Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby GameBeforeTheMoney » Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:11 am

The Raiders kind of had some change over going from the AFL to NFL....Stabler became QB in 72/73....Tatum and Hendricks joined the fold...Otis Sistrunk....plus Madden of course....they certainly reloaded faster than KC....
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Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby Apbaball » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:58 am

Brian wolf wrote:Raiders blew the game without a doubt. Needed to run Dixon, Banazak or Hubbard more but hindsight is 20/20. Aaron Brown and Jerry Mays had monster games. I still cant believe Marsalis, a rookie, shut down Biletnikoff ?
Lamonica's injuries in this game and the 70 AFC Championship, might have cost him the HOF. Is he in the HOVG ? I havent checked ...


The injury to Lamonica's throwing hand probably cost the Raiders the game. I think Lamonica threw all three of his interceptions in the second half. A rusty Blanda had one as well when Lamonica sat out a series for a total 4 turnovers after the injury. Perhaps there biggest mistake was putting Lamonica back in when he couldn't grip the ball properly.

I wouldn't say they blew it but were a victim of circumstances.
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Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby RichardBak » Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:18 am

I never miss a chance to grumble about this game. And here's my rant....

It never even should've been played. If it wasn't for the networks putting together this one-time, contrived playoff involving runner-ups (KC and Houston), we should've had a straight-up championship game rematch between the two division winners, Oakland and the Jets. The Raiders did what was expected of them, beating KC twice in the last month of the season. Why the hell should they have to beat them a third time to advance to the Super Bowl? Looking at it strictly from the POV of a teenage fan, it didn't make any sense. But I'm much older and little bit wiser, and I know when it comes to sports, it's all about the Benjamins.

Today, after several decades of tournament-style playoffs to determine championships, it's easy to forget how that 1969 AFL playoff arrangement cheesed off a lot of us. Prior to then, there weren't any #1 vs. #2 playoffs, no wild cards. You had the occasional divisional tie-breaker (like '65 Balt-GB) for added excitement, but obviously those were not pre-scheduled affairs. Even after the NFL split the West and East conferences into 4 divisions in 1967, a team still had to win its division to advance. Runner-ups stayed home, no matter how impressive their record. The '67 Colts are the most famous example. They were undefeated at 11-0-2 going into the finale at LA, got beat, and stayed home. That was too bad for Colts fans (including me), but the winner-take-all nature of the game certainly added a ton of drama to the match-up. By comparison, the Chiefs lost their finale to Oakland in 1969, but both teams went into the game knowing they were in the playoffs no matter what the outcome. The only question was whether they'd play the Jets or the Oilers. That drained a lot of the drama out of the game.

That '69 AFL postseason robbed us of a guaranteed Raiders-Jets title game rematch. That not only held out the promise of another great game, but guaranteed we'd see either the Mad Bomber or Joe Willie going up against the Vikings. And I think either team would've beaten Minnesota. Could Namath have won back-to-back Super Bowls? We'll never know.
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Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby Jay Z » Sat May 01, 2021 2:07 am

GameBeforeTheMoney wrote:The Raiders kind of had some change over going from the AFL to NFL....Stabler became QB in 72/73....Tatum and Hendricks joined the fold...Otis Sistrunk....plus Madden of course....they certainly reloaded faster than KC....


I guess you can call it reloading when it takes you 15 years between playoff appearances...

The Raiders turned over most of their defense after they lost again in 1970. The defense had already declined during that season. The offense had less of a turnover, though a couple of them like Dixon and Wells would be gone.

The Chiefs had the bigger stars, the Raiders had the better depth. I don't know what was up with Kansas City, if it was too country club, Stram just wasn't thorough enough or what. Like I said, not the overall depth of the Raiders. I would like to see more written on those Chiefs, or I just haven't found the right stuff. Chiefs would have those odd 9-5 or 7-5-2 seasons for seemingly no reason, interspersed with better years.

Chiefs were the best team in football in 1969, IMO. Even though the Raiders beat them twice. The rules were what they were. In today's game, there would be no 1965 playoff between the Packers and the Colts, because the Packers had already beaten them twice. But back then, they held a playoff game. Ed Brown went to the Colts under suspicious circumstances IMO, but it was all perfectly legal. Chiefs 1969 defense was amazing, Aaron Brown was a beast and really made the defense. Brown never stayed healthy after that, but 1969 they had it going. Good depth at RB. 1970, they should have had better replacements for Pitts and Arbanas, but that's the depth. That's when the bad drafts started.
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Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby RichardBak » Sat May 01, 2021 7:44 am

Oh man, and now you gotta bring up the '65 Balt-GB playoff....another sore spot.

I'm too lazy to post another rant. I'll just yell at the dog..... :D
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Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby Brian wolf » Sat May 01, 2021 4:31 pm

Your rant about the Chiefs in 69 was viable RichardBak but had there been a Raiders-Jets rematch, I think the Raiders would have gotten it done, since Don Maynard was hobbling for the Jets. Though the Jet defense was tough, the Chiefs defense was better. The real question is, would Lamonica have gotten the job done against the Jets, and then the Vikings ?
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Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby RichardBak » Sat May 01, 2021 5:08 pm

Brian wolf wrote:Your rant about the Chiefs in 69 was viable RichardBak but had there been a Raiders-Jets rematch, I think the Raiders would have gotten it done, since Don Maynard was hobbling for the Jets. Though the Jet defense was tough, the Chiefs defense was better. The real question is, would Lamonica have gotten the job done against the Jets, and then the Vikings ?


Being a Raiders fan, I would've wanted to see Oakland beat NY---and I think they would've. Oakland had just beaten them pretty soundly on Nov. 30, at Shea, and the title game would've been played at Oakland (AFL rotated home sites for title games, so it was West Div's turn.) That would've given both QBs far better weather to throw the ball all over the lot. The difference was Oakland's secondary was one of the best in either league, while NY's had been rebuilt. I could see Lamonica's wide-open approach working on the Jets and even the Vikes. He also had Hewritt Dixon and Charlie Smith, two really good runners. I'm wondering if Joe Kapp could've got it done vs Oakland's secondary, not the other way around. The Raiders also would've had a bit of an edge since they had played in the SB just two years earlier.

I'd forgotten about Don Maynard being hobbled until you brought it up. Bake Turner actually did a good job filling in.

Speaking of Bake Turner (well, I was, anyway)...he has one of my favorite all-time single-season statistics. In his rookie season with the Colts (1962), he had one catch for a 74-yd TD and tacked on 37 more yds when someone lateraled the ball to him after a reception. So Bake's total for the year was 1 reception, 111 yards, 1 TD. His avg. gain per catch was 111.0 yards. Beat that, Homer Jones or Lance Alworth!
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Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby Brian wolf » Sun May 02, 2021 1:33 am

Had the Jets played in Oakland, Turner would have had to play an excellent game for them to win but Weeb Ewbank may have tried to run the ball more, a mistake Namath made against the Chiefs by not running more in the 69 playoff game. Had Lamonica beaten the Jets, I feel he would have been more relaxed for the Super Bowl because in the 67 AFL Championship against Houston, the Raiders had it too easy and had a letdown against the Packers ...
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Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby Brian wolf » Sun May 02, 2021 1:50 am

Another stupid thing about those AFL "runner up" playoff games in 1969, was that they were playing them while the NFL teams were playing their last regular season games !

So while Minn was playing a dogfight game against LA the following week along with a Clev blowout of Dallas, the Chiefs and Raiders had bye weeks which for the second year in a row had to have helped them towards the SB.

As for a Vikings-Raiders or Vikings-Jets SB matchup, I believe Kapp and the Vikings would have been able to throw the ball better against those teams compared to the red-hot Chiefs but would have had to also use more ball-control to keep Lamonica/Namath, off the field. Could the Vikings have won ? Possibly, but it would have been tough to do.
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Re: Thoughts on 1969 Raiders-Chiefs title game

Postby RichardBak » Sun May 02, 2021 9:12 am

Yeah, that weird scheduling was done solely for the sake of the networks, whose honchos arranged the whole dumb runner-up format in the first place.

I have to wonder if the '69 AFL postseason wasn't a trial run of some sorts for what was to come in 1970, with the new postseason format for the merged leagues and introduction of the wild card---you know, something to gauge fan reaction and TV ratings and all. The wild card also seemed weird when it was announced, because second-place teams weren't supposed to be vying for championships. But the '69 Chiefs helped throw that thinking out the window.

Anyway, back to the SB III that was never played....assuming Lamonica wasn't playing with an injured throwing hand, I think the Raiders would've had a better chance against the Vikes than the Jets. Oakland was a better team all-around than NY, and they would've been hungrier. The Jets were just a year off one of the greatest upsets in sports history and you have to wonder if, as underdogs once again, they could've psychologically risen to the occasion a second SB in a row.

I'm one of those guys who wished the two leagues had never merged. The stodgy NFL and hipper AFL had separate identities, and it was great to see that dynamic clash in the SB. It took me two or three years before I could get used to the Colts and Browns being in the AFC and playing teams like Buffalo and Houston. Couldn't wrap my head around it.
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