On This Date in Sports October 21, 1973

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Fred Dryer of the Los Angeles Rams, makes history becoming the first player in NFL history to record two safeties in one game. Both of Dryers safeties are quarterback sacks in the fourth quarter as the Rams defeat the Green Bay Packers 24-7 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Dryer finished the season with 39 tackles, ten sacks unofficially and three forced fumbles. The sack was not an official stat until 1982.

Fred Dryer was born on July 6, 1946, in Hawthorne, California. He was selected by the New York Giants as the 13th overall pick in the 1969 draft, after attending San Diego State. Dryer was among the Giants top pass rushers as he started as a Defensive End right from his rookie season. Despite being a second-team All-Pro, Fred Dryer was traded to the New England Patriots in 1972 for three draft picks. However, Dryer refused to report to New England and was traded on draft day to the Los Angeles Rams of a first-round draft pick and Rick Cash.

After playing through injuries in 1972, Dryer had one of his best seasons in 1973, as he moved to the right side of the line. Heading into their Week 6 matchup with the Green Bay Packers at the L.A. Coliseum the Los Rams were 5-0, while the Packers were 2-1-2. By the fourth quarter, the Rams had the game fully under control, taking a 20-7 lead. As the game was winding down, Fred Dryer took down Scott Hunter in the end zone. On the next possession, Dryer took down backup Jim Del Gaizo for a final score of 24-7. It was the first time in NFL history that a player had two safeties in one game. For his efforts, Fred Dryer was named NFL Defensive Player of the Week.

Fred Dryer would play the rest of his career with the Rams, retiring after the 1981 season. Unofficially recording 104 career sacks, as the stat finally became official the year after Dryer retired. Always considered one of the NFL’s great characters, Dryer went into acting after his career. In 1982 he was heavily considered for the role of Sam Malone in “Cheers”, losing out to Ted Danson. Though he would later appear on the series as a guest star. In 1984, Fred Dryer landed his most famous role, playing LAPD Detective Rick Hunter in the series “Hunter” which lasted for seven seasons on NBC. He also stared in the Action Film “Death Before Dishonor” released in 1987.