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Al Dorow, an extraordinarily adroit young man with the temperament of a river boat gambler, has taken a large hand in scrambling the standings in the National Football League during the past several weeks. The Washington Redskins, who had been in the doldrums when early injuries deprived them of two key backs—Eddie Le-Baron and Vic Janowicz—have suddenly developed a cohesive attack to match their fine defense. And the man most responsible is Dorow, a three-year veteran used sparingly his first two seasons but who has matured rapidly under the pressure of full-time quarterbacking. The Washington team exploded suddenly and thoroughly Sunday, blistering the New York Giants 33-7 in their best offensive effort of the season.
Behind this new surge of the Redskins is a series of developments. The club was strong throughout the training period until LeBaron twisted a knee in practice and Dorow, his replacement, was injured in an automobile accident. Deprived of an experienced quarterback, the Redskins had to depend much too heavily on their defense as the season opened. However, they picked up Tommy Runnels, a good rookie halfback from the Rams, and Dick James, another rookie, developed rapidly. Then, when James was hurt, the team got Billy Wells back from service. By the time Dorow returned to action, the timing and precision of the offense began to fall into place until by last Sunday it was as good as it had been when the two quarterbacks were injured.
Now tied with the Chicago Cardinals in the loss column, the Redskins are in a position to overhaul the Giants when the two teams square off in Yankee Stadium on December 2. With their offense at top operating efficiency, the Redskins must be rated an even choice with New York and Chicago for the Eastern Conference title.
The Cleveland Browns, after stumbling through early games while searching for an adequate replacement for Otto Graham, may have found one in Tommy O'Connell, the onetime Illinois star who threw a scoring pass in the Browns 16-0 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles and also directed the Brown running capably. The Brown defense, which had sagged a bit during the long offensive drought, seems to have returned to normalcy. The Eagles could gain a total of only 71 yards against them—68 running and 3 passing. Although the Browns—for the first time in the club's history—seem out of the running for the division championship, they hold the key to the title during the next four weeks, when they play each of the three contenders, beginning with Washington next week. They close the season with successive games against the Giants in New York and the Cardinals in Cleveland.
The Pittsburgh Steelers found the answer to the running power of the Chicago Cardinals' split-T attack. In a 14-7 upset Sunday, the Steelers limited the Cardinals' Ollie Matson to 13 yards in 13 carries, twice halting Cardinal drives inside the ten. A seven-man line choked off the Cardinal power, with the fine play of George Tarasovic at left end especially instrumental in containing Matson's usually explosive sweeps. The Steelers, hampered by injuries to brilliant rookie Lowell Perry and equally brilliant veteran Lynn Chandnois, came up with a surprise offensive package in Lou Baldacci. The ex-Michigan University right half, subbing for Chandnois, made a shambles of the Card defense, taking pitchouts and passes from little Quarterback Ted Marchibroda. He churned 116 yards in 16 rushes and grabbed four passes for another 54 yards. The threat of Baldacci to the outside opened the Cardinal middle enough for Fullback Fran Rogel to gain 112 yards in 18 carries.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
The Chicago Bears dusted off a weapon which has nearly disappeared from the arsenals of professional football and used it Sunday for a decisive touchdown in their 30-21 victory Over the Los Angeles Rams. Against the seven-man secondary defense now fashionable among the pros, the once important long pass has fallen into disuse. But the Bears, equipped with one of pro football's finest offensive ends in Harlon Hill and a spring-armed passer in Ed Brown, connected for an eye-popping 68-yard scoring maneuver. The fleet Hill, legging it well behind the Ram deep defenders, tucked in a prodigious heave from Brown (53 yards in the air) and scampered 15 more yards to the touchdown.
The Bears demonstrated once again the remarkable versatility and depth which marks their offense. With Scatback Perry Jeter on the sidelines with a broken bone in his ankle, the Bears dug into their well-stocked bench and came up with rookie Halfback Don Bingham. Bingham proceeded to run a hundred yards with a Ram kickoff to open the second half and give the Bears a 17-point lead. They needed the big bulge as the Rams, who have shown signs of flexing muscles long unused, rallied fiercely through the second half on the passing of Bill Wade to score three touchdowns. Oddly, the Ram attack accounted for the same yardage in the air as on the ground—226.