Superbowl 3: New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts

Superbowl 3 Review: Summary, Statistics, and more

New York Jets (AFL) vs. Baltimore Colts (NFL)

New York Jets +18, O/U 40, (11-3) vs. Baltimore Colts -18, O/U 40 (13-1) Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida, January 12, 1969 3:00 p.m. EST, TV: NBC, Attendance: 75,389 Weather: 73 degrees overcast, windy, chance of rain
By Wilson of

Superbowl 3 was actually the first Superbowl game to be called the “Super Bowl” but the first two (AFL-NFL Championship games) are referred to as SB 1 & 2 anyway. This particular game is recognized as one the most thrilling upsets in all of sports. The New York Jets, who were the AFL Champions, were a huge underdog heading into Miami to face the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.

The Colts were arguably one of the greatest teams ever coming into this superbowl matchup. Even with famous Colt’s QB Johnny Unitas not on the field they were just as dominating. Earl Morral became the Colts starting QB after Unitas suffered a preseason injury. Morral had a career year and head coach Don Shula liked him so much that he kept Unitas on the bench even when he had recovered from his injury.


The Jets were a scrappy team led by a flamboyant QB in Joe Namath. Namath made every newspaper headline across the country by guaranteeing a victory prior to the game. He was no stellar performer but he ran the offense well enough to win games and advance to the big game. A number of the Jets were rejects who had been cut from other NFL teams, including a couple from the Colts which made the win even more stimulating.

Game Summary:
New York came into the game with their best receiver playing injured. Don Maynard had a pulled hamstring but they used him as a decoy to fool the Colts defense. Maynard had two TDs and 112 yards against the Raiders in the AFL Championship game so the Colts were a bit concerned about his role in this game.

This game was definitely not the big bill as it was expected to be especially for the Colts. The first quarter ended with no team cracking the scoreboard. Both defenses were ranked high all season and they showed up to play. Finally, in the second quarter the Jets RB Matt Snell crossed the goal line on a 4-yard run, and after a Jim Turner kick the Jets took a 7-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

New York came out in the third quarter and added to their lead with Jim Turner connecting on two field goals from 32 and 30 yards to make it 13-0 heading into the final quarter. Baltimore head coach Don Shula decided to pull QB Morral in favor of the still sore Unitas in an attempt to spark the team but that didn’t either.

The Jets played a controlling ground game offensively and pushed the ball down the field again in the fourth quarter. Jim Turner added yet another FG from 9 yards out to make it a 16-0 game. The Colts only score on the day was a 1-yard run by Jerry Hill and a Lou Michaels kick which made the final score 16-7 in favor of the Jets.

Final Score: New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7

MVP: Joe Namath

Primetime Players: Joe Namath (being Joe), Jim Turner (3 FGs), Matt Snell (30/121 1 TD)

Head Coaches: New York Jets: Weeb Ewbank – Baltimore Colts: Don Shula

Winner’s Bonus: $15,000

Loser’s Bonus: $7,500

Coin Toss: Tom Bell

National Anthem: Anita Bryant

Halftime Show: Florida A&M University “America Thanks”

30-second Commercial: $55,000

Behind the Scenes Story:
Joe Namath was certainly an outspoken player who enjoyed the competition and was not afraid to let people know how or what he was thinking. In fact, after the Jets won the AFC Championship Namath said there were four quarterbacks in the AFL that were who were better than the Colt’s QB Earl Morral. Those four players were Namath, Namath’s backup Babe Parilli, John Hadl of the Chargers, and Bob Griese, the Dolphins QB. Leave it to Joe to stir things up before the big game.