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Titans-Packers Flashback: Campbell's Big Day

Posted Dec 21, 2012

Each week this season, Titans Online is taking a look back at a game in Titans/Oilers franchise history against the upcoming opponent.

Dec. 14, 1980: Houston Oilers 22, Green Bay Packers 3

This flashback highlights an impressive rushing performance by Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell and a solid defensive effort by the Oilers’ defense in a mid-December visit to Lambeau Field.

The temperature was 19 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of 6, but Campbell was on fire that day.

The powerful 5-foot-11, 232 pound Campbell rushed a whopping 36 times for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He scored from 1-yard out in the first quarter and from 24 yards in the fourth quarter.

Houston also got 76 rushing yards on five carries by Rob Carpenter and finished with 257 yards rushing, compared to 54 rushing yards on 20 carries by the Packers.

Ken “Snake” Stabler, who was wrapping up his first season with the Oilers, completed 15 of 22 passes for 143 yards.

Green Bay QB Lynn Dickey went 18-for-37 for 309 yards, but threw three interceptions. Houston safety Vernon Perry and cornerbacks Greg Stemrick and J.C. Wilson each picked off Dickey.

Reserve linebacker John Corker put the game away in the fourth quarter by returning a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown.

Polish-born Czeslaw “Chester” Marcol filled in a kicker for Austrian-born Toni Fritsch for the Oilers. Marcol played nine seasons in Green Bay, including five games with the Packers earlier in the 1980 season. He kicked a 27-yard field goal against his former team but missed two of three extra point attempts in his only game with the Oilers as Fritsch returned the following week.

Houston continued the momentum from this game into the final game of the regular season when Campbell had 29 carries for 203 yards and a touchdown to give him a career high 1,934 rushing yards on 373 carries and 13 touchdowns in 15 games that season. The Oilers finished the regular season 11-5 and made their third consecutive trip to the postseason but fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion each time in the playoffs.

Campbell, the No. 1 pick in the 1978 NFL Draft, led the NFL in rushing in each of his first three seasons, racking up 5,081 yards in that span and had an NFL-record four 200-yard games in the 1980 season.

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