No better time than the presnt for a little Turkey Day trivia as we head into the NFL’s annual Thanksgiving tripleheader. See if you can name these players:
—He was a little-known, third-string quarterback who led his team to victory over Brett Favre and the Packers on Nov. 24, 1994. (Hint: He played for the same team he’ll be coaching Thursday).
—This Bears running back returned the overtime kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to beat the Lions on Nov. 27, 1980.
—This rookie earned the nickname “The Mad Bomber” with a 50-yard, game-winning touchdown heave to beat the Redskins 24-23 on Nov. 28, 1974.
And from the multiple choice world:
—On Nov. 23, 1989, Buddy Ryan coached the Eagles to a 27-0 win over the Cowboys in a game called: a) Buddy Bowl, b) Bounty Bowl, c) Barnyard Bowl.
(The answer is Bounty Bowl: After Cowboys kicker Luis Zendejas left the hard-hitting game with a concussion, coach Jimmy Johnson charged that Ryan had taken out a bounty on two of his players, Zendejas and QB Troy Aikman).
The rest of the answers — and more — can be found in our Pick Six of Thanksgiving treasures.
—(Chicago) Cardinals 40, Bears 6 (Nov. 28, 1929): Ernie Nevers scores all 40 points in the Cardinals win. His six touchdowns and four extra points still stands as an NFL record for most points scored in a game by one player. Fifty-one years later, it’s the Bears’ Dave Williams who returns the OT kickoff 95 yards in a 23-17 win over the Lions.
— Lions 26, Packers 14 (Nov. 22, 1962): The Lions hand Vince Lombardi’s Packers their only loss of a championship season, with a fearsome defense sacking Bart Starr 11 times for over 100 yards. Roger Brown leads the charge with five sacks and assists on two others in the “Thanksgiving Massacre.” Lions defensive coordinator Don Shula told the Dallas Morning News: “People booed when our offense came on the field. They wanted to see our defense play the whole ballgame.”
— Cowboys 24, Redskins 23 (Nov. 28, 1974): Clint Longley is dubbed “The Mad Bomber” after replacing an injured Roger Staubach and hitting Drew Pearson with a 50-yard, winning TD pass with 35 seconds left. The Cowboys trailed 16-3 when Staubach was knocked out of the game in the third quarter. Twenty years later, current Cowboys interim coach Jason Garrett comes on after injuries to Aikman and Rodney Peete in a 42-31 win over the Packers.
— Lions 27, Bills 14 (Nov. 25, 1976): O.J. Simpson runs for a then-NFL record 273 yards and two TDs on 29 carries in the loss. Greg Landry throws for two TDs and Dexter Bussey runs for 137 yards and one TD on 27 carries.
— Dolphins 16, Cowboys 14 (Nov. 25, 1993): After blocking a field goal attempt with 15 seconds left in a snowy game, the Cowboys appear to have the win. But DT Leon Lett slides into the ball, which is now live; the Dolphins recover and Pete Stoyanovich kicks a game-winning 20-yard field goal with 3 seconds left. The gaffe comes 10 months after Lett’s showboating fumble at the goal line cost him a touchdown in the Super Bowl.
— Lions 19, Steelers 16 OT (Nov. 26, 1998): After Lions rally to send game to overtime, the coin toss is held to determine possession. Steelers Jerome Bettis begins to call “heads” and then switches to “tails” as referee Phil Luckett’s toss comes up “tails.” But Lions are awarded ball since rule says first call stands. Jason Hanson hits winning field goal on Lions’ first possession. A few days later, NFL changes rule to say visiting team must make call before coin is flipped, and several other officials must be present. Game becomes known as the “Coin Flip Flap.”