1968 American Football League season
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The 1968 American Football League season was the ninth
regular season In an organized sports league, a typical season is the portion of one year in which regulated games of the sport are in session: for example, in Major League Baseball the season lasts approximately from the last week of March to the last week of Sep ...
of the
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven play ...
, and its penultimate season prior to the
AFL–NFL merger The AFL–NFL merger was the merger of the two major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleve ...
. The season ended when the
New York Jets The New York Jets are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
(11–3) defeated the
Oakland Raiders Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, US. A major West Coast of the United States, West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area), East Bay region of the San Fra ...
(12–2) in the
AFL championship game For its first nine seasons, 1960 American Football League season, 1960 through 1968 American Football League season, 1968, the American Football League determined its champion via a single playoff game between the winners of its two divisions (alth ...
on December 29 at
Shea Stadium Shea Stadium (; formally known as William A. Shea Municipal Stadium) was a multi-purpose stadium in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, New York City.
in New York City. Two weeks later, the Jets defeated the
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rect ...
's
Baltimore Colts Baltimore ( , locally: ) is the List of municipalities in Maryland, most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as List of United States cities by population, the 30th most populous city in the United States, with an estimated pop ...
in
Super Bowl III Super Bowl III was the third AFL–NFL Championship Game in professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams o ...
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.


Division races

With the addition of the
Cincinnati Bengals The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC North, North division. T ...
, 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 The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
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.


Regular season

The
Cincinnati Bengals The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC North, North division. T ...
joined the league as an expansion team.


Results

(*) Played at
Legion Field Legion Field is an outdoor stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a tiered struct ...
,
Birmingham, Alabama Birmingham ( ) is a city in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama. Birmingham is the County seat, seat of Jefferson County, Alabama, Jefferson County, Alabama's most populous county. As of 2020, Birmingham had a population of 200, ...
since
Boston Red Sox The Boston Red Sox are an American professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player ...
refused to rent
Fenway Park Fenway Park is a baseball park A baseball park, also known as a ballpark or diamond, is a stadium, venue where baseball is played. A baseball park consists of the baseball field, playing field and the surrounding spectator seating. While the ...

Fenway Park
to Patriots.


Standings


Playoffs


Super Bowl

In an upset, the
New York Jets The New York Jets are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
, defeated the
Baltimore Colts Baltimore ( , locally: ) is the List of municipalities in Maryland, most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as List of United States cities by population, the 30th most populous city in the United States, with an estimated pop ...
, 16–7, at
Orange Bowl The Orange Bowl is an annual American college football College football is gridiron football consisting of American football in the United States, American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Higher education in the Uni ...

Orange Bowl
in
Miami Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a Coast, coastal metropolis located in southeastern Florida in the United States. It is the third most populous metropolitan area, metropolis on the East coast of the United States, and it is the sevent ...

Miami
, on January 12, 1969.


Stadium changes

* The expansion
Cincinnati Bengals The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC North, North division. T ...
began play at
Nippert Stadium Nippert Stadium is an outdoor stadium in Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio Ohio is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. Of the List of states a ...
* Bears Stadium, home of the
Denver Broncos The Denver Broncos are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular Am ...
, was renamed
Mile High Stadium Mile High Stadium (originally Bears Stadium) was an outdoor multi-purpose stadium A multi-purpose stadium is a type of stadium designed to be easily used by multiple types of events. While any stadium could potentially host more than one ty ...
after the city took control of the venue * The
Houston Oilers Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United State ...
moved from Rice Stadium to the
Astrodome The NRG Astrodome, also known as the Houston Astrodome or simply the Astrodome, is the world's first multi-purpose, domed sports stadium, located in Houston, Texas Texas (, ) is a state in the South Central United States, South Central ...


Coaching changes


Offseason

*
Cincinnati Bengals The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC North, North division. T ...
:
Paul Brown Paul Eugene Brown (September 7, 1908 – August 5, 1991) was an American football coach and executive in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and National Football League (NFL). Brown was both the co-founder and first coach of the Clevelan ...

Paul Brown
was the expansion team's first head coach.


In-season

*
Buffalo Bills''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on ...
:
Joe Collier Joel Dale Collier (born June 7, 1932) is an American former football Football is a family of team sport A team is a Harvey_Johnson_served_as_interim_head_coach.


_References


_External_links


Football_Database
{{DEFAULTSORT:1968_American_Football_League_Season 1968_American_Football_League_season.html" ;"title="Harvey_Johnson_(coach).html" ;"title="roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined b ...
was fired after two games. Defensive coordinator Harvey Johnson (coach)">Harvey Johnson served as interim head coach.


References


External links


Football Database
{{DEFAULTSORT:1968 American Football League Season 1968 American Football League season"> American Football League seasons