Super Bowl History: Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers Win One for the Road

January 14, 1968, marked the end of an era for the sport of football.

On that fateful day, the Green Bay Packers showed up at Miami's Orange Bowl for Super Bowl II still thawing from their Ice Bowl victory over the Dallas Cowboys. By winning in the frigid conditions, they earned their third consecutive NFL title and fifth in seven seasons.

According to Bob McGinn's The Ultimate Super Bowl Book, Vince Lombardi, Green Bay's legendary head coach, had thought throughout the 1967 season about retiring to get away from the responsibilities of his role as the Packers' coach and general manager.

The Packers' offense already said goodbye to future Hall of Famers Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung. And Bart Starr, at age 34, could sense the end of his playing career in Green Bay coming as well, finishing the 1967 regular season with a 64.4 passer rating, his worst since 1958.

Before Lombardi and the Packers dynasty could ride off into the sunset, they had a score to settle with the AFL's Oakland Raiders. Just like the year before, Green Bay was the heavy favorite, counted on to represent the NFL by beating the best team from a league portrayed as inferior.

But just like the Chiefs did the previous year, the Raiders hang with the Packers in the first half. Green Bay scored the game's first 13 points with two field goals by Don Chandler and a 62-yard touchdown pass from Starr to Boyd Dowler.

Starr was named the game's Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year, finishing the game completing 13-of-24 for 202 yards.

However, Oakland fought back to cut the Packers' lead to 13-7 with a touchdown pass of its own. Daryle Lamonica completed the 23-yard score to Bill Miller.

But with 23 seconds left in the first half, Raider punt returner Rodger Byrd fumbled a Donny Anderson punt. Green Bay linebacker Dick Capp recovered the loose ball, setting up a 31-yard field goal by Chandler that sent the Packers to halftime with a 16-7 lead.

From there, the Packers scored 17 unanswered points to put the game out of reach. The last of those points came in the form of a 60-yard interception return by Herb Adderley.

In the end, Green Bay won 33-14, sending Lombardi into retirement a champion. As the sun set on the Orange Bowl, two Packers players carried their iconic coach on their shoulders one last time.

The Packers' Super Bowl II victory marked the end of not only their dynasty, but of the NFL's superiority over the AFL as well. The AFL's New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs won the next two Super Bowls before the two leagues merged into one.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.