Buffalo Bills Great Thurman Thomas’ First Game Ever

Thurman Thomas was a key member of the Buffalo Bills teams that dominated the AFC in the early 1990s. He was equally good at rushing and receiving. His ability to catch balls out of the backfield was something that opposing defenses had a hard time trying to scheme against.

It was on September 4, 1988 in the Bills first game of the season that Thurman Thomas took the field in the NFL for the very first time. The final score that day showed Buffalo defeating the visiting Minnesota Vikings 13-10.

In that game, Thurman Thomas would score the first touchdown of the game to put the Bills up 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. This also meant he was the first Buffalo player to score a TD that season. He finished the game having carried the ball 18 times for 86 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes that day from Jim Kelly for a total of 27 yards.

Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Houston Texans

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Houston had experienced a rough time relating to professional football before the Texans came along. The Houston Oilers had been the toast of the town and a much loved pro football franchise from their inception as one of the original American Football League teams through the days of Bum Phillips and Earl Campbell and into the more modern times of Warren Moon. When the Oilers moved to Tennessee, eventually becoming the Titans, following the 1996 season it devastated the local fans. After several years of negotiations, Houston was selected as the site for an expansion football team that would begin play in 2002. That expansion team would be the Houston Texans. Here is a look at five things you probably don’t know about the Houston Texans.

1. The first touchdown scored in the history of the Houston Texans franchise came on the third play in their first game and was a pass from rookie quarterback David Carr to tight end Billy Miller.

2. The Houston Texans became the first expansion franchise to send more than one player to the Pro Bowl in 2002 when both defensive lineman Gary Walker and defensive back Aaron Glenn were so honored.

3. In the 2007 NFL Draft the Houston Texans selected the youngest player ever taken in the draft, Amobi Okoye who was nineteen years old at the time.

4. During the 2008 season, Houston Texans rookie Steve Slaton rushed for 1,282 yards, more than any other running back selected in the 2008 NFL Draft, even though ten other running backs were picked ahead of him that year.

5. When coming up with a team name, the Houston franchise narrowed it down to five possibilities before choosing Texans. The other four names on the list were the Apollos, Bobcats, Stallions and Wildcatters.

The Houston franchise is not the first pro football team to use the nickname Texans, in fact the Kansas City Chiefs began their existence in the American Football League as the Dallas Texans. The current Texans though have already established themselves as a treasure in the city of Houston and are an integral part of the city’s life. Maybe because of the community’s experience with losing the Oilers, but the Houston Texans are highly valued by the citizens of Houston and look to have a long and successful future in the National Football League.

Oklahoma Sooners Quarterbacks Taken In The NFL Draft

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The Oklahoma Sooners have had an exceptionally successful football team for decades. Year in and year out they almost always seem like a team that others have to take seriously. They have not though always been built around a great quarterback. In fact, here is a look at the only quarterbacks from the University of Oklahoma to ever be taken in the NFL Draft.

Jack Jacobs – 1942 – Rams – 2nd Round
Known as a skilled thrower and punter, Jack Jacobs spent his early pro career with the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers, before moving north of the border and starring for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. In 1963, Jacobs was enshrined in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Eddie Crowder – 1953 – Giants – 2nd Round
Following a very successful career at Oklahoma, Eddie Crowder played one season of football with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. After that, he immediately went into coaching and would eventually be known for bringing the Colorado Buffaloes back to prominence.

Jimmy Harris – 1957 – Eagles – 5th Round
Jimmy Harris was the starting quarterback for Oklahoma during much of the school’s famous 47 game winning streak. In the NFL, he switched to defensive back and in five seasons played for the Eagles, Rams, and Cowboys. He also spent time on the roster of the Dallas Texans of the AFL.

Dave Baker – 1959 – 49ers – 1st Round
Dave Baker played defensive back, quarterback, and running back for Oklahoma during the late 1950s when the school was in the middle of its NCAA record 47 game winning streak. In the NFL, he was a defensive back with the 49ers from 1959 to 1961.

Josh Heupel – 2001 – Dolphins – 6th Round
Josh Heupel had an interesting route to Oklahoma, one that saw him first play at Weber State and Snow College. He ended up being the Heisman Trophy runner up for the Sooners in 2000 and led the team to an undefeated season and national title with a victory over Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl. He spent time in the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers organizations, though he never saw any regular season playing time.

Sam Bradford – 2010 – Rams – 1st Round
Sam Bradford was the most honored Oklahoma quarterback of all time, being named among other things the 2007 Sporting News Freshman of the Year, 2008 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, 2008 Davey O’Brien Award winner, 2008 Sammy Baugh Trophy winner, 2008 co-Sporting News Player of the Year, and of course the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner. Bradford was drafted with the number one overall pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2010.

Landry Jones – 2013 – Steelers – 4th Round
In Landry Jones’ second start ever at Oklahoma, he set a new school record with six touchdown passes in a 45-0 win over Tulsa. He went on to lead the Sooners to some big victories, including two BCS bowl game wins. In his brief NFL career, he has been a backup behind Ben Roethlisberger.

Of note:

-42 years passed between 1959 and 2001 and in all those years the Oklahoma Sooners failed to have one quarterback taken in the NFL Draft.

Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About The New York Jets

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The New York Jets franchise were one of the original American Football League teams founded when the rival league began in 1960. The team’s most famous early success came in 1968 when quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a Super Bowl victory over the NFL‘s Baltimore Colts and then delivered on that promise. Over the years, the Jets have had some great players play for them on the field including Namath, Don Maynard, John Riggins, Joe Klecko, Art Monk, Greg Buttle, Wayne Chrebet, Boomer Esiason, Brett Favre, mark Gastineau, Aaron Glenn, Bruce Harper, James Hasty, Johnny Hector, Keyshawn Johnson, Mo Lewis, Marty Lyons, Curtis Martin, Lance Mehl, Freeman McNeil, Rob Moore, Richard Todd, Ken O’Brien, Chad Pennington, Pat Ryan, Abdul Salaam, Vinny Testaverde, Al Toon, Wesley Walker, Laveranues Coles, and Ty Law. Here are five things you probably know about the New York Jets.

1. One of the early faces of the franchise, and one of the most famous New York Jets players ever, was quarterback Joe Namath. Namath was drafted by the Jets in the 1965 AFL Draft out of the University of Alabama. If he had not chosen to play in the AFL he may have played his career as the quarterback of the St. Louis Cardinals as they were the team that picked him in the NFL Draft.

2. When the New York Jets franchise originally began play, not only were they known as the New York Titans, but their team colors were also blue and gold.

3. In the 1998 NFL playoffs, New York Jets wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson saw actions as a defensive back and ended up snagging an interception.

4. When the Jets played the Patriots in December of 2005, Vinny Testaverde was the quarterback for New York while veteran Doug Flutie was the quarterback for New England. This was the first time in NFL history that two quarterbacks over the age of forty competed against each other in a regular season game.

5. The first New York Jets player to gain more than 1,000 yards rushing in a season was running back John Riggins in 1975.

The New York Jets have a loyal following and some of the most rabid fans in the National Football League. The team has experienced a number of different successful eras, but has also suffered through some low times as well. While not always finishing at or near the top of the league, the Jets have participated in a number of memorable moments, games and seasons. The New York Jets are one of the better stories each and every year in the National Football League.

Rookie Running Backs And Their 100 Yard Games Against The Buffalo Bills

Being a rookie running back in the NFL is tough enough what with all the pressure to perform at a high level. The Buffalo Bills have been in pro football since 1960, first in the AFL and since 1970 as part of the NFL. How many rookie running backs have had 100 yard games against them during that time?

The answer is 29.

Fun Facts:

-The first rookie running back to have a 100 yard game against the Bills was Dave Smith of the Houston Oilers in both teams’ first year in football, 1960.

-Curtis Martin is the only rookie running back to ever have two 100 yard games against the Bills in the same rookie season, doing so as a member of the Patriots in 1995.

-The oldest rookie to ever rush for more than 100 yards against the Bills was Michael LeBlanc of the Patriots who was 25 years and 159 days old and playing in the NFL during the labor troubled 1987 season.

-The youngest rookie to ever rush for more than 100 yards against Buffalo is Clinton Portis who did it at the age of 21 years and 21 days old while with the Broncos in 2002.

-Against Edgerrin James and the Colts in 1999 was the first and so far only time the Bills gave up 100 yards rushing to a rookie on opening day.

-Players who gained 100 yards or more in a game against the Bills and would eventually go on to make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame include Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson, Franco Harris, and Curtis Martin.

-The Patriots have had more rookie running backs gain 100 or more yards against the Bills than any other team. They have had five players do it a total of six times. Martin did it twice in 1995 and Michael LeBlanc did it once in 1987. Others to do it include BenJarvus Green-Ellis in 2008, Leonard Russell in 1991, and John Stephens in 1988.

10 Fun Facts About The TD Passes Of Warren Moon

Warren Moon was a Hall of Fame quarterback that took an interesting path during his career. Starting out in the Canadian Football League before finding a home with the Houston Oilers, he would go on to set several team and league records while running one of the high powered offenses of the era. Here is a look at 10 fun facts about Warren Moon and the touchdown passes he threw.

-In a loss to the Raiders on September 2nd, 1984, Warren Moon threw his very first TD pass. It came in the second quarter, went for 10 yards, and was caught by Mike Holston.

-That TD pass, the first of his NFL career, was the only one he would end up throwing to Mike Holston.

-Warren Moon finished his career throwing 291 touchdown passes. He threw 196 while with the Oilers, 58 playing for the Vikings, 36 playing with the Seahawks, and one while playing for the Chiefs.

-The most TD passes Warren Moon would throw in a season was 33. He did this twice, first in 1990 and then again in 1995.

-The team Warren Moon would throw the most touchdown passes against while in the NFL was the Cincinnati Bengals with a total of 37.

-11 of Warren Moon’s 291 career TD passes were thrown in Monday Night Football games.

-Warren Moon threw more TD passes in the second quarter during his career, a total of 105, than he did in any other quarter of play. He also threw 43 in the first quarter, 67 in the third quarter, 74 in the fourth quarter, and two in overtime.

-The top five targets for Warren Moon touchdown passes were Drew Hill with 43, Ernest Givins with 40, Haywood Jeffires with 30, Cris Carter with 26, and Curtis Duncan with 19.

-Warren Moon threw touchdown passes to 41 different players during his NFL career.

-In an Oilers win over the Chiefs in 1990, Warren Moon threw the longest TD pass of his career, an 87 yarder to Haywood Jeffires.

Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Philadelphia Eagles

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The Philadelphia Eagles were founded in 1933 as a replacement franchise after the Frankford Yellow Jackets failed due to bankruptcy. Some of the league’s biggest names played for the Eagles in the early days including Steve Van Buren, Chuck Bednarik, Sonny Jurgensen, Tommy McDonald, Pete Pihos and Norm Van Brocklin. The Eagles have come close to playing for the NFL title in recent years, but their only actual titles occurred quite some time ago when they won back-to-back titles in 1948 and 1949 and then also won it all in 1960. Here is a look at five things you probably don’t know about the Philadelphia Eagles.

1. The only loss in a championship game ever suffered by legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi came in the 1960 NFL Championship Game at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. The last pass completed by legendary Eagles quarterback Roman Gabriel went to Vince Papale who would later be played by actor Mark Wahlberg in the 2006 Disney movie titled ‘Invincible’.

3. Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Bill Bradley was the first NFL player to ever lead the league in interceptions two seasons in a row.

4. The Philadelphia Eagles were the first, and so far only, NFL team to win back-to-back NFL Championship Games while holding the opponent to no points. The Eagles defeated the Chicago Cardinals 7-0 in the 1948 championship game and then won the 1949 NFL title game by a score of 14-0 over the Los Angeles Rams.

5. Before the 1996 season, the Philadelphia Eagles changed their official colors from Kelly Green to Midnight Green.

The Philadelphia Eagles have one of the longer team histories in all of the National Football League. During their more than seven decades in professional football they have been involved in many of the most memorable moments in the league. The Eagles have had a number of important players over the years, many who have gone on to become somewhat legendary. The team is an important part of the city of Philadelphia and will remain so for quite some time.

15 Fun Facts About John F. Kennedy Stadium In Philadelphia

John F. Kennedy Stadium was an important part of the sports and entertainment landscape of Philadelphia for a very long time. It hosted some incredible games and memorable moments from the sports world. It also was home to some big name concerts over the years too.

Here is a look at some fun facts and little known info about John F. Kennedy Stadium which once graced Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

-The stadium opened in 1926 as Sesquicentennial Stadium and was quickly renamed Philadelphia Municipal Stadium. It then changed it’s name in 1964 in memory of John F. Kennedy who had been assassinated the previous year.

-John F. Kennedy Stadium was closed in the summer of 1989 and was later demolished in 1992.

-The stadium was home to the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League from 1936 to 1939 and then again in 1941.

-The American portion of the historic Live Aid concert of 1985 was hosted at JFK Stadium.

-The Liberty Bowl that is now played in Memphis, Tennessee got it’s start in Philadelphia in Philadelphia Municipal Stadium. It was played there from 1959 to 1963 before moving for one year to Atlantic City and then on to Memphis.

-Some of the many notable musical acts to perform at John F. Kennedy Stadium included The Beatles, Peter Frampton, The J. Geils Band, The Supremes, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rolling Stones, Foreigner, Blondie, The Clash, The Who, Santana, Journey, Sammy Hagar, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, and Sting.

-Judy Garland’s last concert in America took place at JFK Stadium in 1968.

-The last concert performance there was given by the Grateful Dead in 1989 with Bruce Hornsby & The Range as the opening act. The last song played in the stadium was Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

-From 1936 to 1979, Philadelphia Municipal Stadium and later John F. Kennedy Stadium was home to the yearly Army-Navy college football game.

-The stadium was home to two notable professional heavyweight championship boxing matches during it’s lifetime. In 1926 Gene Tunney won the title from Jack Dempsey there and in 1952 an undefeated Rocky Marciano knocked out Jersey Joe Walcott there.

-A second professional football team called the stadium home in 1974 when the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League played there.

-During parts of the 1970’s and 1980’s, John F. Kennedy Stadium served as the practice field for the Philadelphia Eagles while they played their games at Veterans Stadium.

-The first football team to call the stadium home were the Philadelphia Quakers of the original American Football League in 1926.

-The stadium was also home to the Frankford Yellow Jackets of the NFL in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s until that team folded.

-The Wells Fargo Center now sits on the site that was once JFK Stadium.

10 Fun Facts About The Liberty Bowl

The Liberty Bowl is one of the older college bowl games still being played. It has a long history that includes showing off some great players, great teams, and great match ups. College bowl season is something special for fans of college football and the Liberty Bowl has been a big part of it.

Here is a look at some fun facts and little known info about the Liberty Bowl.

-The first Liberty Bowl was played in 1959 and saw Penn State defeat Alabama by the score of 7-0.

-Mississippi is tied for the most Liberty Bowl appearances with four and is the only team to amass four victories in the history of the bowl game.

-The Liberty Bowl started off being played in Philadelphia from 1959 to 1963. It was then moved to Atlantic City in 1964. In 1965 it was moved to Memphis where it has been ever since.

-The most points ever scored by one team in the Liberty Bowl was 47. This happened in 1969 when the Colorado Buffaloes defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 47-33.

-The 1964 Liberty Bowl was the first bowl game ever to be played indoors. It was played in the Convention Hall on grass laid out over a concrete floor separated only by a layer of burlap.

-In 2004, Boise State lost to Louisville in the Liberty Bowl by the score of 44-40. This was the highest score ever put up by a losing team in the history of the game.

-Two of the first four Liberty Bowls were shutouts. Besides Penn State beating Alabama 7-0 in the first one, the fourth one featured Oregon State defeating Villanova 6-0. Since then there have been four more shutouts with USC defeating Texas A&M 20-0 in 1975, Mississippi beating Air Force 13-0 in 1992, Illinois defeating East Carolina 30-0 in 1994, and Utah beating Southern Miss 17-0 in 2003.

-Every Liberty Bowl has been played in the month of December except for two. The 2009 and 2010 Liberty Bowls were both played on January 2nd.

-Some of the players who have won the MVP of the Liberty Bowl and gone on to distinguish themselves in professional football or otherwise gain fame include Dick Hoak, Ernie Davis, Joe Ferguson, Randy White, Ricky Bell, James Wilder, Mark Hermann, Doug Flutie, Bo Jackson, and Adalius Thomas.

-The Liberty Bowl has played in three different stadiums: John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia (at the time known as Philadelphia Municipal Stadium), Convention Hall in Atlantic City, and Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis.

Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Pittsburgh Steelers

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With six Super Bowl trophies in their trophy case, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a solid claim at being one of the best pro football franchises ever. The Steelers have not always experienced this type of success though as there was an extended period of subpar play that began when they first took the field as the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1933, and extended up until the 1970s. The mid-1970s Steelers made quite an impact though, winning four Super Bowls in a span of six years. Since that time, the Steelers have been a team that all other NFL squads have had to take seriously. Here are five things you probably don’t know about the Pittsburgh Steelers.

1. The first wide receiver to win the Super Bowl MVP Award was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Lynn Swann.

2. Steelers quarterback and Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw’s last touchdown pass of his career came against the New York Jets in a 1983 road game. This would be the last NFL touchdown pass completed in New York City as the Jets would begin playing their home games in New Jersey the very next year.

3. Only 49ers great Steve Young has more career rushing touchdows as a quarterback than former Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart.

4. Mike Webster was the longtime center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, eventually earning enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also has the distinction of being named the starting center on both the 1970s NFL All Decade Team as well as the 1980s NFL All Decade Team.

5. In the entire history of the Pittsburgh Steelers, dating back to 1933, the team has only posted one winless season. That year of no victories came in 1943 when because of worker shortages related to World War II they had combined their roster with the Chicago Cardinals and gone 0-10.

The Steelers have had a long and colorful history in the National Football League, they have finished on both the top and bottom of the league standings. The team has also had some great players over the years including Elbie Nickel, Ernie Stautner, Andy Russell, Jack Butler, Terry Bradshaw, Jerome Bettis, Mean Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Rocky Bleier, Bennie Cunningham, Dwight White, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Franco Harris, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, Hines Ward, Joey Porter, Mel Blount, Greg Lloyd, Ben Roethlisberger, Larry Brown, Mike Webster, Donnie Shell, Rod Woodson and Troy Polamalu, and Gary Anderson. Without a doubt, the Steelers will go on being one of the more important franchises in the NFL for many years to come.