First Quarter. The game got off to a sloppy start with fumbles on both sides. But in the ensuring Colt possession, a Unitas pass was picked off by Giant defensive back, Lindon Crow. The Giants then went three-and-out. Baltimore began moving on its possession, as Unitas completed a yard pass to Lenny Moore at the Giants yard line, establishing speedster Moore as a big threat.
Kicker Steve Myhra, who made only 4 of 10 FGs during the season, missed the kick from about the 31 yard line. However, the Giants were offside, so Myhra got another chance, this time from about the However, Giant linebacker Sam Huff broke through the Colt line and blocked the kick. On a third-down play, Conerly threw a pass to wide-open fullback, Alex Webster, who slipped on the turf just as the ball arrived, sailing past him and falling incomplete.
Pat Summerall then kicked a yard field goal to put New York on the board.
Giants 3, Colts 0. Second quarter. Halfback Frank Gifford would have his problems as well. Giant QB Conerly tossed to Gifford in the left flat. The Colts then took over with mostly running plays: Lenny Moore ran for 4 yards, Ameche for 5, and then again for a yard more and a first down.
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The Colts were now at the ten-yard line. Moore then tried a run around left end, was almost taken for a loss by Colt defensive back Karl Karilivacz, but broke free briefly until Colt defensive back Jimmy Patton pushed him out at the 2-yard-line. From there, Unitas gave the ball to fullback Ameche photo below who took it in for a score behind the blocking of left tackle Jim Parker. Colts 7, Giants 3. Alan Ameche, No. The kick to the Colts, however, was fumbled by Jackie Sampson, with the Giants recovering on the their yard line. With thin reinforcements, the Giants were forced to use an offensive tackle, Fran Youso, to replace Grier for the rest of the game.
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Among the key plays: a yard pass to Ameche on 3rd-and-5; a Lenny Moore sweep for a yard gain; a Unitas scramble for 16 on a 3rd-and-7; and a yard pass to Raymond Berry, who made a diving catch at the From there, Ameche gained 6 more yards. But instead, Unitas then turns and fires a yard-pass to Berry who is wide open in the end zone. Myhra then added the extra point. Colts 14, Giants 3. Sam Huff would later say of his nemesis that afternoon, Johnny Unitas:.
When you thought run, he passed. When you thought pass, he ran. When you thought conventional, he was unconventional.
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When you thought unconventional, he was conventional. When you tried thinking in reverse, he double-reversed. It made me dizzy. It bothered me. We were one of the greatest defensive teams ever put together.
Third Quarter. The Colts received the kickoff at the opening of the second half, and Unitas, with continued good protection from his offensive line, moved the Colts down the field with passing in two series of downs before punting to the Giants. But the Giants went 3-and-out, punting the ball back to the Colts. This time, Unitas moved the Colts down the field to the Giant three-yard line, first down and goal to go. A sure touchdown seemed certain. Giant fans were about to throw in the towel.
But the Colts were stopped cold by the Giant defense there on four attempts, including a quarterback sneak attempt by Unitas. But the Colts, surprisingly, did not opt for a field goal. On successive 3rd and 4th down running attempts by fullback Ameche, as the Giant defenders held the line. Alan Ameche, Colts fullback, and key workhorse in the game, mis-heard play call that might have been TD. On the fourth down play, however, the Colts went for what they hoped would be a touchdown and an insurmountable lead.
Unitas called a play for Ameche to take a handoff and then throw a pass for the score. He never looked for Mutscheller and was tackled for a loss. The Giants then took over, giving team and fans hope they would prevail. Still, backed up against their own endzone, the Giants had their work cut out for them.
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They had yards to go. A key play came on a Conerly pass to Kyle Rote who caught the ball on a long crossing route, broke an arm tackle at about mid-field, but then fumbled when he was hit from behind at around the 25 yard line. From there, Giant fullback Mel Triplett took the ball in for the score. Summerall kicked his first extra point of the day. Colts 14, Giants Triplett would score Giant touchdown in the 3rd quarter.. The Giants continued their momentum, sacking Unitas for a loss to force a three-and-out for the Colts.
Starting the next possession from their 19, the Giants began moving again. Webster ran for 3, then Conerly hit tight end Bob Schnelker with a pass for 17 yards as the third quarter ended. Fourth Quarter. Then early in the fourth quarter, with the Giants still with the ball, Conerly hit Schnelker again, followed by a yard pass to Gifford who caught it at the 5 yard line, then carrying defender Milt Davis with him into the endzone for the score. With the extra point, it was now Giants 17, Colts The Baltimore Colts in the fourth quarter were able to move the ball into scoring range on two occasions, but came up short both times.
First they made it to the Giants yard line, but kicker Bert Rechichar missed a yard field goal attempt. On another drive after a fumble recovery, they moved the ball to the New York 42 yard line, and then to the yard line. These losses pushed the Colts back by 20 yards or so and out of field goal range. Photo Dan Rubin. With less than three minutes left in the game when they received the Colts punt, the Giants were trying to run out the clock through a series of plays and hold their lead.
But then they faced a crucial third-down-andyards-to-go, needing a first down for a fresh set of plays. They were on their own 40 yard line. Gifford believed — and would maintain for years thereafter — that he had made the crucial first down. But at the time, the ball was placed just short of the marker. This meant the Giants were then at a pivotal fourth-down moment.
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They were inches away from a possible first down, which if made, would help them continue to eat up the clock, hold their lead, and win the game. Should they go for it or punt?
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We would have run through a brick wall at that point. Injured Colt Gino Marchetti on sideline. Meanwhile, the injured Gino Marchetti, who had been carried off on a stretcher, told his carriers to put him down just outside the sideline so he could watch the rest of the game. He elected to punt, believing his defense could protect the Giants to lead and hold the Colts in the remaining minutes.