Tuesday, June 14, 2011

1968 New York Jets season

1968 New York Jets season

1968 New York Jets season
Head coachWeeb Ewbank
Home fieldShea Stadium
Division Place1st AFL East
Playoff finishWon AFL Championship
27-23 vs. Oakland Raiders
Won Super Bowl III
16-7 vs. Baltimore Colts
Previous seasonNext season
The 1968 New York Jets season was the ninth season for the team in the American Football League (AFL). The team had the most successful season in franchise history. Trying to improve upon their 8-5-1 record in 1967, they won the AFL Eastern Division with an 11-3 record. They defeated the Oakland Raiders in the AFL Championship game, and earned the right to play in Super Bowl III against the NFL champion Baltimore Colts. In a stunning upset, marked by quarterback Joe Namath's famous "guarantee" of victory, the Jets defeated the heavily favored Colts 16-7.



On May 21, Sonny Werblin sold his shares in the Jets to his partners Don Lillis, Leon Hess, Townsend Martin and Phil Isselin. Lillis became the President on May 21 but died on July 23. Isselin was appointed President on August 6.[1]

 AFL Draft

 Regular season


Eastern Division[2]
*New York Jets1130.786419280
Houston Oilers770.500303248
Miami Dolphins581.385276355
Boston Patriots4100.286229406
Buffalo Bills1121.077199367

 Regular season schedule

WeekDateOpponentResultGame site
1September 15Kansas City ChiefsW 20-19Municipal Stadium
2September 22Boston PatriotsW 47-31Legion Field[3]
3September 29Buffalo BillsL 35-37War Memorial Stadium
4October 5San Diego ChargersW 23-20Shea Stadium
5October 13Denver BroncosL 13-21Shea Stadium
6October 20Houston OilersW 20-14The Astrodome
7October 27Boston PatriotsW 48-14Shea Stadium
8November 3Buffalo BillsW 25-21Shea Stadium
9November 10Houston OilersW 26-7Shea Stadium
10November 17Oakland RaidersL 32-43Oakland-Alameda Coliseum
11November 24San Diego ChargersW 37-15San Diego Stadium
12December 1Miami DolphinsW 35-17Shea Stadium
13December 8Cincinnati BengalsW 27-14Shea Stadium
14December 15Miami DolphinsW 31-7Miami Orange Bowl


New York Jets roster
QuarterbacksRunning Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Offensive LinemenDefensive Linemen
LinebackersDefensive Backs
Special Teams
Rookies in italics

 Heidi Game

The 1968 season also saw the Jets involved in one of the most notorious incidents in television history, an incident that would change the way television networks carried sporting events for decades to come. On November 17, 1968, just before 7:30pm Eastern time, the Jets scored late to take a 32–29 lead over the Oakland Raiders with 1:05 left. NBC cut to a commercial, and then everywhere but the West Coast showed the movie Heidi, a show which NBC had promoted extensively for the sweeps period. Outraged fans bombarded NBC headquarters in New York with phone calls demanding the game be restored; so many phone calls were made that they eventually knocked out the NBC switchboard. Even though a decision was made to carry the game to conclusion, this decision could not be communicated, thus resulting in the movie starting on schedule.
Fans' ire was further fueled when they discovered that NBC's cutting away from the game denied them from seeing live a dramatic finish. On the Raiders' second play from scrimmage on the next drive, Daryle Lamonica threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Smith, giving the Raiders a 36–32 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Earl Christy of the Jets fumbled at the 10 yard line, which the Raiders' Preston Ridlehuber converted into another touchdown, ultimately giving the Raiders a 43–32 victory. Much of the country learned of this final outcome only via a bottom-of-screen crawl line shown during the movie. This incident, dubbed the Heidi Game, resulted in most television networks and sports leagues amending their television policies to ensure that games in progress would be broadcast to their conclusion, no matter what, even if it meant delaying or canceling the rest of the network's lineup, and even if the game's outcome seemed assured.


  • On December 29, Weeb Ewbank became the first coach to win titles in the National Football League and in the American Football League. Ironically, his former team, the Baltimore Colts won the 1968 NFL Championship on December 29 as well. The Colts defeated the Cleveland Browns by a score of 34-0.[4]
WeekDateOpponentResultGame site
AFL Champ.December 29, 1968Oakland RaidersW 27-23Shea Stadium
SB IIIJanuary 12, 1969Baltimore ColtsW 16-7Miami Orange Bowl

 Super Bowl III

 The Guarantee

In 1969, the Jets would reach the pinnacle of their existence and provide the moment that would indicate the AFL's coming of age. Under Namath's guidance, the Jets rose to the top of the AFL, defeating the Oakland Raiders in a thrilling AFL championship game, 27-23. The win qualified them to represent their league in a game that was being referred to for the first time as the Super Bowl (and referred to retroactively as Super Bowl III). They were pitted against the champions of the NFL, the Baltimore Colts. At the time, the AFL was considered to be inferior to the NFL, and most people considered the Jets to be considerable underdogs and treated the Jets as such. That would change three nights before the game while Namath was being honored by the Miami Touchdown Club as its Player Of The Year. Namath took exception to a heckling Colts fan and used that moment to lament the lack of respect his team had gotten to that point. He then said "The Jets will win Sunday. I guarantee you." His audacious remark proved correct, as the Jets created one of the greatest upsets in football history by defeating the Colts 16–7. This victory showed that the AFL was capable of competing with the NFL.

 Scoring summary

QuarterTimeTeamDriveScoring InformationScore
29:03NYJ80125:06TD: Matt Snell 4 yard run (Jim Turner kick)70
310:08NYJ884:17FG: Jim Turner 32 yards100
33:58NYJ45104:06FG: Jim Turner 30 yards130
413:26NYJ6173:58FG: Jim Turner 9 yards160
43:19BAL80143:15TD: Jerry Hill 1 yard run (Lou Michaels kick)167

 Awards and honors


  1. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 283
  2. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book. New York City, NY: Workman Publishing Company. p. 298. ISBN 0-7611-2480-2.
  3. ^ 1968 schedule
  4. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p.283
  5. ^ He guaranteed it - Pro Football Hall of Fame

 External links

Preceded by
Oakland Raiders
American Football League champion
Succeeded by
Kansas City Chiefs
Preceded by
Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl champion
Succeeded by
Kansas City Chiefs
Eastern DivisionWestern Division
HoustonKansas City
New York JetsSan Diego
1969 AFL DraftAFL Playoffs1968 AFL All-Star gameSuper Bowl III
Related: 1968 NFL Season