AFL Championship Game
New York Jets (11-3)
Shea Stadium, Flushing, NY
vs. Oakland Raiders (12-2)
The defending AFL Champion Oakland Raiders again found themselves one step away from professional football's grandest stage, and this time, a brash young team was standing in their way.
Led by AFL MVP Joe Namath, the New York Jets burst onto the main AFL stage after waiting in the wings behind the Houston Oilers last season. Only the Raiders scored more points during the regular season than the Jets, and only three teams allowed fewer points to be scored. Not only that, but New York also had revenge on their minds following their last defeat of the regular season, 43-32, at the hands of these same Raiders in Week 10.
With revenge on their minds, the Jets came out quickly, marching down the field on their first possession in nine plays, covering 84 yards. Although they could not get into the end zone, a Jim Turner chip shot field goal gave the Jets the lead. Oakland would respond after a Joe Namath interception when Daryle Lamonica found Fred Biletnikoff two yards deep in the end zone for a score and a 7-3 lead. The Jets, suddenly shellshocked at the quick score, saw their chances of controlling the first half go up in smoke when they missed a field goal and then lost two fumbles to the Raiders on their next three drives. Oakland turned these mistakes into ten more points with a George Blanda field goal and a Pete Banaszak run to give them a 14 point lead at the half.
With their backs against the wall, the Jets came out swinging to start the second half. Once again, Namath looked like the MVP, driving the Jets down the field to Oakland's 8 yard line. However, New York still could not find the end zone, and Jim Turner's second field goal cut the Raider lead to 11. However, on their very next possession, Namath threw a costly interception at the Jets 22, giving Oakland excellent field position, and Lamonica made them pay, finding Warren Wells with a 12 yard touchdown pass that just about closed the lid on New York's day. Namath would be intercepted two more times in the fourth quarter trying to drive the Jets down the field, and Lamonica (14/17, 181) added his third touchdown of the day with another pass to Fred Biletnikoff late in the fourth to finish the scoring. For the second straight year, the Raiders were champions of the AFL.
Oakland-31 New York Jets-6
Real Life Score:
New York Jets-27 Oakland-23