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Giants Crush 49ers, Gain Exclusive Possession of First Place

Nov. 18, 1963 - After ten weeks of grudging give-and-take battle, the New York Giants yesterday gained exclusive possession of first place in the Eastern Conference of the NFL. The Giants reached this pinnacle by crushing the San Francisco 49ers, 48-14, while the St. Louis Cardinals were turning back the Cleveland Browns, 20-14. The Giants’ victory before a crowd of 62,983, achieved with the help of four touchdown passes by Y.A. Tittle, left the New Yorkers one game ahead of both the Cards and the Browns. The Giants, in their best offensive game of the year, gained a total of 568 yards and scored the third-highest point total in the NFL this season. It was the New Yorkers’ fifth straight victory. Andy Robustelli’s defensive platoon held San Francisco to 34 yards rushing and dropped Lamar McHan and Bob Waters, the quarterbacks, for repeated losses while attempting to pass. The 49ers lost 55 yards in this fashion. Glynn Griffing, the Giants’ reserve quarterback, directed the Giant offense for all but five plays of the fourth quarter. His last play was a big one — a 30-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gifford. It was this play that infuriated Jack Christiansen, the 49er coach. In the locker room, Christian angrily said, “I take nothing away from Tittle or the Giants. But I hope they lose every game from now on.” Apparently, Christiansen felt that Coach Allie Sherman, his New York counterpart, had run up an unnecessarily high score on him and that Griffing’s touchdown pass with 117 seconds left to play was salt in the wound.  Sherman, when advised of Christiansen’s comments, said: “We had absolutely no motive in running up the score. We were fighting for our lives out there. I would have been satisfied to win by one point. I’m very surprised to hear his feeling expressed. How am I supposed to give the kid [rookie quarterback Glynn Griffing] any game experience? Could I stop him from throwing a touchdown pass?”


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