GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(MILWAUKEE) - “Ol’ Pineapple” saved the Packers from a most embarrassing defeat before 26,960 spectators here in County Stadium here Sunday afternoon. Freddie Cone, quietly known as Pineapple because he was born in a hamlet by that tasty name in Alabama 29 years ago, booted a 25-yard field goal in the last 24 seconds to give Green Bay a pressure-cooked 30 to 28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. The icy-nerved Cone kicked three field goals Sunday – not to mention three extra points, and the Packers needed every one of his 12 markers to go with Tobin Rote’s touchdown passes to Veryl Switzer, Gary Knafelc and Billy Howton. The hair-raising experience threw the Packers into a three-way deadlock for first place in the Western Division with Los Angeles and the Baltimore Colts, who were handed their first loss by the Chicago Bears. Green Bay, Los Angeles and Baltimore each has 3-1 records today but there’s no relief
Green Bay Packers (3-1) 30, Los Angeles Rams (3-1) 28
Sunday October 16th 1955 (at Milwaukee)
BILLY WON'T FORGET RIB PADS!
OCT 21 (Green Bay) - Billy Howton hasn’t forgotten what happened in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium on Sept. 19, 1953. “Yeah, I remember,” Howton said the other day, “and how well; that knocked me low for almost half of the season." The Packers and Browns were playing a non-league game that Saturday night in ’53 and somewhere along the line Billy received a couple of fractured ribs. The injury kept him out of four league games, including the opener against the same Browns eight days after the “accident”. Nobody ever accused the Browns of being the “big bad Browns” but the railbirds two years ago were hard to convince otherwise – especially in view of the fact that the Browns had drawn the Packers for their first league game. What’s more, Howton had caught 52 passes for 1,231 yards and 13 touchdowns the previous season. The Browns won both the exhibition, 21-13, and the league kickoff, 27-0. Billy always blamed himself for the injury. “I had left my rib pads at home; probably never would have been hurt if I’d had ‘em on,” he explained. You can bet the Rice Redhead will doublecheck his gear before leaving here Saturday morning. Howton is off to the best start in his career, with 21 catches in four games – enough to lead the league. He caught 53 as a rookie in ’52 – an average of slightly over four per game, and nailed 52 in ’54. In the last eight games of the season he was injured, Howton caught 25. In 36 league games (12 each in ’52 and ’54, eight in ’53 and four this season), the 25-yeard old foot expert nailed 151 passes for 2,187 yards and 22 touchdowns. He averaged 18.6 yard on each catch. Howton’s play – plus the clutching of Gary Knafelc at left end – has put a lot of sting in the Packers’ air game. They’re ranking one-two in the league in snatching (Knafelc caught 18) and between ‘em made 39 of Tobin Rote’s 67 completions…Three members of the Packer cast are especially familiar with the Browns – Line Coach Lou Rymkus, tackle Jerry Helluin and guard Joe Skibinski. Rymkus was a member of the Browns’ first team back in ’46 and later captained the squad from his offensive tackle spot. Sunday’s game had been designated as Brown Anniversary Day, commemorating the club’s 10th season. Helluin came to the Packers in exchange for a fourth draft choice before the ’54 season. Skibinski joined the Pack last August in a trade for tackle Art Hunter that also brought Bill Lucky, who is the Bays’ No. 1 tackle replacement…The Packers will leave Austin Straubel field in a chartered Capital Airliner at 9 o’clock Saturday morning. They’ll drill in Municipal Stadium at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon and relax at the Hotel Cleveland. The team will fly out of Cleveland about 9 o’clock Sunday night (Green Bay time) and arrive here around 11. The late return time is due to a shortage of charter equipment…Coach Liz Blackbourn shortened Packer practice yesterday – to beat the darkness and give the players more time to heal. Last two players off the training tables yesterday were fullback Howie Ferguson and Helluin, both nursing injured knees. Jerry expects to be fit as a fiddle but Ferguson’s case is still touch and go. He showed some improvement yesterday, feeling less pain under strain. The Browns also have an “if” injury – halfback Ray Renfro, who suffered a leg injury in last Sunday’s victory over Washington. If Renfro is floored, Dub Jones will fill his shoes, pairing with halfback Fred Morrison. Declared out of action earlier was defensive halfback Tommy James, who will be lost for two games. His chores will be handled by John Pettibon. The Packers took a final look at their offense today and also touched briefly on defense against Otto Graham’s sure strikes…Graham, backbone of the Browns’ offense for 10 years, has pitched himself past the all-time passing record of the Washington Redskins’ great Sammy Baugh. Graham has gained 22,394 yards in 1,401 complete passes while “slinging” Sammy set the old mark of 22,085 yards with 1,709 completions. While Graham set his record during his 10th season, Baugh took 16 years to make up his. Officially, Baugh is still the top passer in the NFL record books. The Cleveland quarterback’s record in the now defunct All-America Conference does not count towards his lifetime rating, in the eyes of the NFL…Incidentally, Graham and the Packers’ Rote are among the first four quarterback ground gainers in the league. George Shaw of Baltimore is tops with 117 yards in 19 carries for an average of 6.2. Rote is second with 94 in 21 for 4.5. Lamar McHan of the Cardinals is third with 20 for 88 and 4.4 while Graham ran 24 times (the most carries) for 79 yards and an average of 3.3. Graham, they say, is running more this year than he ever did. He averaged six trips in his four games.
BROWNS 7-PT. CHOICE SUITS PACKERS FINE
OCT 21 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - "The Packers think they can win in their division and that's making them tougher. We aren't planning on losing, either, so something has to give in this one." That was the capsule quote from Coach Paul Brown Thursday, priming his Browns for Sunday's showdown with the classy Packers at Cleveland. Both clubs are sporting 3-1 records, but the oddsmakers have made the Browns a seven point favorite. At Green Bay, Coach Liz Blackbourn was apparently unconcerned by the point spread as he sharpened his offensive unit. In underdog roles, the Packers have won every game. They were slight favorites in the Colt contest and lost. Fullback Howie Ferguson was still bothered with a wrenched knee, suffered in the Ram game. He did some running in drills Thursday but left early for treatment. It is still doubtful whether Howie will see any action against the Browns. Another training room patient was quarterback Tobin Rote, bothered with a heavy head cold. Rote seemed to be responding to Trainer Bud Jorgenson's treatment and should be in shape by Sunday. Halfback Breezy Reid has been running at Ferguson's spot this week, along with veteran fullback Fred Cone. However, it was quite possible Blackbourn will use the spread formation against the Browns if the Packer running game goes haywire. As in the spread used against Los Angeles, Rote goes behind the center as in the T-formation, but then the backfield shifts into a spread. It will be homecoming for Packer line coach Lou Rymkus 
PUNT RETURN 'KILLED US', GILLMAN; PACKERS SHARP IN FIRST HALF, LIZ
OCT 17 (Milwaukee) - Swarthy Sid Gillman, rookie head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, was openly bitter over his first losing venture in the NFL at County Stadium Sunday afternoon. "If it wasn't for that punt return (Al Carmichael's clutch runback) we would have had 'em," the former University of Cincinnati mentor rapped, out of the corner of his mouth. "That killed us," Gillman growled, adding wryly - half to himself. "It was a hell of a punt, too." Did he feel that the Rams might have been overconfident? "No, we had no reason to be," he said brusquely. "We were ready for this game, there's no question about that. We just eked one out over Pittsburgh, barely beat San Francisco and beat Detroit by only seven." How did he compare the Packers with this trio? Apparently still seething inwardly, he snapped back, "They're no better or no worse than anybody else. They're all tough in this league." Had any phase of Packer operations posed a particular problem? "They've just got a good ball club," Gillman, who obviously would much rather have been along with his thoughts, replied impatiently, "They do everything well - just like everybody in this league." Elsewhere in the Los Angeles locker dressing room. Elroy (Crazy Legs) Hirsch, natty once again in a gray suit after doffing his mud-spattered uniform, was more congenial. "I never saw Rote sharper," Hirsch said, shaking his head. "The Packers have more speed this year, too. They're a good fighting club. We were probably lucky to be that close," Elroy admitted, although he observed that "of course, we played probably our poorest game of the year today." Had he been serious in his recent statement that this was absolutely his last season? "I'll swear to that," he grinned..."Carmichael's punt return saved us," Bobby
PACKERS 'HELP' BROWNS MARK ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY
OCT 18 (Green Bay) - The Packers will be a party to Browns Anniversary Day in Cleveland Sunday. Cleveland Mayor Anthony J. Celebrezze today proclaimed next Sunday as BAD to commemorate the Browns' 10th year in professional football - a far cry, incidentally, from the Packers' 35th year in the same sport. Hizzoner, in his proclamation, closed out with this wordage: "I urge the Citizens of Cleveland to give their undivided support and encouragement to the Browns on this day." Of more interest to the Packers and Browns Sunday, however, will be the intense NFL race. Green Bay and Cleveland are two of the five division leaders - each with 3-1 records. The Packers are locked in a three-way knot with Los Angeles and Baltimore in the Western and the Browns are tied with Pittsburgh in the Eastern. The game will be the Packers' first outside of their division in league play this season. The Browns already have tested the Western strength, bowling over the San Francisco Forty Niners 38 to 3 on Oct. 2 to start a three-game winning streak. The three other leaders also face stiff competition Sunday. Los Angeles meets win-hungry Detroit in LA, Baltimore host Washington, and Pittsburgh invades New York. Cleveland, the perennial champion, built up its 3-1 record by losing to Washington in the opener 27-17 and then beating San Francisco, Philadelphia 21-17, and Washington 24-14. The Packers downed Detroit 20-17 and the Bears 24-3, lost to Baltimore 24-20 and then nipped Los Angeles 30-28. In the four games, Cleveland scored an even 100 points, the Packers 94. The Browns allowed 61 points, the Packers 72. In their last three games, the Browns gave up only 34 points - an average of 11.3. Both teams reported casualties today. Most serious in the Packer camp is fullback Howie Ferguson, who suffered a knee injury against the Rams. Ferguson was one of 14 Packers who reported to Trainer Bud Jorgenson for treatment Monday. It's too early to tell whether Howie 
'INVISIBLE' COACH PLAGUES PACKERS?
OCT 20 (Green Bay) - The amazing Packer defense will be subjected to an “invisible coach” on the playing field for the first time this season when Green Bay engages the Browns in Cleveland Sunday. Cleveland is the only team in pro football operated by a robot quarterback whose every (95 percent, at least) play call is dictated by Coach Paul Brown on the sidelines or his assistants at the telephone atop the stadium. Each play is carried to QB Otto Graham by messenger guards – generally Herschel Forester, brother of the Packers’ Bill, and Harold Bradley. One scoots off the field at the end of each play and the other runs in. Thus, the Packer defense will be probed for weaknesses and/or holes by the Brown coaches themselves. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn and aides Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus are well aware of the Browns’ messenger system. They have had two direct experiences – both exhibitions, but the results were close and highly interesting. Cleveland won both of the4m, 14-13 in Green Bay in ’54 and 13-7 in Akron last August. The games indicate that the Browns haven’t been pushing the Packer defense around, though no blue chips were at stake. The Bay coaches are also aware that the Brown plan has its disadvantages. For instance, play must generally be called one ahead of the other – if a sequence is to be maintained. This can be goofed up by repeated defensive changes – not to mention rough, tough defensive action. The Brown System stands as a fierce challenge to Green Bay’s stiff defense which has held up beautifully in the first four games. Those four foes scores nine touchdowns against Green Bay but three of the “sevens” were scored directly off the Packer offense. A fumble was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown in the Detroit game; another fumble was 
PACK HIGH IN FIGURES BUT SO ARE BROWNS!
OCT 19 (Green Bay) - The Packers are doing right well in the individual statistics. But so are the Browns – Green Bay’s opponents in Cleveland Sunday. Figure ringleaders are the team’s two quarterbacks and their four offensive ends. Cleveland’s Otto Graham is leading the league in passing with his 9.32 yards per pitch average and the Packers’ Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc are one-two in pass catching with 21 and 18 receptions, respectively. Green Bay’s Tobin Rote ranks 10th in the per-toss averages (5.86) – on which the standings are based, but he leads in passes attempted (136), passes completed (67), yards gained (797) and touchdown passes (7). Graham has thrown less than half as many passes as Rote, but had a most phenomenal percentage of completions – 61.4, by far the best in the league. Otto has completed 35 of this 57 throws for 531 yards and three TDs. Rote has a completion percentage of 49.3. Both teams apparently use their ends as their chief pass catching weapons. Howton and Knafelc caught 39 of Rote’s 67 completions – almost half. The Browns’ Dante Lavelli and Darrell Browder, with 12 apiece to rank among the league’s top 10, nailed 24 of Graham’s completions – well over half. Howton and Knafelc each have three TD catches, while Lavelli and Brewster each have one. Of the four, Howton has the most yard, 345, for an average of 16.4. Knafelc’s yardage averages out to 13.9. Brewster and Lavelli have the edge on the Packer aces with their averages of 19.6 and 17.3, respectively. In the rushing department, Packer Howie Ferguson holds second place behind Baltimore’s Alan Ameche despite a 37-yard total against Los Angeles. The Packer fullback, who was hurt early Sunday, picked up 331 yards in 67 attempts for 4.9. Fred Morrison, the former Chicago Bear fullback is the Browns’ top gainer. Now a halfback, Morrison ranks fourth in the league with 273 yards in 53 carries for 5.2. Breezy Reid, who may play fullback Sunday if Ferguson can’t answer the bell, stayed in the top 10 with an even 200 yards in 45 carries for 4.4. Incidentally, Veryl Switzer would then shift to Reid’s left half spot…CONE SECOND IN SCORING: Fred Cone’s 12 points against the Rams boosted him into second place in scoring with 34 – six behind Washington’s Vic Janowicz. Cleveland’s Ed Modzelewski is fourth with 30 on five teedees while Lou (The Toe) Groza is seventh with 22. Cone's field goal total of eight out of 13 is highest. Groze, who kicked 24 in ’54, tried five and hit on three. The Packers’ punting specialist, Dick Deschaine, moved into a third place tie with Adrian Burk of Philly and Ed Brown of the Bears, each with 42.5. Horace Gillom of Cleveland is second with 44.3 and Norm Van Brocklin of the Rams is tops with 45.1. Al Carmichael’s 40-yard punt return, which set up Cone’s game-winning field goal Sunday, turned up as the longest in the league thus far – rather unusual in view of the fact that 24 games have been played. Switzer, who got off a 33-yarder Sunday, is third in the league in punt returns, with an average of 7.8. The Packers’ Doyle Nix is among six players with three pass interceptions…Rote could hardly see after practice Tuesday because of a heavy head cold. His eyes were all but clamped shut, and Trainer Bud Jorgenson added him to his list of patients. The training tables were loaded and other athletes sat on chairs under heat lamps after yesterday’s drill. Top “case” was fullback Howie Ferguson, who wrenched his leg in the Los Angeles game. Ferguson ran some in practice but left early to start treatment. Halfback Reid ran at fullback along with Fred Cone during yesterday’s drill – a precaution just in case Fergie is unable to go Sunday. Right halfback Switzer, sporting a cut on his leg, was in Reid’s spot, while Al Carmichael and Joe Johnson were at the flanker position. The emphasis was on defense yesterday – an early start on the Browns’ balanced offense. The Bays’ pass defense ranks tops in the league, having permitted only 32 of 86 passes for a percentage of 37.2. The Browns are next, allowing 34 of 89 tosses for 38.2. The next best percentage is New 
ahead – especially for the Packers who face the world champion Cleveland Browns in Cleveland next Sunday. The Packers threatened to blow the Rams out of the stadium for a spell, opening up a 24-7 lead early in the third quarter before the Rams closed it to 24-14, 24-21 and 27-21 when the following happened: With 3:50 left in the game, Rote threw his fourth interception of the day - to Jim Cason, who grabbed it on the Packer 24 in the flat and raced into the end zone for six points. Les Richter booted the extra point that put the Rams in the lead 28-27. The Packers worked to midfield from their own 24 when Cason intercepted Rote's long throw on the Ram 15 with 2:13 left. That seemed to be "it" but the Packer defense never faltered, quickly forcing Norm Van Brocklin to punt with 1:47 left. Al Carmichael, a Los Angeles resident, grabbed the punt on the Packer 30, shifted to his right as Breezy Reid bumped away two Rams and set sail in a half-dozen different speeds to the Ram 30 - a clutch run of 40 yards that stands as the game's turning point. About a minute remained when Rote ran wide on the first play for 11 yards to the Ram 19. He ran the same play but this time stumbled over Buddy Brown for no gain. Now it was Cone's turn. The seconds had ticked down to 24 when Rote received the perfect snap from center Jim Ringo, set 'er down and awaited Cone's follow through. The line held tough and the ball sailed about two feet inside the left upright, with plenty of distance. The Rams had 16 seconds left and ran two plays. Van Brocklin slipped on the first and Jerry Helluin fell on him for a seven-yard loss. Van threw to Tom Fears for eight 
on the last effort and the fans stormed the field. Cone's 34, 45 and 25-yard field goals gave him a total of eight in 13 attempts in four games thus far in this league season - an average of two per game. He had his best FG season in '54 with nine in 16 tries, and his career mark now stands at 28, tying Clarke Hinkle's total and reaching within eight of Ted Frisch's Packer high of 36. Cone had a similar last-second shot in '51, beating the old New York Yanks 29-27 with a 16-yard boot. It would have been a terrible shame if the Packers had lost Sunday because the Rams were handed two outright gift touchdowns. On the Packers' second play of the game, Andy Robustelli scooped up a fumble pitchout from Rote to Howie Ferguson and rumbled 18 yards for a 7-0 LA lead. The other gift was Cason's interception return near the end. Thus, the Packers had defensed the Rams down to two touchdowns - the first a 66-yard drive, climaxed by Bill Wade's 15-yard toss to Ronnie Waller in the third quarter, and the second on a 35-yard push set in motion on the first of Cason's three interceptions, Waller scoring from five yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Packers led at the end of every quarter, 10-7 after the first on Cone's first field goal and Rote's seven-yard strike to Switzer; 17-7 at the half on Rote's 16-yard toss to Knafelc; 24-14 after the third on a 57-yard Rote-Howton pass play; and, oh joy, 30-28 on Cone's two field goals after the fourth frame. Until midway in the third quarter - in fact, when it started to rain, Rote had the Rams nuts with his passing. In those first 37 minutes, Rote had hurled three touchdown passes, tying Cecil Isbell's all-time Packer mark of 59 TD throws with his first and adding to it with his next two. He had thrown 20 times and completed 10 for 123 yards. Rote had the Pack on the Ram 22, first down, with the score 24-14 when the rain came. Maybe the steady moisture was a good luck charm for the Rams and maybe it buttered Rote's throwing hand, but three plays later Bill Sherman intercepted a popped up pass intended for Knafelc in the end zone. That was the first interception off Rote in 106 consecutive passes he had thrown without an interception since the opener against Detroit. Sherman grabbed another Rote pass three minutes later and Cason followed with three steals. Rote finished with 19 completions in 40 throws for 255 yards. Howton and Knafelc, driving the tough Ram outfield slightly batty, snared 14 passes between 'em with Howton squeezing eight for 158 yards and Knafelc six for 72. The Packers needed every bit of air yardage they could get. Their ground game was damaged badly when fullback Howie Ferguson was hurt early but still crunched 37 yards in 14 tries. Reid added 53 in 12 to help keep the Rams honest. The Packer defense shouldn't be charged with 28 points, the highest total against it this season. The Rams didn't connect on a long pass all afternoon and the first one Van Brocklin tried Val Joe Walker leaped in front of swift Bob Boyd to intercept. Deral Teteak and Roger Zatkoff also turned in interceptions, making a total of eight in the game for both teams. Walker's interception came on the Rams' third play of the game after they received. The fans set off a cheer but quickly quieted when Robustelli grabbed the fumble and raced for six. Les Richter booted the first of four extra points. After an exchange of punts, the Packers started a field goal drive from their own 27. Ferguson, Reid and Rote ran for 14 and Reid crashed 21 to the Ram 38. Rote pitched to Knafelc for nine and Ferguson made it a first down on the 26. The attack stalled and Cone field goaled from the 34 for a 7-3 count. The Rams missed a first down by a foot and the Packers started from their own 37 for a touchdown. On third down, Rote hurled to Howton for 19 and then hit the same receiver for 11. After Ferguson lost one, Rote bullseyed Howton for 21 to the Ram 13. Rote made five on a keeper, sent Fergie to the seven and then whaled a strike to Switzer on the goal line wide to the left for the count. Cone made it 10-7. On the third play of the second heat, Teteak intercepted Van Brocklin's pass on the Ram 43 and returned to the 34, with John Martinkovic putting on a good rush on Van. Ferguson moved 13 yards in two tries to the 21 and Reid slammed to the 16 from where Rote hit Knafelc around the five and Gary slashed over three Rams for the score, 17-7. Before the half ended, Richter was short on a field goal from the 44 and Fears was low and wide on a FG from the 36. The Packers, receiving the second half kickoff, started on their own 28 and had a TD in four plays. Ferguson ran two and then Rote hurled to Howton for 15 to the Packer 45. Cone lost two but on the next
play Howton took Rote's pass on the Ram 44, pivoted around Hughes and Burroughs, and ran down the sidelines for the score. Cone's kick made it 24-7. The Rams ate up 66 yards in six plays to tighten the game. Wade threw five passes and ran once himself in the drive. He hurled to Boyd for 12 and Elroy Hirsch for 13 before running 14. He then hit Boyd for 14, incompleted one to Boyd and then caught Waller for the touchdown. Rote then completed two passes to Knafelc for 31 yards and one to Howton for 15 before Sherman intercepted in the end zone. The Packers made Van Brocklin punt but on their second play Sherman intercepted on the Ram 18 and raced back to the Packer 46. The Rams picked up a first down to the 35 
on two runs before the Packers stiffened. Richter tried a field goal from the 42 but it was short and Switzer returned from the five to the Packer 45. A holding penalty hurt the Packers but not as much as Cason's interception of a Rote screen pass on the Packer 35. Van Brocklin threw to Boyd for 22 to the 13. Waller ran it over in three straight carries - the last on the first play of the fourth quarter and it was 24-21. With a good runback of Switzer, the Packers started from their 37 and threatened. Rote hit Howton for 11, Knafelc for 17 on two passes and Switzer for six to the Ram 29. The Rams hammered Rote back nine yards and on fourth down Cone blasted a field goal from 45 yards out, the ball clearing yards to spare, for 27-21. The Rams started to get frisky with a first down at midfield but Zatkoff intercepted on the Packer 42 and ran to the Rams 48. The Packers couldn't budge and Dick Deschaine punted nicely out of bounds on the 11. After Martinkovic tossed Waller back four yards, Waller raced 18 yards, fumbled and saw Fears recover on the 25. The Rams made another first down but a timely tackle by Nate Borden forced Van Brocklin to punt. The Packers, with 4:47 left, started from their own 14. Fergie made four in two tries after which Cason grabbed Rote's pass for a touchdown. The heroics followed.
LOS ANGELES -   7   0   7  14  -  28
GREEN BAY   -  10   7   7   6  -  30
                      LOS ANGELES     GREEN BAY
First Downs                    16            20
Rushing-Yards-TD         33-151-1      36-112-0
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 312-12-116-1-3 40-19-255-3-5
Sacked-Yards                  1-7          3-24
Net Passing Yards             109           231
Total Yards                   260           343
Fumbles-lost                  2-0           2-1
Turnovers                       3             6
Yards penalized              3-25          2-26
SCORING
1st - LA - Andy Robustelli, 18-yard fumble recovery (Les Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 7-0
1st - GB - Fred Cone, 34-yard field goal LOS ANGELES 7-3
1st - GB - Veryl Switzer, 7-yard pass from Tobin Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 10-7
2nd - GB - Gary Knafelc, 16-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 17-7
3rd - GB - Billy Howton, 57-yard pass from Rite (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 24-7
3rd - LA - Ron Waller, 15-yard pass from Billy Wade (Richter kick) GREEN BAY 24-14
4th - LA - Waller, 5-yard run (Richter kick) GREEN BAY 24-21
4th - GB - Cone, 45-yard field goal GREEN BAY 27-21
4th - LA - Jim Cason, 25-yard interception return (Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 28-27
4th - GB - Cone, 25-yard field goal GREEN BAY 30-28
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Breezy Reid 12-53, Howie Ferguson 14-37, Tobin Rote 6-26, Fred Cone 4-(-4)
LOS ANGELES - Ron Waller 16-77 1 TD, Tom McCormick 11-46, Billy Wade 5-25, Norm Van Brocklin 1-3
PASSING
GREEN BAY - Tobin Rote 40-19-255 3 TD 5 INT
LOS ANGELES - Norm Van Brocklin 14-3-34 3 INT, Billy Wade 17-9-82 1 TD
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - Billy Howton 8-158 1 TD, Gary Knafelc 6-72 1 TD, Veryl Switzer 2-14 1 TD, Joe Johnson 1-10, Fred Cone 1-7, Breezy Reid 1-(-6)
LOS ANGELES - Bob Boyd 4-53, Elroy Hirsch 3-36, Tom Fears 2-9, Tom McCormick 2-3, Ron Waller 1-15 1 TD
Dillon declared as the Packers made their way through a dark corridor to the dressing room beneath County Stadium, the strains of "Happy Days are Here Again" played with "winning" gusto by the Lumberjack band, following them in. "Where's that Carmichael?" Head Coach Liz Blackbourn called out as he came in. "Here, coach," Al responded from in front of his locker. "That's the way to bring 'em back," Liz told him. Al felt, en route, that he might have gone all the way. "One guy spun me around," he related, "and I was just getting up my speed again when somebody else hit me and put me down." Fred Cone, whose accurate toe had played such a big role, accepted a host of enthusiastic handshakes with a shy smile. "Man," the native of Pineapple, Ala., said, "I wouldn't have bet either way on that one." Tom Dahms, all smiles over helping to sabotage his old teammates, was asked if he'd had any fun with them. "Oh, they were complaining a lot but I had more trouble than fun - but it was sort of a moral victory. I don't think I played too well, through," Tom felt. "I just couldn't get going. Hurt my leg early and couldn't run very well." Tobin Rote, a perfectionist, wasn't entirely satisfied with the way things had gone. "How many did they intercept on me in that second half?" he asked, disgust in his tone. "It seemed like every one I threw. I didn't have one in the first half. Maybe I was thinking about that too much." Val Joe Walker, who had added another interception to his mounting total, was asked what had precipitated the exchange at the end of the game. "Oh, it wasn't anything much," he chuckled. "Teteak (who had made the game's final tackle) was trying to get the game ball and a Ram didn't want him to have it. There was a little shoving, that's about all." Ex-Packer Howie Ruetz, congratulating his former teammates on a tour of the dressing room, displayed an interest in poetic justice? "Do you know," he told Len Szafaryn, "this is the same score the Rams beat us by when they scored 24 points in the last 12 minutes of that 1952 game here?"...Blackbourn, who made no attempt to conceal his elation, thought, "It was certainly a fine performance in the first half and the beginning of the third quarter, but we weren't as sharp after that. Of course, losing Fergie with that knee injury in the second quarter," Liz added, "hurt us. That last one (Carmichael's punt return) was the big one," he said with a broad smile. "It got us in position. Another completion and that put us in good shape."...WINNING CONFIDENCE: Blackbourn, not a man easily discouraged, didn't let the interception that gave the Rams a 28-27 lead in the waning moments shatter Packer morale. Striding in front of the bench, he clapped his hands together, and told his athletes: "That doesn't mean a thing. There's lots of time (3:54) left." The rest, as they say, is history...'LONG DISTANCE': Mrs. Truman Douglas Walker, a comely brunette and mother of the Packers' Val Joe, flew in from Seminole, Texas, a distance of 1,500 miles, to see her first professional football game. Mrs. Walker was impressed, allowing that "it was real good."...MAN OF ACTION: Dahms, though he limped off the field, was unhappy when he was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter. Anxious to go all the way against his former teammates, he protested, "I'm all right, I'm all right." He was so insistent that he shortly was permitted to return to action...'WRONG ADDRESS': An unfamiliar face popped through the door of the Packer bus, bound for the Chicago & North Western depot, shortly after the game. It belonged to Norm Van Brocklin, Ram quarterback. Taking a quick glance at his recent enemies, he grinned sheepishly and mumbled: "Sorry, wrong bus," and backed out...NO 'FRATERNIZATION': When Hirsch helped the Packers' Deral Teteak to his feet after the Bull had dropped Crazy Legs, who had taken a sideline pass from Van Brocklin, Blackbourn barked, "Don't pay any attention to that stuff. Save that for the movies."...SUPPORT FROM HOME: More than 350 Green Bay partisans, in addition to those who went by car, came down on the Packer Alumni Assn.'s Milwaukee Road special to help make their favorite sons feel at home in County Stadium...BREATHER?: The Packers were in a holiday mood en route to the depot from the stadium and Dillon and Walker were among the most lighthearted. During one gay exchange, Bobby chuckled, "We've got a breather this week - Cleveland." The thought of the Browns had a sobering effect - for a moment...RABBIT EARS?: Referee John (Red) Pace didn't take kindly to the Packer Lumberjack Band's rendition of "Three Blind Mice", traditional reflection of the fans' reaction to what they feel is a "bad call", after a third quarter decision. Billy Bookout's jarring tackle had made the Rams' Ron Waller fumble after he had taken a pass from Bill Wade, the Packers recovering. Pace ruled the pass incomplete. The musical Bronx cheer followed and Pace immediately directed Field Announcer Tom White to tell Lumerback Director Wilner Burke, "I'm going to report them to Bert Bell."...NOT MERE CONVENIENCE: Before each game, it is announced that the time clock on the field is not official but merely for the convenience of the fans but such was not the case yesterday. Timers Austin Destache and Bill Clancy "synchronized their watches" with Field Judge Chuck Sweeney throughout and when Pace gave the benches the two-minute warning, the field clock registered 1:59. And, after Fred Cone's climatic field goal, the timers and Sweeney both "had" 24 seconds left.
HALAS THINKS BEARS WILL STILL WIN WESTERN TITLE
OCT 17 (Chicago) - George Halas, owner-coach of the Chicago Bears, has high hopes his team will still win the Western Division title of the NFL. Halas, who last year announced he'll retire at the end of the present season with a winner, says his Bears have a "pretty good" chance for the divisional title despite three losses. The Bears finally broke into the win column Sunday by blasting the Baltimore Colts, 38-10...THEY DESERVED IT: "We should have beaten Baltimore the first time we played them, and we did nothing else but give away our game to San Francisco last week," Halas said. "The only team that really beat us was Green Bay. They deserved it, but we'll get even." The Bears lost to Baltimore, 23-17, in the opener and were dumped by Green Bay, 24-3, a week later. Last week, they lost to San Francisco 20-19 in a game they might have won had they elected to kick and make a field goal in the final seconds. "The team that comes up on top in this scramble is certain to have four losses," said Papa Bear. "We've lost three games but we're beginning to move. Believe me, this is going to be a real scramble." "Right now, I think we should have a 3-1 record," continued Halas, while listening to a radio and pulling for the Green Bay Packers to whip Los Angeles. The Packers won 30-28...BOTTLE UP COLTS: "Since we've lost three, we'll just have to win the rest of our games," he added. "And we can do it." If the Bears continue to play as they did against Baltimore Sunday, they shouldn't have too much trouble. They took advantage of every break and had the previously undefeated Colts completely bottled up. Baltimore could score only one touchdown and that came in fourth quarter after the Bears had piled up a 31-3 lead. George Shaw looked like anything but the league's top rookie quarterback and fullback Alan Ameche was well contained except for sporadic gains which never caused too much trouble. It was a complete Bear victory with the rookies and veterans showing combined talents seldom witnessed on the field. The victory sent the crowd of 40,184 home wondering how the Bears ever lost to the Colts earlier in the season.
INJURIES CRIPPLE BROWNS
OCT 17 (Cleveland) - Tommy James, safety man for the Cleveland Browns, will be out of action for at least two weeks. Dr. Vic Oppolito said James, injured in Sunday's game at Washington, suffered stretched ligaments in his left knee. Halfback Ray Renfro has a slight rib separation, an X-ray examination disclosed.
will be ready for the Cleveland game but Jorgenson said that "Ferguson is a tough kid and his recuperative powers are good." Among the other injured are guard Joe Skibinski and tackle Jerry Helluin, who will be making his first appearance in a league game. Both came to the Packers in trades. The Browns also suffered injuries in their victory over Washington. They announced back Tommy James will be out for two games with a knee injury. He was hurt on the first play of the game but his spot was filled capably by John Petitbon. The Browns also disclosed that offensive halfback Ray Renfro suffered a slight rib separation against Washington. He probably will see some action Sunday, however...The Packers and Browns have played six games since 1950, when Cleveland entered the NFL, but only one was in league play. The Browns won that one 27-0 in Milwaukee in '53. Scores of the Packers' exhibition losses to the Browns: 38-7 in '50, 21-14 in '52, 21-13 in '53, 14-13 in '54 and 13-7 in '55...Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn and his aides, Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus, launched Brown Week yesterday at 7:30 a.m. and finished up at 10:30 p.m. Most of the day was spent in sifting scouting reports from Wally Cruice and Jack Vainisi on the Brown-Washington game. The Packer-Ram pictures were viewed last night. Blackbourn showed the films to the Packers at their squad meeting this morning. The Bays launched outdoor workouts this afternoon with a long session on defense. All hands were present, although there was more limping than usual...The Packers aren't the only team with injuries. The Baltimore Colts, well chewed up by the Packers a week ago Saturday night, had 14 on the injury list today and five of them were serious. The Chicago Cardinals had three who will be sidelined for two games - fullback Mel Hammack, guard Tony Pasquesi and end Tom Bieneman.
30-28 BATTLE SOBERING FOR BOTH PACKERS AND LOS ANGELES
OCT 18 (Green Bay) - Two of the Packers' three victories were lifted out of the fire in the last 44 seconds. Detroit fell 20-17 in the last 20 seconds on a pass from Tobin Rote to Gary Knafelc. Los Angeles was toppled in the last 24 seconds on Fred Cone's field goal. Thus, if each game had been 25 seconds shorter, the Packers might well be sitting with 1-3 today instead of 3-1. By the same token, if the Packers hadn't been never-say-die believers, they never would have come close enough for Rote to throw to Knafelc or Cone to boot a field goal. Each game-ending heroic was preceded by some what's-the-use antic - such as Detroit's fumble recovery on the Pack's five-yard line and Los Angeles' interception and return for a 28-27 lead. While the Packers and their fans had every reason to let loose with joy over the two hair-raisers, both games because frightfully sobering along about the following Tuesday. The Detroit test has been hashed over properly. What about the Los Angeles match? It was most sobering for both the Packers and Rams despite the fact that they established 1955 scoring "records" in the two games - that is, the 30 for the Packers was the mostest this league season and the Rams' 28 was their bestest. The Rams were black-coffeed by the fact that two of their TDs were plain gifts and one of the other two was made easy by an interception on the Packer 34. So, the Rams' Sid Gillman has his problems today. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn is confronted with something similar this day. He saw the game pictures last night and wondered today "how we did it!" The Packers had a 24-7 lead at one point. They were behind 28-27 at another point - a dangerous one since the game had only 3:40 to go. Blackbourn said the pictures showed that "we looked terrible" and added: "It's a mystery Rote does as well as he does because our offensive line was thrown around." Nobody in the league can throw like Rote when he's right and nobody can fake like Howton. And Knafelc is coming along, too. Our defensive line had no rush most of the time. "How do we do it!" While Blackbourn sounded unhappy with the various mechanics of play, you can bet he is fiercely proud of the squad's intense spirit. "They never quit and they're fighting all of the time," Liz beamed. Blackbourn, in particular, is seeking a sort of a 60-minute balance which they had in the 24-3 victory over the Bears. "We had that balance during the first half and part of the third quarter against the Rams," Blackbourn said after the game Sunday, "but then up she went!" The tackle chart shows that the five linemen made 21 tackles and the six men "back" made 41. Bill Forester, Jerry Helluin and Nate Borden each had five, John Martinkovic four and Dave Hanner two. Linebackers Deral Teteak and Roger Zatkoff had 14 between 'em, including nine for Zatkoff. The cornerbackers had an astonishing 19, with Billy Bookout getting the team's high, 12, and Doyle Nix seven. The deep men, Val Joe Walker and Bobby Dillon, had six and two, respectively.
LOS ANGELES DEFENSE CLOSED IN WITH RAIN, CAUSED ROTE TROUBLE
OCT 18 (Milwaukee Journal) - What happened to Tobin Rote's passing when it started to rain at the Stadium Sunday was hard to believe. Before the first drops fell, midway in the third quarter, the Green Bay quarterback was making the Rams wish they had never left Los Angeles. He fit perfectly Coach Lisle Blackbourn's recent description of him. "When Tobin's right," Blackbourn had said, "he's positively the best quarterback in pro football." Then the rain, or something, took the edge away from him and Green Bay was fortunate, indeed, to win at all. Here are Rote's passing figures, without and with the rain:
    Att Comp Yds TDs Int
DRY  21   12 194   3   0
WEST 19    7  61   0   5
Blackbourn, who admits himself that Rote is "the most inconsistent quarterback" in the NFL, said Tuesday at Green Bay that he thought he had at least part of the answer. "Our plan," Blackbourn said, "was to throw short passes, to keep the ball away from their deep men, Sherman and Burroughs. We didn't want them to get a chance to intercept. "This worked fine until the ball got wet. I'd say that Rote was having a great day. Then they moved their backs up close to plague our short ones. Tobin still didn't want to throw long, because the ball was wet and we still were worried about them zoning on the long ones and intercepting." Then, Blackbourn said, things started to go wrong. The first two interception were on deflected passes, neither of them long ones. "Those I can excuse," the Packer coach said, "but a few other things were inexcusable."First, Blackbourn mentioned the screen pass which the Rams made their third interception, setting up the touchdown which cut Green Bay's lead to 24-21. "They sensed the screen," Blackbourn said, "and covered the receiver. Tobin had two alternatives - eat the ball or throw it away. Instead of throwing it way away, he tried to dump it right over the line. That was an interception they should never had made." And the pass in the flat, from the Packer 17, which Jimmy Cason intercepted for the touchdown that put the Rams ahead, 28-27. "I didn't like the call," Blackbourn said, "and neither did Tobin when he came out. If he wanted to try that, he shouldn't have used the wide side of the field (the ball was spotted 20 yards in from the west sideline and Rote threw toward the east sideline). There was just too much room for the defender to get to the ball before the ball got to the receiver. Cason timed it perfectly and he was away. It was not a good call at all." Then Blackbourn mentioned the long pass intended for Gary Knafelc which Cason intercepted on the Rams 10. "That's just what I didn't want him to try," Blackbourn said. "It was exactly what he had decided wouldn't work in all of our planning."...The spread formation that the Packers tried on their first play from scrimmage was to be used as an "irritant", Blackbourn said. "We hoped to spread 'em out, make them switch their defense around. We had planned to use it two or three more times, but our offense was working so well and the protection for the passer so good that we didn't go back to it."...'I FLUBBED IT': Concerning the fumbled pitchout which gave the Rams their first touchdown, fullback Howie Ferguson said after the game. "It was thrown right square where I wanted it. I just flubbed it."...Blackbourn said he thought that Ferguson, injured ankle, wrenched knee and all, would be ready to play against the Browns at Cleveland Sunday. If not, Breezy Reid will be switched to fullback, Veryl Switzer to left halfback and Al Carmichael and Joe Johnson will share the flanker back spot.
BAY PASS DEFENSE TOUGHEST IN NFL
OCT 18 (Philadelphia) - One big reason the Packers have jumped off to such a successful start in the Western Division is because of a topnotch pass defense. League statistics released Tuesday show Green Bay has permitted only 32 of its opponent's 86 passes to be completed for a 37.2 percentage - best in the NFL. However, against Cleveland Sunday the Packers will be up against the Otto Graham-triggered Browns, who boast the best pass completion mark (60.8 percent) in the league. The top scoring team is also the Browns, who have counted 100 points in four games. The Packers have tallied 94 points, third best. Green Bay is third behind the Bears and Steelers in total yardage (1,345 - 643 rushing and 702 passing). Cleveland is fourth. The Al (The Horse) Ameche galloping Colts took over the rushing lead from Cleveland with 776 yards. The Browns have 688, followed by Green Bay with 643. In air attack Detroit is second behind Philadelphia (872 yards) followed by Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Cleveland. Los Angeles leads in punting with a 45.1 yard average per kick. Cleveland is second with 44.3 and the Bears, Packers and Eagles are tied for third with 42.5. The Browns have only allowed opposing ball carriers to gain 2.8 yards per carry, second to Pittsburgh. And Cleveland is second to the Packers in pass defense, allowing only 38.2 percent of opponents' passes completed.
PACKERS PROVE AGAIN GAME ISN'T OVER UNTIL FINAL GUN
OCTOBER 18 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - A man who saw MOST of Sunday's Packer-Ram thriller is still moaning. Understandably so. "That's the last time I'll ever try to beat the crowd out of the stadium, so help me," he promised. "I thought the ball game was over and the Packers dead after that last Ram interception. What a dope!" The possibility of pulling the game out of the fire was rather remote, for the Rams' gift marker, via a pass interception, came less than four minutes before the end. But immediate past history should have taught the man not to give up, regardless of the odds, anytime the Bays of 1955 are within winning range. Remember how they beat the Lions in the league opener at Green Bay three weeks ago Sunday? The clock showed only 20 seconds to go when Gary Knafelc made a jumping catch of Tobin Rote's pass and bulled his way over the goal line. It almost happened again a week ago last Saturday night. On the very last play, Bill Howton was only inches away from turning defeat into victory. He was only that far away from Rote's fast pitch into the end zone. Admittedly, it's a terrific strain on the heart to win 'em with the clock ticking off the fatal seconds. But there isn't a better way to keep 'em glued to their seats - and bring 'em back again. People like nothing better than be convinced the game isn't over until the final gun. The man's plight, by the way, brings to mind that it wasn't the first time the impossible was accomplished in the very same stadium. Hundred, perhaps thousands, had left the premises and were in their cars, homeward bound, one night in 1954 when the Braves rallied for six runs with two outs in the ninth to beat the Dodgers. Looking back to the Packers' latest success story, so many vital elements went into it that one can't help wondering if a lot of these things are pre-destined and follow a script way beyond the control of mortal man. Consider first what appeared to be an absolute give-away - the ill-fated Rote pass intercepted and run back for the TD that gave the Rams the lead. If the pass (on third down) hadn't been intercepted, the Packers surely would have punted. Then the Rams might have ground out a touchdown legitimately, they had time. Say the Rams had run and passed for the big score instead. Surely they would have used up most of the precious time remaining in the process. Then it would have taken a miraculous runback of the kickoff and/or a tremendous pass to save the game. The time situation plus the rain and slippery field certainly would have minimized the threat of either happening. Instead, the supposed give-away, coming when it did, gave the Packers enough time to return the kickoff, complete a pass or two, lose the ball on another interception, regain possession by forcing a Ram kick and finally gain position for Fred Cone's field goal. The Rams helped the Packer cause when Bill Wade ran out of bounds to stop the clock on the first play following the last interception. Without that bit of help, it might have been impossible to win. Ironically, Norm Van Brocklin, too, gave the Bays a lift by getting off the best punt of the day down that exciting home stretch. If it had been 10 or 15 yards shorter, Al Carmichael might not have had a chance to handle it. Or if he did, there might have been no return of consequence. As it was, Carmichael had time to field the ball and do some fancy running on a beautiful runback that netted 40 yards - absolutely necessary yards. That runback, incidentally, was the key play, second in importance only to Cone's winning kick. All that matters now, of course, is that everything turned out all right. But it's not a bad idea to keep in mind that victory and defeat hang on a mighty thin thread.
LIZ CITES PACKERS' TITLE CHANCES
OCT 18 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Coach Liz Blackbourn said Monday any chance the Packers have to stay in title contention depends entirely on the "jumbleness" of the Western Division the remainder of the season. "We're a thin club, mighty thin," observed Blackbourn from his Green Bay office. "Our defense has been playing well, all the way. Our offense is built around Tobin Rote and Howie Ferguson - we can't stand injuries and expect to stay up there." Ferguson injured his leg against the Rams Sunday. "It's a jammed knee," reported Liz. "But I believe he will be ready for Cleveland next Sunday." That's the situation with the amazing Packers, who possess the best start (3-1) since 1947. They have stayed in business without adequate depth - serious injuries would be the killer. "If Fergy can't make it Sunday we'll move Breezy Reid to the fullback spot, Veryl Switzer will be our left half and we'll use either Al Carmichael or Joe Johnson as the flanker," revealed Liz. "Switzer is the most valuable halfback on the club. He's our best blocker, a good receiver - he can do so many things. If he had just a little more speed, he would be great." Blackbourn then pointed out several situations where players must be kept for their specialist roles. It weakens the club in respect to reserve strength, but it gives the Packers aces in the hole. "There's no doubt we're hanging on to Dick Deschaine for his punting ability and Fred Cone for his magic toe. But two big disappointments have been Tom Bettis, our first draft choice, and George Timberlake. Bettis has a pulled hip muscle, but he never has looked like a better linebacker than Roger Zatkoff or Deral Teteak. Timberlake is still with us because we need a second center." Blackbourn emphasized that the trading season is all but over, yet he would never stop listening to a deal. "Yes, we're kind of a funny ball club. We're not easy to handle, but injuries sure put is in a dither trying to figure our best possible punch. We've built so much around so few." What about the pass defense which gave Norm Van Brocklin and Bill Wade a hectic afternoon? "I guess all those quarterbacks can't have an off-day," laughed Liz, referring to the poor passing displays of Bobby Layne, George Blanda and Ed Brown against the Packers. "Our defense didn't yield against the Rams. We gave them two touchdowns on an interception and a fumble." Blackbourn criticized Rote's flat pass which was intercepted by the Rams' Jim Cason, running for an easy score with less than four minutes left in the game. "Rote is a terrific quarterback," added Liz. "But he can kill you with those." And what about Cone's game-winning field goal in the last 24 seconds? The Colts proved last week that Fred's 47-yarder didn't clear the bars, but it was called good. "I don't care if the ball went through the goal posts or not," shot Blackbourn. "The ref raised his hands, didn't he? I didn't even watch the ball." Then Liz revealed that Cone said the ball didn't have much to spare. Now comes Cleveland, a team gaining momentum with Otto Graham looking like old. "They can score so much on improvised pass patterns," emphasized Liz. "Today we're compiling all our scouting reports for our club to work on starting Tuesday. And work it will be if we expect to keep up with the Browns."
York’s 43.0. The Packers likely will swing into offense today and continue Thursday. Coach Liz Blackbourn said that the spread used on the first play of the Los Angeles game will “remain in the books for possible use in the future.” In the maneuver, Rote goes behind the center as in a T-formation play, but then the backfield shifts back into a spread formation. In the one play, Rote incompleted a pass to Switzer in the left flat.
NFL DRAFT SET NOV. 28
OCT 19 (Green Bay) - The NFL will hold an “advance” player draft meeting in Philadelphia Monday, Nov. 28, it was announced today. The bonus pick and the first three rounds will be held that day, and the remaining selections will be held at the regular draft and business meeting in January. The draft is being held earlier this year to combat Canadian raids on collegiate football talent. The meeting was originally scheduled for Nov. 14, but the Packers and Chicago Cardinals, who play in Green Bay Nov. 13, would have been unable to make it. The Packers and Detroit will play Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, and the other 10 teams will be in Chicago or the east Nov. 27.
CONE DOESN"T EVEN DRILL FIELD GOALS ON GRIDIRON!
OCT 19 (Green Bay) - Fred Cone rarely practices his field goal kicking on what is commonly called a gridiron. The veteran Packer fullback, whose 25-yard shot gave the Bays a 30-28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the last 24 seconds Sunday, does 99 percent of his drilling out in the open, so to speak – away from yard-line markers and the stands. The other one percent is done a few minutes before game time in the particular stadium the Packers are playing. Freddie performs his daily exercise in back of City Stadium and East High school. The area is unmarked and distances are merely estimated, and for all Cone, ball-holder Tobin Rote and center Jim Ringo know, Ol’ Pineapple may be kicking them farther than they think. Cone practices his booting before or after the regular team practices. Last week, he worked out about a half-hour before the usual 3:30 drill since he could possibly run into darkness later on a dim day. Cone’s “open” practice area is rather bumpy and rolling, which adds to the hazards. The team, itself, works in the Bluejay outfield in Joannes Park, which is also far from flat. Coach Liz Blackbourn takes the Bays into City Stadium only on rare occasions, because of possible damage to the turf. Yet, the field is used for a number of “junior” games which easily could be staged in the open area behind the stadium – or in Joannes Park. Cone, a 29-year old native of Pineapple, Ala., isn’t changing his practice procedure this week, despite the fact that he goes up against The Toe himself, Lou Groza, in Cleveland’s massive stadium Sunday. Groza is recognized as pro football’s champion field goal kicker, since he has booted 114 three-pointers in 206 attempts in nine and one-third seasons. Groza, whose field goals have won numerous games, including the championship playoff in ’50, has tried only five field goals in the first four games this season, and converted three of them. Cone, by comparison, tried 13 times and connected on eight. Freddie isn’t fixing to match Groza’s long service but he’d like, if the opportunity presents itself, to out-boot Lou Sunday. In fact, Cone feels that “this is my last year; maybe, I’ll try some coaching next season.” Cone would be well satisfied if the Packers did their scoring on touchdowns Sunday – enough to win. The Clemson graduate has had more chances to kick field goals this year than in any of his previous years, explaining “it seems like the team is moving down in there closer, more often, this year.” Cone has missed only one “short” field goal this season – that from 23 yards out against the Bears.
PACKERS 'FLYING' HIGH WITH HOWTON
OCT 19 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers won world titles in 1936, 1939 and 1944 when a slight, lanky end from Alabama by the name of Don Hutson re-wrote just about every pass catching record in the NFL. On his first play in pro ball against the Bears, Hutson took a pass from Arnie Herber and went 94 yards for the only score of the game. Here was the secret to Green Bay's championship success - Hutson catching anything Herber threw and later anything tossed his way by Cecil Isbell. Today the Packers are once again in the thick of the Western Division race. And once again there is a fleet-footed end catching the shots of a veteran quarterback. Billy Howton, the Packers' second draft choice in 1952, is the closest resemblance to a Hutson. In fact, the Houston hustler did Hutson one better in his freshman year, breaking Don's record for yards gained catching passes in one season (1,211) by 20 yards. At the moment Howton is one of the best receivers in the league. He has caught 21 Rote rifles in four games for 345 yards and three touchdowns. His 57 yard touchdown catch against the Rams last Sunday was the longest this season. However, Billy on two occasions has gone 90 yards on tosses by Babe Parilli. And he scored the game-winning touchdown on a 90-yard pass play in the 1953 Pro Bowl game. Howton possesses exceptional speed and an uncanny ability to shake defensive halfbacks. For example, in the Ram game, he grabbed a button hook Rote pass, jockeyed three Los Angeles defenders out of their britches and bingo! - 57 yards and a Packer touchdown. Bill was the most valuable player on the 1951 Rice team and was an All-American choice. He is about as tall as Huston but is built heavier (185 to 172). For those who like to compare Hutson-
Howton achievements, here's the breakdown. Howton has been the leading Packer pass receiver ever since joining the club. But this season he has jumped off to the best start. With Rote tossing truer than ever, the aerial game has once more gained fame at Green Bay. Howton may never approach the greatness of Hutson, but he's doing the best job in modern football against the toughest pass defense. He teams with a Texas partner with clicking perfection. Rote's passes aren't the easiest to catch. They're bullet-like shots - but they're being caught with game winning finesse by Howton. Rote also has the surprising Gary Knafelc as a true receiver as well as Howie Ferguson, Veryl Switzer and Breezy Reid. But Howton has been the favorite target - he's the best in the league.
picked off the first bounce and raced into the end zone for a touchdown; and one interception was lugged into pay dirt in the Los Angeles game. Those were “direct” touchdowns off the Packer offense. Three of the remaining six touchdowns were set up by a 22-yard punt in the Detroit game, a fumble on the Packer 12-yard line in the Baltimore game, and an interception on the Packer 35 in the Los Angeles game. The short punt set the Detroits in motion on the Packer 38. The remaining three touchdowns must be charged “directly” to the defense – not bad for four games. Two of them occurred in the Baltimore game – George Shaw’s 82 and 40-yard touchdown throws, and the other was in the Los Angeles fracas – a six-play, 66-yard drive. Actually, that was the only TD scored against the Pack on a concentrated drive. It was engineered by the Rams’ Bill Wade and the payoff was a 15-yard pass to Ronnie Waller. The Packer pass defense has been the key to the club’s defensive strength. Only 37.2 percent of the passes thrown against Green Bay have been completed, although they have yet to face Graham, who is rated by Brown as the “best all-around passer in the league.” The Browns, who have yet to face a run-pass expert the likes of the Packers’ Tobin Rote, are the only team close to Green Bay in pass defensive percentages, with their 38.2. Next best is New York’s 43.0. In yardage allowed, the Browns have the best of the Packers – especially on the ground. Cleveland has permitted a total of only 760 yards – lowest in the league, against Green Bay’s 1,037, which is third best…QUITE A DIFFERENCE: Brown tacklers have permitted only 336 yards rushing – less than 100 per game, against the Packers’ 551. In passing yardage, the Browns allowed 424, the Packers’ 486. The Browns’ first four foes averaged only 2.8 yards, including one game against the tough-running San Francisco Forty Niners, while the Packers’ four opponent averaged 4.0 per crack. The Packers and Browns have each allowed 51 first downs. The Bays gave 30 by rushing, the Browns only 16. In passing however, the Bay defense has the edge, 26 to 20. And just to show you that the Packers play clean, hard football, the Bays’ foes made only one (1) first down on penalties. Brown opponents made nine – quite a difference. The Packer gave their offense a good whirl yesterday and everybody was running well expect fullback Howie Ferguson, who is still nursing a battered knee. He left early for a special treatment from Trainer Bud Jorgenson. Blackbourn said that “we probably won’t know about Fergie until game time. His knee is sore yet.” In the meantime, halfback Breezy Reid is working with fullback Fred Cone in the fullback slot, with Veryl Switzer moving into Reid’s left half position. Switzer, bothered by a cut in back of his knee, had no trouble maneuvering. The drill was topped off with a long punting session for Dick Deschaine and Bill Forester – plus practice for punt catchers Switzer, Al Carmichael and Joe Johnson, not to mention Scooter McLean who can still catch a mean punt. Scoot and Blackbourn worked with Deschaine on placing his boots in the various corners of the field. Dick kicked one out on the 11-yard line against the Rams. He now ranks fourth in the league.
COACH HAS NO CRITICISM OF ROTE'S PASS!
OCT 20 (Green Bay) - Answering a question regarding Tobin Rote’s intercepted pass in the last four minutes of the Los Angeles game, Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn said that he had “no criticism” of the play call “whatsoever” at the Quarterback Club meeting at the Columbus Club Wednesday night. The interception was turned into a touchdown that gave the Rams a 28-27 lead. Liz pointed out: “It was a third and five situation. We had to keep the ball and our running game hadn’t been successful. Tobin called a short pass in an effort to make the first down. It was our plan to use the short pass throughout the game rather than take a chance with the Rams’ fine deep men, Burroughs and Sherman. On the particular pass in question, the Rams suddenly shifted their defense and flooded our left side, where Rote threw the ball, with two men. One of them (Jim Cason) made a wild run at the pass with no regard for the intended receiver behind him.”...DARING INTERCEPTION: “It was a daring interception and it paid off for them. I have no criticism of the call.” Rote threw 40 passes in the game and completed 19, including three for touchdowns. None of them were for the long variety – that is from Rote to the receiver. Rote had five passes intercepted in the last quarter and a half. The Packers went on to win the game in the last 24 seconds on Fred Cone’s field goal. Booting the winning points, plus two earlier field goals, won for Cone the title of the “most valuable player” of the game. He received a $50 certificate from Stiefel’s Clothing. Cone gave credit to the “line in front of me” and explained that “there would have been no excuse if I missed it.” Charley Brock, chief quarterback, presided and introduced Blackbourn and Cone in the club session which followed the televised portion. The Ram-Packer film was narrated by Tom White.
SIZE OF HURT LISTS TO SETTLE RACES?
OCT 20 (Green Bay) - NFL teams, with two-thirds of the season to go, have been hit heavily by injuries and hopes for division titles may largely be determined by the size of a team’s hospital list. It’s significant that the Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore Colts suffered their first 1955 defeats last Sunday after losing a number of key players. Los Angeles is hurting. Such key players as offensive backs Tank Younger, Dan Towler and Skeet Quinlan, linebacker Don Paul, defensive end Paul Miller and defensive backs Hall Haynes and Don Burroughs are either sidelined or hampered by injuries. The Colts have been the big surprise of the first quarter of the season. But they lost defensive stars Gino Marchetti and Joe Campanella and those losses hurt Sunday against the Bears when the Colts suffered eight more injuries while losing their first game…LOST FOUR STRAIGHT: The Detroit Lions, who have lost four straight, owe much of their difficulty to injuries. They’ll invade Los Angeles Sunday with quarterback Bobby Layne and guard Jim Martin, their only long-range placekicker, out of action. San Francisco’s Forty Niners have been hampered by injuries suffered by such key stars as halfback Hugh McElhenny and end Harry Babcock. Philadelphia, one of the highly-touted Eastern Division clubs, has lost three straight. The Eagles won their opener against the New York Giants but lost All-League middle guard Bucko Kiltroy for the season in that game. Chicago’s Cardinals also have been hard hit by injuries. Their early season losses included veteran back Charley Trippi and end Max Boydston, the team’s No. 1 draft choice. Fullback Mel Hammack, guard Tony Pasquesi and end Tom Bieneman were hurt at New York last Sunday and probably will miss this week’s game against Philadelphia…FEW SERIOUS INJURIES: The Pittsburgh Steelers, tied with the Cleveland Browns for the Eastern Division lead, credit much of their success to few serious injuries. They did lose Pat Brady, the league’s punting champion, for the season. Cleveland also has been lucky in the injury department, but lost Tommy James, one of the league’s top safetymen, last Sunday at Washington. James will miss Sunday’s game against the Packers. The Browns (3-1) are seven-point favorites and are picked to defeat the Packers (3-1) in a clash of first place clubs in Cleveland.
BROWN DEFENDS PRO REIGN
OCT 20 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - What about the Cleveland Browns? They've won two world championships and five straight divisional titles since joining the NFL in 1950 and show no signs of letting up. When the Browns came into the league they had a strong team from the start. Coach Paul Brown built a powerhouse around quarterback Otto Graham. Names like Gillom, Groza, Lavelli, Renfro and Ford were soon synonymous with pro football greatness. Today, Brown still hopes to send out winning clubs - to reach his goal of creating a grid dynasty. He refuses to support, or even consider, the theory that Cleveland's continued supremacy is harmful to pro football. "Winning is not an evil thing," says Brown. "Winning fairly is an admirable accomplishment no matter what the field of endeavor. I am a football teacher. If we win before 10,000 fans, that's swell. If we lost before 80,000, that's awful." Well, the Browns are still winning and Sunday they'll put their 3-1 record against an identical Packers mark at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. To celebrate the Browns' 10th year in professional football, Cleveland Mayor Anthony Celebrezze has urged Ohio citizens to give their undivided support and encouragement to the Browns on their day. So the perennial champion meets and an up and coming challenger, one which has had six glorious years of world titles - but no resemblance of a winner for 10 years until this season. The Browns are still the Otto Graham-triggered winners. In his ninth season with Cleveland, Graham has directed the high-geared Brown offensive that has led the team to 107 wins, 19 losses and three ties. It was Graham who raised havoc with the Lions in the championship game last December as the Browns won with ridiculous ease, 56-10. It was Graham hitting nine of 16 receivers last Sunday for 138 yards to give the Browns a 24-14 win over the Redskins. And along with Graham, there were the oldtimers, Horace Gillom, Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, Ray Renfro and Lenny Ford, still doing the job of champions. Coach Brown has injected new life with the acquisitions of Ed (Big Mo) Modzelewski, taking over as regular fullback. Modzelewski powered for 58 yards in 13 carries against Washington. He's a neat replacement for Marion Motley. The Packers have never beaten a Brown team. In their only league contest, Cleveland whipped Green Bay, 27-0, in the first pro game ever played in Milwaukee County Stadium in 1953. Scores of the Packers' exhibition losses to the Browns are: 38-7 in '50, 21-14 in '52, 21-13 in '53, 14-13 in '54 and 13-7 in '55. It all points that the Browns strictly mean business when they play for keeps. Green Bay never quite turned the trick in exhibition play, and all but one games were down to the wire finishes. When it was a league situation it was simple mayhem. The Packers, indeed, have an old score to settle. And Sunday's showdown between two divisional leaders couldn't be a more opportune time.
PACKERS FEAR GRAHAM - BROWNS HAVE PASSING AS WELL AS DEFENSE
OCT 20 (Milwaukee Journal) - After looking over the scouting reports, Lisle Blackbourn was talking about the Cleveland Browns, NFL champions, whom his Green Bay Packers meet at Cleveland Sunday. "Graham is back," he said. "He's the one who makes them so good on offense. They always had the defense. On a pass play you put a good rush on Otto and he'll roll out. Then he and Brewster, Lavelli and Renfro (Cleveland receivers) will improvise among themselves. They're all old heads at this and they get more long passes, because they think and act quickly and together." Then Blackbourn talked about Cleveland's defense. "That line," he said, "it's awfully big. Gain at middle guard, Colo and Kissell at tackles, Ford and Massey at ends, they make things tough for anybody. Michaels is a great linebacker. Their deep men, Lahr, Konz, Paul, they're all old heads, too. You don't fool 'em very often." How do the Browns compare with Green Bay's earlier opponents like, say, the Los Angeles Rams? Here are a few thoughts on the subject, arrived at from conversations and reports: Quarterback: Graham, unretired, having a great year. Leads league in percentage of completions, yards gained per pass. The Rams' Van Brocklin had unusually bad day against Packers. Could have been Green Bay defense which has, for the most part, made Layne, Blanda, Brown, Williams, Shaw look bad, too. Not much to choose between second stringers Ratterman of Browns and Wade of Rams. Every team would like to have such reserves. Rest of backfield: Browns much deeper, bigger. Paul Brown using two fullbacks at a time. Big Mo Modzelewski and Curly Morrison. Rams didn't have any because of injuries to Towler and Younger. Where Rams had to rely on "little" fellows like Waller and McCormicj, Browns also have Bassett, first string fullback last year, and halfbacks like Renfro, old Dub Jones and rookie Bob Smith of Nebraska. Big edge to Browns here. Receivers: Excellent for both teams. Defense: Rams lead league with 16 interceptions (five against Packers), Browns have stolen only five passes, but have permitted only 424 yards in air (best in league) and 38.2 percent completions, second only to Packers' 37.2. Browns also are stingy on ground, giving up 336 yards, second to Pittsburgh's 290, compared with 525 for Rams and 551 for Packers. Four opponents have gained only 760 yards on Cleveland, all told (Pittsburgh defense only other one under 1,000 yards with 870). Field goal kicking: Here the Packers will have no such an edge as they did over Rams when Cone made three out of three including winner and Rams missed three out of three (Richter flubbed two and Fears dug divot on other). Lou (The Toe) Groza showed he was back in form with 41 yard field goal against Washington last Sunday. Age: Browns are aging (Graham, Gatski, Lavelli and Groza are in 10th seasons, Gillom in ninth, Jones and James in eighth and Lahr in seventh. All have been around longer than any Packer). But they are by no means decrepit. They've won three straight games as Rams had last week, and among the victims was western division favorite San Francisco, 38-3.
in Cleveland Sunday. Rymkus was one of the all-time great tackles of professional football, playing on six Cleveland championship teams. He was named All-Pro tackle for four of those six years. His last game in Memorial Stadium was in 1951 when the Browns defeated the Cardinals, 49-28. The Packers' stout defense has given up only six touchdowns in four games - three others can be charged to the offensive platoon. So watch those miscues! Two fumbles recovered for touchdowns and an intercepted pass for a TD - were results of the offensive bobbles. And from a Cleveland scribbler: "The punch those Green Bay Packers pack", says grave Professor Paul, "Will knock us off the winning track unless we're on that ball."
PACKER TEST TITLE 'STRENGTH' AGAINST CLEVELAND
OCT 22 (Cleveland-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - How strong are the Packers? You and the Packers, themselves, should have a pretty fair answer to that puzzler about 3:30 Sunday afternoon. At that time, the Packers and world champion Cleveland Browns will have finished their fifth NFL game of the season. One will sport a 4-1 record, the other 3-2, barring a tie. The Packers are confident of beating the methodical killers of Paul Brown. In fact, after losing to Baltimore two weeks ago, the Green Bays figured they could go all the way. They advanced toward that direction by whipping Los Angeles last Sunday. The experts aren’t feeling kindly toward the Packers’ ambitions. They have installed the Browns a seven-point favorite, but the Bays don’t mind because they were underdogs in each of their three victories and a favorite in the one game they lost. If the weather is right, more than 40,000 will watch the collision in giant Municipal Stadium on the lakefront. And good weather – with no rain – is predicted for the Browns Anniversary Day spectacle. The Browns are certain to give the Packers their first real all-around tough test. The Bays ran into mediocre quarterbacking and passing in beating Detroit and the Chicago Bears; they out-played Baltimore but couldn’t score; and they hammered Los Angeles around before getting careless. The Browns won’t offer Green Bay any weaknesses. Their defense is consistently the best in the business – rarely, if ever, committing a seven-point error. Their offense is operated by machine-like Otto Graham who, in turn, is operated by the coaches who send in every play via guard messengers. The Packers face the reality of playing a perfect game if they expect to win. It would be suicide to give the Browns any gift touchdowns and the Packers can’t expect anything of the kind from Cleveland. And speaking of gifts, the Packers should be about finished giving for the season. Of the nine TDs scored against Green Bay, three were scored off the Bay offense and three others were set by offensive errors. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn feels that “our chances rest mainly in how much their defense hurts us.” Blackbourn recognizes the strength of Cleveland’s defense and feels that it must be penetrated if the Bays are to win. He’s not overlooking Cleveland’s balanced offense, other than to note that the Browns’ scoring is lower than it has been in previous years. Cleveland’s highest total was 38 – against San Francisco (not a defensive powerhouse), and in the other three games the Browns counted 17, 21 and 24. The Packers’ chances of scoring could be seriously handicapped if fullback Howie Ferguson is below par. The league’s No. 2 ground
gainer suffered a knee injury last Sunday and improved rather slowly this week. The availability of Fergie won’t be known until game time. If he’s lost, the Bays’ chances of grinding out first downs will be hurt. Ready to fill his place will be fullback Fred Cone and halfback Breezy Reid who worked at FB most of the game. The Packers suffered their first wave of injuries in the Ram game. Fourteen of them reported for treatment last Monday, but all expect Ferguson are healed. Among the hurtees were tackle Jerry Helluin and guard Joe Skibinski, who will be playing against their ex-teammates. Helluin played for the Browns in the only other league game between the two clubs, a 27-0 battle won by Cleveland in Milwaukee in ’53. The Packers’ Tobin Rote will be a marked man Sunday and more than likely the Browns expect the veteran Bay quarterback to do a lot of pitching – especially to Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc, who scored 10 of the Packers’ 13 touchdowns and caught 39 of Rote’s 67 completions. Rote has been bothered all week with a nasty head cold, almost blinding him Tuesday. He could be weakened some – not a happy circumstance in view of the fact that he hopes to lug the pigskin at times. The Packer defense has drawn a bead on the peerless Graham – considered by Brown as the best all-around quarterback in football. How much he throws will depend on what success the Browns’ Fred Morrison, Ed Modzelewski, Dub Jones and Ray Renfro have been with their running. Graham also has been doing considerable galloping. The Browns will throw two of the finest lines in their history at the Bays. The Packer offensive and defensive lines thus will get their first big test. The Packers worked out in the big stadium this afternoon. They are headquartering at the Hotel Cleveland – in walking distance from the stadium. The Bays are due to land at Austin Straubel Field in their chartered Capital Airliner about 11 o’clock Sunday night.
ELECTRONIC EYES AND FOOTBALL
OCT 22 (Green Bay) – Packer fans were highly elated by Fred Cone’s last-minute field goal which won the game from the Los Angeles Rams at Milwaukee recently. At the height of their victory celebration, the Green Bay fans probably failed to notice that the Rams and their fans were deeply saddened by the loss. Now, however, with victory secure, it is possible for Green Bay folks to understand the depression of the Ram fans for Green Bay has often been in the position of losing an important game in the last few seconds. One such occasion came Nov. 28, 1935, when the Packers’ Tar Schwammel attempted a field goal in the closing minutes of a contest with the Chicago Cardinals. The officials called the kick “no good”. The call was the difference between winning and losing the game, and it also ended the Packers’ hopes for a championship. The gloom that settled over the team and their fans followed them to Green Bay and lingered on here for many days. Photographs showed the ball in the air, looking very much as if it had traveled directly between the uprights. The fans believed they had lost to the officials, but nothing came of it. Now Sid Gillman, coach of the Rams, suggests that an electronic eye might be used to make the decision on all field goals. He is not disputing the Milwaukee ruling, but suggests that some kicks are hard to call. He is right. If electronic eyes can be placed on the goal posts with a reasonable amount of equipment, they should be used. A decision by such equipment would be beyond dispute and thus would be much better for all concerned than the uncertainty, and the bitter, gnawing notion that it might have been called the other way.
PRO BOWL TILT SET JAN. 15
OCT 22 (Los Angeles) - The sixth annual All Pro Bowl football game, featuring 60 selected players from the NFL, will be staged in Memorial Coliseum Jan. 15, Managing Director Paul J. Schissler announced today. Thirty players are chosen from each conference for the postseason classic, and thanks to a spectacular come-from-behind performance in last year’s game, the Western Division holds a 3-2 lead in the series.
PACKERS' ROTE DUELS GRAHAM IN SHOWDOWN
OCT 22 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Paul Brown, probably the most successful coach in football, has been quoted in a national magazine as saying that the Packers' Tobin Rote "can do more different things well than any other pro quarterback." At the same time, Brown calls his own Otto Graham the "finest passer I've ever seen a quarterback like Graham can be the difference between winning the championship and finishing in the second division." So attention will be on the quarterback Sunday when Green Bay's up and coming Packers battle the defending world champion Browns in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. NFL statistics show that Graham, who came out retirement for his 10th season, is the loop's best passer. Peerless Otto has completed 35 of 57 passes for 531 yards - a 9.32 average. That's completing 61.4 percent of the time. Rote is ranked 10th at the moment. However, Tob has thrown more passes (136), completed more (67) for more yards (797) and more TDs (7) than anyone else in the league. Passing ratings are based on the average gain per pass attempted. Rote has a 5.86 average. Brown also credits Rote with "setting a new style for T quarterbacks" - running with the ball. The record shows that Rote has not carried the ball as much this season as he did last year. However, Tob has run on two crucial occasions
this fall to set up the winning points. Against the Lions in Green Bay, Rote ran for 28 yards in the closing seconds to set the stage for his game-winning touchdown pass to Gary Knafelc. And against the Rams last Sunday, rovin' Tobin ran 11 yards to the Los Angeles 19 - putting the ball in position for Fred Cone's winning field goal. League statistics also reveal old Otto has been somewhat of a runner, too. In fact, he's the fourth best in the league with a 3.3 average gain. Graham has carried the ball 24 times for 79 yards - and he's scored two touchdowns carrying the ball. Rote, second only to rookie George Shaw of Baltimore, has a 4.5 yard average, the result of 94 yards on 21 carries. Tobin has scored one touchdown, a one yard plunge against the Bears. Who's going to fool whom Sunday? It's a great life when you gamble and win and a miserable existence when you lose. But that's how it goes in pro football.
PACKERS, BROWNS DUEL
OCT 22 (Cleveland) - Either the Packers are a serious title contender or the Browns are still the champions of old. More than 55,000 who see Sunday's showdown between once beaten Green bay and once beaten Cleveland in Municipal Stadium will know the answer. The Packers go into the game in a three-way tie with Los Angeles and Baltimore for the Western Division lead. The Browns are co-leaders in the Eastern Division with Pittsburgh. Kickoff is 1:05, Milwaukee time. Cleveland started slowly this season, winning but one exhibition game and losing its first league start against Washington. But since then, the Browns have bumped off the 49ers, Eagles and gained revenge against the Redskins. It was a similar start last season when the Browns lost two of their first three game, including a humiliating 55-27 beating by the Steelers. They came back to win eight of their last nine games and capture the Eastern Division title, then topped off the season by walloping the Lions in the league playoff, 56-10. Otto Graham is back, and that seems to make the Browns a title contender. The 10-year veteran passer has lost none of the touch which has made Cleveland champions in nine straight campaigns. Otto is still the best in the business, being top ranked among the pro passers. Green Bay's rising Packers, the surprise of the league with their comeback wins over the Lions and Rams and mastery over the Bears, have been winging along on Tobin Rote's passing, Howie Ferguson's running and the best pass defense in the league. A thin club, yes, but one which has adopted a winning frame of mind, making it tougher on the opposition every game. The Packers have never beaten a Paul Brown-coached team, but figure they have the best chance ever Sunday. To do it they must throw their topnotch pass defense against Graham, and they must have Rote hitting at his very best. Ferguson's running could be the question mark. Coach Liz Blackbourn revealed that it would not be until game time whether the bruising fullback would play. Hampered by a wrenched knee sustained in the Ram game, Ferguson has been hobbling all week. If Howie can't cut it, Blackbourn will counter by moving halfback Breezy Reid to fullback. And it is very possible Rote will operate from a spread formation if the running game can't progress against the big Brown line. Blackbourn is high on this Packer team but labels injuries as the killer. "We're a thin club but a good one. Injuries would kill us."
ARE PACKERS TEAM OF DESTINY?
OCT 23 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - Are the "Dick Merriwell" boys - the Packers - pro football's team of destiny this year? There has been more than a hint already. They beat the Lions on a Tobin Rote to Gary Knafelc pass in the last 20 seconds; nicked the Rams last week on Fred Cone's field goal 24 seconds before time ran out, and just missed on the last play in their only venture against the Colts. Logic decrees they can't keep it up as they play their first road game Sunday at Cleveland. Preponderance of expert thinking supports that view, for the Browns are expected to win by a touchdown or two, say 27 or 34 to 20. But all the Packers recognize is that each game, including this one, starts with the score 0-0. Which proves the team with "destiny" ideas can't be licked in advance and is tough to beat on the field, as the Browns may discover.
PACKERS WILL MEET BROWNS IN TOUGH GAME AT CLEVELAND
OCT 23 (Cleveland) - The first, and perhaps even the toughest, of Green Bay's six road games in this NFL season, will be played here today when Lisle Blackbourn's surprising Packers take on Paul Brown's Cleveland Browns, defending league champions. The game, which matches co-leaders of the two divisions, each with three victories and one defeat, will start at 1:05 p.m., Milwauke time, and will be broadcast by WTMJ. A crowd of upward of 60,000 is expected. The Packers, seven point underdogs this time, have never beaten the Browns. In each of the last five years, they met in preseason exhibition games and the scores, all in favor of Cleveland, were 38-7, 21-14, 21-14, 14-13 and 13-7. They met only once in league play, in 1953. The Browns won the first football game ever played in Milwaukee County Stadium, 27-0, with Otto Graham completing 20 out of 26 passes. Graham Sunday will match passing and running talents, but not signal calling, with Tobin Rote, Packer quarterback. Brown himself calls almost all of Cleveland's plays with shuttling guards. Blackbourn leaves Rote pretty much on his own on the field. Graham and his henchmen and Rote and his will be running into two of the league's finest defenses and it is with the defense that this game will probably be won or lost. Green Bay's chances for an upset are not enhanced by the condition of Howie Ferguson, fullback. Blackbourn said Saturday, upon arriving here, that Ferguson's knee, wrenched in the Los Angeles game at Milwaukee last Sunday, were still sore. If Ferguson cannot play, Breezy Reid will play fullback and Veryl Switzer left halfback. The Packers arrived by plane Saturday noon and worked out briefly at Cleveland stadium in the afternoon. The Browns and Packers last met in an exhibition game at Akron, Ohio, two months ago. The Browns won, 13-7, for their only triumph in six preseason games. The Packers, however, flubbed a chance to win when they reached the Cleveland four yard line in the last minute and failed to score. Not much in the way of solid comparisons can be derived from that game. The Browns rarely do well in exhibitions, as Brown experiments and generally gets them ready for the games that count. Blackbourn's Packers in that game hardly resembled the Packers of today. With so many new men, rookies and players obtained in trades, the team had not yet jelled.
RAMS FAVORED TO TAKE OVER LEAD ALL ALONE
OCT 23 (Milwaukee Journal) - The way the handicappers see it, the Los Angeles Rams will be all alone in first place in the NFL's western division after Sunday's games. The Rams rule seven point favorites to beat Detroit's Lions at Los Angeles. The Packers and Baltimore, both tied with the Rams for the lead, both are rated underdogs, Green Bay by seven points at Cleveland and the injured Colts by seven against the Washington Redskins at Baltimore. In the western division's other game, San Francisco is the choice by three points over the Chicago Bears at San Francisco. At New York, the New York Giants, although residing in the basement, are favored by three points to knock the Pittsburgh Steelers out of a share of first place in the eastern division. The Philadelphia Eagles, despite their last place standing in a tie with the Giants, rule six point favorites to beat the Chicago Cardinals at Chicago.