Colts Hold Off Jets’ Upset Bid, 19-14.

Jets quarterback Joe Namath looks to throw long over the outstretched arm of Colts' defensive end Bubba Smith in the final minutes of Super Bowl III.
Jets quarterback Joe Namath looks to throw long over the outstretched arm of Colts’ defensive end Bubba Smith in the final minutes of Super Bowl III.

The following is not a summary of historical events,but rather the results of my computer football replay of the 1968 AFL and NFL seasons using Second and Ten football. In reality on January 12, 1969,the the AFL’s New York Jets defeated the NFL champion Baltimore Colts, 16-7, in Super Bowl III. The game is one of the most storied upsets in NFL history.

Miami – The Baltimore Colts averted a last-minute upset bid by the New York Jets to win Super Bowl III by the score of 19-14. Jets quarterback Joe Namath led New York 65 yards with less than two minutes and no timeouts, but the Colts’ Bob Boyd slapped away a pass intended for George Sauer in the end zone as time elapsed. The NFL-leading Baltimore defense forced three turnovers that led to ten points for the Colts. Meanwhile, the Jets defense harassed Earl Morrall (12-22; 141 yards), sacking the Baltimore quarterback six times on the afternoon. Don Maynard caught a pair of touchdown passes for New York, but it was Jerry Hill’s three yard touchdown run with 6:41 remaining that stood as the difference in the ball game.

On the game’s final series, Namath (27-43; 264 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT) marched the Jets from their own 20 yard line with only 1:44 left. Namath, who guaranteed a Jets victory earlier in the week, completed a pair of 4th down passes to his favorite target, Sauer, to keep the drive alive. Sauer caught 11 passes for 109 yards. With only nine seconds left, Namath found Maynard on a corner route. Maynard caught the ball over his shoulder and was pushed out of bounds at the Baltimore 15 with only one tick left on the clock. On the final play, Namath looked for the reliable Sauer who appeared opened on a crossing route, but Boyd stretched to deflect the ball and save the championship for Baltimore. Boyd intercepted a pass near the end zone to prevent a possible Jets touchdown at the end of the first half of the game.
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Cowboys Earn a Super Victory.

Miami, Jan. 14, 1968 – Nine seasons ago, a nationally televised NFL Championship Game carried into overtime and lifted professional football into the national spotlight. The championship game between the NFL Champion Dallas Cowboys and AFL Champion Oakland Raiders has similarly lifted this “Super Bowl” into equal prominence overnight. The Cowboys defeated the Raiders, 16-10, in sudden death overtime for the World’s Championship. The clubs played like freshman at the senior prom. Each had opportunities to seize control of the game, but instead the game played out as a marathon walk on a tightrope.

Oakland made the first mistake as Cowboy LB Lee Roy Jordan intercepted Daryle Lamonica’s pass intended for Fred Biletnikoff. Jordan rumbled 31 yards down the sideline to set up Don Meredith’s troops at the Oakland 41. After two ineffective gadget plays, Meredith found Lance Rentzel downfield for a completion to the Oakland 9. The Raider defense pushed the Cowboys backward from there, and forced Dallas to settle for a 23 yard field goal attempt by Danny Villanueva. The butterflies were evident as Villanueva missed the attempt. However, Mike Johnson picked off another Lamonica pass on the subsequent drive, and Villanueva converted a 27 yard attempt for the game’s initial score.

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