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Unitas called a running play for Matte, which gained two yards, and then hit Matte under the deep drop and he carried to the Dolphin 33 for still another first down. Next Bill Stanfill, the Dolphins' strong defensive right end, made an exceptional play on a sweep, dropping Bulaich for a two-yard loss. Then Unitas, who had been ignoring his wide receivers, sent Hinton on an out-and-in pattern and hit him beautifully as he made the break to the inside. Hinton got to the Dolphin 18 with a 17-yard gain and a first down.
Johnny U. had been going outside with his running backs, luring the Dolphin defense into cheating in that direction to stop the wide plays, so he next sent Bulaich up the middle, behind Curry's crushing block on Middle Linebacker Nick Buoniconti, and Boo went for six yards. On second and four Unitas kept the ball—a complete surprise in itself since he is well past running age—and made three yards on a sneak.
From the nine, it was routine. Bulaich carried three times to the one and Matte slammed over for the touchdown and it was 14-0 and the game was over. The scoring play Unitas called was the fillip to the masterful first half. He had called three running plays in a row to Bulaich, then faked to Bulaich one way, handed off to Matte a hole away to the other side and Matte brushed past a prospective tackier and scored.
In the second half the game belonged to the Colt defense. Unitas, who had thrown 13 passes and completed 12 for 103 yards in the first half (the one incompletion was a screen to Matte, which he dropped), was content to depend on his strong running game in the last two quarters and use up the clock. The Dolphins, who had the ball more often, did better than they had but not nearly well enough.
"We stayed with our game plan," said Miami Quarterback " Bob Griese, "but we didn't have the ball long enough in the first half to use it." He played with a badly bruised left shoulder and he presented a strange sight in the dressing room. He is a hairy man; the right side of his torso was still hairy, but the left had been shaved so that the shoulder could be bandaged, and he was wearing an ice pack.
Paul Warfield, who caught three passes for 28 yards, well below his average, paid heartfelt tribute to the Colt defense. "They're the zoniest team in football," he said. "Rick Volk and Jerry Logan, the safeties, were taking me inside and Ray May, the linebacker, was covering me short. So we had to go outside."
Outside was covered, too, so Griese got his best results from Jim Kiick, who caught seven passes coming out of the backfield. The Colt line contained both Larry Csonka and Kiick on the ground and Linebackers Ted Hendricks and May came up with fourth-quarter interceptions. In a game so well played, the interceptions came as profound shocks. "I was trying to get the ball over the linebackers and I didn't make it," Griese said. " Hendricks made a great play. The receiver fell down, but he would have intercepted anyway. It was a badly thrown ball."
May's interception came in the closing moments. "We were in a three-man line with four linebackers," May said. "That made me the free linebacker. I heard Griese say something to Mercury Morris as they came out of the huddle, so I decided to go with Mercury."
Morris, who was in for Kiick, ran a deep look-in, and May went with him, then looked for the ball. It was thrown to loop over his head, but he leaped high in the air for the interception.
The win, which moved the Colts into the playoffs, must have been especially satisfying to Carroll Rosenbloom, the Colt owner. Over the last few years he has had championship teams with three different coaches—Weeb Ewbank, Don Shula and Don McCafferty. The constant on the Colts—and the Rams, the Cowboys and the Vikings—has been good organization. And organization begins at the top.