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Bears Top Lions, Remain Unbeaten

Sept. 30, 1963 - Billy Wade threw touchdown passes and scored once yesterday to lead the unbeaten Chicago Bears to a surprisingly easy 37-21 victory over the Lions in Detroit. (Pictured below, tight end Mike Ditka hauls in one of Wade’s touchdown passes as defensive back Gary Lowe looks on.) The Bears scored a touchdown against the Lions for the first time in 4 games and ran up their highest point total against Detroit since 1956. The Bears poured across 28 points in the second period and retained the Western Conference lead in the NFL with a 3-0 record. The 37 points was the most run up against the Lions since San Francisco’s 49-0 victory in 1961. Milt Plum, the Lion quarterback, completed only three of nine passes in the first half and had two intercepted. Earl Morrall replaced him and completed touchdown passes of 60, 67, and 38 yards in the second half. With 55,400 looking on, Wade directed an 80-yard touchdown drive the first time the Bears got the ball. He capped it with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Angelo Coia. A Lion fumble and two pass interceptions by the Bears helped Chicago score 28 points in the second period. “It’s a combination of all that,” Lion head coach George Wilson said slowly when asked “What is it…quarterbacks?…blocking?…mixup on pass patterns?” “Plum has been hurt by not having enough pre-season workouts while he was injured,” Wilson said. “A quarterback has to have that work to get sharp.” Plum missed most of the exhibition games with a bad knee. So will Wilson start Earl Morrall next Sunday at quarterback against San Francisco? “I could,” he said. “Right now, I don’t know.” If the game turned on one play, it was Bennie McRae’s interception of a pass that slipped off Terry Barr’s fingers in Detroit territory in the second quarter. From the theft, the Bears quickly went on to score and made it 21-0. “When you get an interception or fumble and go in, it gives you a big lift,” Wilson said. “They got every break they could, and they used them. Barr could have caught that ball, but it went off his hands and they intercept and go in.” What do you tell a team that is trailing by 35-0 at halftime? “I told them a lot of things,” said Wilson, allowing himself a rare smile. “And you have to give this team credit. That 35-0 is a hell of a score, and they didn’t give up.”


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