Opening game fireworks


The Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles opened the 1947 NFL season in record fashion. The two teams combined for 87 points as the Eagles prevailed, 45-42 on September 28 in Philadelphia. The point total remains an NFL record for most points scored in an opening game. The 12 touchdowns in the game was a league record at the time.

Baugh_75-125(1) Pihos_75-125(1) Pihos_75-125(1)



Van Buren

Three future Hall of Famers – Sammy Baugh, Pete Pihos and Steve Van Buren – played huge roles in the shootout. A fourth Hall of Famer, center Alex Wojciechowicz, also started for the Eagles that day.

The Redskins were led by quarterback Slingin’ Sammy, the lone living member of the Hall’s charter class of 1963. Baugh’s performance led the way to a then-record season for completions, attempts and passing yards. His opening day numbers against the Eagles included 364 yards and five touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Eagles were led by halfback Van Buren who rushed for 98 yards and also returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. Van Buren finished the season with a then-record 1,008 yards. Pihos, a rookie end, started his NFL career on high note, by catching two touchdown passes (19 and 21 yards). Pihos finished his rookie campaign with 23 receptions for 382 yards and 7 TDs.

September 28, 1947 - Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, PA
First Quarter
Phi - FG Muha 40
Phi - Pihos 19 pass from Thompson (Patton kick)
Second Quarter
Was - Nussbaumer 25 pass from Baugh (Poillon kick)
Was - Taylor 62 pass from Baugh (Poillon kick)
Phi - Van Buren 95 kickoff return (Patton kick)
Phi - Sherman 1 run (Patton kick)
Third Quarter
Was - Saenz 94 kickoff return (Poillon kick)
Phi - Van Buren 1 run (Patton kick)
Phi - Pihos 21 pass from Thompson (Patton kick)
Was - Poillon 4 pass from Baugh (Poillon kick)
Fourth Quarter
Phi - Armstrong 29 pass from Thompson (Patton kick)
Was - Taylor 36 pass from Baugh (Poillon kick)
Was - Taylor 18 pass from Baugh (Poillon kick)

From the Hall’s Archives
Newspaper account of the Eagles-Redskins thriller (PDF)>>>[2 MB]
Pages from the game program including cover, game preview and rosters (PDF)>>>[5 MB]

More from
HOF Bios: Sammy Baugh | Pete Pihos | Steve Van Buren | Alex Wojciechowicz
Team Histories: Philadelphia Eagles | Washington Redskins
Highest scoring games in NFL history

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