The 1958 NFL Championship Game — Colts and Giants


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

On Dec. 28, 1958 in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City in front of 64,185 fans, the Baltimore Colts 9-2 coached by Weeb Eubank met the New York Giants 10-3 coached by Jim Lee Howell in what was later termed “the greatest game ever played.”

Baltimore was led on offense by quarterbacks Johnny Unitas (2002 YDS, 19 TDS) and George Shaw (531 YDS, 7 TDS), running backs Alan Ameche (791 YDS, 8 TDS), L. G. Dupre (390 YDs, 3 TDS), and Lenny Moore (598 YDS, 7 TDS), and receivers Lenny Moore (938 YDS, 7 TDS), Raymond Berry (794 YDS, 9 TDS) and Jim Mutscheller (504 YDS, 7 TDS).

Their place kicker was Steve Myhra who made four of ten field goal tries. They were led on defense by Ray Brown with 8 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries, Carl Taseff with 7 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries and Andy Nelson with 8 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries.

New York was led on offense by 37-year old Charlie Conerley ( 1199 YDs, 10 TDS) and Don Heinrich (369 YDs, 4 TDS), running backs Frank Gifford ( 468 YDS, 8 TDS), Mel Triplett (466 YDS, 1 TD) and Alex Webster ((398 YDS, 3 TDS) Phil King (316 YDs, 1 TD), and receivers Rob Schnelker ( 460 YDS, 5 TDS), Frank Gifford (330 YDS, 2 TDS), Alex Webster ( 278 YDs, 3 TDS) and Kyle Rote (244 YDS, 3 TDS).

Their place kicker was Pat Summerall who made 12 of 23 field goal tries and who later was a long time well liked TV football broadcaster and analyst.

Their defense was led by Jimmy Patton with 11 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries, Lindon Crow with 3 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries and Carl Karilivac with 3 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery.

The game featured coaches and players who went on to fame later on in their careers. Vince Lombardi went on to coach the Packers and Tom Landry to coach the Dallas Cowboys while Weeb Eubank went on to coach the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. The Giants’ kick returner Don Maynard became a receiver for Eubank and the Jets ten years later.

The Giants got on the board first with a 36-yard Pat Summerall field goal and led 3-0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Colts got two touchdowns, one on an Alan Ameche two-yard run and the other on a 15-yard pass play from Johnny Unitas to Raymond Berry to make the score 14-3 at halftime.

The only scoring in the third quarter was a one-yard rushing touchdown by Mel Triplett to bring the score to 14-10 with the Colts still leading.

Giants’ fans had hope in the fourth quarter when Frank Gifford scored a touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Charlie Conerley to give the Giants the lead, 17-14. But with just seven seconds left in the game, the Colts managed a 20-yard field goal by Steve Myhra to tie the game at 17-17 and force overtime.

In overtime, Unitas led the Colts down the field from their own 10-yard line, culminating in an Alan Ameche touchdown run to give the Colts a 23-17 victory.

That was the first time an NFL title game had gone into overtime and also made Johnny Unitas a celebrity.

Both teams were back in the NFL Championship game in 1959.

Statistics for this article were from and

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