The American Football League (AFL) champion New York Jets upset the National Football League (NFL) champion Baltimore Colts 16-7 as an 18-point underdog. The AFL's first Super Bowl triumph came in this game. The loss ended the NFL's 27-game winning streak.
The winner of the AFL vs. NFL World Championship Series, this was the only playoff series they played until 1970 when both leagues agreed to merge their systems. The AFL used a 10-team league structure with two divisions per team while the NFL had 12 teams divided into 2 divisions - East and West - with no division winners declared but instead a head-to-head final match between the number one seed and number four seed. The AFL's superior record earned them the right to host the championship game at Yankee Stadium on January 15th, 1969.
The Jets dominated most of the game except for a late Colts drive that included a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Leroy Kelly. However, it wasn't enough to overcome the 17-point deficit. This is still considered one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
This game marked the end of the NFL's winning streak and the beginning of the Jets' dynasty that would last for several more years. Joe Namath, the star quarterback for the Jets, promised his fans that his team would win the big one before season's end.
The Cowboys won their first Super Bowl by defeating the Dolphins 24–3. The game took place on January 16, 1972, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana, marking the city's second Super Bowl appearance. The Cowboys scored all of their points through touchdowns passes from Don Meredith to Dandy Diaz and from Meredith to Cliff Branch.
Dallas outgained the Dolphins 461 to 39 during the game but lost when Miami defensive back Aeneas Williams intercepted a pass from Meredith in the end zone with only seconds remaining.
This is the most recent championship for the Cowboys. They have now won more Super Bowls than any other team with XIX. The Pittsburgh Steelers are second with XVIII.
Before this season, there were rumors that the NFL might expand its playoffs field from 12 teams to 14 or even 16. If this happens, then the 1972 Miami Dolphins would have been left out of the playoffs. This could happen because the NFL wants to give more opportunities to smaller market teams. So far, no decisions have been made about how many teams will make the playoffs.
The last time there were 16 teams in the playoffs was 2010 when the New York Giants defeated the undefeated New England Patriots 41-34 in double overtime. From 2001-2009, the number of teams increased to 14 but then decreased to 12 for the 2012 season.
The first playoff game under these rules was the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants (dubbed the "Greatest Game Ever Played"), which was won on a one-yard touchdown run by Colts fullback Alan Ameche after eight minutes and fifteen seconds of extra time.
The Playoff Bowl (formally known as the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl) was a National Football League postseason game for third place (NFL). It was played 10 times between 1960 and 1969, all at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.
The 2001 Super Bowl XXXVI was a football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion St. Louis Rams and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to determine the National Football League (NFL) champion. By a score of 20-17, the Patriots beat the Rams. This was also the first Super Bowl lost by the Patriots.
They had earlier defeated the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the playoffs 23-14 at home before traveling to Florida for their match up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots then went on to defeat the Bucs 34-27 in overtime to advance to their first ever Super Bowl. This was also the first Super Bowl loss for the Rams who were appearing in their second straight Super Bowl but the first since losing to Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII 16-13.
The Patriots got on the board first when defensive back Ty Law returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown with 9:19 left in the first quarter. The Rams responded with a field goal from 39 yards out by Mike Vanderjagt to make it 7-3 Patriots. In the second quarter, New England took control as quarterback Tom Brady completed three passes on four attempts for 38 yards. He then led his team down the field on a 74-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run from tailback Marshall Faulk making it 14-3 Patriots at the end of the half.
In January 1971, Roman numerals were first used for the fifth edition. The Jets became the first AFL club to win a Super Bowl, defeating the Colts in Super Bowl III. After the NFL's Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, several club owners were concerned about the merger's survival. They feared that if the Packers continued to dominate, more teams would leave the AFL in search of better financial deals and this would ultimately destroy the merger.
The Vikings were the first American football team to win the title when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-15 in Minneapolis on February 5, 1960. The only other champion from the AFL era so far has been the Dallas Texans/Dallas Cowboys (1972), who lost to the Miami Dolphins in the first game played at Texas Stadium.
The Patriots are the most recent AFL team to win the Super Bowl. They defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XLII. The last AFL team to win the championship was the New York Jets, who defeated the Baltimore Colts in III. After losing the first two Super Bowls, it took three decades before another AFL team won again. That time the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers 21-10 in Super Bowl 48.