1963 Chicago Bears season

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1963 Chicago Bears season
Head coach George Halas
General manager George Halas, Jr.
Owner George Halas
Home field Wrigley Field
Results
Record 11–1–2
Division place 1st Western
Playoff finish Won NFL Championship
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1962 1964 >

The 1963 Chicago Bears season was their 44th regular season and 12th post-season completed in the National Football League. The club posted an 11–1–2 record, earning them an NFL Western Conference Championship, their last playoff berth prior to the AFL-NFL merger, and a spot in the NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants. The Bears prevailed beating the Giants 14–10 for the club's eighth NFL title, and their last under legendary head coach George Halas.

1963 would be the Bears' last NFL Championship until 1985. The Bears' defense became the third defense in the history of the NFL to lead the league in fewest rushing yards, fewest passing yards and fewest total yards;[1] the defense also allowed only 144 points, formerly an NFL record.[2]

In 2007, ESPN.com ranked the 1963 Bears as the ninth-greatest defense in NFL history,[3] noting, "[i]n 1963, Bears defensive coach George Allen came up with a new zone defense against the pass, befuddling opponents. With Doug Atkins and Ed O'Bradovich pressuring opposing QBs from their defensive end slots, and Bill George and Larry Morris defending against short passes from the linebacker position, the Bears picked off 36 passes, and allowed just 10.3 points and 227 yards per game. The Bears went on to win the NFL championship, thanks to the Defense. In the title game against Y.A. Tittle and the Giants, who had the best offense in the NFL, Chicago's five picks were the key, as the Bears won 14–10. George Allen got the game ball."

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

1963 Chicago Bears draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 11 Dave Behrman  C Michigan State Pick from trade with PIT
2 20 Steve Barnett  T Oregon Pick from trade with DAL
2 25 Bob Jencks  E Miami (OH)
3 38 Larry Glueck  DB Villanova
4 49 Stan Sanders  E Whittier Pick from trade with SF
4 52 Charley Mitchell  HB Washington Pick from trade with PIT
6 80 John Johnson  T Indiana Pick from trade with PIT
6 81 Dave Mathieson  QB Washington State
7 94 Paul Underhill  B Missouri
8 109 Dennis Harmon  DB Southern Illinois
9 118 Monte Day  T Fresno State Pick from trade with DAL
9 122 Dave Watson  LB Georgia Tech
10 137 Ed Hoerster  LB Notre Dame
11 150 James Tullis  DB Florida A&M
12 165 Dick Drummond  B George Washington
13 178 John Szumcyk  B Trinity (CT)
14 193 Gordan Banks  B Fisk
15 206 Bob Dentel  C/LB Miami (FL)
16 221 Lowell Caylor  DB Miami (OH)
17 234 John Sisk  B Miami (FL)
18 249 Jeff Slabaugh  E Indiana
19 262 Bob Yaksick  DB Rutgers
20 277 John Gregory  E Baldwin-Wallace
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[4]

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Record Attendance
1 September 15, 1963 at Green Bay Packers W 10–3 City Stadium 1–0 42,327
2 September 22, 1963 at Minnesota Vikings W 28–7 Metropolitan Stadium 2–0 33,923
3 September 29, 1963 at Detroit Lions W 37–21 Tiger Stadium 3–0 55,400
4 October 6, 1963 Baltimore Colts W 10–3 Wrigley Field 4–0 48,998
5 October 13, 1963 at Los Angeles Rams W 52–14 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 5–0 40,476
6 October 20, 1963 at San Francisco 49ers L 20–14 Kezar Stadium 5–1 35,837
7 October 27, 1963 Philadelphia Eagles W 16–7 Wrigley Field 6–1 48,514
8 November 3, 1963 at Baltimore Colts W 17–7 Memorial Stadium 7–1 60,065
9 November 10, 1963 Los Angeles Rams W 6–0 Wrigley Field 8–1 48,312
10 November 17, 1963 Green Bay Packers W 26–7 Wrigley Field 9–1 49,166
11 November 24, 1963 at Pittsburgh Steelers T 17–17 Forbes Field 9–1–1 36,465
12 December 1, 1963 Minnesota Vikings T 17–17 Wrigley Field 9–1–2 47,249
13 December 8, 1963 San Francisco 49ers W 27–7 Wrigley Field 10–1–2 46,994
14 December 15, 1963 Detroit Lions W 24–14 Wrigley Field 11–1–2 45,317

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
• 'Bear 3 0 7 0 10
Packers 3 0 0 0 3

[5]


Standings[edit]

NFL Eastern
W L T PCT PF PA STK
Chicago Bears 11 1 2 .917 301 144 W-2
Green Bay Packers 11 2 1 .846 369 206 W-2
Baltimore Colts 8 6 0 .571 316 285 W-3
Detroit Lions 5 8 1 .385 326 265 L-1
Minnesota Vikings 5 8 1 .385 309 390 W-1
Los Angeles Rams 5 9 0 .357 210 350 L-2
San Francisco 49ers 2 12 0 .143 198 391 L-5

NFL Championship Game[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Giants 7 3 0 0 10
Bears 7 0 7 0 14

The Giants opened the scoring in the first quarter when Y. A. Tittle led New York on an 83-yard drive that was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gifford. The drive was set up by Billy Wade's fumble deep in the Giants territory, which was recovered by former Bear Erich Barnes.[6] However, later in the first period, Tittle suffered an injury to his left knee when Larry Morris hit him during his throwing motion. For the rest of the game, Tittle would never be the same. Morris then intercepted Tittle's screen pass and returned the ball 61 yards to the Giants 6-yard line. Two plays later, Wade scored a touchdown on a two-yard quarterback sneak to tie the game at 7.

In the second quarter, the Giants retook the lead, 10–7, on a 13-yard field goal. But on New York's next drive, Tittle re-injured his left knee on another hit by Morris. With Tittle out for two possessions, the Giants struggled, only able to advance 2 yards in 7 plays. Allie Sherman even punted on third down, showing no confidence in backup Glynn Griffing. However, the score remained 10–7 at halftime.

Tittle came back in the third period, but he needed cortisone, Novocain, and heavy taping and bandaging just to continue. For the rest of the game, Tittle was forced to throw off his back foot (poor mechanics for a quarterback). An interception on a screen pass by the Bears' Ed O'Bradovich was brought deep into Giant territory, setting up Wade's 1-yard touchdown to give Chicago a 14–10 lead. The score held up, and the Bears iced the game on Richie Petitbon's interception in the end zone with 10 seconds left. It was Tittle's 5th interception. At the end of the game defensive coordinator George Allen was given the game ball due to his defense's spectacular play.


References[edit]

  1. ^ The Best Show in Football:The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns, p.294, Andy Piascik, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58979-360-6
  2. ^ "Happy Birthday George Halas". Chicago Bears. January 31, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ The List: Best NFL defense of all-time, 2007
  4. ^ 1963 Draft at Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2013-Dec-08.
  5. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  6. ^ Coppock, Chet (December 27, 2013). "Bears defeat Giants 14–10 for 1963 championship". Chicago Bears. Retrieved December 27, 2013.