NEW HAVEN (BASN) – Over the next 13 Sundays, BASN will take an in-depth look at the signature seasons of Hall of Fame running backs O.J. Simpson and Jim Brown.
If you’re looking for off the field stuff with a National Inquirer or TMZ Sports style, you’d probably better turn away right now. This is all about football and nothing else.
Last week, both players opened the season with standout performances which led to their respective teams getting a win. Let’s see if they were able to repeat those feats.
WEEK TWO 1963: Cleveland defeats Dallas 41-27
During the sixties, the rivalry between the Cowboys and Browns was dominated by Cleveland. The biggest reason — to no one’s surprise — was the presence of No. 32. On this day in Dallas, Brown ran for 232 yards on 20 carries with two long TD runs in the victory. At the time, it was the second most prolific day in NFL history, just behind Brown’s 237-yard performance against the Rams in 1957. He then duplicated the feat against the Eagles in 1961. His 71-yard score in the second quarter would put Cleveland up 24-7. The Cowboys would get within a touchdown at the half, but Cleveland pulled away in the second half. Brown’s second score — a 62-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter — would put the game out of reach.
WEEK TWO 1973: San Diego defeats 34-7
The Chargers opened the game with a 72-yard kickoff return by Ron Smith to take an early lead. Simpson’s lone touchdown of the day — a six-yard run — would prove to be Buffalo’s only points of the game. San Diego would then score 27 unanswered points and cruise to the victory. The legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas would have one of his few good days this Sunday while wearing the lightning bolt. He was 10-of-18 on the day for 175 yards and a pair of TD passes in the second quarter. O.J. finished with 22 carries and 103 yards. However, Buffalo’s starting quarterback Joe Ferguson would have an awful day. The Arkansas rookie was a dismal 5-of-17 on the day for just 53 yards and two picks. Veteran backup Dennis Shaw wasn’t much better as he went 7-of-15 with 106 yards and two picks. The Chargers also combined for three sacks against the Buffalo pair.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.