The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 5, 1976 · Page 74
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 74

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 5, 1976
Page 74
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E2 Palm Beach Post-Times, Sunday, December 5, 1976 sliJlH" -to npiUHimjii.yyg 0m .M, 'V V Towle's Record Proves He's a Quality Player k l 1 : t m r l Jim Plunkett, who sat out last week's game against Minnesota, will probably be the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback in today's game against San Diego. r-. JW "" "14 1 I .: 41 iTs' - him, I think we can beat Buffalo. "Detroit didn't stop O.J. but they still beat them." The Dolphins have beaten Buffalo 13 straight times since Shula became head coach in 1970. Simpson has gained 100 yards only once in those 13 games, picking up 120 in 20 carries in a 17-0 loss Nov. 18, 1973. "We've probably done the best job of anybody at containing O.J. over the years," Towle said. "The reason the games have been close in the past is that they've always had somebody else to rely on. ' "I think (Jim) Braxton is one of the best fullbacks in the league, not only running but blocking. Since they ' don't have him, I think our main goal will be to stop O.J. If we do, I think we'll beat them." Shula called Simpson's Thanksgiving Day performance "amazing." "He's amazing every time he gets his hands on the ball," Shula said, "but that day, the way he kept after it, even when they got behind, was really something. He played with as much enthusiasm as ever." Buffalo's Gary Marangi, who is filling in for injured Joe Ferguson at quarterback, completed six of seven passes two of them for touchdowns in his only appearance against the Dolphins two years ago. But he has completed only 33 per cent of his attempts this season, so Simpson figures to get plenty of opportunity to carry the ball and continue his pursuit of Jim Brown, the NFL's all-time rushing leader this afternoon. "I'm happy for him every time he sets a record," said the 6-foot-2, 233-pound Towle, who is cut from the same mold as such linebackers as Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke and Tommy Nobis big, strong and agile. "I just don't want him to set any against us. More important, I want to beat them." By CHUCK OTTERSON Ptt Sports Wrlttr MIAMI It has taken Steve Towle less than two years to establish himself as one of the quality middle linebackers in the National Football League. Towle reported to the Miami Dolphins' training camp in the summer of '75 as an unheralded sixth-round draft choice from the University of Kansas. By season's end he had broken the club record with 165 tackles. With two games remaining in the 1976 season, Towle has destroyed his record with 194 tackles. And he's done it largely by ignoring opposing players' press clippings. "I don't even like to know who I'm playing against," Towle said earlier this season. "If you spend all your time thinking about how great some guy is, you may get yourself psyched into believing he's better than he really is." Towle has been one of the few consistently bright spots in a frustrating season for coach Don Shula's Dolphins, who take a 5-7 record into today's 4 p.m. game with Buffalo at the Orange Bowl. To give you an idea of his value to the Miami defense, consider that strong safety Charlie Babb ranks second on the club with 100 tackles 94 behind Towle. And the second-year man from Kansas still feels the less attention you pay to the glowing reports you hear about an upcoming opponent, the better off you are. "I don't like to think about individuals," he said yesterday. "I think we had problems earlier by trying to concentrate too much on stopping one player." Well, it's one thing to ignore a Steve Davis or a Cleo Miller. But what if you're getting ready to play O.J. Simpson? "When the other team's whole offense is one player, we have to pretty much gear our defense to stop him," Towle said. "That's what we'll do against O.J." This is easier said than done. "Probably the biggest thing that sets O.J. apart from other running backs," Towle said, "is his speed and his quickness. If V. r i LA , JhtLSl : . mm . Steve Towle ... 194 tackles "Him being as fast as he is, I have to run as fast as I can to get where he is. But he has such great quickness that when he sees where everybody is, he's quick enough to cut back against the grain." The incomparable Simpson has gained more than 100 yards in a game 37 times in his eight-year NFL career. Five times he has topped 200 yards (more than any other man in NFL history), including a record 273 yards against Detroit Thanksgiving Day. Despite missing training camp and all six exhibition games (he signed with the Bills the day before their season opener with Miami) and being ejected early in the first quarter of one game for fighting, Simpson leads the American Conference with 1,129 yards in 238 carries, a 4.7 average. But the Bills have won only two of their 12 games. "I don't think O.J.'s going to beat you," Towle said. "He's just going to break records. But if we can stop Steelers Need Oakland To Beat Bengals Monday SUNDAY FOOTBALL MIAMI vs BUFFALO SEE IT BIG ON OUR LARGE 7 FT. SCREEN ' 902 NO. DIXIE, LANTANA have enough problems, defensive tackle Dewey Selmon and cornerback Danny Reece are questionable due to' injuries. They have 13 players on the injured reserve list. Houston (5-7) at Cleveland (8-4), 1 p.m. Cleveland still has a mathematical chance for the playoffs but it's a very slender one. Earlier in the year, the Browns scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns for a 21-7 victory over Houston, John Hadl again will quarterback the Oilers, who have scored 63 points behind him in the three games since Dan Pastorini was injured. Houston is another team which has gone through a series of losses and seen a promising year go down the drain. Green Bay (4-8) at Minnesota (9-2-1), 2 p.m. Minnesota has won 15 straight home games, needs to regain its momentum to take into the playoffs after its failure against San Francisco in last Monday night's game and defeated the Pack, 17-10, in their earlier meeting. Carlos Brown again will start in place of Green Bay's injured quarterback, Lynn Dickev. 9 Buffalo (2-10) at Miami (5-7), 4 p.m. Kansas City (4-8) at Denver (7-5), TV, (5-7), 4 p.m. Denver won a 35-26 shootout the last time these teams met and another high-scoring affair could be in the works. Kansas City's running game has received a recent boost from the return to form of Ed Podolak, who had been bothered by injuries for two years. Denver will start rookie Craig Penrose at quarterback and also might give Norris Weese some playing time. San Francisco (7-5) at San Diego (5-7), 4 p.m. San Francisco picked up several injuries in the Monday victory over Minnesota but linebaker Frank Nunley and quarterback Jim Plunkett are expected to return to the lineup. The 49ers still have some playoff hopes but their chances were dimmed by a four-game losing streak which was brroken against Minnesota. San Diego has won only one of its last six games after starting the year with the three in a row, including an impressive 43-24 job against St. Louis. Chicago (6-6) at Seattle (2-10), 4 p.m. Chicago, one of the most improved teams in the league, could . nail down its first .500 season since 1968. The Bears will lean on their stingy defense and the super running of Walter Payton, who has a slim lead over O.J. Simpson in their battle for the league rushing championship. Seattle has scored a lot of points behind quarterback Jim Zorn, one of the NFL's surprising new stars this year but has held only two opponents to less than 27 points. o less than 27 points. Cincinnati (9-3) at Oakland 11-1), TV (10-12), 9 p.m., Monday Cincinnati could virtually wrap it up because the Bengals close against the New York Jets next week. If everything elsewhere goes as expected, a Cincinnati victory would stop Pittsburgh's comeback. Oakland, with the best record in the NFL, clinched its playoff position two weeks ago but could use a victory to assure itself of the home field advantage in the opening rounds of the championship series. They're down to cases on this, the next-to-last weekend of the National Football League season with the Pittsburgh Steelers one of the most interested parties. The Steelers are favored by a wide margin to walk past the winless Tampa Bay Bucs today but they will have to wait another day to find out whether they still have a chance to reach the playoffs. The big one for them and the Cincinnati Bengals is the Monday night game in Oakland. Pittsburgh needs an Oakland victory over Cincinnati to remain alive. The games: New Orleans (4-8) at New England (9-3), 1 p.m. The Patriots can clinch a position in the playoffs with a victory today against the Saints, a team they have played only once previously. Rookie cornerback Mike Haynes has set five team records and is within reach of two others and Don Calhoun has rushed for 427 yards in three games since replacing Sam Cunningham. The two have played major roles in New England's turnaround. New Orleans coach Hank Stram is concerned about his defensive line. The Saints gave up 473 yards to Los Angeles last week. Washington (8-4) at New York Jets (3-9), TV (4), 1 p.m. Washington is in the middle of another of those down-to-the-wire NFC East three-team races while New York has managed to beat only two teams Tampa Bay and Buffalo twice. The Redskins have all the incentive and quarterback Billy Kilmer has looked good since returning to the No. 1 position in the lineup. Detroit (6-6) at New York Giants (2-10), 1 p.m. -Larry Csonka won't be able to play and the Giants need their running game with quarterback Craig Morton having an erratic throwing year. Detroit has won five of its eight games since Tommy Hudspeth took over as head coach, including its last two. Detroit has the league's top-rated defense and got a big day last week from runner Dexter Bussey. Dallas (10-2) at Philadelphia (3-9), 1 p.m. Dallas can clinch the NFC East title and its 10th playoff berth in the last 11 years by defeating an Eagle team which it took, 27-7, in the season opener. Running back Preston Pearson is a doubtful starter. Philadelphia coach Dick Vermeil's experiment to put more punch into the Eagles' flagging offense by starting quarterback Roman Gabriel in place of Mike Boryla has not worked out. Gabriel has been charged with eight fumbles on his two starts and Vermeil is considering swinging back to the younger Boryla. Tampa Bay (0-12) at Pittsburgh (8-4), TV (5), 1 p.m. This could be brutal. Since turning their season around, the Steelers have played the toughest defensive football in the league and Tampa has had problems with its offense from the start. During their seven-game winning streak, the Steelers have allowed only one team to score a touchdown. But none of that will matter if Oakland doesn't help them by beating Cincinnati in the Monday night game. As if the Bucs didn't on ii ii HO yy wSy Inraoio When you save for retirement in a Home Federal IRA or Keogh Plan, you save two ways on taxes every year. First, your deposits are 100 tax-deductible. Second, all interest earned is tax-deferred. That's good news. But that's not all. All deposits made to an IRA " IMCf before Dec. 31 , or to a Keogh Plan before April 15 (provided the plan is set up before Dec. 31) are 100 deductible for your 1976 tax refurn. So if you don't have a pension plan where you work, or if you're self-employed Everyday LOW PRICES NO TIME LIMIT! now is the time to get one going. Stop in at any Home Federal office and talk it over with us. m- mr mr Irfome Federal Season's Greetmgs Come in to register for a big FREE COUNTRY HAM! luwk y&tMa seiberling eU V&tSSk POLYESTER 1 10-78 there's no safer place to he. PALM BEACH PALM COAST PLAZA PALM BEACH MALL (fcsfo FSIIC Register at either location! FOREST-HILL WEST JUPITER-TEQUESTA PALM BEACH GARDENS BOYNTON BEACH VERO BEACH MAIL TO: Home Federal Savings, Retirement Trust Division, 293 S. County Rd., Palm Beach, Fla. 33480 Please send me complete information on your tax-saving Individual Retirement Account Keogh Plan th awft vi "J J j ALL THE TIME!!!! BUY ONE OR MORE! M I ill ,n ' Name . Street . City & State. .Zip Phone

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