Monday, September 24, 2012

This Day in Sports History - 9/24/1972

Oakland Raiders cornerback Jack Tatum sets an NFL record returning a fumble 104 yards during a 20 - 14 win over the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers lead 7 - 3 in the first quarter when Tatum picks up running back MacArthur Lane's fumble in the Oakland end zone and sprints across the Green Bay goal line. The 104 yard fumble return breaks the 98 yards record set by George Halas when he played for the Chicago Bears in 1923. A review of the film shows that Lane's turnover was actually a muffed lateral and should have been ruled a touchback with Oakland gaining the ball on its own 20. Had the instant replay rule existed in 1972, it's likely that Tatum's touchdown would have been nullified. Tatum remains in the record books, however. His 104 yard fumble return will be tied by cornerback Aeneas Williams of the Arizona Cardinals on November 5, 2000.

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