The Giants took possession and moved the ball to the 12 on runs by Gifford and Webster, setting the stage for the Giants’ play of the day. Conerly faked a pitch to Gifford and dropped back to pass under a heavy rush by Gino Marchetti. Conerly hit an open Kyle Rote crossing the 35. Rote broke a tackle by Carl Tasseff at the 48 and kept running until Andy Nelson grabbed him at the Colts’ 40. With help from Ray Brown, Nelson wrestled Rote to the ground at the 35 as the ball came flying out.
While those three players scrambled to their feet, Alex Webster came rushing in from behind, scooped up the ball at the 25, and headed for the flag but a hustling Tasseff knocked Alex out at the 1. On the next play after this 87-yard miracle, Mel Triplett dove in for the score, and the Giants were alive.
Baltimore could not move the ball, but Conerly was sharp on the Giants’ next possession.
The Colts missed another field goal, and the Giants had the ball with less than five minutes to play. They picked up one first down and were faced with a third-and-five from their 39 when they handed off to Gifford, who appeared to make the first down. However, Gino Marchetti’s leg had been broken when teammate Big Daddy Lipscomb fell on the pile.
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In the ensuing confusion of removing Marchetti on a stretcher, New York got a bad spot and faced fourth down. The players and offensive coach Vince Lombardi wanted to go for the first down, but Jim Lee Howell decided to punt. The rest is legend: a 62-yard drive in 1:53 for the tying field goal and a 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in overtime for the Colts victory.
The Colts were champions, and Johnny Unitas won a car as the game’s MVP. Had Frank Gifford made that disputed first down, that car would have gone to Charley Conerly.
I didn’t really fumble. The guy pulled the ball away. But there it was on the goddamn ground, and I just went numb. You know what? Thank God for Alex Webster.
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