hollister polos Packers still champs as Nitschke leads way Title 8
Editor’s note: This story was originally published Dec. 31, 1962. When the Green Bay Packers chartered bus wheeled into the parking lot at noon Sunday, linebacker Ray Nitschke shouted with great enthusiasm, to Yankee stadium, home of the world champion Packers. Yankee stadium was theirs, New York was theirs the professional football championship of the world was theirs!
After the Packers took a 3 0 first quarter lead on Jerry Kramer 26 yard field goal, the Giants roared back like irritated elephants to the Green Bay 15. Tittle pass and the deflected missile fell into the hands of the Packers Dan Currie, who ran back 30 yards.
Late in the second quarter, Nitschke again shocked the Giants by recovering Phil King fumble on the New York 28. Two plays later Jim Taylor responded with a standup touchdown from the seven to give the champions a 10 0 halftime advantage.
Ray Nitschke makes one of his two fumble recoveries in the 1962 NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants. (Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel files)
Barnes Blocks PuntThe first time the Giants touched a Packer punt in the second half they scored. Erich Barnes roared in on Max McGee, who was punting from his three yard line, and the blocked kick rolled into the end zone, where Jim Collier fell on it for New York score.
But a short time later Nitschke again rose to the occasion. Sam Horner fumbled a punt return and mountainous Ray recovered on the New York 42.
Five plays later Jerry Kramer booted a 29 yard field goal to give Green Bay a 13 7 third quarter lead. Late in the fourth period Kramer kicked the third field goal from the 30 and the Giants were dead.
It was a very bitter, cold winter afternoon when the teams came out and tested the Yankee stadium turf and a violent wind kicked up dusty gusts of 20 30 miles per hour. But the semifrozen field made it difficult for runners and receivers to cut and the wind played havoc with the passers.
Still, the show must go on. And what a show it was before a sellout crowd of 64,892 and countless millions who watched on television in the comfort of their homes.
The unvarnished truth is that the Packers were outgained in total yards, 293 to 244, outgained per play, 4.4 yards to 3.5. But when the chips were down, the Packers scored and the Giants could not keep pace.
So here a toast to the Packers defense the rush line of Willie Davis, Dave Hanner,
Henry Jordan and Bill Quinlan, who made life jumpy for Tittle, linebackers Nitschke, Currie and Bill Forester, who nipped every New York threat in the bud, and to the secondary of Willie Wood, Jesse Whittenton, Herb Adderley and Henry Gremminger, who stuck to Giant receivers like burrs.
On offense, Taylor was the workhorse, pounding 31 times into the beefy New York defense for 85 yards. Hornung added 35 yards on eight carries and Tom Moore gained 24 on six trips.
The Packers ran 46 times and passed on 22 occasions. The Giants, who live with the pass, went to the air 41 times and ran 26. The pass alone is not enough. And seven points isn going to win much of anything in a game of this importance.
When the Packers took the field, they were booed. And a roaring chant was struck up in the stands, Green Bay, beat Green Bay. The game was held up momentarily because the ball twice fell off the kicking tee.
Rookie Earl Gros then held it and Willie Wood kicked to Joe Morrison on the 15. He returned 17 yards. The Giants got as far as their 46 on strictly running plays before punting.
Now it was Green Bay turn. Hornung was in the attacking unit that rolled from its 25 to the Giant 19. But there the drive stalled when Taylor was gang tackled for no gain on a third down and one yard to go play.
Kramer then kicked a 26 yard field goal at 7:11. The Giants howled that it was wide of its mark.
Giants Bounce BackThe Giants came back strong on Horner 24 yard kick off return to the 38. They got into Packerland on Tittle 21 yard pass play to a Del Shofner.
But when they reached the 15, Tittle favorite weapon boomeranged, Nitschke deflected his pass intended for Joe Walton and Currie grabbed it and returned 30 yards before tripping on the frozen turf.
The Packers powered their way to the Giants 30 before running out of gas. From the 37, Kramer then missed his second field goal attempt.
The quarter ended: Green Bay 3, New York 0. Thousands in the stands began stamping their feet for action and to keep warm.
Tittle couldn hit; the Packers went into a deep freeze. But late in the second quarter,
the Giants got into hot water.
Currie hit King so violently that the ball popped out of his grasp on the Giant 28 and Johnny on the spot Nitschke recovered.