Yesterday we looked at Super Bowl I where the Eagles pulled away in the second half to beat the Houston Oilers. Today we will look at what would have been the second super bowl, if the super bowl would have began in 1960. The Oilers won the AFL Championship again and would get another shot at beating the NFL champion. The Green Bay Packers won the 1961 NFL Title with a convincing beating of the New York Giants 37-0. The Packers lost in the final seconds of the 1960 NFL Championship game to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Green Bay Packers
The club posted an 11–3 record under coach Vince Lombardi, earning them a first-place finish in the Western Conference. The Packers ended the season by defeating the New York Giants 37–0 in the NFL Championship Game.The 1961 season was the first in which the Packers wore their trademark capital “G” logo on their helmets.
The Packers averaged 28 points per game and only gave up 15. This to me was the finest Packers team as it was the only Packers team to have Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung in the backfield healthy at the same time.
The Packers weakness had to be the passing attack as Bart Starr threw as many touchdowns as interceptions with 16 of each. The smash mouth running game of Taylor and Hornung accounted for close to 2,000 yards on the ground. They ground game was led by that legendary Packers offensive line and the famed Green Bay Packer sweep.
For the second consecutive season, the Oilers scored a triumph in the AFL championship game over the San Diego Chargers (12–2), the Western Division champions.
The Oilers started slowly in 1961, with a 1–3–1 record. After a tie on October 13 with the Boston Patriots, head coach Lou Rymkus was fired by owner Bud Adams. Wally Lemm was hired, and the team went undefeated for the remainder of the season, including the championship game, a winning streak of ten games.
The Oilers set the AFL record for points scored in 1961, with 513 (36.6 points per game).They also set an American Football League record with a +271 point differential, by allowing only 242 points. The 1961 Oilers are the only team in AFL or NFL history to score 45 points or more six times in a single season.
George Blanda was better in 1961 then he was in 1960 and Billy Cannon rushed for almost 1,000 yards. Receivers Charley Hennigan and Bill Gorman both had over 1,000 yards receiving. This was one of the highest powered offenses in pro football history.
On defense the Oilers gave up 17 points a game and were led by defensive backs Jim Norton and Tony Banfield who combined for 17 interceptions.
This game is to say the least a contrast of styles, Green Bay’s power offense against the Oilers lethal attacking offense. When you first look at this game the first impression that comes to mind is BLOWOUT! The big question to me for the Oilers is can their defense slow down the Packers vaunted running game? On the other hand how do the Packers deal with the Oilers multi-faceted offense, that is good thru both the air and on the ground?
The first half gets taken over by the Packers running game as Taylor and Hornung combine for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. Blanda does have some early success against the Packers defense as he hits Charley Hennigan on a 40 yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter. The pace of the first half is controlled by the Packers and they end the first half with a 24-7 lead.
The second half is more of the same for the packers on offense and on defense Willie Davis sacks Blanda three times in the third quarter alone. Herb Adderley pretty much puts the game to rest mid way through the 3rd quarter when he intercepts a Blanda pass and races 60 yards the other way for a TD that makes the lead 31-7. Blanda does throw two fourth quarter TD passes to Hennigan and Gorman, but it’s too little to late for the oilers as they fall to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 45-21. Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor are named co-mvp’s of the Super Bowl.