’62 Packers one of SOM’s
Most Dominant Teams Ever
By Glenn Guzzo
The 13-1 Packers deserve a place in a list of greatest Strat-O-Matic teams ever. And they may stand alone as the most mistake-free team:
n No non-mandatory penalties (only the standard “Offsides*” and “Offsetting penalties” that appear on every team card.
n No blocked punt.
n Running-back fumbles of 2 guessed Right and none guessed Wrong.
n With an interception rate of 3.1 in an era when regular quarterbacks were 5 percent and higher, Bart Starr is almost interception-free (Right: 2-3 Flat Pass, 2-4 Short Pass, 2-5 Long Pass on 11 rolls).
Add these other virtues:
n In an era when field-goal kickers were often inaccurate, Jerry Kramer is the best among the six carded ’62 teams, hitting 2-10 through the 22-yard line and 2-8 from 23-32 – all solid enough by today’s standards.
n Kickoff returner Herb Adderley has a touchdown on #4.
n Starr also completed 62.5 percent of his passes and averaged a very impressive 8.6 yards per pass. Guessed Wrong, he completes all Flat Passes except the #11 interception chance, 21 of 36 chances Short and 15 chances Long.
n In the one season when Jimmy Brown failed to gain 1,000 yards rushing,
n The Packer defense is rated Excellent vs. both the run and the pass, for good reason. It boasts six 6s (two linemen, two linebackers, two defensive backs) and four 5s.
n There’s plenty of pass rush: DLE Willie Davis is (2*) 12, DRE Bill Quinlan and RLB Bill Forester are 10s and DRT Henry Jordan and LLB Dan Currie are 8s.
n The Pack causes frequent turnovers (e.g. 2-9 fumble Off Tackle with 0 linebackers in the zone and
The ’62 Lions pass rush is awesome. DLE Darris McCord and DRE Sam Williams are (8*) 12 and (4*) 12, respectively, to lead the charge. Defensive tackles Alex Karras (10) and Roger Brown (8) can sack and stop the run – both are 6s. RLB Wayne Walker is a 10 pass rusher, MLB Joe Schmidt is an 8 and LLB Carl Brettschneider is a 6.
The entire Lions defense is formidable. With five 6s (Karras, Brown, Schmidt, LCB Night Train Lane and FS Yale Lary) and five 5s, they are just a step behind
What the NFL Has Learned (and Lost) Since 1962
Strat-O-Matic’s 1962 re-creation teaches us that the extreme turnovers created by the Packers and Lions defenses are more the norm for an era that was much more high risk-high reward than the smash-mouth football we might have expected of the National Football League more than 40 years ago.
The six carded teams for 1962 (four NFL, two AFL) also include these fumble ratings (all for defensive cards Off Tackle with 0 linebackers in the zone):
In 2005, only
Similarly, interception rates were stratospheric in 1962 compared to today, when a 3 percent rate is merely average.
Yes, that Blanda card is scary: Interceptions guessed Right on
But Blanda also threw 27 touchdown passes (
A wide receiver in 1962 who averaged less than 15 yards per catch wasn’t much of a threat. The Giants had a pair of 20-plus-yards-per-catch WRs, Frank Gifford and Del Shofner. Every one of these six teams have at least two receivers with Long Gains on their cards and all but the Bears and Lions have a running back who can catch deep passes.
The deeper passes shows up notably in QB Short Pass columns. Today, a majority of passer cards lack a
Pro football had advanced to unlimited substitutions by 1962, but not the specialization we see today. In 1962, offensive and defensive players played every down, and often saw double duty on special teams.
There were no pass-rush specialists. The six carded teams combined have exactly one defensive sub who has a higher pass-rush rating than 0 (
Only two sub defensive backs rate as high as 4:
There were no third-down backs, although a couple might be used that way by clever Strat coaches.
There were no kicking specialists.
Among place kickers, Kramer is a starting guard.
So, too with the return men. The only specialist is