Pivotal Pro Football Moments
pivotal NFL postseason moment: A decision by a coach or an action by a player that changes the momentum of a playoff game.
Arnie's Long Passes Scalp Redskins
1936 NFL Championship Game: Green Bay Packers vs Boston Redskins
Don Hutson took the NFL by storm when he joined the Packers in 1935. The "Alabama Antelope" led the league in receiving yards per game (46.7) and receiving touchdowns (six) in a year in which NFL teams averaged only 15 passes per game. The next season, Hutson did even better, leading in five receiving categories with 34 receptions for 536y (15.8 per reception), 44.7ypg, and eight touchdowns.
Hutson is widely credited with inventing pass patterns in the early 1930s when he play­ed for Alabama. Two of the moves he invented were the Stop-and-Go and the Down-and-Up. "I don't think there's any doubt that Don Hutson was the greatest receiver ever," wrote former Redskin coach George Allen in 1982. "He improvised moves and devised patterns that have been copied ever since." Don's College Football Hall of Fame profile says he was "fluid in motion, wondrously elusive with the fake, inventive in his patterns and magnificently at ease when catching the ball ..." Hutson was timed at 9.7 seconds for 100y.
On the other end of almost all of Hutson's receptions was TB Arnie Herber. He topped the NFL in 1936 in passing attempts (173), completions (77), yards (1239 - almost 400 more than anyone else), and touchdowns (11).
One writer described how Curly built his offense around Hutson: "Lambeau used him out wide ... in a one-man spread. So proficient is Hutson in the art of nailing all tosses that practically every team in the league has had to use two men to cover him, thus leaving someone else unguarded. This Hutson-spread also confuses the defense against ground plays, since the back­ersup are tricked out of position and vulnerable holes are thus opened up."
Arnie Herber and Don Hutson, Green Bay's great passing combo
L-R: Arnie Herber and Don Hutson; Curly Lambeau
The Herber-Hutson duo led Curly Lambeau's Packers to a 10-1-1 record, two games better than Chicago's 9-3. The Packers' 248 points topped the league, dwarfing the 149 points of the East Division champion Boston Redskins. Three of the four West Division teams sported a better record than Boston's 7-5.
Since it was the East Division champ's turn to host the title game, Redskins owner George Marshall moved the game to the Polo Grounds in New York to draw a bigger crowd. He got his wish as 29,545 turned out on a bright and clear December day.
Fans had barely settled into their seats when the Packers pulled one of their copy­righted dazzling pass plays. The Redskins received the kickoff and started to move, but Riley Smith coughed up the pigskin, Lou Gordon recovering for the Pack on their 46.
On third-and-five, Herber dropped back 10y behind perfect protection and spotted Hut­son run­ning easily with his deceptive loping stride straight down the field. Don used his change of pace to get a full stride behind Smith. Arnie's beautiful throw dropped down over Hutson's shoulder into his sure hands at the 20, and he ran into the end zone without a finger laid on him. Ernie Smith's PAT made it 7-0.
The score at halftime was 7-6 after Boston scored a touchdown but missed the extra point.

Riley Smith misses PAT after Redskins' touchdown.
Just as they scored early in the first half, Green Bay struck again with only a few min­utes gone in the third period. With the ball on the 25 after the kickoff, Herber threw down the middle to E Milt Gantenbein for 14. Then Arnie connected on another long one, this time to John Victor McNally Jr., known to football fans as the legendary Johnny Blood. The 33-year-old veteran went straight down the field with Don Irwin, ten years younger, covering him but not knowing whether the "old man" was a decoy or the genuine article. Johnny cut to his left, then turned upfield again. He never gave any indication that he was the intended receiver until Herber had thrown the ball, which traveled 65y in the air, wob­bling enroute. Blood had to swing to his left and chop his stride to pull it down at the 10. That pause allowed Irwin to pound Johnny out of bounds on the three to complete a sen­sational 52y play. Three snaps later, though, the Packers found themselves still at the four facing 4th and goal. Eschewing a field goal, Herber hit Gantenbein in the end zone. The Redskins concentrated so much on Hutson and Blood in the flat that they left the middle wide open. Ed Smith's second conversion gave Green Bay an eight-point lead.
Redskins K Riley SmithPackers E Milt GantenbeingPackers HB Johnny McNally (Blood)
L-R: Riley Smith, Milt Gantenbein, Johnny Blood, Ed Smith
The Packers added another touchdown in the final period to win their fourth NFL champ­ionship, 21-6.