh of the Redskins, Sid Luckman of the Bears, and Don Hutson of the Packers, the Michael Jordan of the NFL in that era. Despite the lower level of competition during Hutson's era I still believe he would have been great in any era, he was a very smart receiver with great hands and impeccable route running.

  17. #37
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #80

    Spoiler:



    1953 Detroit Lions


    Texas high school football has produced some legendary NFL players throughout the history of the league. In the 1950's two boys that played together for Highland Park High School near Dallas reunited to carry the Detroit Lions to greatness, their names were Bobby Layne and Doak Walker. After leading Highland Park to the state playoffs Walker and Layne went their separate ways, with Doak going on to win the Heisman Trophy playing for the SMU Mustangs, while Bobby Layne would go on to set countless records playing for the Texas Longhorns. After failed tenures with the Chicago Bears and New York Bulldogs in 1948 and 1949 Bobby Layne was reunited with Doak Walker when he was traded to the Detroit Lions in 1950. The two men were responsible for turning the Lions franchise into one of the best in the NFL during the 1950's, bringing the Lions their first NFL Championship in 17 years when they upset the Cleveland Browns in the 1952 NFL Championship Game. In 1953 Walker and Layne were joined by a tough as nails rookie linebacker named Joe Schmidt as the Detroit Lions embarked on a quest to defend their NFL Title.

    There was only 1 team that could beat the Lions in 1953, the Los Angeles Rams. Norm Van Brocklin and "Crazylegs" Hirsch burned the Lions in their first meeting of the season on October 18th, beating the Lions 31-19 in front of over 55,000 fans in Detroit. The Rams took the rematch two weeks later, defeating the Lions 37-24 in front of 97,751 fans in the Coliseum in Los Angeles. The Lions second loss to the Rams on November 1st put them in second place behind LA with a 4-2 record. The Lions would go on to win all of their last 6 games to steal first place away from the LA Rams with a 10-2 record.




    Bobby Layne's stats are awfully misleading. Layne threw 243 interceptions during his 15 year NFL career(22 of them came in the 1953 season). He had a reputation as a hard partying playboy with a devil-may-care attitude off the field, on the field though he had a reputation for being one of the best players under pressure the NFL has ever seen. Doak Walker's famous quote about Bobby Layne was that Layne never lost a game, it was just that sometimes time ran out on him. In 1953 Bobby Layne pulled off 3 fourth quarter comeback victories for the Lions with 3 game winning drives. The first came against the 49ers in San Francisco on October 25th, with the Lions down 10-7 Bobby Layne led them down the field and hit Ollie Cline for a 24 yard touchdown pass to give Detroit a 14-10 win. The second came with the Lions down 13-16 against the Bears in Chicago, Layne led Detroit down the field for a game winning drive capped by a 2 yard Doak Walker touchdown run to give the Lions a 20-16 victory. Bobby Layne's 3rd fourth quarter come from behind game winning drive came in the game that mattered the most, the 1953 NFL Championship Game...




    The Lions were set for a rematch of the 1952 NFL title game against the Cleveland Browns on December 27th 1953 in front of 54,577 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. Browns' quarterback Otto Graham played one of the worst games of his career, completing just 2 of 20 passes with 2 interceptions. The Browns defense and special teams kept them in the game as they took a 16-10 lead with 4:10 left to play after Lou Groza's third field goal of the game. The ensuing kickoff put the Lions on their own 20 yard line. Bobby Layne went into the Lions huddle and told his boys; "Now if you'll just block a little bit fellas ole Bobby'll pass you right to the Championship". Layne completed a 17 yard pass to Jim Doran on first down, then converted on 3rd & 10 with another pass to Doran for 18 yards. Layne hit Cloyce Box for 9 yards but Cleveland stuffed the Lions run attempt at the 1 yard line, setting up a dramatic 3rd & 1 on Cleveland's 36 yard line. Bobby Layne took it up the middle for the first down and then called a timeout to meet with Lions head coach Buddy Parker. Parker sent Layne in with a screen pass dialed up but Bobby changed the play in the huddle and sent Jim Doran deep. Doran got past the Cleveland backfield and caught the game tying 33 yard touchdown pass from Bobby Layne with just 2:08 left in the game. Doak Walker came in to kick the extra point to give Detroit a 17-16 win, the Lions were back-to-back NFL Champions.




    Bobby Layne's game winning drive in the 1953 NFL Championship was true greatness. The Browns that year were an amazing football team(they started out 11-0 before losing their final game of the season). As great as the Browns dynasty of the 1950's was the Lions just had their number. Detroit was the only team in the NFL that the Browns had a losing record against in the 50's, going 1-6 against them from 1950 to 1957. The Lions of the 50's were just loaded with talent, Layne and Walker were supported on offense by Leon Hart and guards Lou Creekmur and Dick Stanfel(both All Pro in '53), while on defense rookie Joe Schmidt played with Hall of Fame defensive backs Yale Lary and Jack Christiansen. The Lions were without a doubt one of the best teams of the 1950's decade.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-30-2017 at 08:57 PM.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    Sorry about the hold up with this. To make up for 9 days without a post I went ahead and posted #86 to #80 tonight. Tomorrow I'm going to go ahead and post everything else I already have written(#79 to #71). The original forum I started this on is seriously dying so once I get up to #70 up until I finish this thing will be exclusively written on this forum, I'll probably try to post at least 1 entry per week at least(no guarantees).

  19. #39
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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #79

    Spoiler:




    1926 Frankford Yellow Jackets


    One of the great players from the past who's legacy has been almost washed over by the sands of time is a man that they used to call "Champ", Guy Chamberlin. Chamberlin was a 6' 2" 195 pound end/wingback from Nebraska that played his first season of pro football with Jim Thorpe's Canton Bulldogs in 1919, the undefeated Champions of the Ohio League(the predecessor to the NFL). In 1920 Chamberlin signed to play with George Halas for the Decatur Staleys, winning his first NFL Championship in 1921 when the team moved to Chicago. Chamberlin scored the winning touchdown for the Staleys in the deciding game that gave Chicago the NFL Title, a 90 yard interception returned all the way for a touchdown against the Buffalo All Americans. Chamberlin moved on from Chicago to become part owner, head coach, and team captain for the Canton Bulldogs. The Bulldogs went undefeated for 2 consecutive seasons from 1922 to 1923, winning back to back NFL Championships with a 21-0-3 combined record during the 2 year stretch. In 1924 Chamberlin moved with the Bulldogs to Cleveland where he pulled off the three-peat. In 1925 Chamberlin moved on from the Bulldogs to take the job with the Frankford Yellow Jackets in the suburb of Philadelphia where he turned the team around to win his 5th NFL Championship(his 6th Pro Title when counting the 1919 Ohio League Championship) in 1926.




    Chamberlin had the Yellow Jackets on track to with the NFL Title in his first season with the team in 1925. The Yellow Jackets were 9-1 in their first 10 games of the '25 season but Chamberlin was sidelined with a brutal shoulder injury that derailed Frankford's season. In 1926 Chamberlin brought over his team mates from the Canton Bulldogs, fullback Ben Jones and guard Rudy Comstock, along with Buffalo All Americans Adolph Youngstrom. The Yellow Jackets went on to dominate the NFL in 1926, putting together a 14-1-2 record against the best teams in the league that season. Fritz Pollard's 45 yard touchdown pass for the Akron Indians in their 6-6 tie on opening day was the last points any team would score against Frankford for the next 6 games. The Yellow Jackets shut out 6 consecutive opponents to open up the season with a 6-0-1 record before they finally suffered their first loss to the Providence Steamroller on October 30th. Frankford would avenge the loss with a 6-3 win over Providence the very next day on Halloween at the Cycledrome.




    The biggest game of the 1926 season came down to a meeting between the 12-1-1 Yellow Jackets against the undefeated 11-0-2 Chicago Bears, played in front of 10,000 fans at Shibe Park in Philadelphia on December 4th 1926. The Bears scored in the first half on a 62 yard touchdown run by Bill Senn but Guy Chamberlin blocked the extra point kick. Frankford pulled ahead after Hust Stockton hit "Two-Bits" Homan for a 27 yard touchdown pass. Tex Hamer's extra point kick gave Frankford the win 7-6. Frankford would hold on to first place with a win and a tie in their last 2 games, giving Guy Chamberlin his 4th NFL Championship with 3 different cities in a 5 year span, his 5th overall NFL Championship, his 6th Pro Title if you count the 1919 Ohio League title.




    The Yellow Jackets just like Chamberlin's Canton team years prior had been the first real team to outright win an undisputed NFL Championship without any scams, swindles, or screwjobs. The Yellow Jackets beat all the best teams in the NFL in 1926, including the 8-4-1 New York Giants on two occasions, the 7-3-3 Green Bay Packers, they played the 10-2-2 Pottsville Maroons to a scoreless tie in the final game of the season and the big win over the 12-1-3 Bears in the high stakes game that ultimately decided the NFL Championship. Guy Chamberlin was just a brilliant football mind in the early days of the NFL, he knew how to lead a team and he was an impact player on the field. The only thing holding this team back is the fact that they played all but 3 games in their schedule at home, including all of their last 8 games. With that said though this team did shut out 10 of their opponents, an impressive feat even for the low scoring era that was the 1920's NFL.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 10-03-2017 at 08:34 AM.

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    Re: The 100 Greatest Teams In NFL History

    #78

    Spoiler:




    1923 Canton Bulldogs


    The 1972 Miami Dolphins are actually not the only undefeated team in NFL history. There were actually 3 other teams that made it through an NFL season without losing, one of them was the 1923 Canton Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were the original powerhouse of pro football when they dominated the Ohio League in the pre-NFL days in the late 1910's. In 1922 the Bulldogs emerged as the first true NFL powerhouse when Guy Chamberlin led them to an undefeated 10-0-2 run to the undisputed NFL Championship. In 1923 the Bulldogs continued their unbeaten streak to become the first team in NFL history to win back-to-back NFL titles.




    The core of the Canton Bulldogs early domination of the NFL was their two linemen, Hall of Famers Link Lyman and Wilber "Pete" Henry. Lyman stood at 6' 2" and weighed 233, while Henry was 5' 11" and 245 pounds. At a time when most linemen in the NFL hovered around the 180-190 pound mark Lyman and Henry were the biggest and strongest players in the NFL during it's early years. In 1923 Lyman and Henry were joined on the front lines by rookie Rudy Comstock. Guy Chamberlin played as an end making plays on offense and defense while the star of the Bulldogs in 1923 was tailback Lou Smyth, who led the NFL in rushing touchdowns(7) and passing touchdowns( 6), the only player to ever lead the NFL in both categories in a season.


    "Guy Chamberlain knows as much or more football than any other coach in the country. Moreover, he has a faculty for getting the most out of players, not because he is a driver, for he isn't that sort, but because they like him and will do their utmost to please him by playing hard."
    -Dave Noble(Chamberlin's team mate with the Bulldogs)

    The Bulldogs opened up the 1923 season with a 6-0 start playing with the target on their backs as the defending NFL Champions. Canton would play the Buffalo All Americans to a 3-3 tie on November 11th 1923 in front of 10,000 fans at Buffalo Baseball Park. The Bulldogs rebounded from the tie by destroying Jim Thorpe's Oorang Indians 41-0, then dismantling the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland the next week 46-10. Chamberlin's Bulldogs shut out each of their final three opponents, including a 14-0 win in a rematch with the Buffalo All Americans on December 2nd. When it was all said and done the Canton Bulldogs shut out 8 of their opponents in 1923, outscoring their competition by a combined score of 246-19, continuing their unbeaten streak from 1922 to 24 games by finishing the season with an 11-0-1 record.



    The Canton Bulldogs were the first team to dominate the NFL. They were too smart, too strong, and played as a tough unit together. They dominated the front lines with size and power with strong leadership from Guy Chamberlin on and off the field. The only reason this team doesn't finish higher up on this countdown is because of the unorganized nature of the NFL in 1923 and the fact that they ran the table and went undefeated against some pretty weak competition. The Bulldogs only real meaningful wins were over the Bears(9-2-1) and Chicago Cardinals(8-4). Canton never even played two of the best teams in the NFL that year in the 7-2-1 Green Bay Packers and the 7-2-3 Milwaukee Badgers.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 10-03-2017 at 08:36 AM.

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