The Super Bowl has grown by leaps and bounds since the first game in 1960 and this sixth installment looks to be one of the most exciting yet. The Packers return for the third time, but the first time in three years. The Bills on the other hand will be making a repeat appearance trying to avenge last years defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns.
Green Bay Packers
The club posted a 10–3–1 record under seventh-year head coach Vince Lombardi, earning a tie for first place in the Western Conference with the Baltimore Colts.
In the final regular season game at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, a late touchdown by the 49ers caused a tie and dropped Green Bay into a tie with the Colts. Although the Packers defeated Baltimore twice during the regular season, the rules at the time required a tiebreaker playoff, played in Green Bay on December 26. With backup quarterbacks playing for both teams, the Packers tied the Colts late and won in overtime, 13–10.
Green Bay then met the defending champion Cleveland Browns (11–3) in the NFL championship game, also at Green Bay. The Packers won, 23–12, for their ninth NFL title and third under Lombardi.
The Packers offensively were led by QB Bart Starr’s 2,055 yards passing with 16 TD’s and 9 int’s. RB Jim Taylor led the running game with 739 yards, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. Boyd Dowler added 610 receiving yards with 4 TD’s. The Packers as you can see struggled out times during the season.
Defensively the Packers were still a dominating force, led by MLB Ray Nitschke and DB’s Herb Adderley and Willie Wood.
The Bills, who had led the AFL in points, rushing yards and total yards the previous season, suffered significantly after losing star running back Cookie Gilchrist in the offseason. Statistically, the Bills dropped to 6th (out of 8) in rushing yards, and 7th in passing yards. Still, they managed to finish 3rd in the AFL in points scored, with 313 (22.3 per game).
QB Jack Kemp struggled at times also, only completing 46% of his passes for just 10 TD’s and 18 interceptions. Cookie Gilchrist was replaced by the running back tandem of Wray Carlton and Billy Joe who combined for over 900 rushing yards and 10 TD’s. The receiving corps was led by Bo Roberson with 31 receptions for 483 yards and 3 TD’s.
Defensively the Bills were led by Hagood Clarke’s 7 interceptions and CB Butch Byrd with 5.
This matchup pits two teams that have struggled on offense for a lot of the year, but were bailed out by dominant defenses. It looks like a defensive struggle going in. The Packers open as a 14-point favorite, the closest point spread to date. The key to the game will come down to which offense can make some positive plays.
The first quarter of this game is strictly a defensive battle with both teams unable to get their running game going. The first big play of the game comes with a 20 seconds left in the first quarter when the Packers block Paul Mcguire’s punt and fall on it at the Bills 12 yard line. On the first play of the ensuing drive Bart Starr hits receiver Carroll Dale in the back of the end zone giving the Packers a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter starts out with the Bills returning the kick to the 40 yard line. Two plays later RB Carlton Wray picks up a first down just over midfield. Two plays after that, on 3rd and 5, Kemp finds TE Paul Costa open over the middle for a gain of 20 yards down to the Packers 24 yard line. The drive stalls ending in a Bills field goal reducing the Packers lead to 7-3. The Bills defense continues controlling the line of scrimmage making running the ball almost impossible. The first half ends with not much action as both teams are finding moving the ball very difficult.
The Packers take the opening kickoff of the second half and march inside the bills 10 yard line. After two Jim Taylor runs gain just 3 yards, Bart Starr drops back to pass on 3rd and goal from the seven yard line and is sacked by Bills DE Ron McDole and Starr is injured on the play. He is helped off the field by Forrest Gregg and Jerry Kramer, he seems to have re injured his ribs that he hurt in playoff against the Colts. On fourth down the Packers kick a field goal extending the lead to 10-3. The Bills next drive ends at mid field as DB Willie Wood intercepts Kemps pass. The Packers are unable to capitalize on the turnover and end up punting, and pinning the Bills on their own 6 yard line as the third quarter ends with the Packers clinging to a 10-3 lead.
With 7 minutes left the Bills need to make something happen now and they do, as on the first play Kemp hits Bo Roberson on a deep post advancing the ball 24 yards to the 30. A sweep to RB Billy Joe breaks lose all the way to the Packers 43 yard line. After a run play by Wray nets 4 yards, Kemp on second down hooks up with Roberson again for a 15 yard gain and a first down at the Packers 24 yard line. Rb Billy Joe gains another 4 yards on first down and on second down Kemp hits RB Carlton Wray out of the backfield for a 12 yard gain. First and goal at the 8 yard line Kemp drops back and hits TE Paul Costa on a quick slant for a TD, the extra point tied the game at 10 with 2 minutes and 10 seconds left. QB Bart Starr has been taken to the locker room with a rib injury and it has been reported he will not return to the game.
The Packers return the kickoff to the 25 yard line, Zeke Bratkowski replaces Bart Starr. Bratkowski starts the drive handing off to Jim Taylor who takes the ball to the 30 yard line. With under two minutes now left Bratkowski drops back to pass and is sacked by LB Mike Stratton for an 8 yard loss, the Packers call time out to discuss a huge 3rd down and 13. Bratkowski steps under center and takes the snap, he fires the ball downfield toward WR Carroll Dale and it’s INTERCEPTED by Bills DB Butch Byrd! Byrd returns the ball all the way down to the Packer 21 yard line with 1 minute and 29 seconds left!
On first down Kemp hands the ball to Carlton Wray who gains three yard down to the Packers 18. The Packers only have one timeout and the Bills have two, The Bills next snap is with 53 second left, and Wray carries for another two yards. The Bills call timeout to discuss what to do on 3rd down. 3rd and 5 with 41 seconds left, Kemp takes the snap and throws a swing pass to RB Billy Joe who breaks two tackles and steps out of bounds at the 9 yard line with 28 seconds left. First and goal from the 9 and Kemp surprisingly drops back to pass and finds TE Paul Costa wide open in the end zone for the TOUCHDOWN, after the extra point the Bills lead 17-10 with 20 seconds left.
The Bills kick off and the Packers return it to the 27 yard line with 12 seconds left. On first down Bratkowski drops back to pass and heaves the ball down the right sideline to WR Boyd Dowler who goes up between two defenders and makes an amazing catch at the Bills 30 yard line, he gets out of bounds with 2 seconds left on the clock. The Packers use their final timeout to discuss what they need to do. On the final play off the game Bratkowski goes back to pass and is SACKED by Ron McDole and the Buffalo Bills have won the Super Bowl 17-10 over the Green Bay Packers. Bills QB Jack Kemp is named Super Bowl MVP!