scored the game winning TD and rushed for 159 yards to earn Game MVP
honors. The Cards defeat the Eagles in the NFL Championship.
NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
14 Chicago C 28 @ Philadelphia
On paper, this game looked like a mismatch. Philadelphia had the #1 offense in the league and the #1 scoring offense. They had the league's leading rusher in Steve Van Buren and the league's leading passer in Tommy Thompson. They boasted the #1 overall defense, the #1 scoring defense, the #1 defense against the run, and the #1 defense against the pass. In the first week of the season, the Eagles easily defeated Chicago 31-7 in the Cardinals home park.
This game started out much like the previous one. An 18yd punt return by Bosh Pritchard set the Eagles up at the Chicago 35 and it took Thompson only one play to find Pete Pihos alone in the endzone for a 7-0 lead. The Cardinals came right back with their own 35yd scoring pass from Mallouf to Max Kutner to tie the game at 7-7. Early in the 2nd quarter after a 21yd punt return by Pritchard gave Philly great field position at midfield, Thompson found Pihos again over the middle for a 32yd gain. This setup an 11yd run by Jack Myers that gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead. With less than 30secs to go in the half, Philadelphia added a 23yd Patton field goal to stretch their lead to 17-7. Cardinal fans got a brief moment of hope when Charlie Trippi scampered around right end for 59 yards to the Eagle 15, but Pat Harder's 22yd field goal attempt was wide left. Halftime score: Eagles 17 Cardinals 7.
The second half started out much like the first. The Cardinals went 3 and out, then Philadelphia drove 72 yards for another score with 59 of the 72 yards coming on the ground. Noble Doss dove in from inches away to boost the Eagles lead to 24-7. With the game taking on all the characteristics of another rout, Chicago's pride kicked in and they put together a 15 play 66 yard drive to cut the lead to 24-14 one play into the 4th quarter. Pat Harder scored on a 4th and 1 to keep the Cardinals hopes of pulling this one out alive. Chicago's defense forced a 3 and out, then Ray Mallouf led the Cardinals on a 13 play 80yd scoring drive to pull his team to within 3. Most of the yardage came on the arm of Mallouf who hit Elmer Angsman from 15yds out for the touchdown. The momentum had clearly swung in Chicago's favor, but the Eagles could only manage another 3 and out. The Cardinals season came down to a 4th and 5 from the Philadelphia 31. Mallouf found Charlie Trippi over the middle, and he bolted 31yds to the endzone for the go ahead score. Philadelphia got the ball back with about 90 secs to try and pull this game from the ashes of defeat. Thompson completed 2 passes to the Chicago 35, but then Vince Banonis picked him off at the 26 to give the Cardinals the championship.
Charlie Trippi was named the MVP of the game for scoring the winning touchdown and gaining 159yds from scrimmage (80yds rushing & 79yds receiving). But sportswriters gave the hero's mantel to Ray Mallouf who completed 17 of 28 passes for 274yds and 3 touchdowns against the league's best pass defense. The goat horns had to go to Tommy Thompson who completed just 8 of 23 passes for 187yds with one touchdown and the game ending interception. Sharing the horns with Thompson was Philadelphia's #1 defense which surrendered 413 total yards after averaging just 202 for the season.
rushed for 118 yards and scored 4 TDs to help Cleveland capture the
1949 AAFC Championship.
18 Recap: Championship
18 San Francisco 28 at Cleveland 34 OT
The Cleveland Browns are champions of the AAFC after a thrilling 34-28
overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers. Marion Motley rushed for 53
yards in the overtime period and scored the game winning touchdown to walk
away with the MVP honors. The game started out good for Cleveland as they
forced a fumble at the SF 36, but it quickly turned when Otto Graham's
first pass was picked off by Lowell Wagner and run back to the Brown's 7.
That setup a 3yd pass to Alyn Beals and a 7-0 lead for 49ers. Later in the
period, a short punt gave SF the ball at the Cleveland 43. It took only 4
plays to reach the endzone on an 11yd pass from Frankie Albert to Paul
Salata. Down 14-0, the Browns finally woke up and drove 67 yards in just 5
plays to cut the lead in half. Graham connected on 2 passes to Mac Speedie
for 48yds and scrambled the final 11yds himself. Late in the 2nd quarter,
SF threatened again at the 35, but Warren Lahr intercepted Albert's pass
at the 25. Graham only needed 2 plays this time as he hit Dante Lavelli
for 47 and Motley for a 28yd score to tie the game.
Neither team had a scoring opportunity in the 3rd quarter, but the
fireworks started in the 4th. Cleveland took a 21-14 lead after Motley
capped a 67 yard drive with a 6yd run. Minutes later, San Francisco tied
the game on an 11yd Albert to Perry connection which was setup by a 31yd
punt return from Sammy Cathcart. The Browns responded to that score with
an 84yd drive that ended with Graham hitting Motley from 12yds out. With
just over 2:00 minutes remaining, Albert took the Niners straight down the
field where he connected with Cathcart on a 13yd scoring strike at the
0:18 mark to send the game into overtime. But that was as close as the
49ers would get. Cleveland won the toss in overtime and after Graham hit
Speedie for 24yds to their own 47, Motley covered the final 53yds on 3
runs to end the game.
Marion Motley was the unanimous choice for the hero's mantel. He
carried 16 times for 118yds and 2tds and caught 2 passes for 40yds and
2tds. Other notable performances for Cleveland were Otto Graham (18 of 34
for 341yds, 1int and 2tds), Mac Speedie (5 catches for 102yds), and Dante
Lavelli (4 catches for 88yds). For San Francisco, Frankie Albert (4
touchdown passes) and Sammy Cathcart (3 punt returns for 74yds, 1
receiving touchdown) had outstanding games in a losing cause. The goat
horns were difficult to hand out after such a great game, but the
sportswriters finally decided to give them to the 49ers #2 ranked defense
which surrendered 544 yards or 246 yards more than their season average.
caught 8 passes as Green Bay rolled to 24-10 win over Cleveland.
6 New York (N) @ Chicago B
6 Washington @ Brooklyn
6 Pittsburgh 10 @ Philadelphia 9
6 Cleveland 10 @ Green Bay 24
6 Chicago C 13 @ Detroit 10
Commish Chad Weyenberg:
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