TheSportster.com

Traveling Back In Time: Who Scored Every NFL Team's First Touchdown?

NFL fans have a great sense of history. There are Pittsburgh Steeler devotees who were not yet born in 1972 who nonetheless can recite every detail of the “Immaculate Reception” as if they had persona

NFL fans have a great sense of history. There are Pittsburgh Steeler devotees who were not yet born in 1972 who nonetheless can recite every detail of the “Immaculate Reception” as if they had personally witnessed it. And there’s probably no greater milestone in the history of a professional football franchise than the moment in which one of its players crossed the goal line to score six points for the very first time in team history.

But how many modern day fans can tell you the name of the player who performed that feat for their favorite team? Mention of names like “Hinkey" Haines, “Dutch" Sternaman and Tony Teresa will likely draw you only blank stares from Giant, Bear and Raider fans today.

We’re going to take a quick look at the 32 men who hold the distinction of officially scoring the first TDs in the history of each current NFL franchise.

Before we begin, there is one preliminary name which deserves recognition. The Rock Island Independents no longer exist, but on September 26, 1920, it was wide receiver Eddie Novak who opened the scoring for them in a 48-0 win over the St. Paul Ideals, the first-ever touchdown in what is now known as the National Football League.

So it's now time for a history lesson. Here are the 32 players that scored each NFL team's first ever touchdown.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

32 Arizona Cardinals - Lenny Sachs - October 31, 1920

via ramblermania.com

This franchise began life in Chicago as one of the charter members of what was then known as the American Professional Football Association. And, truth be told, the identity of the player who actually scored the first touchdown for the club is lost to history. The Cardinals are credited with a 33-0 win over a team fielded by the Moline Universal Tractor Company of Columbus, Ohio on October 17. But no game accounts accounts or box scores of the game have ever come to light. Historians today dispute the legitimacy of the game, as the Moline club was not an APFA member.

The first known man to score a touchdown for the Cardinals was end Lenny Sachs, who ran in a blocked punt in a 21-0 victory over the Detroit Heralds on Halloween day.

Sachs’ football fame was, however, later eclipsed by his basketball career - as a coaching legend at Loyola University.

31 Atlanta Falcons - Gary Barnes - September 11, 1966

via packerspastperfect.com

Wide receiver Gary Barnes had spent his entire NFL career in the early 1960s warming benches for the Packers, Cowboys and Bears. When the league expanded into Atlanta for the 1966 season, Barnes saw the formation of the new squad as his opportunity to be a starter. He would make the most of that opportunity. Late in the first half of the Falcons’ very first game against the Los Angeles Rams, with the newborn team predictably trailing 16-0, Barnes hauled in a 53-yard bomb from quarterback Randy Johnson for the Dirty Birds’ first points ever. Atlanta went on to lose, 19-14.

That TD was the one moment of glory for Barnes, who scored just one other TD the rest of his career, which wasn’t long. It's unlikely he would have gotten a chance if the league hadn't expanded. After his playing days, he became a municipal judge in Clemson, South Carolina.

30 Baltimore Ravens - Vinny Testaverde - September 1, 1996

via bucsnation.com

Vinny Testaverde was never renowned for his scrambling ability. Nonetheless, he managed to rush for over 1,600 yards during his 21-year career - a decent number for an NFL quarterback. He also totaled 15 rushing touchdowns. One of those scores, during the Ravens’ first-ever game in Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, just happened to be the first-ever six-pointer in the history of the Baltimore Ravens franchise. On the Ravens’ second drive of the game, Testaverde dropped back to pass from the Oakland Raider nine-yard line. Finding no open receivers but plenty of open space in front of him, he scampered into the end zone for the score. Baltimore went on to win the game, 19-14.

The Ravens in 1996 were, of course, an expansion team in name only. As every NFL fan knows, they were the recently transplanted Cleveland Browns. Testaverde would go on to make his first Pro Bowl appearance that same season.

29 Buffalo Bills - Wray Carlton - September 18, 1960

via pinterest.com

The Buffalo Bills had to wait until Week 2 of the inaugural American Football League season to celebrate the first touchdown in franchise history. That’s because in their opening game, they were held to a measly field goal in a loss to the New York Titans.

When the team finally registered its first TD in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos, halfback Wray Carlton, who tallied on a one-yard run early in the second quarter, would be a worthy candidate for the coup. Carlton would go on to be one of the most reliable and durable performers during the Bills’ AFL years, despite playing in the shadow of his backfield mate Cookie Gilchrest, an early AFL superstar.

Carlton would contribute nearly 5,000 yards total offense during an eight-year career in which he would become an integral part of the Bills’ back-to-back title winners of the mid 1960s.

28 Carolina Panthers - Pete Metzelaars - September 3, 1995

via sportsworldcards.com

Pete Metzelaars is not typically remembered today as a Carolina Panther. His most memorable seasons were with the Buffalo Bills of the early 1990s, where he was known as a large, physical, blocking-style tight end who rarely caught passes except in goal-line situations, where he excelled. After playing out his option in Buffalo, Metzelaars found himself a member of the Carolina expansion franchise to begin the 1995 season. Early in the opener against the Atlanta Falcons, Metzelaars snagged an eight-yard pass from his former Bill teammate Frank Reich to give the Panthers an early lead. Carolina very narrowly missed winning their first ever game, taking the Falcons into overtime before finally succumbing 23-20.

The Panthers’ expansion year turned out to be Metzelaars’ only one with the club. In later years he returned to the NFL as an offensive assistant with the Colts, Bills and Chargers.

27 Chicago Bears - Edward “Dutch” Sternaman - October 3, 1920

via townnews.com

In 1920, the first season of the brand new American Professional Football Association, the franchise now known as the Chicago Bears operated out of Decatur, Illinois; and went by the name of the “Staleys” - after the Staley Food Company which was the team’s sponsor.

Hired to manage the team were the legendary George Halas and his lifelong friend Edward “Dutch” Sternaman. Sternaman doubled as a player, and it is he who is credited with scoring the franchise’s first officially recorded touchdown. In fact Sternaman turned in a hat trick on the game against a team fielded by the Moline Universal Tractor Company; scoring on runs of seven, five and four yards. Halas and Sternaman both took over ownership of the team the next year, moved it to Chicago, and the rest is history. Sternaman was a mainstay of the team in its first decade as a player, co-owner and assistant coach to Halas.

26 Cincinnati Bengals - Paul Robinson - September 6, 1968

via nasljerseys.com

One player in the first ever draft by the American Football League’s newest franchise in 1968, halfback Paul Robinson, made an immediate impact. He provided Cincinnati with a thousand-yard rusher in their inaugural season, making the Bengals the only expansion team ever to have such a runner in their first year. He also contributed eight touchdowns on the ground. One of those touchdowns was the first in Bengal history. In the team’s opener against the San Diego Chargers, Robinson found paydirt on a two-yard run to give the Bengals an early 7-0 lead. San Diego came back, however, and won 29-13. Sadly, Robinson’s career never did not live up to the promise of his rookie campaign. He never again came close to the thousand yard mark for a season, and the Bengals gave up on him after three seasons of declining production out of the backfield.

25 Cleveland Browns - Mac Speedie - September 6, 1946

via msbsportscards.com

Paul Brown’s Cleveland Browns dominated the All-America Football Conference during its four years of existence at the end of the 1940s, capturing all four league crowns and winning ninety per cent of their games, including posting an unbeaten campaign in ‘48.

The Browns’ exciting, wide-open offense boasted future Hall of Famers in quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley, and receiver Dante Lavelli. However, when the team debuted under the Friday night lights of Municipal stadium, it was the Browns’ other receiver, Mac Speedie, who scored the franchise’s first six-pointer. His 19-yard reception from quarterback Cliff Lewis opened the floodgates on a 44-0 rout of the hapless Miami Seahawks. When the Browns joined the NFL in 1950, they continued to win titles. Speedie would be a key contributor to the club’s early success, before jumping to Canada at the end of the 1952 season after a salary dispute with Brown.

24 Dallas Cowboys - Jim Doran - September 24, 1960

via amazon.com

By 1960, when he found himself in the talent pool for the Dallas Cowboys’ expansion draft, Jim Doran already had an enviable career behind him as a stalwart of the Detroit Lion championship teams of the 1950s. Doran was voted MVP of the 1952 squad, and the very next year caught the game-winning pass in the classic 1953 title game. But he would have at least one more golden moment at the Cotton Bowl on opening day, when early in the contest he took a 75-yard pass from quarterback Eddie LeBaron to the house against Pittsburgh. Doran also had another TD grab, but his efforts proved in vain as the ‘Boys fell to the Steelers, 35-28. In fact, Dallas would not win a game at all that first year in the NFL. But Doran would prove to be one of the fledgling team’s bright spots with a productive season in the twilight of his career.

23 Denver Broncos - Al Carmichael - September 9, 1960

via denverpost.com

The first touchdown in the history of the Denver Broncos was also the first touchdown in the history of the American Football League. On a Friday night in Boston, halfback Al Carmichael (formerly a star for the Green Bay Packers of the 1950s) took a swing pass from quarterback Frank Tripuka and raced 59 yards for the first-ever six-point score to be registered by the rebel league which had high hopes of challenging the supremacy of the NFL. The score spearheaded a 13-10 Bronco win. As historic as the victory was, it would hardly be a harbinger of success for the Denver franchise. Throughout the 10-year run of the AFL as an independent league, the Broncos would be the only one of the initial eight franchises to never appear in a league title game. In fact, the team never even posted a winning record during that decade.

22 Detroit Lions - Chuck Bennett - September 14, 1930

via AP Photo

Halfback Chuck Bennett was a bona-fide college football legend for the Indiana Hoosiers during the 1920‘s. In 1929, Bennett was signed as the showcase player for a semi-pro team in Portsmouth, Ohio, calling itself the Spartans. When the Spartans joined the National Football League the following year, it was Bennett who scored their first TD in a league game on an 11-yard pass from Bill Glasgow. The Spartans went on to a 13-6 win over the Newark Tornadoes. After a solid first year with the Spartans, Bennett seemed to lose interest in playing pro football, and by the time the organization moved to Detroit in 1934 and re-christened themselves the Lions, his NFL playing days were long done. So he never got to experience the days of Detroit's success.

However, in later decades he became a highly successful high school coach for Lyons Township of LaGrange, Illinois.

21 Green Bay Packers - Art Schmael - October 23, 1921

via packershistory.net

The individual who scored the first official NFL touchdown for one of the league’s most storied franchises is somewhat of a man of mystery. Little biographical information is known about fullback Art Schmael, who is credited with the winning TD in the franchise’s very first NFL game, a 7-6 win over the Minneapolis Marines. Sources even differ about the length of the run, some giving it as much four yards, others as 10. The Packers’ inaugural NFL season of 1921 was Schmael’s last with the squad, and he seems to have faded into oblivion after that. A team photo on display at the Neville museum in Green Bay credits Schmael with organizing the club as early as 1917. That was seem to make him as important an individual in Packer history as Curly Lambeau himself. Yet references to him in various histories of the franchise have been brief and elusive.

20 Houston Texans - Billy Miller - September 8, 2002

via jrn.com

After a five-year absence engendered by the departure of the Oilers at the end of the 1996 season; the city of Houston was ready to welcome back the NFL in the form of the brand new Texans expansion team. And the team’s first game could hardly have been scripted any better. They would open under the lights of their brand new Reliant Stadium on a Sunday night ESPN game against Texas’ other team, the Dallas Cowboys. On the third play of their first offensive drive, rookie quarterback David Carr completed his first career pass for a touchdown. The recipient was tight end Billy Miller, who had spent the previous three years as a seldom-used substitute for the Broncos. Inspired by the early score, Houston went on to upset the Cowboys, 19-10, becoming only the second-ever post-1960 expansion team to triumph in its first contest.

19 Indianapolis Colts - Bert Rechichar - September 27, 1953

via fs64sports.com

When the NFL’s hapless Dallas Texans went belly-up at the end of the 1952 season, a good portion of the team was transferred into Baltimore to form the nucleus of a new Colts team. The previous Baltimore Colts franchise, an All-America Football Conference import, had failed two years earlier. In the second quarter of their opening game against the Chicago Bears, defensive back Bert Rechichar stole a George Blanda pass and took it back 36 yards to paydirt. The Colts went on to win the game, 13-9. As it turned out, scoring the first touchdown in Colt history would not be the only notable achievement Rechichar would register on this day. Later in the same quarter, he clobbered a 56-yard field goal - setting a new NFL record. That mark would stand for 17 years before Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints eclipsed it with his historic 63-yarder in 1970.

18 Jacksonville Jaguars - Randy Jordan - September 10, 1995

via rcsportscards.com

After the Houston Oilers held them without a touchdown in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ first-ever league contest, they had better luck in Week 2. On the Jags’ first drive against the Cincinnati Bengals, Steve Beuerlein lofted a pass to running back Randy Jordan, who weaved through the Bengals’ defense for a 71-yard score. The Jaguars, however, eventually fell to Cincy by a count of 24-17. The play would be emblematic of the former North Carolina Tar Heel’s career as a reserve back with the Jags and later the Oakland Raiders, as he would always find slightly more success as a receiver out of the backfield than in carrying the ball, compiling a total 596 receiving yards against 574 rushing. Today he is a running back coach for the Washington Redskins.

The Jags would prove to be a successful expansion franchise, reaching the AFC Championship game in just their second season.

17 Kansas City Chiefs - Chris Burford - September 10, 1960

via davepear.com

Chris Burford’s status as being the first player to score a touchdown in the history of this franchise (way back when they were based in Dallas) is among the least of his contributions to the Texans/Chiefs. Burford registered the club’s first-ever points on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Cotton Davidson. However, the Texans would miss the extra point following that play, which proved costly in their narrow 21-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The game was characteristic of the Texans’ first season, which was full of frustrating losses which kept them out of contention for the first American Football League title. Burford would spend his entire eight-year career with the team, going on to catch 391 passes for 5,505 yards and was a starter in the first Super Bowl game against Green Bay. He was among the earliest inductees into the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame.

16 Los Angeles Rams - Johnny Drake - September 21, 1937

via ramstalk.com

The first-ever draft pick of the Cleveland Rams paid off for them in a big way. Not only did Johnny Drake lead the club in rushing, he scored the first touchdown in franchise history.

After they were shut out at home in their opening game, the Rams traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. In the second quarter of that game, Drake caught a 38-yard pass from Ram QB Bob Snyder to put Cleveland in front. Drake later had another touchdown catch from Snyder in a game which saw the Rams triumph 21-3. It would turn out to be their only victory of their first season in the NFL. For Drake, it was the start of what would be a very good five-year career for the Rams. Drake spent his offseasons in Hollywood as an extra in various westerns. In retrospect, this was perhaps a foreshadowing of his team’s own later postwar move.

15 Miami Dolphins - Joe Auer - September 2, 1966

via sunsentinel.com

It didn’t take long for the Miami Dolphins, the American Football League’s first-ever expansion franchise, to score a touchdown. Running back Joe Auer took the opening kickoff of the team’s very first game - on a Friday night at Miami’s Orange Bowl - 95 yards to put the Miami on the board right off the bat. Unfortunately, that was about all the excitement the home team could muster as the Oakland Raiders came back to take the contest 23-14. The formation of the Dolphin club had given the ex-Buffalo Bill, a Miami native, a chance to return home. Racking up 2,200 all-purpose yards, Auer went on to be named the franchise’s MVP that first year. However, he would last only one more season with the team, and soon would be out of football for good. His future lay in auto racing - as the founder of a competitive race car engineering firm.

14 Minnesota Vikings - Bob Schnelker - September 17, 1961

via wyandotsportshof.org

In 1961, Bob Schnelker was a type of player commonly found on an expansion team’s roster. A former NFL star who was nearing the end of a solid career as a star receiver with the New York Giants of the 1950s, Schnelker was attempting to hook on with the brand-new Minnesota Vikings in the hopes of garnering one last hurrah before hanging up his cleats for good. Schnelker would indeed get that last moment of glory in the Vikes’ opener when he caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Fran Tarkenton in the second quarter. The Vikings went on to shock the football world by posting a 37-13 upset rout over George Halas’ Chicago Bears. Schnelker only lasted six games with the Vikings, and the ‘61 campaign was his last ever. He went on to join the ranks of the NFL’s assistant coaches.

13 New England Patriots - Jim Colclough - September 9, 1960

via terapeak.com

Jim Colclough was a true-blue Bostonian - a native of the city who had been a star at Boston College. How fitting, then, that he should be the player to score the first-ever touchdown for the brand-new American Football League’s Patriot team in 1960. On a Friday night at Boston’s Nickerson Field, in the League’s opening regular season game against the Denver Broncos, Colclough took a ten-yard toss from Patriot quarterback Ed Songin in the third quarter to bring the Pats to within 13-10. Boston was unable to complete the comeback, however, and the game ended in a Bronco victory. Colclough went on to become one of the Patriots’ top receivers during much of their AFL existence. At the end of his playing days, he became one of Joe Namath’s business partners in the infamous “Bachelors III” nightclub.

12 New Orleans Saints - John Gilliam - September 17, 1967

via neworleanssaints.com

Rookie receiver John Gilliam got the NFL’s latest expansion franchise started off the right way. In the team’s first regular season game at Tulane Stadium, Gilliam took the opening kickoff 94 yards the other way against the Los Angeles Rams. It was the second straight season in which an expansion team had returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in their first game (Joe Auer had performed the feat for the Miami Dolphins the previous year). The spectacular start would hardly be an omen of success for the Saints franchise. Not only did they wind up losing that first game, but it would be 20 long years before the team would be able to post a winning season. Gilliam would, however go on to better things. The speedster in later years became Fran Tarkenton’s deep threat for the Minnesota Viking Super Bowl teams of the 1970s.

11 New York Giants - Hinkey Haines - November 1, 1925

via bigblueinteractive.com

The New York Giants joined the National Football League in time to begin play in the fall of 1925. The new club struggled in the early going, managing just a field goal in its first three league contests. But finally, on the first day of November, the G-men got untracked. Former New York Yankee baseball player Henry “Hinkey” Haines rushed for a touchdown early in the game against the Cleveland Bulldogs. Haines later scored another touchdown as New York got into the win column with a 19-0 shutout. Haines would go on to become one of the Giants’ leaders during the early days of the franchise, taking on the role of player-coach and leading the team to an NFL title in 1927. He later played for the Staten Island Stapletons. After a brief stint as an NFL official, Haines became active in community theatre in the Philadelphia area.

10 New York Jets - Al Dorow - September 11, 1960

via tradingcarddb.com

The least financially stable of the eight charter members of the American Football League was unquestionably Harry Wismer’s rag-tag New York Titans entry. Not having the dollars to bid for the better players meant that the focus was on putting an entertaining if not successful product onto the field at the Polo Grounds. Fortunately, the Titans were gifted with one of the new league’s most exciting players in quarterback Al Dorow. The former NFL and CFL journeyman was a wild scrambler and deep ball thrower, leading the AFL that first year with 26 TD strikes. Dorow’s footwork paid off in the Titans’ first game against the Buffalo Bills when he ran into the end zone for two yards out for the franchise’s first six-pointer. He had another touchdown scramble later in the game, won by the Titans 27-3. Three years later, the Titans would find more secure ownership and be re-christened the New York Jets.

9 Oakland Raiders - Tony Teresa - September 11, 1960

via amazon.com

As a charter member of the American Football League in 1960, the Raiders weren’t even the Silver and Black yet. The official team colors were black and gold. And they didn’t even have a stadium in their own borough that first year, having to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to take the field at San Francisco’s Kezar stadium for their opening game against the Houston Oilers. In the second quarter, halfback Tony Teresa took a pass from future Raider coaching legend Tom Flores for a 13-yard touchdown, the first in team history. However, the Oilers would bury the Raiders that day, 37-22. Teresa, a former CFL quarterback, was one of the offensive stars for the club, posting 1,001 yards total offense.

But he would prove to be a one-shot wonder as he quit football after that year. As we know, the Raiders eventually found a lot of success.

8 Philadelphia Eagles - Swede Hanson - October 29, 1933

via nfl.com

During the early years of the Philadelphia Eagles following the team’s entry into the NFL in 1933, one player stood head and shoulders above the rest - former Temple star Thomas “Swede” Hanson. Philly sportswriter Frank Brookhouser described Hanson as a “rawboned, lantern-jawed, easygoing New Jersey farmboy who never cared much about anything except lugging a football past white lines.” And Hanson would become the first Eagle ever to lug a football past a goal line. After the team was shut out in its first two league contests, Hanson took a 35-yard pass from quarterback Red Kirkman for the first points registered in franchise history in what would end up a 35-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The following week, Hanson would score the game's only TD as the Eagles broke into the win column for the first time with a triumph over the Cincinnati Reds.

7 Pittsburgh Steelers - Marty Kottler - September 27, 1933

via steelers.com

It was a native Pennsylvanian, Marty Kottler, who scored the first touchdown in the history of Pittsburgh’s NFL franchise (which was then called the Pirates) and he did it in spectacular fashion, returning an interception of a Chicago Cardinal pass 99 yards for a touchdown. Kottler’s wire-to-wire return sparked a Pittsburgh comeback and helped give the Pirates their first-ever NFL victory by a 14-13 score. It would stand as a team record for 75 years, broken only when James Harrison took back a pick one hundred yards on the final play of the first half for the game-breaker in Super Bowl XLIII - ironically enough against that same Cardinal franchise. Kottler played just that one year with the Pirates. He would later serve as an Air Force pilot in both WWII and Korea, and then spent the rest of his life as an executive with the Avis automobile firm.

6 San Diego Chargers - Ralph Anderson - September 11, 1960

via talesfromtheamericanfootballleague.com

 

The story of Ralph Anderson, the first player to score a touchdown in Charger history, is one of the lesser-known tragedies in professional football history. Like many AFL players in the league’s first season, Anderson was a former NFL flop who made the most of the opportunity the alternative league afforded him. In the team’s first game at the Los Angeles Coliseum (the Chargers were based in LA for their initial season), Anderson was at the receiving end of a 46-yard strike from quarterback Jack Kemp. The score spurred a thrilling 21-20 comeback victory over the Dallas Texans. The catch also spurred Anderson to become the team’s leading receiver. After 10 weeks, he had collected 44 catches for 614 yards for the division-leading club. Shockingly, on the morning of a November 27 game in which he was scheduled to play, Anderson was found dead of a diabetic reaction.

5 San Francisco 49ers - Len Eshmont - September 8, 1946

via sfgate.com

When the newly-formed All-America Football Conference sent out a call for players in the fall of 1946, Len Eshmont was one of the many who answered it. The former Fordham University standout’s only previous pro experience had been a cup of coffee with the New York Giants five years earlier. Early in the 49ers' first game at Kezar Stadium against the New York Yankees (yes, there was a Yankees football team as well), Eshmont took a 40-yard pass from quarterback Frankie Albert to the end zone. The Niners were shut out for the rest of the day, however, and the Yanks won 21-7. Eshmont played all four of the 49ers’ AAFC years productively. His life ended prematurely at age 39 due to hepatitis. But his name lives on in the name of the Len Eshmont Award which is still presented annually to the 49er player most exemplifying “inspirational and courageous play.”

4 Seattle Seahawks - Sam McCullum - September 12, 1976

via beckysplace.com

Wide receiver Sam McCullum spent his career with Seattle in the shadow of the more illustrious pass-catcher who played in the Seahawks’ other slot - a guy named Steve Largent. Yet McCullum was a decent enough receiver himself. In six years with the Hawks, he averaged 39 receptions and 568 yards a season. In the team’s first-ever game in the Kingdome against the St. Louis Cardinals, McCullum became the first Seahawk ever to score a touchdown, on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Jim Zorn. Later, McCullum scored again when he took Zorn’s 72-yard deep strike to the house, as the Seahawks nearly pulled off a comeback before coming up short 30-24 against the two-time defending NFC East champs. McCullum’s career ended abruptly when he was cut in the 1982 preseason. Many still believe that his role as the team’s union representative was what sealed his fate.

3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Danny Reece - October 3, 1976

via AP Photo

The hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers had failed to score a touchdown in their first three games of their 1976 debut as a NFL expansion franchise. Now, that number seemed almost certain to become four. The Baltimore Colts were waxing the Bucs 42-3, and were in possession of the ball at the two minute warning. With the Colts looking to run out the clock, all of a sudden Baltimore fullback Ron Lee lost the handle on the football. Buccaneer DB Danny Reece scooped it up and dashed 44 yards into the end zone for the first touchdown in Tampa Bay history. And it only took them 238 minutes of play. Almost as if they had felt shown up by the defense, the Tampa offense following the recovery of an onside kick did what they had been unable to do in 56 previous drives - sweep down the field and score a touchdown of their own, making the final 42-17.

2 Tennessee Titans - Charlie Hennigan - September 11, 1960

via mindenmemories.org

In the American Football League’s ten year history spanning the 1960‘s, few players were as valuable to their franchise as Charlie Hennigan was to the Houston Oilers. During his seven year career with the team, the former high school teacher caught 410 passes for 6,823 yards and 51 touchdowns. The first of those TDs was also the first touchdown in Oiler history and came on a 43-yard pass from George Blanda in Houston’s 37-22 win over the Oakland Raiders. The passing combination of Blanda to Hennigan tore up the new league in its first three seasons, as the Oilers breezed to the first two AFL crowns and narrowly lost the ‘62 title game in overtime. Along the way, Hennigan set numerous individual season and game league records. After football, Hennigan founded his own educational tutoring service in Louisiana, helping prison inmates to earn their GED.

1 Washington Redskins - Jim Musick - October 9, 1932

via fenwayparkdiaries.com

The Washington Redskins began their existence in 1932 as the Boston Braves. In their first season, they were hardly what you would term an offensive powerhouse. The Braves managed to put up just 55 points in a ten game season, and were shut out in no less than half their contests, including the season opener. Fullback Jim Musick is credited with the first touchdown for the Braves, in a 14-6 win over the New York Giants. Musick would go on to play for the franchise (renamed the Redskins the following season) for the length of its stay in Boston. In 1933, he lead the league in rushing with 809 yards. But Musick’s greatest accomplishments came after football. He later served for three decades in a much lauded career as the sheriff of Orange County, California where his accomplishments included establishing the county’s first crime lab.

Give TheSportster a Thumbs up!

Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?

Get Your Free Access Now!

More in NFL

Traveling Back In Time: Who Scored Every NFL Team's First Touchdown?