Hall of Fame fullback Jim Taylor, who played for the Green Bay Packers from 1958-66, has passed away at age 83. His death was confirmed by team historian Cliff Christl on the Packers’ official website.
Jim Taylor was virtually the definition of smash-mouth football, plowing through his opposition with grit and Packers’ pride. From 1960 to 1964, the legendary Green Bay fullback was the first player in NFL history to topple 1,000 rushing yards in five straight seasons. In 1962, Taylor logged a league-high 1, 474 yards for the season, the same year the Packers won the NFL Championship, and Taylor was voted the MVP.
The Packers’ official website describes Jim Taylor’s performance in the 1962 NFL Championship Game.
“In a brutal defensive battle, played in chilling temperatures, raw winds and on a Yankee Stadium field not much softer than concrete, Taylor carried 31 times and gained 85 yards as the Packers outlasted the New York Giants, 16-7.”
After the game, New York Giants middle linebacker Sam Huff said that Taylor wasn’t human, as no human being could have taken the punishment that he received that day. That was a sentiment that would follow the legendary Packers’ fullback throughout his career, as he often played at a level that was otherworldly.
Jim Taylor held the franchise rushing record for 43 years & was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 13, 2018
Remembering the legendary #Packers fullback, who passed away this morning at age 83.
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Jim Taylor started on six out of Vince Lombardi’s seven NFL championship teams, including in the 1965 Championship Game against the Browns, where Taylor was once again named MVP. The Green Bay legend rushed for 96 yards on 27 attempts in that meeting, and the Packers beat the Browns 49-17 in a blowout victory.
Vince Lombardi spoke about Jim Taylor after the 1965 NFL Championship Game, as the Packers’ official website reported.
“Taylor may not be as big as some fullbacks, be he has balance and determination. He is hard to knock off his feet and fights for every yard.”
Jim Taylor finished his tenure as the second leading all-time NFL rushers, second only to the record-holder Jim Brown. Though their styles were very different on the gridiron, the two were often compared to one another. Stunningly, Jim Brown led the NFL in rushing in eight of the nine seasons he played. Brown and Taylor faced each other three times throughout their respective careers, and the Packers beat the Browns in all three meetings.
Former Green Bay running back Paul Hornung spoke about Taylor, as ESPN documented.
“That son-of-a-gun is the toughest son-of-a-gun in the league. I’ve seen him run over guys 30 or 40 pounds bigger than he is like that [snap of a finger]. Jimmy Brown may be the best all-around athlete I’ve seen, but he doesn’t have Taylor’s desire.”
On January 15, 1967, Jim Taylor was a part of NFL history in the first-ever AFL-NFL Championship Game, known retroactively as Super Bowl 1. The Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10, and Taylor found the end zone on a 14-yard rush in the second quarter, which marked the first-ever rushing touchdown in a Super Bowl.
The Hall of Famer finished his NFL career with 1, 941 carries for 8,597 yards and 83 touchdowns, and 81 of those were rushing touchdowns, a figure that remains a Packers’ record. In 1976, Jim Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.