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Bears Earn Narrow Victory over Colts in Baltimore

Nov. 4, 1963 - Billy Wade passed only sparingly, but he made his throws effective yesterday in guiding the Chicago Bears to a 17-7 victory over the Colts before a crowd of 60,065 in Baltimore. The victory kept the Bears in a tie with Green Bay for the Western Conference lead in the NFL. Wade completed five passes in as many attempts during the first half as the Bears took a 7-0 lead. He completed 9 of 12 passes for 124 yards for the game, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to Rick Casares in the third period. The Bears’ defense intercepted a pass leading to the second touchdown and generally contained the Colts’ offense, except for a 25-yard touchdown run by Lenny Moore in the third period. Roger Leclerc’s 12-yard field goal in the final period capped the Chicago scoring. Ball control was clearly the Bears’ battle plan yesterday. “It may not be as spectacular as the long bomb, but it does win games,” Chicago coach George Halas declared. “For me, there’s as much excitement when a man runs six yards for a touchdown as when he runs the length of the field. I’d say we’ve been sort of committed to it for our first eight games, and it has been proven correct so far.” Only a 20-14 upset two weeks ago by the 49ers — “when we were not mentally ready and they were” — mars the Chicago record. Baltimore coach Don Shula pinpointed two Colt offensive lapses as the key plays in the game: a fumble by Johnny Unitas in the closing minutes of the first half and the interception by Bear linebacker Joe Fortunato in the third quarter. But he quickly conceded “it is hard to score if you don’t have the ball.” Jimmy Welch, Colt safety, was almost awed by Mike Ditka, the Bears’ tight end. “He just overpowers you,” said Welch. “What a blocker.”


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