A WEEK IN HISTORY
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
It is Friday the 13th ladies and gentlemen, and that can only mean one thing: that’s right, Jason Vorhees is coming for us all and if we manage to survive his 24-hour onslaught, we might just be able to muster enough strength to travel back in time to look at some major NFL moments. If we do, we might want to take a visit to Camp Crystal Lake and get some of those counselors to quit fooling around long enough to throw little old Jason a life preserver in the hopes both he and his mother Pamela never become the murderous duo they end up as. Besides that little detour we might take if we have enough time, we are really here to replace the useful information we learn through school and life with that of meaningless NFL trivia from seven different moments. Let’s now take a look at the exhilarating NFL events from 11/12-11/18. Gotta go fast!
*Games not played in the tenth week of that season but between 11/12-11/18 as a result of the schedule changing over time.
#7 Nov. 12, 1990: The body bag game. In a contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins, notorious coach Buddy Ryan threatened that the Eagles would beat the Washington team so bad, “they’ll have to be carted off in body bags.” The Eagles proved their coach's words true as they beat the Redskins 28-14, scoring two defensive touchdowns and knocking nine of the opposing players out of the game with injuries. The Redskins would get their revenge though, by beating the Eagles in the wild card game of that year’s playoffs leading to Ryan’s firing. The Redskins would also go on to win the Superbowl the following year. Buddy Ryan and his Eagles may have won the fight that day, but they eventually lost the war.
#6* Nov. 13, 1963: Vinny Testaverde is born. Testaverde was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was drafted first overall in the 1987 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and would spend his career with a total of seven teams. He played 21 seasons and had over 46,000 passing yards. When he retired, he finished within the top ten in numerous categories, yet many consider him to be a mediocre quarterback. He has the most losses of any starting quarterback at 123 and has the lowest win percentage of any quarterback with over 70 wins at 42.3%. Despite his lackluster play in the NFL, he was selected to two Pro Bowls, is a Heisman Trophy winner and a college football hall of famer.
#5 Nov. 14, 1976: Jerry Sherk records four sacks in a game. In a game where the Cleveland Browns beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-3, Sherk had one of his best games ever, getting to the quarterback four times. This was before sacks were officially recorded starting in 1982 so little is known about sack totals before then in order to compare him to others. The player with the most sacks in a game is hall of famer, Derrick Thomas who recorded seven of his Kansas City Chief’s nine total sacks against the Seattle Seahawks in 1990. Four sacks in a game is still quite impressive and came in a stretch where Sherk went to four straight pro bowls and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1976.
#4* Nov. 15, 1959: Bobby Mitchell runs 90 yards from scrimmage. Setting a Cleveland Browns at the time record, Mitchell ran the ball 90 yards in a run that helped add a score to the Browns 31-17 win over the Washington Redskins. The current record for longest run from scrimmage is held by Tony Dorsett and Derrick Henry who both have 99-yard runs and the record in Cleveland is held by Nick Chubb who ran for 92 yards in 2018. Mitchell is a bonafide hall of famer, having served in the backfield with Jim Brown, being selected to four pro bowls, was the reception and receiving yards leader for 1962, receiving touchdowns leader in 1964, and is tied for the longest reception from scrimmage at 99 yards. His number is retired by the Washington Football organization and was their first black player. Unfortunately, he passed away this year at the age of 84, but he left a tremendous legacy behind.
#3* Nov. 16, 1980: Doug Williams throws for 486 yards. Coming only 14 yards short of the illustrious 500 club which holds less than 25 spots (some repeating names), Williams set the single game passing record for a Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback which still holds up to this day. Despite throwing for nearly 500 yards, Williams and his Bucs lost to the Minnesota Vikings 38-30. Much like Yoda facing off against Shiv Palpatine throughout the senate in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Williams put up a great effort but was ultimately defeated. Just as Luke Skywalker surpassed Yoda, perhaps Tom Brady can achieve what Williams could not and pass 500 passing yards in a game with the Bucs.
#2* Nov. 17, 1940: The Green Bay Packers are the first team to travel by plane. The Packers traveled to Manhattan to face the New York Giants in a game where they ended up losing 7-3. There must have been something in the in-flight snack because that was the lowest amount of points they scored all season. After this game, the team was forced to take two different DC-3s when traveling for fear of losing an entire franchise. It paved the way for how the NFL is run today and pretty much everyone has used it since, except John Madden who much preferred the travel methods prior to this advancement. He must have taken Willie Nelson’s, “On the Road Again" to heart, I suppose.
#1* Nov. 18, 1956: Warren Moon is born. The hall of famer was born in Los Angeles, California. After not being successfully drafted by the NFL out of college, Moon played for the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL where he won five consecutive Grey Cups. He signed with the NFL shortly after and went on to become one of the most important quarterbacks ever. He was selected to nine pro bowls and had his best year in the 1990 season. That year, he was selected to the all pro team, was the AFC player of the year, the NFL Offensive player of the year and the NEA NFL MVP. His number is retired by the Titans and holds the most passing yards with the team at 32,685. He is also the only black quarterback in the NFL hall of fame and helped pave the way for quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Russell Wilson, and Lamar Jackson. He is one of the greats.