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Packers Top Colts, 31-20

Sept. 30, 1963 - The passing combination of Bart Starr and Boyd Dowler offset a shoddy first half Green Bay performance and a brilliant showing by John Unitas, the Baltimore Colts’ quarterback, yesterday and gave the Packers a 31-20 victory before a crowd of 42,327 at Green Bay’s City Stadium. The Packers, slow starting as usual, trailed 7-0 after two periods in which they lost the ball on two interceptions of Bart Starr passes and a fumble by Boyd Dowler after hauling in an aerial on the Baltimore 8. The Colts turned one of the interceptions into a second period touchdown. Defensive halfback Jim Welch took Starr’s toss out of Max McGee’s hands and returned seven yards to the Green Bay 43. Four plays later, Jerry Hill dove into the end zone from two yards out. Outsiders are banned from the clubhouse at halftime, so Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi cannot be quoted. But whatever he said did the trick. The Packers scored twice within 6 minutes in the third quarter to take a 14-7 lead. Starr passed 4 yards to Dowler for the first score, and Tom Moore capped a 47-yard drive by going over from the 3. The Colts came back to tie the score when Bobby Boyd stole the ball from Earl Gros, the Green Bay fullback, and ran 34 yards for a touchdown. Baltimore took the lead again on Jim Martin’s 9-yard field goal seconds later. Gros’s fumble set up the score. Green Bay regained the lead for good on the first play of the final period when Starr passed 35 yards to Dowler. The Colts were never in the game after that, despite a 52-yard field goal by Martin. Jerry Kramer’s 42-yard field goal and a 6-yard touchdown run by Gros with seconds to play ended the scoring. “Twelve exchanges of the ball — eight on fumbles and four on interceptions,” said Lombardi afterward. “Holy good gravy! They only punted once. On the other hand, neither side really had to punt. We just handed the ball to one another.” How, Lombardi was asked, do the Packers generate such shattering, pulverizing effort in man-to-man combat? “We teach it,” replied Lombardi, “and we try to get the type of boy that will do it.” Baltimore coach Don Shula, looking like a member of the family at the wake, said: “You can’t give up the ball seven times and expect to win. We killed ourselves with our mistakes.”

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