Throwback Game of the Week - ARI @ DET

12/23/2009

Week 15: Arizona at Detroit

The Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions are two of the oldest teams in the National Football League. The Chicago Cardinals were one of the charter NFL franchises in 1920. The team would later move to St. Louis in 1960 before it headed out west to Arizona in 1988. The Lions’ start in the NFL began in 1930 when the Portsmouth Spartans took the field. The team, located in a small Ohio town on the banks of the Ohio River, later moved to the Motor City in 1934. The two clubs have met regularly since that time but have never crossed paths in the playoffs. The Lions sport a 31-23-5 record over the Cards.

First Time:
Oct. 5, 1930 – The first meeting between these two historic franchises was one for the record books when the Cards traveled to Portsmouth. An approximate crowd of 6,500 spectators watched the two teams battle to a 0-0 tie, an NFL record for fewest points scored.

Last Time:
Nov. 11, 2007 – Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and tight end Leonard Pope each tallied a pair of touchdown receptions to help lead the Cardinals to a 31-21 win over the Lions. Detroit wide receiver Roy Williams did his best to give his team a victory as he registered two TD receptions of his own. Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby led his defense with two interceptions and a forced fumble.

Hall of Fame Members
The Cardinals and Lions both have healthy representation in the Hall of Fame. Arizona has 11 long-time members in the grid shrine and Detroit has 13 long-time members represented in bronze. Both teams have five other members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who played briefly with them.

Enshrinees by team>>>

Records found in the NFL Record Book
Detroit tied a 35-year-old NFL record for most safeties in a season (4) in 1962. The mark was first set by the Cleveland Bulldogs in 1927. Since that time, the mark has been matched by Seattle (1993), San Francisco (1996) and Tennessee (1999).

Arizona is on top of the NFL record book for most field goals in a season. The record mark was set in 2005 when the Cardinals successfully converted 43 field goal attempts, besting the old mark by four.

Throwback Game
Dec. 21, 1975

Terry Metcalf finished the 1975 season with 43 receptions for 368 yards and rushed for over 800 yards when playing out of the backfield.

This was a rare game in which all the stars seemed to align for the St. Louis Cardinals. Heading into the match, the “Big Red” had won an impressive 10 games and had captured their second consecutive NFC Eastern Division championship. The Detroit Lions, on the other hand, which were the proud inhabitants of a sparkling new Pontiac Stadium, reeled off a 6-3 record to start the season before the wheels came off the tracks down the stretch.

The major headliners of the day were Cardinals running back Terry Metcalf, who in only his third season in the NFL, gained 127 yards in total offense to establish a new league record of 2,462 combined net yards in a season. Metcalf was first to put points on the board when he scored on a 14-yard run in the first quarter to put his team up 7-0. The other big contributor on the day was running back Jim Otis who ran for a total of 69 yards to raise his season-long rushing stats to 1,076, a Cardinals record and enough to land Otis on top of the NFC’s rushing leaders.

They weren’t the only Cardinals with significant performances in the game. Cardinals’ rookie running back Jerry Latin ran for 112 yards on 15 carries, including a 57-yard TD run in the third quarter to give his team a 21-7 advantage. The TD run, Latin’s only one of the season, proved to be the NFC’s longest scoring run in 1975.

Lions running back Dexter Bussey led the charge for his team. He ran for 75 yards on 10 carries and also chipped in with 3 receptions for 44 yards. His 32-yard TD run in the third quarter pulled the Lion within seven points.

The Cardinals, however prevailed with a 24-13 win and franchise record-tying 11th win. St. Louis' 21 first downs in the game upped the team’s season total to 276, another franchise mark. The game also put the finishing touches on a club record 4,955 net yards for the season.

St. Louis 7 7 7 3 - 24
Detroit 0 0 7 6 - 13
A– 64,656
 
StL – Metcalf 14 run  (Bakken kick)
StL – Crump 64 block field goal (Bakken kick)
Det – Bussey 32 run (Mann kick)
StL – Latin 57 run (Bakken kick)
StL – Bakken 24 field goal
Det – Briscoe 23 pass from Reed (kick failed)
 


Game program cover
| Official Gamebook (PDF)
 

More Cardinals & Lions on Profootballhof.com
Team Histories
Arizona | Detroit

Photos
Cardinals Hall of Famers
Cardinals Wide Receivers
Lions Hall of Famers
Lions RBs

Artifacts
Charley Trippi earns MVP in 1945 College All-Star Game
Terry Metcalf jersey
Barry Sanders reaches 2,000 yards
Joe Schmidt helmet

Some other stories on Cardinals & Lions
1953 Championship Game - Cleveland vs. Detroit
Trippi goes No. 1
The first playoff game
Lions boast two of the eight Heisman winners to earn induction in Canton
Thanksgiving - Detroit Tradition
The Dream Backfield
 

2009 Throwback Game of the Week archive>>>

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