Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14, 1943: The Sid Luckman Show

On November 14, 1943, in a  56-7 win over the Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York, Chicago Bears legend Sid Luckman became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 7 touchdown passes in one game. The touchdown pass record was not the only one to fall that day, Luckman and the Bears would break a total of six different records before the game was in the books. The 7 touchdown passes surpassed Washington's Sammy Baugh's record of 6 that had been set in a game earlier that season. Luckman also went 21 for 32 and a record setting 433 yards through the air, the previous record was held by Green Bay quarterback Cecil Bell who threw for 333 yards in a game for the Green Bay Packers one season earlier. The Bears broke the record for most total yards with 682 and the most passing yards in a game with 488. The final 55 passing yards came on the last touchdown of the contest when backup quarterback Bob Snyder connected on a long touchdown pass. Snyder was also the team's placekicker and his eight extra points broke a record that was set by Washington's Riley Smith in 1937, he also equaled Don Hutson's record of 33 straight extra point conversions. The true story of the day was the Sid Luckman show, it was witnessed by more than 56,000 fans in New York. Jim Benton and Hampton Pool caught two touchdowns apiece while Connie Berry, George Wilson, and Harry Clark all hauled in one on the day. The Bears scored 14 points in each quarter. The 7 touchdown day by Luckman was part of a legendary season, it is widely considered the greatest season of all time by a quarterback. He completed 110 of 202 passes for 2,194 yards and 28 touchdowns that led to a 107.5 passer rating. Several single season records he set along the way still stand today, his 13.9% touchdown rate, 10.9 yards per completion, and  his 19.9 yards per pass completion  are all #1 on the all time list. Since that day in '43 6 other men have joined Luckman in the 7 touchdown passes in a game club. Before the 2013 season the number of men in that club was just 5 and  the feat hadn't been accomplished since Joe Kapp of the Minnesota Vikings fired 7 in 1969. Denver's Peyton Manning joined the exclusive club by starting off the 2013 season with a 7 touchdown game then Philadelphia's Nick Foles joined the short list of men on November 3rd.  Luckman set the bar, a handful have reached it, but none have yet to surpass it. He will always be the first man to accomplish the legendary feat.

If you would like to read more about the Hall of Famer's career check this out: and this is a great video about the game as well:

The day also included another great game in which Washington's Sammy Baugh not only threw for 4 touchdown passes he also intercepted 4 balls in a 42-20 win over Detroit. This was the fact from last year on this date. You can read about it here:
Luckman's Bears would go onto beat Baugh and the Redskins in the Championship Game

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