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Colts Down Redskins at D.C. Stadium

Dec. 1, 1963 - Johnny Unitas used the screen pass and his own running to break up a close game with 17 points in the final quarter as the Colts downed the Redskins, 36-20, before 44,006 D.C. Stadium fans this afternoon. In leading the Colts to their sixth victory in 12 outings, Unitas came within one completion of his single-game mark of 25 set last December 8 against these same Redskins. Beside his 24 completions in 37 attempts for 355 yards and three touchdowns, Unitas rushed 4 times for 42 yards, and his 13-yard run early in the fourth quarter set up the Colts’ winning score, a 10-yard plunge by Jerry Hill. That touchdown put the Colts ahead, 26-13. But as good as the eight-year Colt veteran was, his counterpart, Norman Snead, was nearly as effective with 18 completions for 332 yards and a touchdown. However, Snead marred his fine effort with two interceptions. The loss was Washington’s ninth in 12 games and its fourth straight defeat by the Colts, who last lost to the Redskins in 1959. This was a day for passing, despite the chilly weather. Altogether the passers for both teams tried 74 aerials, while the runners carried only a combined 47 times. In the Baltimore dressing room, Unitas received high praise from his teammates, but so did cornerback Bobby Boyd, despite the fact that his statistics might not have looked the greatest. He played standout receiver Bobby Mitchell head-to-head, and Mitchell caught five passes for 52 yards and one touchdown. “You did a great job on him,” said Charley Winner, Colt defensive coach. “As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best receiver we have faced all year.” “Yeah,” chimed in cornerback Lenny Lyles. “I’ve seen him tear guys up. If you hold him to five receptions and one touchdown, as much as they throw to him, you’re doing a good job.” “He’s good, all right,” said Boyd. “There’s nobody any faster or more shifty. That John Morris of the Bears is the same type receiver, but they don’t throw to him near as much as Snead throws to Mitchell. That’s one thing that makes Mitchell so tough. They throw to him so much he can do things to you to set you up for the next play. He’ll run a pattern one way a couple of times, then go the other way on you just when you think you’ve got him figured.”

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