|1963 Chicago Bears season|
|Head Coach||George Halas|
|Home Field||Wrigley Field|
|Playoff Finish||Won NFL Championship|
|Previous Season||Next Season|
The 1963 Chicago Bears season was their 44th regular season and 12th post-season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 11-1-2 record, earning them an NFL Western Conference Championship, their last playoff berth prior to the AFL-NFL merger, and a spot in the NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants. The Bears prevailed beating the Giants 14-10 for the club's eighth NFL title, and their last under legendary head coach George Halas.
1963 would be the Bears' last NFL Championship until 1985. The Bears' defense became the third defense in the history of the NFL to lead the league in fewest rushing yards, fewest passing yards and fewest total yards.
In 2007, ESPN.com ranked the 1963 Bears as the ninth-greatest defense in NFL history, noting, "[i]n 1963, Bears defensive coach George Allen came up with a new zone defense against the pass, befuddling opponents. With Doug Atkins and Ed O'Bradovich pressuring opposing QBs from their defensive end slots, and Bill George and Larry Morris defending against short passes from the linebacker position, the Bears picked off 36 passes, and allowed just 10.3 points and 227 yards per game. The Bears went on to win the NFL championship, thanks to the D[efense]. In the title game against Y.A. Tittle and the Giants, who had the best offense in the NFL, Chicago's five picks were the key, as the Bears won 14-10. George Allen got the game ball."
|1||September 15, 1963||at Green Bay Packers||W 10-3||City Stadium||1-0||42,327|
|2||September 22, 1963||at Minnesota Vikings||W 28-7||Metropolitan Stadium||2-0||33,923|
|3||September 29, 1963||at Detroit Lions||W 37-21||Tiger Stadium||3-0||55,400|
|4||October 6, 1963||Baltimore Colts||W 10-3||Wrigley Field||4-0||48,998|
|5||October 13, 1963||at Los Angeles Rams||W 52-14||LA Coliseum||5-0||40,476|
|6||October 20, 1963||at San Francisco 49ers||L 20-14||Kezar Stadium||5-1||35,837|
|7||October 27, 1963||Philadelphia Eagles||W 16-7||Wrigley Field||6-1||48,514|
|8||November 3, 1963||at Baltimore Colts||W 17-7||Memorial Stadium||7-1||60,065|
|9||November 10, 1963||Los Angeles Rams||W 6-0||Wrigley Field||8-1||48,312|
|10||November 17, 1963||Green Bay Packers||W 26-7||Wrigley Field||9-1||49,166|
|11||November 24, 1963||at Pittsburgh Steelers||T 17-17||Forbes Field||9-1-1||36,465|
|12||December 1, 1963||Minnesota Vikings||T 17-17||Wrigley Field||9-1-2||47,249|
|13||December 8, 1963||San Francisco 49ers||W 27-7||Wrigley Field||10-1-2||46,994|
|14||December 15, 1963||Detroit Lions||W 24-14||Wrigley Field||11-1-2||45,317|
|Green Bay Packers||11||2||1||.846||369||206||W-2|
|Los Angeles Rams||5||9||0||.357||210||350||L-2|
|San Francisco 49ers||2||12||0||.143||198||391||L-5|
NFL Championship GameEdit
- For more details on this topic, see 1963 NFL Championship Game.
The Giants opened the scoring in the first quarter when Y. A. Tittle led New York on an 83-yard drive that was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gifford. The drive was set up by Billy Wade's fumble deep in the Giants territory. However, later in the first period, Tittle suffered an injury to his left knee when Larry Morris hit him during his throwing motion. For the rest of the game, Tittle would never be the same. Morris then intercepted Tittle's screen pass and returned the ball 61 yards to the Giants 6-yard line. Two plays later, Wade scored a touchdown on a two-yard quarterback sneak to tie the game at 7.
In the second quarter, the Giants retook the lead, 10-7, on a 13-yard field goal. But on New York's next drive, Tittle re-injured his left knee on another hit by Morris. With Tittle out for two possessions, the Giants struggled, only able to advance 2 yards in 7 plays. Allie Sherman even punted on third down, showing no confidence in backup Glynn Griffing. However, the score remained 10–7 at halftime.
Tittle came back in the third period, but he needed cortisone, Novocain, and heavy taping and bandaging just to continue. For the rest of the game, Tittle was forced to throw off his back foot (poor mechanics for a quarterback). An interception on a screen pass by the Bears' Ed O'Bradovich was brought deep into Giant territory, setting up Wade's 1-yard touchdown to give Chicago a 14–10 lead. The score held up, and the Bears iced the game on Richie Petitbon's interception in the end zone with 10 seconds left. It was Tittle's 5th interception. At the end of the game defensive coordinator George Allen was given the game ball due to his defense's spectacular play.