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NFL Classic Rewind: Unlikely Heroes Help Falcons to Wild Shootout Win over Packers 3

Posted on October 07, 2011 by A.J. Foss

When the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons met in week 13 of the 1983 NFL season, it seemed almost a guarantee that the game would be a high-scoring affair that would be decided in the final seconds.

The Packers entered the game with a 6-6 record, thanks to their offense which had averaged 27 points per game up to this point.

The offense was led by quarterback Lynn Dickey, who would finish the season with 4,458 passing yards, and a receiving corps that featured John Jefferson and all-Pro James Lofton.

Despite their high-octane offense, the Packers had one of the worst defenses, which had given up 332 points through the 12 games and had a hard time maintaining leads the offense had given them.

When Green Bay traveled to Atlanta, they must have felt they were looking into a mirror as the Falcons also had a high-scoring offense and suspect defense.

The Falcons had a 5-7 record under first-year head coach Dan Henning with an offense that featured quarterback Steve Bartkowski, running back William Andrews, and wide receiver Billy “White Shoes” Johnson who would go to be named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year for 1983. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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