In Game 43, a rout of Dallas, he completed five passes in the first half - four for touchdowns. He added four touchdowns the next week against Green Bay, three in the first 20 minutes.

The best was yet to come. In Game 45, the Colts trailed Chicago 20-17 with less than a minute left. From the Bears' 35, Unitas faded to pass, dodged a blitz, but was tackled by linebacker Bill George.

"I tried to fall to the ground, to call time out, but George had me by both legs and was holding me up," Unitas recalled. "Then I saw [defensive end] Doug Atkins racing over yelling, `Hold his --- till I get there!' "

George cooperated. Atkins slammed into his target. Unitas crumpled.

Even now, remembering the hit makes Lenny Moore shudder.

"We thought we'd lost John," he said. "His face was bleeding like a stuck pig, but that joker wouldn't leave the field."

Next, on fourth down with 17 seconds left, Unitas backpedaled, double-pumped and fired a strike to Moore, 7 yards deep in the end zone. In a rare burst of emotion, Unitas leaped in the air, flailing his bloody arms. Colts, 24-20.

Two games later, The Streak was over. Their receivers riddled with injuries, the Colts fell to Los Angeles, 10-3.

Unitas shrugged it off: "Records are made to be broken."

Or not.

Sun staff researcher Paul McCardell contributed to this article.

Consecutive games with a TD pass

Player, Team........................Years........Streak

John Unitas, Baltimore......1956-60....47

Dan Marino, Miami...............1985-87....30

Dave Krieg, Seattle..............1983-85....28

Chris Chandler, Atlanta......1997-99....27

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis...1998-99...27

The Unitas streak game by game

During John Unitas' 47-game touchdown streak, he completed 697 passes for 10,645 yards and 102 touchdowns. A look at each game (Colts score listed first):