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." 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.