In a wild game that featured more than 600 yards of passing by the two teams, the Giants pulled out a victory over the Bears in the closing minutes on an exciting 85-yard screen pass by speedy Giants halfback Gene “Choo Choo” Roberts. Played before a disappointing crowd of just 30,000 since 38,000 other football fans were across the river at Yankee Stadium watching an AAFC game between the Yankees and the 49ers it was the most points ever scored by the Giants against the Bears in the regular season. It has not been topped since in the 80-year-old series.
The Giants controlled matters early, with Charley Conerly hitting Roberts for a 31-yard score in the first quarter and finding Bill Swiacki in the second quarter for 35 yards and a 14-0 halftime advantage. When safety Emlen Tunnell intercepted a Johnny Lujack pass in the third quarter and returned it 53 yards for a third score, the game was beginning to look like a mismatch.
Lujack then drove the Bears to touchdowns on their next two possessions to draw closer, but Conerly hit Roberts again with a short pass that Choo Choo converted into a 62-yard touchdown to end the third period with the Giants up 28-14.
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Once again Lujack went to the air and drove the Bears to two more touchdowns, knotting the score at 28-28. George Blanda’s kickoff went into the end zone for a touch-back, and the Giants started at their 20-yard line. Conerly was sacked for a five-yard loss on first down by the fired-up and hard-charging Bears.
On second down, with less than five minutes to play, he countered the angry Bears rush with a simple screen pass. It turned out to be the screen pass of the year. As the Bears’ rushers pursued the retreating Conerly, he floated a pass to the fleet-footed Roberts by the left sideline. With a wall of Giants in front of him, Roberts took off and motored untouched
The game was not over yet. Lujack once again drove his Bears downfield, completing six passes to take them to the Giants’ 16. In the closing seconds, though, Tunnell and Moon Mullins each batted away passes in the end zone, preserving the upset victory for the Giants.
Conerly, who had not practiced all week because of a sore arm, ended up with 273 yards on just eight completions that’s 34 yards per completion. Lujack put the ball up 59 times and threw for more than 300 yards in defeat. His number-one target, Jim Keane, caught 14 balls for 198 yards, but he was overshadowed by Roberts, who had 201 yards receiving for three scores and the game-winner.
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