51 for LI: Lombardi Strikes Again in Super Bowl II
[lead align=”default”]You can practically see the Super Bowl, meaning our countdown is almost over. With two days left, we know this game won’t be a repeat performance like Super Bowl II.[/lead]
The merger between the NFL and AFL was still years away, but for the second season, the two leagues would cooperate in a World Championship Game. The outcome in the NFL would be the same as the prior year, but the AFL had a new champion.
Both franchises are storied, and had familiar faces to any football fan. For the Green Bay Packers, they included Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, and Ray Nitschke. On the Oakland Raiders sideline, George Blanda, Gene Upshaw, John Madden (then a position coach), and upstairs was Al Davis (then the general manager and a minority owner).
Super Bowl II: 1967 Green Bay Packers
This season is less famous for Lombardi winning his second Super Bowl and more famous for the NFL championship. In getting to that game, Green Bay went 9-4-1 to win the NFL Central Division. It might not seem like an overwhelmingly great record, but it won the division by several games. Green Bay limped into the playoffs on consecutive losses.
Once they arrived, it made no difference. A team that beat them earlier, the Los Angeles Rams, lost in the playoffs to the Packers. Green Bay won the Western Conference in a 28-7 rout. The 1967 NFL Championship Game that followed is among the most famous playoff games ever. This “Ice Bowl” saw temperatures well below zero and wind chills that made you realize yeah, it’s Wisconsin in winter. Green Bay nosed out Dallas in this epic game, coming from behind to win their third-straight NFL title.
Super Bowl II: 1967 Oakland Raiders
Oakland sliced through the AFL like a hot knife through butter in 1967. For the first time ever, Oakland made a playoff appearance, and this propelled them to the second-ever Super Bowl. Of course, making the playoffs back then required winning one’s division. It’s not that impressive; there were only nine AFL teams total.
Only the New York Jets would defeat the Raiders during the regular season. They had the AFL West locked up down the road, and in the title game, they faced the Houston Oilers. The Oilers stood no chance, losing 40-7 as the Raiders moved on to the World Championship Game.
Super Bowl II: The Game
In this era, and for the next couple seasons, the perception was that the AFL was woefully ill-equipped to contend against the NFL. Super Bowl II did nothing to change the direction of public opinion.
At the Orange Bowl in sunny South Florida, the Packers climbed out to a 16-7 lead at halftime. Green Bay never trailed in that first half, or the second one for that matter. Both Bart Starr and Oakland quarterback Daryle Lamonica threw second-quarter touchdown passes.
After the lead grew to 26-7 Green Bay late in the third, Lamonica threw another touchdown pass — unfortunately, to the Packers. He’d get one back on the following drive, but it was a 33-14 victory for the Packers. VInce Lombardi won the trophy that assumed his name again.