1968 Baltimore Colts season

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1968 Baltimore Colts season
Head coach Don Shula
Owner Carroll Rosenbloom
Home field Memorial Stadium
Results
Record 13–1
Division place 1st Coastal
Playoff finish Won Divisional Playoffs (Vikings) 24–14
Won NFL Championship 34–0 (Browns)
Lost Super Bowl III (Jets) 16–7
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1967 1969 >

The 1968 Baltimore Colts season was the 16th season for the team in the National Football League. The Baltimore Colts finished the National Football League's 1968 season with a record of 13 wins and 1 loss. They won the Western Conference's Coastal division. They also won the NFL Championship Game in a shutout of the Cleveland Browns, but then lost to the Jets in Super Bowl III. Quarterback Johnny Unitas had been injured during the pre-season, so Earl Morrall led the offense. Coach Don Shula decided to bring Unitas back in during the second half of the Super Bowl, to no avail.

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance
1 September 15, 1968 San Francisco 49ers W 27–10 1–0 Memorial Stadium
56,864
2 September 22, 1968 at Atlanta Falcons W 28–20 2–0 Atlanta Stadium
50,428
3 September 29, 1968 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 41–7 3–0 Pitt Stadium
44,480
4 October 6, 1968 Chicago Bears W 28–7 4–0 Memorial Stadium
60,238
5 October 13, 1968 at San Francisco 49ers W 42–14 5–0 Kezar Stadium
32,822
6 October 20, 1968 Cleveland Browns L 20–30 5–1 Memorial Stadium
60,238
7 October 27, 1968 Los Angeles Rams W 27–10 6–1 Memorial Stadium
60,238
8 November 3, 1968 at New York Giants W 26–0 7–1 Yankee Stadium
62,973
9 November 10, 1968 at Detroit Lions W 27–10 8–1 Tiger Stadium
55,170
10 November 17, 1968 St. Louis Cardinals W 27–0 9–1 Memorial Stadium
60,238
11 November 24, 1968 Minnesota Vikings W 21–9 10–1 Memorial Stadium
60,238
12 December 1, 1968 Atlanta Falcons W 44–0 11–1 Memorial Stadium
60,238
13 December 7, 1968 at Green Bay Packers W 16–3 12–1 Lambeau Field
50,861
14 December 15, 1968 at Los Angeles Rams W 28–24 13–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
69,397

Standings[edit]

Coastal Division
Team W L T PCT PF PA
Baltimore Colts 13 1 0 .929 402 144
Los Angeles Rams 10 3 1 .769 312 200
San Francisco 49ers 7 6 1 .538 303 310
Atlanta Falcons 2 12 0 .143 170 389

[1]

Post-season[edit]

The team made it to the playoffs and hosted the Minnesota Vikings for the right to play in the NFL Championship Game. The Colts took a 21–0 lead and went on to win 24–14. They then traveled to Cleveland to take on the Browns. The Colts defense was on top of their game as they shut out the Browns 34–0 and won their 3rd championship. The 1968 Colts were being touted as "the greatest football team in history". In Super Bowl III, the Colts took on the heavy underdog New York Jets led by quarterback Joe Namath. Before the game, former NFL star and coach Norm Van Brocklin ridiculed the AFL, saying "This will be Namath's first Professional Football game." Three days before the game, Namath was being heckled in Miami and he responded by saying: "We’re going to win Sunday. I guarantee it."[2] The Jets beat the Colts 16–7. This game is regarded as one of the biggest upsets in American sports history.

Perhaps the biggest effect of the Colts' loss is that the predominant sentiment that the AFL was not strong enough to merge with the NFL was firmly squelched.

Playoff Round Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance
Conference Championship December 22, 1968 Minnesota Vikings W 24–14 1–0 Memorial Stadium
60,238
NFL Championship December 29, 1968 at Cleveland Browns W 34–0 2–0 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
80,628
Super Bowl January 12, 1969 New York Jets L 7–16 2–1 Miami Orange Bowl
75,389

Awards[edit]

Earl Morrall: AP NFL MVP

Don Shula: AP NFL Coach of the Year

References[edit]

  1. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 297
  2. ^ Zinser, Lynn (May 25, 2012). "Pregame Talk Is Cheap, but This Vow Resonates". The New York Times. p. B10. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. 

See also[edit]