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Sports Then and Now



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

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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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