1963 Chicago Bears season

The 1963 Chicago Bears season was their 44th regular season and 12th post-season appearance in the National Football League. The club posted an 11–1–2 record to gain their first Western Conference championship since 1956, and the berth to host the NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants (11–3–0).[1][2]

In the regular season, Chicago defeated the rival Green Bay Packers (11–2–1) twice to deny them a third consecutive NFL title; the Packers had won the previous five meetings with Chicago.[3][4] In the championship game on December 29, the Bears defeated the Giants 14–10 at Wrigley Field for the club's eighth league title, their first since 1946 and the last under legendary head coach and founder George Halas.[5][6][7][8]

This was the Bears' last playoff berth prior to the AFL-NFL merger, and their last NFL championship until 1985 and Super Bowl XX. The Bears' defense in 1963 was the third in history to lead the NFL in fewest rushing yards, fewest passing yards, and fewest total yards;[9] the defense also allowed only 144 points, formerly an NFL record.[10]

In 2007, ESPN.com ranked the 1963 Bears as the ninth-greatest defense in NFL history,[11] 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."

1963 Chicago Bears season
Head coachGeorge Halas
General managerGeorge Halas, Jr.
OwnerGeorge Halas
Home fieldWrigley Field
Results
Record11–1–2
Division place1st Western
Playoff finishWon NFL Championship

Offseason

NFL Draft

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

Source:[12]

Personnel

Coaches

Roster

1963 Chicago Bears final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists



Practice squad



Rookies in italics
53 Active, 5 Inactive, 5 Practice squad

  • Team photo [14]
  • Rosters - 1963 NFL title game [15]

Regular season

Schedule

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

Game summaries

Week 1

1 234Total
• Bears 3 070 10
Packers 3 000 3

Source:[3][16]

Week 2

1 234Total
• Bears 7 7014 28
Vikings 0 700 7

[17]

Week 3

1 234Total
• Bears 7 2802 37
Lions 0 0147 21

[18]

Week 4

1 234Total
Colts 0 030 3
• Bears 0 0010 10

[19]

Week 5

1 234Total
• Bears 7 21321 52
Rams 0 707 14

[20]

Week 6

1 234Total
Bears 0 707 14
• 49ers 10 730 20

[21]

Week 7

1 234Total
Eagles 0 700 7
• Bears 10 060 16
  • Date: October 27
  • Location: Wrigley Field

[22]

Week 8

1 234Total
• Bears 7 073 17
Colts 0 070 7

[23]

Week 9

1 234Total
Rams 0 000 0
• Bears 3 030 6
  • Date: November 10
  • Location: Wrigley Field

[24]

Week 10

1 234Total
Packers 0 007 7
• Bears 13 0310 26
  • Date: November 17
  • Location: Wrigley Field

[25]

Week 11

1 234Total
Bears 7 703 17
Steelers 0 1403 17

[26]

Week 12

1 234Total
Vikings 3 1400 17
Bears 3 077 17
  • Date: December 1
  • Location: Wrigley Field

[27]

Week 13

1 234Total
49ers 0 700 7
• Bears 14 076 27
  • Date: December 8
  • Location: Wrigley Field

[28]

Week 14

1 234Total
Lions 0 700 7
• Bears 3 0147 24
  • Date: December 15
  • Location: Wrigley Field

[29]

Standings

NFL Western Conference
W L T PCT CONF PF PA STK
Chicago Bears 11 1 2 .917 10–1–1 301 144 W2
Green Bay Packers 11 2 1 .846 9–2–1 369 206 W2
Baltimore Colts 8 6 0 .571 7–5 316 285 W3
Detroit Lions 5 8 1 .385 4–7–1 326 265 L1
Minnesota Vikings 5 8 1 .385 4–7–1 309 390 W1
Los Angeles Rams 5 9 0 .357 5–7 210 350 L2
San Francisco 49ers 2 12 0 .143 1–11 198 391 L5

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

NFL Championship

1 234Total
Giants 7 300 10
• Bears 7 070 14

The Giants opened the scoring in the first quarter when quarterback 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 Bears quarterback Bill Wade's fumble deep in the Giants territory, which was recovered by former Bear Erich Barnes.[30] 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. New York coach 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 due to the injury, Tittle was forced to throw off his back foot. 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

  1. ^ Strickler, George (December 29, 1963). "Bears battle Giants for title today". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 2.
  2. ^ Hand, Jack (December 29, 1963). "Offensive Giants, defensive Bears in NFL finale". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. 1, sports.
  3. ^ a b Strickler, George (September 16, 1963). "Bears shatter Packers' invincibility". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
  4. ^ Strickler, George (November 18, 1963). "Here's how Bears won". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 1.
  5. ^ Strickler, George (December 30, 1963). "Bears the champions! Win, 14-10". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 1.
  6. ^ Sell, Jack (December 30, 1963). "Bears stop Giants, win NFL title". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. pp. 1, 18.
  7. ^ Livingston, Pat (December 30, 1963). "Bears open 'screen' door to title". Pittsburgh Press. p. 18.
  8. ^ "Papa's polar Bears whittle Tittle; intercept five, win title 14-10". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. December 30, 1963. p. 8.
  9. ^ The Best Show in Football:The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns, p.294, Andy Piascik, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58979-360-6
  10. ^ "Happy Birthday George Halas". Chicago Bears. January 31, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-02-19. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  11. ^ The List: Best NFL defense of all-time, 2007
  12. ^ 1963 Draft at Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2013-Dec-08.
  13. ^ Chicago Bears media guide. Retrieved 2015-Aug-23.
  14. ^ "Team photo". Chicago Tribune. December 14, 1963. p. 1, section 2.
  15. ^ "TV numbers". Chicago Tribune. December 29, 1963. p. 2, section 2.
  16. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  17. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Nov-30.
  18. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Dec-04.
  19. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Dec-06.
  20. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Dec-08.
  21. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Feb-17.
  22. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Feb-17.
  23. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Feb-17.
  24. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Feb-17.
  25. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Feb-17.
  26. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Feb-17.
  27. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Feb-17.
  28. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Feb-17.
  29. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Feb-17.
  30. ^ Coppock, Chet (December 27, 2013). "Bears defeat Giants 14–10 for 1963 championship". Chicago Bears. Retrieved December 27, 2013.

Additional sources

  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 978-1-932994-36-0)

External links

Scoring summary
1CHIBob Jencks 32-yard field goalBears 3–0
1GBJerry Kramer 41-yard field goalTie 3–3
3CHIJoe Marconi 1-yard run (Bob Jencks kick)Bears 10–3
Scoring summary
Q1CHIBull 24 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 7–0
Q2MINReichow 24 yard pass from Tarkenton (Cox kick)Tie 7–7
Q2CHIDitka 36 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 14–7
Q4CHIWade 1 yard run (Jencks kick)CHI 21–7
Q4CHIDitka 10 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 28–7
Scoring summary
Q1CHICoia 18 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 7–0
Q2CHIMorris 16 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 14–0
Q2CHIDitka 13 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 21–0
Q2CHIPetitbon 66 yard interception return (Jencks kick)CHI 28–0
Q2CHIWade 1 yard run (Jencks kick)CHI 35–0
Q3DETBarr 60 yard pass from Morrall (Walker kick)CHI 35–7
Q3DETCogdill 67 yard pass from Morrall (Walker kick)CHI 35–14
Q4CHISafety, Atkins tackled Morrall in end zoneCHI 37–14
Q4DETCogdill 38 yard pass from Morrall (Walker kick)CHI 37–21
Scoring summary
Q3BALMartin 16 yard field goalBAL 3–0
Q4CHIBull 44 yard pass from Bukich (Jencks kick)CHI 7–3
Q4CHILeClerc 16 yard field goalCHI 10–3
Scoring summary
Q1CHIDitka 13 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 7–0
Q2CHIMcRae 35 yard interception return (Jencks kick)CHI 14–0
Q2LAPhillips 10 yard pass from Bratkowski (Villanueva kick)CHI 14–7
Q2CHIDitka 25 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 21–7
Q2CHIDitka 2 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 28–7
Q3CHILeClerc 31 yard field goalCHI 31–7
Q4LABass 4 yard run (Villanueva kick)CHI 31–14
Q4CHIDitka 14 yard pass from Wade (Jencks kick)CHI 38–14
Q4CHIGalimore 2 yard run (Jencks kick)CHI 45–14
Q4CHIFarrington 17 yard pass from Bukich (Jencks kick)CHI 52–14
Scoring summary
Q17:38NYGGifford 14 yard pass from Tittle (Chandler kick)NYG 7–0
Q10:16CHIWade 2 yard run (Jencks kick)Tie 7–7
Q29:49NYGChandler 13 yard field goalNYG 10–7
Q32:12CHIWade 1 yard run (Jencks kick)CHI 14–10
Franchise
Records
Stadiums
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Retired numbers
Key personnel
Division championships (21)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (9)
Media
Current league affiliations
Seasons (100)

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