The Detroit Lions, spurred no doubt by their unexpected loss to the Redskins last week, demolished the Baltimore Colts 27-3 by way of retribution, thereby virtually eliminating the only club which might have horned in on the Bear-Lion stretch duel for the Western Conference championship. Big Leon Hart, trimmed down from the bulky 278 he carried as an end to a faster 250, finally played fullback as if he belonged there. The massive Notre Dame product dieted carefully from the end of last season to the beginning of this and ran three miles each morning during the summer to attain his present proportions.
The Lions, complacent the previous week in their loss to Washington, were as high for this game as they have been at any time in the past two years according to General Manager Nick Kerbawy. The fine Colt runners—rookie Lenny Moore and sophomore Alan Ameche—could just make no headway against the Lion line, which centers on ex-Giant Ray Krouse and has as much beef as any defense in the league. Halfback Gene Gedman also turned in one of his finest performances and helped Hart considerably in the Lion ground attack.
Don McIlhenny, a bright rookie prospect at halfback, returns to the Lions this week after an injury and Gil Mains, a tremendous defensive end, will be off the injury list in two more weeks. With everyone hale, the Lions should rate no worse than even money in their two climactic games with the Chicago Bears which come up in the final three weeks of the season. Thereon hangs the outcome of the Western Conference championship.
The San Francisco 49ers finally ended a five-game losing streak in the chill environs Of the Green Bay Packers' stadium by the slim margin of 17-16. It was the Packers' fourth loss in a row. A 32-yard field goal in the closing minutes by Gordy Soltau provided the 49ers with their triumph, but Leo Nomellini was equally responsible for the one-point edge. Nomellini, who is one of the best defense tackles in pro football when he cares to be, blocked a conversion attempt by the Packers' Fred Cone in the first quarter. Hugh McElhenny broke loose for 86 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter for the 49ers, confirming the belief that he is still as dangerous a runner as there is in football.