A WEEK IN HISTORY
Updated: Mar 6, 2021
We have made it to week two and what an exciting week it is for another week in history! I’ve used the word week more times than anyone ever should in a sentence, but I’m trying to use the word week more times than Tom Cruise runs in movies by the end of the season. It’s a lofty goal, potentially impossible, but I think I can get there if I try hard enough. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on the main event and the point of the article: this week in history. This week, I’ll be covering 7 of the biggest and most interesting milestones in NFL history from September 17- September 23. Let’s a go!
*Games not played in the second week of that season but between 9/17-9/23 as a result of the schedule changing over time.
#7* Sep. 17, 1920: The NFL is created. The NFL was born in Canton, Ohio and also serves as the home of the NFL hall of fame. On this Friday in Ohio, 10 teams came together to baptize a league known as the American Professional Football Association. Two years later, it would get its now title of the National Football League. The teams involved included the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Dayton Triangles (all from Ohio), the Hammond Pros, Muncie Flyers (both from Indiana), the Rochester Jeffersons (New York), the Rock Island Independents, the Decatur Staleys, and Racine Cardinals (all from Illinois). Later joined during the year were the Buffalo All-Americans, Chicago Tigers, Columbus Panhandles and Detroit Heralds. Only two of those initial teams are still around; the Decatur Staleys are now the Chicago Bears and the Racine Cardinals are now the Arizona Cardinals. Jim Thorpe was elected the first president and together they ushered in a new era of sports and competition, despite the pretty ridiculous names they had back then.
#6 Sep. 18, 1938: Bears beat the Packers 2-0. On this Sunday contest between the NFC North rivals, Chicago pulled out a narrow victory against Green Bay with a single safety as the only score in what must have been just an exhilarating game to watch. It also became the last game in NFL history with that exact score. Previously, four games had ended with that score, with the first coming in 1923 between the Akron Pros and the Buffalo All Americans. This victory for the Bears served as revenge for when the Packers beat the Bears in 1932 with the exact same score of 2-0. The Packers also lost another 2-0 game against the Frankford Yellow Jackets in 1928, meaning they have played in 60% of 2-0 games, unless that score somehow happens again. However, the odds of that happening in today’s league are about as good as Jiraiya’s odds of leaving the Rain Village, so not very good.
#5* Sep, 19, 1993: John Carney kicks six field goals to win against Houston. The San Diego Chargers kicker flexed his traps and rhomboids as he carried the team on his back to an 18-17 victory over the Oilers. The six field goals he made in the game led to an at the time record making his 29th consecutive field goal. That record has now been blown out of the water by Adam Vinatieri who has the record at 45 consecutive field goals. Despite this, Carney holds numerous records and is tied with George Blanda for most decades played at 4 (1980s-2000s).
#4 Sep. 20, 1987: Walter Payton passes Jim Brown for most rushing touchdowns. In a game where the Chicago Bears beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-3, Walter Payton recorded his 107th rushing touchdown to pass the hall of famer Jim Brown’s 106 career rushing touchdowns. Payton is 5th all time with 110 rushing touchdowns and only Emmitt Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marcus Allen and Adrian Peterson have more than him. Payton played a hall of fame career and unfortunately left this world too early, but his legacy and accomplishments both on and off the field are honored every year with the Walter Payton Man of the Year award that goes to the player who exemplifies excellence on the gridiron and in their communities.
#3 Sep. 21, 1969: Steve O’Neal kicks longest punt in NFL history. In a Sunday game between the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos, O’Neal kicked an NFL record 98-yard punt that still holds up to this day. Although, the Jets lost that game 19-17, it was only one of their four losses that season. They would eventually make it to the playoffs losing to the Superbowl winning Chiefs. O’Neal definitely had his spinach that day because no other player has kicked a punt more than 94 yards and only five players have kicked a punt 90 yards or more.
#2* Sep. 22, 1991: Don Shula gets 300th career win. In a game against the Packers, Shula led the Dolphins to a 16-13 victory and joined George Hallas in the 300 club. His grandkids called him Grandfather mountain and what a fitting name that is, for if anyone is to be etched in the NFL coaching mountain, it would be Don Shula. Here is just a shortlist of some of his accolades and accomplishments. He is a hall of famer, a two time Superbowl Champion, one time NFL champ, a member of the NFl’s 100th anniversary all-time team, part of the 1970s all decade team, he has the most wins both in regular season (328) and total (347), and he coached the only undefeated season in NFL history with the 1972 Dolphins. He sadly passed away this year (damn you 2020), but his legacy will live on forever.
#1* Sep. 23, 2018: Drew Brees becomes NFL career passing leader. The New Orleans Saints quarterback hit up his most prized target in Michael Thomas on a 17-yard pass that engraved his name on another NFL record, surpassing Brett Favre’s 6,300 career completions. At the start of the 2020 season he has 6,885 completions and the future hall of famer has so many more records, it’s scary. The list includes career completions, career pass attempts, career completion percentage, career passing yards and career passing touchdowns. This list doesn’t include single game, single season, or those random off the wall records, but let’s just say his total records is about as long as Chris Jericho’s list of 1,000 holds. He is a true icon of the sport.