The Atlanta Falcons just trounced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game that wasn’t competitive beyond the first quarter. The red-hot Matt Ryan had a good night; receiver-return man Devin Hester set a career record with his 20th TD return. Lovie Smith and the woeful Bucs rolled over and played dead.
As one-sided as this Thursday night game played out, it is far from the most lopsided NFL game. Here are five more to make Lovie and the Bucs feel a little better.
1. Chicago Bears 73 – Washington Redskins 0 (1940)
The Redskins beat the Bears 7-3 in their previous meeting that season. After the game, Skins coach George Preston Marshall called the Bears “quitters” and “cry babies.” George Halas and his team came into the 1940 Championship game fired up, scoring on a 68-yard run less than a minute in. And it was all downhill from there. The lead was 28-0 at halftime, and kept growing in the second half when second-stringers eventually took over. The Bears amassed 381 rushing yards (519 total yards), punctuated by 7 rushing touchdowns. Story has it that officials lost so many footballs on extra points that they asked Halas to have his teams stop kicking them.
2. New York Giants 62 – Philadelphia Eagles 10 (1972)
The Giants – Eagles rivalry dates back generations, and is fueled partly by lopsided stinkers such as this. A subpar Eagles team that would manage only two wins during the 1972 season got run out of Yankee Stadium. The Giants balanced attack put up 246 yards on the ground and 257 in the air. The Eagles managed 222 total yards and gave away five turnovers. Eagles fans had nothing to give thanks for Thanksgiving weekend that year, except maybe that a dismal season would soon be over.
3. Washington Redskins 51 – Los Angeles Rams 7 (1984)
The Redskins redeemed themselves some four decades after their 73-point shellacking, burying the Rams in this 1984 divisional playoff game. The defending Super Bowl champions, behind John Riggins and the Hogs, put points on the board their first five times down the field. The score at halftime was 38-7. Riggins finished with 119 yards and three touchdowns; receiver Charlie Brown hauled in six passes for 171 yards. The Redskins’ defense, for their part, held legendary Rams RB Eric Dickerson to 16 yards rushing and nine yards receiving.
4. New York Giants 49 – San Francisco 49ers 3 (1987)
The Joe Montana-led 49ers didn’t lose many, and none of their losses were as bad as this one. In all fairness, the lopsided defeat wasn’t wholly his fault; the hall-of-fame quarterback left the game in the second quarter. The 49ers backup Jeff Kemp couldn’t do much against a ferocious Giants defense, led by Lawrence Taylor. Turnovers derailed the 49ers offense time and again. Giants QB Phil Simms managed only 134 yards on nine completions, but four of those went for Giants touchdowns.
5. New Orleans Saints 62 – Indianapolis Colts 7 (2011)
Drew Brees will be a first-ballot hall of famer five years after whenever he decides to retire. And performances like this are a major reason why. His Saints scored a franchise-record 62 points, racking up seven touchdowns in their first nine possessions. In case you’re wondering, the other two possessions resulted in field goals. Brees completed 31 of 35 attempts for 335 passing yards, five touchdowns. The Peyton Manning-less Colts were awful that season, winning only two games. And on this October day, fill-in QB Curtis Painter just couldn’t keep up.
Norm Elrod likes sports and other sanctioned forms of craziness.