Daryle Lamonica

Daryle Pasquale Lamonica (born July 17, 1941) is a former American football quarterback who played in the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). He was nicknamed "The Mad Bomber" due to his affinity for throwing the long pass in virtually any situation.

Daryle Lamonica
No. 12, 3
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born:July 17, 1941 (age 77)
Fresno, California
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school:Clovis (CA)
College:Notre Dame
NFL Draft:1963 / Round: 12 / Pick: 168
AFL draft:1963 / Round: 24 / Pick: 188
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts:2,601
Pass completions:1,288
Percentage:49.5
TDINT:164–138
Passing yards:19,154
Passer rating:72.9
Player stats at PFR

Early life

Lamonica lettered in four sports and was an all-state quarterback at Clovis High School in Clovis, California. In 1974, the high school named its football stadium after him. After high school, he turned down a professional baseball contract with the Chicago Cubs. Lamonica spent his collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame, and was the team's starting quarterback for three seasons. In 30 total games from 1960 to 1962, he had 99 completions for 211 attempts for a 46.9 completion percentage and 1,363 yards, with eight touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He rushed 144 times for 353 yards and 10 touchdowns. [1] He participated in the 1962 East-West Shrine Game held at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, passing 20-for-28 with 349 yards while being named Most Valuable Player.

Football career

Lamonica was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 24th round of the 1963 AFL draft. He was also drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 12th round of the 1963 NFL draft. In his first year, he played sparingly in games with Jack Kemp being the primary quarterback while Lamonica came into duty after injuries or ineffectiveness, which led to him being dubbed "the Fireman". However, he was tasked to start the last two games for the Bills. In each, he led them to victory, notably going 10-for-16 with 115 yards with a touchdown in a 45-14 win over the New York Jets. For the season, he had 33 completions on 71 attempts for 437 yards, with three touchdowns and four interceptions. [2] In the playoffs that year, he entered in for Kemp late in the game, going 9-for-24 for 168 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions, as the Bills lost to the Boston Patriots 26-8. [3]

Lamonica had much of the same in terms of playing time the following year, going 55 of 128 with 1,137 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. On rushing, he was most efficient, having 55 dashes for 289 yards (a 5.3 average per carry) for six touchdowns, which was tied for the most in the league alongside others such as Sid Blanks and his teammate Cookie Gilchrist. He started the final game of the season against the Denver Broncos, going 6-of-21 for 89 yards with a touchdown and interception, but Buffalo prevailed 30-19. [4] For 1965, the same was true once again. He went 29 of 70 for 376 yards, with three touchdowns and six interceptions. For the third and final season, he started a game for the Bills, going 3-of-14 for 83 yards with a touchdown and interception in a 29-18 win over the Houston Oilers. [5] For his fourth and final year in Buffalo, he went 33 of 84 for 549 yards, having four touchdowns and five interceptions. In the three Buffalo runs to the AFL title game from 1964 to 1967, he had minimal participation, throwing one total pass combined in both games. [6]

On March 14, 1967, Lamonica was traded to the Oakland Raiders with Glenn Bass for Art Powell and Tom Flores. He played with Oakland until his final year in 1974. With John Rauch at the helm as coach, Lamonica thrived. He threw 220-for-425 for 3,228 yards with 30 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, while rushing for four touchdowns. The team went 13-1 that year as they made their way to an AFL title with Lamonica at the helm. In the AFL title game that year against the Oilers on December 31, he went 10-of-24 for 111 yards with two touchdowns as the Raiders won 40-7 to win their first championship as a franchise. Two weeks later, he faced off against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II. He went 15-of-34 for 208 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception, as the Raiders lost 33-14. Lamonica was named American Football League Most Valuable Player Award for the season by UPI, AP, and TSN.

The following year, he was efficient once again, going 206-of-416 for 3,245 yards in 13 games (Lamonica missed the ninth game of the season, which George Blanda started). He threw 25 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His longest completed pass was 82 yards, his longest as a Raider for his career. He threw 249.6 yards per game, a career high. In the infamous Heidi Game, he went 21-of-34 for 311 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, with his final touchdown to Charlie Smith being the deciding points in a nail-biting victory. [7] The Raiders charged to a 12–2 record, tied with Kansas City for the best record in the Western Division. They trounced the Chiefs 41–6 to get to the AFL championship. Playing against the New York Jets at Shea Stadium, Lamonica went 20-of-47 for 401 yards with a touchdown, but the Jets rallied to defeat Oakland 27–23. [8] The following year (the last for the AFL and first for John Madden as coach), Lamonica kept consistency once again. He had career highs with 221 completions, 426 attempts, 3,302 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. He had 235.9 yards per game. The Raiders went 12–1–1, winning the Western Division once again. On October 19, against the Buffalo Bills, Lamonica set a new record with 6 touchdown passes in the first half, a record that has been matched only once, by Aaron Rodgers against the Chicago Bears on November 9, 2014. Lamonica's team went to the playoffs once again. In the Divisional Playoff game versus Houston, he threw 13-of-17 for 276 yards with six touchdowns and one interception for a 56-7 victory to advance to the AFL title game. In the AFL Championship (the last game between two AFL teams), facing the Chiefs in Oakland, Lamonica threw 15-of-39 for 167 yards and three interceptions as the Chiefs won 17-7 to advance to Super Bowl IV. Lamonica was named American Football League Most Valuable Player Award for the season by UPI and TSN, with Joe Namath being named MVP by AP.[9][10] It was in Oakland that Lamonica's passing acumen earned him the nickname "the Mad Bomber," though his accuracy was sometimes suspect, as indicated by the fact that as a Raider starter from 1967 to 1972, his best completion average was only 53.0% (in 1972), though it may be argued that was because his passes were so very long.

Lamonica regressed a bit for 1970, throwing 179-of-356 for 2,516 yards with 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as the team went 8-4-2. The team was aided by the fourth quarter heroics of George Blanda, who came off the bench for Lamonica in five straight games (games 6 to 10) in the fourth quarter, helping them win four games and tie once. The team snuck through into the playoffs, edging out Kansas City for the newly-installed AFC West division title. In the Divisional playoff game that year, Lamonica went 8-of-16 for 187 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders prevailed 21-14 over the Miami Dolphins. In the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Colts. Lamonica went 1-of-4 for six yards before a hit by Bubba Smith resulted in him being taken out for Blanda as the Raiders were beaten 27-17. [11] He had no fumbles for the year, with his passing yard count without fumbles being a record that still stands.

On September 17, 1972, Lamonica had a perfect passing rating of 158.3. In a game that was started by Ken Stabler with additional play from George Blanda, Lamonica stepped in to throw 8-of-10 for 172 yards with two touchdowns, turning a 20-7 trouncing by the Pittsburgh Steelers into a 34–28 loss. [12] Lamonica started the remaining thirteen games for the season. He had 149 completions on 281 attempts for 1,998 yards, having a career high 53.0 completion percentage while having 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He went 10-2-1 for the year, leading them to a Western Division title. In the Divisional Playoff game that year against Pittsburgh at Three Rivers Stadium, he went 6-of-18 for 45 yards with two interceptions. Ken Stabler stepped in late in the game, and while he only went 6-of-12 for 57 yards, his 30 yard rush for a touchdown gave the Raiders a late 7–6 lead with less than two minutes remaining. However, Franco Harris caught a tipped pass from Terry Bradshaw in what is now known as the Immaculate Reception to give Pittsburgh a 13-7 victory. It was Lamonica's last playoff appearance. [13]

With Lamonica, the Raiders won four straight Western Division titles (three AFL and one AFC) and one American Football League championship. Lamonica was a 3-time American Football League All-Star and twice was selected as the American Football League's Most Valuable Player, in 1967 and 1969. Daryle Lamonica went 66–16–4 as a starter, good for a 78.4% winning percentage, second best in NFL history (Otto Graham is the highest at 81.0%). In the American Football League, Lamonica's winning percentage as a starter was 90.0%, on 40 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie in 45 games, the best ever in the AFL. Although excellent at man-for-man coverage, he had a hard time reading zone defenses, more prevalent in the 1970s, and his throwing was sometimes inaccurate. Therefore, he was replaced in 1973 by Ken Stabler, who, despite a weaker arm, was better at both, leading the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in 1976.

Lamonica played for one season (1975) in the short-lived World Football League as quarterback of the Southern California Sun where in limited time he went 9 for 19 and gained 90 yards for 1 touchdown.

Post playing career

In recent years, he hosted a national fishing show on Fox Sports Net called Outdoors with the Pros.

Football Nation named Lamonica the 67th best quarterback since the 1970 merger.[14]

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Lamonica to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2013 [15]

See also

References

  1. ^ https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/daryle-lamonica-1.html
  2. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LamoDa00/gamelog/1963/
  3. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196312280buf.htm
  4. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LamoDa00/gamelog/1964/
  5. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LamoDa00/gamelog/1965/
  6. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LamoDa00/gamelog/post/
  7. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196811170rai.htm
  8. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196812290nyj.htm
  9. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196912210rai.htm
  10. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197001040rai.htm
  11. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197101030clt.htm
  12. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197209170pit.htm
  13. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197212230pit.htm
  14. ^ Justin Henry (May 9, 2013) Top 100 Quarterbacks Since the Merger: 70–61. footballnation.com
  15. ^ "Professional Researchers Association Hall of Very Good Class of 2013". Retrieved November 10, 2016.

External links

Preceded by
Jim Nance
American Football League MVP
1967
Succeeded by
Joe Namath
Preceded by
Joe Namath
American Football League MVP
1969
with Joe Namath
NFL merged with AFL
1963 Buffalo Bills season

The 1963 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s fourth season in the American Football League. Winless after their first four games, Buffalo won seven of the final ten games, including the final two over the New York Jets, to finish with their second-consecutive 7–6–1 record, tied with the Boston Patriots atop the Eastern division. In this era, this required a tiebreaker playoff, the AFL's first. The Patriots and Bills had split their season series, each team winning at home, and the Bills were slight favorites as playoff hosts.The playoff game on December 28 was played on a snowy field at War Memorial Stadium and Boston won 26–8, ending Buffalo's season.

1964 Buffalo Bills season

The 1964 Buffalo Bills season was the team’s fifth season. Buffalo was 12–2 in the regular season and won the first of two consecutive championships in the American Football League.

The 1964 Bills' defense set an AFL record by giving up the fewest rushing yards in league history, with only 918, or 65.5 yards per game. They also led the league in points allowed (242), total yards allowed (3,878), first downs surrendered (206), and rushing touchdowns allowed (four).Buffalo's offense also led the AFL in total yards (5,206), passing yards (2,040) and total points (400).

1967 American Football League Championship Game

The 1967 American Football League Championship Game was the eighth AFL championship game, played on December 31 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.It matched the Western Division champion Oakland Raiders (13–1) and the Eastern Division champion Houston Oilers (9–4–1) to decide the American Football League (AFL) champion for the 1967 season.

Quarterback Daryle Lamonica, claimed on waivers from the Buffalo Bills in the offseason, led the Raiders to a 13–1 record, throwing 30 touchdown passes in the process. The Oilers went from last place in the East in 1966 (3–11) to first in 1967, beating out the New York Jets by a game. Most of the Oilers' offense centered on big fullback Hoyle Granger, and a midseason quarterback trade for the shifty Pete Beathard (sending their own starter, Jacky Lee, to the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs) proved to be the spark that turned Houston's season around.

The two teams had met three weeks earlier in Houston, with Oakland winning 19–7 to clinch the Western division title.In contrast to the frigid conditions earlier in the day at the NFL championship game in Green Bay, the temperature for the AFL title game in northern California was 47 °F (8 °C). The host Raiders were 10½-point favorites.

Oakland won 40–7 and shredded the Oilers with 364 yards of offense, including 263 yards rushing, while allowing just 146 total yards and 38 yards on the ground. The Raiders also forced three turnovers and lost none themselves.

1967 Oakland Raiders season

The 1967 Oakland Raiders season was the team's eighth in Oakland. Under the command of second-year head coach John Rauch, the Raiders went 13–1 (an AFL record) and captured their first Western Division title. The addition of strong-armed quarterback Daryle Lamonica greatly energized the Raiders' vertical passing game. Additionally, the Raiders added Gene Upshaw, Willie Brown, and George Blanda to their roster during the 1967 offseason. All three players would eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame.

The Raiders routed the Houston Oilers in the 1967 AFL Championship Game. The victory allowed them to advance to Super Bowl II, where they were soundly defeated by the NFL champion Green Bay Packers. The Raiders would ultimately finish the season with a record of 14–2.

The 1967 season was a massive breakthrough for the Raiders organization. Between 1967 and 1985, the team would go on win twelve division titles and three Super Bowl championships.

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.

1969 Oakland Raiders season

The 1969 Oakland Raiders season was the team's tenth as a franchise, and tenth in both Oakland and the American Football League. The campaign saw the team attempt to improve upon its 12–2 record from 1968. The season is notable for being the Raiders' last in the AFL (they would, along with all the other AFL teams, join the NFL in 1970).

The Raiders stormed to a 12–1–1 record in 1969. They led the league in wins for a third consecutive season; in doing so, they posted a staggering 37–4–1 record over their final three years of AFL play. The season would end with an upset loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the 1969 AFL Championship Game.

Additionally, the season marked the debut of Hall-of-Fame head coach John Madden. Madden would lead the Raiders to seven division titles, seven AFL/AFC Championship Games, and a Super Bowl championship before leaving in 1978. He would post a 112–39–7 regular season record over this span.

1970 Oakland Raiders season

The 1970 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 11th season in Oakland. It was also their first season as members of the NFL. The Raiders would ultimately win their fourth consecutive division title (as well as their first AFC West title). They advanced to the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Baltimore Colts.

The Raiders' 1970 season is best remembered for a series of clutch performances by veteran placekicker/quarterback George Blanda. Blanda, despite being cut during the 1970 preseason, eventually re-joined the Raiders' roster. His ensuing season (the twenty-first of his professional career) would rank as one of the more dramatic comebacks in sports history. Over a span of five consecutive games, Blanda would come off the bench to spark a series of dramatic rallies. The Raiders went an impressive 4–0–1 over this span.

Blanda's five-game "streak" began on October 25, 1970. In an away game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Blanda threw for two touchdowns in relief of an injured Daryle Lamonica. One week later, his 48-yard field goal (with three seconds remaining on the clock) salvaged a 17–17 tie with the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. One week later, on November 8, Blanda would come off the bench against the Cleveland Browns. His late touchdown pass (with 1:34 remaining in the game) tied the game at 20–20. He would ultimately kick a 53-yard field goal, as time expired, to give the Raiders a stunning 23–20 victory. The following week, against the Denver Broncos, Blanda again replaced Lamonica in the fourth quarter. His touchdown pass to Fred Biletnikoff, with 2:28 left in the game, gave the Raiders an unlikely 24–19 win. The incredible streak concluded one week later against the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders managed to drive deep into Chargers territory in the game's final seconds. Blanda's last-minute 16-yard field goal would seal a dramatic 20–17 triumph.

Blanda's streak played a huge role in the Raiders' 1970 division title, as the team went a mediocre 4–4–1 in "non-streak" games. Indeed, their final record of 8–4–2 (itself a four-win drop from a 12–1–1 finish in 1969) placed them only one game ahead of the Chiefs at season's end.

The Raiders would ultimately advance to the 1970 AFC Championship Game, where they met the heavily favored 11–2–1 Baltimore Colts. During this game, Blanda again came off the bench in relief of an injured Lamonica. Blanda's solid play (17 of 32 passes for 217 yards, two touchdowns, and a 48-yard field goal) kept the Raiders in the game until the final quarter, when he was intercepted twice. At age 43, Blanda became the oldest quarterback to ever play in a championship game.

Blanda's eye-opening achievements resulted in his winning the Bert Bell Award. Chiefs' owner Lamar Hunt quipped that "...this George Blanda is as good as his father, who used to play for Houston." While he never again played a major role at quarterback, Blanda would serve as the Raiders' kicker for five more seasons.

1971 Oakland Raiders season

The 1971 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 12th season. After winning the AFC West in 1970, the Raiders failed to make the playoffs as their main rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, would win the division title.

American Football League Most Valuable Player Award

During its ten-year existence (1960–1969), the American Football League's best player for each year was called the "Most Valuable Player" by some sports-news sources and the "Player of the Year" by others. The awards by the major services are shown below.

George Haffner

George Haffner is a former American football player and coach.

Born in Chicago, Haffner prepped at football powerhouse Mount Carmel High School. While at the University of Notre Dame in 1960, Haffner was awarded the starting quarterback job by head coach Joe Kuharich. His first game was an impressive 21–17 victory over California. However, the team finished the season with 2–8 record, and after losing the starting job to Daryle Lamonica, Haffner transferred to McNeese State University.

Following his graduation, Haffner was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the final pick in the 1965 NFL Draft. His professional career ended with the Norfolk Neptunes of the Continental Football League, after which he returned to the college ranks as a coach.

Haffner spent 31 years on various coaching staffs at NCAA Division I schools including 22 years as an offensive coordinator under such renowned head coaches as Bobby Bowden, Johnny Majors and Vince Dooley. While at the University of Georgia, he won a national championship and three conference championships and coached Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker. During his career, he coached at Iowa State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Florida State University, Texas A&M University, Georgia, Louisiana State University (LSU), the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), and the University of Mary Hardin–Baylor. He retired as the offensive coordinator Mary Hardin–Baylor on February 1, 2006.

Jim Lee Hunt

Jim Lee "Earthquake" Hunt (October 5, 1938 – November 22, 1975) was an American college and professional football player from Prairie View A&M University who played defensive tackle for the American Football League's Boston Patriots from 1960 through 1969, and for the NFL' Boston Patriots in 1970. He was a four-time AFL All-Star, and was one of only twenty men to play the entire ten years of the AFL. He was used as a defensive end occasionally.

List of Buffalo Bills starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. The Bills are a professional American football franchise based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. The team competes in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The quarterbacks are listed in order of the date of each player's first start for the team at that position.

List of Notre Dame Fighting Irish starting quarterbacks

The following individuals have started games at quarterback for the University of Notre Dame football team, updated through the 2018 season.

The year of induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, if applicable, is designated alongside the respective player's final season.

List of Oakland Raiders starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the team.

Manch Wheeler

Manchester Haynes Wheeler (March 2, 1939 – August 11, 2018) was an American football quarterback. He played college football at the University of Maine, serving as a versatile utility player who kicked and played defense in addition to quarterbacking in a brief revival of the one-platoon system era. He played four games in the American Football League with the Buffalo Bills, serving as backup to Jack Kemp, before the team signed Daryle Lamonica the following season. He spent much of the next several years as a quarterback in the minor leagues; his most successful season was in 1968, where, largely acting as a game manager in a run-heavy offense that included Marv Hubbard and Mel Meeks, he led the Hartford Knights to a 15-1 season before being unceremoniously benched in the Atlantic Coast Football League championship in favor of rookie Dick Faucette. Following that season, he left to join his final team, the Continental Football League's Portland Loggers.

Mike Ernst

Michael Paul Ernst (born October 12, 1950) is a former National Football League and World Football League quarterback who played professionally for the Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals and Southern California Sun. He played college football at Cal State-Fullerton. He was not drafted out of college but was signed by the Broncos as a free agent before the 1972 season and joined the team's taxi squad. He was activated late in the season and played his first and only game for the Broncos in their season finale, entering a blowout win over the New England Patriots late in the game and leading a touchdown drive. He completed 1 of 4 passes for 10 yards.The Broncos released Ernst right before the start of the 1973 season. He was signed by the Bengals after their first game of the 1973 season to replace Tim Van Galder as a backup to Ken Anderson and Greg Cook. He got into one game for the Bengals, a lopsided victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on November 25, but did not throw a pass. He started the 1974 season as the Bengals third-string quarterback, but was released in October after being arrested for possession of cocaine. He eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year probation. He later unsuccessfully sued the Bengals to recover the half of his $17,000 salary that had not been paid due to his release.Ernst signed with the Southern California Sun of the World Football League for the 1975 season as a backup to Daryle Lamonica and Pat Haden. He ended up as the starting quarterback after Lamonica retired and Haden left the team to accept a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. The World Football League folded after the 1975 season and Ernst attempted to join the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League for the 1976 season but was cut before the season. In 1977 he attempted to return to the NFL with the San Diego Chargers but was released before the start of the season.

Southern California Sun

The Southern California Sun were an American football team based out of Anaheim, California that played in the World Football League in 1974 and 1975. Their records were 13-7 in 1974 and 7-5 in 1975. Their home stadium was Anaheim Stadium. They were coached by former Rams great and Hall of Famer Tom Fears and owned by trucking magnate Larry Hatfield. The team drew national attention for their (at the time) outlandish magenta and orange uniforms.

Former USC greats Anthony Davis and Pat Haden played for the Sun in 1975 along with former Oakland Raiders QB Daryle Lamonica, also known as the "Mad Bomber."

The Sun won the 1974 Western Division title, but lost their playoff game against The Hawaiians when three of their best players--Kermit Johnson, James McAlister and Booker Brown—sat out the game. The three players were owed back pay, and claimed the missed checks breached their contracts. This episode aside, the Sun were one of the WFL's better-run teams, and at least had the potential to be a viable venture had the WFL been run in a more realistic and financially sensible manner. A year later, they were leading the West when the league folded on October 22, 1975 in midseason.

Super Bowl II

The second AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional football, known retroactively as Super Bowl II, was played on January 14, 1968, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. The National Football League (NFL)'s defending champion Green Bay Packers defeated the American Football League (AFL) champion Oakland Raiders by the score of 33–14. This game and Super Bowl III are the only two Super Bowl games to be played in back-to-back years in the same stadium.

Coming into this game, like during the first Super Bowl, many sports writers and fans believed that any team in the NFL was vastly superior to any club in the AFL. The Packers, the defending champions, posted a 9–4–1 record during the 1967 NFL season before defeating the Dallas Cowboys, 21–17, in the 1967 NFL Championship Game (also popularly known as the Ice Bowl). The Raiders finished the 1967 AFL season at 13–1, and defeated the Houston Oilers, 40–7, in the 1967 AFL Championship Game.

As expected, Green Bay dominated Oakland throughout most of Super Bowl II. The Raiders could only score two touchdown passes from quarterback Daryle Lamonica. Meanwhile, Packers kicker Don Chandler made four field goals, including three in the first half, while defensive back Herb Adderley had a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown. Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr was named the MVP for the second straight time, becoming the first back-to-back Super Bowl MVP for his 13 of 24 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown.

UPI AFL-AFC Player of the Year

From 1960 to 1969, the United Press International (UPI) gave the annual AFL Player of the Year award in the American Football League, whose teams in 1970 became the American Football Conference (AFC) of the new National Football League (NFL).

From 1970 — following the AFL-NFL merger — until 1996, UPI then gave two annual player of the year awards. One was given in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the new NFL. The other award was given in the American Football Conference (AFC) of the new NFL.

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