Every Stat Tells a Story: Hard Luck Hampton
by Mike Tanier
(EVERY STAT TELLS A STORY is our occasional off-season feature telling the tale behind some of the strange, quirky stats that we find when poring through the NFL records researching our other articles. If you would like to recommend a weird stat or good story for this feature, please contact Mike Tanier through our contact form.)
Falcons fans and trivia experts know the story of Dave Hampton: he's the Falcons running back who reached 1,000 yards in the last game of the season in 1972, was tripped for a loss on the next play, and finished the year with 995 yards. Real trivia buffs know that he was stopped just short of 1,000 again in 1973, then finally reached the mark for the only time in his career in 1975.
The facts of Hampton's hard-luck career are strange, but the details are even stranger. Hampton's battle with the 1,000-yard barrier took him from the Packers bench to near-stardom in Atlanta, put him at ground zero for one of the ugliest coaching meltdowns in pro sports history, and forced him to live through one of the worst seasons an NFL team ever had.
Cannonballs and Profits
Hampton was never considered an elite prospect. He played on the University of Wyoming's undefeated 1967 squad, but he backed up Jim Kiick, who would go on to play for a more famous undefeated NFL team. Hampton stepped into Kiick's starting job as a senior, earned All-Conference notice, but wasn't drafted until the Packers selected him in the ninth round of the 1969 draft.
Hampton began to earn his reputation as a snakebit player a year later. He returned a kickoff 101 yards against the Vikings in 1970, only to collapse in pain at the end of the play. He needed stomach surgery and would miss the next two months of the season. He bounced back in 1971 to return kickoffs for a total of 1,314 yards, which at the time was just three yards short of the NFL record.
Hampton's return skills caught the attention of Falcons coach Norm Van Brocklin. The Falcons had been in existence for seven years but had never produced a consistent return man. Van Brocklin traded a veteran tackle to the Packers to obtain Hampton. Hampton was acquired primarily as a kick returner; veteran Jim "Cannonball" Butler, the franchise's all-time leading rusher, was entrenched as the starting running back, and former first-round pick Joe Profit was coming back from knee surgery.
Circumstances changed during training camp in 1972. Profit started some exhibition games, and while he got mixed reviews, his performance encouraged Van Brocklin to deal Butler for defensive lineman Chuck Walker. Profit would start; Hampton, who longed to start in Green Bay but didn't fit the team's power back philosophy, was second on the depth chart.
Once the season started, it became clear that Profit couldn't get the job done. He gained only 30 yards in his first two games. Hampton replaced Profit in the opener against the Bears and gained 49 yards. He relieved Profit in Week 2 against the Patriots and gained 97 yards. By Week 3, he was the starter, and it would prove to be a tough test. The Falcons were playing the Rams, a team with one of the NFL's most formidable defenses. In seven seasons of division play, the Falcons had never beaten the Rams.
Hampton rose to the challenge. He rushed for a team-record 161 yards. He scored two touchdowns, including a 56-yard off-tackle run. Fullback Art Malone added 103 yards, marking the 20th time in NFL history that two players rushed for 100 yards in one game. The Falcons crushed the Rams, and Hampton earned Player of the Week honors.
Hampton was a player on the rise, and the Falcons were suddenly potential contenders. Hampton earned some revenge against his former team by rushing for 93 yards in a 10-9 win over the Packers. The Falcons lost their rematch against the Rams, but Hampton rushed for 78 yards and scored a touchdown. He rushed for just 60 yards in a blowout win over the Saints, but he contributed with a 16-yard touchdown run and 46 receiving yards. When Malone fumbled twice in a loss to the Redskins, Hampton earned even more carries. He carried 25 times for 88 yards and two scores in a win over the Oilers.
One Yard Forward, Five Yards Back
As the year progressed, the Falcons fell out of the wild card picture. There was only one wild card team per conference that year, and by late in the year the Redskins and Cowboys were far ahead of the pack (the Cowboys would prevail). But the Falcons still had milestones to shoot for as they entered the season finale against the Chiefs. The team was gunning for its first-ever winning record, and Hampton was just 70 yards short of 1,000.
What happened in front of 58,000 Falcons fans in that final game was stranger than fiction. Hampton reached 1,000 yards on a short run early in the fourth quarter. The game was stopped so the Falcons could honor their first-ever 1,000 yard rusher. Soon after, Hampton was tripped up in the backfield on a sweep, losing five yards. He would never get those five yards back. The Chiefs got the ball back and drove 81 yards, eating up the clock before scoring a touchdown that gave them a 17-14 lead with 2:19 remaining. Hampton finished the season with 995 yards; the Falcons finished 7-7.
Hampton's torturous battle with the 1,000-yard barrier was just beginning.
The Falcons entered the 1973 season with a new quarterback (Dick Shiner) and a new sense of confidence. Hampton and Malone had proven themselves as a formidable 1-2 punch. The defense, led by linebacker Tommy Nobis and defensive end Claude Humphrey, was solid. The new franchise smell was wearing off. Van Brocklin's team started the season with a bang, beating the Saints 62-7. Hampton rushed for 107 yards in the game.
That bang became a whimper quickly as the Falcons were outscored 75-15 in three straight losses. Hampton gained 172 yards in the three games. Despite some awful performances by the offense, Van Brocklin stayed with Shiner at quarterback until he was hurt early in a Week 5 game against the Bears.
Veteran Bob Lee replaced Shiner, and the Falcons beat the Bears 46-6, embarking on a seven-game winning streak. Hampton gained 90 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the drubbing of the Bears, then 76 more yards and two more scores in a 41-0 rout of the Chargers. After gaining exactly 100 yards in a win over the Niners, Hampton reached the halfway point of the season third in the NFC with 536 rushing yards.
If you've been reading Hampton's stat lines carefully so far, you've noticed a trend. Hampton rarely cracked the century mark yards in games, even lopsided wins. He consistently gained about 75 yards per game. Malone still got a share of the carries, as did fullback Eddie Ray, whose role in the offense increased in 1973. Two-back systems were the norm in the mid-1970s, and Hampton's teammates were effective interior runners. Hampton was on pace to reach 1,000 yards, but at 75 yards per game, he was on track to nudge the barrier, not smash through it.
Hampton began to struggle, putting up stat lines like his 21-carry, 53-yard effort in a rout of the Eagles in Week 9. A 108-yard effort against the Vikings kept him among the conference leaders, but by the final week of the season he had 913 rushing yards, meaning he needed a big game against the Saints to reach 1,000.
The Falcons led 14-10 entering the fourth quarter, and they were determined to both hold the lead (the team had slim wild card chances) and get Hampton to the magic mark. Hampton was given 16 carries in the final quarter as the Falcons nursed their slim lead, but those carries weren't enough. Hampton finished the game with 27 carries and 84 yards, giving him 997 for the season. It was the best season the Falcons ever had, but they missed the playoffs despite beating the Saints, and they still didn't have a 1,000 yard rusher.
There was cause for optimism in 1974, but instead of building on their success in 1973, the Falcons embarked on one of the most miserable seasons a team has ever had.
On paper, the 1974 Falcons started the season with personnel to rival the division-powerhouse Rams. The Sporting News expected them to compete for the NFC West title. But there was trouble brewing. The 1974 off-season was a tumultuous one for the NFL. The rival World Football League signed several star players. The Players Association called a July strike. A Falcons team representative was called off the picket line after one week and told by Van Brocklin: "You and your sign have been traded to New Orleans."
Maybe it was that incident, maybe it was Van Brocklin's stern demeanor, but when the players returned to work in August, Van Brocklin had lost his Falcons. They were beaten 24-0 by the Cowboys in the season opener. After a 16-10 loss to the Niners the following week, team owner Rankin Smith suggested that Van Brocklin's job was in jeopardy.
Things deteriorated quickly. Van Brocklin kept juggling Lee with younger Pat Sullivan, but neither quarterback was effective. The blocking, despite quality linemen like Jeff Van Note and George Kunz, was awful. The defense held up to provide two wins in October, but the Falcons suffered the ultimate embarrassment soon after: a sweep at the hands of the Saints. "All the trouble started with the strike," Van Brocklin said in an obscenity-laced interview after losing 13-3 to the Saints at home. "It was an all-time low."
Unfortunately, it wasn't. Two weeks later, an angry Van Brocklin would shove a cameraman out of a hotel elevator. After the Falcons lost 42-7 to the Dolphins that week, a reporter asked Van Brocklin, who often said he was too much of a fighter to give up on his team, if he was "still a fighter."
"Get out of that chair and try me if you don't think I'm a fighter," he said. "I mean it. If anyone wants to try me, we'll stack furniture."
Van Brocklin was fired later in the week after a hostile meeting with owner Smith. Defensive coordinator Marion Campbell took over. The defense was still playing well, but the offense was now completely rudderless.
What about Hampton? He was injured early in the year, then came back to a team that had no passing game and plenty of residual bitterness from the Van Brocklin regime and the players strike. The Falcons scored just 111 points in 1974, a modern low that would later be surpassed by the 1977 Buccaneers. They never scored more than 17 points in a game. They were shut out three times and scored just 34 points in six games under Campbell. Their quarterbacks threw four touchdown passes and 31 interceptions while enduring 50 sacks.
Under the circumstances, Hampton could do little more than post four-carry, nine-yard stat lines, as he did in a 30-7 loss to the Rams. Hampton had better games than that, and he led the Falcons in rushing with 464 yards, but he was frequently out of the game plan by the second half as the Falcons endured loss after humiliating loss. The Falcons beat the Packers in the season finale, but just over 10,000 fans showed up for the game.
Labor unrest was still rampant in 1975, but the World League was already on the wane and the bitterness of Van Brocklin's exit faded in Atlanta. The team traded to move up in the draft and select quarterback Steve Bartkowski with the first overall pick. Sullivan and the criminally inept Kim McQuilken were still in the picture, but Bartkowski would quickly establish himself as the starter, bringing a measure of respectability back to the offense. Fellow rookie Alfred Jenkins and new arrival Wallace Francis gave Bartkowski two viable deep receivers.
Things were looking up for Hampton as well. Ray and Malone were gone. While new fullback Haskel Stanback got his share of the carries, Hampton became more of a modern featured back. And Bartkowski's arm kept opponents from stacking the box.
Hampton felt the benefits right away, rushing 23 times for 135 yards in a season-opening loss to the Cardinals. He added 86 yards the next week against the Lions, though Campbell made a controversial decision to pull Hampton late in the game with the Falcons nursing a three-point lead. "Dave carried the ball 21 times and needed the rest" Campbell reasoned, but the Falcons managed just 17 yards in their final four offensive series without Hampton, and the Lions came back to win.
Campbell's odd decisions and Bartkowski's elbow injuries soon slowed the Falcons offense, and a familiar pattern of 23-7 losses and 63-yard games by Hampton returned. But Hampton and the Falcons rebounded late in the year when their rookie quarterback returned to the lineup. Hampton gained 106 yards in a 35-21 win for the Broncos, and while the Falcons were cruising to another losing season, the football media was pulling for Hampton. "In the misery of a season ruined by injury to their quarterback, the Falcons should pull themselves together and try to win the rushing title for their ace, Dave Hampton," the Sporting News reported that November. "He's worth it, and they could."
After a 106-yard effort in a loss to the Raiders, Hampton was in the thick of the race for a rushing title. He added 62 yards against the Redskins. With 81 yards in a rout of the Bills, Hampton had 941 rushing yards with one game to play: against the Packers, the team that wouldn't give him a starting job four years earlier. â€œYou know I'll be juiced,â€? Hampton said of his latest tilt at the 1,000-yard dragon.
The Packers opened the game with a field goal, but Hampton answered with a seven-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The Packers followed with 19 unanswered points, and Hampton's opportunities to carry the ball dwindled as the Falcons switched to catch-up mode. At the two-minute warning, Hampton was 24 yards shy of 1,000.
Down by nine and with little hope of scoring twice in two minutes, Campbell started giving the ball to Hampton. On 2nd-and-6, Hampton ran off right tackle for 22 yards. On the next play, he gained four more yards. That gave him 1,002 for the season. There would be no repeat of 1972; Hampton was quickly removed from the game.
Jim Otis would lead the NFC in rushing with 1,078 yards, but Hampton finally reached his goal.
A Fading Legacy
That fateful game against the Packers was the beginning of the end for Hampton. In the next draft, the Falcons selected running back Bubba Bean in the first round. The rookie quickly beat out Hampton, now 29 and battered by four tough seasons as a starter. The Falcons quietly sent their all-team leading rusher to the Eagles at midseason. Hampton was mediocre for a bad Eagles team, and new coach Dick Vermeil preferred to use fullback Mike Hogan and halfback Tom Sullivan as his runners. A year later, the team would draft another undersized kick returner and halfback named Wilbert Montgomery. Hampton was out of football by the end of the 1976 season.
Before long, the Falcons rose to playoff prominence behind Bartkowski and another talented running back: William Andrews. Andrews would be followed by a string of quality rushers, from Gerald Riggs to Jamal Anderson to Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett. Hampton's legacy quietly faded, his rushing total sliding gradually down the Falcons' all-time list.
Hampton's story ends with a strange, sad coda. In 1985, he was sentenced to five years' probation and 300 hours of community service for real estate fraud. Hampton forged paperwork to borrow more money than his $95,000 home was worth. "I sentenced you to community service instead of a fine for two reasons," DeKalb Superior Court Judge Daniel M. Coursey Jr. told Hampton. "First, you're already obligated for $43,000, a substantial sum of money. Second, with your background, I think you might be able to do some good in the community with youth."
How good a back was he? Hampton only had a handful of 100-yard games in his career. The prevailing strategies of the era forced him to split carries with players like Malone and Stanback, but great backs posted far better numbers in two-back systems. His yards-per-carry averages aren't great. Still, had he managed three 1,000-yard seasons, he might have been remembered with the good second-tier runners of the 1970s like Lawrence McCutcheon.
Instead, he's a trivia question. When pouring through names in an encyclopedia, four-digit numbers stand out, three-digit numbers don't. A few yards can change a player's legacy. Hampton had those yards but lost them. That's better than never having gained them at all.
Addendum: The top running back seasons in Atlanta Falcons history, according to the essay "The Greatest Running Back Seasons of All Time" in Pro Football Prospectus 2007:
1) William Andrews, 1983 (13th overall all-time)
2) William Andrews, 1982
3) Gerald Riggs, 1985
4) William Andrews, 1980
5) Jamal Anderson, 1998
6) Craig Heyward, 1995
7) Jamal Anderson, 1996
8) Warrick Dunn, 2005
9) Cannonball Butler, 1969
10) Gerald Riggs, 1984
19) Dave Hampton, 1973
37) Dave Hampton, 1975
40) Dave Hampton, 1972
45) Dave Hampton, 1974
38 comments, Last at 23 Jun 2007, 11:34am
#1 by Just Another F… (not verified) // May 31, 2007 - 6:19pm
Great article! That 1973 win against the Vikings was Atlanta's first MNF win, and for a very long time their only MNF win. Probably the key blow in falling short in the 1973 playoff chase was not being able to contain OJ Simpson in a loss late in the season to the lowly Bills.
As an aside, William Andrews' 1983 season is interesting in that he accumulated 1500+ yards rushing with the longest run from scrimmage being 27 yards. He wasn't the fastest running back or the biggest running back, but he simply refused to allow one defender to tackle him.
#2 by sigma804 (not verified) // May 31, 2007 - 6:43pm
Great article, would love to see more historical analysis like this!
#3 by NewsToTom (not verified) // May 31, 2007 - 7:15pm
Good piece as usual, Mike. I knew the basic story, but not all the details.
Consider my appetite for PFP 2007 whetted by use of the preview of the Best Running Back Seasons feature.
#4 by MJK (not verified) // May 31, 2007 - 7:31pm
Wow, the impression that I take away from an article like this is that people who complain that there's not enough offense in the game today obviously weren't watching in the '70's.
#5 by Will Allen (not verified) // May 31, 2007 - 7:54pm
Great article. Norm Van Brocklin was a HORRIBLE coach who displayed the same outsized weaknesses with the Vikings. Going from Van Brocklin to Bud Grant may have been one of the greatest changes in coaching, both in terms of demeanor and competence, in NFL history.
Minor quibble. Claude Humphrey was a HOF-caliber (yet to be inducted, alas) defensive end, not a linebacker.
#6 by Mentos (not verified) // May 31, 2007 - 8:42pm
"Circumstances changed during training camp in 1973."
Isn't that supposed to be 1972?
"Hampton finished the season with 995 yards; the Falcons finished 8-8."
They were 7-7.
#7 by JeffW (not verified) // May 31, 2007 - 10:51pm
Wow - great article. That final game in 1972 against the Chiefs was my first NFL game - I was 8 years old, and I remember being just devastated that Hampton missed his mark. I also remember freezing my little butt off, until my granddad let me go sit with some friends of his in the sunny side of the stadium in the second half...
#8 by Fat Toad (not verified) // May 31, 2007 - 11:31pm
As I recall, the Cowboys did take the 1972 NFC wildcard spot. However, I wouldn't say they prevailed as the Redskins won the NFC East title.
#9 by Mentos (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 12:19am
re: 6 and 8
The author wrote the wrong year in the "Circumstances changed..." sentence.
This is an excellent article. The author must have saved many old newspapers and magazines from the 1970s.
#10 by Chad (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 1:01am
Great article, but one small flaw, namely, only referring to the wild-card while talking about the Falcons playoffs chances in 1972 is misleading as they actually led their division by a half-game over San Fran with 2 weeks to go (7-5 vs 6-5-1). A 20-0 loss in Week 13 at the 49ers dropped them a half-game behind, but they still would have taken the division final week had they won and the Niners lost. Alas, they lost and the Niners won :(
#11 by RobM (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 2:11am
I really enjoyed the article and the mention of Tommy Nobis reminded me of Plan B free angency quirk.
During the first year of it in 1989 The Falcons in their wisdom protected Nobis - you know, on the off chance that he might make a comeback and they didn't want another team to grab their greatest defender even if he was 46 years old at the time and had been retired since the '77 season.
Also didn't Barry Sanders do the 1000 yards thing too? I'm pretty sure in a game he broke 1000 then got hit for a loss, broke it again and ran for a loss two or three times in a drive. Of course this wasn't in the last game of the season and he eventually got it and then some. I might be wrong on that one though.
Hope there's more stuff like this on the site during the dark days of summer.
#12 by Bobman (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 2:30am
This really was a great read. The research must have been pretty difficult--not like finding game lines and stats on games from 2005.
And who knew that William Andrews in 1983 = Edgerrin James from 1999-2006 and beyond.
I always liked McCutcheon--maybe because my next door neighbor was a Rams fan.
#13 by Kalyan Chatrathi (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 2:41am
brilliant, just brilliant. while a lot of folks spend reams writing about big stars, it is great to see an article about a good-but-not-spectacular player
#14 by chico (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 3:36am
Great article, Mike.
#15 by He Hate Me (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 9:33am
This article has a Falcons bias!
Kidding aside...Great work on the story. Thanks for the good read.
I also hope there are more stories like this in the coming months prior to the start of the season.
#16 by MCS (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 10:05am
criminally inept Kim McQuilken
I had to look him up. Egads!!!
1974 5games 34/79 373yds 0TD 9Int
1975 3games 20/61 253yds 1TD 9Int
1976 8games 48/121 450yds 2TD 10Int
1977 7games 5/7 47yds 1TD 0Int
1979(wash) 1game 1/4 12yds 0TD 1Int
Interesting tidbit here. After his bad stint in Atlanta, the criminally inept one was rightfully out of football. Yet in 1979, Washington gave him another shot. I'll check later to see how bad their QB situation was to give this guy another chance.
#17 by erik (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 10:21am
Great article - it's nice to read about a solid if unspectacular player and his accomplishments *on* the field, as opposed to the usual fare.
I was at the 62-7 game at Tulane Stadium. It was the only Saints game my dad ever left before the final gun. The only other game I left early was the Kyle Turley helmet-toss against the Jets.
#18 by pawnking (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 11:18am
Now that I know this, what do I do?
#19 by dryheat (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 11:54am
The first, and only time, I'd heard of Dave Hamptom before now was sometime in the early 80's. I remember watching the last game of the season and William Andrews had just eclipsed 1000 yards in the fourth quarter. The commentator, who in my mind was John Madden, but I certainly don't remember whom it was, was calling for the HC to pull him out, citing Hampton's fate.
#20 by Kyle S (not verified) // Jun 01, 2007 - 10:21pm
Two minor things:
The '71 Falcons finished 7-6-1 - hence that was their first winning campaign.
The '73 Bills finished 9-5 and barely missed the playoffs.
Other than that, great read.
#21 by Just Another F… (not verified) // Jun 02, 2007 - 12:50pm
I plead faulty memories of an 8-year-old with my reference to the "lowly Bills" in 1973. My recollection was that that game was one the Falcons were supposed to win, but didn't. Looking back at the '73 season, the Falcons were 8-3 and riding a 7-game win streak with victories over the Vikings and Rams, while the Bills would have been 6-5 at the time of the game and effectively out of the playoff chase. So, the Bills weren't lowly, but it was still a tough and unexpected loss for a kid just starting to follow the NFL.
#22 by DolFan 316 (not verified) // Jun 02, 2007 - 7:46pm
Some would say it was a 32-10 defeat at the hands of the lowly 4-9-1 Cardinals that was the true tough and unexpected loss that knocked the '73 Falcons out of the playoffs.
Besides, that wasn't even the Falcons' toughest loss to the Bills. 3-0 in 1977 anyone?
I can't wait for the article on the '81 Colts' defense :-)
#23 by NYCowboy (not verified) // Jun 03, 2007 - 4:49pm
Great article Mike, would love to see more of these during the long off-season.
#24 by MilkmanDan (not verified) // Jun 04, 2007 - 12:20am
I know it's probably not right to mock people solely for their name, but is anyone surprised that somebody named "Kim McQuilken" sucked?
#25 by Yaguar (not verified) // Jun 04, 2007 - 9:34am
I love trying to find historically sucky QBs.
Does anyone know anything about Randy Hedberg? (click my name) You've gotta love those 1976-1977 Bucs.
#26 by methdeez (not verified) // Jun 04, 2007 - 8:17pm
re: Randy Hedberg
Why did they start an 8th round rookie in his first year? That was before my time but gawd those are some bad numbers.
#27 by DolFan 316 (not verified) // Jun 04, 2007 - 9:33pm
If you look even a little, you'll find that in the 70s a lot of QBs had *really* bad stats, and sometimes even the best ones had stats that would be considered awful by today's standards. Oddly, the same thing is true of kickers in the 70's.
Going back to the Falcons (and indirectly to Dave Hampton) Bill Bell missed a TEN YARD FG at the end of a one-point loss to the Patriots in '72. That surely beats anything McQuilken or Randy Hedberg ever did.
#28 by Raiderjoe (not verified) // Jun 05, 2007 - 1:08am
Raiders stats very good then. K Stabler QB Alabama MVP in 1976. Great stats. Best player not in Hall of Fame. Blackballed out of Hall of Fame because of drinking. 1976 Raiders best team of all time at least in top 5. If not best. Clarence Davis and Mark van eeghen if younger reader you not familiar but they were great. Pete Banazik too. F Biletnikoff maybe you heard was one of best 10 WRS ever. A Shell great T, but not good as HC. G Upshaw great. Whole defense great. 2008 Raiders will be best Raiders team since 1983 one, but probably 1976 one. 1976 better of Raiders SB teams, 1980 great but 1983 better than 1980, 1976 best. 2008 to be second best. 2008 Raiders not likely to go 13-1 in rs. Maybe go 12-4, can lose more games and still go far in playoffs these days. see steelers team that won Sb a couple years ago. that steelers team far cry from great Raiders teams. 2005 steelers poor excuse for sb winner. worst sb team that won sb ever
#29 by Sid (not verified) // Jun 05, 2007 - 12:32pm
I thought you said you'd stop the _joe posts. Still funny, though.
#30 by methdeez (not verified) // Jun 05, 2007 - 6:04pm
I'm new here, but RaiderJoe, are you serious?
Do you really think the Raiders will even go 8-8?
They are one of the worst teams in the league.
Wold you like to bet some money on football with me sometime?
#31 by Raiderjoe (not verified) // Jun 05, 2007 - 6:05pm
What are you talking about?
I want to apologize for that post. I had too much wine after dinnr last night. What I meant was 1976 Raiders best of three raiders Sb teams. 1983 second, 1980 third. 2008 looks good from here
#32 by Raiderjoe (not verified) // Jun 05, 2007 - 6:06pm
Raiders definetely go at least 8-8 this year. You will see. Playoffs are not out of question. Raiders to contend for SB next season. Jamarcus Russell will be great in second season
#33 by tic toc (not verified) // Jun 06, 2007 - 4:07am
Raider Joe--Are you always drunk?
#34 by Sid (not verified) // Jun 08, 2007 - 1:47am
Raiderjoe forgets the thread where he claims his post got deleted, and then he posted under his regular name complaining about it.
Raiderjoe very disturbed.
#35 by Joe Pisarcik Magnate (not verified) // Jun 08, 2007 - 1:43pm
This really was a great read. The research must have been pretty difficultâ€“not like finding game lines and stats on games from 2005.
Not really, the Sporting News back issues are available online nowadays and I believe that the Atlanta Journal Constitution is as well. I've been reading up on the '76 season lately myself.
I enjoy the articles like this myself.
#36 by Raiderjo (not verified) // Jun 11, 2007 - 9:07pm
You are jerk. I never post under any name but my own Raiderjoe name. Get lost, Sid.
#37 by empty13 (not verified) // Jun 20, 2007 - 10:04pm
Way down memory lane - I remember the Falcons' run that year. Years before I attended an institution in that town.
General Lee was the man. And Atlanta wasnt bad EVERY year. but they werent GOOD more than EVERY OTHER YEAR.
And still really arent.
There isnt a good place to go to to get week by week results of past seasons, but I think the Rams finished 12-2 that year so the earlier late season loss likely did them in.
Yes they should have yanked Hampton. Hell that happened to him twice.
The fact he didnt get 1000 yards in those days of MANY 1000 yard rushers indicates that Hotlanta had a sucky line.
And usually played without a lead.
LONG LIVE GENERAL LEE!
Raiders 8-8... only if they play McCown. He is a winner and one of the best athletes around, despite what Mike Martz says.
#38 by Dennyworld (not verified) // Jun 23, 2007 - 11:34am
"Real trivia buffs know that he was stopped just short of 1,000 again in 1973, then finally reached the mark for the only time in his career in 1975"
If Hampton was stopped short of 1K in '73 and the only time he beat that mark was '75 ... why does the chart at the tend of the article have the '73 season ranked 19th and the '75 season ranked 37th?
19) Dave Hampton, 1973
37) Dave Hampton, 1975