VIDEO: Gale Sayers Scored Six Touchdowns 50 Years Ago Today

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December 12, 1965- fifty years ago today, one of the greatest feats in NFL history occurred.

The San Francisco 49ers were at Wrigley Field to face the Chicago Bears in what would certainly be an low-scoring affair. It was very wet and the field had become a muddy mess. Certainly, neither side would be able to get any traction going and there wasn’t going to be more than a couple touchdowns scored on either side of the ball.

But there was one man that proved that all wrong- Bears rookie running back Gale Sayers.

VIDEO: Sayers Scores Six Touchdowns in One Game

Sayers had no problem with his footing as he turned in one of the great performances in the history of the league, and did it in a little over one half of football. Sayers got it started on the team’s opening possession when he took a Rudy Bukich screen pass 80 yards to the house. Sayers kept it going in the second quarter scoring twice on runs of 7 and 21 yards and the Bears took a 27-13 lead into the half.

Sayers kept it going in the third quarter. Sayers scored on the Bears’ first two second half possessions, once from 50 yards out, and once on a one-yard goalline plunge. The Bears led 40-13 and coach George Halas had seen enough. He pulled Sayers and most of the other Bears’ first-teamers with the game well in hand. But the crowd knew they were on the verge of seeing history. They knew Sayers needed one more score to tie an NFL record and they became rather vocal.

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Halas finally caved to the pressure and gave Sayers one more shot to tie the record. He put his rookie running back in to return a punt in the fourth quarter. Sayers responded by catching the ball at his own fifteen, weaving in and out of traffic and sprinting down the far sideline for an 85 yard score. It was his record-tying sixth touchdown of the game and the Bears won the content 61-20. Sayers’ final line- 16 touches, 336 yards, 6 TDs.

A legend was born that day. Although Sayers’ career was cut short due to injury, he is widely considered one of the greatest running backs to ever play the game thanks to legendary performances like this one. There have been plenty of magical performances in the almost 100-year history of the NFL, but arguably none were more incredible than the one Sayers had 50 years ago.