1966 American Football League Championship Game

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1966 American Football League Championship Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Kansas City 7 10 0 14 31
Buffalo 7 0 0 0 7
Date January 1, 1967
Stadium War Memorial Stadium
City Buffalo, NY
Attendance
TV/Radio in the United States
TV Network NBC
TV Announcers Curt Gowdy, Paul Christman and Pat Hernon[1]
Timeline
Previous game Next game
1965 1967

The 1966 American Football League Championship Game was an American football game between the Western Division champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Eastern Division champion Buffalo Bills to decide the American Football League (AFL) champion for the 1966 season. The game was held at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York on January 1, 1967. The Chiefs defeated the Bills by a score of 31–7. The Chiefs would advance to Super Bowl I to play against the National Football League (NFL) champion Green Bay Packers.

Background[edit]

The game had originally been schedule for Monday December 26, but when the AFL and NFL agreed to merge in 1970 and play a "world championship game" starting with the 1966 season the game was moved to January 1.


Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

The Kansas City Chiefs finished the 1966 season with an 11–2–1 record, finishing first place in the Western Division. Len Dawson finished the season with 2527 passing yards and 26 touchdowns, with only 10 interceptions, giving him a 101.7 passer rating. The team's top wide receiver was Otis Taylor who caught 58 passes for 1297 yards and 8 touchdowns; Chris Burford also contributed by catching 58 passes for 758 yards and 8 touchdowns. Mike Garrett was the team's leading rusher, gaining 801 yards and 6 touchdowns. Other reliable options included Curtis McClinton (540 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Bert Coan (521 yards, 7 touchdowns). The Chiefs' offense consisted of five All-Stars: Len Dawson, Curtis McClinton, Otis Taylor, Jim Tyrer, and Ed Budde.[2]

The defense had six All-Stars: Johnny Robinson, E.J. Holub, Sherrill Headrick, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, and Jerry Mays.[2]

Buffalo Bills[edit]

Game summary[edit]

Kansas City Chiefs 31, Buffalo Bills 7

January 1, 1967 at War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New York

The Bills went into the 1966 AFL Championship having already won the game the previous two years. Though the game was to be played in Buffalo, the visiting Kansas City Chiefs were three-point favorites, mainly because of their explosive and innovative offense led by Head Coach Hank Stram. The Bills were a more conventional team with a solid defensive line and a running mindset on offense.

A Bills fumble on the opening kickoff gave the Chiefs a short field to work with, and Quarterback Len Dawson immediately took advantage of it, hitting Fred Arbanas for the game's first score. Jack Kemp's first pass for the Bills was a 69 yard score to Elbert Dubenion. Late in the second quarter and trailing 14–7, Kemp led the Bills to the Kansas City 10. Bobby Crockett was open in the endzone, but Kemp's pass was intercepted by Johnny Robinson, who returned the ball 72-yards, setting up a Mike Mercer field goal to close out the first half.

Buffalo found no offensive rhythm in the second half, and the Chiefs closed the game out in the fourth quarter with Dawson found Chris Burford for a 45 yard gain, setting up a one foot touchdown run by rookie Mike Garrett. Garrett scored his second touchdown less than two minutes later following another Bills fumble, sending the Chiefs to the AFL-NFL Championship Game.

Box score[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 7 10 0 14 31
Bills 7 0 0 0 7

at War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New York

  • Date: January 1, 1967
  • Game weather: 32 degrees, relative humidity 82%, wind 12 mph, wind chill 22
  • Box Score
Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP Chiefs Bills
1 Chiefs Arbanas 29-yard touchdown reception from Dawdon, Mercer kick good 7 0
1 Bills Dubenion 69-yard touchdown reception from Kemp, Lusteg kick good 7 7
2 Chiefs Taylor 29-yard touchdown reception from Dawson, Mercer kick good 14 7
2 Chiefs 22-yard field goal by Mercer 17 7
4 Chiefs Garrett 1-yard touchdown run, Mercer kick good 24 7
4 Chiefs Garrett 18-yard touchdown run, Mercer kick good 31 7
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 31 7

Starting lineups[edit]

Source: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196701010buf.htm
Kansas City Position Position Buffalo
OFFENSE
Len Dawson QB Jack Kemp
Mike Garrett RB Bobby Burnett
Curtis McClinton FB Wray Carlton
Otis Taylor FL Elbert Dubenion
Chris Burford SE Bobby Crockett
Fred Arbanas TE Paul Costa
Jim Tyrer LT Stew Barber
Ed Budde LG Billy Shaw
Wayne Frazier C Al Bemiller
Curt Merz RG Joe O'Donnell
Dave Hill RT Dick Hudson
DEFENSE
Jerry Mays LDE Ron McDole
Andy Rice LDT Jim Dunaway
Buck Buchanan RDT Tom Sestak
Chuck Hurston RDE Tom Day
Bobby Bell LLB John Tracey
Sherrill Headrick MLB Harry Jacobs
E.J. Holub RLB Mike Stratton
Fred Williamson LCB Tom Janik
Willie Mitchell RCB Butch Byrd
Bobby Hunt SS Hagood Clarke
Johnny Robinson FS George Saimes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1966 NFL-AFL Commentator Crews
  2. ^ a b "1966 AFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Buffalo Bills
1965 AFL Champions
Kansas City Chiefs
American Football League Champions

1966
Succeeded by
Oakland Raiders
1967 AFL Champions