1968 American Football League season

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1968 American Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 6 – December 15, 1968
Playoffs
DateDecember 29, 1968
Eastern Champion New York Jets
Western Champion Oakland Raiders
Site Shea Stadium, New York City
Champion New York Jets
The Jets playing the Colts in Super Bowl III. 1986 Jeno's Pizza - 37 - Joe Namath.jpg
The Jets playing the Colts in Super Bowl III.

The 1968 American Football League season was the ninth regular season of the American Football League, and its penultimate season prior to the AFL–NFL merger.

Contents

The season ended when the New York Jets (11–3) defeated the Oakland Raiders (12–2) in the AFL championship game on December 29 at Shea Stadium in New York City. Two weeks later, the Jets defeated the National Football League's Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in one of the biggest sports upsets in history.

The season was also notable as the inaugural season of the Cincinnati Bengals, which expanded the AFL to 10 teams.

In anticipation of the merger, all AFL on-field officials wore uniforms similar to those used in the NFL.

Division races

With the addition of the Cincinnati Bengals, the AFL's ten teams were split equally into two divisions. Each played a home-and-away game against the other four teams in its division, one game against each of the five teams in the opposite division, and a second game against one of the other division's teams.

As with the previous eight seasons, the best record in the Eastern Division played the best in the Western Division in the AFL championship game, with the site alternating between the divisions; the Eastern division hosted in even-numbered years. If there was tie within the division standings (as happened when Oakland and Kansas City both finished at 12–2), a tiebreaker playoff was held to determine the division winner. The Jets, with the third-best record in the league in 1968, had a week off and hosted the title game.

WeekEasternRecordWesternRecord
1Boston1–0–0Tie (KC, SD)1–0–0
2Tie (Bos, NYJ)1–0–0Tie (Oak, SD)1–0–0
3N.Y. Jets2–0–0Tie (Oak, SD)2–0–0
4Tie (Bos, NY)2–1–0Oakland3–0–0
5N.Y. Jets3–1–0Oakland4–0–0
6N.Y. Jets3–2–0Kansas City5–1–0
7N.Y. Jets4–2–0Kansas City6–1–0
8N.Y. Jets5–2–0Kansas City7–1–0
9N.Y. Jets6–2–0Kansas City7–2–0
10N.Y. Jets7–2–0Kansas City8–2–0
11N.Y. Jets7–3–0Kansas City9–2–0
12N.Y. Jets8–3–0Tie (KC, Oak)9–2–0
13N.Y. Jets9–3–0Tie (KC, Oak)10–2–0
14N.Y. Jets10–3–0Tie (KC, Oak)11–2–0
15N.Y. Jets11–3–0Tie (KC, Oak)12–2–0

Regular season

The Cincinnati Bengals joined the league as an expansion team.

Results

Home/RoadEastern DivisionWestern Division
BOS BUF HOU MIA NY CIN DEN KC OAK SD
Eastern Boston Patriots 23–60–1610–3431–47*33–1414–3517–27
Buffalo Bills 7–167–3017–2137–357–186–486–21
Houston Oilers 45–1735–67–2414–2038–1721–2615–24
Miami Dolphins 38–714–1410–247–3121–383–4821–47
New York Jets 48–1425–2126–735–1727–1413–2123–20
Western Cincinnati Bengals 34–2317–2722–2424–109–160–3410–31
Denver Broncos 17–2034–3221–1410–77–307–4323–47
Kansas City Chiefs 31–1724–1019–2013–334–224–1027–20
Oakland Raiders 41–1013–10 43–32 31–1033–2738–2114–23
San Diego Chargers 30–1434–2815–3729–1355–243–4027–34

(*) Played at Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama since Boston Red Sox refused to rent Fenway Park to Patriots.

Standings

Playoffs

Western Division playoff
December 22
AFL Championship Game
December 29
      
E at New York Jets (11–3) 27
W Oakland Raiders 23
W Kansas City Chiefs    (12–2) 6
W at Oakland Raiders (12–2) 41

Super Bowl

In an upset, the New York Jets, defeated the Baltimore Colts, 16–7, at Orange Bowl in Miami, on January 12, 1969.

Stadium changes

Coaching changes

Offseason

In-season

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