1968 American Football League season

The 1968 American Football League season was the ninth regular season of the American Football League, and its penultimate season prior to the AFL–NFL merger.

The season ended when the New York Jets (11–3) defeated the Oakland Raiders (12–2) in the AFL championship game on December 29 at Shea Stadium in New York City. Two weeks later, the Jets defeated the National Football League's Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in one of the biggest sports upsets in history. Because the AFL lost the first two Super Bowl games, the planned merger between the NFL and the AFL was in jeopardy. The Jets win helped keep the merger alive.[1]

1968 American Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 6 – December 15, 1968
Playoffs
DateDecember 29, 1968
Eastern ChampionNew York Jets
Western ChampionOakland Raiders   (playoff)
SiteShea Stadium, New York City
Champion New York Jets
1986 Jeno's Pizza - 37 - Joe Namath
The Jets playing the Colts in Super Bowl III.

Division races

With the addition of the Cincinnati Bengals, the AFL's ten teams were split equally into two divisions. Each played a home-and-away game against the other four teams in its division, one game against each of the five teams in the opposite division, and a second game against one of the other division's teams.

As with the previous eight seasons, the best record in the Eastern Division played the best in the Western Division in the AFL championship game, with the site alternating between the divisions; the Eastern division hosted in even-numbered years. If there was tie within the division standings (as happened when Oakland and Kansas City both finished at 12–2), a tiebreaker playoff was held to determine the division winner. The Jets, with the third-best record in the league in 1968, had a week off and hosted the title game.

Week Eastern Record Western Record
1 Boston 1–0–0 Tie (KC, SD) 1–0–0
2 Tie (Bos, NYJ) 1–0–0 Tie (Oak, SD) 1–0–0
3 N.Y. Jets 2–0–0 Tie (Oak, SD) 2–0–0
4 Tie (Bos, NY) 2–1–0 Oakland 3–0–0
5 N.Y. Jets 3–1–0 Oakland 4–0–0
6 N.Y. Jets 3–2–0 Kansas City 5–1–0
7 N.Y. Jets 4–2–0 Kansas City 6–1–0
8 N.Y. Jets 5–2–0 Kansas City 7–1–0
9 N.Y. Jets 6–2–0 Kansas City 7–2–0
10 N.Y. Jets 7–2–0 Kansas City 8–2–0
11 N.Y. Jets 7–3–0 Kansas City 9–2–0
12 N.Y. Jets 8–3–0 Tie (KC, Oak) 9–2–0
13 N.Y. Jets 9–3–0 Tie (KC, Oak) 10–2–0
14 N.Y. Jets 10–3–0 Tie (KC, Oak) 11–2–0
15 N.Y. Jets 11–3–0 Tie (KC, Oak) 12–2–0

Regular season

The Cincinnati Bengals joined the league as an expansion team.

Results

Home/Road Eastern Division Western Division
BOS BUF HOU MIA NY CIN DEN KC OAK SD
Eastern Boston Patriots 23–6 0–16 10–34 31–47* 33–14 14–35 17–27
Buffalo Bills 7–16 7–30 17–21 37–35 7–18 6–48 6–21
Houston Oilers 45–17 35–6 7–24 14–20 38–17 21–26 15–24
Miami Dolphins 38–7 14–14 10–24 7–31 21–38 3–48 21–47
New York Jets 48–14 25–21 26–7 35–17 27–14 13–21 23–20
Western Cincinnati Bengals 34–23 17–27 22–24 24–10 9–16 0–34 10–31
Denver Broncos 17–20 34–32 21–14 10–7 7–30 7–43 23–47
Kansas City Chiefs 31–17 24–10 19–20 13–3 34–2 24–10 27–20
Oakland Raiders 41–10 13–10 43–32 31–10 33–27 38–21 14–23
San Diego Chargers 30–14 34–28 15–37 29–13 55–24 3–40 27–34

(*) Played at Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama since Boston Red Sox refused to rent Fenway Park to Patriots.

Standings

AFL Eastern Division
W L T PCT DIV PF PA STK
New York Jets 11 3 0 .786 7–1 419 280 W4
Houston Oilers 7 7 0 .500 5–3 303 248 W2
Miami Dolphins 5 8 1 .385 4–3–1 276 355 L1
Boston Patriots 4 10 0 .286 2–6 229 406 L2
Buffalo Bills 1 12 1 .077 1–6–1 199 367 L8

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

AFL Western Division
W L T PCT DIV PF PA STK
Oakland Raiders 12 2 0 .857 6–2 453 233 W8
Kansas City Chiefs 12 2 0 .857 7–1 371 170 W5
San Diego Chargers 9 5 0 .643 5–3 382 310 L2
Denver Broncos 5 9 0 .357 1–7 275 404 L3
Cincinnati Bengals 3 11 0 .214 1–7 215 329 L3

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Playoffs

Coaching changes

Offseason

In-season

References

  1. ^ http://www.superbowl3.net

External links

1968 American Football League Championship Game

The 1968 AFL Championship Game was the ninth annual AFL championship game, played on December 29 at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York City, New York. It matched the defending champion Oakland Raiders (12–2) of the Western Division and the host New York Jets (11–3) of the Eastern Division, who were slight favorites. The Raiders had hosted a tiebreaker playoff game the week before against the Kansas City Chiefs (12–2) to determine the Western Division champion, while the Eastern champion Jets were idle.

The Jets defeated the Raiders 27–23 to win the championship and the chance to play the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

1968 Boston Patriots season

The 1968 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's 9th season in the American Football League. The Patriots ended the season with a record of four wins and ten losses, and finished fourth in the AFL's Eastern Division. The Patriots played their final season of home games at Fenway Park before moving to Alumni Stadium on the campus of Boston College for the following season.

1968 Buffalo Bills season

The 1968 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s ninth season.

The Bills' 1–12–1 record in 1968 (a 0.107 winning percentage) is the second-worst in team history: the 1971 Bills went 1–13. They were one of only two teams in AFL history (the other being the 1962 Oakland Raiders) to finish the season with only one victory.

The Bills, coming off a 4–10 season in 1967, fired coach Joe Collier after an 0–2 start in 1968. Defensive backfield coach Harvey Johnson was promoted to interim head coach, where he went 1–10–1 to finish the year.With the release of running back Wray Carlton, wide receiver Elbert Dubenion the last player from the Bills' original roster in 1960 to still be with the club.The majority of Buffalo's games were started by backup quarterback Dan Darragh, after injuries claimed the seasons of long-time starter Jack Kemp and new addition Tom Flores. Even Darragh and new addition Kay Stephenson were injured. Ultimately, running back Ed Rutkowski, who hadn't played the quarterback position since college six years prior, ended up starting at quarterback for the Bills.Buffalo's only win of the season was a home victory over the New York Jets, in which the Bills held a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter before giving up two late touchdowns to the Jets. Ultimately, the Bills were able to hold on to the two-point win.

1968 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 1968 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's first year in professional football.

Paul Brown, who left the Cleveland Browns following the 1962 season with National Football League (NFL) record of 115–49–6, seven conference titles, and three NFL championships, had the urge to get back into football. His son Mike Brown did a study on pro football expansion and recommended Cincinnati as a potential site. In 1965, Brown met with Ohio Governor James Rhodes and the two agreed the state could accommodate a second pro football team.

1966 – Fearful the Cincinnati Reds baseball team would leave town and feeling pressure from local businessmen pushing for a pro football franchise, Cincinnati's city council approved the construction of Riverfront Stadium.

1967 – Brown's group was awarded an American Football League (AFL) expansion franchise. Brown named the team the Bengals, the name of Cincinnati's pro teams in the old AFL of the late 1930s. The Bengals acquired their first player late in the year when they traded two draft picks to Miami for quarterback John Stofa.

1968 – The Bengals were awarded 40 veteran players in the allocation draft. In the college draft, they selected University of Tennessee center Bob Johnson as their first pick. The Bengals lost their first preseason game 38–14 to the Kansas City Chiefs before 21,682 fans at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium. The Bengals upset the Denver Broncos 24–10 and the Buffalo Bills 34–23 in their first two regular-season home games. Halfback Paul Robinson led the AFL in rushing with 1,023 yards and was named Rookie of the Year.

1968 Denver Broncos season

The 1968 Denver Broncos season was the ninth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). The Broncos improved their record from the previous season by posting a record of five wins and nine losses. They finished fourth in the AFL's Western division for the sixth straight season.

There were threats of the Broncos relocating to Birmingham, Alabama, Atlanta and Chicago.The 1968 season was the first in which Denver wore their trademark "D" logo on their helmets. They would wear this uniform through the 1973 season, altering the shade of orange in their jerseys in 1974. Their helmets would remain the same until changing for the 1997 season. In 1968 Bears Stadium was sold to the city of Denver, which renamed it Mile High Stadium and built the upper deck along the west side, thus raising capacity to 50,657.

1968 Houston Oilers season

The 1968 Houston Oilers season was the 9th season for the Houston Oilers as a professional AFL franchise; The team would play their home games in the Houston Astrodome. The Oilers would become the first team in professional football to play their games in a domed stadium.

1968 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1968 Kansas City Chiefs season was the 9th season for the Kansas City Chiefs as a professional AFL franchise; They finished with a 12–2 record, resulting in a tie for first place in the AFL Western Division with the Oakland Raiders, before the Raiders won the championship in a tiebreaker playoff, defeating the Chiefs 41–6. A location in Eastern Jackson County was chosen as the site and groundbreaking ceremonies took place in July with plans calling for a unique rolling roof design.

The 1968 Chiefs boasted one of the finest defenses ever assembled by the club, allowing an AFL record (and still franchise-low) 170 points, or 12.1 points per game. The nucleus of the defensive unit was clearly in its prime, producing six AFL All-Stars, including all three of the squad's linebackers.

Offensively, quarterback Len Dawson led the AFL in passing for the fourth time. Guard Ed Budde won the AFL Offensive Player of the Week award for the October 20 game against the Raiders. It was the first time the award was given to an interior lineman.

The Chiefs began the season with a 7–1 record and rattled off five straight victories to close the regular season at 12–2, sharing the division crown with the Raiders and setting up their playoff on December 22, in which the Raiders advanced to the AFL Championship Game against the New York Jets. The loss to Oakland was a major event in the Chiefs' rivalry with the Raiders, one of the NFL's most storied feuds.

1968 Miami Dolphins season

The 1968 Miami Dolphins season was the team's third in the American Football League (AFL). The team improved on their 4–10 record from 1967, finishing the season 5–8–1 and moving one place up in the AFL Eastern Division. In week 6, the Dolphins tied the Buffalo Bills, 14–14, the first tie in Dolphins history. The team was probably best known as being the first team to lose as the home team to the Cincinnati Bengals, as their week 11 loss to the Bengals turned out to be the Bengals' only road win during their 1968 season.

1968 NFL/AFL Draft

The 1968 National Football League draft was part of the common draft, in the second year in which the NFL and AFL held a joint draft of college players. It took place at the Belmont Plaza Hotel in New York City on January 30–31, 1968.This was the last draft until 1980 in which the Washington Redskins exercised their first-round pick. Most of them were traded away by coach George Allen between 1971 and 1977 due to Allen's well-known preference for veteran players over rookies.

1968 NFL season

The 1968 NFL season was the 49th regular season of the National Football League. As per the agreement made during the 1967 realignment, the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants switched divisions; the Saints joined the Century Division while the Giants became part of the Capitol Division.

The season ended when the Baltimore Colts defeated the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship Game, only to be defeated by the American Football League's New York Jets in Super Bowl III 16–7 at the Orange Bowl in Miami. Subsequently, it was the first time in the history of professional football in which the NFL champion was not crowned as the world champion. One year later, this feat would be repeated, as the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL champion Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.

1968 New York Jets season

The 1968 New York Jets season was the ninth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). The team had the most successful season in franchise history. Trying to improve upon their 8–5–1 record of 1967, they won the AFL Eastern Division with an 11–3 record. They defeated the defending champion Oakland Raiders in the AFL championship game, and earned the right to play in Super Bowl III against the NFL champion Baltimore Colts. In a stunning upset, marked by fourth-year quarterback Joe Namath's famous "guarantee" of victory, the Jets defeated the heavily favored Colts 16–7. The Jets have yet to return to the Super Bowl and makes them along with the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the only teams to have been to just one Super Bowl and win it.

On April 2, 2007, NFL Network aired America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions, the 1968 New York Jets, with team commentary from Joe Namath, Gerry Philbin and Don Maynard, and narrated by Alec Baldwin.

1968 Oakland Raiders season

The 1968 Oakland Raiders season was the team's ninth season in both Oakland and the American Football League. It saw the team try to improve upon its 13–1 record from 1967. They ultimately finished one game short of matching that year's result; their 12–2 finish still ensured that they would lead the league in wins for a second consecutive year. They were led by third-year coach John Rauch.

The season would feature a growing rivalry between the Raiders and the New York Jets (the latter led by superstar quarterback Joe Namath). The two teams would meet twice in 1968. The first meeting, a regular-season contest, saw the Raiders complete a stunning fourth-quarter comeback over the Jets. The contest, known today as the Heidi Game, remains one of the most famous in AFL/NFL history. The two teams would also meet in the 1968 AFL Championship Game; Namath's Jets would emerge victorious in a 27–23 upset. The Jets would ultimately upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

The 1968 season is also notable for a few changes to the team including the additions of George Atkinson, Art Shell, and Ken Stabler. All three players would eventually win a championship with the Raiders in 1976. Additionally, Shell in 1989, and Stabler in 2016, were both inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

1968 San Diego Chargers season

The 1968 San Diego Chargers season began with the team trying to improve on their 8–5–1 record in 1967.

Heidi Game

The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl was an American Football League (AFL) game played on November 17, 1968, between the Oakland Raiders and the visiting New York Jets. The game was notable for its exciting finish, in which Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final minute to win the game 43–32, but got its name for a decision by the game's television broadcaster, NBC, to break away from its coverage of the game on the East Coast to broadcast the television film Heidi, causing many viewers to miss the Raiders' comeback.

In the late 1960s, few professional football games took longer than two and a half hours to play, and the Jets–Raiders' three-hour time slot was thought to be adequate. A high-scoring contest, together with a number of injuries and penalties for the two bitter AFL rivals, caused the game to run long. NBC executives had originally ordered that Heidi begin at 7:00 p.m. ET, but decided to allow the game to air to its conclusion. However, as 7 p.m. approached, NBC's switchboards were jammed by viewers phoning to inquire about the night's schedule, preventing the planned change from being communicated. Heidi began as scheduled, preempting the final moments of the game and the two Oakland touchdowns in the eastern half of the country, to the outrage of viewers.

Response to the pre-emption by viewers and other critics was negative; the family members of several Jets players were unaware of the game's actual conclusion, while NBC received further criticism for its poor timing in displaying the final score of the game during the Heidi movie. NBC's president Julian Goodman formally apologized for the incident. The Jets and Raiders met again in the AFL Championship Game, with the Jets winning 27–23. They later defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

In the aftermath of the incident, NBC installed special "Heidi phones", with a connection to a different telephone exchange from other network phones, to ensure that network personnel could communicate under similar circumstances. The game also had an influence on sports broadcasting practices; the future National Football League would contractually stipulate that all game telecasts be shown to their conclusion in the markets of the visiting team, while other major leagues and events adopted similar mandates. In 1997, the Heidi Game was voted the most memorable regular season game in pro football history.

List of Kansas City Chiefs seasons

The Kansas City Chiefs have completed 59 seasons in professional American football and 49 with the National Football League (NFL). This article documents the season-by-season records of the Chiefs franchise from 1960 to the conclusion of their most recent season in 2018, including postseason records, and league awards for individual players or head coaches.

The team began play as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960 as the Dallas Texans. Following the 1962 AFL season, the team relocated to Kansas City, Missouri and was renamed the Kansas City Chiefs. The team has played in 900 total games in a total of 59 seasons, and a winning percentage of .521. The team’s three 13-win seasons in 1995, 1997, and 2003 remain their best regular season records to date and their 2–14 record in 2008 and 2012 is the Chiefs’ worst.

The Texans/Chiefs were the winningest team in the history of the AFL, compiling an 87–48 record from 1960 to 1969. The team won three league championships and served as the AFL’s representative in Super Bowls I and IV in 1966 and 1969. Since the franchise’s alignment to the NFL in 1970, the team has won eleven division championships including three straight and eight wild card playoff berths, seven of which were between 1990 and 1997 when the team never lost as many games as it won. Despite the franchise’s early success, the Chiefs did not win a post-season game between the 1993–94 and 2015–16 playoffs, whilst their victory on January 11, 1970 remains the franchise’s only Super Bowl title to date. It had been a long drought between AFC Championship games, with a large build up to the 2018-2019 game. Unfortunately, it ended in crushing defeat as the Patriots moved on to win yet another Super Bowl ring.

The Chiefs have suffered two main periods of failure. Between 1972 and 1985 the Kansas City Chiefs never appeared in the postseason and achieved only one winning season (in 1981) from 1974 until 1985. Between 2007 and 2012, the Chiefs also struggled, with two two-win and two four-win seasons. However, the recent Chiefs have done much better, with a 67–34 record (including postseason) from the 2013 to 2018 seasons. After a Week 10 win over the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, the Chiefs clinched six consecutive winning seasons and three consecutive division titles.

Super Bowl III

Super Bowl III was the third AFL–NFL Championship Game in professional American football, and the first to officially bear the trademark name "Super Bowl". The game, played on January 12, 1969, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in both American football history and in the recorded history of sports. The 18-point underdog American Football League (AFL) champion New York Jets defeated the National Football League (NFL) champion Baltimore Colts by a score of 16–7.

This was the first Super Bowl victory for the AFL. Before the game, most sports writers and fans believed that AFL teams were less talented than NFL clubs, and expected the Colts to defeat the Jets by a wide margin. Baltimore posted a 13–1 record during the 1968 NFL season before defeating the Cleveland Browns, 34–0, in the 1968 NFL Championship Game. The Jets finished the 1968 AFL season at 11–3, and defeated the Oakland Raiders, 27–23, in the 1968 AFL Championship Game.

Jets quarterback Joe Namath famously made an appearance three days before the Super Bowl at the Miami Touchdown Club and personally guaranteed his team's victory. His team backed up his words by controlling most of the game, building a 16–0 lead by the fourth quarter off of a touchdown run by Matt Snell and three field goals by Jim Turner. Colts quarterback Earl Morrall threw three interceptions before being replaced by Johnny Unitas, who then led Baltimore to its only touchdown, during the last few minutes of the game. With the victory, the Jets were the only winning team to score only one touchdown (either offensive, defensive, or special teams) until the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. Namath, who completed 17 out of 28 passes for 206 yards, was named as the Super Bowl's most valuable player, making him the first player in Super Bowl history to be declared MVP without personally achieving a touchdown.

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