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Bears Beat Packers for Second Time This Season

Nov. 17, 1963 - Nothing could stop the Chicago Bears today as they stormed over the Green Bay Packers in a manner few teams have been able to do in recent years. The victory in Chicago gave the Bears sole possession of first place in the NFL’s Western Division. The big struggle between the two powers who had been previously tied for the lead turned into a 26-7 rout by the Bears before 49,166 fans at Wrigley Field. The powerful defense of 68-year-old Coach George Halas’s Bears was at its best, and the offense, engineered by Bill Wade, the quarterback, toyed with the supposedly strong Packer defenders. Five times the Chicago defense picked off Packer passes, and twice it recovered Packer fumbles. Roughhouse Jim Taylor, the pile-driving fullback who has been Green Bay’s bread and butter carrier through the club’s glorious marches to the championship, was held to 23 yards rushing. But it was on offense that the Bears shocked Green Bay and millions of viewers. Playing without little Johnny Morris, their great flanker back, the Bears controlled the ball throughout by grinding out 248 yards on the ground and 69 in the air for a total of 317 yards to Green Bay’s 232.  “Our greatest victory since 1946!” exclaimed Halas after the game. That was the year in which the Bears and their immortal quarterback, Sid Luckman, beat the Giants in the Polo Grounds for the world title. Halas then dug into his pocket and produced a “war plan” that his Bears had followed in smashing Vince Lombardi’s Packers. On a sheet of lined notebook paper, Halas had written under the heading “Our War Plan Against the Packers”: “It is simple and will do the job. Control the ball with runs and short passes. Use some counter plays against their keys. Draw them in tight and let them have one or two long ones. Smother the champions’ offense. That’s a big order.” The game ball went to Phil Handler, the offensive line coach for the Bears, who accepted it tearfully. “I knew we had them when J.C, Caroline made that great tackle on Herb Adderley on the opening kickoff,” said Handler. “I knew then we were ready.” “We sure were ready, weren’t we?” shouted defensive lineman Earl Leggett, throwing his arms around defensive coach George Allen. “Just like you said this week, we’re a better ball club than they are.” “You bet we were better,” agreed halfback Charlie Bivins. “It was the best blocking our offensive line ever did.” “Pittsburgh next, gang! Next week it’s the Steelers.” The jubilant voice belonged to fullback Joe Marconi. In the Green Bay dressing room, Lombardi said: “The Bears were terrific. They beat us up front where it counts — and both ways. I’m happy for Papa George. He’s a hell of a guy.”


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