Today we have Super Bowl II, between the NFL champion Green Bay Packers and the AFL champion Oakland Raiders. Played on January 14, 1968, this game was known as the Second AFL-NFL World Championship Game.
The old Orange Bowl stadium in Miami was the host of this Super Bowl, and it would also host Super Bowl III, making it the only stadium to host back-to-back Super Bowls.
Read the whole story or listen to the podcast episodes below.
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Lombardi Memories is a show that takes you back in time, into January or February, to the greatest one-day spectacle in all of sports. This is the every-other-Tuesday podcast that looks back at each and every one of the 50-plus Super Bowls and tells the story of who won and why. Tommy A. Phillips is your host on this Super Journey. He’s an author of multiple NFL books. You can purchase below.
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Prelude to Super Bowl II
Everyone knows the story of how the Packers got to the second Super Bowl. After beating the Los Angeles Rams 28-7 in a divisional playoff game in Milwaukee, the 9-4-1 Packers played the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Championship Game at Lambeau Field on New Year’s Eve, 1967.
The temperature for the game was minus-13 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of minus-45. The field had an electric heating system that malfunctioned and failed, causing the field to be completely frozen. The Packers took a 14-0 lead, but the Cowboys came back to go up 17-14 in the fourth quarter. Then Bart Starr led a 68-yard drive with five minutes to go, culminating with one of the most famous plays in NFL history.
He scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak with less than half a minute to go, and the Packers won the NFL Championship Game, 21-17, to advance to Super Bowl II.
The Raiders got to the Super Bowl through a 13-1 regular season and a 40-7 pasting of the Houston Oilers in the AFL Championship Game. The Raiders scored forty or more points six times on their way to the Super Bowl, and twice they scored 51. The AFL didn’t offer much competition to the Raiders, but they would have their hands full with the Packers in Miami.
The Packers were again heavy favorites in the Super Bowl. The Raiders were getting thirteen and a half points. In addition, rumors were swirling that this was Packers head coach Vince Lombardi’s final game. The Packers were determined to make him go out a winner.
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The Raiders won the toss and chose to receive. Running back Larry Todd ran back the opening kickoff to the 27. The Raiders gained only one yard as they went three-and-out, and they punted it over to Green Bay. The Packers started their offense by handing off to running back Donny Anderson, who went for five yards.
Fullback Ben Wilson took the next carry for three yards before Anderson took a dive play off the left side for a first down. Quarterback Bart Starr completed his first pass of the game to receiver Carroll Dale, and he got to the Oakland 45. Wilson then ran for a first down. The Raiders jumped offside, followed by Starr throwing to tight end Marv Fleming to get to the 31.
The Packers couldn’t get any further, but with the goalposts on the goal line, they were well within kicker Don Chandler’s field goal range. He made a 39-yard field goal, and the Packers took a 3-0 lead. Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica got his team’s initial first down on a pass to receiver Bill Miller at the 38.
The Raiders were set back on a clipping call, but they got a first down when Packers linebacker Ray Nitschke was called for pass interference. Lamonica then got the Raiders into Packers territory with a pass to Miller to the 46, gaining another first down. However, the Raiders couldn’t make it any farther, and they were forced to punt. Their punter, Mike Eischeid downed the Packers at their own 3.
The Packers then put together a typical drive of theirs, going a long way and taking a lot of time off the clock. Wilson began it with a seven-yard run, then Anderson picked up the first down. Starr threw to Dale for a first down at the 30, then he handed off to Wilson for six more yards.
Anderson got the next first down before Starr took off on a fourteen-yard scramble into Oakland territory. Anderson moved the Packers into a fourth-and-one, which Wilson picked up with a run off-tackle to the 31. Starr threw to Anderson for seven yards, then Wilson pounded down inside the 15 for another new set of downs. While the Packers were unable to get into the end zone, Chandler made a twenty-yard field goal, and Green Bay took a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The Raiders then went three-and-out, with Packers defensive end Willie Davis sacking Lamonica to force a punt. It took just one play for Green Bay to strike. Starr then threw long down the middle of the field to receiver Boyd Dowler, and he took it 62 yards for a touchdown to give the Packers a 13-0 lead.
Now the Raiders were in danger of getting blown out. They prevented that from happening right away on their next drive. Running back Pete Banaszak ran it a couple of times for eight yards, then running back Hewritt Dixon picked up the first down. Lamonica found Miller for a first down at the Green Bay 40, then he hit Banaszak for a first down at the 25. Two plays later, Lamonica went back to Miller, finding him down the right sideline for a 23-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 13-7.
The Raiders were back in the game, and they threatened to move even closer after defensive tackle Tom Keating sacked Starr and the Packers had to punt. Defensive back Rodger Bird returned the punt twelve yards, setting up the Raiders near field goal range. Banaszak took a sweep to the 40, but the Raiders were stopped at the 39. Kicker George Blanda tried a 47-yard field goal, but it came up short of the goal post. Packers defensive back Willie Wood caught the short field goal and returned it to his own 8-yard line.
The Packers went three-and-out, and they punted with less than a minute to go. Donny Anderson wasn’t just a running back, he was also the team’s punter, and he kicked it away. Bird muffed the return, and linebacker Dick Capp recovered for Green Bay with just 23 seconds left. Starr threw to Dowler to move into field goal range at the Raiders 36. On the final play of the first half, Chandler made a 43-yard field goal, and the Packers took a 16-7 lead into halftime.
The second half started out slowly, with the Packers going three-and-out, and the Raiders getting just one first down on a run by Dixon before having to punt it back. The Packers then took over at their own 17, and Starr led them on another long drive. Wilson ran for fourteen yards, then Anderson took a sweep to the left for eight more.
Starr then launched a pass for Super Bowl I hero, receiver Max McGee. He hauled it in for a 36-yard gain. Starr went to Dale down the right sideline for a first down at the 13, before passing to Anderson to get down to the 2. Anderson plunged in off the right side for a two-yard touchdown, and the Packers took a 23-7 lead.
Oakland went three-and-out, and the Packers got the ball back at their own 38. The Raiders were called for holding on the first play of the new drive. Starr threw to Dale at midfield, then Anderson ran it twice, getting a first down at the 39. Starr threw to Fleming for another first down inside the 30. Wilson and Anderson took the ball into field goal range, and Chandler got a chance to try his fourth kick of the game.
This attempt from 31 yards out was very low, and it hit the crossbar, but it fortuitously bounced over and through the uprights. It was Chandler’s fourth successful field goal of the game, and it put the Packers up 26-7 at the end of the third quarter.
Green Bay put the game away by forcing two turnovers. The first came on a pass to Banaszak. He fumbled, and linebacker Dave Robinson recovered and returned it to the Oakland 37. The Packers didn’t score off this turnover, but they would on the next one. Lamonica got the Raiders near midfield, before throwing an interception to defensive back Herb Adderley. He returned it sixty yards for a touchdown, and the Packers took an insurmountable 33-7 lead.
The game was now in the bag for Green Bay, but the Raiders kept fighting. Lamonica threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Miller, the second touchdown for each player. They had a chance to score again near the end of the game, but the Packers fended them off. The final score ended up 33-14, a second straight decisive Super Bowl victory for the Packers.
Super Bowl II Awards
Packers quarterback Bart Starr was named Super Bowl MVP for his thirteen-for-24 performance, throwing for 202 yards and a touchdown. But who was the second-best player on his team, the one who would deserve MVP if not for him?
I would give that to kicker Don Chandler. He made all four of his field-goal attempts as well as three extra-point attempts. And that’s the answer to today’s pop quiz. Chandler scored fifteen points, the most-ever in Super Bowl history by a kicker. This record stands today. The only one who has come close is 49ers kicker Ray Wersching in Super Bowl XVI. He made four field goals as well, tying Chandler’s record, while also making two extra points. But Chandler’s the only one to score fifteen as a kicker in a Super Bowl, a record that has stood for over half a century.
Who was the Least Valuable Player of this game, the person who had the biggest hand in his team losing? I’d have to go with Raiders return man Rodger Bird. He muffed a punt at the end of the first half which led to a quick Green Bay field goal. If he just holds on to that ball, the Raiders go into the second half down no worse than six points. They may have even had a shot at a Hail Mary in the final seconds.
The Most Valuable Player on the losing team, who was it? I’ve got to go with receiver Bill Miller. He caught five passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. He had a great game in a losing cause, and he wins this award just ahead of Lamonica, who also played hard in defeat.
The play of the game was Starr’s 62-yard touchdown pass to Dowler. I’d love to give it to the late, great Herb Adderley, who died recently after a remarkable, fantastic, Hall-of-Fame career. He had that pick-six in the second half. But let’s face it, the Packers would have won easily even without that play. Starr’s pass to Dowler made it 13-0 and pretty much killed the Raiders. They never came back after that. Starr had that killer instinct, and that pinpoint accuracy. It’s why he’s one of the finest to ever take a snap in NFL history. Dowler finally got his touchdown after missing out in Super Bowl I thanks to an injury sustained early in the first quarter.
What was the biggest play of the game that no one remembers? I have to go with George Blanda’s missed 47-yard field goal in the second quarter. While that seems like it’s rather insignificant in a nineteen-point game, it meant a lot at the time since the Raiders were only down six. If he makes that kick, the Raiders would have pulled within three, and they would have had a much better shot at catching Green Bay.
Who was the best player in the game you’ve never heard of? How about Packers fullback Ben Wilson. You know Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, even Donny Anderson, but you don’t know Wilson. He was the Packers’ leading rusher in this game, with seventeen carries for 62 yards. And this was the final game of his career! Wilson never played another down in the NFL after this game. He played four seasons with Los Angeles before coming to Green Bay, where he finished his career with a Super Bowl ring.