San Diego Chargers
August 22, 1969
COLTS WHIP BILLS AS UNITAS STARS
Gain Fourth Victory in Row Over AFL Eleven, 20-7
By William N. Wallace
Special to The New York Times
BUFFALO, Aug. 22- The Baltimore Colts, champions of the National Football League, continued their march through the American League tonight by defeating the Buffalo Bills, 20-7 before a capacity crowd of 45,750. It was the fourth straight preseason victory for the Colts over AFL opposition.
John Unitas, the 36-year-old Baltimore quarterback who has had such an admirable comeback this summer, threw two touchdown passes to Tom Mitchell, the reserve tight end, and completed 10 out of 20 attempts.
Unitas, a veteran of 13 seasons, is trying to regain his starting quarterback status after spending most of the 1968 season on the bench with an elbow injury. Unitas connected with Mitchell for a four yard touchdown strike at 13:56 in the second quarter. The score gave the Colts a 13-0 lead. The touchdown was set up five plays earlier when linebacker Dennis Gaubatz intercepted a Tom Flores pass at the Buffalo 33 and returned the ball to the Bills' 19.
Unitas wrapped up the game at 5:39 of the third period when he found Mitchell in the clear for a 70 yard touchdown play, giving the Colts a 20-0 edge.
O. J. Simpson, Buffalo's heralded rookie runner, played the middle half of the contest and was conspicuous if not sensational. Simpson, who has been with the Bills just 10 days, carried the ball five times and gained 20 yards. He caught two passes to gain 7 yards, was guilty of holding once and missed one assignment.
He seemed to be in better shape and considerably quicker than during his first Buffalo game last week. On two end sweeps to the right, Simpson showed his great speed and shiftiness with gains of 8 and 9 yards.
But the Colt defense, about which Coach Don Shula had been complaining lately, bottled up everything the Bills had to offer.
The Bills scored in the fourth quarter with the Colts ahead, 20-0. David Lee, the Baltimore punter, mishandled a pass from center and failed to get his kick away. Buffalo went on offense at the Colt 20. On first down, Flores passed 20 yards to Haven Moses for the touchdown.
Flores was the Buffalo quarterback most of the game because Jack Kemp fell and slightly injured his elbow when hit from behind by Roy Hilton in the first quarter. Hilton, a new regular end, was an outstanding rusher for the winners.
OJ Simpson carries for the Bills.
BALT- FG Michaels 45
BALT- FG Michael 31
BALT- Mitchell 4 yard pass from Unitas (Michaels kick)
BALT- Mitchell 70 yard pass from Unitas (Michaels kick)
BUF- Moses 30 yard pass from Flores (Alford kick)