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Bears Top Colts at Wrigley on Bukich’s Heroic Charge

Oct. 6, 1963 - Chicago quarterback Rudy Bukich (pictured) got off the bench late in the third period and drove the unbeaten Bears 80 yards for a touchdown in a 10-3 victory today over the Baltimore Colts before a crowd of 48,998 on a 93-degree afternoon at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The victory was the Bears’ fourth in the NFL season and their ninth in the last 10 games, including 6 games last year. Billy Wade entered the game with a .656 pass-completion percentage, but against the fast-charging Baltimore line and a ranging secondary, the Chicago quarterback completed only 5 of 21 passes before Bukich took over. Ron Bull completed the 80-yard drive by sprinting the final 44 yards for a touchdown. The Chicago defense held Johnny Unitas (pictured) to short passes. Unitas completed 21 of 36, but they were good for only 183 yards. His longest completion was for 18 yards. Baltimore’s only score came on Jim Martin’s 16-yard field goal in the third period. Afterward, Chicago head coach George Halas asked why he switched from Wade, his regular quarterback through three earlier victories, to Bukich. What was wrong with Wade? “The Baltimore defense — that’s what was wrong with Wade,” Halas said. “It seemed the natural change to make. The Colt defense has improved tremendously. We beat them 35-15 and 57-0 last year. What was the score today? It looks to me as though Don Shula is doing a great job. Bukich gave us some beautiful drives in pre-season games, and Wade wasn’t moving us satisfactorily.” Halas was asked what changes have contributed to the success of the Bears, who for the first time since 1938 have won their first four games. “We have changed our style of defense — simplified it,” Halas said. “That’s all I’ll say now. The Colts would like to know.” Baltimore coach Don Shula said: “A team has to score if it expects to win, and we didn’t score. We can’t win unless we score touchdowns. It’s a shame after the great game our defense played. You can’t fault the defense. That effort was good enough to win.” What about the winning touchdown pass? Whose fault was it? “I won’t say whose fault it was. Why make some player who played his heart out the goat of the game? Just say it was a missed coverage,” said Shula.

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