August 25, 1969
Lions Down Punchless Pats, 22-9
By Will McDonough
Boston Globe Staff
Montreal- The Patriots just can't beat the establishment.
Last night here in Jarry Park before a friendly gathering of 8,212, the Patriots went down to defeat at the hands of' the National Football League once again.
This time it was the Detroit Lions who beat the Pats, 22-9.
The game could best be described as a kicking contest between the Lions' Errol Mann and Gino Cappelletti of the Patriots.
Mann, a former Denver Bronco, kicked five field goals in five attempts- from 14, 12, 27, 14 and 28 yards.
Cappelletti had as many chances, but the distances were much tougher. Gino made good on boots from 37, 41, and 36 yards while missing on others from- 14 and 37 yards.
The Lions were obviously the better team, but the Patriots’ defense made it tough for them.
The score- when opposing first teams were played against each other was 12 to 6 in Detroit's favor. But when Boston took its first team out in the fourth period, the Lions opened the gap.
Mel Farr scored the only touchdown, this one a two-yard run following a couple of pass interference calls against the Pats.
The Patriots now have six losses in as many tries against NFL competition.
The thing that hurt the Patriots most was an inconsistent offense. Mike Taliaferro played the first three periods and looked good in only the third. Tom Sherman played the fourth period at quarterback,
Greg Landry, the former UMass star, played the first half for the Lions and did a good job. Landry completed 9 of 15 passes for 1l5 yards while Detroit moved into a 9 to 3 lead under his direction.
From the beginning it was evident that the Patriots' offense was going to have trouble.
The Lions started the game by presenting a fumble to the Patriots on the Detroit 30. Nick Eddy committed the bobble and Don Webb recovered for Boston.
However, Taliaferro followed up with two incompletions before being dropped for a seven yard loss. This forced a 44 yard field goal attempt by Cappelletti. Gino’s boot was long enough, but was a little wide to the left.
Detroit now completely dominated the first half, and took a 9 to 3 lead into the dressing room at intermission.
All the scoring in the first two periods came on field goals- three by Mann, one for Cappelletti.
The Boston offense was pitiful in the first 30 minutes when the Pats could make only one first down.
The cause of the trouble was a heavy pass rush which had Taliaferro on his heels.
The Lions didn't exactly set the world on fire offensively, but were more consistent. Landry preferred a ground game which featured Farr on wide sweeps and power plays off tackle.
Detroit scored first on a 14 yard field goal by Mann at l0 minutes of the first period. The Lions moved into position for the kick on a 47 yard pass play from Landry to Earl McCullough. Landry was trapped on the play and started to run. But, when the Patriots’ secondary started to move in, Landry stopped and threw in McCullough who was all alone on the left sideline at the Pats` 35.
Leading 3 to 0, Detroit got a break when R. C. Gamble fumbled the next time Boston touched the ball. Gamble took a swing pass in the right flat and dropped it when smacked down by linebacker Paul Naumoff. Alex Karras recovered on the Boston 24.
Moments later, Mann kicked 12 yard field goal to make it 6 to 0.
The Lions moved ahead 9 to 0 at 13:25 of the second period when a long drive resulted in another Mann field goal- this one from 27 yards out. Landry looked his best in this drive, connecting on three completions.
The Patriots were shut out until the final minute of the half when Altie Taylor fumbled a punt which Mel Witt recovered on the Detroit 21. Again, the Pats' offense couldn't move the ball and Cappelletti took the three points instead, kicking the field goal from the 37 yard line.
The Patriots’ first semblance of an offense came with the opening of the third period. Taliaferro hit quickly with passes to Ron Sellers and Gamble which took the ball to midfield.
Now Jim Nance tested the middle a few more yards before the drive stalled at the Detroit 34 and Cappelletti settled back to boot his 41-yard field goal.
But, the Pats were quick to give the three points right back. On the next exchange the Patriots found themselves backed up against their own goal line following a punt by Lem Barney.
On third down, Taliaferro had his pass over the middle intercepted by linebacker Ed Mooney on the Pats' 20. The Lions- now under the direction of quarterback Greg Barton- couldn't move and took another field goal by Mann- his fourth. This was from the l4 yard line and put the Lions in front by six again, 12 to 6.
The Patriots, in the fourth quarter, went with their first offense for one more series. This ended with Cappelletti missing a 37-yard field goal attempt in the opening minute of the period.
After this, the Pats used their second units both on offense and defense. The Lions left Barton and their number one offense on the field and Detroit marched to an easy score.
A long pass up the middle from Barton to McCullough got the Lions moving. On the next play, Barton threw another bomb to McCullough at the Boston l0 and pass interference was called on safetyman, Art McMahon.
Barton threw again on the next play and again interference was called on Boston- this time on John Outlaw in the end zone- placing the ball on the one. On second down, Mel Farr ran around right end for the touchdown. Mann converted, and the score was 19 to 6 with 11 minutes left to play.
Mann added to the lead when he put his foot back to work with five minutes to play. Mann's fifth field goal was a 28~yard shot from right in front of the goal post.
The kicking contest continued when the Patriots moved back into position in the final minute for Cappelletti to kick his third field goal- a 36-yard boot.
Notes: Taliaferro was 11 for 23 for 80 yards… Sherman hit on 5 of 9 for 39 yards… Farr led all runners with 50 yards in 19 carries… Nance had 30 yards in 9 carries… The Patriots’ pass rush was much better in this game as they constantly put pressure on Landry and Barton.
Game at Jerry Lays Football-Sized Egg
By Marv Moss
U.S. pro football got its Montreal initiation last night and it was a clinker.
Only 8,212 turned out at Jerry Park for an exhibition that was supposed to be a yardstick for fan interest here.
The Expos booked the game as the first of two U.S. attractions - and said president John McHale, trying to smile: "It's a long time since I've seen the Lions play. This is just going to cost me a little more."
For the record, Detroit Lions, a club not expected to make much of an impact this year, fashioned a 22-9 over Boston's inept Patriots,
But nobody seemed to really care. The crowd, such as it was, was markedly unresponsive.
To start with, nobody even really shook loose. Among the 31 points was only one converted touchdown. Everything else that went onto the scoreboard was a field goal.
The proximity of the field to the stands didn't help. Physically, the players were faceless to most people. And of course there was not much of a following to start with when it came to personalities.
A sent adjacent to the 50-yard line on one side would have put you just back of where Gary Sutherland would probably play a righthand batter, Of course, there was no such thing.
Roughly, the field ran from the third base line to right-centre field.
The Lions dressed 60 men in recording their second win while the Patriots had 46 in uniform. Both started with their first-stringers but later substituted freely.
It was Boston’s second setback against a win.
Indications are that the next game- pitting New York Giants against Pittsburgh Steelers - will probably draw better because the Giants have developed something of a following here.
Detroit's Mel Farr counted the only touchdown of the night on a hurdle job over the right side from two yards out in the final quarter.
Errol Mann converted it, capping an 80-yard drive that took nine plays with two interference calls helping to sustain it
Manny also booted five field goals, hitting from 12, 14 twice, 27 and 26.
For Boston, Gino Cappelletti was good on three field goals - from the 36, 37 and 41.
The two U.S. clubs made the appearance for unspecified guarantee and it cost the Expos a bundle.
But GM Jim Fanning, looking at things just before game time when it was apparent there were going to be a considerable number of empty seats, said that while money is a major consideration "we don't look it entirely that way."
"We're bringing in a major sports attraction and this is what we're trying to do here." he said.
The game was carried on TV back to Detroit and on radio to Boston.
Between them the teams collected 26 first downs and produced a total offence of 413 yards with the Lions supplying 17 of the first downs and 265 yards.
Rushing. Detroit made 88 yards and constricted Boston to 58, two statistics which sapped a lot of action from the proceedings.
Quarterback Mike Taliaferro of the Patriots scrambled 13 yards on a broken play once and that was the longest rush of the night.
Apart from that there were a couple of eight-yard bursts by Farr and Boston's Jim Nance.
Taliaferro directed most of Boston's offence, later giving way to Tom Sherman. For Detroit, Greg Landry more or less split duty with Greg Barton.
The Detroit pair clicked on 15 of 27 pass attempts while the Patriot tandem was good on 16 in 32 tries.
Detroit's coach Joe Schmidt said later: “We didn't play like we're capable of playing.
We can do better."
He also commented on the crowd: "They sure don't seem too enthusiastic. They probably need more than one game to find out if it will generate any enthusiasm here. It might be different for that next game.”
His Boston counterpart Clive Rush said "I thought we'd do a little better. Offensively we made a lot of mistakes. The defence was the only good thing I could see out there."
The Club's performance surprised him because he said, "we had our best week's workout" leading up to the game.
Detroit's Nick Eddy drops the football in pack of Patriots.
Patriot Receiver Aaron Marsh hits Detroit defender at full speed.
DET- FG Mann 14
DET- FG Mann 12
DET- FG Mann 27
BOS- FG Cappelletti 37
BOS- FG Cappelletti 31
DET- FG Mann 12
DET- Farr 2 run (Mann kick)
DET- FG Mann 28
BOS- FG Cappelletti 36