Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Pack Was Not Back: 1974 Woes

Topps 1974 football cards RetroCards custom cards that never were

The Packers were coming off a rough season in 1973 (record: 5-7-2) where they dropped to 3rd place in the Central Division.  The 1972 season showcased their dominate running game behind the power of John Brockington and MacArthur Lane (1,848 total yards).  With running totals like that, the quarterback position was secondary in which starter Jerry Tagge threw for a league low 720 yards.  By 1973 the league figured out that focusing on the run forced the Packers to pass.  This simple defensive scheme saw Brockington's and Lane’s rushing totals plummet and exposed the dreadful play at the Packers quarterback position which had sunk to Bear-level lows.  The quarterback rating for the 3 rotating Packer starters was a cumulative 46.9 and neither Scott Hunter, Jerry Tagge, or Jim Del Gaizo could move the ball through the air. 

Despite all this, Packer fans were optimistic as the team fielded 5 All-Pros (Willie Buchanon, Chester Marcol, Ted Hendricks, Gale Gillingham, John Brockington and although the All-Pro tags didn’t translate to wins, it gave hope for the future.

RetroCards takes the bad (the Devine era) with the good (the Lombardi era) with this provocative 18-card set featuring players and events of 1974 Packers.  Cards include: Dan Devine, Ted Hendricks, Don Woods, Tom Toner, Bill Hayhoe, Paul Staroba, Pete Van Valkenburg, John Hadl, Larry Hefner, Dick Himes, Al Matthews, Ron McBride, Lee Nystrom, Barry Smith, Bob Wicks, Keith Wortman, and QB Shuffle featuring Jim Del Gaizo, John Hadl, and Archie Manning.  One highlight of this set is a tribute card to Packers Training Camp: Kids Bike Tradition in which kids offered their bikes to players to ride after practice, a tradition going back to the 1950s.  Coming soon!

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