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  • Writer's pictureKeoni Eichholtz


Updated: Mar 5, 2021

As we get closer and closer to the end of the year, it becomes a time for more and more reflection. So many sites do lists of the best or worst “blanks” of the year. Spotify just did their whole “wrapped” thing showing peoples list of most listened to songs, with many people listening to a song for potentially thousands of hours. It seems everyone had that one song they seemed to listen to over and over again, most likely in the hopes to drown out the utter horror that has been 2020. In keeping with the trend of list making and looking back at the past, even though I’ve been doing it for months now, let’s once again remember the best moments from the NFL’s history in the hopes of moving on to 2021. Come with me if you want to live!

*Games not played in the fourteenth week of that season but between 12/10-12/16 as a result of the schedule changing over time.

#7* Dec. 10, 1995: Glyn Milburn gets most all-purpose yards ever. In a game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos running back and returner had one of the best overall games in NFL history, setting the record for most all-purpose yards. He is the only player to get over 400 in that specific stat. Most of his yards came on the ground either as a running back or return man, but he was used all over. He rushed the ball 18 times for 131 yards and caught five passes for 45 yards. On special teams, he returned five kickoffs and five punts for 133 and 95 yards, respectively. On a combined 33 carries, that is t 404 total yards. The most interesting thing about his day is that through all that, he never got in the endzone, and the Broncos lost to Seattle 31-27. He just might have been an inspiration for Linkin Park because he tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it didn’t even matter.

#6* Dec. 11, 1949: Browns play 49ers in final AAFC championship. The Cleveland Browns beat the San Francisco 49ers 21-7 in the final contest for the AAFC (All-American Football Conference). Both teams along with the Baltimore Colts made the move to the NFL for the 1950 season. The rest of the teams collapsed with the league including a team called the Buffalo Bills, however, they were different than the one established in the AFL in 1960. The Browns used this as a revenge game against the 49ers since earlier in the season, the 49ers served as the Browns only loss. It was the Browns first loss in 29 straight games which saw them win two championships during that time. The win in this game was their fourth championship in four years. Much of the NFL disregarded the Browns coming into the league including the reigning champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, who subsequently lost to the Browns in the opening game of the 1950 season. The Browns would go on to win the NFL championship later that year.

#5* Dec. 12, 1965: Gale Sayers scores six touchdowns in a game. In a game between the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers, Sayers tied the record for most rushing touchdowns in a game. He holds the record along with Ernie Nevers who was the first to do it in 1929 and Dub Jones who did it in 1951. Sayers helped lead the Bears to a 61-20 victory over the 49ers, but ultimately did not make it to playoffs. Sayers would go on to set a rookie record that would make Taylor Swift proud by getting 22 touchdowns, a record that still stands to this day. Unfortunately, he passed away earlier this year, but he left behind a tremendous legacy. He was the youngest player inducted into the NFL hall of fame at 34. He is a college hall of famer, wrote the book that inspired the TV movie Brian’s Song, went to numerous pro bowls and is a part of many all-time teams including being the only player to occupy two spots on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team.

#4 Dec. 13, 1936: Redskins play last game in Boston. In a game where they would lose to the dynasty that was the 1930s Green Bay Packers who won five titles from 1929-1939, the Boston Redskins lost 21-6. This win would give the Packers their fourth overall championship. After this game, the Redskins would move to Washington D.C. where they have been since. It is one of multiple name changes having gone from the Boston Braves to the Boston Redskins to the Washington Redskins to the now Washington Football Team. They will most likely change their name once they have a new official mascot. The new terrain would prove fruitful for the team, however, as they won the 1937 NFL Championship.

#3* Dec. 14, 1980: Saints break 14 game losing streak. The Saints lost their first 14 games of the 1980 season leading many of the fans to wear a bag over their head as to not be identified or associated with the team. The trend comes from the Unknown Comic after appearing on the Gong Show in the late 1970s. Along with the bags over their faces, many fans and analysts referred to the New Orleans team as the 'Aints. The team finished the 1980 season with a 1-15 record with their only win coming against the New York Jets in a 21-10 victory. It seems rather fitting in a way, since the Jets of this year (2020) may just surpass that streak. The record is 29 losses in a row set by the Chicago Cardinals in 1942 with the Tampa Bay Bucs having the record after the 1970 merger with 26 losses. Depending on how their season goes next year, the Jets could enter the history books with more than 29 straight losses. Fingers crossed!

#2 Dec. 15, 1982: Bill Parcells announced as Giants head coach. Parcells, also known as “The Big Tuna”, not to be confused with Jim Halpert, took over after Ray Perkins decided to coach for the University of Alabama. It took Parcells only a few years to turn the team around from one that hadn’t posted a winning season in ten years to winning a Superbowl in 1986, only four years into his tenure as head coach. They defeated the Denver Broncos in a decisive 39-20 victory. It was the first time a coach had been doused in Gatorade at the end of the game which would go on to become a tradition in every Superbowl since. He would win another Superbowl title in 1990 narrowly beating the Buffalo Bills 20-19 after Scott Norwood infamously missed wide right. He retired soon after but would come back with the New England Patriots in 1993. He would make it to a Superbowl with them but would lose 32-21 to Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. He would never replicate the success he had in New York or New England again but was inducted into the hall of fame in 2013 and has the 12th most wins as a head coach in the NFL. He is also known for his coaching tree which includes coaches such as Sean Payton, Mike Zimmer and Bill Belichick.

#1 Dec. 16, 1972: Dolphins become first undefeated team in the post-merger era. The team would secure the undefeated season in stellar fashion going 14-0 as they shut out the Baltimore Colts in a 16-0 victory. It was their third game of the season with a shut-out victory having done it against the Colts in week seven (23-0) and the New England Patriots (52-0). The Miami Dolphins would go on to win all three of their playoff games including the Superbowl to become the only undefeated team throughout an entire NFL season including playoffs. The New England Patriots came close with their 2007 team going 18-0 before losing to the New York Giants in the Superbowl. The remaining team members celebrate with champagne every time there are no remaining undefeated teams in the NFL and with the Steelers now being 11-1, they can all take a breath of relief. The 1972 Dolphins have also produced 8 hall of famers between coaches, personnel and players.

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