Golden Football Magazine
NFL Championship Games
1967: Super Bowl II - Green Bay Packers vs Oakland Raiders

This series covers the history of the NFL through the prism of its yearly championship games.
Note: The gray boxes contain asides that provide interesting material but could be skipped
without losing the continuity of the article.

Continued from Part 1  |  Continue to Part 3

Willie Davis

Larry Todd

Darryle Lamonica turns to handoff.

Lamonica calls signals.

Packers swarm Dixon.

Starr hands off.

Starr back to pass in Q1.

Starr dejected.

Ben Davidson

Davidson after Ben Wilson

Ron Kostelnik pressures Lamonica.

Warrior Nitschke comes off the field.

Pete Banaszak

Wood defends against Miller.

Davidson has his eye on Starr.

The mood was different in the two dressing rooms.
  • Some of the Packer veterans took turns addressing the team - Bob Skoronski, Willie Davis, Forrest Gregg, Max McGee, and Ray Nitschke. Jerry Kramer taped their remarks for the diary he was keeping.
  • Co-captain Skoronski: If we lose, boys, we lose everything we've worked for all season. I don't have any damn intention of losing this ball game, and I don't think anybody else here does.
  • Co-captain Davis also addressed the team. Fellas, you know as well as I do that when we went to camp in July, this is what we had in mind. This game is going to de­termine what's said about the Packers tomorrow. Fellas, in another sixty minutes, we can walk in here with another world championship. Fellas, it's recognition, it's prestige and, fellas, it's money. So let's go out and have fun. Let's go out and just hit people. Let's just go out and play football the way we can.
  • Gregg added his two cents worth. My impression of this ball club is that they're the type of people who like to intimidate you. Watch those linebackers, those linemen, the way they're hitting people late. No sense getting upset about it. They're going to do some pass interference and holding and stuff like that, but let's not get upset about it. Let's go out there and play our brand of football. Let's face it. They're a little bit afraid of us right now. Let's put it to them from the very first whistle and put it to them every play.
  • McGee, who was definitely not postponing his retirement another year, said, It's the last game for some of us, and we sure don't want to go out of here and live the rest of our lives letting these guys beat us.
  • Nitschke had a simple message. Let's play with our hearts. Nobody better exempli­fied that approach than him.
  • After Carroll Dale led the team in the Lord's Prayer, Lombardi gave an emotional address to his boys. All the glory, everything that you've had, everything that you've won, is going to be small in comparison to winning this one ... You got to be forty tigers out there. That's all. Just hit. Just run. Just block and just tackle. If you do that, there's no question what the answer's going to be in this football game. Keep your poise. You've faced them all. There's nothing they can show you out there you haven't faced a number of times. Right? ... Let's go get 'em!
The game began in 68° partly cloudy weather with a 10 mph wind from the south.
  • Quarter 1
    Oakland won the toss and elected to receive. The Packers chose to kick with the wind. Larry Todd took Chandler's kickoff on the 5 and returned to the 27, where Dave Hyland downed him. MLB Ray Nitschke made his presence felt on the very first snap. Daryle Lamonica called "69 Boom Man," a FB sweep to the weak side that the Raiders had used to great effect all season. Hewritt Dixon took the hand­off and started left. Nitschke came flying over and hit Dixon low, knocking him heels over helmet after only a 1y gain.

    Ray Nitschke upends Hewritt Dixon on the first play from scrimmage.
    Jerry Green described the first play from scrimmage this way in the Detroit News the next day: Nitschke, fangs flashing, met Dixon at the line of scrimmage. The collision was terrifying. Dixon was bowled over, bounced backwards, and set down in a heap.
    Lamonica then rolled right and threw incomplete to Fred Biletnikoff on a sideline pattern as CB Herb Adderley covered. On 3rd-and-9, Lamonica went to the air again but, under heavy pressure from DT Ron Kostelnik, his flare pass to Dixon out of the backfield fell short. Mike Eischeid punted to Willie Wood who stepped out of bounds as he caught the ball at the GB 34.

    Nitschke stares down Lamonica.
    The Packers drove smartly from there to the game's first score. Three straight runs produced a 1st down - Donny Anderson up the middle to the 38, FB Ben Wilson, with thighs almost as massive as Dixon's, wide left for 3 more, and Anderson over the left side to the 46.
    Wilson didn't learn he would be the starter until five or ten minutes before the game. Five or ten minutes before the game, coach Lombardi came over and asked how I felt. I told him I felt fine. And the coach said if I felt fine, good, then he would start me. "The man he replaced, Chuck Mercein, said afterward, He didn't say anything to me. But I heard another player say that the coach had a hunch.

    Anderson tackled by Howie Williams.
    Bart Starr threw his first pass, hitting WR Carroll Dale who was spun out of bounds by LCB Kent McCloughan on the Oakland 45. The Packers declined the offside penalty on the Raiders, sticking with the 9y gain.
    McCloughan: Bart's timing was impeccable. I can remember a couple times him throwing outs and you didn't have much chance as the ball was practically upon the receiver after you took just a step.
    Wilson bounced off a tackler at the line of scrimmage, swung away, and fought forward for a tough yard. He lost the ball but officials ruled the whistle had blown, drawing boos from the Raider fans.

    Raiders defense swarms Ben Wilson.
    Flags flew on the next snap as Wilson plunged for a yard. Starr's long count had drawn the anxious defense offside again. On 1st-and-5 from the 39, Bart con­nected with TE Marv Fleming who was pushed out of bounds by RCB Dave Gray­son on the 31. Then Starr arched a pass to the sideline for Dale, but the receiver and S Warren Powers got their feet tangled and both fell down. MLB Dan Conners squelched a draw play, dropping Anderson for a 1y loss. Then the black shirt de­fense made another fine play when DE Ike Lassiter tipped Starr's pass, causing it to sail over the head of Fleming down the middle. Chandler came on and booted a 39y FG. Packers 3 Raiders 0 (9:53)

    Don Chandler boots FG to put Green Bay in front.
    Chandler: I knew this would be my last game as a Packer. I was through as a player in my own mind. Thankfully, this game was going to wrap up my best season in football. The year before, things were just the opposite. I knew I could go on kick­ing for a long time, but I just didn't have it here - in my heart - for football anymore. It was time to get to know my kids, build up my business and plant some family roots.
    Chandler's kick sailed low and short. It was fumbled, then lateraled to Grayson, who was swarmed under at the 25. FB Pete Banaszak went wide left for 4y before S Willie Wood tackled him.
    Banaszak recalled: The whole Super Bowl experience was kind of strange in the fact that I grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and used to go to Packers games as a kid. I used to sit with my dad in the stands and watch Bart Starr and Ray Nitschke and Willie Davis, and now I'm playing against them. They were my heroes growing up, and now I'm lining up against them.
    Lamonica then completed his first pass of the day. LB Dave Robinson downed SE Bill Miller, but not before he got a 1st down at the 38. Dixon ran up the middle for 4 before running into Nitschke. Then Hewritt took a pitchout wide left but was cut down by LB Lee Roy Caffey at the line of scrimmage. But the Raiders were guilty of clipping and set back to the 26. Lamonica bootlegged left and threw over the middle to Miller. Wood knocked it away but Nitschke was flagged for pass inter­ference to provide Oakland a 1st down at the 38. The Raiders continued trying to get wide on the next snap, but Dixon gained only 3 as Bob Jeter and Caffey re­fused to let him turn the corner.
    Lamonica: We felt we could run on them. But it was a case of my picking the right hole. They shut off the outside on us. That Nitschke was great. We had everyone cut down on our sweeps except him, and we just couldn't get to him. He has great pursuit. If we could have handled him, we would have had five more yards a play on our sweeps.
    So Daryle went back to the air, connecting with Miller down the middle to the GB 46. 1st down Raiders. Dixon took a delayed handoff around LE but Lionel Aldridge dumped him for a loss of 2. DE Willie Davis broke through on the next play to flush Lamonica. Wood broke up the pass to Banaszak. It's tough to convert 3rd-and-12 against a defense as good as the Packers as evidenced by Lamonica's flat pass that sailed 5' over Dixon's head because of pressure from DT Henry Jordan up the middle. So Eischeid came in to punt and lofted a beauty out of bounds on the 3.
    What followed was Green Bay's "old fashioned" offensive football at its best as the line fired out at the snap with straight ahead blocking. Wilson popped through a hole up the middle to give Starr some room at the 10 as S Howie Williams made the tackle. Anderson went over LG to move the chains to the 13.

    Anderson follows Gregg's (illegal?) block.
    Mixing his plays beautifully, Starr threw to Dale on a down and out against top­notch CB Willie Brown to the 30. Wilson again for 6, followed by Donny on a crossbuck to the 40. The measurement showed 1st down. The Raiders were really frustrated on the next play when big Ben Davidson got to Starr only to have him bounce away, step over a fallen blocker, and run down the left sideline across midfield to the 45 for another 1st down. To give himself time to catch his breath, Bart handed to Wilson for 6, then Anderson for 3.5. On 3rd and 1/2, Donny put his head down but fell short of the 1st down by inches. Are you a gambler, Mr. Lom­bardi? Yes, but with good odds on his side. LT Bob Skoronski and LG Gale Gilling­ham caved in the right side of the Oakland line to allow Wilson to slant to the 32 before Brown downed him. END OF Q1: PACKERS 3 RAIDERS 0
    Kramer summarized the early part of the game this way: They threw the five-two defense at us, and they threw a few other defenses at us, and we found out fast that they weren't going to give us any special trouble, that we could move the ball against them. Physically, they weren't quite so awesome as our NFL opponents. But we made a million mistakes, stupid, high-school mistakes. Kenny Bowman called his block one way and blocked the other way three or four times. He hadn't done that more than twice all year. We all made silly little blocking mistakes.

Gus Otto

Ike Lassiter

Tom Keating

Q2 action

Rodger Bird

Chandler kicks 2nd FG.

Tommy Crutcher

Tom Brown

Dowler completes 63y TD.

Miller catches pass amid Robinson, Nitschke, and Wood.

Nitschke shoots the gap to run down Banaszak.

Travis Williams

Anderson launches fateful punt right before halftime.

Packers recover fumbled punt.

Dowler steps out to stop clock for FG.

  • Quarter 2
    Green Bay had run 23 plays in Q1 to only 12 for the Raiders. Starr flipped to Anderson in the left flat. One-on-one with LB Gus Otto, Donny gained 7 to the 25.

    Anderson gets past Gus Otto.
    Then Wilson plowed to the 14 for a 1st down. But just when it seemed inevitable that the Pack would complete a 97y TD drive, Anderson dropped a pass all alone in the flat, and LE Lassiter and RT Tom Keating broke through to sack Bart at the 24.
    Keating was questionable for the game because of a pulled Achilles tendon suffered in the AFL title game. He took several cortisone shots right before the team left for Miami. Also the trainer built a special shoe with a heel lift to take the pressure off the Achilles. One writer (Jerry Izenberg of the Newark Star-Ledger) described Tom's ankle as the size of a herniated softball. The injured Raider battled Gale Gillingham all afternoon. Play af­ter play, Gillingham would rise up from his LG spot and put his body into Tom Keating's. An over-sized elbow-bandage on Gillingham's arm turned crimson. Blood spattered his white jersey. ... Keating's ankle went from softball to basketball in the first quarter. Blood ran down his left arm from a gash. Sequence after sequence, Keating would stagger off thee field and Gillingham would sigh a little. But damned if he wouldn't be right back again, dragging his big round ankle behind him.

    Tom Keating pulls down Starr.
    On 3rd-and-20, Starr threw short to Fleming who was downed immediately by Rodger Bird at the 13. So Chandler booted the 20y FG. Packers 6 Raiders 0 (11:52)
    With the wind now at his back, Chandler dropped his kickoff to Grayson at the 2. Tommy Crutcher dropped the returner at the 26. Still determined to go wide, Lamonica handed to Banaszak for only a 2y gain to the right as S Tom Brown made the stop. Next, Daryle rolled right chased by Jordan and Davis and threw incomplete to Biletnikoff. 3rd-and-8 brought a fierce rush by Kostelnik who, with Willie right behind him, sacked the QB at the 19. That made Oakland 0-for-3 on 3rd down conversions. Wood ran Eischeid punt back 3y to the GB 37 with 11:10 on the clock.
    Lamonica: They did a great job taking my passing lanes away. We had a lane up the middle, but it was awful narrow.

    The NFL champions struck on the first play. Starr called "Flood Six Wing Square Out," which called for Dale, the primary receiver, to run a deep turnout on the sideline. "Flood Six" was a built-in audible that allowed Bart to throw to Dowler if the defense blitzed. Sure enough, the Raiders blitzed, and Starr, after faking a handoff to Williams, floated a pass over the middle to Dowler, who was all alone. Boyd raced untouched for a 63y TD as RS Rodger Bird gained ground but couldn't quite catch him. Chandler converted. McCloughan had lined up right in front of Dowler and bumped him as he came off the snap, then let him go as if expecting help over the top. But none came. Packers 13 Raiders 0 (10:50)
    Dowler on why he was so wide open: I just bulled my way past the corner man and took an inside route. They had a blitz, and Bart spotted it. He wanted to go to Carroll Dale, and then he saw I had my man beat. You might say I dazzled them with my speed. I just beat the man to the inside (CB Kent McCloughan) and Bart saw me and putit up there for me..
    Starr: Any time a team blitzes a lot, they leave things open. I like to play against the blitz. That put a one-on-one coverage, and Dowler beat his man.
    Rauch: It was just a breakdown on the coverage. It doesn't matter who it was, just a breakdown, a mistake. That's why you lose ball games.

    Hewritt Dixon starts a sweep with Willie Davis in pursuit.
    Kramer: We were ahead 13-0. We got lazy and careless, the way we always seem to when we build up a lead.
    With many fans wondering if this would be a rout, the Raider offense responded. They forgot about running wide and went up the middle with good effect. After Todd ran the kick from the goal line to the 22, Banaszak ran two straight crossbucks for 5y each to fall a half-foot short. On 3rd down, Dixon broke loose to the 40.

    Lamonica hands to Dixon.
    For a change of pace, Lamonica threw a quick pass to Biletnikoff who was hit immediately by Adderley for a gain of 4. Then Daryle threw into the center of the secondary to Miller amidst Nitschke, Robinson, and Wood to the GB 40. Momentum slowed momentarily when Dixon dropped a pass in the flat. Undeterred, Lamonica tossed to Banaszak who ran to the 25, where Caffey knocked him out of bounds. Pete took another crossbuck handoff for 2y. With the running game opening up the passing lanes, Lamonica found Miller open behind Robinson at the 5, and the Miami boy stepped into the EZ just before S Brown threw a block into him. George Blanda added the EP. Packers 13 Raiders 7 (6:15)
    Miller: The Packers play a lot of zone defense and never really cover anybody in the slot. It was just a sideline pass. I had to get past the LB. He did a real good job of holding me up. But Daryle made a real good throw.
    : I was supposed to take Miller deep, but I played him too soft. Dave Robinson dropped back as far with him as he could, and I should have taken him. But I didn't.

    Bill Miller scores after catching pass over Dave Robinson.
    Blanda's kick into the wind came down short to Crutcher, one of the wedge blockers. Tommy was downed at the 15. As often happens, a score fires up the defense, which pushed the Packers backward. First, Conners ran down Wilson trying to go wide for a 1y loss. Then Keating roared through untouched to wrap his arms around Starr on the 5. Playing the game of his life despite limping between plays, Tom made another fine play on the next snap, tackling Wilson heading wide left at the 8. Bird took Anderson's kick at his 49 and returned it to the GB 40.

    Dan Conners pulls down Wilson.
    The Packers defense matched the intensity of their rival's. With the AFL-city crowd roaring their support, the Raiders went back to the sweep but with no better luck than before. Nitschke spilled Banaszak for no gain. Then Dixon gained only 1 on a draw. Facing 3rd and long, Lamonica overthrew Dixon over the middle. Rauch sent in Blanda to try a 47y FG against the 10 mph wind. That would be a daunting task even to a young kicker. The 40-year-old got it the 1 where Wood, apparently thinking that the ball would not go into the EZ for a touchback, caught it and ran it back to the 8.
    When the Packers had the ball, Nitschke could be seen on the bench inhaling from an oxygen mask. I had lost 10, 15 pounds from the flu, but I was going to be there if I had to be there on a stretcher.

    George Blanda attempts 47y FG against the wind.
    Facing poor field position for the third straight possession, Starr gave to Anderson on a quick opener over the right side to the 10. After a break for the two-minute warning, Travis Williams gained 5. On 3rd-and-3, the rookie RB tried to get the 1st down around RE, but Conners and DT Dan Birdwell stopped him 2y short.
    Travis revealed after the game that his wife had given birth of a 7 pound 8 ounce boy Saturday night, their third child. No, we don't have a name picked out yet. Vince? Well, maybe Vincent T. We'll see.
    As the Raiders deployed their punt return team, they looked forward to getting good field position to get at least a FG to continue their momentum going into halftime. But that plan went awry when Byrd signaled for a fair catch but misjudged the ball in the wind and had it bounce off his outstretched hands. Dick Capp recovered for GB on the Oakland 45.
    I guess he wasn't accustomed to catching left-footed punters, Anderson said of Bird. That was true because the Raiders didn't have a left-footed punter.
    The Packers called their first timeout with 0:23 left. Lombardi sent in WR Max McGee to replace TE Fleming.
    The 34-year-old from Tulane had announced his retirement after his spectacular performance in Super Bowl I but was persuaded to return for a 12th season. He caught only 3 passes for 33y during the season, but Lombardi liked to go to his veterans in the big games.
    The unexpected hero of Super Bowl I got a chance on the very first play when Starr escaped the rush and lobbed one to him. But it sailed over his head and was almost intercepted by Howie Williams. With 0:16 showing, Starr fired incomplete to Dowler at the 35 to stop the clock with 12 seconds left. Needing to get closer, Bart connected with Boyd this time on the sideline in front of RCB Grayson for 9 precious yards. On 4th-and-1 with six ticks remaining, Chandler boomed a 43y FG out of Starr's hold to complete a six-point turnaround thanks to Bird's fumble. Packers 16 Raiders 7 (0:01)

    Don Chandler kicks 43y FG right before the half.
    After the game, Chandler revealed an extra motivation. I'd heard that Blanda was rated A-plus for them because he was a better kicker than I am. The big one was right at the half. That was the pressure one.
    A number of players and observers considered the FG right before the half the turning point in the game.
    Wilson: That might have been the turning point of the game. We could have been in a punting situation - a long runback and field goal for them, and it's 13-10 at the half.
    Raiders personnel director Ron Wolf, who as Green Bay GM from 1991-2001 would bring the franchise back to the Super Bowl, recalled: The Packers had dominated, but then we scored and the whole momentum had shifted in our favor. Then we gave it right back to them. After that punt, the wheels came off. I would say the reason that we lost was that fumbled punt.
    Chandler did a squib kick that traveled 13y, Wayne Hawkins returning it 3.

  • Haltime at the Orange Bowl

    Packers Locker Room
    • The thought that this might be Lombardi's last game filled the mind of every Packer. Kramer: He's been such a dominant force in our life for the last ten years. He's been the only reason for our great success at Green Bay. ... It is inconceivable to think that anyone would know that that was Coach Lombardi's last game and let it go as just another game. I'm sure it was on everyone's mind, and they wanted to do the best thing they could and play the game as well as possible for him. ... We all felt that this was going to be his last game. I said to the fellas, "Look, we got 30 more minutes this year. Let's give it to the Old Man. Let's play the last 30 for the Old Man."
    • As for the game, Kramer recalled: Between the halves, there wasn't much we could discuss. Our plays were working fine; we just weren't executing them right.
    • Bengtson: At halftime, Lombardi kept saying that nine points isn't enough. In the coaches' room, we went over the changes he wanted to make, but I guess they really weren't necessary the way it turned out. At the same time we were talking, a group of older players got together in a corner of the locker room ... and they vowed to play the last thirty minutes for the Old Man. They spread the word to the rest of the team, and they told everybody to settle down, be cool and calculated in the second half, and we would win it easily.
    Raiders Locker Room
    • Rauch didn't think the FG right before the half was a turning point. He said after the game that, It was with great confidence and without any hysteria that we went out and felt we could play our game in the second half. We thought we could come back without just throwing bombs or things like that. ... We had complete confidence at half time. We'd come back during the season.

    Continue to part III - second half.