"The personality of this team is determination and character," said Casey after the game. "If you want proof, we've been a hell of a second-half team all season long."
In a weird and often wonderful fourth period, the Rams had to draw on all of their determination and character to salvage the 24-24 tie. As the quarter began, the Ram defense, now enjoying considerable success with straight-ahead bull power and speed, seemed at last to have begun to harness Unitas. But a rush of penalties—one for pass interference, two for grabbing face masks—negated their efforts. Instead of losing running yardage twice and suffering an incomplete pass, the Colts picked up some 35 yards before Unitas found Richardson with a 31-yard pass in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown, and the Colts led 24-14.
Then the breaks started going the Rams' way. Bruce Gossett hit the crossbar with a 47-yard field-goal attempt and the ball bounced through to give them the score. Trying to pass from the Colt 31, Unitas made a curiously feeble toss toward Matte. Maxie Baughan, the Ram linebacker, stepped in front of Matte, intercepted the ball and returned it to the Colt eight.
Three plays later Gabriel, dancing nimbly away from a gaggle of would-be Colt tacklers, waited until Casey, who was covered, came free in the end zone and hit him with a 16-yard touchdown pass. "Often the primary receivers were covered," Gabriel said. "Then I just went to the open man. This was supposed to be a quick pass, but it didn't work that way."
Someone said to him, "Good game, Gabe," and he looked up ruefully. "Good enough to tie," he said. "Right now, that's plenty good."
It may not be in December.