1963 Chicago Bears

NFL Champions

Seventeen years had passed since the era of championships in Chicago. A new era of specialized players for offense and defense had taken over and only Coach George Halas remained as a link to the Bears' years of glory. This team had a new character as a zone defense designed by Assistant Coach George Allen dominated opponents and made up for a less-than-spectacular offense.

The opportunistic Bear defense matched up well against the passing offense of their Championship Game opponent, the New York Giants. The Giants had scored a league-high 32 points per game, while the Bears had allowed an average of only 10 points. Something had to give in the 8-degree temperatures at Wrigley Field.

The Bears' missed an opportunity to get on the board first when Quarterback Bill Wade fumbled in Giants' territory. Giant QB Y.A. Tittle led his team down the field, capping an 83-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Flanker Frank Gifford. It looked like the team that prided itself on making the opponent make mistakes was self-destructing when the Bears' Willie Galimore fumbled on the Bears' 31. Giant Split End Del Shofner dropped a Tittle pass in the end zone, though, and the Giants couldn't press their advantage.

The Bears finally showed their true colors when Linebacker Larry Morris intercepted a Tittle screen pass and returned it to the Giants' 5-yard line. Wade tied the game on a quarterback sneak two plays later. A Don Chandler field goal gave the Giants a 10-7 halftime lead, and gave the Giants hope of avenging their 4 Championship Game losses in the previous 5 years.

It was not to be. Larry Morris injured Tittle's knee in the second quarter, and the Giant passer had trouble after that point. Late in the third quarter, the Bears duplicated their first scoring drive, as Defensive End Ed O'Bradovich intercepted an attempted screen pass, and rumbled to the Giants' 14. Another short drive ended with a Wade sneak. From that point on, the Giants added only to their interception total, not the score, as Tittle was picked off a total of 5 times and the Bears won 14-10. Changes in the NFL probably mean that this will be the last championship that the Bears will ever win in the cold of Chicago. The next title for the Bears would be played in a dome, at a neutral site, and under the leadership of one of the Bears' top receivers in the 1963 game, Mike Ditka.

Chi 10 GB 3
Chi 28 Min 7
Chi 37 Det 21
Bal 3 Chi 10
Chi 52 LA 14
Chi 14 SF 20
Phi 7 Chi 16
Chi 17 Bal 7
LA 0 Chi 6
GB 7 Chi 26
Chi 17 Pit 17
Min 17 Chi 17
SF 7 Chi 27
Det 14 Chi 24

NYG 10 Chi 14 (Championship)
Championship Starters SE Farrington, John LT Lee, Herman LG Karras, Ted C Pyle, Mike RG Davis, Roger RT Wetoska, Bob TE Ditka, Mike FL Morris, Johnny QB Wade, Bill HB Galimore, Willie FB Marconi, Joe K Jencks, Robert
LE O'Bradovich, Ed LT Jones, Stan RT Williams, Fred RE Atkins, Doug LB Fortunato, Joe LB George, Bill LB Morris, Larry CB McRae, Bennie CB Whitsell, Dave LS Petitbon, Richie RS Taylor, Roosevelt
Reserves T Barnett, Steve LB Bettis, Tom HB Bivins, Charles QB Bukich, Rudy B Bull, Ronnie G Cadile, James HB Caroline, J.C. FB Casares, Rick HB Coia, Angelo B Glueck, Larry P Green, Bobby Joe T Johnson, John T Kilcullen, Bob K-LB Leclerc, Roger T Leggett, Earl HB Martin, Billy

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