The 1963 NFL Championship Game — Giants and Bears


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

On Dec. 29, 1963 at Wrigley Field in Chicago the New York Giants (11-3) coached by Allie Sherman, and appearing in their third consecutive NFL Championship Game, met the Chicago Bears (11-1-2) coached by George Halas, the owner of the Bears since their introduction into the league in 1920.

The Giants were led by quarterback Y. A. Tittle (3145 YDS, 36 TDS), running backs Phil King (613 YDS, 3 TDS), Joe Morrison (598 YDS, 3 TDS) and Alex Webster ( 255 YDS, 4 TDS), and receivers Del Shofner (1181, 9 YDS), Frank Gifford ( 657 YDS, 7 TDS), Aaron Thomas (469 YDS, 3 TDS), Joe Walton (371 YDS, 6 TDS) and Phil King ( 377 YDS, 5 TDS).

Their place kicker was Don Chandler who made 18 of 29 field goals attempted.

Their defense was led by former University of Dayton star Jim Katcavage who recovered two fumbles and had 20 ½ sacks, John Votere with eight sacks, and Dick Lynch with 9 interceptions, Jimmy Patton with 6 and Jerry Hillebrand with 5.

The Bears were led on offense by quarterback Billy Wade (2301 YDS, 15 TDS), running backs Joe Marconi (446 YDS, 2 TDS), Ronnie Bull (404 YDS, 1 TD) and Willie Galimore (321 YDS, 5 TDS) and receivers Mike Ditka (794 YDS, 8 TDS), Johnny Morris (705 YDS, 2 TDS), Joe Marconi (335 YDs, 2 TDS) and Bo Farrington (335 YDS, 2 TDS).

Their place kicker was Roger LeClerc who made 13 of 23 field goal tries and they were led on defense by Doug Atkins with 12 sacks, Rosey Taylor with 9 interceptions, Richie Pettibon with 8 and Dave Whitesell with 6.

In contrast to the previous two years, the Giants scored first in the game on a Frank Gifford 14-yard reception from Y. A Tittle for a 7-0 lead. But, it was short lived as Bears’ quarterback Billy Wade took the ball in from two yards out as the Bears tied the score at 7-7.

In the second quarter, the Giants again took the lead with a 13-yard Don Chandler field goal and the score was 10-7 Giants at the half.

Both teams played tough defense and there was only one more score in the game-a Billy Wade 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for a 14-10 lead and as there was no scoring in the fourth quarter, that proved to be the winning score for the Bears.

The Bears did not return to a championship game until 1985 when they won the Super Bowl with Mike Ditka as their coach and George Halas as the owner as he spent over sixty years as owner of the Chicago Bears.

The Giants returned to a championship game in the Super Bowl in 1986.

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