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Essex Johnson in 1973

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:05 am
by Jay Z
I saw a reference in his obituary that Essex Johnson in 1973, like Dave Hampton in 1972, had passed the 1,000 yard mark for the season before losing the total and not regaining it. PFRA does not have this particular gamebook. Does anyone remember this?

The game statistics are interesting. Both Johnson (997) and Boobie Clark (988) missed getting 1,000 yards. Johnson ran 11 times for 32 yards and Clark 12 for 57. The Bengals went up 27-10 as Ken Anderson threw three touchdown passes.

The Oilers scored two TDs in the fourth quarter on one yard runs by Fred Willis and Paul Robinson, both ex Bengals. Robinson had run for 1,000 yards in the Bengals' first season in 1968 before being traded with Willis in 1962 for Charlie Joiner and Ron Pritchard. The Oilers' run game had been non-existent before that trade, and it honestly wasn't that much better after. In 1973 the Oilers ran the ball the fewest times in the NFL and were run against the most. However, in this game the Oilers outgained the Bengals 190 to 101 on the ground, with Robinson gaining 100 yards and Willis 85. Robinson rarely played for the 1973 Oilers, and this would be his last NFL game, as he left for the WFL and failed in a comeback bid with the Packers upon his return. Willis would lead the AFC in pass receptions in 1973.

Given the two touchdowns on the ground in the 4th quarter, I wonder if the 1-13 Oilers angrily ground out the minutes in determination to not let Clark and Johnson have their honors!