By GARY McLENDON
Only two weeks earlier, in the NFL Championship game, the Colts had
thoroughly demolished the Cleveland Browns 34-0 before 84,000 people in Clevelands
Municipal Stadium, holding the NFLs leading rusher Leroy Kelly to a mere
The Jets made it to the game by narrowly defeating the defending AFL
Champion Oakland Raiders, 27-23, who a year earlier were beaten 35-10 by the two-time
world champion Green Bay Packers. Few dared think that the 18-point underdogs could beat
the Colts. But the Jets sole legitimate superstar, Quarterback Joe Namath, had different
A banner headline in the Miami Herald capped the story: NAMATH GUARANTEES
JET VICTORY, as reported by a group of writers that had gathered poolside to question the
reclining quarterback. "I guarantee it," he told them.
Queens own 1969 New York Jets defeated the big, bad Baltimore Colts
in Miami to become the world champions.
The remarks went against all sports tradition. Not since
Yankee legend Babe Ruth called his home run shot against the Chicago Cubs in the 1932
World Series had a New York sports figure gone so far out on a limb. The Jets made good on
The Jets were confident in their ability to run the ball and quickly
diagnose the Colts blitzing pass defense. And after receiving the opening kick-off,
the Jets revealed their game plan- run the ball to set up the pass.
On the first two running plays Jets running back Matt Snellbehind
blocking of linemen Winston Hill, Bob Talamini and fullback Emerson Boozergained
twelve yards. The Jets running game was established. Running left, the Jets made small but
steady gains all game. The drive stalled, and the Colts had the first scoring chance. But
when Colts kicker Lou Micheals missed a 27-yard field goal, he blew it.
The Jets ball control offense then kicked into gear. Three successive runs
by halfback Matt Snell set the Colts up for four completions, two to Sauer. A pass to
Snell put the ball on the Colts nine-yard line. Then Snell carried twice, once for
five yards, and again for four and the games first touchdown.
Throughout the second quarter the Colts threatened to score, but never
The Jets led 7-0 at the half.
The second half was no better for the Colts. On the first play from
scrimmage, Tom Matte fumbled. The Jets recovered. Jim Turner booted a field goal, making
it 10-0 Jets. The Jets stopped Baltimore once again, and after a long, improvised drive
punctuated by short runs by Emerson Boozer and passes to George Sauer, there was another
Turner field goal, and a 13-0 lead.
Legendary Colt Quarterback John Unitas replaced Earl Morrall. Unitas, an
aging veteran with an aching passing arm, gutted out a long, time-consuming drive. But,
although bending, the Jets defense refused to break. Again, Randy Beverly
intercepted a pass in the Jets end zone.
As they had done all day, the Jets pounded the ball down the field on a
long time consuming drive and kicked another field goal, making the score 16-0. All that
separated the Jets from the world championship was seven minutes.
With the clock winding down, Unitas led a furious drive utilizing short
passes to Tom Matte, John Mackey, Willie Richardson, and Jimmy Orr. Fullback Jerry Hill
drove into the end zone, making the score 16-7. Although the Colts recovered the on-sides
kick, it was too little too late. The unsung Jets defense held once again. Queens
own Jets were World Champions.