Even in the face of the unusually varied offensive sets used by the Colts, brute force paid. Baltimore came out in a double wing, in an I formation with Tight End John Mackey as the I's front man, in spreads and sometimes with a man in motion.
"They didn't bother us any," said Maxie Baughan, the linebacker who calls the Ram defensive signals. "We weren't even surprised by the cockeyed I, although the Colts haven't used that set in a long time. We like for them to go into a lot of offensive sets. It means they have more opportunities to make mistakes and more to think about. We were as well prepared for this game as a team can be. All week long the coaches worked into the night getting ready. I know George would call me nearly every night with some new idea he had worked out. It was a wonderful job of planning."
Considering the enormous importance of the game, the two teams were remarkably relaxed during the week preceding it. Working out at their plush training camp at Blair Field in Long Beach, the Rams paid strict attention to the meticulous plans of Coach Allen, but the big defensive foursome—the front line of Brown, Lamar Lundy, Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones—sang a brief song before taking the field each day, as they have all through this season.
"Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we sing 'We shall gather in Miami, beautiful, beautiful Miami,' " Brown explained. "On Friday," he went on, "we change it. We sing 'Super Bowl, oh Super Bowl, how lovely is thy paycheck.' "
For the Rams, this had been the best season in club history, win or lose against Baltimore. For the Colts it had been even more rewarding. They were the first team in the NFL since 1934 to go 13 regular-season games without defeat.
"Some ways it's a shame," one Ram veteran said. "I mean if we're in any other division with this record, we win the championship two weeks ago. Here we lose only one game, and damned if we don't have to win on Sunday or get shut out of everything, even the second-place game in Miami. I figure we'll win, but something's wrong when it comes out that way."
Jones, the vicious defensive end who finished second to John Unitas—a distant second—in balloting for the league's Most Valuable Player, was deeply sensible of the honor. "You got to go with the man for No. 1," he said. "But how about me being No. 2? I never even considered I'd get a vote, because they just don't vote for defensive linemen. I guess it's a good thing I didn't win it or I'd be in a trance all week."
Brown grinned at him.
"Don't get so high, man," he said. "You ain't No. 1. You're No. 2. You got to try harder. You get your shot at No. 1 on Sunday."
"Maybe after Sunday I'll demand a recount," Jones said.