The last weekend of the 1963 season was the closet the Steelers got the an NFL Title before the dynasty in the 70s. In the second week of the year, Pittsburgh at home played a flawless game against the Giants. Y. A. Tittle was injured the previous week and stayed on the sidelines. Pittsburgh destroyed New York 31 to 0. Now it was twelve weeks later. The game between Pittsburgh and the New York Giants demonstrated two controversial points.
–The Steelers record was 7-3-3 vs 10-3 for the Giants. An old league rule eliminated ties when figuring winning percentages. A tie should have been worth something. Ten years later, the NFL rules stated that a tie would count as a half a game won and half a game lost. For this game, a Steeler win would put them in first place with .727 to .714 for NY.
–Give a quarterback time to throw, his receivers will get open, and he will pick the defense apart. Not so today. The Steelers’ offensive line gave quarterback Ed Brown almost perfect pass protection; his receivers were in the clear; and Brown overthrew, underthrew, and only sporadically hit the target. The Steelers, with Buddy Dial and Gary Ballman, had two of the NFL’s top pass catchers. Y.A. Tittle had far less protection and the Pittsburgh defensive conventionally stocked him. John Henry Johnson for Pittsburgh rushed for 110 yards which makes Ed Brown look even worse. The statistics tell the story:
Ed Brown was 13 of 33 for 217 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.
The Bald Eagle was 17 of 26 for 308 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.