CHICAGO — There’s always a reason “cute” pops up in conversations about the soccer game.
This week, Walter Payton topped the list for two reasons.
First, Tuesday marked the anniversary of his death in 1999, a sad moment not only for those associated with the Chicago Bears but for the entire National Football League.
But a performance by another player last Sunday also put Payton’s name back in the spotlight.
The 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey wowed fans with a rare offensive “trifecta”: rushing, receiving and throwing a touchdown in the same game. He finished with one each in San Francisco’s 31-14 win over the Rams at SoFi Stadium.
He was the 11th player in history to accomplish this feat and one of them was Payton who did it 43 years ago.
On October 21, 1979, in a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Metropolitan Stadium, Payton scored the trifecta with a rushing, receiving and throwing touchdown.
The running back started his day by throwing a 54-yard touchdown pass to Brian Baschnagel in the first quarter to give the Bears the lead. In the second quarter, he caught a short two-yard touchdown from quarterback Bob Avellini.
Payton then completed the trifecta with a two-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
He would end up with just that one completion, 111 rushing yards and two receptions for 26 yards. It wouldn’t be enough for the Bears, who lost 30-27, but Payton would help the team to a wild card berth once later that year.
By the end of his Hall of Fame career, he had 110 touchdowns on the ground, 15 in receptions and throwing for eight in 190 regular-season games.
Two of the more recent Touchdown Trifecta moments are:
- LaDainian Tomlinson – Chargers – vs. Raiders – October 16, 2005
- WR David Patten – Patriots – vs Colts – October 21, 2001
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https://wgntv.com/news/wgn-news-now/a-look-back-at-walter-paytons-touchdown-trifecta/ A look back at Walter Payton’s “Trifecta” touchdown