Super Bowl III: New York Jets 16 Baltimore Colts 7
Jets Upset Colts in Super Bowl III Behind Super Bowl MVP Joe Namath who guaranteed the upset victory
New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath "guaranteed" victory on the Thursday before Super Bowl III, then went out and led the AFL to its first Super Bowl victory over a Baltimore Colts team that had lost only once in 16 games all season.
QB Joe Namath, chosen the outstanding player, completed 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards and directed a steady attack that dominated the NFL champions. The New York Jets had 337 total yards, including 121 rushing yards by Matt Snell. The New York Jets defense did its part by forcing 5 turnovers. The Jets' defense had intercepted Colts quarterback Earl Morrall three times in the first half.
The Colts could not generate any points with quarterback Earl Morrall. By the time Shula brought sore-armed Johnny Unitas off the bench in the third quarter, the Colts trailed 13-0. Unitas, who had missed most of the season with a sore elbow, led the Baltimore Colts to their only touchdown late in the fourth quarter after the New York Jets led 16-0. The Jets were in such complete command, Namath did not have to throw a single pass in the fourth quarter. The Jets simply ran out the clock.
The Jets, AFL champions with an 11-3 regular-season record, were 19-point underdogs to Baltimore. The Colts, coached by Don Shula, dominated the NFL with a 13-1 regular-season record and had defeated the Cleveland Browns 34-0 in the NFL title game. The Colts had the top-ranked defense in the NFL and were considered one of the greatest NFL teams of all-time.
At that time, most people felt the NFL was vastly superior to the AFL. Easy victories over the Chiefs and Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II by the vaunted Green Bay Packers only reinforced that belief. The NFL, with roots tracing back to 1920, was seen as the one true professional league. The AFL, born in 1960, was regarded as upstart newcomers.
The brash Namath was honored by the Miami Touchdown Club as its Player of the Year on the Thursday night before Super Bowl Sunday. As he stepped to the microphone, a voice in the crowd -- belonging to a Colts' fan began heckling him and predicting a lopsided Baltimore victory.
Namath replied "Whoa, wait a minute. You guys have been talking for two weeks now [meaning the Colts' fans and the media] and I'm tired of hearing it. I've got news for you. We're gonna win the game. I guarantee it."
Namath's supporters happily applauded his bravado. One thing was certain: come Super Bowl Sunday, they all would be watching. When Namath returned to the hotel, he called cornerback Johnny Sample, the Jets' defensive captain, in his room.
"Joe told me, 'I said something tonight that's gonna be all over the news tomorrow,'" said Sample. "I asked him: 'What the heck did you say?' He told me he guaranteed we'd win the game. I said, 'Man, you didn't say that.' He said yeah, he did."
Jets coach Weeb Ewbank knew nothing of Namath's comments until the next day when he awoke to find the "guarantee" plastered across the front page of the morning paper. Having instructed his players to generously praise the Colts and, if possible, make them even more overconfident, Ewbank was furious. Namath's outburst, he feared, jeopardized everything.
Super Bowl III Logo
Super Bowl III MVP: Joe Namath, QB, New York Jets
Super Bowl III MVP: Joe Namath, QB, New York Jets
Playing before a capacity crowd at the Orange Bowl, with millions more watching on television, Joe Namath (completing 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards) coolly picked apart the potent Colts. With his quick release, Namath beat the Colts' blitz with quick passes to split end George Sauer (eight receptions, 133 yards). The brash 25-year-old quarterback proved to be every bit as good as advertised -- and much better than the Colts bargained for.
Namath directed the Jets' offense with patience and precision. He mixed his passes with the powerful runs of fullback Matt Snell (30 rushes, 121 yards) as the AFL upstarts took control of the game.
Jets Quarterback Joe Namath might have won the Most Valuable Player award without even throwing a pass. His "guarantee" of victory -- and his determined leadership to back up his boast -- cemented the reputation of the AFL and excited football fans around the country as the upstart Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts of the NFL 16-7 in one of the biggest upsets in sports history.
Namath's famous run off the field after the game, his index finger waving to let the world know who was "No. 1," is one of the enduring images of the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl III Scoring
|New York Jets (AFL)||0||7||6||3||16|
|Baltimore Colts (NFL)||0||0||0||7||7|
Jets: Snell 4 Yard TD Run (J. Turner PAT), 5:57
Jets: J. Turner 32-Yard Field Goal, 4:52
Jets: FG J. Turner 30-Yard Field Goal, 11:02
Jets: J. Turner 9-Yard Field Goal, 1:34
Colts: Hill 1-Yard TD Run (Michaels PAT), 11:41
Super Bowl III Team Statistics
|Total First Downs||21||18|
|Rushing First Downs||10||7|
|Passing First Downs||10||9|
|Penalty First Downs||1||2|
|Total Net Yardage||337||324|
|Total Offensive Plays||74||64|
|Avg. Gain Per Offensive Play||4.6||5.1|
|Yards Gained Rushing (Net)||142||143|
|Avg. Yards per Rush||3.3||6.2|
|Tackled Attempting to Pass||2||0|
|Yards Lost Attempting to Pass||11||0|
|Yards Gained Passing (Net)||195||181|
|Punt Return Yardage||0||34|
|Kickoff Return Yardage||25||105|
|Interception Return Yardage||9||0|
|Own Fumbles Recovered||0||0|
|Opponent Fumbles Recovered||1||1|
|Field Goals Attempted||5||2|
|Third-Down Efficiency||8 / 18||4 / 12|
|Fourth-Down Efficiency||0 / 0||1 / 2|
|Time of Possession||36:10||23:50|
Super Bowl III: Jets Player Stats
|Passing||Comp / Att||Yards||TD||INT|
Super Bowl III: Colts Player Stats
|Passing||Comp / Att||Yards||TD||INT|
January 12, 1969
Orange Bowl (Miami, FL)
Super Bowl III Jets & Colts Highlights
Super Bowl III: Ticket & Championship Ring
- Super Bowl I: Green Bay Packers 35 Kansas City Chiefs 10
- Super Bowl II: Green Bay Packers 33 Oakland Raiders 14
- Super Bowl III: New York Jets 16 Baltimore Colts 7
- Super Bowl IV: Kansas City Chiefs 23 Minnesota Vikings 7
- Super Bowl V: Baltimore Colts 16 Dallas Cowboys 13
- Super Bowl VI: Dallas Cowboys 24 Miami Dolphins 3
- Super Bowl VII: Miami Dolphins 14 Washington Redskins 7
- Super Bowl VIII: Miami Dolphins 24 Minnesota Vikings 7
- Super Bowl IX: Pittsburgh Steelers 16 Minnesota Vikings 6
- Super Bowl X: Steelers 21 Dallas Cowboys 17
- Super Bowl XI: Oakland Raiders 32 Minnesota Vikings 14
- Super Bowl XII: Cowboys 27 Denver Broncos 10
- Super Bowl XIII: Pittsburgh Steelers 35 Dallas Cowboys 31
- Super Bowl XIV: Pittsburgh Steelers 31 Los Angeles Rams 19
- Super Bowl XV: Oakland Raiders 27 Philadelphia Eagles 10
- Super Bowl XVI: San Francisco 49ers 26 Cincinnati Bengals 21
- Super Bowl XVII: Washington Redskins 27 Miami Dolphins 17
- Super Bowl XVIII: Los Angeles Raiders 38 Washington Redskins 9
- Super Bowl XIX: San Francisco 49ers 38 Miami Dolphins 16
- Super Bowl XX: Chicago Bears 46 New England Patriots 10
- Super Bowl XXI: New York Giants 39 Denver Broncos 20
- Super Bowl XXII: Washington Redskins 42 Denver Broncos 10
- Super Bowl XXIII: San Francisco 49ers 20 Cincinnati Bengals 16
- Super Bowl XXIV: San Francisco 49ers 55 Denver Broncos 10
- Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants 20 Buffalo Bills 19
- Super Bowl XXVI: Washington Redskins 37 Buffalo Bills 24
- Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas Cowboys 52 Buffalo Bills 17
- Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas Cowboys 30 Buffalo Bills 13
- Super Bowl XXIX: San Francisco 49ers 49 San Diego Chargers 26
- Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys 27 Pittsburgh Steelers 17
- Super Bowl XXXI: Green Bay Packers 35 New England Patriots 21
- Super Bowl XXXII: Denver Broncos 31 Green Bay Packers 24
- Super Bowl XXXIII: Denver Broncos 34 Atlanta Falcons 19
- Super Bowl XXXIV: Saint Louis Rams 23 Tennessee Titans 16
- Super Bowl XXXV: Baltimore Ravens 34 New York Giants 7
- Super Bowl XXXVI: New England Patriots 20 Saint Louis Rams 17
- Super Bowl XXXVII: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 Oakland Raiders 21
- Super Bowl XXXVIII: New England Patriots 32 Carolina Panthers 29
- Super Bowl XXXIX: New England Patriots 24 Philadelphia Eagles 21
- Super Bowl XL: Steelers 21 Seahawks 10
- Super Bowl XLI: Colts 29 Bears 17
- Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants 17 New England Patriots 14
- Super Bowl XLIII: Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Arizona Cardinals 23
- Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints 31 Indianapolis Colts 17
- Super Bowl XLV: Rodgers That! Packers 31 Steelers 25
- Super Bowl XLVI: Giants Win Title in Squeaker over Patriots
Super Bowl XLVII: Ravens Edge 49ers 34-31
- Seahawks Win Super Bowl XLVIII
- Botched Play Costs Seahawks Super Bowl XLIX
- Broncos Win Super Bowl 50
- Super Bowl 51: Win Paves Road to Patriots Dynasty
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NFL Football: "Super Bowl III | New York Jets 16 Baltimore Colts 7 | Jets QB Joe Namath MVP"